- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The chemical that sparked a nationwide recall of imported pet food has been found in fish and livestock food manufactured in the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration announced yesterday.

The feed ingredients are made by Ohio-based Tembec BTLSR Inc., a unit of the Canadian wood products company Tembec Inc., and Uniscope Inc. of Colorado. Uniscope alerted the FDA on May 18 that the feed contained melamine, the same lethal chemical found in pet food imported from China.

The FDA yesterday issued a recall for Tembec products AquaBond and Aqua-Tec II and Uniscope feed product Xtra-Bond and is conducting an investigation.

The products are binding agents that are used to make pellet feed for cattle, sheep, goats, and fish and shrimp.

Melamine is not an approved feed additive and it is not clear whether Tembec, the primary supplier, was aware of the controversy surrounding the chemical.

“It’s hard to believe” that a food manufacturer wouldn’t know about the pet food recall, said Dr. David Acheson, assistant commissioner of food protection at the FDA.

In March, the FDA found pet food imported from China was contaminated with melamine, a chemical additive used to create the perception of an increased level of protein content in food. Melamine is also used in plastics and household textiles.

In March, the FDA began a recall that has stopped the sale of more than 100 brands of pet foods. The recall forced the federal government to scramble to secure the country’s borders from tainted imported foods.

“I think that food safety is a domestic and international issue; the reason we heard about it is because of raised awareness and actively going out and testing companies who use protein concentrates. We certainly can’t rule out that there won’t be more of these,” Dr. Acheson said.

Federal investigators are unaware of the number of animals that may have consumed the tainted feed, but Dr. Acheson said it was unlikely that human consumption of any affected pork, chicken, eggs or fish would pose a human health risk.

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