Contaminated Wheat Gluten Looks For Other Uses

Tons of melamine tainted wheat gluten earmarked for Del Monte is currently sitting in a warehouse in Pennsylvania because it’s too valuable to throw out. The owners are looking for an industrial, non-food use for these stockpiles.

In contrast to the safe-dilution levels we have been hearing on the FDA conference calls, the FDA’s district director Thomas Gardine says “You cannot dilute out a contaminant. The product is bad.”

The article continues:

The FDA found melamine-related compounds in the raw ingredients but, in the processed feed, only at levels too small to quantify, he said. The health risk to animals and humans is considered low, so the agency allowed the feed to be sold, he said.

The district director also says “We can think of no cognizant reason that the purposeful contamination was limited to wheat, corn and rice.”

Also, another tidbit (emphasis ours):

This week, the FDA announced that a Toledo company, Tembec BTLSR Inc., intentionally had been adding melamine and related compounds to fish and shrimp feed, and to a bonding agent, all of which a Colorado company sold or used to make livestock feed. A Tembec official said the feed was made with the same formulation for the past three years.

It just keeps getting worse.
(Thanks sieweke)

129 Responses to “Contaminated Wheat Gluten Looks For Other Uses”

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  1. Valerie says:

    Ack!! You mean to say that Del Monte has tainted wheat gluten sitting in their warehouse!? And they were using it in the pet foods no doubt, my cats became ill, since they loved their canned catfood. Of course it didn’t show up on the recall either. As soon as I quit feeding it, my two cats were no longer ill.
    Thank you for posting this itchmo, it confirms my feeling that the canned was bad. I even wrote the company to see if they had tested the wheat gluten!
    Move along…nothing to see here!
    They should turn it into patio furniture Who knows they could be onto a breakthrough new composite!

  2. Grayn says:

    Delmonte makes a lot of people food too. Check the label on College Inn Chicken Broth fat free low sodium. It has wheat gluten. That was the first ingredient label I looked at in March when this started and I called the number on the can and Del Monte answered. I was on hold forever so never got to ask: would you be so kind as to tell me how much melamine is in your Chicken Broth that I have been eating my whole life AND making food for my dog with.

    There really doesn’t seem to be any end in sight. I am getting really tired of cucumber sandwiches!!

    Yesterday I was shopping and I did notice that now there are many many organic foods available and also many of the products are voluntarily listing country of orgin, instead of distributed by which I think is great especially if the ingredients are simple and don’t seem to come from China. If the ingredients are suspect and there is no country of origin, I won’t buy it, period, the end.

    At the market, I saw a young man buying tons of the supermarket brand chicken as it is VERY cheap right now as is pork. I had to say something. I said you know why that is so cheap don’t you. He didn’t, so I told him. He said that’s Ok I am young and healthy. I said Ok, I hope you have strong kidneys. I am sure he didn’t really understand. *sigh*

    The people who are making these grossly negligent decisions about our life and death could care less about us. They won’t be in power in 10 years when we are all out hunting for healthy kidneys so what do they care. It won’t be their problem and they know that.

  3. e wem says:

    Tons of gluten. I guess Del Monte loves us tons.

    This is just the stuff the FDA caught. How many years and how many tons of love from Del Monte China have been going into our food.

    If they loved us enough to buy tons and tons of love from China where were the ads bragging about the good Chinese ingredients in their food stuffs?

    Imaginary commercial:

    ‘You can trust us, after all we use tons and tons of good stuff from Chinese biotech firms in our canned goods. MMM-mmm-mmm. Love that Chinese biotech product.

    Some companies use American ingredients but we went all the way to China just for you!

    It saved us tons of money aaaaaand we still didn’t lower our prices. Remember - if it isn’t made by Americans it has to be good for business’

  4. 5CatMom says:

    Note to FDA: Here’s a chance for you to keep tons of tainted wheat gluten out of the food supply.

    Why don’t you yo-yo’s DO SOMETHING for a change?

    I’m betting that we’ll hear “Whoops, we “mistakenly sold it to XYZ, Inc. and now it’s in baby food.”

  5. xyz says:

    Too valuable to throw out.

    That about says it all.

    Btw, wasn’t that wheat flour, not wheat gluten?

  6. Carol says:

    Reading DelMonte’s website -a posting in April really leads one to believe they wouldn’t have tons of this!!! Tons of deceit to go around too—I can think of one thing they can do with that “gluten”.

  7. xyz says:

    5CatMom-re: XYZ, Inc.
    I won’t take it personally. :

  8. MarySmith says:

    *Tons of melamine tainted wheat gluten earmarked for Del Monte is currently
    sitting in a warehouse in Pennsylvania because it’s too valuable to throw out.*

    *earmarked for Del Monte* - It does NOT say that *Del Monte* owns it! What company really is the owner????

  9. 5CatMom says:

    To XYZ,

    So sorry. I should have said “ABC, Inc”. That wasn’t directed toward a fellow ITCHMO blogger. LOL.

  10. Ellie says:

    I really don’t understand all this: we’ve been importing food ingredients from China for years, China has been spiking food with melamine for years, it’s clearly been in our food supply, both pet and human. At this point I wonder how it’s possible anymore that there’s food that ISN’T showing some level of contamination!

    Why did these particular batches of ingredients suddenly cause these massive problems?

    Does anyone know whether melamine builds up over time in the body or eventually is processed out?

  11. MarySmith says:

    From PC:
    *The wheat gluten being held in an Allegheny County warehouse was destined for Pittsburgh-based Del Monte Pet Products, but that company never bought or received any of that shipment, Gardine said.*

    So Del Monte never recieved the shipment, but who owns it now???

  12. xyz says:

    5CatMom- A little levity amid the insanity.

    I’m still wondering about fish oil, though. Tried contacting one brand off their site and the highlighted e-mail address’s didn’t work. Has anyone checked into oils for purity?

  13. Gerry says:

    Send it back to China!

  14. maddy says:

    Why would it take this long to discover that a melamine product, happening for years, was destined for pet food?

    There was also a fish lot destined for pet food. where is it? and the fish? Joining the rest of the fish and fish meal destined for humans and pets.
    What king of fish are affected? assume farm raised but how many types? salmon, cod? shrimp - why haven’t they said?

    I know we have been eating this for years in all kinds of products - and the organic industry who are diluting themselves are skimming the surface of their own problems - but I would like to know if the fish in my cat’s food is ok? Not to much to ask? or the chicken? ect?

    I also would like a list myself of who, when, where to avoid? Not too much to ask -

  15. KAEfamily says:

    The majority of food sold at our local Trader’s Joe is from China. So much for organic products :-(

  16. Steve says:

    Good Ol’ Boy’s
    Telling Lies

    Bout Time, we got WISE

  17. menusux says:

    Am casting my vote here for who I think the tainted wheat gluten belongs to. Two we are aware of–CN & DI–imported would-be wheat gluten. DI was the company introduced to CN’s Chinese supplier and DI sold its wheat gluten to the fish feed manufacturer in CA.

    The other two, W-E and CB, ordered RPC, which turned out to be adulterated wheat flour, just as the “wheat gluten” above did. W-E sold some of its “RPC” outright to various PF companies, and some went to CB, who then sold it to other PF companies, such as RC. Don’t think the wheat gluten belongs to either W-E or CB, because neither of them started out trying to import wheat gluten. Also, the provider of the phony RPC is a different source than that of the phony wheat gluten–two different Chinese companies–one exporting phony RPC and the other–phony wheat gluten.

    Here’s a link from a not so old story and a quote from it:

    “He rents space in five warehouses around the country and provides a variety of pet food ingredients to manufacturers and pet food ingredient distributors.”

    This is who I believe owns the wheat gluten in the warehouse in PA.

  18. Grayn says:

    I noticed that as well. When I asked the manager at the TJ where they got their “organic” chicken from she was very abrupt with me and said none of our products have been involved. I said well actually that is not really true. Let’s not forget that you recalled your pet food. I think I may now be banned from the TJ store. She was very rude and kept looking around like she wanted to make sure no one was listening to our conversation.

  19. furmom says:

    Other uses for contaminated Wheat Gluten:
    1) Textile printing process could use wheat gluten to scavenge formaldehyde.
    2) Ship it to China. They can find a use for wheat gluten I’m sure.

  20. Tom Paine says:

    On April 30, 2007 the New York Times, CBS, and other media sites reported that contamination of animal food with melamine was a common, widespread practice in China. This is from the CBS News website on that date:

    “The mildly toxic chemical melamine is commonly added to animal feed in China, a manager of a feed company and one of the chemical’s producers said Monday, a process that boosts the feed’s sales value but risks introducing the chemical into meat eaten by humans.

    “Customers either don’t know or aren’t concerned about the practice, said
    Wang Jianhui, manager of the Kaiyuan Protein Feed company in the northern city of Shijiazhuang.

    “We’ve been running the melamine feed business for about 15 years and receiving positive responses from our customers,” Wang told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

    “Using the proper quantity of melamine will not harm the animals. Our products are very safe, for sure,” Wang said. ”

    NOTICE he said he has been running the business for fifteen years. The obvious inference is that melamine contamination to food products could go back at least that far.

    One thing has happened over that time. The autism rate in children has increased to 1 in 150 births. This once-rare phenomenon is now an every day diagnosis, although not for the families.

  21. Lisa says:

    Hope they don’t put it in my cat litter!

  22. straybaby says:


    if i remember correctly, TJ’s pulled all their product to be safe. something many retailers/brands could have done but didn’t.

    i would rather have it destroyed than shipped back. they would just re-import it because it would stand a 99% chance of getting through, especailly if the mislabeled it as something not on the watch list . . .

  23. furmom says:

    More uses for contaminated Wheat gluten:
    On the basis of all results, and for demonstrating a technical feasibility, wheat gluten was successfully processed by different techniques such as brushing, casting, and spraying into films and coatings on substrates as glass, polyethylenes and poly(styrene). More precise assays were performed on Leneta testcards using talc, titanium dioxide and carbon as fillers. Very good adhesion was obtained with talc which seems to have the most useful properties as fillers. Thermomoulding of native and modified gluten and of gluten fraction was also performed after controlled thermomechanical treatments either in a mixer or by extrusion. Mechanical spectrum of thermomoulded gluten is globally similar to that of synthetic polymers except that transition from glassy to rubbery behaviour extends over a broader range of time.
    So don’t throw that wheat gluten out. If you don’t want to eat it, there are poor starving children in China .

    ITCHMO ADMIN: Furmom, about this line: “If you don’t want to eat it, there are poor starving children in China.”
    We really hope that you are being sarcastic.

  24. furmom says:

    And as to why this batch caused the problem, for one thing I’m not sure there weren’t low grade problems before. Our previous cats lived on an “organic” diet of mice they had to go catch themselves. They were very healthy. This is the first cat I fed cat food to, and suddenly I have a cat with urinary problems, long before there was a recall. On home prepared/raw he is fine, on cat food he has urinary problems. After 25 years of feeding our dogs “whatever was around”, leftovers from a family of five, our dogs were healthy, rarely needed a vet. I feed dog food and I got a dog with epilepsy and lymphoma. Didn’t take long to make the connection. My current dog is fine on home made/raw, on dog food, or when sneaking kitty kibble he has skin lesions, infected ears, and he’s still young, so it’s back to home prepared.

  25. Steve says:

    “Detention without physical examination of wheat gluten due to the presence of melamine”

    What happened to that concept?

  26. Steve says:

    Remember that FDA alert regarding this.

    “Detention without physical examination of wheat gluten due to the presence of melamine”

  27. Tom Paine says:

    The local Pennsylvania FDA is broadening its investigation to human food manufacturers. From today’s Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (linked to at Pet Connection):

    “The investigation is still in its infancy, and none of Pennsylvania’s 2,100 [human] food manufacturers has been investigated yet as part of the surveillance.

    “The FDA and Customs and Border Protection are sampling all wheat gluten, corn gluten and rice protein concentrate from all countries and selectively testing nearly a dozen other vegetable proteins, Gardine said.

    “We can think of no cognizant reason that the purposeful contamination was limited to wheat, corn and rice,” Gardine said. ”

    Again, the obvious: there is no reason to think it was limited to wheat, corn or rice, and therefore there is no reason NOT TO BELIEVE it is widespread within the human food supply.

    The article is based on honest statements from an FDA investigator. (What do you think that by Monday, once the word has gotten out to Washington, he will be forced to back pedal his statements or lose his job, and the FDA will put out a major media blitz denying it?)

    Please read the complete article. It is a must read.

  28. Ann H says:

    I think I know the ulterior motive behind all of this - the drug companies that sell anti-depressants.

    (sarcasm fyi)

  29. Steve says:

    Ann at 11:40 am

    Doctors pills give you brand new ills
    And the bills bury you like an avalanche.

  30. Maureen says:

    Sorry if this was posted on a previous thread.

    Go over to and see this:
    Comment by Don — June 1, 2007 @ 11:06 pm

    Don’t cat died in January. He had her food tested by an independent lab and it came up positive for acetaminophen and cyanuric acid.

    There’s a new one for me: acetaminophen! Tylenol! It’s highly toxic to cats, and slightly less so for dogs.

    He references his website on this posting that shows the test results and more. Just when you thought you could crawl out from under the bed.

  31. Steve says:


    WTF (excuse my french) is TYLENOL doing in there? Thats deadly to animals.


  32. Maureen says:

    Here’s a link as to how toxic acetaminophen is for cats, especially, and dogs:

  33. menusux says:

    News on the tainted toothpaste:,2933,277336,00.html

    Report: Contaminated Toothpaste Turns Up at Several U.S. Locations
    Saturday, June 02, 2007

    “Contaminated toothpaste exported from China have been shipped to several ports in the United States, the New York Times reported.

    “The toothpaste, which reportedly contains a poison used in antifreeze, has turned up in Miami, the Port of Los Angeles and Puerto Rico, according to the Times.

    NYT has a story–link below–registration required to read it.

  34. Tom Paine says:

    Sorry, folks, I hope this is the last posting, but then again . . . . .

    The McClatchy Newspapers are reporting on Chinese drug safety issues, and the inherent conflicts of interest involved in reporting public health violations by manufacturers.

    This is the article from Friday: China-made drugs under scrutiny by Tim Johnson - McClatchy Beijing Bureau

    A longer, more complete version of the article was originally published on Thursday with the title “China Has Cornered the Global Market for Vitamins.”

  35. menusux says:

    From New Zealand, a denial that China had any role in the contaminated toothpaste.

    China denies role in toxic toothpaste
    TVNZ June 2, 2007

    “Employees at a Chinese company named by US officials as makers of tainted toothpaste has denied it had used a poisonous chemical in its products, reacting to the latest scare about China’s consumer goods.

    “”It is not allowed. There are restrictions limiting its use,” said an employee at Suzhou City Jinmao Daily Chemicals Co. Ltd., when asked about diethylene glycol (DEG).

    “An employee at a second enterprise named by US officials, Goldcredit International Trading Co. Ltd., said the company did not export to the United States but declined to comment further.

    “US officials said using the affected brands, which include Cooldent, Clean Rite and Oralmax, presented a low risk to human health but that chronic use, particularly among children or those with kidney or liver disease, could be problematic.

    “Chinese authorities have defended the quality of locally made goods, saying the vast majority of its exports met quality standards.”

    This NYT link above via Google news should let you read the NYT Times story without registering:

    “Agency officials said they found toothpaste containing a small amount of diethylene glycol, a sweet, syrupy poison, at a Dollar Plus retail store in Miami, sold under the brand name ShiR Fresh Mint Fluoride Paste. The F.D.A. also identified nine other brands of Chinese toothpaste that contain diethylene glycol, some with concentrations of 3 percent to 4 percent.

    “But diethylene glycol was not listed on the label of the toothpaste found in the Miami store. Its presence was detected only because the F.D.A. began testing imported Chinese toothpaste last month. That precaution was prompted by the discovery in Latin America of tens of thousands of tubes of tainted toothpaste made in China.

    “Chinese regulators said Thursday that their investigation of toothpaste manufacturers there had found they had done nothing wrong. Chinese officials also said that while small amounts of diethylene glycol could be safely used in toothpaste, new controls would be imposed on its use in toothpaste.

    “Mr. Arbesfeld (FDA) said that six tubes were confiscated there and that several more were found at the store’s distributor. Those tubes were destroyed. F.D.A. officials also said they had confiscated several brands of toothpaste at the Port of Los Angeles and at a retail store in Puerto Rico.”

    Two different stories from China–one that it isn’t permitted, therefore it wasn’t in there when the toothpaste was made in China–and another which says small amounts of the chemical are permitted (there) in toothpaste.

  36. Not Asleep at the Wheel says:

    From The Standard, China’s business newspaper:

    Polluted Lake Spurs Race for Water

    “Authorities in a major mainland city issued emergency orders Thursday to stem panic water-buying after heavy pollution in a lake contaminated drinking supplies for millions of people.”

    [major snip]

    “The industrial city on the lower reaches of the Yangtze river relies on the once scenic Tai Lake for its drinking supplies.

    “Photos showed the lake choked in a thick green-blue muck interspersed with floating garbage.

    “The lake has been under stress for years as untreated sewage from towns and villages, as well as the region’s booming chemical and light manufacturing industries, left its water choked with pollutants.”

    Read the full article here:

  37. Pit Bull Lover says:

    menusux, you’re such a good detective. Thanks for the link to the ChemNu…er, I mean, *CN* article.

    Were the PF manufacturers/facilities who had been receiving CN’s pois… (Oops!) *products* ever fully traced/identified? I wonder who’s supplying PF ingredients to Del Monte — and others — now.

  38. thomas says:

    Who stands to loose a ton of money on this dangerous wheat gluten that is to valuable to call trash? Is it an American company with a factory in China? Does anyone else wonder if the FDA and USDA are trying to cover up for some big money influential outfit?Lets remember this not only when we shop also when we vote.

  39. Pit Bull Lover says:

    BTW, am I the only person who doesn’t follow the usual corporate instruction “to discard the tainted product” (unless it’s highly perishable) when I’ve bought something that’s later recalled?

    That’s not trash. It’s *evidence*.

  40. Rick says:

    For those who may be interested, there is a great website that gives the 411 on many products that we use on our bodies (makeup, skincare, body wash/lotions, etc.) and the chemicals they contain. What’s nice is they actually tell you what products ARE SAFER to use. Please let others know about it.


  41. menusux says:

    Pit Bull Lover Says:

    June 2nd, 2007 at 12:51 pm
    menusux, you’re such a good detective. Thanks for the link to the ChemNu…er, I mean, *CN* article.

    Were the PF manufacturers/facilities who had been receiving CN’s pois… (Oops!) *products* ever fully traced/identified? I wonder who’s supplying PF ingredients to Del Monte — and others — now.

    Going back to that article at:

    It says that Menu Foods was ONE of the PF companies this company supplied. Menu is the only one who has publicly said that they were doing business with this company and have instituted legal proceedings against them. The article says that Menu was the only client lost (and Menu went public with that themselves), so there are or were as of May 20, 2007, 17 other clients of this company. Some may not be in the PF business, as they have dealings in additives for human food and pharmaceuticals.

    DM has never gone public with who their suppliers were then or are now.

  42. menusux says:

    Forgot to add that DM has also never gone public with a denial that they never have or do not do business with this company as many other PF manufacturers have done on their websites.

  43. Pit Bull Lover says:

    menusux, I was hoping I’d just missed/forgotten this info because my head is overwhelmed by the official trickle-down recalls, disinformation, and redactions versus the excavated clues and facts posted to sites like Itchmo. Alas, we are still woefully in the dark.

    What are you feeding your animals?

  44. menusux says:

    Pit Bull Lover,

    I’m feeding Flint River Ranch–Adult & Puppy formula. The shelter was feeding this when I adopted my guy, so I stayed with it. He’s been eating FRR ever since he was rescued and since there have been no problems with FRR, I don’t find any reason to change foods.

  45. Helen says:

    In case you want to support these folks:

  46. DMS says:

    Tom Paine Says:

    June 2nd, 2007 at 11:39 am
    The local Pennsylvania FDA is broadening its investigation to human food manufacturers. From today’s Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (linked to at Pet Connection):

    “The investigation is still in its infancy, and none of Pennsylvania’s 2,100 [human] food manufacturers has been investigated yet as part of the surveillance.

    Can anyone think of one good reason this was not done immediately? I know the thought occurred to me immediately upon hearing about the “gluten” and I stopped buying anything with gluten that was not organic. I called the FDA, reps, manufacturers asking them about testing food-most could not see the relevance. At best, from the FDA, “no indications.” What is a good indication of a potential problem? Poisoned pet food?

  47. JM says:

    Pit Bull Lover:

    No, you are not alone. I’m saving all my “evidence”, just in case I need to have it tested. I same unopened cans from each case of food I buy and portions of each bag.

  48. Sharon says:

    I threw away the Lean Cuisine I was going to eat for supper last night when I saw that wheat gluten was the second ingredient on the label.

  49. Steve says:

    You best believe these companies Lawyers are calling all the shots about what is said and what isn’t said.


  50. menusux says:

    Let’s try to put the pieces together:

    Page 2
    “In November 2006, Menu Foods bought wheat gluten from THE COMPANY for the first time…. Althought this was our first purchase of wheat gluten from THE COMPANY, we had purchased other ingredients from THE COMPANY in the past.”

    “There is no FDA standard for human grade wheat gluten, but Menu intends that all wheat gluten we use should be suitable for use in human foods.”

    Page 3
    “THE COMPANY promised Menu Foods that it could deliver high-quality wheat gluten that satisfied the requirements set forth in the Material Specification.”

    Page 1
    “Our US customers are manufacturers of pet food, and nutritional ingredients who want high quality, the best service, and the most competitive prices.”

    Page 3
    “It’s important to note that on March 8th, when THE COMPANY ceased shipments of its wheat gluten, we had only four customers for that product, one of which was Menu Foods.”

    OK–nothing to distinguish between human and non-human food quality of wheat gluten–no FDA standards to separate them. We see that Menu was a client of THE COMPANY in the past for PF ingredients other than wheat gluten. (This may be a key to some of the unexplained illness prior to the melamine recalls.)

    We also see for the record, that the first shipment of wheat gluten from THE COMPANY to Menu was in November 2006. (This fits into the timeframe regarding owners reporting illnesses as far back as December 2006.)

    And we see that in March 2007, THE COMPANY had four wheat gluten clients–Menu was one of the four. But we also see that THE COMPANY is, according to its website, again offering to sell imported wheat gluten:

    “We specialize in Taurine, L-Cysteine, Glycine, Vital Wheat Gluten, and Glucuronolactone, and we also handle many other ingredients.”

    And we also see that their blog had technical difficulties as of May 25 and seems to still not be reconstructed:

    “We have reconstructed the posts on the Blog which suffered technical difficulties yesterday. While most have their original dates, others do not. Later in the day we should have all of the original links and pages posted.

    “This entry was posted on Friday, May 25th, 2007 at 6:42 am”

    Have not found anything which rules out the seller/buyer relationship surmised above. There were still three other “wheat gluten” clients when you subtract Menu from the 4. If the statement contained in the May 20, 2007 news story link below is true, then there are still three of them left, and 17 in total for all products.

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