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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.

Boston.com 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 nutritional 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.

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