Process Management

News last update:6 Aug 2012

US firms recall livestock and fish feed

Two companies are recalling livestock and fish feed ingredients because they contain melamine, the same chemical linked to the deaths of cats and dogs from tainted pet food, US health officials said Wednesday. However, there is no link between this incidence and the pet food incidence according to the FDA.

Officials said Tembec confirmed it intentionally added the non approved ingredient melamine to improve the binding properties of ingredients used to make feed pellets. Investigators are unsure how many animals may have consumed tainted feed. Officials said melamine levels were low and it was unlikely humans would be harmed.

"Both companies have stopped adding melamine to the feed product," Dr. David Acheson, FDA assistant commissioner for food protection commented. FDA is advising feed manufacturers and others who mix their own feed not to use these products, and to contact the manufacturers.

Product recall
Acheson said Ohio-based Tembec BTLSR, a unit of the Canadian wood products company Tembec, recalled AquaBond and Aqua-Tec II feed ingredients, which it distributed for Uniscope. Colorado-based Uniscope also recalled its Xtra-Bond product that was made with ingredients supplied by Tembec.
Uniscope originally notified the FDA about the contamination on May 18, agency officials said.

"We don't think the concentration is very high," said Charlie Russell, a spokesperson for Uniscope. "But if FDA thinks it's a big deal I'm not sure we're going to disagree with it."

According to Acheson, the addition of melamine was not a practice that was done very recently but has probably been going on for a little while. We suspect this is not something that happened acutely in May 2007." David Elder, director of the FDA's enforcement office, said the agency was investigating Tembec's actions and would consider if any action should be taken. Acheson said some of the feed recalled Wednesday may have been exported, and US officials are notifying affected countries.

AquaBond and Aqua-Tec II ingredients were used in fish and shrimp feed both in the United States and overseas, while Xtra-Bond was used only domestically in livestock feed.

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