MMMMM, tasty, tasty wheat gluten:
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has identified the Chinese company that it said supplied the contaminated ingredient used in now-recalled pet foods that has sickened and killed thousands of animals nationwide.
The FDA ordered “detention without examination” of wheat gluten from Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development Co. Ltd., which is based in Jiangsu province. Xuzhou Anying’s wheat gluten contains melamine, which is described as a poisonous or injurious substance and an unsafe food additive, according to an import notice issued Friday by the FDA.
We’ve been getting it from China because, you know, they cover our National Security State’s horrendous deficits, our corporations love their authoritarian government, and our consumers buy their cheap products (even, apparently, when they don’t want to! “I’m free to decide”, sang Milton Friedman — or was it the Cranberries?). Of course, we can’t refuse anything made or processed by slave and near-slave labor of extra-national origin. Because for one, to do so would go against economist-groupthink, always a real no-no and proof of one’s evil-commie nature; and for another, it would inspire the annihilating rage of whole future generations of Chinese. So, keep bringing on the poison!
First it got your dog. Then it got your cat. And now it may get ..you?:
Del Monte Foods has confirmed that the melamine-tainted wheat gluten used in several of its recalled pet food products was supplied as a â€œfood gradeâ€? additive, raising the likelihood that contaminated wheat gluten might have entered the human food supply.
â€œYes, it is food grade,â€? Del Monte spokesperson Melissa Murphy-Brown wrote in reply to an e-mail query. Del Monte issued a voluntary recall Saturday for several products under the Gravy Train, Jerky Treats, Pounce, Olâ€™ Roy, Dollar General and Happy Trails brands.
Wheat gluten is sold in both â€œfood gradeâ€? and â€œfeed gradeâ€? varieties. Either may be used in pet food, but only â€œfood gradeâ€? 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.
Oh, don’t panic!:
Wheat gluten also is used in human food; the FDA said it could not say for sure, but it had no reason to believe contaminated gluten got into any human food.
Riiight. This is the Bush FDA, remember, whose competence is analogous to Bush’s war-planners and whose regulatory good faith is analogous to his Interior Department’s. In other words, these creeps are fuck-ups, and corrupt ones to boot. Stupid and evil — which might be the perfect catchphrase for our epoch. The structures of neoliberalism are awful enough as it is; such structures under Republican stewardship are that much worse. Poison begets poison, from economic theories to your dinner table, from the Diebold machine to you dog’s food bowl.
Something like this was bound to happen.
While cats seem particularly susceptible to the effects of melamine poisoning, there is little research on the substanceâ€™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.
Our rulers, reactionary and neoliberal, presume the following heirarchies: Cheap > healthy; free trade > heavy (safe, conscientious, fair) regulation.
It’s economics, stupid. Now eat up.