Subsequent investigation revealed the presence of melamine, an industrial chemical use in the production of plastics and fertilizer. It is banned from the US food supply.
The Canadian manufacture of hundreds of different US pet foods shined a small light on the globalization of the food industry. The identification of the chemical as originating from Chinese manufacturers shined a slightly brighter light on the global food chain.
US food imports have increased 50% in the last five years. The number of FDA inspectors has dropped 20% in the same period.
The Food and Drug Administration has now identified the "contaminant" in feed used for swine, poultry and fish, all raised for human consumption. The FDA insists that the food supply is safe.
11 May 2007.
Chinese Factory Bulldozed; More Fish Farms Contaminated
FDA officials said Thursday that fish meal contaminated with melamine has been found at 60 U.S. fish hatcheries and farms; on Wednesday, the number was 13.
9 May 2007.
Chinese Contamination Case Catches Two Firms; Another Recall Possible
Almost two months after the FDA went public with a recall of contaminated pet food, China has found two companies "guilty of intentionally exporting contaminated pet food ingredients to the United States."
13 April 2007.
CFO of Menu Foods Sold Half His Shares Before Story Broke
AP reports that the CFO of Menu Foods sold about half of his shares in the company three weeks before the recall.
20 March 2007.
Pet Deaths Show The Reach of Globalization
Almost a month after the first reports of pet deaths reached its ears, the Canadian investment company responsible for the private label and contract manufacture of tainted dog and cat food alerted the public.