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The Boston Globe reports this morning that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is saying that “up to 6,000 hogs in California, Kansas, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Utah that ate pet food tainted with industrial chemicals cannot be safely sold to humans…and should be euthanized at the farms where they have been held from the market.” However, FDA also cautions that while “several hundred of the swine have already entered the human food supply…the concentrations of contaminants in the hogs was likely too low to harm humans.”

The contaminants in question are the chemicals melamine and cyanuric acid, which were added to food ingredients imported from China. Melamine, identified as being responsible for the deaths of an unknown number of cats and dogs, has been found in ingredients imported from China, and there have been suspicions that it might have been added on purpose as a way of artificially boosting nitrogen levels and the selling price of the wheat gluten and rice protein to which it was added.
KC's View:
We had a lot of trouble with high school chemistry, so much of this is over our pay grade.

But the steady drumbeat of stories about contaminated pet and human food simply serves to undermine consumer confidence about food safety. And that’s not an abstraction – it is something very real and very serious.