FDA Finds Chinese Food Producers Shut Down

– Ah, I don’t know what we really expected to find. Maybe Chinese workers standing around with the offending chemicals stacked in bags around their feet several weeks after the international firestorm broke? Yeah, right. Of course it was all cleaned up.

– I love this part especially:

David Acheson, FDA’s assistant commissioner for food protection, said that despite appearances, U.S. investigators in China “have received good cooperation and support” from Chinese authorities.

And “consumers can feel reassured,” he said….

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American inspectors who arrived in China last week to investigate the two companies that exported tainted pet food ingredients found that the suspect facilities had been hastily closed down and cleaned up, federal officials said yesterday.

“There is nothing to be found. They are essentially shut down and not operating,” said Walter Batts, deputy director of the Food and Drug Administration‘s office of international programs.

Word of the American team’s inability to conduct a firsthand inspection came as investigators in this country learned that as many as 198 U.S. fish farms and hatcheries may have received fish feed contaminated with the chemical melamine, which came from the same two Chinese companies.

Officials said they are trying to figure out how many of the hatcheries and farms received the chemically laced food and how many fish that were fed it may have been released — either into streams or lakes for sportsmen or onto grocery store shelves.

Despite the revelations, officials sought yesterday to put a positive face on the two-month-old scandal, which includes the inadvertent sale of millions of chickens that ate the tainted feed and the ongoing quarantine of tens of thousands of hogs.

David Acheson, FDA’s assistant commissioner for food protection, said that despite appearances, U.S. investigators in China “have received good cooperation and support” from Chinese authorities.

And “consumers can feel reassured,” he said, that according to a federal risk analysis, they face virtually no increased health risks from eating fish that may have been given contaminated feed.

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