Photo by hyperscholar @ flickr.
It's been about a year since the first reports of tainted pet food poisonings brought melamine, the chemical additive that can boost the protein quotient of soy and other feeds, to consumers' attention. Tragically, not only many pets died but also at least six infants died (and 300,000 were sickened) from drinking formula that had high levels of melamine, which can lead to kidney failure.
But if you weren't a baby drinking formula (or an adult using protein-powders) you may have thought you didn't have too much to worry about. Unfortunately, in the global village tainted foods and/or tainted feed stocks have a way of getting around. Melamine-tainted eggs have turned up in Hong Kong. Now for the first time there's a link to the organic food supply - but French officials say there shouldn't be cause for alarm.
"Unlike dioxin, melamine does not build up in the body. There is no way of catching it through the food chain,' Frederic Andre told AFP.
Another expert, Peter Dingle of Murdoch University in Perth, Australia told the Associated Press that a few servings of bacon, for example, wouldn't have enough chemical in them to do harm.
While that might seem reassuring - scientists are not able to definitively state that melamine will cause no harm to humans because there have been few tests to show melamine's effects on humans - EPA is undertaking a study. At the very least it is now appearing that the global food supply is awash in an industrial chemical that has proven harmful to pets and to infants, and furthermore that organic foods are not necessarily immune. As James McWilliams reports in the New York Times, melamine is not just a Chinese problem. We make a lot of melamine in the U.S. and use it liberally in fertilizers as well as as a plasticizer. McWilliams said:
"We can seek out organic foods, which are grown with fertilizer without melamine — unless that fertilizer was composted with manure from animals fed melamine-laden feed."
McWilliams goes on to suggest that (exclusively) grass-fed or free-range animals would give one further level of protection, assuming the grass was never fertilized with melamine-laced fertilizer. Via: NaturalNews
Post script: This French source says the soymeal was "bio" or organic.