IMPORTED PET FOOD CONTAMINATION
All Breeds Judge
Imported pet food
ingredients, drugs, toys, clothing have been well reported by the news media.
you don’t have to go to China to be at risk. The booming import machine will
bring China to you. As one who travels frequently to China to judge dog shows,
allow me to present some disturbing facts.
Consumers should be
aware of risks not only to the human food supply, but to the flood of other
potentially deadly products imported from China.
It makes me
uneasy to learn that I may have consumed toxic chemicals or tainted foods
either in China or imported from somewhere. I’m even more worried that
my dogs could die from deadly (and intentional) additives in their food.
2005 Chinese babies were dying at a greater than usual rate due to
fraudulently labeled non-nutritious baby-formula and melamine. We are flooded with
imports such as tainted toothpaste, lead-paint children’s toys, and chemical-laced rawhide
dog chewies. Toxic chemicals in imported flame-retardant bedclothes,
ornamental pots and ceramics have made headlines. Even so, Chinese imports
continue to flood our country because consumers have been conditioned to
availability and/or pricing.
In early 2007, we were
made aware of the risk to our food supplies when thousands of pets became
sick. Many died before we learned the imported poison such as Chinese toothpaste
had been sold to prisons and other
institutions. In addition, the media reported contamination
of foods sold in China. These problems slipped past
inspectors although they successfully intercepted a “list of Chinese food
exports already rejected at American ports [that] read like a chef’s
nightmare: pesticide-laden pea pods, drug-laced catfish, filthy plums and
crawfish contaminated with salmonella.” (ABC News / AP)
Then We Imported Melamine-Contaminated Pet Food
Veterinary doctor and writer Michael W.
Fox asked, “How can one trust the import industry when Menu Foods, after receiving
many complaints about problems with its products, took 3 weeks to notify the
FDA, resulting in the unnecessary suffering and deaths of even more
animals?” Answer? The FDA has no authority to
demand a pet food recall. There is no equivalent to FDA in the pet food
world, therefore imports escape jurisdiction and all such recalls are voluntary.
Pet food companies have been responsive. IAMS had previously
recalled pet foods dangerously over-supplemented with cadmium. In early 2006
Royal Canin recalled some of their prescription-only dog food which
contained toxic levels of Vitamin D 3, a chemical that in high doses is used
as a rat poison. Following 2004 reports of kidney failure in nine Asian
countries, there was a massive recall of dry pet food manufactured in
Thailand by multi-national Pedigree Pet Foods, but no imported toxic agents were ever
reported to the public.
The list of known deadly or toxic ingredients in pet foods includes
melamine, cadmium, rat poison, aminopterin, pesticides, and cyanuric acid,
which is chemically related to, but distinct from, melamine. Much of it is
Cyanuric Acid & Protein
Chemical producers in China say feed producers quietly buy cyanuric acid to
produce a combination of melamine and cyanuric acid which boosts the
(apparent) protein level. “Cyanuric acid scrap can be added to animal feed”,
said Yu Luwei, general manager of the Juancheng Ouya Chemical Company in
Shandong Province. “I sell it to fish meal manufacturers and fish farmers.
It can also be added to feed for other animals.” Two chemical makers said
cyanuric acid was used because it was even cheaper than melamine and also
high in nitrogen, enabling feed producers to artificially increase protein
readings (measured by assaying nitrogen content).
An AP/NBC release quoted Michiel Keyzer, director of the Center for World
Food Studies at Amsterdam's Vrije Universiteit as saying, “This really shows
the risks of food purity problems combining with international trade.” The
AP release reminded us that manufactured goods, exports of
meat, produce, and processed foods from China have soared in recent years.
Banned Chinese Food Products
China has tried to improve inspections because they are a little worried
about losing access to foreign markets. However, excessive amounts of
pesticides and chemical fertilizers are still used to boost yields. High
antibiotic or pesticide residues have caused Europe and Japan to ban Chinese
shrimp, honey and other products. Hong Kong blocked imports of turbot (fish)
last year after inspectors found malachite green, a carcinogen used to treat
fungal infections. Chinese farmers use cancer-causing red dye to deepen the
color of yolks and thus boost the value of their eggs. They have fed asthma
medication to pigs because it can produce leaner meat. China's own Health
Ministry reported almost 34,000 food-related illnesses in 2005, with spoiled
food accounting for the largest number, followed by poisonous plants or
animals, and then the use of agricultural chemicals.
another poison has had devastating results. The New York Times on May 6,
2007 reported ethylene glycol in foodstuffs! Yes, it is what you put it
in your car radiator to prevent freezing and corrosion; a syrupy,
sweet-tasting poison like the more expensive (but edible) glycerin commonly
used to sweeten drugs, food, toothpaste and other products. According to the
Times, the toxic syrup has figured in at least eight mass poisonings
around the world in the past two decades. In three of the last four cases it
was made in China, which has become a major source of counterfeit drugs.
If not blatantly intentional, such incidents are no accident. The poison has
been used in all sorts of medicine — cough syrup, fever medication,
injectable drugs. Counterfeiters profit by substituting ethylene glycol for
the safe but more expensive syrup in drugs, food, toothpaste and other
Last year, Panamanian government officials unwittingly used diethylene
glycol in 260,000 bottles of cold medicine with a reported 365 deaths
resulting. Chinese companies that made and exported the poison claimed it
was 99.5 percent pure glycerin. But the New York Times traced the medicine
backwards through three trading companies on three continents. The Times
eventually found out that the manufacturer was not even certified to make
pharmaceutical ingredients. Besides Panama and China, the toxic syrup has
caused mass poisonings in Haiti, Bangladesh, Argentina, Nigeria and India.
Imported Vitamins and Drugs
China produces 90 percent of U.S. vitamin C,
as well as the bulk of vitamins A, B-12, and E we import. China’s ability to export
low quality, counterfeit, or fraudulently labeled supplements at a low price
has driven almost everyone else out of the vitamin business.
But that’s not all. Chinese pharmaceutical companies have also taken over
much of the world market in the production of antibiotics, analgesics,
enzymes and primary amino acids. An industry group states that China makes
70 percent of the world's penicillin, 50 percent of its aspirin and 35
percent of its acetaminophen (you may know this one best under the brand
name Tylenol), Next time you have a headache, that knowledge just might make
it worse! Of course, China's vitamin producers are trying to reassure U.S.
consumers that their imported vitamins are safe. But given their track record in pet
foods and sweeteners, I wouldn’t bet the farm on it.
See ref 1 Prescribing Death
When in Beijing, I learned that the world’s biggest pharmaceutical hub was a
two-hour train ride to the south. The largest vitamin C factory in the world
is running flat out trying to keep up with demand. Product safety inspectors
drop in but they aren't exactly unbiased. They work for the city government,
which is a part owner of the company! Our only reassurance for the
drugs we import is that China's government officials would find their heads on a platter if they allowed
anything to hurt the growth of the drug and vitamin producers. Once in a
while, somebody gets nailed. The former chief of the state Food and Drug
Administration, Zheng Xiaoyu, was given the death sentence for taking
$832,000 in bribes to let unsafe drugs on the market. One of his aides was
sentenced to a 15-year jail term last autumn, and a second was accused in
May of 2007.
In January of 2008, two of the men responsible for the addition of melamine
to raw milk to make it appear higher in protein were given the death
penalty. A boss at the Sanlu Dairy which figured prominently in the deaths,
was given life in prison. Thousands of people cheered the melamine death
penalties due to the deaths of six babies and 300,000 people made sick from
the contaminated milk.
Chicken, Shellfish, and Other Imported Foods
the past 25 years, Chinese agricultural exports to the U.S. surged to $2.26
billion in 2007. Grocery stores carry a multitude of poultry products,
sausage casings, shellfish, spices, apple juice, honey, canned fruits,
mushrooms, all sorts of other canned food — you name it. The U.S. has
approved importation of cut and wrapped chicken from China. You
don’t want to know how those chickens are produced but the point is,
chicken can not be inspected.
FDA inspectors are only able to inspect a tiny percentage of the millions of
shipments the U.S. imports each year. Even so, shipments from China were
rejected at the rate of about 200 per month in 2007, compared to about 18
for Thailand and 35 for Italy, also big exporters to the U.S.
See ref 2 FDA Approved Death
Impotency remedies imported from China are innumerable. Bogus anti-malaria drugs sold
to Southeast Asia, where the illness is prevalent, can make sick people
sicker — or they die. “They [producers of fake medicines] are criminals,”
said Dr. Henk Bekedam, chief of the World Health Organization office in
Communist China doesn’t need an atomic bomb to destroy western civilization.
Whether by negligence or intention, they can do us in through the pharmaceuticals, supplements, and foods
we import. Lenin boasted that we non-communist
capitalists would be all too happy to sell him the rope that he was planning
to hang us with, and Mao’s ideological descendants have not abandoned that
Until recently U.S. law did not require
ii Instant Information Country Of Origin Labeling
imported food, drugs and other products. Those labels are confusing at best and ineffectual at worst. The
recent pet deaths from imports should have been a warning but it is doubtful
our government will change policy without tremendous pressure at the polls.
I strongly suggest that you contact your elected representatives. Write to
Senators and your Congressman, but be sure to give your address or your
concern will be ignored.
In the meantime, shop locally or grow as much of your food as is possible.
DiggerDog retrieve more facts about
Pet Food Label Deception
Melamine In pet foods
Melamine in baby formula and milk!!!
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