Tuesday, May 1, 2007

And now, the REST of the story...

Well...well...well...looks like the ugly, underbelly of US Industrial Agriculture is seeing the light of day. What's next? Melamine found in infant formula? I mean, hey, it artificially boosts the reported protein content of pet food. Seems like the same "magic" would be applied by similar petrochemical, agribusiness corporations across the board, right? Wouldn't surprise me in the least...

Here's from today's headlines:

"The U.S. government said on Monday 38 poultry farms in Indiana were given contaminated feed containing melamine in early February, with some of the animals likely to have entered the food supply."

And the Chinese response:

"...in China, the mildly toxic chemical melamine is commonly used in animal feed and is even praised by some customers", according to the managers of a feed company and one of the chemical’s producers.

And an update on the hog contamination fiasco:

CALIFORNIA: State officials are working to contact the purchasers of 50 whole hogs raised on a single farm.

NEW YORK: A breeder farm’s 125 to 140 swine are under quarantine pending the results of urine and manure tests. None of the hogs went to slaughter.

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.

NORTH CAROLINA: A farm with 1,400 hogs is under quarantine. It shipped 54 animals to a slaughterhouse, where they are on voluntary hold.

UTAH: Eight hogs sent to slaughter by one farm remain on hold. Also on hold are 3,300 hogs at a second farm, as well as 40 to 50 carcasses at a slaughterhouse supplied by that producer. Meat from no more than 100 other hogs from the producer, all processed earlier by that same plant, may have entered the food supply, Andrews said.

KANSAS: Meat from 195 hogs from a single producer may have entered the food supply via a Nebraska slaughterhouse. The farm is holding another 150 hogs.

OKLAHOMA: A show hog operation purchased contaminated feed but no hogs have gone to slaughter.

Wow...that's a whole lot more than we were told about just a few days ago when the news reported that the American Hog Farm in Ceres, CA was the only contaminated facility. not to worry though, our government has made a decision regarding the matter.

"Two federal agencies said Saturday a continuing investigation affirms that the risk to humans from hogs that may have eaten contaminated pet food is very low and that no recall is warranted."

"Testing also revealed other related and similarly banned compounds, including cyanuric acid. Melamine is not considered a human health concern, but there is no scientific data on the health effects of melamine combined with the other compounds."

So let's see if we're understanding correctly here. The FDA and USDA are telling us that there is no need to be concerned about the potential effects of banned industrial compounds in our food supply. However, they ARE compounds that have been BANNED by the FDA and USDA for use in consumable products. Also, they have discovered other nasty BANNED additives in the same animal feed. Now there is NO DATA to the health effects of melamine combined with the other compounds, but no news is good news, right? Am I right??? Heaven help us...

Is there really any question now that our food supply is NOT being appropriately monitored by our government? Certainly it's obvious that the cheap, foreign agricultural market being sourced by our corporations has no concern for our national food safety.

This problem is stemming from the fact that we are IMPORTING enormous amounts of consumables from foreign countries who are even worse than we are with regards to monitoring food safety issues. Surely we can all agree that the only way we can hope to truly have a safe and secure food system is to support local agriculture. Develop relationships with your farmers, ranchers, butchers, restaurants and grocers. Have conversations about what they are selling to you and let them know your concerns and your preferences. Let's take back control of our food supply before it's too late.

No comments:

Post a Comment