Monday, October 20, 2008

Melamine is deeply embedded in China's food chain

Dogs in China are most often raised for fur or food.

The death of these 1500 dogs from melamine poisoning reminds us how compromised China's food chain is.
The Associated Press: 1,500 Chinese raccoon dogs die from tainted feed: "Some 1,500 dogs bred for their raccoon-like fur have died after eating feed tainted with melamine, a veterinarian said Monday, raising questions about how widespread the industrial chemical is in China's food chain.
The revelation comes amid a crisis over dairy products tainted with melamine that has caused kidney stones in tens of thousands of Chinese children and has been linked to the deaths of four infants.
The raccoon dogs — a breed native to east Asia whose fur is used to trim coats and other clothing — died of kidney failure after eating the tainted feed, said Zhang Wenkui, a veterinary professor at Shenyang Agriculture University.
'First, we found melamine in the dogs' feed, and second, I found that 25 percent of the stones in the dogs' kidneys were made up of melamine,' said Zhang, who performed a necropsy — an animal autopsy — on about a dozen dogs.
Zhang declined to say when the animals died, but a report Monday in the Southern Metropolis Daily said the deaths occurred over the past two months.
There are lessons for the pharmaceutical chain as well.

Also a few lessons for libertarians everywhere.

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