Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Melamine in Eggs, Maybe In Meat

Chinese Eggs Tainted With Excessive Melamine, MSNBC, October 26
"Hong Kong Secretary for Food and Health said the melamine may have come from feed given to the chickens that laid the eggs."

"The egg results have prompted officials to expand food testing to meat."
Remember the melamine-in-pet-food scare here? Well, one must ask where all the deceased dogs, cats, hogs, chickens, farmed fish, and other animals that ate melamine-laced food ended up. If they ended up at a rendering plant (likely), then they ended up as part of "commercial animal feed." This is why Hong Kong is testing meat. It may not be that the melamine was added deliberately, as it was to milk, but that it returned to the food chain from recycled contaminated animal parts.

According to a decision the FDA made earlier this month, that's fine as long as the amount of melamine doesn't exceed 2.5 parts per million in food intended for human consumption. According to others, no amount of melamine is fine.

Recycled Animal Parts

In this country, we feed recycled animal parts back to livestock and pets:
The Dark Side of Recycling - Rendering Plants

The good:
"Rendering plants perform one of the most valuable functions on Earth: they recycle used animals. Without rendering, our cities would run the risk of becoming filled with diseased and rotting carcasses. Fatal viruses and bacteria would spread uncontrolled through the population."
The bad:
"Rendering plants are unavoidably processing toxic waste."
Some toxins:
"Pesticides enter the rendering process via poisoned livestock, fish oil laced with bootleg DDT and other organo-phosphates that have accumulated in the bodies of West Coast mackerel and tuna."

"Because animals are frequently shoved into the pit with flea collars still attached, organo-phosphate-containing insecticides get into the mix as well."

"The insecticide Dursban arrives in the form of cattle insecticide patches."

"Pharmaceuticals leak from antibiotics in livestock."

"Euthanasia drugs given to pets are also included."

"Heavy metals accumulate from a variety of sources -- pet ID tags, surgical pins and needles."

"Even plastic winds up going into the pit. Unsold supermarket meats, chicken and fish arrive in styrofoam trays and shrink wrap. No one has time for the tedious chore of unwrapping thousands of rejected meat packs. More plastic is added to the pits with the arrival of cattle ID lags, plastic insecticide patches and the green plastic bags containing pets from veterinarians."

No wonder "Greater than 90% of [persistant organic pollutants] come from [consumption of] animal foods in the general population."1
1 A Strong Dose-Response Relation Between Serum Concentrations of Persistent Organic Pollutants and Diabetes, Diabetes Care, 2006.
Painting of black copper marans eggs by Jeanie Chadwick.

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