A Blog devoted to progressive politics, environmental issues, LGBT issues, social justice, workers' rights, womens' rights, and, most importantly, Cats.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Health - The Melamine Scandal

While it's fair to say that this entire misadministration has been one long scandal, this particular episode has been confusing, painful, and frightening to many. Not only did the FDA know all along (at least since September of last year) that gluten coming from China was tainted by at least one, possibly two, contaminants of unknown toxicity, but the Republican congress has underfunded and undermined the FDA, encouraging its personnel to take early retirements and generally making it impossible for it to do its job of working to keep the food supply safe.

Many beloved pets died before the public was even informed of the danger. First it was wheat gluten, then the list of possibly contaminated source items was expanded to include corn, rice, and soy glutens. Then it turned out that gluten is used in foods as diverse as ketchup and bagels. Later we were informed that the contaminated pet foods that were recalled were fed to chickens and hogs, many of which had already been processed into the human food supply. Even later we were told that fish (farmed? coastal?) were also exposed to the contaminants. To add insult to injury, we were most recently informed that the FDA, while assuring us that the possibly contaminated processed food was safe for human consumption, was requiring its own workers who might be exposed to the contaminated foods to wear protective clothing and take other precautions, including not permitting women of reproductive age to come in contact with the contaminants. Then the FDA informed us that they did not have any studies on melamine toxicity. So they just don't know how safe or unsafe our food supply might be.

The Washington Post features an excellent explanation of some of the scandal.

I'm on a diet. We all are (at Casa de Los Gatos). Fresh home-made everything from scratch, and por los gatos, fresh raw meat. From reputable local sources. The rest of us are pretty much on a vegan diet. I didn't think the idiots Stupie McPoopyhead appointed to government could ruin my last remaining love, food, but I think the bastards have succeeded. Must drown sorrows. Where the fuck is the wine?

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