Every since the recent pet food recall I have been following the story very closely. My cat, Frosty, was eating the brand of food who voluntarily recalled their food this past weekend, Natural Balance. This not only threw me for a loop, but the animal community as well. Melamine has been confirmed to be in not one, but three ingredients: Wheat gluten, rice protein concentrate, and corn gluten.
The wheat gluten caused the massive scare roughly a month ago when Menu Foods pulled more than 100 brands of food. Frosty was actually eating then one of the brands that had been recalled. Luckily, she was eating only dry food, and I switched, not so much because of the recall, but because of a food allergy. While this recall has been the most widely reported due to the shear amount of food, it was the expanded recall this last week that has caused the most surprise.
Natural Balance is a highly regarded food company and when they recalled their food, every one knew this problem would be much larger than previously thought. Rice Protein Concentrate has now been confirmed to have melamine in it, and this particular ingredient is a so called human grade ingredient. After this ingredient was linked to China as well reports are surfacing that China may have laced the ingredients purposefully in order to defraud sellers in to thinking the protein content is higher than would otherwise be. Click here to read a story regarding the charges I have just mentioned.
The last ingredient, corn gluten, is the scary one. It is found in many products, like wheat gluten, but unlike wheat gluten, it is also found in dry food. In the US there have been no confirmed cases of contaminated corn gluten; however, this is not true in South Africa. At least 30 dogs have been killed due to contaminated corn gluten which has also been traced to China.
Thousands of animals have been affected by these recalls, not only our pets, but our food supply as well. There are reports of melamine reaching the food supply of hogs, and tests are being done to determine whether or not this contaminant has reached the human food supply. Whether or not China purposefully introduced this chemical to these ingredients for monetary gain has yet to be, and probably will never be, determined. What is true is that we haven’t seen the last of pet food recalls. Fortunately, my beautiful cat of nearly 15 years of age is doing fine.
Please check your food supply for these three ingredients, especially the last, as it has not made headline here yet.