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N.C. Hogs Under Quarantine; Feds Blame Tainted Pet Food

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When will this end.....How could this happen - I can't believe what a nightmare this has become...

N.C. Hogs Under Quarantine; Feds Blame Tainted Pet Food

Raleigh — Federal health officials said hogs in North Carolina and several others ate salvaged pet food, contaminated with an industrial chemical.

In March, millions of cans of pet food were recalled after the deaths of more than a dozen cats and dogs. The deaths come as a result of the animals eating products contaminated with melamine.

Now, the chemical has been detected in hogs across the nation. Hogs are given salvaged livestock feed and the FDA has determined some of the recalled pet food was sent to hog farms in North Carolina, South Carolina, California, New York, Utah and possibly Ohio.

All the hogs that tested positive for melamine in North Carolina and California have been quarantined.

Right now, FDA officials said anything produced from the affected farms should not be eaten.

"At this point, I don't have a definitive answer other than to say that the issue is being addressed," Stephen Sundlof, the FDA's chief veterinarian, told reporters when asked if any of the hogs had entered the human food supply. A poultry farm also may be involved, he added.

Though investigators say there is no evidence of contamination at this time, and they are not sure if any pork entered the human food supply.

There are also new questions involving several other human products. The FDA is testing a wider variety of human proteins including wheat gluten, corn gluten, corn meal, soy protein, rice bran and rice protein. Those items are often found in foods such as energy shakes, baby formula and pizza dough.

Pet food companies have recalled more than 100 brands of cat and dog food since the first reports of animal deaths a little over a month ago.

Investigators have found melamine in at least two imported Chinese vegetable proteins used to make pet foods. The chemical possibly was used to skew analyses that measured the protein content of the ingredients, wheat gluten and rice protein concentrate.

There were no direct shipments of either of the two ingredients to firms that make food for humans or for animals used as food, said Michael Rogers, who directs field investigations for the FDA.

A second, related chemical called cyanuric acid also has been found to contaminate rice protein concentrate samples, Sundlof said.

The FDA said Tuesday that another pet food company, SmartPak, had recalled products made with tainted rice protein concentrate. The company said the recall covered a single production run of its LiveSmart Weight Management Chicken and Brown Rice Dog Food.
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