melamine contamination may have been deliberate!?!

Elizabeth ClarkeElizabeth Clarke BerkeleyMember Posts: 1,818 ✭✭
edited 21 April, 2007 in Food & Nutrition
I just read this article: Apparently, melamine makes gluten test higher in protein than it actually is, which makes the gluten worth more. The possibility that this may have been done deliberately, for no other reason than greed, has me so mad I could spit! Has anycat else seen anything about this theory?


  • Stephanie LitosStephanie Litos Member Posts: 210
    edited 19 April, 2007
    Yes, Spike, I saw something on this a couple of days ago: At this point I would stay away from any food that has any sort of non-meat protein substitue: glutens, soy protein, rice protein, any of it.
  • Teresa ConcannonTeresa Concannon Member Posts: 7,378
    edited 19 April, 2007
    Hi Spike, Yes. In the earliest days of this recall everyone was speculating about this theory on blogs and in forums. Lots of people's speculations are turning out to be correct. I just read something totally plausible in which someone said it could have happened like this: when wheat gluten is moldy, it is treated and that depletes the protein content of the gluten and decreases the money value of the gluten. The melamine would have been deliberately added to boost the protein (nitrogen) content in the gluten and fool buyers into thinking the gluten had high protein value and they would pay more money for it. When heat (or acid) is applied to melamine, we have cyanide. Isn't pet food cooked at high temperatures? There may also be other things in the melamine that don't combine well with other ingredients when the foods are cooked at high temperatures. No one really knows. Hopefully one of the labs or the FDA will get this solved soon. They now also think some of the melamine tainted rice protein may have gotten into swine feed and are trying to track that down. The scientists working in labs to solve this mystery also see another crystal-type ingredient involved which they can't identify. This is leading to all kinds of speculation about chemically-modified "frankenstein" ingredients deliberately added to the gluten or thrown off by the melamine when cooked at high temps. It's all very scary. First, the melamine in the wheat gluten in the Menu Foods recall and then the melamine found in the rice protein concentrate (another protein source like just like gluten) here in the US, and now the melamine tainted corn gluten in the pet food recalls in South Africa. All these glutens were shipped from China.
  • Teresa ConcannonTeresa Concannon Member Posts: 7,378
    edited 19 April, 2007
    Emma, My mom totally agrees with you. =; Right now my mom is avoiding anything made with glutens, protein concentrates or any other type of concentrated protein source, whether wheat, corn, soy, rice or any other kind of grain or bean concentrate. She\'d rather be safe than sorry.
  • Elizabeth ClarkeElizabeth Clarke BerkeleyMember Posts: 1,818 ✭✭
    edited 20 April, 2007
    Thanks for the information, Emma and Abby. Abby, your theory makes a terrifying amount of sense, and totally explains the rat poison (cyanide) thing, which mom had been confused about. My mom can't help feel it's kind of ironic that I went to the Bridge (of cancer, not anything related to the food recall; I never ate any of the affected foods) at about the same time the recall was first hittting the news. So she was a little distracted about that and didn't closely follow the earliest recall news. But she plans to adopt another cat soon and wants to be sure to feed that kitty right. The shelter she'll be adopting from feeds their cats Felidae, which she has researched and knows that it does not contain any gluten and all ingredients are from the US, so she plans to stick with that for the new cat. Thanks again for the information!
  • Roby StevensRoby Stevens ClevelandMember Posts: 15
    edited 21 April, 2007
    This was published at AVMA website on 4/20/07: ==================================== The American Hog Farm, a 1500-animal facility in Ceres, has been quarantined by the California Department of Food and Agriculture, and lab testing has revealed the presence of the chemical melamine in pig urine. Additional testing of tissues, serum and urine from animals at the farm is underway at the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory at UC Davis to determine if melamine is present in meat. It is believed the melamine originated with rice protein concentrate shipped from China. Through an importer, the concentrate was distributed to Diamond Pet Foods, a pet food manufacturer in Lathrop, which sold salvage pet food to the farm for pig feed. For more information, see the California Department of Food and Agriculture press release at =========================================
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