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Saturday, May 12, 2007

Update on China Poisoning Our Pet Food

A week ago, I posted (belatedly) about how a Chinese supplier of wheat gluten was caught spiking it with poison. To recap, Chinese wheat gluten containing melamine was blamed in a wave of pet deaths in March due to kidney failure. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration investigated, and nearly 100 brands of pet food made with the ingredient were ordered recalled. I was following the story and just getting more and more upset by how little coverage there is in the media. When it was mentioned, it was brushed off as a poison in pet food only.

That is a lie. While our pets are A) more susceptible and B) hit with higher doses, the evidence indicates to me that Chinese companies are also spiking people food. With poison. As in: Poisoning you.

Anyway, the lies and obfuscation went on. CNN even ran a story saying that melamine (the poison) is actually praised and sought after by customers. How did they get such an obviously unfactual quote? By asking a manager of one of the factories that produces poisoned pet food!!!! Isn't that like asking Al Capone if there are complaints about organized crime? "No, no, the people love us. They want us out on the streets!"

Damn, if you ever needed an example of how corrupt and useless the mainstream media has become, bookmark this CNN story. But it's not just CNN. Fox News, ABC, take your pick – none of them did more than cursory investigations into the story.

However, the smoke and mirrors couldn't obscure that it wasn't just one rogue pet food company. Sure, that guy got greedy and put too much poison in the food. Dogs dropped dead, Americans woke from their TV-induced stupors, and took notice. But don't think it's just one guy. It's common practice in China!

Naturally, the Chinese denied everything. They even denied shipping any wheat gluten to the US at all! No, seriously:

China said Thursday that it had no record of exporting any agricultural products that could have tainted the pet food that has been linked to the deaths of at least 16 cats and dogs in the United States.

The Chinese government said that wheat gluten, which has been linked to a pet food recall in North America, had not been exported from China to the United States or Canada.

Well, this went on for a while. During the course of the investigation, we learned that the Food and Drug Administration's food safety and nutrition arm — responsible for 80 percent of the nation's food supply — has fallen from $48 million to $28 million over the past decade. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees about one-fourth as much food, gets four times the funding. You can read that story HERE.

Can't you just hear the wheels clicking in the twisted brains of al Qaeda terrorists? They don't have to go through the trouble of bombing some of us. They just have to open a food distribution company and they can poison all of us!

Anyway, so while the Chinese denied everything, the US companies that bought the massively poisoned pet food still had the receipts from the food factory of a guy named Mao Lijun. So, the FDA went over to China to find him. But someone tipped Mao off that the FDA was coming (gee, I wonder who?)

And here's where we pick up the action in a VERY REVEALING story in the Seattle Times

Farmers in this poor rural area 400 miles northwest of Shanghai had complained to local government officials since 2004 that Mao's factory was spewing noxious fumes that made their eyes tear up and the poplar trees nearby shed their leaves prematurely. Yet no one stopped Mao's company from churning out bags of food powders and belching smoke -- until one day last month when, in the middle of the night, bulldozers tore down the facility.

It wasn't authorities that finally acted: Mao himself razed the brick factory -- days before the investigators from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration arrived in China on a mission to track down the source of the tainted pet food ingredients.

Read the whole thing by CLICKING HERE. You can see that the government (or at least someone in the government) was protecting Mao's little death factory. And when it became too much of an embarrassment, they told him to knock the thing down and split.

But then the story takes another interesting turn. Showing perhaps that not everyone in the Chinese government is endlessly corrupt, China's authorities actually caught Mao! After a few weeks, he confessed. But I notice two things …

  1. The Chinese government says Mao's was a rogue operation
  2. The US government says while a whole range of livestock (including fish) have been poisoned), no human food was poisoned.

Point #1 is obviously false – CNN's story, linked above, has an interview with a factory owner that also puts melamine in animal feed. Point #2 rings false as well. Why would Chinese food suppliers draw the line at poisoning people? "Oh, I'm going to poison dogs, cats and farm animals, but poisoning people, that's just wrong!"

Even if they didn't poison people food, melamine has now entered the human food chain due to us eating meat from poisoned animals.

We'll see if this story gets bigger or if the US and Chinese governments and a complicit media are able to sweep it under the rug.

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