food scare threatens exports as test costs soar
Foreign buyers of Chinese food are asking for
safety tests following the melamine pet food debacle,
threatening the country's competitive position in a wide range
of markets, including organic ingredients.
"This scandal has had severe consequences for the
whole industry," said Chuk Ng, general manager of Nutrogen (Dalian)
Co. Ltd, a company specializing in organic and non-genetically
modified (GMO) farm products.
"Now the European and U.S. clients are
checking every batch of products coming from China ... The GMO
test is one. Now you add tests for melamine or other heavy
metals or pesticides, the costs are very high, too high," Ng
Foreign buyers, reluctant to take risks, are sending large
quantities of food samples to international testing specialists
such as Eurofins Scientific or SGS Group.
Chinese Pet Food Tricks
(May 15) (full article)
reaction to international economic criticism is often to fix the
problem -- fast....
pet food fiasco is only the latest in a string of Chinese food
and drug safety problems. In Panama, at least 51 people have
died since October after using cough syrup tainted with a
chemical cousin of antifreeze; the deadly ingredient originated
....Corruption is a problem, too. Zheng Xiaoyu, the former head
of the Chinese equivalent of the Food and Drug Administration,
is accused of taking up to $780,000 in bribes in exchange for
approving unproven medicines; one antibiotic is said to have
killed more than 10 people.
China to improve food safety
Now the poisoned Chinese food chain has
reached out across the world well beyond the recall of 60
million (as of now) packages of pet food: catfish illegally
contaminated with antibiotics; counterfeit glycerin that is
named as the cause of at least 365 deaths in Panama; chickens
that had to be destroyed because of tainted Chinese food; severe
malnutrition in Chinese children from fake milk powder; soy
sauce made from human hair; cuttlefish soaked in calligraphy ink
to improve their color, and eels fed contraceptive pills to make
them grow longer and slimmer.
Detains Two In Pet Food Recall
China launched a food and drug safety
crackdown on Wednesday, following an announcement that
authorities detained managers from two companies linked to
contaminated pet food that killed dogs and cats in North
Acts on Food Safety After Pet Poisoning
Pet Food Recall Spreads To Fish, FDA Says Ingredients
Additionally, federal officials said it’s
wheat flour, not wheat gluten and rice protein concentrate,
that is at the heart of the massive pet food recall after
the death and illness of thousands of cats and dogs from
At a press conference held Tuesday, the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration and the U.S. Agriculture Department announced
that wheat flour, mislabeled as wheat gluten and rice
protein concentrate, is actually the melamine-contaminated
ingredient that has been the focus of a massive pet food
recall, not wheat gluten or rice protein concentrate as
previously believed and told the American public.
US: Pet Food Ingredient Mislabeled
China's Foreign Ministry said in a statement last week
that the contaminated vegetable protein managed to get past
customs without inspection because it had not been declared for
use in pet food.
Pet Food Ingredient Mislabeled
The exporter of a contaminated pet food
ingredient blamed for the deaths of dogs and cats in the United
States may have avoided Chinese export inspections by labeling
it a nonfood product.
According to the Chinese government,
Xuzhou Anying did not declare the contaminated wheat gluten it
shipped to the United States as a raw material for feed or food.
Rather, according to the Chinese government, it was declared to
them as nonfood product, meaning that it was not subject to
mandatory inspection by the Chinese government.
Food Standards Agency Warning On Ugandan Baby Food - UK
The Food Standards Agency is advising parents
and carers not to feed their babies with a particular batch of:
'Baby Soya with Enkejje makes a Stout Baby'.
Sampling has shown that this particular batch of powdered baby
food is contaminated with the bacterium Enterobacter
sakazakii, which can be harmful to babies and infants. The
Agency does not currently have distribution details for this
product but the contaminated sample was taken in London.
Was pet-food ingredient mislabeled?
China orders nationwide inspections of food
China Now Testing Food for Chemicals
Cheap Imports Stifle US Wheat Gluten
Report on Pet Food Recall Company (May
Arrest Made in Pet Food Contamination Investigation
Xuzhou Anying's manager, Mao Lijun, had been
detained by Chinese authorities, although no details about
possible charges against him have been released.
Exporter in pet food recall may have avoided inspections (May
The company didn't produce the tainted wheat
gluten, but may have purchased it from as many as 25 different
suppliers. The New York Times reports that the company's manager
has been detained although there's no word on possible charges.
South Africa pet food products found melamine in corn gluten.
Soon North America was reporting melamine in corn gluten
The ongoing crisis is a symptom of a far
bigger problem—the limitations of the United States’ food safety
program, a program that “was really put together some 70 years
ago and just doesn’t work well at all now that we’re in this
global marketplace,” Gary Weaver, veterinary pathologist at the
University of Maryland.
Tomorrow there’ll be another
unknown—a virus, a bacteria, a chemical—and it’ll get through,”
he said. “You’re always prepared to fight the last war. You’re
always covering yesterday’s tracks,” but we need our regulatory
agencies to be proactive, not reactive, Weaver said.
Pet Food, Our Food - Melamine & Cyanuric Acid: Some facts on
health & safety
Pet Food Deaths Baffle Scientists
China use of Melamine is common - "in big
Melamine in big demand in China as a food additive (April
Chemical behind pet food recall common in Chinese feed
In the United States, it is feared as a killer of
cats and dogs and a potential threat to humans. Yet in
China, the mildly toxic chemical melamine is commonly used in
animal feed and is even praised by some customers, according to
the managers of a feed company and one of the chemical's
Filler in Animal Feed Is Open Secret in China (April
China's use of malmine in foods nothing new
Pet Food Fall-Out Continues, with Recalls, FDA Raids, Lawsuits
China is willing to strengthen cooperation with the U.S. side
... to find out the real cause leading to the pet deaths in
order to protect the health of the pets of the two countries.
Pet food recall expanded
It was said that the Chinese refused to grant
visas to FDA inspectors seeking to visit the plants where the
ingredients were made. FDA later said the visas were not refused
but the necessary invitation letter to get visas had not been
received from China.
China Yields to Inquiry on
- (April 24)
China Probes Link To Pet Food Deaths, Beijing Says It's ...
THERE IS HISTORY
Gene-altered rice from China found in European greens
(Sep 5, 2006)
European consumers may be at risk from
unauthorized genetically modified (GMO) rice grown in China
after a biotech strain was found in products sold in three EU
countries. The GMO rice, an experimental variety,
contained a protein that might cause allergenic reactions in
humans. It was supposed to be used only in field trials,
and not approved for commercial growing due to concerns over its
safety. Chinese government officials were not immediately
available to comment on the reported presence of the GMO rice in
China blames 97 over powder milk scandal
(Nov 8, 2004)
China has identified 97 officials it will punish for a scandal
in which 13 babies died and nearly 200 suffered malnutrition
after drinking fake milk powder, state press said.
FDA/CFSAN - Health Professionals Letter on Enterobacter
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is writing to inform
you about a growing body of information pertaining to
Enterobacter sakazakii infections in neonates fed milk-based
powdered infant formulas. Clusters of E. sakazakii
infections have been reported in a variety of locations over the
past several years among infants fed milk-based powdered infant
formula products from various manufacturers. One study tested
milk-based powdered infant formula products obtained from a
number of different countries and found that E. sakazakii
could be recovered.
(The country(s) of
manufacture was not released - probably due to the difficulty of