Our question this week was:
Is there any update on this hog farm thing? I know this isn't exactly a dog question but though you might know.
Mike H. Cleveland, Ohio.
Hi – thanks for your email. I've heard a few things so I thought I'd look up some information so I could give you all the facts. I found this press release. It says hog farms in five states have been restricted so far. Here's more from a press release by the American Veterinary Medical Association:
Hog Farms in at Least Five States Restricted Amid Melamine Contamination Fear
Press release from AVMA
Hog farms in at least five states have been quarantined or similarly restricted amid concerns that hog feed at those farms has been contaminated with melamine, the FDA announced today. One poultry farm may also be affected.
Salvage pet food, specifically from manufacturers that have since issued pet food recalls because of potential melamine contamination, has been traced to hog farms in California, North Carolina, South Carolina, New York, Utah, and possibly Ohio. Samples of hog urine from farms in three of those states-California, North Carolina and South Carolina-have tested positive for melamine thus far. Test results from identified hog farms in other states have not yet been received by the FDA.
All of the identified hog farms, with the possible exception of farms in Utah, have been quarantined or similarly restricted, according to the FDA. The poultry farm in question is located in Missouri.
So far, the melamine-contaminated food in the United States has been linked to two contaminated ingredients imported from China, wheat gluten and rice protein concentrate, but in South Africa, melamine-contaminated corn gluten was discovered as an ingredient in pet foods, resulting in a pet food recall there.
All the contaminated wheat gluten located so far by the FDA is from one source in China, and all the contaminated rice protein concentrate was from another source in China, but imported through two distributors.
The FDA has said that 100 percent of wheat gluten, rice protein concentrate, and corn gluten being imported from China are now being tested. The FDA is expanding its testing of imported products to include corn meal, rice bran, and soy protein in addition to wheat gluten and rice protein concentrate. These imported ingredients may be used for human consumption in products such as bread, pasta, baby formula, and pizza dough. The FDA stressed that while there is no evidence of any melamine-contaminated products being directly shipped into a human food producing facility, an expanded investigation is a prudent public health move.
David Acheson, MD, chief medical officer of the FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, said that the FDA will be taking samples from as many food manufacturers as possible and testing them for melamine contamination. The FDA will also be conducting an outreach effort to communicate the need for manufacturers to know their suppliers well.
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