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View Diary: Killer Peanut Butter... Why It Was Predicted but Not Prevented (183 comments)

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  •  great ideas (1+ / 0-)
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    Hardhat Democrat

    I don't know much about C-SPAN. You think you could email them and ask?

    •  I'll look for it and get back. (2+ / 0-)

      I count on C-SPAN to do the right thing, and they generally do. I think Book TV spisodes usually are available on line, but I'll check.

    •  It isn't up yet, but I think it will be. (2+ / 0-)

      I'll check again later.

    •  Recording date was Oct. 9, 2008 (3+ / 0-)

      at Politics and Prose bookstore. Nixon read parts of her chapter on the FDA response, since this was an "inside the beltway crowd." FDA, at the time of the Pet food scare, held frequent phone-in press conferences, but basically stalled when the public was most in need of where did this (melamine-contaminated gluten) come from and how do I know it is not in my pet food. She mentioned that everybody is testing now, but ... Keep in mind that the milk formula was the bigger story out of China when she was speaking. Melamine was in Hershey's chocolate (denied) and Cadberry's. Some kinds of coffee that had milk products mixed that originated in China, etc. She mentioned that some wholesalers (PetFood Nation, I think, in SF, by name) were being proactive and not carrying any pet food that wasn't testing zero parts melamine. FDA says 2.5 mg per kilogram is "safe."

      She mentioned a buddy that when he learned "melamine" looked up the chemical formula and immediately deduced it was a fraudulent attempt to trick the test for nitrogen. She was shocked that it took the FDA so long. They cannot order recalls, only suggest. Seemed to her they were being over cautious. Had no concept of why people could be so concerned about their "animals." Was amazed that so much pet food came from one plant in Kansas: they just change the recipe for many, many different brands. They Clean out the pet food lines with by running food through it and that gets turned into hog food or fish food, and that is why some hogs in California had it. They had already gone into human consumption. I gathered that there was no attempt to trace these.

      She used the vet library at Cornell to find two influential articles not on the internet. A late 60s study from doctors in South Africa: Sheep were given melamine in attempt to give them a low cost "nutritious" food. They died. Another 70s study from Italy; melamine put in fish food. Bad results.

      In the book she has a long many-pages timeline of the pet food contamination incident. Originally this was supposed to be a 10-page supplement to another book, but turned into this book and she is working on another. The audience seemed slightly more insistent that this outrage stop; Nixon said it's a values thing how you feed your pet. Explained that the parts of animals we do not eat but are nevertheless nutritious make up calorie by calorie for the food that would feed 40 million people. Yet applauded those that found ways to justify and feed cats and dogs a vegetarian died.

      Main Message: She is not trying to be xenophobic about China, was unsure of other developing cases except for one contained to Thailand in the early 1990s. China is where we were at the turn of the 18-1900s before any food regulation. Bottom line was do not buy anything food /food ingredient from there until they get a chance to get their act together and test and certify.

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