Update: Sunday: Itchmo site
BREAKING NEWS: Melamine Spiking in Food “Widespread” For Years
We will just let the story speak for itself. Highlights are below. NOTE: The article went missing on the IHT site. We’re looking for a new link now. Until then, please read our comments.

No more denials, no more hemming and hawing by the FDA. Time to take massive cautionary action is now. It’s not just animal feed anymore. It’s not just pet food. It’s a crisis. It’s been going on for years. It’s being done in “wheat, corn, soybean or other proteins”.

All ingredients and foods imported from abroad needs to be tested now. Period. Any food that used suspect ingredients should be recalled. ASAP.

Highlights below from the IHT article (emphasis ours):

Here at the Shandong Mingshui Great Chemical Group factory, huge boiler vats are turning coal into melamine, which is used to create plastics and fertilizer.

But the leftover melamine scrap, small acorn-sized chunks of white rock, is then being sold to local entrepreneurs, who say they secretly mix a powdered form of the scrap into animal feed to artificially enhance the protein level.

“It just saves money,” says a manager at an animal feed factory here. “Melamine scrap is added to animal feed to boost the protein level.”

The practice is widespread in China. For years animal feed sellers have been able to cheat buyers by blending the powder into feed with little regulatory supervision, according to interviews with melamine scrap traders and agricultural workers here.

“Many companies buy melamine scrap to make animal feed, such as fish feed,” says Ji Denghui, general manager of the Fujian Sanming Dinghui Chemical Company. “I don’t know if there’s a regulation on it. Probably not. No law or regulation says ‘don’t do it,’ so everyone’s doing it. The laws in China are like that, aren’t they? If there’s no accident, there won’t be any regulation.”

Most local feed companies do not admit that they use melamine. But last Friday here in Zhangqiu, a fast-growing industrial city southeast of Beijing, a pair of animal feed producers explained in great detail how they purchase low-grade wheat, corn, soybean or other proteins and then mix in small portions of nitrogen-rich melamine, whose chemical properties give a bag of animal feed an inflated protein level under standard tests.

“If you add it in small quantities, it won’t hurt the animals,” said one animal feed entrepreneur whose name is being withheld to protect him from prosecution.

The man - who works in a small animal feed operation that consists of a handful of storage and mixing areas - said he has mixed melamine into animal feed for years.

We’ve always suspected that this problem went back further than Menu Foods and this article confirms our suspicions. Again, we may never know the degree of deaths and illnesses in pets as many have long died and evidence has been lost.

Also, in other news. ChemNutra says MenuFoods was using 80 tons of wheat gluten from another source.