Tuesday, December 2, 2008

American Food Fertilized With Melamine

James E. McWilliams, a history professor at Texas State University at San Marcos, points out in a New York Times article, there’s plenty of undetected melamine circulating around in the American food system, thanks to lack of regulation and testing. He explains:

"Fertilizer companies commonly add melamine to their products because it helps control the rate at which nitrogen seeps into soil, thereby allowing the farmer to get more nutrient bang for the fertilizer buck. But the government doesn’t regulate how much melamine is applied to the soil. This melamine accumulates as salt crystals in the ground, tainting the soil through which American food sucks up American nutrients."

More ominous, the United States imports most of its wheat gluten. Last year, for instance, the F.D.A. reported that millions of Americans had eaten chicken fattened on feed with melamine-tainted gluten imported from China. Around the same time, Tyson Foods slaughtered and processed hogs that had eaten melamine-contaminated feed. The government decided not to recall the meat.

Only a week earlier, however, the F.D.A. had announced that thousands of cats and dogs had died from melamine-laden pet food. This high-profile pet scandal did not prove to be a spur to reform so much as a red herring. Our attention was diverted to Fido and away from the animals we happen to kill and eat rather than spoil.

Be informed with this website providing news articles on melamine contamination of our food supply. You might want to begin gardening not only because of the cost of produce, but for your health of your family.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

We cannot trust our government to test, and if necessary, stop the distribution of tainted products. After the debacle in New York, Texas, and elsewhere by the Dept. of Agriculture with its spraying operations which contaminated milk and produce with pesticides in the 1950's; how can we believe them? Everyone should read the classic, "Silent Spring" by Rachel Carson.

Donna said...

Great recommendation on the book! I don't think belief is a factor, but there's always some good guys in the midst of all the bad ones ... so at least revealing test results have a hope of getting to the public. People feel as though they don't really have choices these days with seemingly "everything" being contaminated. Local organic food is the highest safe choice that I see.

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