Since Hong Kong’s recent melamine findings in China-produced SELECT eggs, melamine has been found in several other Chinese egg brands. Many questions are now being raised in the Chinese media as to just what’s the China FDA’s been up to. We overheard on the radio the other day someone asking why food safety problems have always first been identified outside mainland China, and why the Chinese food authority always seems to be caught ‘sleeping’.
Well, now, the Hong Kong authorities are not taking anything to chance and are now conducting tests on meat and vegetables, a move Reuters says “underlines concerns about environmental contamination and food safety”:
It has since emerged that cyromazine, a derivative of melamine, is widely used in pesticides and animal feed in China, and experts say it is absorbed in plants as melamine and that the chemical is already in the human food chain.
However, no one knows how much melamine is absorbed into raw foods such as meat and vegetables, and experts hope Hong Kong’s tests on vegetables and meat will shed some light.
“It’s possible there may be contamination from pesticides … and there is some concern about vegetables and animal feed,” Kwan Hoishan, a biologist at the Chinese University and member of a government-backed task force working on the melamine problem in Hong Kong, told Reuters.
“We have no idea about the level of contamination in meat and vegetables … it’s hard to say if (such levels of) melamine are harmful to human health, they would first have to be tested.”
Meanwhile, Shanghai also appears to be cracking its whip. The Shanghai Daily tells us of “full scale checks” that are now being conducted on feed used in the local fisheries industry:
SHANGHAI will carry out full scale checks on feed used in the fisheries industry due to fear the widening melamine-tainted food scandal may spread to seafood. The dangerous chemical has already been found in eggs and milk powder.
Shanghai’s Livestock Office pledged today that the check will cover more than 100 feed producers in the city and further inspections on seafood will start if the feed given to fish are found contaminated with the toxic chemical.
For more stories on the melamine brouhaha, click here.