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« Another fine Thanksgiving tradition, or, midnight at the veterinarian | Main | New day for homeless pets in Houston? »

29 November 2008

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bestuvall

well now that Prop 2 has passed we can be assured that we will have little to no control over the eggs coming to CA from..hmm China??

2CatMom

And this the same Nestle who caused great harm to babies in poor countries by giving free formula to mothers for a short period of time? Then after the mother's own milk dried up - they could still get formula - if they could pay. Yes, I'm sure they have our babies' safety first and foremost in their minds...not.



Am I the only person who keeps thinking that there is could be some connection between all these chemicals in formula (and perhaps the plastic in the bottles) and the startling rise in autism, childhood cancer and the like? Just a thought.

Marcy

"FDA Draws Fire Over Chemicals In Baby Formula"



WashingtonPost.com article:

http://preview.tinyurl.com/5bhbk7

Anne T

FDA has changed it's mind about allowing 'trace amounts' of melamine and cyanuric acid in human infant formula, according to Joan Lowy and Justin Pritchard of the AP.

http://tinyurl.com/5t9ofl

Marcy

"I’m sure you’ll all be glad to know that, just like the pet food industry said during the pet food recall, Nestle is assuring us that its products are safe."



Sorry, but I don't trust Nestle, ever since I wrestled with them last year after my JuJu died from her pet food. I was assured that there was nothing wrong with their pet food.



Why does this name keep coming up when a melamine contamination is discovered? Just wondering...

schnauzer

Christie!



That can't be right. Did not the (ahem) FDA assure us that it was perfectly safe to eat the pork, from the pigs that were feed contaminated feed? If that's the case, how could enough melamine travel through a cows milk production system to cause a problem?



Could the FDA (gasp) have been wrong? or lying?

straybaby

Gina, did my latest comment get stuck? It had a link . . .

Gina Spadafori

Found it. Freed it. :)

straybaby

I'm with Deep Harm. "Where can I buy a dairy cow?".



It's "funny", I can legally have chickens here in Brooklyn, but when I move to my new place in the mountains, I won't be able to. Still going to petition for it, though I think they might freak if I say I want a dairy cow also! Do they "sell" shares in dairy cows like a CSA type of deal?



France also had an issue with contaminated feed



http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20081128/melamine_soymeal_081128/20081128?hub=Health



It just blows my mind that this isn't a bigger issue with the FDA. Heck, I don't have kids, but even I know that even "if" the melamine content in the formula meets the required standard, the babies are soon going to be mixing other melamine toxic foods into their diet. Plus, I thought it was zero tolerance on formula? When did that change? The list of melamine contaminated products is long and covers all food groups at this point (except maybe nuts?). When/Where are they going to draw the line? How many people/babies have to die first?

Pamela J. Betz-Baron

I have trouble putting the words together to fully and coherently express how I feel every time I read more about these chemicals in baby formula (or anywhere, for that matter). To put it simply, I am beyond livid.

Gina Spadafori

And people wonder why I have my own chickens for eggs, and rarely eat anything processed, or which I can't buy from a regional, named source that I could actually visit. I could see this wasn't an isolated problem when the FDA/USDA started talking in media conferences about what was in what was being fed to animals, poultry and fish intended for human consumption.



All perfectly safe, they said.



And pigs can fly, I said.



From Day One, the government was all about protecting industries and trade partners, not consumers.

straybaby

Heh, looks like the answer to my question on when the FDA changed their mind:



http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20081129/hl_nm/us_food_melamine_infants_4



something seems *very* familiar here. . . . just sayin'.

straybaby

bestuvall,



who's to say large egg/poultry farmers in CA aren't using melamine feed from China? We saw how the FDA handled that during the pet food recall. . . .

straybaby

Thanks! Wasn't sure if I posted or not. Posting while angry sometimes trips me up. Off to try the "dog walk cure for anger" now. :)

Danielle

Hey, I didn't say anything about "premimum" food or berating anyone either. I Just said stop feeding crappy commercial food and go natural. If that means Barf, raw, homecooking or a natural so-called "premimum then go for it. I didn't mean to offend anyone.

Danielle

I agree and wasn't berating anyone. I just beleive that we have a choice on what we put into our bodies and our pets don't, they only get what we give them.

Gina Spadafori

Danielle ... you're STILL DOING IT. You're telling people to "go for it" because YOU think they should "go natural."



That's NOT the issue here. We're saying that whatever choice anyone makes, the food they buy should be SAFE and they should be able to count on that at the very minimum.



This is NOT a debate about home-prepared vs. processed food. It's about food safety.



We have people here who feed home-prepared, raw, dehydrated commercial, "premium" commercial and store-label commercial. Each of these people have made their own decisions, and we respect those decisions.



What we don't respect is consumer-protection agencies that aren't doing their job.



No one sets out to buy poisoned pet food. NO ONE. Thousands of people grieved their pets when they died from food contaminated by poisons cut into the product to make it cheaper to produce. The companies that made the food were not aware of what the Chinese suppliers had done, either.



People who lost their pets do not deserve to be made to feel that if they had not purchased Brand X they wouldn't have killed their pets. What happened was not their fault.



They trusted that the regulatory agencies we pay to protect us are actually protecting us, not corporate interests or trading partners.



The commercial vs. home-prepared food is an entirely different issue.

The OTHER Pat

OMG - FDA is practicing plagiarism on THEMSELVES!



These are the EXACT same lines they used in their 2007 press conferences when they were talking about people wanting to stop feeding commercial pet food and start making their own!

Marcy

Funny how no amount was acceptable until it showed up in the U.S. "big business interests," huh???



Now all of a sudden, trace amounts are ok. Go figure.

straybaby

Pat, shhhhh! They think we weren't/aren't paying attention! How dare you spoil the rerun of their script!

The OTHER Pat

The whole thing is a replay of 2007. NO amount of melamine is acceptable, until they actually FIND melamine. Then suddenly revisionist history is at work along with "the dilution effect", and ever upwardly-adjusted "trace amounts" are suddenly said to pose no significant threat.



Gotta protect those Big Business interests, dontcha' know . . . . . . . .

The OTHER Pat

Danielle, it may not be a choice that you or I may make. But a consumer who buys their pet's food from the pet food section at the local grocery store should have no more call to be worried about melamine and/or cyanuric acid contaminated food than those of us who choose to spend more on our pet's food.



NO ONE should have to worry that they're poisoning their pet by the food they feed - regardless of what they spent on it, or where they bought it.

Marcy

Melamine shouldn’t be in ANYTHING intended for consumption, from the least expensive generic kibble to baby formula. And for the gov’t to tolerate it is a scandal.



Comment by Gina Spadafori — November 30, 2008 @ 1:49 pm



I wholeheartedly agree!!!

Joy

WHAT?



In April 2007 Sundlof said Melamine is "an ingredient that should not be in pet food at any level"



But now, for infant formula he is saying "so far are in the trace range, and from a public health or infant health perspective, we consider those to be perfectly fine"



I don't get it

Angelique

Wow, and then Sundlof said THIS:



"Parents using infant formula should continue using U.S.-manufactured infant formula. Switching away from one of these infant formulas to alternate diets or homemade formulas could result in infants not receiving the complete nutrition required for proper growth and development."

Sandi K

This is a friggin nightmare come true. I clearly remember us "over the top" pet parents voicing very loud concern to FDA about the chicken, fish, hogs, etc last year only to have it all fall on deaf ears. And it appears those ears are still deaf, this is insane!

Danielle

To think that people that fed the crappy commercial food prior to the melamine scare went back to the same company thinking the food is fine now. It is bad enough to put in pets food, BUT baby formula as well?

I have not and will not trust these companies as the bottom line is to make big profits and what they can't use in the human market goes to the pet food market! Stop eating processed foods, go natural and feed you children and pets the same way!

I feel for the babies that can't breastfeed.

Gina Spadafori

We've said here from Day One of the pet food recalls that this shouldn't be a reason to berate people who don't buy a "premium" food, or prepare food at home, feed only raw, etc.



Melamine shouldn't be in ANYTHING intended for consumption, from the least expensive generic kibble to baby formula. And for the gov't to tolerate it is a scandal.

Gina Spadafori

Wow! Two whole coordinators.



I feel soooo much better.



Actually, I won't feel any better until a new administration comes in and starts replacing the cronies at the top of these agencies. I've had enough "Brownies" for a lifetime.



A new broom sweeps clean and all that.

Barb

You can read that FDA report here -



http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/2008/NEW01917.html



One positive note - "The FDA hired two emergency /complaint-response coordinators to improve its response to emergencies that involve animal feed, including pet food."

Carol V

well since I was just ranting above..(sorry).let me add something constructive to this discussion now...



great article..New York Times has this in print today on page A17...according to this link...can't wait to read the report!



http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/01/us/01fda.html?ref=us



"F.D.A. Details Its Food Safety Campaign



By ANDREW MARTIN

Published: November 30, 2008

After years of being criticized for its response to food-sickness outbreaks and contaminated imports, the Food and Drug Administration is stepping up efforts to convince the public and skeptical lawmakers that it is making progress in overhauling the nation’s food defenses.



The agency will release a report Monday that summarizes what officials call a “hugely ambitious” campaign to reshape its food inspection arm to root out safety hazards through things like sophisticated software and certifiers from the private sector."

Concha Castaneda

When I was a teenager in the 70's I got involved in a group of Women through the YWCA that were boycotting Nestley. I still have the political button that reads "boycott Nestley quick!". As I remember correctly Nestley teamed up with The World Heath Organization and went to 3rd world countries wearing white coats (Impersonating doctors) to promote infant formula over breastfeading. I see very little change sice the 70's in the advertising techniques.



A few days before Halloween I blogged about Melamine contaminated candy being sold at Target. You can look at that blog at http://conchacastaneda.blogspot.com

It was a few days before Halloween. The gist of the story is that this candy was made in China in June prior to the Olympics and so the story was hushed as it was not in the economic interest of either of our countries to make a big stink out of it...so no recall. The candy came over here to Target stores and was on the shelves in time for Halloween where the information was once again suppressed because it would interfere with the election. As I said I blogged about it and a few days ago was contacted by a woman who had gotten some of the melamine candy...she has pictures and also there was some bread that had melamine in it because of the wheat flour. The FDA has agreed to check into the bread story. I told her to not give up all her samples as I can pretty much figure out that the evidence will certainly vanish and there won't be any recalls even though she found chunks of the stuff in her food. When you have agencies that pretend to be about protecting the food supply, but in fact are protecting the interests of big business then you have a national security problem. I think our government does not give a hoot about how many of us get poisoned as long as there are profits to be made from it.



If it were not for this website, I wouldn't even know there was a problem. I thought we took care of Nestley back in the 70's with our boycott! "But I was so much older then...I am younger than that now".

heidi snell

A while back I saw in the news that chicken eggs were found to be contaminated with melamine in China and people were getting sick from them.



It seems reasonable to assume that the chicken feed contained melamine. That also means the chickens and the eggs produced are contaminated.



That said, I am very concerned that the chicken jerky treats sold at Costco under the name Kingdom Pets, and other stores, comes from China and may be another source of sick pets. The package makes claims that the meat is processed at high temperatures to avoid Avian Flu problems, but no mention of anything else.



Is there any independent testing being done on chicken (byproducts)? It would be a great promotion for the pet food industry to do the testing and then promote "clean" food/treats. Of course, nowdays, independent testers need to verify the tests, as the truth in advertising law was struck down by Pres. Regan many years ago.



In any case, I wanted to point out that the melamine problem is very widespread for everything, not just dairy.

2CatMom

I keep hearing the following line on news show: "The FDA believes that the contamination by melamine was done inadvertently during the manufacturing process, not through deliberate adulteration."



What difference does that make?? Poison is poison, I don't how it got in the food - intentionally, unintentionally, added by the melamine fairies, whatever. I can't believe (well actually, I can) that the FDA is somehow trying to say that because it wasn't on purpose, its OK. Grrrrrr.

Barb

I agree we need to remove all the cronies at the top! There was a great interview with Michael Pollen on the Bill Moyers Journal last Friday night talking about food reform and the online movement of people urging Obama to name Pollen as new Sec. of Agriculture! Too bad he doesn't want the position, as he's the kind of change we need.



Anyway, it was a great interview..you can watch/listen to here - http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/index-flash.html



Read write up and comments on interview here, by Michael Winship - http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/blog/2008/11/michael_winship_michael_pollan.html#c160068

Carol V

I was one of those cat owners who fed what some refer to as crap but on the label it said "AAFCO approved cat food" so why in heaven's name should that poison my cats....and let's not forget that reading those ideas still hurts as deeple as it did in March 2007....One does not think that buying a cat food (and the only ones the cats would eat) would harm them as it did...And I might say that home cooking and trying to stay natural is not safe either with what we have seen in this melamine crisis--and with how lax the USDA and FDA are with inspections....really hard to trust those labels I think...and the way the economy is now people are doing the best they can and no matter what is bought to feed our pets...if it says it is "pet food" it should not kill our pets. The outrage needs to be directed the people in charge of our entire food supply, not to the consumers...

Carol V

the fda report is on the website...good grief..we're screwed.



http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/2008/NEW01917.html

Carol V

What I want for Christmas can not be found under the tree...



go figure---contaminated feed can contaminate eggs...I remember something about this from us hysterical pet owners over a year ago....nobody listened then...hope they sit up and stop the egg imports as we import egg product from China...whatever the heck egg product is...

Barb

MORE MELANINE FOUND IN EGGS!



Melamine-tainted eggs from China reported



By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS



HONG KONG - The Hong Kong government says it has found excessive amounts of the industrial chemical melamine in another batch of eggs from mainland China.



A statement Tuesday said the government found 4.7 parts per million of melamine in eggs from northeast China's Jilin province. Hong Kong's legal limit is 2.5 ppm.



China has been struggling to get melamine out of its food chain after the industrial chemical was found in infant formula and other dairy products.



Six babies died and nearly 300,000 were sickened by melamine-tainted formula.



Chinese agricultural officials have said contaminated chicken feed could lead to melamine-tainted eggs.



The Jilin egg producer could not be immediately reached for comment.



http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/World/2008/12/02/7608041-ap.html

Joy

Danielle: I think what Gina is trying to put across is just that Melamine-tainted food is a SAFETY issue, not a good/bad nutrition issue.



It’s easy to get caught up in the brands or types of diets people choose and speculating that they could have avoided a tragedy had they chosen differently. But that’s just not a fair assessment.



Melamine is poisonous and has no place in any pet or human food, food category, type or brand. Period. I’m sure you’re not meaning to, but when you say things like “avoid crappy food” and “go natural”, it comes off like you are blaming the victims for their choices in food. That’s hurtful.



Melamine has been found in all manner of foods….pet food, infant formula, coffee, tea, cookies, chocolate, ice cream, milk, yogurt, etc….and many of those foods and brands could be considered “natural” (or at least not “crappy”) but those vague terms don’t really mean much when we are talking about a POISON. It means even less when we are talking about a poison that is migrating from animal feed to human food and now even into organic foods.



On another blog, I was reading posts from someone whose baby is in ICU right now with kidney problems. They are horrified to think that they may have unknowingly fed their child Melamine-poisoned infant formula. Another blogger, obviously very passionate about her pro-breastfeeding opinions, suggested the parents were to blame for choosing formula over breastfeeding. Her comments were insensitive and hurtful to read but, like you, I’m sure she didn’t intend to be cruel or blame the victims.



When you are writing online, especially in pet forums like this one, your audience very likely includes people who are still struggling with the guilt, regret and overwhelming grief of losing a loved one to poisoned food. You say you had experiences with Melamine victims in the vet clinic where you worked and I’m sure you must have been witness to that grief; maybe imagine how you would console those families - then and even now a year later - when you are writing to others online. Ya know?



It’s just something to think about.

Anne T

A report was just released to Congress by a bipartisan group with the name of The Commission on the Prevention of WMD Proliferation and Terrorism, and the quick end game is that the US can expect a terrorist attack in 5 years or less.

Gee, why bother Mr bin Lauden and friends? Let the FDA and China do it for you!

The latest figures from China indicate 294,000 infants were affected by melamine poisoned milk products. Melamine has turned up in Chinese soy meal imported to France and fed out to dairy cows. Where else it's been found throughout the world, I haven't bothered to check.

Terrorists, let the graft ridden hierarchy of Chinese government officials and their marriage with big US agribusiness,and with the willing compliance of our Gov't do your work for you. Kick back, relax. It's just a matter of time before our own greed comes back to kick us in our livers and bite us in the gut.

Danielle

"People who lost their pets do not deserve to be made to feel that if they had not purchased Brand X they wouldn’t have killed their pets. What happened was not their fault."



Guess I should feel bad for my views.

Of course I know it wasn't there fault, my God!

Just thought you should know that one of the main reasons for my views which are being looked down upon as you say I am doing is because I worked full time at a integrative vets office and dealt with several pets affected by this and their greiving owners!

It seems that if a new person comes to this blog and says something you don't like they get lamblasted and I have read many times "Since day one," well I am sorry I wasn't here since day one. How am I ever going to learn anything or change an opinion I have if you people are nasty and berate me for my views?

I am very interested in what you have to say, but it really sucks to be accused of something when you are doing the very same thing.

Lori

Well put, Joy.

Gina Spadafori

Yes, Joy, thank you. That's what I was trying to say.



We have tried to help so many here who lost pets, and I don't want them to ever feel that what happened was their fault, because it was not.

Barb

Nestle's is defending their product in China as well...



China Follows Nestle in Crackdown on Milk Buyers 20 Years Later



...

Afternoon Milking



According to farmers in Yanqing County, the problems begin with the middlemen.



At 5:30 p.m., Cao Zhengkuan squats in the muddy yard of his farm in Beicaoying village, washes the udder of a 6-year-old Holstein, attaches a milking machine to the teats and flicks a switch. When the stainless steel bucket is full, he pours the milk into a blue, plastic barrel as two cats watch expectantly.



After an hour, Cao finishes milking his six cows and lugs the liquid to the roadside. At 7:15 p.m., a white pickup truck pulls up. The driver loads Cao’s barrel onto the back and gives him a replacement before heading down the road.



Cao, 53, says the buyer still owes him 15,000 yuan for milk his cows produced in April, May and June.



“We all have to go through middlemen,” he says. “It would be good if we could deal directly with the factories.”



Nestle Eliminates Middlemen



Vevey, Switzerland-based Nestle says it has avoided the middlemen since opening its first Chinese factory in 1987.



Nestle buys directly from farmers, the company said in an Oct. 23 statement. The milk is checked at the farm before the containers are sealed and transported to the factory, where it is tested again.



This “ensures the traceability and accountability of the overall supply chain,” Nestle said. Company officials declined to comment further.



By contrast, Cao’s milk goes to an independently owned depot on the outskirts of nearby Dabailao. The Beijing Yanqing Dabailao Jubafang Dairy Cooperative is a two-story, white-tiled building in the middle of a dusty, rock-strewn parking lot.



None of the 42 people known to be detained in the melamine scandal was connected with Jubafang.



“We don’t do any of those dirty tricks here,” says a middle-aged worker who refuses to identify himself. “These kinds of practices have been going on for a while. It only became news because the television stations began to air it.”



U.S. Testing



Delivery trucks carrying plastic barrels, squat metal jugs and larger cylinders enter the yard, where the milk is poured into a 4-foot-tall storage tank. As the containers are rinsed, the water flows under the red-brick wall surrounding the depot and forms a milky puddle in an empty field.



A woman says she tests the milk for sodium, antibiotics and water content. The depot doesn’t test for melamine, she says, refusing to give her name.



“Government inspectors are not involved in any of these processes,” says Chen, the analyst at Beijing Orient. “The inspection standards at these milk depots are relatively poor.”



By contrast, U.S. officials test milk for bacteria and drug residue, and water, protein and fat levels, says Tom Leitzke, director of food safety and inspection for the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.



See complete article here -

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=aYeK30h4E_Q0&refer=home

Joy

…whatever the heck egg product is…



I know Egg Product as the stuff in those egg alternatives like “Egg Beaters” but apparently it’s in a lot of foods:



According to the USDA’s website, Egg Products are eggs removed from their shells for processing and “include whole eggs, whites, yolks and various blends with or without non-egg ingredients that are processed and pasteurized and may be available in liquid, frozen, and dried forms.”



The site explains that Egg Products are widely used in the foodservice and commercial food industry such as such as fast food chains, restaurants, hospitals, and nursing homes. They also mention some of the types of foods it’s used in: omelets and other egg dishes, sauces like Hollandaise eggnog, mayonnaise, ice cream, key lime pie and the egg pieces used in salads.

Joy

So, the Saudi Arabia FDA said today that "highly harmful” concentrations of melamine had been found in milk powder made by Nestle.



Nestle's response?



"All Nestle dairy products sold in Saudi Arabia -- just as anywhere else in the world -- are absolutely safe for consumption. No Nestle product is made from milk adulterated with melamine,"



Wow.

Ruzanna

melamine is everywhere, i am not surprised with the fact it is contained in pet food as well. pet owners should be extremely watchful.

Barb

If there are any venison eaters in this group, beware of lead in your meat!



With the hunting season up and running for the past week or so, I've come across a few articles warning hunters to toss out all meat within and 8" or so radius of the animals bullet wound due to levels of lead being found in deer & elk meat.



Good god, what's next!



Additional Tests Show Lead Fragments in Venison Intended for Food Shelves

Minnesota Ag Connection - 12/05/2008



The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) announced that random X-ray testing shows lead fragments in venison samples collected from Minnesota meat processors and intended for donation to area food shelves under the Minnesota Hunter Harvested Venison Donation Program.



In response to this finding, MDA will expand the X-ray testing to screen all venison donated to food shelves. Only product that clears the X-ray tests will be distributed to food shelves around the state. Processors who registered with the venison donation program will be allowed to accept product, but will be asked to store the donated venison until it has been tested and cleared for shipment to food shelves.



MDA conducted the X-ray tests to verify the effectiveness of changes made to the donation program after laboratory tests conducted earlier this year found varying amounts of lead fragments in venison collected from Minnesota food shelves. The random testing included samples from processors around the state who signed up for the venison donation program. The testing showed 5.3 percent of whole-cut venison processed for the donation program contained lead fragments. In comparison, roughly 2 percent of the whole-cut venison tested last winter contained lead fragments. None of the firearms-harvested venison donated this autumn had been delivered to food shelves while the state X-ray testing was being conducted, and only product that was not found to contain lead will be cleared for shipment to food shelves.



While in most cases the amount of lead was very small, the contamination raises questions about the effectiveness of the program changes. These changes included mandatory training sessions for processors, and prohibitions against ground venison and venison from animals with extensive damage from ammunition.



"Minnesota sets the bar high when it comes to food safety," MDA Assistant Commissioner Joe Martin said. "The donated venison program must meet the same standards we set for regulated food businesses."



According to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), elevated levels of lead in the bloodstream can harm children and adults but the exact level at which health impacts occur can depend on a variety of factors. The most at-risk groups are children under the age of 6 and pregnant women. Pregnant women and younger children are especially sensitive because they absorb most of the lead they take in, and the brains of infants and young children are still developing. Lead is also toxic for adults, but they are less sensitive to its effects.



Operated by MDA in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and state food shelves, the Minnesota Hunter Harvested Venison Donation Program gives hunters the opportunity to donate venison to food shelves. State officials have made no decisions about the program for 2009, but they plan to confer with legislators, hunters, processors, food shelves and other stakeholders in the coming months.



http://www.wisconsinagconnection.com/story-regional.php?tble=MN2008&ID=1127

The OTHER Pat

Chinese court refuses to hear lawsuit on tainted milk:



http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2008/12/08/international/i043714S17.DTL&tsp=1

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