News last update:6 Aug 2012

Millions of chickens involved in feed scandal

As many as 20 million chickens currently on US farms in several states may have been fed contaminated feed, the US Agriculture Department has said.

According to spokesman Keith Williams the USDA have learned that larger commercial contractors purchased and used contaminated feed.

The USDA declined to release specific details and said it was still establishing how long the contractors had been using the bad feed, contaminated with pet food that contained the industrial chemical melamine.

The Agriculture Department is requesting that the chickens be held on farms until the government can complete a risk assessment to rule out any threat to humans from eating the meat before the birds can be processed.

The review, which is being conducted by the Food and Drug Administration, Environmental Protection Agency and USDA, is expected to be finalised over the past weekend.

The birds were among millions believed to have been given pet food containing melamine, a chemical used in plastics and fertiliser. It is uncertain how many chickens have been processed and made their way to US retail stores.

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