09 May 2007

Melamine pet food follow-up

The guy in charge of the Chinese factory from whence the wheat gluten flour was sold to the US is claiming that he doesn't even know what melamine is. He's being held by Chinese authorities for 30 days, and after that will be either charged or released.

Yes, you read that right, it's wheat flour that was actually contaminated with melamine and cyuranic acid, and it was then mislabeled as wheat gluten or rice protein concentrate. It was this flour that made its way into the feed for hogs, poultry, and fish, and none of the news I've read addressed whether the flour could've made its way directly into the human food supply. Meaning that individuals can only avoid potentially contaminated products by eating home-grown or buying from trusted organic-type farms. I'm screwed.

The mechanism for death is that the melamine and cyuranic acid react in the kidneys, causing crystals, organ failure, and eventual death. Kidneys play an important role in homeostasis, including filtering out impurities in the blood, maintaining the proper acidity, blood pressure, and levels of electrolytes in the blood. Screwing with any one of those individually will kill you, all three...

Although the FDA has received 4,000 complaints of pet (cat and dog) deaths, only 17 have been confirmed.

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