China’s melamine problem isn’t just with milk anymore. There are now signs that the dangerous chemical has spread to animal feed supplies. Eggs were the first warning that the problem was more serious than the Chinese had previously thought, and recalls have been issued. Officials may now have to test all animal products and any foods containing animal ingredients.
Melamine is a dangerous chemical that caused kidney stones and renal failure. So far, more than 50,000 children have gotten sick after drinking contaminated milk, and there have been at least known deaths.
The reason for the contamination is China’s lack of effective regulation. From the New York Times:
Government investigators have blamed the dairy scandal on a group of rogue milk and melamine dealers who they accuse of intentionally adding melamine, which is commonly used to produce plastic and fertilzer, to milk supplies as cheap filler in order to save money.
High-ranking government officials, including the head of the nation’s quality watchdog, have been fired in the wake of the recalls and Beijing has acknowledged that “lax regulation” contributed to the scandal.
China’s melamine problem is an example of why we need to know where our food comes from. The same goes for the food we feed our companion animals, after last year’s animal deaths from contaminated pet food. Shop local, organic, or even better, grow your own.
Not only is this scary for people eating animal products, China’s lack of regulation and concern for well-being and safety is terrifying. Their economy is growing exponentially and in a not-too-distant future China will be the richest nation in the world, followed by India, with the United States coming in at third. However, they still make money by exploiting workers in sweatshops, their human rights record is hugely disappointing, and no other nation will dare confront them because of money made through trade. Not to mention that the United States has been borrowing money from China, which means we essentially can’t confront them on their human rights, animal welfare, and safety abuses.