POISONED PET FOOD AND TAINTED TOOTHPASTE TOO:
More news on the melamine front yesterday. In a news release the FDA announced that there has been a voluntary recall of livestock, fish and shrimp feeds produced by two companies, Tembec BTLSR of Toledo, Ohio and Uniscope of Johnstown, Colorado. In these cases the melamine was presumably used as a binding agent to make the pellets hold together (though it would, as an aside, increase the "apparent" protein content of the feeds). These two companies are American, and this recall involves no Chinese ingredients. It should also be noted that the addition of melamine to these products is a long standing practice, and one wonders why it took almost three months for this to become public since the beginning of the pet food crisis. Melamine is not approved as a feed additive. Tembec is a subsidiary of the Montreal based forestry company of the same name. The FDA also reports that the feed products of these two companies also contain urea-formaldehyde resin, most commonly used in insulation. No notice of these recalls appears on the webpages of the companies mentioned as of this morning.
On another front there is an article today on the Reuters News Agency that reports on the cost of the scandal to Menu Foods. The direct costs, excluding lost sales and possible legal costs are so far about $45 million. As for more serious penalties the China Daily reported yesterday that an article in the Peoples' Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party, called the death sentence of former Chinese drug czar Zheng Xiaoyu a "warning to other officials". This is further evidence of the determination of the Chinese government to try and at least "be seen" as addressing problems, even if the solution of terror rather than addressing systematic problems is inadequate.