Ahh, don’t you yearn for those easier times, when a little pacifier was all it took to produce calm? I know I do … especially when I have to consider how much our world seems to be falling apart at the seams.
It is just really scary reading these articles about the food crisis, as the crisis is really one for us all and not just that of our beloved animals. The problem is, we are lazy and used to having certain products, or believing certain foods are necessary for our happiness. While it would be smarter to merely eat to live, we instead, live to eat. The fact that the following article is on page 1 of the Washington Post should be an alert to the seriousness of this dilemma.
Tainted Chinese Imports Common – In Four Months, FDA Refused 298 Shipments
By Rick Weiss, Washington Post Staff Writer, May 20, 2007
Dried apples preserved with a cancer-causing chemical. Frozen catfish laden with banned antibiotics. Scallops and sardines coated with putrefying bacteria. Mushrooms laced with illegal pesticides.
These were among the 107 food imports from China that the Food and Drug Administration detained at U.S. ports just last month, agency documents reveal, along with more than 1,000 shipments of tainted Chinese dietary supplements, toxic Chinese cosmetics and counterfeit Chinese medicines.
For years, U.S. inspection records show, China has flooded the United States with foods unfit for human consumption. And for years, FDA inspectors have simply returned to Chinese importers the small portion of those products they caught — many of which turned up at U.S. borders again, making a second or third attempt at entry.
Now the confluence of two events — the highly publicized contamination of U.S. chicken, pork and fish with tainted Chinese pet food ingredients and this week’s resumption of high-level economic and trade talks with China — has activists and members of Congress demanding that the United States tell China it is fed up.
Dead pets and melamine-tainted food notwithstanding, change will prove difficult, policy experts say, in large part because U.S. companies have become so dependent on the Chinese economy that tighter rules on imports stand to harm the U.S. economy, too.
“So many U.S. companies are directly or indirectly involved in China now, the commercial interest of the United States these days has become to allow imports to come in as quickly and smoothly as possible,” said Robert B. Cassidy, a former assistant U.S. trade representative for China and now director of international trade and services for Kelley Drye Collier Shannon, a Washington law firm. As a result, the United States finds itself “kowtowing to China,” Cassidy said, even as that country keeps sending American consumers adulterated and mislabeled foods.
It’s not just about cheap imports, added Carol Tucker Foreman, a former assistant secretary of agriculture now at the Consumer Federation of America. Our farmers and food processors have drooled for years to be able to sell their food to that massive market,” Foreman said. “The Chinese counterfeit. They have a serious piracy problem. But we put up with it because we want to sell to them.”
And, there’s more to the story . . .
Of course, just when you think that maybe they have a handle on what caused the thousands of dog and death deaths, you see an article like this one from Animal Wellness.
Pet Food Recall leaves bitter taste – What they’re not telling you
Animal Wellness Magazine, June/July 2007 Issue
While obviously of grave concern, many experts don’t feel that melamine is responsible for the acute renal failure animals experienced after eating the recalled foods.
“Neither melamine nor aminopterin are likely to be the real cause of the illness – the symptoms of toxicity don’t match either one,” says Dr. Hofve. “Toxicology data on melamine suggests that it can cause kidney stones and other chronic effects, but acute renal failure does not really accord with that. Some are calling melamine a ‘marker’ for something else that hasn’t yet been determined.” Theories abound as to how melamine got into the wheat gluten. Federal Drug Administration veterinarian Stephen Sundlof told CNN that it could have been added as a “cheap filler”. But according to Michael W. Fox, B. Vet. Med, Ph.D., D.Sc., M.R.C.V.S, melamine is “not cheap” and costs about 50% more than wheat gluten. “I believe the China contaminant is the tip of the iceberg, and could become the scapegoat,” says Dr. Fox. In fact, he speculates that the Chinese wheat was genetically engineered or modified (GMO), and this is the source of the problem.
“It most probably was,” he states, “since it was not imported for human consumption, and was possibly an experimental crop with anti-fungus blight and viral disease genetic insertions that could have gone haywire as a result of ‘overexpression’. Melamine, the parent chemical for a potent insecticide cyromazine, could possibly have been manufactured within the wheat plants themselves as a genetically engineered pesticide.” Alternatively, the culprit could be glyphosate, says Dr. Fox, an herbicide that is absorbed by crops that are genetically engineered so that they escape harm while the weeds in the field around them die.
To date, the FDA has not stated whether or not the wheat is GMO. Mark Ullman, legal counsel for ChemNutra, the company that imported the wheat gluten told Animal Wellness that the wheat gluten “was not supposed to be [genetically modified] but that ChemNutra did not specify non-GMO on its order” so in fact it may well have received a genetically engineered product. Thus far, GMO wheat has been frowned upon for human consumption in North America, but the FDA does not regulate its presence in pet food or animal feed. Furthermore, as with human products, genetically engineered foods do not have to declare their “altered” status on North American labels.
Please, please, please . . . think about what you are putting into your mouths and your beloved dogs’ mouths. Read the labels and remember that the fewer the ingredients, the better. Massive amounts of chemicals, preservatives and vitamins only need to be added when the ingredients are so poor and lacking in nutritional value.
Think about the years of ingesting so much of this stuff and then relate it to the compromised immune systems of us all that ultimately lead to the development of disease and dysfunction. And, then consider the virtues of going organic and living more healthy lives.
I have only recently expanded the foundation’s store and I have worked hard to find the best and safest products for both us and our animals. I have provided powerful facts that explain just how dangerous many of our crops are due to pesticides. We all need to work hard at staying informed.
We are a small mom & pop operation with just 2 folks trying to get out a huge array of wonderful products. Honestly, very little is made monetarily for all the effort. The real reward comes from knowing that more folks are doing better for themselves and their furry companions. And, the hope is that such changes can take a bite out of the high cancer rates. Please take some time to check out the . . .
1. Organic meats and poultry from Blackwing (for you & your dog)
2. Chemical-free, grass-fed, free-range Bison (Dr. Becker’s) ; Venison Treats
3. Organic Plato Chicken Dog Treats
4. Organic Sweet Potato Chews and Chips
5. Organic Canine Life dog food pre-mix
6. Organic and dye-free Plush dog toys
7. Organic and dye-free Tugs
These are ALL items that we use ourselves and that we DEPEND on. But, I can’t tell you how distressing it is to realize that one of the most popular dog treats in the country is one filled with the most questionable, poor and unhealthy ingredients. Look at the following list and marvel at the number of ingredients. Check out all the chemicals, check out the looooooong listing of vitamins that need to be added to provide nutritional value because there is absolutely nothing there of merit that has any value.
If you can’t pronounce an ingredient in a product, your dog shouldn’t be eating it. Also realize that manufacturers use unfamiliar terms to disguise unsavory ingredients. For instance, if MSG wasn’t harmful, it wouldn’t be hidden. And, it is hidden in many of the ingredients listed below. You can learn more about MSG in this GReat PDF on Excitotoxins
Okay, so here are the 34 ingredients of that HIGHLY POPULAR dog treat:
Gelatin, Wheat Protein Isolate, Glycerin, Soy Protein Isolate, Sodium Caseinate, Natural Poultry Flavor, Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate, Vegetable Oil (Preserved with Propyl Gallate), Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Lecithin, Ground Flaxseed, Calcium Carbonate, Magnesium Monostearate, Monoglycerides of Edible Fatty Acids, Choline Chloride, Potassium Sorbate (A Preservative), Minerals (Magnesium Oxide, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Potassium Iodide), Vitamins (dl-Alpha Tocopherol Acetate , Vitamin B12 Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Niacin Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride [Vitamin B6], Thiamine Mononitrate [Vitamin B1], Folic Acid), Chlorophyll.
I will be back with a post identifying the product and the scary information about many of the ingredients. So do stay tuned . . . if you dare. In the meantime, check out the healthy, organic treats I listed above or go to my foundation’s site and try making treats on your own from healthy and whole ingredients
Suzi Beber’s Homemade Recipes
Assorted Homemade Recipes