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. ann says:

    Test for ingredients other than what is on the label

  2. kellie says:

    Actually in written form it’s called libel, i believe.

    I think she meant that it’s all from China and her choice is not to support China’s organic food due to their lax regulations.

    I don’t see her legally at risk for her comments.

    just my 2 cents on that matter.

    i rarely trust USDA organic these days either. I do buy it, but i wonder about the claims.

  3. kellie says:

    Ann,
    Most places don’t have tests that test for anything foreign free for all. they are standardized tests that look for certain components only.

    They cant devise a test for a mystery igredient when they dont know what they’re looking for.

    the only labs with that tech is CSI labs, They can take anything and break it down to its molecular components.

    Most smaller labs lack that equipment and the process is VERY expensive.

    I’m not at all being argumentative so please dont read it that way.

    these are the things that make me feel hopeless and helpless when trying to ensure the safety of me beloved kitties.
    It goes way deeper than, menu, China, FDA, meal-chix or pork or all that.
    We’ll probably never know that truth unless some brave journalist infultrates the system at risk of their job and future.

  4. kellie says:

    *mela-chix or pork*

    sorry my keyboard battery is about to die i think and causeing major typos.

  5. Sandi K says:

    LovingMyPets Says:
    I so wish that every American would do the same! That’s the only way we can make them suffer like we have!

    It makes me sick to read that people are still wondering what commercial food to feed their pets!

    LovingMyPets, while it would be wonderful if everyone would or could do that, it really isnt reality. An example being animal shelters. They do not have the money, staff and time to be cooking food for the shelter pets. I can bet it just wont happen for them. Avoiding buying China products is a good thing to do but it is only one part of the equation IMO….I would love to see a U.S., that does not import any products from China period (and many other countries also as China is not the only problem country) but in order for that to happen our government needs to get their act together and the people need to get them to do that.

  6. martin says:

    Hi Ann,
    I think #2 or #3 are our only choices. We cant rely on the FDA. The B******!

    Kelly,

    I agree with you. It’s not just melamine. It’s the combo meal of melamine & cyanuric acid.

    Inspectors found melamine in the tainted products, but not at levels that would normally kill. But researchers now say that it may have mixed with another compound — cyanuric acid — to produce crystals that may have been deadly.
    http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/05/.....index.html

    There is still another toxin THAT HAS BEEN FOUND but the FDA wont revel their dirty little secret. Even more disturbing is the pet food company(s) know what it is and they are not reveling it either. They are as guilty as the FDA!
    How can they allow the food to continue to be sold knowing it is toxic? I would have much more respect for a company who stand up and say: PULL THE CRAP! WE FOUND SOMETHING THAT SHOULDN’T BE IN THERE!!!
    Any of the companies knowing there is something wrong with their product and they still allow it to be sold on the market are worthless. They all need to be put on death row with all the other murders. That is in fact what they are doing!!! KILLING!

    Hi Helen, JanC, YaYa, Steve and the rest. How are you tonight?

  7. ann says:

    Kellie - I thino the writing is on the wall for the future of some of these companies. As far as the testing - we as fur parents can only do the best we can. As far as the food, there are still alot of good reputable companies out there. The makers of Innova and Evo for example, they have excellent products and excellent safegards in place. They will provide in writing their ingredients and suppliers. Give then a call. They are great folks.

  8. ann says:

    Hey Martin! What did you think of the Vitamin K3 links?

  9. ann says:

    Martin - I was being sarcastic when I listed the FDA

  10. Anonymous says:

    * Deb G. Says:
    May 20th, 2007 at 5:42 pm

    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?

    ……..
    (others- see post xyz 5:27 pm)

    Start with consumerreports.org organicconsumers.org

    Food and drug safety is a common cause. It’s not a political issue that requires sides arguing about who’ s on first. If we start concentrating our efforts on the organizations that promote safe and healtful products we’ll be preaching to the choir, but it will be our choir. You know the saying- safety in numbers.

  11. Helen says:

    Jules, Whole Foods says they get their “organic” food from China because US is not able to supply the organic food demanded by their customers. I said sludge because I have no idea what is in their “organic” food from China…since China has shown itself so trustworthy with ingredients. Whole Foods makes a larger profit by refusing to pay organic prices for food from American organic farmers. Sorry if I was sounding harsh. Don’t mean to.

  12. martin says:

    Hey Ann,

    I know you were being sarcastic about the FDA. We are definitly on the same page. I cant understand what good the FDA is? I noticed a recall yesterday regarding Energy Man or what ever the MELL it was. Ya would think our food is much more important than their being concerned about a woodie! “Can I say that”?

  13. kellie says:

    i cannot understand why these companies arent jumping on the bandwagon to support U.S. growers???
    they still say they’ll use China when proven safe.
    That loses my buisness right there.
    The stuff is available here they just don’t want to pay for it.

    Ugg…i just don’t get their thinking. They are gonna lose buisness.
    USE US FARM PRODUCTS. SUPPORT OUR ECONOMY.
    IT’S A WIN WIN..WHATS THE PROBLEM?

    MAKES SENSE TO ME

  14. Helen says:

    Kellie, re: “I think she meant that it’s all from China and her choice is not to support China’s organic food due to their lax regulations.”

    Thank you. That is exactly what I meant.

  15. ann says:

    Martin - even the prescription ones can have that “4 hours ” side effect

  16. Helen says:

    Hi Martin, it seems that someone is trying to intimidate me tonight. Well, I can be the attack target. No problem. :)

  17. ann says:

    I’m signing off for the night…Desperate Housewives is on….they need a pet food housewife spin off….Like they did with CSI and Law and Order

  18. ann says:

    Helen, I have pie on my face too, don’t feel bad..

  19. Helen says:

    Thanks Ann, have a good night.

  20. JJ says:

    Helen exactly where and who did you contact and they told you all their organic ingredients were from China at Whole Foods? I will be emailing their site later tonight but just curious where you obtained the information? I find that all of it is from China kinda hard to believe right at this moment is all.

  21. JJ says:

    Steve if you feel safe buying the milk from Sattons then by all means go ahead. I just stated that since their other products are loaded with toxic chemicals and preservatives why would I trust the milk to be safe? Just cause they say so? Why aren’t the rest of the products free of these chemicals and preservatives? Sorry the company just doesn’t do it for me. We’ve been lied to and had information withheld from us so sorry if I find it difficult to trust any company that is a new post on the forum because I have ones that I trust so far and my dog is fine and was before the recalls began since I use organic food. And Stonyfield Farm milk is sold by Jewel Grocers. Whole Foods and Wild Oats do not carry this milk. Organic Valley is the owner of StonyField Farms.

  22. Helen says:

    JJ, Sorry but it was here at Itchmo. Person said they had reply from WF explaining yes, they source from China because their customers’ demand for organic food cannot be met by US. If the person was lying, which I suppose is possible, please feel safe buying whatever food you like from WF. Count me out. Please do post your reply from them though. They are another multinational corporation doing what multinational corporations do best. I am not trying to offend you. I don’t think I would be able to search through weeks of blogs to find the name of the person the blogger spoke to.

  23. 5CatMom says:

    Got to say, I agree with Helen regarding some of the stuff that’s sold as “organic”.

    I’ve contacted some of the “organic” companies, and their answers to my questions sound very similiar to what the pet food companies had to say.

    Regardless of whether a food is sold at Whole Foods, Wild Oats Market or one of our local health food stores, it’s still necessary to contact the food company whose name is on the label.

  24. kellie says:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ft/200.....1440496895

    China’s infultration continues

  25. kellie says:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20.....h9nlv3ULEF

    here’s another..headline

    CHINA IS TOP VIOLATOR OF U.S. FOOD SAFETY STANDARDS

  26. Helen says:

    http://www.familyfarmdefenders.....tOfOrganic

  27. 5CatMom says:

    Here’s another interesting article:

    Is Whole Foods Wholesome?
    The dark secrets of the organic-food movement.
    By Field Maloney

    http://www.slate.com/id/2138176/

  28. kellie says:

    thats a good article , Helen.
    But it does contradict your earlier statement that ALL their organic produce comes from CHINA.

    They do import most of it but it comes from New Zealand, Mexico, Asia and elsewhere.
    They are against COOL, which is enough for me to avoid them. They do not have any stores near me anyhow.

  29. martin says:

    I agree with Helen, Ann Kellie & 5CatMom,

    Dont attack those who have done their research.

    Nite all! Hope we all and kids have a safe week along with some information from the PF suppliers and the F*%$D#@*A.’s

  30. Lisa Clay says:

    Here is the link. If you click on find organics, you will be able to search by state.

    http://www.organicconsumers.org/index.htm

  31. Lisa Clay says:

    While off the food topic, I have a book that tells you about all the chemicals in products we use everyday. About 5 years ago, I developed excema, at the age of 40! I bought a book listing the ingredients in our everyday consumer products, from hair care, to laundry detergent.

    My dematologist gave me something with hydrocortisone, which they would have me use for the rest of my life… not the correct answer for me. I researched products and ingredients, changed the products I use, and started to use a NATURAL supplement, not supported by the pharmaceutical companies or recommended by regular doctors. I take liquid Sarsaparilla. It helps rid your body of toxins from the inside out and it worked for me. I have recommended it to other people and they have had the same success.

    I know I am digressing, but like the ingredients in food, we also don’t know the ingredients in everyday products.

    Back to the pet food issues at hand… I have a cat with IBD (Hacoona) something that no cat I ever had growing up, developed. The prescription veterinary diets were recommended but they contain so much crap, that I wouldn’t feed it. Once I had to give up the dry food, due to my other cat Peaches who has with kidney stones, the Hacoona started to do better. Apparently the corn, rice, wheat, etc… are bad for her stomach. My guess it was probably the tainted corn, rice, wheat that contributed. In addition to finally recognizing that cats do not need grains, she is for the most part, relatively healthy.

    Perhaps the Pet Food Recall will start a revolution of sorts. Making people aware of just how dangerous imported food from 3rd world countries can be.

  32. Helen says:

    Yes, I admit “all” was an excessive word. What difference does it make if you don’t know which items? We are going to eat, drink, and inhale toxins no matter what we spend or who certified what. I will take the toxin from close to home over the one that got shipped across the earth any day. I am lucky enough to have a good co-op and a good farmer’s market around, but I have all of a sudden been doing intense label checking even at the co-op, which does research all of its products carefully. We all have to shop the best we can. I hope my erroneous use of the word “all” in my statement earlier will not deter anyone from shopping in the best way available. WF would love to drive every little co-op out of business though, so if you have one around, please give the co-op a chance.

  33. JJ says:

    Thanks for that link Helen on Whole Foods. Most of the part about the store I knew. Now the part about the organic coming from a few other countries - now that is bothersome. Will have to find another store that carries the Hain mayonnaise that I use because it does not contain any soy. Glad we are on here to point out things that one might not otherwise have knowledge of. Time to buy a homemade ice cream maker next right after I receive my metal ice cube trays and glass bundt cake pan. Going away from plastic-now thats another story for another time.

  34. Helen says:

    JJ, the little local store will always serve you better than the big multinational conglomerate. In a little local store or co-op, you can actually talk to the owner or manager. Giant multinationals are like the pet food companies we were caught off guard by: corporate profit first, stockholders next, and very little concern for the recipient of the (irony here) goods. I hope there is a local place around for you to find. :) My co-op carries tons of local stuff and so does my small local grocer.

  35. kellie says:

    what is a co-op?
    i’ve been searching the links on this thread for local growers and farms and havent had much luck.

  36. soma says:

    The only thing I think we can do for ourselves, besides researching every food choice we make these days–(we really should create a government agency for that to take the burden off of the people and regulate those unscrupulous vendors and ENFORCE those regulations)–is to push that country of origin labeling through now. While we’re at it, we should piggyback it with GMO labeling to protect us from our own government’s agenda!!! There is never going to be a better time to get it through. This situation is a living testament to why we should have the right to know. Melamine-free might be a good one, too.

  37. Helen says:

    Dioxin or not, here’s the producers of organic ice cream if anyone wants to support them and can find them.

    http://www.ecobusinesslinks.co.....-cream.htm

  38. JJ says:

    Lisa Clay what kind of research did you do to find out about the Sarsaparilla? How did that help you over any other supplement out there? Have a skin problem from thyroid so your post sounded worth at least checking into. Sorry if its off topic but might be of assistance for someone else and their pets also.

  39. Helen says:

    Kellie, a food co-op is a cooperative market, a small local store specializing in “natural” products, sustained by members, but open to entire community. You can shop at a co-op without joining as a member, but if you join you become a part owner. This should help:

    http://www.coopdirectory.org/

  40. Helen says:

    JJ, someone said a few days ago that canola oil aggravates thyroid. Can’t remember who brought it up, but it is worth researching. Canola oil is all over the place.

  41. Helen says:

    Here is a link to the page where you can look for co-ops in your state:

    http://www.coopdirectory.org/directory.htm

  42. JJ says:

    Helen on the link for the organic ice cream - the Sibby’s and Julies are both sold at Whole Foods and Wild Oats. Just took the 2 pints I had just bought to try of the Sibby’s and it had an after taste that made your tongue burn slightly. So probably loaded with MSG from the powdered milk in it. Probably not real powdered milk but rather that same stuff thats in the Kraft cheese MPC. The Julies is great have tried that when Cub Foods was still open and had their organic section in the store. It is great ice cream-taste like it just came out of the ice cream maker. For those of you looking for organic ice cream sorry if you do not frequent Whole Foods or Wild Oats as they are the only two I know of carrying more than one brand of organic ice cream.

  43. soma says:

    We buy Alden’s Organic from the dreaded Wild Oats. It is just about the best ice cream I have ever tasted in my entire life. The container says mfd. in Eugene, Oregon. The cookies and cream, which i am not usually a big fan of, is fantastic. I saw that it has eggs in it and didn’t even call to see if they were pasteurized—that’s how good it is. I don’t even want to know.

  44. Helen says:

    JJ, there are actually some monster grocery stores that will carry at least one organic ice cream (though it may only be **EEEK** Ben and Jerry’s) All milk products are dangerous if you really want to avoid dioxin, which is indeed a very very dangerous chemical, industrial by-product. Fish is also notorious for being full of dioxin.

  45. kellie says:

    thank you very much helen.
    i’m gonna use those links for sure!

  46. Ruth says:

    When my pet died and the recalls came out that week, I wondered if our food was in danger. Little did I know the crap we were eating was already in our food. Our pets paid the price for the food industries dirty little secrets. Someone got greedy and put a little too much toxin into the grain protein. It was only then they were exposed.

    Our country sad to say has become too dependent on China and other countries. And we can’t even trust what they import to us. While the FDA says tainted chicken and pork is safe to eat. What a joke… And now added to the list is milk protein.

    We all including our pets have been eating crappy food for years not knowing because food labels don’t tell the whole information. Like Acheson said people don’t read food labels.

    I remember when WallyWorld first came about and it was promised that merchandize would be made in the USA to keep American companies alive. Does anyone remember that?? So what happened….ha what a joke..
    All that was a big fat lie… all it did was to eventually put small town stores and small business out of business. Couldn’t compete with imported stuff. All in the name of big business and greed.

    With the cost of living sky rocketing who can afford to buy organic food. They are more expensive and can they really be trusted. Its hard when someone is on a limited budget. I think about it everytime I go to the grocery store, I can’t afford it.

    So everytime I look at my puppy’s picture I hope that she didn’t die in vain and this whole frickin mess that has come to light will somehow, some day soon will change. And people will become more informed in what we put into our bodies.

    I was looking in Sundays paper and saw all these pet food ads. Never seem so many $ off prices. Everybody has a slash in price and one to be nameless has added more food to their dry food. And giving away cans of cat food with dry food purchase. This was in the PetCo and Target ad. The pet food companies sure are pushing their products…I hope people don’t give in to their generosity. I think they have already done enough.
    I hope this is a sign to these companies that people won’t put up with their lies or their poison pet food. So wake-up food industry lurkers.

    Ten weeks since my puppy died…..nights are the hardest…still grieving…

  47. kellie says:

    i’m so sorry ruth.
    If my young kitty dies i don’t know what i’ll do. he sleeps curled up behind my knees every night.

    this is scary for all of us and nothing is free of toxins of some sort. even foods that don’t have poisons added still contain dioxins and other crap from our self polluted environment.

    at night i distract myself with movies or good books to help me stop stressing out over the things i can’t change.
    the things i can change i will do my best to try to feed myself and pets the lesser of the evils i guess.

    that’s all we can do these days.

  48. kellie says:

    helen,
    the graphs show beef at the highest dioxin levels.

    fabulous eh.
    everyone here wants to avoid mela chix and pork and fish and feed pets and family all beef.
    lo and behold that’s practically toxic as well.
    we really cant win no matter where we turn.
    it’s all so dam depressing and seemingly hopeless.
    no matter how healthy you try to be you’re doomed.

  49. petslave says:

    Regarding organic foods–I’m glad this has come up tonight. Over the past 2 days, I have discovered these sad truths about organic food sourcing on my own & now everyone is talking about it on here. I’m a vegetarian, vegan for the most part, & buy almost all my food organic & from two SMALL, local natural food co-ops. You go in & feel like you’re saving the world plus getting the best food you can buy all in one place.

    I started reading labels on all packaged, prepared organic foods I was buying the past few weeks–organic soups & dry mixes, frozen organic veggies, soy/rice milks. Guess what–almost ALL of them ONLY say packeged/manufactured by some US company. No where does it say produced in the US. Then I noticed the organic certification comes from Quality Assurance International. Look at their website–one page states how they streamline international imports to your country. So I have cabinets full of canned & boxed organic foods that probably source at least some but probably much of their ingredients from somewhere else and I don’t have a clue about their production methods.

    I truly can’t see how most places in China could raise organic food under the same stringent guidelines that US organic groups, such as those in Washington & Oregon, require. The countryside is terribly polluted in most areas that would be part of the trade route to the US.

    I choose fresh produce carefully, local first, then state, then region, then US, Canada & Europe last. Bananas & tea, coffee & maybe a few spices I try to get organic & from known countries. But now I find out I don’t know where half of what I’m buying is actually produced. One of the posts earlier said it right–buy fresh, whole foods from known sources & avoid the packaged prepared stuff where they hide profit making under pretty wrappers.

  50. petslave says:

    oh & Julie’s organic chocolate ice cream is THE best in the whole world

    that’s of course in my opnion

    & in my off-vegan moments

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