Saturday, May 5, 2007

News - Feds announce 20 million chickens effected by melamine scandal.

The feds waited for the Friday data dump schedule to announce major news that 20 million chickens have now been effected by the growing scandal surrounding melamine tainted gluten being introduced into the human food chain. Waiting until late Friday afternoon to announce things is an old tactic, the news is overshadowed and little recognized because most Americans are just waiting to enjoy their weekends. In this case withholding information that involves the health and safety of the American public is inexcusable.

The federal agencies tasked with protecting our food supplies and health are still parroting the line that this issue is not a threat to the health of Americans, yet there is enough concern to hold USDA certification for these 20 million chickens until more can be learned. As I have discussed in an earlier post, the actual effects of melamine on the health of humans is vastly understudied and is basically an unknown factor.

What is equally concerning to me is how this has grown exponentially from the contamination of pet food, to an isolated case of tainted feed given to pigs, to a wide net of tainted feed for chickens. Yet every step of the way, the federal government tells us the same story. "Don't worry." "It's an isolated case." "There is no risk to the public's health and safety." And in each case we find the contamination has expanded, even to the point where 3 million effected chickens were sold and eaten by an unsuspecting public. And still, they trot out the same response, "Don't worry." only for us to learn days later that this scandal is ever growing.

I understand that the government doesn't want panic in the streets but at the rate this story has grown a panic in the near future is becoming more and more possible as it continues to worsen. They still cannot guarantee that the effected gluten has lept from simply being present in livestock feed, to use in processed foods. At first they claimed there was no evidence and no possibility that the effected wheat gluten had been used in any product but pet food, but we soon found that to be untrue.

Will we next learn that the same gluten was used to make the pasta that is sitting in our pantries?

No comments: