USDA, FDA clear detained hogs for slaughter
The U.S. Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration have cleared for slaughter about 56,000 hogs, which were quarantined earlier due to their exposure to melamine-tainted feed.
“Testing of meat from swine exposed to the feed in question confirms that melamine and melamine compounds do not accumulate in pork and is filtered out of the body by the action of the kidneys,” said the USDA in a May 15 statement.
The USDA and FDA concluded their tests on the hogs on May 12. The hogs were detained after health concerns were raised over cats and dogs that died of kidney failure related to pet food that contained melamine. The compound originated in imported wheat flour from China.
The hogs were held on farms in California, North Carolina, South Carolina, New York, Kansas, Utah and Illinois.
The USDA will provide compensation to producers for certain additional costs incurred as a result of voluntarily holding the animals. The department estimates that about 100 million hogs are processed in the United States annually.
About 80,000 poultry continue to be held at USDA’s request at farms in Indiana while a validated test for detecting melamine in poultry meat is developed. That test should be completed later this week, the USDA said.
FDA is continuing its investigation into the presence of melamine in fish feed manufactured by the Canadian company Skretting. The company has recalled all fish feed from commercial fisheries and hatcheries that may have received it, including those in the United States. The FDA confirmed that two U.S. fisheries received the tainted food.
“The fish in those two establishments are on hold and samples of the fish and the feed are being tested for melamine levels,” the USDA said. “Based on the human risk assessment, there is very low risk from eating fish that consumed feed containing melamine.”