Numerous Chinese wheat gluten shipments continue to be refused entry into the United States after the pet food recalls began in March.
The FDA said 27 of 135 shipments of Chinese wheat gluten were refused between April 24 and July 26. 52 shipments passed, while 56 are waiting to be reviewed. Since April, importers of Chinese wheat gluten must prove that their shipments have been tested to be free of melamine.
It is not specified in the FDA data if melamine was present in any of the shipments that were refused. Some are rejected because importers do not submit lab tests to show that their wheat gluten is melamine free. Other shipments are also refused by the FDA because private labs are so bogged down with work and testing, and then lab results do not always get to the FDA in time for the shipment to be accepted.
The demand for Chinese wheat gluten has decreased since the recalls. Both Menu Foods and Nestle Purina PetCare said they no longer use wheat gluten from China.
Prices for wheat gluten have increased 30% since the recall because of higher wheat prices and more of a demand for US and European gluten. Typically, Chinese wheat gluten is cheaper.
Before the recall, Chinese gluten made up 10% of the gluten market in the US.
The increase of prices in wheat gluten have affected some product prices. Sara Lee raised their prices on various bakery products because of higher wheat gluten costs.
Source: USA Today