Gluten contaminated by melamine was wheat flour

by Josh Sosland
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WASHINGTON — In the latest development in the melamine tainting scandal, a Food and Drug Administration official said farmed fish had been fed wheat flour containing melamine. David Acheson, assistant commissioner for food safety at the F.D.A., indicated that material previously believed to have been wheat gluten contaminated with melamine and fed to pets, poultry and swine was in fact wheat flour intentionally mislabeled as wheat gluten by the Chinese exporters.

Terri Long, director of communications for the North American Millers’ Association, said the discovery was made during testing conducted this week and that the wheat flour was exported by China into the United States.

She continued, "There are two issues. One, animal feed companies who thought they were purchasing wheat gluten were actually sold wheat flour. The product was mislabeled. Two, the wheat flour was adulterated with melamine."

As was the case with tainted animal feed fed to broilers and pork, the F.D.A. said residual melamine in fish that have consumed contaminated fish meal was negligible and posed little human risk.

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