Chinese Add Dangerous Chemicals To Pet Food & People

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Over the past few weeks countless pets have died after eating food contaminated with the industrial chemical called melamine added to feed by certain Chinese producers to artificially boost protein content. FDA has learned that melamine contamination extends beyond pet food to chicken and pork and perhaps other foods eaten by consumers. Although FDA has assured the public that risks to people are not significant, the agency has not divulged the scientific basis for this assertion. FDA has noted that "Other than a few limited authorizations for use in food contact materials for human food, melamine has no approved use as an ingredient in human or animal food in the United States" (FDA 2007). The government has required producers to quarantine and destroy contaminated livestock, but has allowed contaminated food to remain on supermarket shelves.

Why add Melamine? It appears to increase the protein content in food, at the expenses of rashes, tumors, ulcers, oh and death too.

In humans, melanine has been reported to cause allergic contact dermatitis (Isaksson et al. 1999; Aalto-Korte et al. 2003). More serious health concerns arise from animal studies, which show that ingestion of melamine can cause chronic inflammation of the kidneys (Melnick et al. 1984), kidney stones (Melnick et al. 1984; Ogasawara et al. 1985), ulceration of urinary bladder epithelium (Melnick et al. 1984), and even bladder cancer (Melnick et al. 1984; Ogasawara et al. 1985; IARC 1999). Occurrence of urinary bladder tumors in male rats was correlated with formation of kidney stones and exposure to high doses of melamine (Melnick et al. 1984; Ogasawara et al. 1985; IARC 1999). In 1999 the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) determined that melamine causes cancer in animals. IARC noted that no studies are available on the chemical's reproductive and development effects or of its safety in cases of human exposure (IARC 1999).

(WASHINGTON, May 4) - In letter sent today to the new point person in charge of food safety at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Environmental Working Group (EWG) President Ken Cook called on the agency to back up its claims that Melamine is not a danger to the public's health by disclosing its scientific research and analysis that brought the agency to that conclusion. To date, over 8,500 pet deaths have been reported.

"The first major issue you face in your new position, melamine contamination in food, is certainly the perfect place for you to begin turning around the public's well-founded and growing doubt about FDA's ability to ensure the safety of our food supply," wrote Cook in his letter to Dr. David Acheson, who earlier in the week assured the American people they had nothing to worry about.

Previous EWG investigations revealed that the FDA issued similar assurances of safety about the food supply for the contaminants mercury and benzene without the science or the risk assessments to back them up.

EWG researchers are particularly interested in FDA analyses and findings related to:

* The levels and extent of melamine in the food supply, including historic levels;
* Risks for people who eat chicken, pork, or other melamine-contaminated foods frequently;
* Risks for people who may be particularly vulnerable to the effects of melamine because of pre-existing health problems such as kidney disease;
* Data available to FDA to fill the significant gaps noted in the International Agency for Research on Cancer's (IARC's) most recent review of melamine, in which IARC determined that melamine can cause cancer in animals but also noted a complete absence of reproductive studies, developmental data, and studies of the safety of melamine in cases of human exposure.


The Environmental Working Group is a nonprofit research organization based in Washington, DC that uses the power of information to protect human health and the environment.



Posted by josie on 2007-05-09 22:43:04
you site articles in your paper but don't seem to follow it up with a bibliography. Where can i get info about these papers?



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