Houston Chronicle Criticizes FDA For Tacit Approval Of Toxic Foods

This editorial takes the FDA to task for releasing tainted food into the food supply and raises the alarm on milk protein concentrate. We’ll let the Houston Chronicle speak for themselves:

Unfortunately, some livestock could not be recalled since they were already on their way to your plate.

The Food and Drug Administration’s response? Not to worry, there is no scientific evidence that eating melamine is bad for humans, so no grocery recall is necessary.

Consumers have now unwittingly joined their pets as subjects in a massive food safety experiment.

This is hardly the first case of an illegal byproduct getting dumped into the U.S. food system with the tacit approval of the FDA.

Milk protein concentrate, which enters the United States as an industrial-grade ingredient to make adhesives and which has never been subject to consumer-safety testing or given Generally Regarded as Safe (GRAS) status by the FDA, is now found in hundreds of adulterated cheese products, candies, chips, nutritional drinks and other processed junk foods.

For powerful corporations like Kraft, it is much more lucrative to import milk protein concentrate to make Velveeta, Mac n’ Cheese or Kraft Singles and hope pliant FDA officials turn a blind eye than to pay U.S. family dairy farmers a fair price for real domestic milk.

162 Responses to “Houston Chronicle Criticizes FDA For Tacit Approval Of Toxic Foods”

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  1. cheetah-dog says:

    Oh, and don’t think Whole Foods is a panacea. They stock as much Chinese crap as anyone. Which brings up the next question.

    STEVE: You are absolutely right. I have to search for the gluten-free/wheat-free tags that stick out from the shelves; you have to still read the labels and do your research. But at least they have all of the information on their website which helps.

  2. menusux says:

    Folks–we have a biggie here:

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/h.....oods_N.htm

    Chinese imports nixed by key firm
    USA Today May 20, 2007

    “Menu Foods, North America’s biggest maker of wet pet foods and the company that launched the pet food recall, is phasing out ingredients from China.

    “It won’t resume using them until Menu and the “world community” are assured that they are safe, says Menu’s outside counsel, David Lillehaug of Fredrikson & Byron.

    “Menu, which makes pet foods for dozens of brands, recalled hundreds of products in mid-March after reports of kidney failure in pets. An ingredient imported from China was later found to be contaminated with melamine and melamine byproducts that are not allowed in foods.

    “The recall has increased concerns over the safety of imported foods, especially from China, and food companies of all kinds have or are evaluating their global sourcing procedures.

    “”All of our customers are asking, ‘Where are the ingredients coming from?’ ” says Victor Barsky, of the New York-based Chenango Valley Pet Foods, which makes dry pet food for 35 companies. It, too, is dropping China-made ingredients, Barsky says.”

    Menu AND Chenango say no more Chinese ingredients.

  3. cheetah-dog says:

    This Chinese Website is scary. May have been posted before. Click on the Rice protien concentrate for Pet Food!

    http://www.alibaba.com/country.....otein.html

  4. LovingMyPets says:

    ‘Menu AND Chenango say no more Chinese ingredients”.

    O.K, so who is believing this crap??? I’m not! The mighty dollar will prevail. If it’s cheaper from China, Chenango will say yay to China!

  5. Deb G. says:

    We have to become more self-sufficent and educated! Thank God we can come here and share ours thought and things we’ve learned. I have a small farm w/chickens, calves, and a organic garden that I just started this year (must be that guardian angel, SandyC.) Who would have thought it was so important rather than just a neat thing to do. It took me two months of searching to find a feed store where I can actual buy organic grains (corn, wheat, oats etc.) to feed my animals that are grown locally. I know now, most of the corn we had feed in the past my well have been GMO. I could just scream. How could they do this to us? I read recently at a web site “All about feed” that the Dutch are suing us for sending them genertic mod. corn which they do not allow in their country. Why would we do something like that? Then turn around and accuse China of sending their garbage to us? This is insane. We must tell all that we can about this site and other, where people can start to educate themselves before we become the sickest country in the world!

  6. SandyC says:

    I found this a rather interesting sentence: “Rather than “shut the door” on China ingredients, Pet Food Institute President Duane Ekedahl says better procedures are needed to ensure quality. “

  7. Deb G. says:

    FDA Center For Veterinary Medicine Letter To Feed And Feed Ingredient Manufacturers

    I found this letter today in my email alerts which I found unbelieveable! The FDA sent this letter (A quote from it below) which “reminds” the manufacturers of feed and feed ingredient to do the right thing! At the bottem of the letter (I’ve posted the addr. to the site which you can take a look at) the FDA “ENCOURAGES” them to know what products their using and to make sure there safe!!!!! Encouraging them????? HOW ABOUT DEMANDING….Just like we are demanded to pay our taxes??? Maybe we should encourage them to do a better job or we’ll not pay them by our taxes. ENCOURAGE and REMIND, two words that don’t sound too strong to me!

    FDA Center For Veterinary Medicine Letter To Feed And Feed Ingredient Manufacturers

    Dear Feed and Feed Ingredient Manufacturers:

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is taking this opportunity to remind feed and feed ingredient manufacturers of their legal responsibility to ensure that every ingredient used in their products is safe for its intended use, whether the product is meant to be used to feed animals intended for human consumption or non-food animals such as pets.

    http://www.medicalnewstoday.co.....wsid=71444
    for the rest of the letter…..

  8. xyz says:

    I’d like to call on organizations, like Consumer Reports and Organic Consumers, to do what the pet blogs have done. Get together and give us a list of safe products manufactured or produced by companies that have strict quality control. No GMO’s, no toxic chemicals, as organic as possible. You know who they are. Have a parent page and give credit where credit is due, but offer us a portal with lists of products and brands we can depend on. You have the information. Why not work together in a new arena to promote safety and quality for all of us?

    Itchmo, PetConnection and others have done a bang up job yet still retain their own identity. They didn’t worry about it. How about you?

  9. Mandy says:

    Menu says no more Chinese ingredients.

    Oh gee Menu Foods why the change of heart? Because so many people are suing you and boycotting your products? Do you really think that with all the crimes you’ve committed people will suddenly forget and cheer for you after you waited weeks and possibly months to recall your products resuling in thousands of cats and dogs getting sick and dying? Do you really think all the pet owners who had their fur babies die in their arms will suddenly forgive you and say oh lets buy from Menu Foods again because they no longer buy from China?!

    I hope the lawsuits and boycotting buries you Menu Foods.

    Sorry for the rant, but that just seriously ticked me off.

  10. Mandy says:

    Oh and for people who don’t want to buy products made with ingredients from China, take a look at this. I just thought you should know this. This is from the Purina site in the FAQ area. To read the full page go to

    http://www.purina.com/recallFAQs.aspx

    What ingredients do you source from China?

    While the vast majority of our ingredients are sourced from the United States, we do source a limited amount of ingredients from China. These ingredients – primarily important nutritional supplements – are not commonly available from other countries in the quantities we need.
    Nestlé S.A. also recently has established an office in China, headquartered in Beijing, to assist Nestlé affiliates, including Nestlé Purina, with sourcing ingredients and other materials from China. The goal of this office is to have Nestlé staff physically inspect and monitor the facilities of Nestlé approved Chinese suppliers and test product samples to ensure compliance with Nestlé Quality Assurance and Compliance safety standards.

    How do you know melamine isn’t in other ingredients from China?

    The FDA reported April 19 that it is sampling 100 percent of the wheat gluten and rice protein concentrate received from China, and that they will add other ingredients to the sampling list if necessary. In addition, all products from the two Chinese firms in question are being stopped at the border and prohibited from entry into the United States.
    Nestlé S.A. also recently has established an office in China, headquartered in Beijing, to assist Nestlé affiliates, including Nestlé Purina, with sourcing ingredients and other materials from China. The goal of this office is to have Nestlé staff physically inspect and monitor the facilities of Nestlé approved Chinese suppliers and test product samples to ensure compliance with Nestlé Quality Assurance and Compliance safety standards.
    Nestlé Purina is evaluating its ingredients sourced from China, and has implemented a new process to test for melamine in every load of wheat gluten. We also are implementing additional technology to further screen our pet food ingredients.

  11. Deb G. says:

    xyz, I think that would be awesome, I would love a site like that to go to. Even though the internet is great, alot of times it take hours of reseach to find info. I’m all for it, who do we approach?

  12. kellie says:

    his whole thing is really changing my outlook.
    I have known of the food pollution and GM foods but have just put it to the back burner of my mind. i felt helpless to stop the wheels in motion.
    Hopefully this turn of events will mobilize the public into big enough numbers for the companies with the bottom line mentalities to take notice and make some well needed changes.

    I’m now to the point where i don’t feel i need all this crap in my diet. i need to lose weight anyway. i’d rather be able to buy less food for my money if the food is healthy and additive, poison, and GM FREE!!!!

    Sad fact is alot of low income families have no choice but to buy discount, dollar store, Walmart, etc.

    My next shopping trip is going to be different for sure.
    Tough part is there are no whole foods stores near me at all. there used to be a Good Food COmpany in Canton, Michigan, but when i went to go there for better pet food they were closed. They were the only major health grocer around the metro detroit area that I could find.

    I live in Detroit suburbs and if anyone reading this knows of any good, organic local growers or meat sellers i would be very greatful for web links or even address locations if they have no websites.

    I’ve been buying organic milk and eggs for years now but the problems go so much deeper. and the price cuts deep too so i understand people struggling who cant afford 3.99 for a half gallon of organic milk or 6 bux for a pound of organic butter.

    I’ve decided to buy more organic and natural fresh foods if i can find them. I’ll get less for the money but i’m sure i’ll feel better and drop all this extra bloating and weight i carry due to additives and chemicals making the country’s residents all have sluggish thyroids.
    I was recently put on thyroid meds. sadly they havent made any difference. A synthetic hormone is prolly crap itself. Perhaps a better diet ALL THE WAY AROUND will eliminate my need for the meds all together since i’m just borderline.

    There was a holistic, organic chef on season one of Bravos Top Chef. She had a thyroid condition and healed herself with diet and exercise. she has a website with alot of good info and recipes. she has 2 books out as well. I think i’ll give some of her methods a try.
    Here is her website.

    www.andreabeaman.com

    I wish there was a way to get more information out there. none of my friends know about any of this. Most ppl dont even know of the recalls other than the first one in march. None of the further recalls ahve made it to any of my web news pages, not yahoo, or comcast. I get my news here and the other sites like this one.

    I get the rest from you guys and your research and links so thanks for that as well. I’ve been telling all co-workers, web buddies and people at stores i’m shopping at about itchmo and pet connection. One college Journalism major even asked to quote me in her article about the pet food scandal and why i chose to shop there now and switch to the new brands i’ve chosen over grocery store brands.

    My biggest fear is still that small premium brands that we now trust will sell out, cut corners, alter formulas or get bought out by purina or others and turn into crap in a can as well.
    After this is over , if ever, lets keep these forums and blogs going and stay on top of the smaller brands and their buisness practices as well to keep our furkids safe long after this scandal lands in the archives.

    I pledge to my pets and to all of you that i will watch. learn, and share any and all future info i come across that affects the health of our pets or our families.

    Thanks for reading my thoughts…

    P.S. I encourage ppl to keep posting their letters to big corps and government and keep allowing us to copy these and forward them as well.

    PLEASE INCLUDE THE ADDRESS OR EMAIL of these corps and agancies. I’ve seen letters i want to send But theres no addy with the post, for example the Kraft foods one. I want to send that so please post where to forward it to.

  13. kellie says:

    * THIS WHOLE THING* sorry i pasted this from notepad and i cut the first letter off, heh, :-)

  14. Marci says:

    —Sandy Says:
    Well, this is getting to be just too much. Milk protein concentrate now? Seems nothing is safe for us to eat. Luckily I have the means to raise my own chickens and beef. I can rely on neighboring farmers for pork. —-

    Yes, but Sandy, what do you feed your chickens? What is fed to the pigs? I’ve considered going this route as well, but unfortunately grain products for animal feed are likely to contain contaminates, modified corn and animal protein. You might raise a steer on pasture and hay alone, but chickens are going to need commercial feed. I shudder to think what goes into the feed our old pony eats but I have no control over this.

    I test feed most of what we all eat to a caged rat 24 hrs before we sample it. While this would eliminate foods that would make us acutely ill, it has no effect on carcinogens and other harmful elements that are probably having a cumulative action on our bodies.

    Kudos to your hubby for providing wild game for the dinner table. I used to hunt and fish in my younger years; probably ought to renew my license and dig out the equipment.

    —Cynthia Says:
    OH MY GOD! I don’t feel like I’m living in America anymore.—

    In a real sense we are not living in America. China owns us; it owns our jobs and our debt. Corporations grew big enough, thanks to deregulation, to wield sufficient power to allow trade with China over the objections of many of our European neighbors.

  15. LovingMyPets says:

    You know, I feel for those that can’t afford certain things, but it really ticks me off when people feel it’s necessary to have cable TV, digital TV, plasma TV’s, go to movies, buy expensive shoes, clothes, eat out at fast food take outs, or pizza take outs, or even eat out all together, etc. OH I could go on and on!!!!

    No wonder they have no money left to take care of themselves and their families and their fur babies! I have given up all of the above, and find that we are much better off and have plenty left over to spend on our own family’s quality food and for our fur babies as well. This is not rocket science people! What’s so difficult about this?

  16. kellie says:

    lovingmypets,
    i meant to include that thought as well but i forgot it in my long mini novel up there, lol

    I have 2 T’vs that are 10 and 6 yrs old. no HD no flat screen either. My puter is 7 yrs old with windows me, heh. that i will have to upgrade soon tho.

    I do have cable but no movie channels.
    I will only buy luxuries after i take care of myself from now on. i pretty much lived that way already but will go more extreme now.

    You can’t change peoples priorities no matter how much info you throw at them.
    To some people a 700 $4 purse cluthch with the letters LV on it mean more than their health or the survival of local buisness.

    Even if i were rich i never spend that kind of money on clothes and accessories.
    i’d take my riches and open my own animal shelter as big as i could afford on a quiet lake somewhere.

  17. kellie says:

    lovingmypets,
    i meant to include that thought as well but i forgot it in my long mini novel up there, lol

    I have 2 T’vs that are 10 and 6 yrs old. no HD no flat screen either. My puter is 7 yrs old with windows me, heh. that i will have to upgrade soon tho.

    I do have cable but no movie channels.
    I will only buy luxuries after i take care of myself from now on. i pretty much lived that way already but will go more extreme now.

    You can’t change peoples priorities no matter how much info you throw at them.
    To some people a $700.00 purse clutch with the letters LV on it mean more than their health or the survival of local buisness.

    Even if i were rich i never spend that kind of money on clothes and accessories.
    i’d take my riches and open my own animal shelter as big as i could afford on a quiet lake somewhere.

  18. kellie says:

    oops double post. sorry, no idea how that happened.

  19. cheetah-dog says:

    Isn’t Haagen-Daz owned by the Nestle Corporation?

    China shuts kitchen of ice-cream maker Haagen-Dazs citing sanitation rules
    June 20, 2005
    Agence France Presse
    BEIJING - The Xinhua news agency was cited as reporting Monday that Chinese authorities have shut down a kitchen used by leading US ice-cream maker Haagen-Dazs after finding it had failed to meet sanitation standards and lacked a permit.
    The story notes that inspectors in the southern city of Shenzhen destroyed the food products and sealed the site, which makes ice-cream cakes for Haagen-Dazs’ five retail outlets in the city.
    According to Xinhua and other state media reports, inspectors last Thursday found the tiny workshop had a toilet next to a food processing room, when local sanitation rules dictate they should be at least 25 metres (82 feet) apart.
    Workers had also failed to wear masks and gloves, as required under local regulations, and the sanitation permit produced by Haagen-Dazs did not apply to the food processing area in question but to another site, the report said.

  20. kellie says:

    does chenago make Innove dry?
    please help?
    i threw my bags(transferred to cannisters) away already so i cant even return it. i thought it was safe.
    everyone reccommended it.
    i bought EVO and reg cat food.

    #% dry brands made there?
    ugg like a mini menu foods only in the dry realm instead.

  21. LovingMyPets says:

    OH KELLIE! I just loved your quote:

    “i’d take my riches and open my own animal shelter as big as i could afford on a quiet lake somewhere.”

    I would do the same. Actually, I’ve been thinking about it more and more as my husband and I are thinking about selling our home and down-sizing a lot. It would free up a lot of money for us . . . to take care of our family as well as our fur babies. I’d also really like to do something to help others in educating them to home cook for their pets and get them off of the freakin’ commercial food for ever !!!

    Great post kellie . . . it’s going to keep me thinking of my dream.

  22. kellie says:

    oooh looky here
    VIRAL DISEASE SICKENS IN CHINA

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/200.....jX1MTMWM0F

  23. kellie says:

    HEY LOVINGMYPETS.

    if it ever happens and you’d like a dedicated animal lover to help out just give me a holler.
    its my drem to.
    i’d love to quit building cars and do something that fulfilled me emotionally such as saving animals that just need a second chance.

  24. cheetah-dog says:

    http://www.polarisinstitute.or.....n_in_china

  25. LovingMyPets says:

    Ah kellie . . . that’s music to my ears! I’ll let you know when it happens and we will make the difference to those sweet fur babies that just need a second chance! Let’s keep in contact . . . jules_jewel2002@yahoo.com

  26. ann says:

    Kelly - Innova and Evo are made by Naturapet, along with a couple of other brands. Dry food is made exclusively by them, canned food made in the non-affected S.D. palnt. They have implemented serious security and quality control measures for their products. Check out www.naturapet.com.

  27. Steve says:

    SandyC Says I found this a rather interesting sentence: “Rather than “shut the door” on China ingredients, Pet Food Institute President Duane Ekedahl says better procedures are needed to ensure quality. “

    Lost cause this one is.

  28. ann says:

    Kellie - Innova and Evo are safe. Check out www.naturapet.com

  29. Barry says:

    > Menu Foods, North America’s biggest maker of wet pet foods
    > and the company that launched the pet food recall, is phasing
    > out ingredients from China.

    > “It won’t resume using them until Menu and the “world community”
    > are assured that they are safe, says Menu’s outside counsel, David
    > Lillehaug of Fredrikson & Byron.

    Translation: Menu Foods to continue using Chinese products in their foods.

    It clearly says that they will stop using them until they start using them again.

  30. ann says:

    Everytime I tried to send the website, I got caught in the filter

  31. ann says:

    Hi Steve

  32. ann says:

    Steve - where did you find that quote by Dr. Hodgekins in the other thread?

  33. Steve says:

    Hi Ann

    Menu-PFI-ChemNutra

    These 3 really annoy the hell out of me.

  34. mittens says:

    http://www.ethicalinvesting.co...../10029.htm

    i know that’s old but it was under the administration of billy clinton that GMOs were approved for use by HIS FDA-

    “During that 1996 speech, Mr. Clinton paused to mention Monsanto by name, saying that ” they’re on board” his social agenda bandwagon, in that case the “welfare to work” plan to alleviate poverty and cut government spending on programs much in disfavor with conservatives. What, one may ask, did Monsanto get in return for their support?”

    http://www.biotech-info.net/acres.html

    of course the current adminstration is up to it’s hoochie in monsantos- but that’s par for the course- monsantos will snuggle up to and hump whoever is in power and like a cheap whore our elected officials will toss us from the train and jump into their lap.

  35. Steve says:

    Ann which quote and thread? I can’t keep track anymore.

  36. ann says:

    The one that spoke about the magazine article that melamine may not be the culprit

  37. Helen says:

    JJ, Whole Foods sources all their “organic” products from China. They admitted it. If B&J can’t even make dioxin free ice cream with organic and/or rbgh-free from small family farms in Vermont, it is just a clear example of exactly how poisoned our environment really is. The dioxin gets in EVERYTHING. B&J farmers are not dumping it on their own land. Pollution can travel all the way around the globe. That is why it is such a global problem. At least the B&J is made in the US from US products. There ARE a few companies that make organic ice cream not from China. Just hard to find. *moan*

  38. Uni says:

    Whenever I hear or read anymore about a company who uses ingredients from China but don’t worry it’s safe for whatever reason I swear my eyes start to glaze over and the rest of it just comes out as blah blah blah…

  39. kellie says:

    the thing that angers me most about the whole GM food issue is that it really could be put to good use.
    The technology is there but as usual it’s used for non-ethical means and profit only.

    GM seeds and plants that are not modified to include pesticides and poisons, but rather to survive in harsher climates, such a africa and other places that have mass famine could feed millions and save lives.
    But theres no money in charity. No money without involving chemical giants and pharmiceutical companies.

    It’s a shame really. they could produce healthy crops in bigger numbers to solve the wheat and other import issues without poisoning the products, but sadly Monosato and it’s ilk isn’t in it for bettering humankind, it’s in it for money and dominance in the marketplace.

    I’m not at all against science and tech getting involved in agri-buisness if they did it with a conscience and humanity.

    I’m also not against CHINA as a whole. there are as many corrupt corps. and unethical people right here as well. Blaming an entire country and it’s population is like blaming all of us for the war and all the other undesirable things that happen here in the U.S.

    Remember our gov, let this happen. they gave our buisness to China. they killed all small buisness here.
    Blame walmart for forcing menu to source cheaper ingrediants to meet the demand, etc.
    Theres way more involved than just China and GM foods.

    The chain of immoral buisness practices is EVERYWHERE.

    I wish i had a buisness degree and some investment capital because now is the best time in history to start a homemade, organic, U.S. sourced pet food company.

    I’d love to provide the public with a safe healthy option while supporting organic growers and meat farms.
    i wish i wish i wish.

  40. Helen says:

    Here’s some information on how we are consuming so much dioxin:

    http://www.ejnet.org/dioxin/

  41. Helen says:

    Kellie: Natura makes ALL of their own dry food, including Innova and Evo. They have tested all their food and test all finished product before shipping out.

  42. Helen says:

    Uni, I did not say WF organic from China is safe. I hope you didn’t mean me. I sure don’t want to eat any of their “orgainic” sludge.

  43. Jules says:

    Helen Says:
    May 20th, 2007 at 7:47 pm
    Uni, I did not say WF organic from China is safe. I hope you didn’t mean me. I sure don’t want to eat any of their “orgainic” sludge.

    Helen, are you saying that WF has “organic” sludge???? Please substantiate your claims. I’d be very interested in your comments. Thanks.

  44. kellie says:

    thank you helen,

    my fear is now, in light of new info, what if it isnt melamine alone killing pets?
    are they testing for other poisons and chemical by products?
    if the FDA isnt beig honest how do honest companies even know what to look for and test for?

    the whole cross contamination thing doesnt add up at all.
    it makes me think theres other dangerous chemicals not being named or screened for.

    what do you guys think?

  45. kellie says:

    jules/lovingmypet.

    i sent you an email

  46. ann says:

    I think we have three choices: 1. rely on what they’re telling us - FDA, safe “pet food” companies, etc. 2. Get the food tested ourselves 3. Make out own pet food. Everyone has to do what they feel comfortable with doing.

  47. LovingMyPets says:

    Oh Helen,

    It looks like you might be in deep doo doo with the legal department of WF. What’s that called legally when you ditch a company? Shoot, the phrase escapes me . . . anyone?

  48. kellie says:

    nn,
    get it tested for what exactly? melamine?
    what if that isn’t the real problem?
    making homemade is good too, but also i worry about that stuff being contaminated as well. Especially since it will accumulate in the organ meat which is crucial in homemade food for cats

  49. kellie says:

    *Ann*

  50. LovingMyPets says:

    Oh, is it “Deformation of Character?”

    Anyways, as I know it, Whole Foods is built on providing certified organic foods. None of their foods is considered as “organic sludge”.

    Helen, where do you come up with this stuff?

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