Tainted Animal Feed May Be in Fish
FDA Says Health Risk to Humans Is Low
Tainted Wheat Flour
At the news conference, Acheson also announced that FDA tests on
melamine-tainted Chinese ingredients already under investigation were conducted
on mislabeled products.
The labels said the products contained wheat gluten and rice protein
concentrate. But they actually contained wheat flour.
"I realize this is a perfect storm for total confusion," Acheson
says. "Even though it's labeled gluten and we all thought it was gluten --
[and] it was used as gluten -- it wasn't. It was mislabeled and was actually
"The material that was tested that we found to be the wheat flour was
the same sample, the same material that had been tested positive for
melamine," Acheson says. "It does not represent new batches from
different companies, different countries, with yet another problem. It is the
same melamine-contaminated material which we have just taken to a next level of
Acheson doesn't rule out further scrutiny of wheat flour, but he says there
is no evidence of a wider problem with wheat flour.
There continues to be no sign that melamine-tainted products are in human
food, except for the tainted animal feed, according to Acheson.
"We do not believe that any of these ingredients have gone directly into
the human food chain. None of that has changed," Acheson says.
Theory on Mislabeled Flour
Acheson described what he called a "plausible hypothesis" about why
the wheat flour was mislabeled as wheat gluten.
"Now, this is the point at which we become speculative, but it may throw
some light onto how does this all fit together," he says.
Wheat flour contains wheat gluten, which is high in protein. "Rather
than taking the trouble to extract the wheat gluten ... you simply grind up the
wheat, put it all together, and then artificially create the appearance of it
being high in protein by adding a high-nitrogen-containing compound such as
Yesterday, the FDA and USDA announced that melamine-tainted animal feed fed
to hogs and poultry posed "very low" risk to humans. Based on test
results, the USDA has begun to clear some hogs and poultry that had temporarily
been held from the market due to the tainted animal feed.