F.D.A. Says Food From Cloned Animals Is Safe

To clone or not to clone, that is the question.  It takes on a whole new meaning to Wendy’s  “Where’s the beef”
The calf Priscilla was cloned by ViaGen from a slab of beef.
Published: January 16, 2008

After years of debate, the Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday declared that food from cloned animals and their progeny is safe to eat, clearing the way for milk and meat derived from genetic copies of prized dairy cows, steers and hogs to be sold at the grocery store. 

The decision was hailed by cloning companies and some farmers, who have been pushing for government approval in hopes of turning cloning into a routine agricultural tool. Because clones are costly, it is their offspring that are most likely to be used for producing milk, hamburgers or pork chops, while the clones themselves are reserved for breeding.

“This is a huge milestone,” said Mark Walton, president of ViaGen, a leading livestock cloning company in Austin, Tex.

Farmers had long observed a voluntary moratorium on the sale of clones and their offspring into the food supply. The F.D.A. on Tuesday effectively lifted that for clone offspring. But another government agency, the Agriculture Department, asked farmers to continue withholding clones themselves from the food supply, saying the department wanted time to allay concerns among retailers and overseas trading partners.

“We are very cognizant we have a global environment as it pertains to movement of agricultural products,” said Bruce I. Knight, under secretary of agriculture for marketing and regulatory programs. He said it was his goal to have the transition last months, not years.

Animal breeding takes time, so even with Tuesday’s actions, it is likely to be several years before products from the offspring of clones are at the grocery store in appreciable quantity.

Further down in the article Representative Rosa DeLauro, Democrat of Connecticut expressed this proposal:

However, Representative Rosa DeLauro, Democrat of Connecticut, has introduced legislation to require labels on cloned products, and consumer groups suggested that labeling would be a battleground in the near future.

[For the complete article – continue here] [Share Your Thoughts]

I would be interested in your comments as well.

From this article it is obvious that the food industry isn’t ready to immediately jump in the water without concerns but do feel comfortable that we will see cloning in the not to far future as the alternative way of producing and supplying dairy and meat products. I personally don’t think this is something I could commit to especially and hopefully will require all that is cloned to be labeled as such as given a choice I personally would not choose the cloned product…..flagranny2

Wal-Mart Says Removed Chinese-Made Dog Treats Over Deadly Chemical

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

  I’m amazed that there are still any products out that are still on the shelves with the name “China” on them.  Is our country so desperate that we need to continue trade and play Russian roulette on a 50/50 chance, no I’d say far less than 50/50 chance that the products is going to be safe? 
  Oh yeah, BTW if you are one who enjoys eating with chopsticks you might want to think twice as one factory has recycled and sold at least 100,000 pairs.  Disenfecting them, what’s that, of course not!!!

NEW YORK  —  Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) said it pulled two Chinese-made dog treats from its shelves nearly a month earlier, and tests now show they had traces of melamine, a chemical found in pet food that was blamed for the deaths of pets and led to a massive recall earlier this year.

The two types of dog treats — Chicken Jerky Strips manufactured by Import-Pingyang Pet Product Co. and Chicken Jerky manufactured by Shanghai Bestro Trading — were removed from its stores on July 26, Wal-Mart spokeswoman Deisha Galberth said in a statement.

After 17 sets of tests, “the latest advice from our testing laboratory shows trace levels of melamine,” Galberth said.

The products will not be sold anymore, and a computerized block has been placed on the product at cash registers as an added precaution, Galberth said.

The Associated Press reported earlier that Wal-Mart had removed those two types of dog treats last month after customers complained that the products had made their pets sick.

Earlier this year, thousands of people flooded the U.S. Food and Drug Administration with complaints of animals becoming ill or dying after consuming certain pet foods.

The result was a recall of hundreds of brands of China-made pet food containing wheat gluten found to be tainted with melamine. That was followed by several others ranging from tires and toothpaste to toys and medicines.

The latest in the line of Chinese product safety scares is recycled chopsticks — a Beijing factory sold up to 100,000 used pairs a day without any form of disinfecting, the Beijing News reported.

Canned Meat Recall Expanded Over Botulism Scare

Sunday, July 22, 2007

WASHINGTON —  A Georgia meat processor on Saturday expanded its recall of canned meat products that may be connected to a botulism outbreak.

Castleberry’s Food Co. of Augusta recalled more than 80 types of canned chili, beef stew, corned beef hash and other meat products in addition to the 10 brands it had recalled Thursday.

Cans of chili sauce made at the Castleberry’s plant were found in the homes of an Indiana couple and two children in Texas who had been hospitalized with botulism. All four are expected to survive.

Botulism is a muscle-paralyzing disease caused by a toxin made by a bacterium, Clostridium botulinum. Such bacteria are commonly found in soil.

The Agriculture Department’s Food Safety and Inspection Service said Thursday that an equipment malfunction may have been responsible for the contamination.

On Saturday, FSIS said the malfunctions at the Augusta processing plant may have existed longer than initially estimated.

Castleberry’s, which is owned by Bumble Bee Seafoods LLC and based in San Diego, voluntarily expanded the recall.

Castleberry’s senior vice president Steve Mavity said: “We believe we have isolated the issue to a situation of under-processing on one line of our production facility. As an extra precaution to the recall we announced on Wednesday, we have shut down this line altogether and are recalling all products produced on it.”

Brand names of the recalled products include Austex, Best Yet, Big Y, Black Rock, Bloom, Bryan, Bunker Hill, Castleberry’s, Cattle Drive, Firefighters, Food Club, Food Lion, Goldstar, Great Value, Kroger, Lowes, Meijer, Morton House, Paramount, Piggly Wiggly, Prudence, Southern Home, Steak N Shake, Thrifty Maid, Triple Bar and Value Time. The recall also includes four varieties of Natural Balance dog food.

Consumers with questions about the recall may contact Castleberry’s at 1-888-203-8446.

Contaminated Counterfeit Toothpaste Now Found in 6 States, Canada

Sunday, July 01, 2007

The 2 words “SOUTH AFRICA”  proceeding “Made in” are the 2 words that we should be wary of all imports that are consumable by mouth not only for us but for our pets and all farmed animals. 
My question is, are these products intentionally being tainted with the poisonous chemical DEG or is it being used as a cheap substitute for something else without intention to cause illnesses and  fatalaties.

WASHINGTON —  Counterfeit Colgate toothpaste has now turned up in Canada, where testing has found dangerous bacteria but not the poisonous chemical previously detected in four U.S. states, a health official said Saturday.

In addition, store owners and police say they have discovered that the bogus Colgate was sold in Michigan and Virginia.

The FDA warned earlier in June that fake Colgate distributed in Maryland, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania may contain a poisonous chemical called diethylene glycol, or DEG, that typically is used in antifreeze. That toothpaste was the subject of a June 13 recall by a New Jersey distributor.

It was not immediately clear if the counterfeit products in Pinconning, Mich., and Arlington, Va., had been tested for DEG.

In Canada, testing did not find the chemical but did show high levels of harmful bacteria, said Paul Duchesne, a spokesman for Health Canada.

A Food and Drug Administration spokeswoman said Saturday she was checking into reports of the wider distribution beyond the first four states.

The bacteria pose a significant health risk, especially to children and anyone with a weakened immune system, Health Canada said. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police is investigating.

In all cases, the toothpaste was labeled as made in South Africa. Both the FDA and New York-based Colgate-Palmolive Co. have said the products are fake, citing in part misspellings — “SOUTH AFRLCA” is one — on the packaging. Its true origin is unknown, according to the FDA

For the complete aricle and related see Fox News – foxnews.com

More Imported Toothpaste Being Recalled in 4 States

Thursday, June 14, 2007 3:46 AM CDT
This Colgate toothpaste is labled “Made is South Africa.” It is getting to the point it isn’t safe to buy a product that is consumable or could possibly be ingested.


WASHINGTON
– The Colgate-Palmolive Company said Thursday that 5-ounce tubes of counterfeit toothpaste sold in discount stores in four states under a Colgate label are being recalled because they may contain a poisonous chemical.

A Food and Drug Administration official, Doug Arbesfeld, said Wednesday that testing had found the chemical in a product with the Colgate label, but said in the initial announcement that the FDA was unsure whether it really was Colgate or a counterfeit.

“We are aware that toothpaste is something that’s been counterfeited in the past,” he said. “We don’t want to alarm people unnecessarily.”

MS USA Trading, Inc. of North Bergen, N.J., the importer involved in the initial recall announcement, said the toothpaste may contain diethylene glycol, a chemical found in antifreeze.

The company said the toothpaste, imported from South Africa, was sold in discount stores in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland.

“Made in South Africa” is printed on the box and includes Regular, Gel, Triple and Herbal versions.

The trading company said the problem was discovered in routine testing by the Food and Drug Administration. It said no illnesses have been reported to date.

The same chemical has led to the recall of several brands of toothpaste imported from China in recent weeks.

Consumers who have purchased 5-ounce toothpaste under the Colgate label can return them to the place of purchase for a refund, MS USA Trading said.

Colgate-Palmolive issued a press release early Thursday saying the tubes are counterfeit.

The company said it does not use, nor has ever used, diethylene glycol as an ingredient in Colgate toothpaste anywhere in the world.

“Colgate does not import toothpaste into the United States from South Africa,” said the statement from Colgate-Palmolive. “In addition, the counterfeit packages examined so far have several misspellings including: `isclinically,’ `SOUTH AFRLCA’ and `South African Dental Assoxiation.

“Counterfeit toothpaste is not manufactured or distributed by Colgate and has no connection with the company whatsoever,” the company said, adding that Colgate is working closely with the FDA “to help to identify those responsible for the counterfeit product.”

But Colgate said consumers who suspect they may have purchased counterfeit product can call Colgate’s toll-free number at 1-800-468-6502.

On the Net:

Food and Drug Administration: http://www.fda.gov

A service of the Associated Press(AP)

FDA: Throw away toothpaste made in China

POSTED: 7:21 p.m. EDT, June 1, 2007

WASHINGTON (AP) — The government warned consumers on Friday to avoid using toothpaste made in China because it may contain a poisonous chemical used in antifreeze.

Out of caution, the Food and Drug Administration said, people should throw away toothpaste with labeling that says it was made in China. The FDA is concerned that these products may contain diethylene glycol.

The agency is not aware of any poisoning from toothpaste in the United States, but it did find the antifreeze ingredient in a shipment at the U.S. border and at two retail stores: a Dollar Plus store in Miami and a Todo A Peso store in Puerto Rico.

Officials said they are primarily concerned about toothpaste sold at bargain retail outlets. The ingredient in question, called DEG, is used as a lower-cost sweetener and thickening agent. The highest concentration of the chemical found in toothpaste so far was between 3 percent and 4 percent of the product’s overall weight.

“It does not belong in toothpaste even in small concentrations,” said the FDA’s Deborah M. Autor.

The FDA increased its scrutiny of toothpaste made in China because of reports of contamination in several countries, including Panama.

The agency is particularly concerned about chronic exposure to DEG in children and in people with kidney or liver disease.

Agency officials said they had no estimate of how many tubes of tainted toothpaste might have made it into the United States.

“Our concern today is potentially about all toothpaste that comes in from China,” Autor said. “Our estimate is that China makes up about $3.3 million of the $2 billion U.S. toothpaste market.”

The agency also issued an import alert Friday for all dental products containing DEG. The alert means toothpaste from China will be stopped at the border, she said.

Companies that make brands previously found with DEG will have to prove the toothpaste is free of the chemical before it’s allowed into the country. Meanwhile, all other brands of Chinese-made toothpaste will be stopped for testing, something the agency has been doing since May 23.

The import alert posted by the government says DEG has been improperly used in a variety of sedatives, syrups and cough medicines worldwide. Most recently, a cough syrup containing DEG resulted in more than 40 deaths in Panama last September.

The alert says the agency found DEG in three products manufactured by Goldcredit International Trading in China. The products are Cooldent Fluoride, Cooldent Spearmint and Cooldent ICE. Analysis of the products revealed they contained between 3 percent and 4 percent DEG.

The agency also found the chemical in one product manufactured by Suzhou City Jinmao Daily Chemical Co. in China. Analysis of that product, Shir Fresh Mint Fluoride Paste, found it contained about 1 percent DEG.

China’s food safety problems have in recent months become a matter of international concern, a situation reflected in trade talks between Chinese and U.S. officials in Washington last week.

Most notably, on March 15, FDA learned that certain pet foods were sickening and killing cats and dogs. FDA found contaminants in vegetable proteins imported into the United States from China and used as ingredients in pet food.

Ex-Chief of China Food and Drug Unit Sentenced to Death for Graft

DAVID BARBOZA
Published: May 30, 2007

This article follows my two previous posts-
-“Tainted Chinese Imports Common”
-“From China to Panama, a Trail of Poisoned Medicine”

SHANGHAI, May 29 — The former director of China’s top food and drug safety agency was sentenced to death on Tuesday after pleading guilty to corruption and accepting bribes, the state-controlled news media reported.

Zheng Xiaoyu was the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration from its founding in 1998 until mid-2005, when he was removed from his post. He was detained in February in a government investigation of the agency, which is supposed to be China’s food and drug watchdog. Two other top agency officials have also been detained.

Mr. Zheng, 62, received the unusually harsh sentence amid heightened concern about the quality and safety of China’s food and drug system after several scandals involving tainted food and phony drugs.

China is also under mounting pressure to overhaul its food export controls after two Chinese companies were accused this year of shipping contaminated pet food ingredients to the United States, setting off one of the largest pet food recalls in United States history.

China’s regulators are also coming under scrutiny after diethylene glycol, a toxic chemical sometimes used in antifreeze, ended up in cough syrup and toothpaste in Latin America. In Panama, more than 100 people died last year after consuming cough medicine laced with diethylene glycol, which was shipped from China mislabeled as a harmless syrup.

The incidents pose a huge threat to China’s growing food and drug exports and have already led to international calls for new testing and screening methods for Chinese-made goods.

The problems are more serious in China because tens of thousands of people are sickened or killed every year as a result of rampant counterfeiting of drugs, and tainted and substandard food and drugs.

For instance, last year 11 people died in China after being treated with an injection tainted by a poisonous chemical. Six people died and 80 others fell ill after taking an antibiotic that had been produced, according to government regulators, with a “substandard disinfectant.”

Small drug makers in China have long been accused of manufacturing phony or substandard drugs and marketing them to the nation’s hospitals and pharmaceutical companies. And mass poisonings involving tainted food products are common.

The Chinese government has stepped up its patrols in recent weeks, announcing measures aimed at strengthening food and drug safety and cracking down on counterfeiting operations.

On Tuesday, the government said it was preparing to release its first regulation on nationwide food recalls. It also said it would crack down on food products that are being illegally exported, bypassing food inspections.

As for Mr. Zheng, the government said that as director of the Food and Drug Administration, he took bribes worth about $850,000 in exchange for approving drug production licenses.

Worried that many of those drugs may be substandard, China is reviewing more than 170,000 production licenses the agency issued in the past decade.

It is unclear whether or when Mr. Zheng will be executed. In some cases, death sentences for officials are commuted.