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Thursday, May 10, 2007

# 107 Pet Food Calamity and Humans

Can the Pet Food Calamity Also Harm You?

According to the FDA, thousands of hogs in a number of states, as well as poultry at a Missouri farm, ate pet food that had been laced with the industrial chemical melamine.

This means that the contaminant, which has been responsible for the deaths of pets across the United States, has potentially entered the human food supply.

Urine from hogs in California, North Carolina, and South Carolina tested positive for melamine, and it is possible that hogs in New York, Utah, and Ohio may have done so as well.

The FDA believes that melamine was added to Chinese products to artificially inflate their nitrogen content, and therefore their price. FDA inspections have steadily dropped over the past few years, while at the same time the use of imported food has increased greatly.

The FDA plans to begin tests of imported Chinese corn gluten and corn meal, soy protein, rice bran and rice protein concentrate, and wheat gluten.

These products are used as ingredients in many foods ranging from breakfast cereal to baby formula. The now recalled pet food contained contaminated wheat gluten that had been designated suitable for human consumption, although there is as yet no evidence that it directly entered the human food supply. April 25, 2007

USA Today April 20, 2007

Dr. Mercola's Comment:

In addition to melamine, a chemical used to make fertilizer and plastics, the FDA is testing Chinese imports for cyanuric acid, another high-nitrogen chemical also used as a pool and hot tub cleaner.

There's a simple explanation for this poisoning of pets, and possibly humans, in this country, apart from the chemicals themselves -- the lack of proper oversight. Frankly, if contaminated rice, soy, and corn products have not ended up in the processed foods sold in your corner grocery store, it's because of a lucky coincidence, not the result of infrequent government inspections.

Of course, it's easy for unscrupulous manufacturers to add extra chemicals to processed foods, as well. When the ingredients are refined, dehydrated, synthetic, or stripped down to powder, who's going to notice a few chemicals more or less ... at least, until they start causing problems.

It's easy to slip in unhealthy chemicals because these "foods" already are unhealthy chemicals. It's much more difficult to adulterate natural, organic, whole foods, however; why and how would anyone add melamine to a carrot, for instance?

This is particularly tragic for all the pets that lost their lives because of this mistake. But nearly all conventional pets are just as seriously misfed as the general public.

Commercial pet food is a disaster waiting to happen, as this story clearly demonstrates. Pets, just like you, were designed to consume unprocessed and, for the most part, uncooked, raw foods. When one deviates from those choices, disease -- and not health -- results.

I am very close to partnering with a vet who is my equivalent in the pet world, and I am excited to have him share his message that so needs to be heard as millions of pets are suffering needlessly.

There's no better time than the present to step away from processed foods and begin to optimize your health and eating based on your body's unique metabolic type. You can protect yourself even further, if you want, by purchasing local food directly from the farms of producers you know and trust, through a CSA or other local food organization.

As for your pets, you can safeguard their health by feeding them a naturally balanced diet of raw meat and vegetables that's better than any processed pet food. Until I shore up the final details with my new vet expert, if you want further information you can review the excellent book, See Spot Live Longer, which emphasizes nutritional philosophies similar to my own.

Related Articles:

Toxic Chemicals Found in Nearly All Foods

U.S. Rice Supply Contaminated

The ''Dirty Dozen'' Fruits and Vegetables Containing the Most Pesticides

BY Russ Bianchi
April 26, 2007

Several years ago, I raised a simple question in a national food scientific colloquium, on the subject of pet food processing.

There were many veterinarians and animal nutritionists and experts in this field in the audience, mostly working for larger processed pet food companies.

The question was: "Could anyone comment on reports (I had read) that European dogs, particularly in Spain and Italy, eating human table scraps (veggies, pasta, unprocessed meat/poultry/fish/lamb, polenta, rice, etc.), live an average of 6 to 7 years longer than American counterparts, versus dogs eating processed canned, aseptic, or dry dog food here (USA)?"

I thought I was going to be lynched on the spot, by the incredulous verbal reactions, and knee-jerk denunciations of my question that ensued (and no one answering the the question asked)!

It was a free-for-all for the next 20 minutes, until the moderator, on the panel I was sitting on, moved on to another subject.

Obviously, I was NOT invited back the next year.

Though I have personally formulated several dog food biscuits (all natural, GRAS, and from low processed ingredient sources, as well as nutrient ) I hit a major nerve of some participants in the above described event.

This story magnifies my belief that indeed there is little oversight in food safety in the pet, or human, food chain, until something bad emerges from bad results, that cannot be brushed under the carpet, by either producers, ingredient suppliers, or so-called out numbered regulators (because there is a body count).

And oh, if you are wondering, our 13 year old tea cup Pomeranian gets human food, correctly portioned, from our table, and is in EXCELLENT health for her age.

Prevention remains less costly than reactive treatment or cures.

April 28, 2007

Perhaps the real problem with the pet foof is the GMO rice and corn that is grown and readily abailable in China. Perhaps they are trying to hide this fact from us by blaming it on chemical contamination.

©Copyright 2006 Dr. Joseph Mercola. All Rights Reserved. This content may be copied in full, with copyright, contact, creation and information intact, without specific permission, when used only in a not-for-profit format. If any other use is desired, permission in writing from Dr. Mercola is required.

# 106 Frankenfoods Update: US Rice Supply Is Contaminated

See posts #67-#68-#71-#73-#74-#84-#89-#90-#102-#103-#105, and you can see where the Frankenfood supply is headed. Common sense has been and is being replaced by corporate greed, intentional or not.
U.S. Rice Supply Contaminated

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced that small amounts of an experimental genetically engineered rice, LLRICE 601, have appeared in long-grain rice shipments earmarked for Europe.

The European Union stated in response that it would require that all long-grain rice imported from the United States be certified as free of unauthorized genetically engineered grains.

This is the first time such rice has been found in the U.S. commercial rice crop. How the GM rice got mixed into the shipments is unknown. It is possible that some seeds or pollen escaped from the test plots five years ago, and have been growing since that time.

LLRICE 601 is a type of genetically modified rice developed by Bayer CropScience. It has a genetically modified protein that makes the rice plants resist glyphosate, the weed killer also known as Round-Up. LLRICE 601 has not been approved for sale in the United States.

Washington Post August 19, 2006

Christian Science Monitor August 31, 2006

USA Today August 23, 2006


Dr. Mercola's Comment:

The blight of genetically modified (GM) grass that may be growing on your lawn so spooked the USDA recently, the agency is conducting their first environmental assessment. Now a species of GM rice -- illegal for sale to humans -- has contaminated long-grain rice shipments earmarked for Europe.

The problem began in January when one Southern U.S. farming co-op detected the biotech contamination. However, they waited five months before notifying Bayer about the problem.

Then, Bayer waited two more months before contacting the USDA on July 31, about three weeks before the feds made a public announcement. Chalk up part of the delay to a test developed by Bayer and certified in late August by the USDA that identifies unapproved strains of GM rice mixed with commercial rice.

(This is a division of the German Bayer company that sold AIDS-infected drugs in Europe and Asia that were banned in the United States).

The European Union isn't so trusting, however, and for good reason: It imports more than 260,000 tons of long-grain rice from America annually, and its customers want no part of biotech foods.

Make no mistake -- GM plants will accidentally intermix with other plants. In fact, they have already done so. Unless a halt is put on the entire process, some day in the not-too-distant future you may be completely unable to avoid GM foods, even if that is your major goal in life. It will simply be impossible due to the widespread contamination.

One of the issues that is frequently overlooked with GM crops is intellectual property. Monsanto patents are able to patent all these crops because they manipulated the U.S. legal system. So now it is entirely possible to contaminate a crop with patented seeds and then sue innocent organic farmers for patent infringement unless they buy a license to grow their Frankenfoods.

Oh, did I neglect to say Monsanto added a neat twister to this? That twist is called the terminator gene. So once the organic farmer crops become contaminated they also become "sterile." The farmer then has no choice but to purchase the seeds from Monsanto as his contaminated crops will not produce any seeds he can plant the following year.

With that in mind, I urge you to read a detailed list of tips I posted last summer to protect your health and steer clear of GM products as much as is reasonably possible:

Reduce or eliminate processed foods. Roughly 75 percent of all the processed foods you see at your corner store contain some GM ingredients.
There are many other reasons why processed foods are not optimal for your health -- for instance they often contain trans fat, acrylamide and little nutritional value -- so avoiding them will not only help you to cut back on the amount of GM foods you are consuming, but will also boost your health.

Read produce and food labels. GM soybeans and corn make up the largest portion of genetically modified crops. When looking at a product label, if any ingredients such as corn flour and meal, dextrin, starch, soy sauce, margarine, and tofu (to name a few) are listed, there's a good chance it has come from GM corn or soy, unless it's listed as organic.

Buy organic produce. Buying organic is currently the best way to ensure that your food has not been genetically modified. By definition, food that is certified organic must be free from all GM organisms, produced without artificial pesticides and fertilizers and from an animal reared without the routine use of antibiotics, growth promoters or other drugs.

Look at produce stickers. Those little stickers on fruit and vegetables contain different PLU codes depending on whether the fruit was conventionally grown, organically grown or genetically modified. The PLU code for conventionally grown fruit consists of four numbers, organically grown fruit has five numbers prefaced by the number nine, and GM fruit has five numbers prefaced by the number eight.

Related Articles:

The Damage GM Foods Can do to Your Body

Genetically Modified (GM) Foods Prepare a Takeover

Prominent Scientists Form Group to Counter GM Food


©Copyright 2007 Dr. Joseph Mercola. All Rights Reserved. This content may be copied in full, with copyright, contact, creation and information intact, without specific permission, when used only in a not-for-profit format. If any other use is desired, permission in writing from Dr. Mercola is required.