Del Monte Foods has confirmed that the melamine-tainted wheat gluten used in several of its recalled pet food products was supplied as a “food grade” additive, raising the likelihood that contaminated wheat gluten might have entered the human food supply.
“Yes, it is food grade,” Del Monte spokesperson Melissa Murphy-Brown wrote in reply to an e-mail query.
So is it in human food? The agency whose job it is to tell us … won’t tell us.
Stephen F. Sundlof, director of the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine said the FDA is not aware of any contaminated gluten that went into human food but said he could not confirm this “with 100 percent certainty.” Wheat gluten is a common food additive used as a thickener, dough conditioner, and meat substitute. It is widely used as an additive in commercial bakery items and special purpose flours.
The FDA announced today that it has traced the contaminated wheat gluten to a single processor, Xuzhou Anying Biological Technology of Peixian, China, but has not released the name of the U.S. distributor who supplied the product to Del Monte, Menu Foods, Nestle Purina, and Hills Nutritional. [emphasis added]
… Public statements have indicated that the contaminated gluten was distributed by a single U.S. company, but since the FDA refuses to name the supplier, it is not yet known if this company also supplies human food manufacturers. It is also not yet known if Xuzhou Anying sells direct to food manufacturers in the U.S. or abroad.
If FDA won’t release the name of the distributor, how do we find out if this is in human food, and which food? People are wondering if their food is contaminated and the government will not let them know?
If this was on the other foot this would be used as agitprop with headlines at Drudge, etc., making claims that all our food is contaminated along with accusations that the Democrats are being paid to cover it up.
Meanwhile, Down With Tyranny asks if this is happening because of Republican deregulation and outsourcing?
Our rulers, reactionary and neoliberal, presume the following heirarchies: Cheap > healthy; free trade > heavy (safe, conscientious, fair) regulation.
It’s economics, stupid. Now eat up.