Process Management

News last update:6 Aug 2012

China often uses melamine in animal feed

The mildly toxic chemical melamine is commonly added to animal feed in China, a manager of a feed company and one of the chemical's producers said.

Melamine has no nutritional value but because it is nitrogen rich, it raises the nitrogen level of feed, making it appear that the feed is higher in protein without increasing its nutritional value. That makes it attractive to makers of feed for stock animals such as pigs, chickens, and fish, as well as companies that make prepared foods for household pets such as cats and dogs.

Commonly used
Customers either don't know or aren't concerned about the practice, said Wang Jianhui, manager of the Kaiyuan Protein Feed company in the northern city of Shijiazhuang.
"We've been running the melamine feed business for about 15 years and receiving positive responses from our customers," according to Wang. "Using the proper quantity of melamine will not harm the animals. Our products are very safe, for sure," Wang said. Despite Wang's claim of safety, pet food tainted with melamine apparently has resulted in kidney failure in an unknown number of cats and other animals across the United States.

No rules or regulation
"A lot of animal food companies buy melamine from us to add in the animal feed," said Ji Denghui, manager of Sanming Dinghui Chemical Trading Co. based in the eastern province of Fujian. "This can lower the production cost and increase nitrogen levels."
"As far as I know, there are no rules of regulations that make this illegal. As to whether melamine is toxic or not, I believe it won't do any harm if there is only very small amount," Ji said. "Otherwise, those companies could not do that."

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(Source: AP)

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