The USDA Food Safety and Inspection
Service (FSIS) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today
notified State authorities that swine fed adulterated product will
not be approved to enter the food supply. Based on information
currently available, FDA and USDA believe the likelihood of illness
after eating pork from swine fed the adulterated product would be
very low; however, the agencies believe it is prudent to take this
FDA determined that a shipment of rice protein imported
from China was contaminated with melamine and melamine-related
compounds. The product was imported during the week of April 2, 2007
by Wilbur-Ellis, an importer and distributor of agricultural
products. The rice protein was used in the production of pet food
and a byproduct was used to produce animal feed.
The contaminants in question include melamine and
melamine-related compounds, including cyanuric acid, the combination
of which is a potential source of concern in relation to human and
animal health. Scientific research indicates that melamine alone, at
detected levels, is not a human health concern. However, no
scientific data exist to ascertain the effects of combining melamine
and melamine-related compounds. Therefore, a determination has not
yet been made regarding the safety of the product.
Because the animal feed in question was adulterated, USDA cannot
rule out the possibility that food produced from animals fed this
product could also be adulterated. Therefore, USDA cannot place the
mark of inspection on food produced from these animals.
USDA is offering to compensate producers who euthanize swine that
were fed the adulterated product. USDA is authorized to use Section
32 funds to restore farmers' purchasing power. USDA is also offering
the expertise and assistance of Animal and Plant Health Inspection
Service (APHIS) personnel in carrying out depopulation activities,
to ensure animals are euthanized and disposed of in accordance with
Federal and State laws.
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FDA and FSIS are coordinating with State authorities in eight
states where the adulterated feed is known to have been purchased.
Eight pork producers in the states of California, Kansas, North
Carolina, New York, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Utah are known to
have purchased the feed. These combined operations involve
approximately 6,000 hogs. All of the animals are currently being
held under state quarantines in CA, NC, NY and SC. In KS, OK and UT
producers agreed to hold the animals until further notice.
Authorities are also in contact with a feed mill in Missouri that
might have received adulterated feed.
Pork and pork products derived from animals that were fed the
adulterated product will also be destroyed. In CA and UT, pork from
federally inspected plants is being held under FSIS direction. In
SC, a state inspected plant is voluntarily holding swine that were
fed the adulterated product. FSIS, FDA and state authorities are in
the process of determining whether any meat from animals that were
fed the adulterated product has entered commerce. If that has
occurred, FSIS will work with states and industry to take the
FDA and FSIS are continuing the effort to trace the adulterated
feed. If additional producers are identified who fed the adulterated
product to animals, they will also be offered compensation by USDA
for depopulation and disposal.
from U.S. Food and Drug Administration