FDA Still Evaluating Safety of Contaminated Chickens

The fate of the 20 million chickens that may have eaten tainted pet food won’t be decided today. According to a new FDA and USDA release, the decision to cull or release the chickens has not yet been made. The risk assessment decision is expected in one week. Meanwhile, the FDA maintains that those products are safe for human consumption.

(Thanks Pat)

60 Responses to “FDA Still Evaluating Safety of Contaminated Chickens”

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  1. menusux says:

    http://www.kansascity.com/194/story/96830.html

    These are tough times for U.S. gluten makers
    Industry worn down by less-expensive imports can’t meet domestic demand anymore.
    By ROXANA HEGEMAN
    The Associated Press
    WICHITA | One might think that growing concern over contaminated imported wheat gluten in recalled pet food might be good news for U.S. gluten producers.

    But U.S. production has been so eroded by low-cost imports that it can no longer supply domestic demand, domestic gluten makers say.

    Only four domestic gluten manufacturers, including two in Kansas, have survived the flood of foreign wheat gluten bought here in the last decade at prices cheaper than U.S. producers can make it.

    When the United States removed quotas on gluten imports in 2000, prices plummeted by about half, said John Neufeld, chief operating officer for Dallas-based White Energy.

    The nation’s largest gluten maker, MGP Ingredients Inc., is based in Atchison. The company has the capacity to produce 120 million pounds of gluten in a year, but the plants are running at only 20 percent of that capacity, said Steve Pickman, MGP vice president for corporate relations.

    “We have been unable to compete effectively on a price basis with imported gluten,” he said.

    According to figures from the National Association of Wheat Growers, the U.S. imports roughly 80 percent of its wheat gluten from Australia, the European Union and China, where the contaminated wheat gluten behind the recent pet food recall is thought to have originated. The gluten is used primarily as an ingredient in the baking industry, in cereal and in pet food.

    More than 100 brands of pet food have been recalled since March 16 because they were contaminated with melamine. An unknown number of dogs and cats have been sickened or died after eating chemical-laced pet food.

    On April 26, the government said several hundred of the 6,000 hogs that may have eaten contaminated pet food are thought to have entered the food supply for humans. The potential risk to human health was said to be very low.

    Neufeld’s company estimated that the U.S. consumes about 530 million pounds of wheat gluten annually. Government figures show that about 386 million pounds of that were imported, he said.

  2. Eric says:

    Cynthia,
    Re-read some of the articles. “Organic” chickens are in part of the 20 million. In other words, nothing is safe.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Is there a chicken brand that is safe?

    Does Purina raise chickens? I’m sure they will be kept out of the loop.

  4. Beth says:

    …..and one wonders why there is such an increase in cancer, both in animals & humans. Why there is such an increase in alzheimer illnesses. It is NOT ALL due to an increasingly aging population. I think it is due to all the junk that is in our foods Even foods that are healthy for you are contaminated. After years of consuming these products, disease is bound to show up & it never gets backtracked to the food supply.

  5. Debbie4747 says:

    I agree about what is in our foods may be causing us ailments such as cancer, allergies, autism, etc. The one health problem that the news does harp on is obesity and how it is so epidemic in America these days. Since I was a kid we’ve always had junk food, fast foods, etc. Now all of a sudden obesity is epidemic. Could it be from all that melamine (plastic) in our foods. We can burn off calories, but how do you burn off plastic? And who knows what else is in our foods that we don’t even know about?
    And here I thought I was so much healthier when I quit smoking.

  6. Leslie k says:

    If anyone needs a pet food tested, I would highly recommend Accutrace.[advertising on main Itchmo page]. They were extremely helpful & offering 2 discounts. The owner has 10 pets & is testing all her pet food. I got nowhere after calling all local vets,labs, the fda,health dept & state food safety dept. The only ones w/ an answer to anything were accutrace. If anyone else needs a lab try them ! Also don’t use pur 1 dog sensitive systems !

  7. Mary says:

    Whoa whoa… don’t use Purina One Sensitive Systems? How come? I just talked to them a couple of days ago and they said they were “safe.”

  8. LovingMyPets says:

    Eric Says:

    May 7th, 2007 at 4:43 pm
    Cynthia,
    “Re-read some of the articles. “Organic” chickens are in part of the 20 million. In other words, nothing is safe.”

    WHAT? WHAT? WHAT?
    Organic chickens are in part of the 20 million??? I just went and bought organic chicken at Whole Foods for double the cost, and now you’re telling me that they’re included in the 20 million?????

    Whole Foods ASSURED me that, NO WAY were they selling chickens that were fed the tainted pet food. Please tell me WHERE you got that information. Thanks.

    Geeze, another night of NO SLEEP.

  9. LovingMyPets says:

    OK Eric,

    I’ve read the report at the top of this thread, and there’s no mention of ORGANIC.

    Where did you come up with this?

    You wrote: “Re-read some of the articles. “Organic” chickens are in part of the 20 million. In other words, nothing is safe.”

  10. Eric says:

    LovingMyPets,
    It all stems back to this quote:

    “We literally found that the dilution is so minute, in fact in some cases you can’t even test and find melamine any more in that product,” Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns said during comments to the Organic Trade Association.

    It’s from this article: http://www.fortwayne.com/mld/n.....191567.htm

    While we don’t know that organic chickens have been affected, it seems odd that reports about melamine chickens were be told to the Organic Trade Association. As with so much of this, make of it what you will.

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