Tainted Hogs Update
Last week HealthDay News revealed some distressing news. Apparently 6,000 hogs were fed the infamous tainted pet food. Now, to make matters worse, some of those pigs were slaughtered and the meat actually entered the food supply. Steven Reinberg broke the story:
Some 6,000 hogs have been quarantined across eight U.S. states because they may have eaten contaminated salvage pet food, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced late Thursday.Personally, I wouldn’t eat pork if you tied me down and shoveled it into my mouth. But, messing with our food supply is a big deal. Good thing HealthDay News has an update to this story. E.J. Mundell and Steven Reinberg report that hogs fed pet food contaminated with the chemical melamine have a "very low" likelihood of harming humans:
At the same time, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials said that meat from 345 hogs that ate tainted feed has already entered the U.S. food supply, the Associated Press reported.
The quarantined hogs are on farms in California, New York, South Carolina, North Carolina, Utah, Kansas, Oklahoma and Ohio, the AP said. And the USDA reported that swine from slaughterhouses in Kansas and Utah may have entered the food supply. Government officials, however, consider the threat to human health to be very low.
The swine are thought to have been exposed to food contaminated by two chemicals, melamine and cyanuric acid, that was sent as salvage by companies who have had to recall massive quantities of dog and cat food as the pet food recall rolls on.
In a joint statement, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) stressed, "We are not aware of any human illness that has occurred from exposure to melamine or its by-products." They added that they have identified no illnesses in swine fed the contaminated feed.Oh, the FDA says its okay? Gee, I feel real comforted now.
The USDA first announced on Thursday that meat from 345 hogs suspected of eating the contaminated feed had entered the U.S. food supply. Some 6,000 hogs suspected of eating the contaminated product have since been quarantined and meat from these animals would be withheld from the food supply, both agencies said.
In the statement, the FDA and USDA said the possibility of human illness from eating swine exposed to melamine remains low for several reasons: "First, it is a partial ingredient in the pet food; second, it is only part of the total feed given to the hogs; third, it is not known to accumulate in the hogs and the hogs excrete melamine in their urine; fourth, even if present in pork, pork is only a small part of the average American diet."
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