News 595 views last update:May 9, 2007

Pork from swine fed melamine is safe

A special team of US scientists has concluded that there is hardly any risk to humans from eating meat from pigs (and poultry) that ate feed containing melamine and melamine-related compounds.

The conclusion is the result of a risk assessment, carried out in collaboration with five federal agencies in the USA.

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Even in the most risky of situations the exposure was very low. "We literally found that the dilution is so minute, in fact in some cases you can't even test and find melamine any more in that product," US agriculture secretary Mike Johanns said.

The FDA and USDA say some swine and poultry on farms suspected of receiving the contaminated feed have even tested 'negative' for the chemicals and have been released for processing.

The investigation follows the discovery that imported pet food ingredients like wheat gluten and rice protein concentrate from China had been contaminated with melamine.

Scraps of this contaminated pet food eventually ended up in pig and poultry feed - albeit in very small amounts.

The overall conclusion of the risk assessment supports the decision to not recall meat from animals fed contaminated feed.

The assessment was carried out by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the Department of Health and Human Services, the Environmental Protection Agency, US Customs and Border Protection of the Department of Homeland Security and the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Related websites:
• United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
• Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
• Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
• Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)
• Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
• Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
• Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
• Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

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