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Tainted animal feed destroyed in China

by Therese on November 2, 2008

in Health, Pet Food Recall, Pet Health

Tons of melamine tainted animal feed has been destroyed in China.

Chinese regulators said over the weekend that they had confiscated and destroyed more than 3,600 tons of animal feed tainted with melamine, an industrial chemical that has been blamed for contaminating food supplies in China and for leading to global recalls of Chinese dairy products.

In what appears to be the biggest food safety crackdown in years, the government also said Saturday that it had closed 238 illegal feed makers in a series of nationwide sweeps that involved more than 369,000 government inspectors.

The aggressive moves come amid growing worries that the Chinese animal feed industry could be contaminated by melamine, endangering the national food supply and posing a health threat to consumers.

Over the past week and a half, eggs produced in three different Chinese provinces were found to be tainted with high levels of melamine, a chemical commonly used to make plastic and fertilizer. And in September, melamine-tainted milk supplies were blamed for sickening more than 50,000 children and causing at least four deaths in China.

Regulators in the southern province of Guangdong, which is heavily populated with about 80 million people and is also a major manufacturing center near Hong Kong, said they had discovered six tons of melamine-tainted animal feed.


But government officials also said that China’s animal feed supply was largely safe and that the quality of feed had improved in recent years. They insisted that only a small number of rogue operators had deliberately added melamine to feed, often using it as cheap filler in order to save money.

The government said something similar early last year when several animal feed makers were caught exporting melamine-tainted feed ingredients to the United States and other countries, resulting in contaminated pet food supplies that sickened and killed cats and dogs.


The Chinese government has responded by firing high-ranking regulators and by arresting dozens of people suspected of intentionally adding melamine to milk supplies. The government has repeatedly promised to ensure the safety of the Chinese food supply.

But the nation’s food safety woes are troubling global food companies that import from China and consumers around the world who fear that melamine may turn up in their food. Although China is not a leading dairy exporter, it is one of the biggest food exporters in the world.

Here’s the rest.

If you want to read more about the whole pet food & human food cluster-you-know-what, get the book Pet Food Politics: The Chihuahua in the Coal Mine, by Marion Nestle. You’ll learn way more than you could imagine about last year’s pet food recall and the politics that surrounds both the pet and human food supply. It’s a pretty somber look at the mess our food is in, and may even make you want to grow your own food!

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

matt November 2, 2008 at 10:31 am

I won’t buy any food items that come from China for a long time.


Carol November 3, 2008 at 7:00 am

I found this last week..if it’s true it sure is being kept quiet…can’t find any more about it… although I am not surprised that the feed here in the US MAY be contaminated….sadly



Therese November 3, 2008 at 9:06 am

I hate to say it, but it doesn’t surprise me at all. Personally, I believe we’ve all eaten food that contains melamine. I’m seriously wondering how many of us may be diagnosed with health problems years down the road as a result.


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