Made In China? I don’t think so.

In case you were wondering what was going on about the pet food recall, here it is, courtesy of the HSUS:

By all means take a look at the letter, just to be entirely clear on what's going on here.
Sounds as if there will be no action taken on that end.

I grew up in the fifties, and remember proudly being shown films of our mid-western farmers and mountains of grain, and being told we were the grain basket of the world.
So why are we importing grain products from China?
And what are we getting?
You do have to wonder about that two billion plus of agricultural products that are being imported.
They've now found contamination in corn, wheat, and rice products, not because any kind of regular inspection turned up problems, but because pet foods were being investigated.
Our cats and dogs are the canary in the coal mine here..
But two billion dollars worth of food is a lot of stuff.
Not all of it is going into pet foods, you know.

Apparently none of it is being inspected in China.
It's the wild west over there in terms of inspections and standards.
While I was googling around on the pet food issue, there were a lot of stories of tainted food supplies within China itself.
One of the most charming was an infant formula with no nutritional value at all, and involved deaths.
Not only don't they investigate, they don't much prosecute either.
In fact it looks as if they've got the worst of both worlds.
They threw out their free medical care and social planning in order to be more western, but kept their authoritarian power structure.
They've imported capitalism, but not unions, nor free speech, nor government protections for either workers or consumers.
I'd already been concerned by the stories of forced prison labor involved in producing general merchandise, and now this.

I'm waiting for savvy food producers to start labeling items No Ingredients From China, same as some milks already do with the bovine growth hormone.
But until then, buy local, buy fresh.

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7 responses to this post.

  1. lauowolf, you're absolutely right about the conditions in China. There's practically no consumer confidence domestically – in terms of infant formula, medicines, and even fresh produce. And just 10 minutes of Chinese infomercials gives you a sense of how many quacks are out there. There are a ton of regulations and there's a judicial system (which has actually improved greatly over the last 20 years), but there is practically no enforcement and no transparency.Not all of it is going into pet foods, you know. I bet it's not. Buyers Beware.


  2. Ugh! Scary story. Good advice, lauowolf. Buy local, buy fresh. Read labels!!!!!!Ever since the first announcement of tainted pet foods I have been waiting for the human food panic. It IS going to come, folks. Oh, how the media will rejoice!


  3. SO true! Buy local. In 2002, the Canada Food Inspection Agency, along with the US and UK, recommended banning importing honey from China, because it contained traces of the antibiotic chloramphenicol. There was even a story that China was "laundering" honey by shipping it to Australia where it was relabeled for export to the US. I don't know what the current situation is, but I know one of the tactics tried by some food companies was "blending": mixing the cheap honey from China with honey produced elsewhere so that levels of the contaminant were just below the accepted parts per billion. Our government food inspection agencies can only do so much, and even then, there is the policitical complications of banning your trading partner's produce.


  4. I just read (on Yahoo News) that some of the gluten that was rejected for pet food use was sold as hog food to a pig farm in Ceres, CA. Melamine turned up in the pigs' urine, and they're testing to see if it got into the meat.I would like to find whoever KNEW it was bad for dogs and cats and sold the stuff for feeding pigs anyway and hurt them. A lot. Very slowly. I mean, I would totally go Jack Bauer on them.I don't know what to feed either the cats or myself any more…


  5. China is like worst-case-scenario capitalism. Why does the FDA allow American companies to make food from products that come from unregulated countries. Doesn't make any sense.


  6. Lauo, It's smart of you to think this way. Only thing, do you think just avoiding certain countries will keep us safe? America is asleep. We need to wake the f up! It's our pets right now, tomorrow it might be our children. They aren't properly checking ID's on these people. There's people passing background checks and driving school buses that have direct links to terrorism. With all due respect, nothing is "safe" from any country we get food from. Even food we grow on our own land can easily be contaminated. (whoops…jaypo gotz the spell cheker on?) Don't know, I try not to over-react, but I just have that gut feeling. Someone is in our something, doing something to us. :X *me shutinze up!* nigh nigh!


  7. Well this case is looking like greed rather than an attack.As I mention, there are a lot of contamination cases within China — this time we're just importing their problems.The contaminant made the food products appear to have a higher protein level, and hence probably higher price.Someone made a decision — and it might have been essentially harmless.After all, no one seems to have known what the effect of consuming the stuff would be for animals, or people.Cats appear to be especially sensitive — in the testing they did at Menu foods cats died disproportionately to dogs: was it 15 or 16 cats? to one dog.(There don't seem to be any firm numbers of affected animals overall from the pet food, or any way of knowing how many animals ate tainted food, so we can't tell whether or not the pattern hods.)Are people more or less sensitive than cats?Or are pigs?It's something not even the experts know.But somebody put it in a food product anyway.Whole thing's scary enough with nothing but business people all the way down.


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