Tuesday, April 17, 2007

In a move that may or may not be connected to the tainted gluten responsible for recent recalls the FDA of the US has announced that two dry foods, the Venison and Brown Rice Dry Dog Food and the Venison and Green Pea Dry Cat Food, both by the Natural Balance pet food company, have been recalled. The company has issued a statement accessible from the link above. They have received complaints that these two products have led to vomiting and kidney problems similar to those involved in the tainted gluten cases. Molly notes that this recall is the first one noted that is primarily of dry foods. It may or may not be due to the same cause.
Meanwhile the Pet Connection website reports 4,211 suspicious deaths on their reporting system as of this morning.
Over on the MSN news network there was an interesting article yesterday about how the pet food scandal points to serious deficiencies in the inspection process for human foods imported into the USA. Turns out that a grand total of only 1.3% of imported food is inspected at all. The average American eats about 260 pounds of imported food a year, accounting for about 13% of their diet. The level of food imports into the USA has been steadily rising and may soon overtake exports. Apparently in the last month the FDA has detained almost 850 shipments of imported food for a variety of problems. Appreciate that this is out of only 1.3% of the foods imported. Imports from China have been found to be contaminated with illegal veterinary drugs, pesticides and carcinogenic compounds. Since 1997 the value of Chinese food exports to the USA has more than tripled and now accounts for 3.3% of total US food imports. While the amount of imported food has increased the percentage of it has declined from 1.8% in 2003 to 1.3% this year. It is expected to sink to 1.1% next year.
The whole matter could be reduced in severity if more people were to adopt an "eat locally" attitude. Molly has reported on this movement before, and it looks like it's time for her to revisit this matter.

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