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Fraud, Plain and Simple

The Associated Press reports, Farmed fish given meal tainted with melamine, thus expanding the effect of the problem to another area of the human food supply, but down at the bottom of the article is the real news:

U.S. investigators also have learned that the purported Chinese wheat gluten and a second ingredient, rice protein concentrate, were actually simple wheat flour. The flour was spiked with melamine and related, nitrogen-rich compounds to make it appear more protein rich than it was. In tests, nitrogen levels are measured to gauge the overall protein content of food ingredients.

“What we discovered is these are not wheat gluten and rice protein concentrate but in fact are wheat flour contaminated by melamine,” Acheson said.

The FDA is considering enforcement options, he added. The ingredients came from two Chinese firms: Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development Co. and Futian Biology Technology Co. Ltd.

The Chinese had one product, wheat flour and ground counter-tops. Whatever you ordered you got that with a label reflecting what you ordered. This is fraud – straight-forward, old-fashioned fraud. This wasn’t a mistake or misunderstanding or a cultural difference – it was fraud.


1 Scorpio { 05.08.07 at 9:28 pm }

Counter tops are Formica. Plastic dishes are melamine.


2 Bryan { 05.08.07 at 9:59 pm }

Formica is melamine soaked paper. At least the paper is recycled these days, and they no longer add mica to the coating for sparkle [oops, was originally going to be a replacement for mica in insulators]. Oh, the “For” is from formaldehyde, the chemical necessary for the reaction that turns the melamine into plastic.

3 Steve Bates { 05.09.07 at 12:28 am }

Having had my head in software installation and documentation for most of the past couple of days, I just discovered the “fishy” story… and was coming over here to let you know. Under the circumstances, I should know you’d be on top of it already.

I still need to decide whether to eat the contents of those cans of vegetarian “Peking duck” … whether they’re wheat gluten or wheat flour. I know I’m scraping the barrel for work at the moment, but just how hungry am I?

(OT aside: I exchanged that UPS for one by Belkin. No “big bang” with the new one.)

4 Bryan { 05.09.07 at 10:27 am }

Steve, this is apparently a recent thing, last year or so. Someone found out you could get away with it and started doing it.

The cat food I make for the ferals uses rice, but real Arkansas rice. The protein is recognizable as fish, chicken, turkey, or beef. No problem when you stay close enough to the original food to recognize it and them boil it to save the vitamins and kill the bacteria.

It’s the retailers who are taking most of the loss, the small stores. Consumers want their money back and the retailers can’t get their money back.

OT: I’ve always had luck with Belkin products, but I can’t complain about my two APCs.

5 Steve Bates { 05.09.07 at 11:48 am }

Bryan, the cans I have are from a Fiesta store, a big-box chain which fills the international foods niche here. They haven’t pulled those cans from the shelf, but they haven’t restocked, either; they may well not be able to get them given everything going on. I think I’ll pass on eating what I’ve got already.

OT: I had no trouble at all with an identical APC that I installed at Stella’s place about a week earlier. The only thing I don’t like about this new Belkin is that they’ve replaced their monitoring s/w since the last Belkin UPS I bought, and the results are ugly… and not just visually.

6 Bryan { 05.09.07 at 12:20 pm }

Just in time inventory control strikes again. The flow is interrupted so “divers alaurms” ensues.

OT: most of the monitoring software sucks, so I leave a blank desktop when I have to go out.