Thursday, 12 July 2007

Designer food.


American food safety regulators have been allowed into China to investigate how a chemical made from coal found its way into pet food that killed dogs and cats in the United States. Workers in Zangqiu, a heavily polluted northern city openly admit that melamine, a cheap substance which looks like protein in tests is routinely added to animal feed as a fake protein. Melamine is at the centre of a recall of 60 million packages of pet food, after the chemical was found in wheat gluten linked last month to the deaths of at least 16 pets in the United States.
The manager of an animal feed factory admitted: “If you add it in small quantities, it won’t hurt pets .” He further added casually: “Pets are not like pigs or chickens.” He explained that they can afford to eat less protein because “they don’t need to grow fast ".
In recent years China’s food safety scandals have involved everything from fake baby milk formulas and soy sauce made from human hair to instances where cuttlefish were soaked in calligraphy ink to improve their colour and eels were fed contraceptive pills to make them grow long and slim. Oil extracted from human corpses in the manufacture of instant noodles, dye in salted duck eggs to make the yolks unusually red, a sign of high quality. Counterfeit and substandard goods, from fake liquor and medicines to face creams, toothpaste and so on.
Things are getting better though. Yesterday Zeng Xiaoya, formerly the man responsible for ensuring the safety of China’s foodstuffs and pharmaceuticals was executed. This was done either by shooting or by lethal injection. Probably the latter which is used in high-profile cases. So a word of caution, when buying pet food, please use known brands.

12 comments:

Winchester whisperer said...

They should have killed him by force-feeding him the dog food

Flowerpot said...

I will now examine all dog food scrupulously, though Mollie eats a lot of fresh food anyway. what a horrifying story...

Steve G said...

Good post. I read today where a vendor was using cardboard for a dumpling type snack. The world needs to look at China, closer than the cost of what they are selling.

Steve G said...

And thanks for linking me.

jmb said...

Of course the Chinese aren't the only ones who get greedy and put cheaper ingredients in product to increase profits.
However they seem to be getting caught out quite frequently lately.

I don't agree with the death penalty so I was quite shocked to hear that the minister had been executed for taking bribes.
Interesting post Eurodog.

Eurodog said...

jmb,
I agree that the death sentence was drastic but perhaps China is trying to tell the west that something is being done about these sort of practices. I am very unconfortable about China hosting the Olympics what with all the human right issues and the future of Tibet.

Ellee said...

You have well and truly put me off eating Chinese food. What an interesting post.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Gosh, that is frightening.

VioletsVintage said...

The pet food recall is still causing some confusion and fear about what to feed our pets. It is not just the daily diet but all the treats too. I started to buy human food to give the shelter dogs....they love that beef and chicken jerky that people eat. At least the human food has a detailed description of the ingredients.

Rebecca Taunton said...

Having read this, I was really shocked. Using human hair to make soy sauce, or corpses in making noodles? That's pretty disgusting.

Tampering with food, of course, is nothing new. It reminds me of when I was working as a mineralogist for a council in mid-England. We shared lab facilities with the food hygene people, and one day they asked me for my advice and microscope skills to identify soil/sand/ground stones etc that had been added to takeaways to reduce the cost of ingredients...this was only 6 years ago.

Thinking about it, most food is altered with chemicals (some of which are proven to be bad for you), but because it's legal and "scientific", we believe that it's okay to eat it. Worst still is when you don't have the information available and you're feeding your pets with something that can kill them.

A very good, and interesting article ED.

RT

mutleythedog said...

I know you booted me from yer blog roll and I do understand why. But I have been blogging about me dog should you care to have a look...

PinkAcorn said...

Yikers, I'll never eat another instant noodle again!!!