Once again, there’s no evidence that melamine at such low levels would pose any threat to humans. (or pigs, I guess, they have other issues to worry about!). It is the lack of ingredients control, and the casual diversion of food considered unfit for pet consumption to animal feed. If you did this to some other, more dangerous contaminant, and I don’t see any reason why the same thing would not happen, we’d be in a lot more trouble. The U.S did not really learn any lessons from the mad cow scare.
In a way, I am glad this story has unfolded the way it did, slowly, and methodically up the food chain, finally reaching humans. It provides some insight into how the US government “regulates” food, and what needs to be done to shore up this program. (hint, better regulation, more money, more inspectors!). Of course, as a cat owner, (and one who had an unexplained trip to the hospital to treat said cat for puking and general stomach issues), I wish that cats were not the canary in this particular food safety scare, but I guess it really made people pay attention.
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.
No more than 345 hogs, from farms in three states, that possibly ate tainted feed are involved, according to the Agriculture Department. It appears the large majority of the hogs that may have been exposed are still on the farms where they are being raised, spokeswoman Nicol Andrews said.
Salvaged pet food from companies known or suspected of using tainted ingredients was shipped to hog farms in seven states for use as feed. A poultry feed mill in an eighth state, Missouri, also received possibly contaminated pet food scraps left over from production. The fate of the feed made from that waste was not immediately known.