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FOOD CHAIN PILE-UP
Submitted by KAT on Fri, 04/27/2007 - 8:26pm.
First, the dogs and cats got kidney failure. Now, some 6,000 hogs in seven states will have to be euthanized after consuming tainted feed. Chickens may have eaten melamine-contaminated food, too.
Oh, and then there’s the three hundred or so hogs that have already been slaughtered and shipped off to market. Suddenly bringing home the bacon sounds slightly sinister.
The FDA expressed confidence a few weeks ago that the tainted wheat gluten hadn’t entered the human food chain, but they acknowledge now that plastic-polluted pork may indeed have entered our food supply.
Still puzzling over how a chemical used to make plastic found its way into the food chain? The evidence suggests not a random or accidental contamination, but rather a systemic and deliberate reliance on melamine, which is high in nitrogen, to artificially elevate the protein content of wheat gluten, rice protein, and other grain-based products used in animal feed as well as human food products.
Melamine is only mildly toxic, but experts have detected a second contaminant in the tainted pet food called cyanuric acid, which, when combined with melamine, appears to prompt the formation of crystals in urine, which in turn can cause kidney failure.
Cyanuric acid has all kinds of useful applications, apparently; it’s good for stabilizing the water in outdoor swimming pools and hot tubs, as well as boosting the protein content in food.
As Kitty Pilgrim reported Thursday on Lou Dobbs Tonight:
Making lard from sewage? Suddenly, the Yes Men’s “reBurger” satire seems more prescience than parody.
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