Melamine Update: Fed To Poultry, Much Already “Processed” (Sold And Consumed)

Attention Melissa and Iain–and everyone else in Indiana–in case you were just about to order some take-out Kung Pao chicken:

WASHINGTON, April 30 (Reuters) – The U.S. government said on Monday 38 poultry farms in Indiana were given contaminated feed in early February containing melamine, with some of the chickens likely to have entered the food supply.

The U.S. Agriculture Department and the Food and Drug Administration said there was a “low-risk” to humans and no food recalls were expected at this time. They are uncertain how many chickens were involved, how many entered the food supply or where they went.

“We haven’t completed counting yet,” said USDA spokesman Keith Williams.

In a joint statement, USDA and FDA said “all of the broilers believed to have been fed contaminated product have since been processed. The breeders that were fed the contaminated product are under voluntary hold by the flock owners.”

Birds that were given the contaminated feed will not be allowed to enter the U.S. food supply. Farmers will be compensated if they destroy the birds that consume the feed.

So, to recap, the FDA are uncertain how many tainted-feed-consuming chickens were involved, and they don’t have a clue how many melamine Kievs and cyanuric acid stir-fries have already been served to unwitting Americans. They don’t even know where the tainted poultry went (which unfortunately means that Melissa, Iain, and other Hoosiers aren’t the only ones who should be concerned).

But they want America to be reassured by this: There is a “low risk” to humans and no recalls are expected at this time.

Do you know why I don’t feel comforted in the slightest? Because when the FDA says something, there’s a “low risk” of it actually being reliable.

At this time.

[H/T oddjob]

Crossposted at litbrit.

20 Comments

Filed under 03_litbrit

20 responses to “Melamine Update: Fed To Poultry, Much Already “Processed” (Sold And Consumed)

  1. Ugh.

    Can we just skip all the rigmarole and start building a list of what is safe for us to eat?

  2. amish451

    Heckufajob insert name of Bush crony!

    Frat boys gone wild one more time …

  3. amish451

    Safe
    Twinkies , Poptarts …PEEPS

  4. oddjob

    PEEPS

    Puke!

  5. CLN

    My cousin in Tennessee recently had eleven Percheron mares die from kidney failure within one week. They are doing post-mortem tests, but the best guess so far is bad feed. I think this had spread further than anyone wants to admit.

  6. How about Flamin’ Hot Cheetos? Are those safe?

  7. Can we just skip all the rigmarole and start building a list of what is safe for us to eat?

    But rigamarole is my favorite dish!

  8. Nora

    One of many reasons for eating grass-fed animals grown locally by someone you have become acquainted with. It’s a shame that some will do anything for profit, regardless of the consequences.

  9. One of many reasons for eating grass-fed animals grown locally by someone you have become acquainted with. It’s a shame that some will do anything for profit, regardless of the consequences.

    Very true, but so few have that option.

    As usual, the poor will take the brunt.

  10. Em

    Oh god, I can’t even imagine what to do with 11 Percherons. I am so sorry for your cousin, CLN.

  11. JoAsakura

    You’re right, ken. I’m very lucky, with acess to fresh veggies and a local farm for meats for my carnivorous spouse. But for folks with no other recourse than the cheap, prepackaged stuff (and I’ve been that person)-this seems like it could have some horribly far-reaching consequences.

  12. my take so far is that they are telling us that they don’t have a way to test for melamine, but they are also spreading the good news that they haven’t found any. . .

    (only four more impossible things to believe before breakfast this morning)

  13. oddjob

    They haven’t found any because they don’t have the resources to look properly, the result of living in a regime that listens to those who want to make the government so small you could drown it in a bathtub.

  14. puellasolis

    CLN, that’s awful. I would be heartbroken. The scientist in me wonders, though, exactly how much melamine it takes to bring down a horse of that size. I’m guessing lots.

    I wonder just how many poultry farms feed their animals the tainted food. And how are we to know? Could the melamine have slipped into supply lines that are supposed to be organic? I think I’ll be getting my protein from hummus and peanut butter for the next little while… maybe grass-fed beef if I save my pennies…

  15. Vervet

    This is really disturbing. I have been home-cooking for my dog with kidney disease (likely caused by eating tainted dog food) since July 2006, and for my other two dogs as well since February 2007. Now I find out that even the chicken, turkey, and beef I have been feeding them is not safe. We are poisoning ourselves and our animals.

  16. Em

    puellasolis, also remember that horses eat a hell of a lot. The contamination level may not have been terribly high, but when they’re eating pounds and pounds a day of the stuff (IIRC, a standard scoop is 4 lbs, a draft size animal with moderate activity levels would likely be eating 4 scoops per day), there’s going to be alot of it in the system in a very short amount of time.

  17. puellasolis

    Right, Em, which is why ANY level of contamination is problematic.

  18. Em

    Yes, I wasn’t disagreeing. Just saying that if the LD50 is X mg/kg, animals that eat proportionally more of their body weight per day are going to reach that dosage sooner.

  19. puellasolis

    Yep. We’re on the same page. 🙂

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