Melamine contamination identified in hog feed

by Staff
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WASHINGTON — About 6,000 hogs in eight states were potentially fed feed contaminated with melamine and melamine-related compounds, and the animals will not be approved to enter the food supply, according to the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The F.D.A. determined a rice protein imported from China during the week of April 2 was contaminated with melamine and melamine-related compounds. Wilbur-Ellis, a company that imports and distributes agricultural products, imported the rice protein, which was used in the production of pet food with a byproduct being used to produce animal feed.

The contaminated feed is known to have made its way to the states of California, Kansas, North Carolina, New York, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Utah as pork producers in these states purchased the feed. Animals fed the contaminated feed are currently being held in state quarantine in California, North Carolina, New York and South Carolina, and producers in Kansas, Oklahoma and Utah are holding the animals until further notice. Additionally, authorities are trying to determine if the contaminated feed made its way to feed mill in Missouri as well.

Pork products produced from these animals are being destroyed. The F.S.I.S. and F.D.A. are determining if meat from these animals entered the food supply.

While the F.D.A. and U.S.D.A. believe the chances of human illness after eating pork products from these animals is low, the actions are considered a safety precaution. According to agency officials, there is no scientific data on the affects to human health of combining melamine and melamine-related compounds.

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