Saturday, May 26, 2007

According to a press release from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) a recent shipment of corn gluten containing melamine and cyanuric acid was intercepted on its entry to Canada. Corn gluten containing these chemicals has only so far been found in South Africa so this is a first for North America. The contaminated shipment will not be allowed to enter Canada. What Molly notices is that this shipment is not only of a different product but also occurs some time after the two factories implicated previously in China have been shut down. It is possible that the corn gluten has been rattling around from port to port for all this time, but it is more likely that this says that there are other, as yet unidentified, Chinese protein concentrate producers who continue with the practice of falsifying the protein level of their product by spiking it with melamine.
The CBC has reported on this news item, and their story also contains further material about the Chinese produced toothpastes Excel and Mr. Cool that contain diethylene glycol- antifreeze. These products have shown up in Panama, the Dominican Republic and Australia -so far. The English language China Daily has an article on the toothpaste contamination, showing that the officials who oversee the Chinese press are beginning to take these matters more seriously and allow reporting. What the article shows is that there is a widespread belief amongst both Chinese corporate officials and even amongst some Chinese health workers that "a little diethylene glycol is not harmful". The practice of adding this chemical began, according to one source interviewed by the China Daily, back in the 1990s because diethylene glycol is cheaper than glycerin. This unnamed manager of a toothpaste manufacturing firm claimed that "research conducted at the time said the replacement was quite safe if its percentage was not too high". The mind boggles !!!!!! What sort of "research" could this be ???

No comments: