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delmonte says wheat gluent used was "food grade"

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  • Cannon,Kimberly
    Del Monte Foods has confirmed that the melamine-tainted wheat gluten used in several of its recalled pet food products was supplied as a food grade additive,
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 2, 2007
      Del Monte Foods has confirmed that the melamine-tainted wheat gluten used in
      several of its recalled pet food products was supplied as a "food grade"
      additive, raising the likelihood that contaminated wheat gluten might have
      entered the human food supply.
      "Yes, it is food grade," Del Monte spokesperson Melissa Murphy-Brown wrote
      in reply to an e-mail query.

      <http://ad.doubleclick.net/jump/huffingtonpost/blog/politics;nickname=david-
      goldstein;entry_id=44743;ptile=2;sz=300x250;abr=!ie4;abr=!ie5;abr=!ie6;ord=1
      23456789?> <<...OLE_Obj...>> Del Monte issued a voluntary recall Saturday
      <http://www.delmonte.com/petfoodrecall.html> for several products under the
      Gravy Train, Jerky Treats, Pounce, Ol' Roy, Dollar General and Happy Trails
      brands.
      Wheat gluten is sold in both "food grade" and "feed grade" varieties. Either
      may be used in pet food, but only "food grade" gluten may be used in the
      manufacture of products meant for human consumption. Published reports have
      thus far focused on tainted pet food, but if the gluten in question entered
      the human food supply through a major food products supplier and processor,
      it could potentially contaminate thousands of products and hundreds of
      millions of units nationwide.
      Stephen F. Sundlof, director of the Food and Drug Administration's Center
      for Veterinary Medicine said the FDA is not aware of any contaminated gluten
      that went into human food but said he could not confirm this "with 100
      percent certainty."
      <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/30/AR200703300
      0830_pf.html> Wheat gluten is a common food additive used as a thickener,
      dough conditioner, and meat substitute. It is widely used as an additive in
      commercial bakery items and special purpose flours.
      The FDA announced today
      <http://www.fda.gov/ora/fiars/ora_import_ia9926.html> that it has traced the
      contaminated wheat gluten to a single processor, Xuzhou Anying Biological
      Technology of Peixian, China, but has not released the name of the U.S.
      distributor who supplied the product to Del Monte, Menu Foods, Nestle
      Purina, and Hills Nutritional. In all, more than 70 brands and over 60
      million cans and pouches of dog and cat food are now part of this massive
      recall, as well as at least one brand of dry cat food.
      Public statements have indicated that the contaminated gluten was
      distributed by a single U.S. company, but since the FDA refuses to name the
      supplier, it is not yet known if this company also supplies human food
      manufacturers. It is also not yet known if Xuzhou Anying sells direct to
      food manufacturers in the U.S. or abroad.
      While cats seem particularly susceptible to the effects of melamine
      poisoning, there is little research on the substance's human toxicity.
      Unless and until the FDA determines otherwise, one cannot help but wonder if
      our sick and dying cats are merely the canary in the coal mine alerting us
      to a broader contamination of the human food supply.
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