Since mid-March, pet food companies have recalled more than 100 brands of dog and cat food and treats; more recalls were announced Thursday. An unknown number of cats and dogs have fallen ill or died after eating products made with contaminated wheat gluten or rice protein concentrate. It now appears that melamine-contaminated food may have been fed to livestock intended for human consumption. Check out the latest FDA Pet Food Recall List on www.ScoringPets.com
Melamine, a chemical used in fertilizers, plastics, and other materials is thought to have been mixed with wheat gluten and rice protein imported from China and used in the pet foods. Melamine is banned in human and animal food in the US. It is also banned for use as a fertilizer, as it is in some parts of the world. Melamine can sometimes be added to the grain products to make them appear higher in protein than they are.
Up to 6,000 hogs in California, Kansas, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Utah that ate pet food tainted with industrial chemicals cannot be safely sold to humans, federal authorities said yesterday, and should be euthanized at the farms where they have been held from the market. Several hundred of the swine have already entered the human food supply.
USDA says they'll compensate producers who destroy pigs that were fed the adulterated product. USDA is also offering the expertise and assistance of Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service personnel in carrying out depopulation activities. They said they made that offer to ensure animals are euthanized and disposed of in accordance with Federal and State laws.
The outrage of the nation's pet owners over the recent sickness/death of their cats and dogs due to contamination of pet food didn't much focus on the broader issue of the challenge in insuring the safety of an increasingly large volume of imported foods and food ingredients.
All of which raises the question: If contaminated ingredients, deliberate or otherwise, can end up in U.S. pet food, what's to keep the same from happening to food products imported for human consumption?
There is no traceback of adulterated food or ingredients coming into USA from foreign countries.
Alabama Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks announced a ban on the sale of catfish from China on Wednesday after antibiotics prohibited in the U.S. were found in Chinese catfish.
In findings published this month, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that about 20 to 30 per cent of all US food products sold within the country are counterfeit.
U.S. food producers and processors must abide by very stringent rules and regulations with regard to the food production. Not all foreign Countries have these same food safety and oversight requirements.
A better recordkeeping and traceback system can prevent many costly recalls and lawsuits. Use ScoringAg as your risk management program also to prevent your brand name from being swamped with counterfeited products. ScoringAg's database provides all records from the origin source to the consumer for all single and multi ingredients, just for the cost of pennies. ScoringAg.com is the only database in the world that can handle commingled products. Automated date and time stamps with Julian dating as well as the fact once entered data can't be altered.
Certifications do not protect American Companies from getting bad ingredients as the pet food scandal shows again. Each shipment of wheat gluten came with a certificate saying it met Pet Food Companies requirements. The companies still have to pay for the costs of the recalls plus damages.
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