Thursday, May 31, 2007

Melamine in the human food supply

This Daily Kos diary reveals the astonishing fact that the United States adds melamine to livestock feed sold domestically and for export.

See this release from the Food and Drug Administration, which specifies that the feed was meant for "cattle, sheep, and goats, or fish and shrimp."

Melamine has also showed up in catfish meant for human consumption. The FDA, however, tells us not to worry:
...federal scientists determined that, based on currently available data and information, the consumption of pork, chicken, domestic fish, and eggs from animals inadvertently fed animal feed contaminated with melamine and its analogues is very unlikely to pose a human health risk.

The interim safety/risk assessment concludes that in the most extreme risk assessment scenario, when scientists assumed that all the solid food a person consumes in an entire day contained melamine and the melamine compound cyanuric acid in equal amounts, the potential exposure is about 250 times lower than the dose considered safe. This is a large safety margin. Translated to consumption levels, this means that a person weighing 132 pounds would have to eat more than 800 pounds per day of food containing melamine and its compounds to approach a level of consumption that would cause a health concern.
You feel comfortable with that...?


Hyperman said...

Well, if this is "risk assessment" is not industry sponsored bullshit, I think eating 800 pounds of food in one day might be more dangerous than its content in melamine.

Anonymous said...

yet one more of the myriad reasons to be vegetarian.....
(i could count the ways, but i'll spare you all)

Anonymous said...

Really, dr. elsewhere (hey, do you have that "How to Win an Argument With a Meat Eater" poster, too?).

The melamine news (or "news" depending on your perspective) is also yet another reason for people who are STILL ignoring the perils of eating food purchased from commercial grocery stores to get snuggly with their local organic food merchants. Yes, they're expensive. So is paying for the medical treatment you'll need after consuming most (if not all) of the crap on the shelves of their competitors.

Anonymous said...

Considering this first came to the public's attention through contamination of 'food grade' wheat gluten, I would'nt feel too comfortable as a vegetarian, either.