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They Still Don't Know What Exactly Caused The Pets To Get Sick...
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http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg1942...of-us-pets.html

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So the finger of suspicion swings back to melamine, even though Chinese officials protest the chemical's innocence. They may have a point. A literature search shows that the only ill effect of melamine so far identified is its ability to cause bladder cancer in animals given large doses over long periods. What's more, this has only been observed in rats (Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, vol 5, p 294), and occurs indirectly, as crystals of the chemical seed the growth of bladder stones that then trigger the growth of tumours. Melamine has never been shown to produce the kidney damage seen in most of the affected pets in the US. For now, it seems, the cat and dog killer remains at large.
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Now that sounds scary. I sure wish they could get to the bottom of this.

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nm,

That may or may not be true. But let's not let it distract from the facts of the case. The Chinese companies were deliberately putting poison (melamine, an organic base usually found in plastics and resins) in the wheat gluten as a cheap way to cheat the protein analysis tests. They were initialy uncooperative and denied everything, but have since admitted it has been common practice for quite some time.

The Chinese government officially banned the practice on April 26th (took long enough), but nobody trust them on anything. Their motivation is strictly monetary. The only reason they're saying that is in response to the US ban on imported Chinese wheat gluten. The Chinese have no respect for copyright laws and are the worlds worst piracy offenders. They have almost no environmental controls. Pollution and pesticide use are uncontrolled.

Whether it is ultimately decided that there is another chemical responsible, or it is a combination of melamine, cyanuric acid, pesticides, or something else, is irrelavant to the fact that we cannot trust food products from China, period!

best regards, lm

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I agree we can't but trust at least vegetable protein products from china.

How do we know if we're getting them or not? All these manufacturers in the US are looking for cheap sources. We don't know where the rice flours in those gluten-free cookies are coming from.

If there's additional toxins in them, what are they? I hope they figure it out soon. How much stuff are we eating that has imported ingredients with impurities that aren't being check?

I even have a big jar of rice protein at home I'm a little nervous about using.

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Now they do. At least they think so.

When they combine melamine, with cyanuric acid, they get instant crystal formations. Exactly like the kidney stones found in the dead cats and dogs.

Of course, the melamine was deliberately added to the Chinese pet food. The cyanuric acid source has not been determined to be deliberate or inadvertent, as in a byproduct of pesticides for instance. Either way however, it still came from China.

Also, Menu Foods recalled yet another pet food brand yesterday.

best regards, lm

p.s., I had a very small kidney stone pass a couple months ago. My first. My doctor said probably the size of a grain of sand. Didn't know what it was at the time. Came very close to calling an ambulance. I was in intense pain for a couple hours.

Feel very sorry for those poor cats and dogs.

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Menu Foods recalled yet another pet food brand yesterday.

Actually, quite a few brands were included in the expanded recall. The products involved in the latest recall do not contain the suspect ingredient, but were produced in the same cannery at the same time and the recall is due to concern about possible cross-contamination on shared facilities. As celiacs, we can all understand this concern. They wash the equpment between batches, but...

For details of Menu's recalls, click here.

There are other recalls of products pertaining to vegetable protein from China that are not made by Menu, so their list does not cover all recalled food. Additional information is available on the US FDA website (click here).

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The Chinese have no respect for copyright laws and are the worlds worst piracy offenders. They have almost no environmental controls. Pollution and pesticide use are uncontrolled.

This might be true but I do think its worth putting in context....

Their motivation is strictly monetary.

90% of the world if asked to name the country this best describes would say the united states...

The Chinese have no respect for copyright laws and are the worlds worst piracy offenders.

From a Chinese POV copyright is just a way to prevent honest people making a living.... the chinese also pirate many things like pharmacuticals they can't afford to buy... from a different POV much of the world views it as immoral that someone should be denied life saving drugs which are prioce foxed to be too expensive for them...

If you start from this POV the it looks different....

Of course the arguament is that the drugs wouldn't have been developed without the protection of patents but its rather different telling that to the person being told they can't have the drug that will save thier life and costs cents to make because someone has the patent...

Of course you can talk about music, video, software.... but really for the person who wants the drugs to live these are rather minor issues that are trivial... if IP law says they can't have the drug then why respect it over video's or music?

How does this affect food...??? and gluten-free???

Well the Chinese government is being blackmailed (from thier POV) into accepting the american idea of IP in order to trade with them... hence they are implementing laws and measures they themslves consider downright stupid for the right to trade..

Even talking about human food.... this is a privelidge for many... the thought of us feeding our pets with an intent other than fattening them up to eat .... probably very wasteful.... they are trying hard... to fit in just to trade but that is all.... it doesn't mean they think they way of life where most people spend more on a pet than they give to the needy is a perfect way of life... they would just like to be in that position i guess....

The whole thing about adding melamine to subsitute for N in analysis is understandable..(from their POV). why give dogs perfectly good human food when dogs can scavenge the garbage?

Its somewhat like I said in the Curry thread.... its easy to view the lifestyle and practices in these countires as being similar to our own value systems.. and just modifications of them... the reality is they have complately different value systems and expecting them to think along the same lines is usually a mistake....

we cannot trust food products from China, period!

I agree except its NOT only China.... people repeateadly say "if it has wheat and its old in the US it must be labelled" ...

Sure.. that's the law... but some guy in India, China or any of hundreds of poorer countries has no idea why... its not THEIR law .. its the law of a country that imports a food that some company that they sell raw materials to (possibly with 5 more extra steps) .. has...

and when you think about it that country is one where cash is king and making and accumulating money a religion... an end in itself.

Even for myself as a European I am often puzzled by American advertising....

Much of it is deliberatly misleading... even transparently so... American friends explain to me caveat emptor yet I still find much of the deliberatly false and misleading advertising (from a European perspective) strange... its strange that people accept it and still trust the companies...???

Just so you know what I mean .... its like having brand X tylenol having an advert that brand Y causes kidney problems and omiting to say theirs is EXACTLY the same.... most European consumers would judge that company as dishonest...

Its just different styles of advertising... really... one consumers become accustomed to... European companies are no better they just say it differently...

However this is probably a perception that China and India get when exporting.... they do after all get cable...

If its OK to mislead consumers about a competitors product why not mislead them about your own.. after all its just wheat/dog food etc.

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In any event, there's no excuse for deliberately using poisonous materials to make pet food. This is why we should insist that manufacturers KNOW where their products come from and what they are made of. They should test the product before they accept shipment and implementation.

Not many people know this but take petroleum for instance....those oil cargo ships come into the port and the gas company (Exxon, etc.) don't take any chances. They send out a person to take about a quart amount of the oil and test it for impurities and octane. If it doesn't pass the test, they don't accept the product. I expect the same rule to apply for food products.

On numerous occasions I have called manufacturers about food to know about ingredients in human food (whether gluten-free or not) and the manufacturer could not provide the information because they don't know what their supplier is using at the moment (usually a question about the starch binder or filler).

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In any event, there's no excuse for deliberately using poisonous materials to make pet food.

But its not so simple... the US uses many fertilisers etc. that are banned in Europe and Europe ones banned in the US...

Toxic is.... quite relative... :D indeed from the alternate viewpoint many European and US companies use 3rd world countires to make our toxic products... ones our legislation wouldn't allow us to make/use at home...

This is why we should insist that manufacturers KNOW where their products come from and what they are made of. They should test the product before they accept shipment and implementation.

Absolutely....

Not many people know this but take petroleum for instance....those oil cargo ships come into the port and the gas company (Exxon, etc.) don't take any chances. They send out a person to take about a quart amount of the oil and test it for impurities and octane. If it doesn't pass the test, they don't accept the product. I expect the same rule to apply for food products.

A quart doesn't really guarantee much... the oil fractionates during transit anyway... and is held for safety reasons in seperate tanks with bulkheads between....

In most cases they can't just not accept the product because the whole industry is based on futures.. and the refinaries need the oil "soon"...so in most cases they negotiate discounts etc. since the oil can't be just replaced any time soon...

On numerous occasions I have called manufacturers about food to know about ingredients in human food (whether gluten-free or not) and the manufacturer could not provide the information because they don't know what their supplier is using at the moment (usually a question about the starch binder or filler).

This is largely my problem.... the farmer/producer in India or whereever is just using whatever product is available... one week it might be chick pea flour the next lentil and the one after wheat...

Noone is going to actually analyse it until much later.... after its been passed through suppliers, transporters etc. so ultimately a product might arrive with say 100,000 units ... 25,000 somewhere in the middle might contain gluten because that was one supplier ... or transporter... because the whole process is less centralised....

In the US you have many huge producers producing the vast majority of foodstuffs... whereas in the 3rd world they have individual farmers perhaps supplying a cooperative making up the bulk of their produce...

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Peter--Thank you ;)

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