Friday, April 27, 2007

Tainted Pet Food Reaches Pork

In our earlier story about tainted pet food, we mentioned the concern some experts had about the melamine-tainted wheat gluten entering our food supply. This concern was expanded to a rice protein, also imported from China. According to AOL News today, this may have happened -- not directly, but indirectly through pork. (link)
WASHINGTON (April 26) - Several hundred of the 6,000 hogs that may have eaten contaminated pet food are believed to have entered the food supply for humans, the government said Thursday. The potential risk to human health was said to be very low.

In the state-by-state breakdown of potential hogs contaminated, it's the South Carolina investigation which caught my attention:
SOUTH CAROLINA: Urine tests done on some of the 800 hogs now quarantined at a farm have tested positive for low levels of melamine. None went to slaughter. According to the state veterinarian, none of the suspect feed was fed to the hogs. Federal tests on the feed have come up negative. The positive urine tests could not be immediately explained, although contaminated feed could have escaped detection during tests, the FDA said.

If they did not eat the tainted pet food in question, then one has to wonder how melamine could have gotten into this group of hogs.
CLEMSONews indicated;
The potentially contaminated feed was bought as salvage pet food from Diamond Pet Foods Inc., which received contaminated wheat gluten and rice protein concentrate from China. ...State officials are waiting for guidance from the FDA, FSIS and EPA as to the significance of these tests and other pending tests.

Livestock and Poultry Health is a unit of Clemson University Public Service and Agriculture. The agency inspects and regulates the state meat and poultry industries.