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13 June 2007


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We don't want toxics in our food.

What is it they don't get?

Sandi K

Wow Christie, this is GOOD! Sorry for yelling but it got me excited. But it does still lead me to the question, why do we have an FDA?

Carol PW

I think Christie's interpretation was wonderful. I think the FDA risk assessment was crap. I think the reviewers pointed that out.


Carol PW, how do you feel about the fact that they included only a single toxicologist on a panel that was charged with reviewing a situation that is toxicological in nature rather than one having to do with infectious organisms (which more closely allies with the specialties of at least two - possibly three - members of the panel)?

Carol PW

Gina - I am a Ph.D. chemist trained in toxicology and I have to say you did a masterful job in interpretation. Good Job!

Carol PW

Sorry - Christie, your kudos.


Melamine should not be allowed in any feed or food for farm animals, pets, or humans. Not now and not ever. It should not be put into rendering plants or recycled where it might get into any food supply inadvertently.


I posted about this yesterday on the older Endangered Species thread - but it is rather interesting, China has found fossils of a giant T-Rex flying bird:


The only questions is, can we believe China?


Good morning All,

I received this by email, if would be good if any of us concerned and knowledgeable about this pet food mass poisoning could attend this.

Does anyone live close enough to attend and report back?


News Conference

Caution: Our Globalized Food Supply May Be Hazardous To Our Health

The Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) has analyzed the “red flags” in recent U.S. food import data for the past year and the picture is ugly. Anything-goes, cheapest-price-possible food and food additive imports are putting the health of American consumers at risk. The facts show clear implications for food safety, country-of-origin labeling and, ultimately, U.S. trade policy.

The CPA has uncovered startling information about food import safety issues involving popular brands and “fresh” food on our supermarket shelves. Examples will be cited in a news conference on June 21, 2007 at a Trade and Globalization conference June 19-22, 2007 in Ames, Iowa. CPA President Fred Stokes will put recent food import scandals in context and demonstrate why the safety of our national food supply is directly tied to global trade policy.

News conference information can be found below. CPA experts will be available for phone interviews, as well as one-to-one availabilities at the conference. The CPA Trade and Globalization conference precedes a public Town Hall meeting on trade at the Hilton Coliseum at 5:30 p.m. on June 21st, 2007, hosted by four student groups from Iowa State University.

WHERE: Gateway Hotel and Conference Center

2100 Green Hills Drive

Ames, Iowa 50014

WHEN: Thursday, June 21, 2007

10:30 a.m.

WHO: Fred Stokes, President, Coalition for a Prosperous America


Michael Stumo

(413) 854-2580

[email protected]


ABOUT CPA: The Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) is working for a new and positive U.S. trade policy that delivers prosperity and security to America, its citizens, farms, factories and working people. We are an unrivaled coalition of manufacturing, agricultural, worker, consumer and citizen interests working together to re-build an America for ourselves, our children and our grand-children.

We believe America can provide good jobs for workers, affordable goods for consumers, opportunity for farms and manufacturers and a clean environment without compromising our national sovereignty and security. We are committed to achieving this outcome

Nancy Nielsen

Christie - thanks so very much, this is the sort of material that I would not be alterted to without the work you are all doing. And thanks, too, to the the individuals whose comments I find very helpful. I am all the better for being sorrier but wiser.


Comment by Carol PW — June 13, 2007 @ 7:42 pm

Carol, if you are a PhD chemist trained in toxicology, can you give us any direction on how to find a lab that will test pet food for toxins and set the values for detection at low levels and not be afraid to report the truth.

How do we find these such labs? Do they exist?


where am I going with this - I don' t know, but here goes -- Amilorine is a diuretic. Amiloride is a dehydrating agent. Cyranuric acid is a protein enhancer. All three are by-products of melamine.


Thank you Christie - It is like they just don't care about what they do for a living. To oversee the safety of our food and drug supply and the people who will end up eating or using it. If I were to submit that kind of work to my boss - I don't think I would get a warning - I think they would say don't bother showing up to work tomorrow you don't care about your job or your clients.


Also - cyanuric acid is used as a pesticide. Isn't acetamenaphin also used as a pesticide?

Sandi K

Comment by The OTHER Pat — June 13, 2007 @ 7:53 pm

Good question Pat. I might add that I had sent this question to the FDA toxicology Dept several weeks ago: What is the risk to pets if they eat any of these hogs, chickens, fish that are being released? Pets dont just eat pre-packaged food.

I received a reply back from them saying it was a good question but they were not the ones who had the answer. They suggested I contact the Veterinary section of FDA (which I did with no response yet).

Carol PW

Donna - Up until I semi-retired I had such a lab, but it did not have the equipment needed for the most accurate analyses for these toxins – LC-MS. These instruments are rare outside of the pharmaceutical industry and are quite expensive. I do not see any issues with the ExperTox results, using LC-MS methods, not corresponding to those found using GC-MS methods. Since I no longer have access to laboratory equipment I am home-cooking.


Christie thanks!

I too am wondering why the toxicologists aren't on the list.

I haven't looked up Dr Pi-Sunyer's credentials yet - while he/she has a degree MPH he watches over the obesity dept?

Who picked these people for the review process?

I guess it's business as usual at the FDA.



Carol PW -

Thanks for the info.

If I find a genie in a bottle my first wish will be that some pharmaceutical company who produces vet meds might come forth and offer us some assistance with some of that incredible equipment.


You can respond until June 29 to the Melamine S/RA at this web site:


using docket # 2007N-0208. Let them know what you really think.


I think we need to keep in mind that the FDA/USDA released all of the chickens, eggs and Pigs for processing and sale before they even had their assessment peer-reviewed. Where else, but in the American government, would that happen?


I was at an EPA meeting earlier this year in which EPA scientists reported that they are now required to make an assessment of risk even when there is NO INFORMATION available.

Everyone was appalled, and the EPA scientsts were not happy at all but they are under Congressional mandates and have no choice. This is something relatively new.


Comment by explodinghed — June 14, 2007 @ 5:13 am

Where I work, we're supposed to have a good idea of the kind of statistical analysis that the data will be subject to before we even start so as to avoid the kind of situation you describe (e.g. gathering a bunch of data that doesn't lend itself to any kind of reliable analysis later).

Now this is a fairly recent development company-wide - say the last 10-15 years or so. Given the kind of dinosaurs governmental agencies tend to be, I'm not terribly surprised FDA hasn't "gotten with the program" yet on the problems you describe.

But the question of "Why no mathemetician?" (or statistician) is a good one that hadn't occurred to me.

As to the shortage of toxicologists on the panel, I'm wondering if they did that because picking a LESS knowledgeable panel might be more likely to give them the answers they wanted. And in the event they DIDN'T hear what they wanted to hear, they could say "Well, these people don't really work IN the field, after all . . . . . . . " So they get a CYA either way.

I could be all wet on that, but I just don't get why you empanel a bunch of microbiologists and an obesity expert when the question is one of toxicology.


risk assessment is simply a way of appearing to make responsible decisions without actually doing that. it's been going on in business for a very long time. this peer review was less of a whitewash than i expected it to be, but i'm not surprised that they reached the conclusion that fda's actions were "reasonable". i'm sure that everyone involved knew what their assignment was.

note that there are no PhD level mathematicians on this panel. not for nothing, but in more than a decade of working on biological research projects and water analysis projects, i was rather shocked to realize that in general, the scientists with whom i worked were almost uniformly terrible mathemeticians, and in many cases not even good scientists. in one project where i was charged with doing a qa/qc analysis of data gathered by PhD level scientists with high profile reputations, i found the data set so completely compromised for so long that any decision using it as a foundation for any rational decision would have been absurd. they violated so many data collection protocols that the numbers were essentially useless. not only that, but it was obvious to any undergrad who actually looked at the trends in the data that they had screwed up royally. did anyone look? heck no! they made all kinds of pretty graphs and charts and maps, but never bothered to really look at the quality of the data until the project had been going for almost 5 years. When I showed the project manager why the data was in reality useless, he had to ax the project. i felt sorry for him because the data set he collected was one of the very few that actually had some mathematical validity. your tax dollars at work.


I've been so upset over this entire fiasco that I can't think much about it anymore. If the FDA is an example of how the government operates, then there's not too much hope for our survival in this global marketplace.


A very thorough educational website - still reading...can we depend on kosher certification to protect us???



The aforementioned Kosher certification website was mentioned on the below mentioned Harmony House website that promotes their products. Requested them to provide if there are any ingredients not USA sourced, produced, packaged, etc..

Need to find out what aspect of the growing process they mention may not be organic. Would love some properly dehydrated products to have available as nourishing ingredients, etc..



Elaine - couple of questions? Thanks in advance - from your posts, you "know cow" so I thought might know this.

Our grocery chain butcher said IBP (one of the big packers, he said, and I just saw that name mentioned on askthemeatman.com) sends them chuck roast, which they grind themselves into the hamburger they sell under the store label (no pre-done Moran style plastic package stuff). Is it likely that the chuck from IBP is from another country? How likely? Is there anything else to be wary about?

We just took our first beef to slaughter - we've asked for mostly roasts (lean, to slow cook) and a few steaks, with anything else going to hamburger grind. Is there anything else I should know about having the custom slaughter hourse grind my hamburger meat (instead of me grinding it here at home?). Any advantage to having them bone some cuts now?


The American Meat Institute (represents the big 4 Packing companies) are trying to strong-arm R-CALF USA to back off on demanding Country of Origin Labeling.



Thanks, Elaine:) There are always wrinkles and complications when we try to figure out where this stuff originates, huh? Good point re cows from Canada/Mexico that end up here.

I will ask those questions - we have to call the custom dudes today. I would imagine they would NOT be cleaning between grinds. They are a USDA facility, but frankly, that doesn't mean much to me anymore.


Just received this Action Alert, which means word is starting to get out to the masses.

- Hundreds of dogs and cats have been made sick by tainted pet food, and recent nationwide recalls of pet foods have left millions of pet owners deeply concerned with the food industry's ability to ensure the safety of its products.

Tell Congress to pass the Human and Pet Food Safety Act of 2007:

Reform safety measures to protect the nation’s food supply for humans and pets. In response to growing concerns across the nation, U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) recently introduced the Human and Pet Food Safety Act (H.R. 2108). This bill would establish critically needed mandatory federal standards to ensure the safety of the nation's food supply.



Christie, another thanks for all that effort above. It certainly cements a few things that have been milling around in my mind.

Reliance on the FDA in matters of food chain safety is totally misplaced at this point.

Hoping this administration will solve this completely and soon is futile.

Further, I see no other candidates doing anything other than completely flipping ignoring this issue during their "debates."

There has to be a way to bring this issue into the forefront. Be nice if it didn't require a massive human death event to jump start it, but I am starting to believe that is what it will take.


TC, It is quite likely. If the chain receives their beef as boxed beef, it will be labeled as to COOL on the box. Our local chain grocery store used to get boxed beef from Canada. I think IBP has slaughter facilities in both Canada and the U.S., so your butcher could read the country on the box--just ask him.

But even if the boxed beef comes from a U.S. source, that would not mean that the beef on hoof wouldn't have come in from Canada or Mexico and fed here before slaughter.

A custom slaughter plant may combine your beef with other beef carcasses in the interest of efficiency, so as not to clean the grinder between critters? I am not sure about this, but I would ask them.


The New York Times has an Opinion Piece on Problems with buying Local - environmental reasons:



“pretty confident” = FDA

Recalls to my mind the great blog piece on horsesass.org: the FDA as FAITH-BASED DINING ADMINISTRATION

“FDA and USDA BELIEVE the likelihood of illness after eating such pork is extremely low.”

– USDA/FDA, 4/26/2007

“We have no reason to BELIEVE that anything other than the rice protein concentrate or the wheat gluten have been a problem in the United States recently.”

– USDA/FDA, 4/26/2007

“But overall, we BELIEVE the risk to be extremely low to humans.”

– USDA/FDA, 4/26/2007

“One of the reasons we BELIEVE that this is very low in humans is due to the dilution effect.”

– USDA/FDA, 5/1/2007

“We do not BELIEVE that there is any significant threat of human illness from consuming poultry.”

– USDA/FDA, 5/1/2007

“We have no reason to BELIEVE those animals are any risk to the public.”

– USDA/FDA, 5/3/2007

Here is the link for the commentary which begins:

I’m not a very spiritual person, but I’m having a crisis of faith.

Twice a week I sit in on the FDA’s media teleconference regarding our growing food safety crisis, and twice a week I come away struck by the difference between what officials believe and what they actually know. As a born agnostic and a fan of science, I can fully appreciate the FDA’s reluctance to express absolute certainty. But as a devoted father and pet owner, I can’t help but find their reassurances less than reassuring.

First we were told that none of the adulterated wheat gluten and rice protein concentrate had made its way into the human food supply, and then we were informed that a mere 6,000 hogs had eaten feed contaminated by “salvaged” pet food. Next it was chickens. 3 million of them. Slaughtered, butchered and eaten by unsuspecting Americans.

Then 20 million more chickens, and today another 50,000 hogs… not to mention the God-knows-how-many fish in the US and Canada raised on farms now known to have received Canadian fish meal manufactured from contaminated Chinese flours.

Still… not to worry, we are told, because large manufacturers are “unlikely to have exposed their animals to large amounts of the tainted pet products.”



I'm thinking it is better to eat meat from "Large" animals rather than from small ones. Does this makes sense?


I will say for myself, "I am unwilling to eat the evidence!"


Comment by Jay — June 14, 2007 @ 3:26 pm

Add to your comments that the FDA released a statement that they "rule out acetaminophen as a pet food contaminant" prior to communicating with the lab who analyzed those results. They tested random samples and made a declaration.

Trudy Jackson

What China wants-



MSNBC has BIG headlines: Consumers being ripped off by Bogus ingredients:



Comment by Dee — June 14, 2007 @ 5:44 pm

It's more of the FDA's twisted belief system.

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