Disease Proof

More Melamine Madness

I don’t eat pet food. So when the contaminated pet food story broke I wasn’t too nervous. I also wasn’t freaked out by the tainted pigs and chickens, but, contaminated fish? Now that’s a different story. I eat fish. And darn it! HealthDay News now reports that some farmed fish also ate the toxic compound melamine. Steven Reinberg is on it:
Levels of melamine in the fish are probably far too small to affect human health, stressed officials at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


The FDA has so far not disclosed which fish farms received the contaminated food, or how many fish, of what type, may have eaten it.

"We have a preliminary list of fish farms, but I can't share it with you," Dr. David Acheson, the FDA's assistant commissioner for food protection, told reporters at a teleconference.

It's also not clear how much of the potentially tainted fish -- if any -- has made it to supermarkets. But Acheson noted that at least one firm's fish had not yet reached a size suitable for sale.

In addition, he said, the contaminated material used in the pet food and imported from China turns out to be wheat flour, not wheat gluten or rice protein concentrate, as had been widely reported.

"We have discovered that the wheat gluten and rice protein was mislabeled," Acheson said. "It actually contained wheat flour contaminated with melamine and melamine-related compounds. These are from the two Chinese firms we have already identified."
Like there isn’t enough reason to be mindful of fish as it is. Not sure what I’m talking about? Dr. Fuhrman discusses fish in this previous post. From Fishing for the Truth:
Higher levels of mercury found in mothers who eat more fish have been associated with birth defects, seizures, mental retardation, developmental disabilities, and cerebral palsy.1 This is mostly the result of women having eaten fish when they were pregnant. Scientists believe that fetuses are much more sensitive to mercury exposure than adults, although adults do suffer from varying degrees of brain damage from fish consumption.2 Even the FDA, which normally ignores reports on the dangers of our dangerous food practices, acknowledges that large fish such as shark, swordfish, and yellowfin and bluefin tuna, are potentially dangerous. Researchers are also concerned about other toxins concentrated in fish that can cause brain damage way before the cancers caused by chemical-carrying fish appear.
1. Shamlaye, C. F., D. O. Marsh, G. J. Myers, et al. 1995. The Seychelles Child Development Study on neurodevelopmental outcomes in children following in utero exposure to methylmercury from a maternal fish diet: background and demographics. Neurotoxicology 16 (4): 597-612; Rylander L., U. Stromberg, and L. Hagmar. 1996. Dietary intake of fish contaminated with persistent organochlorine compounds in relation to low birthweight. Scand. J. Work Environ. Health 2 (4): 260-66; Does methylmercury have a role in causing developmental disabilities in children? 2000. Environ. Health Perspect. 108 (supp.3): 413-20.

2. Clarkson, T.W. 1997. The toxicology of mercury. Crit. Rev. Clin. Lab. Sci. 34(4):369-403.
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