The latest UPDATE in the food recall case is that Chinese officials have arrested the general manager of the company that manufactured the melamine-contaminated wheat gluten. The manager and the company claim that they had no knowledge of melamine being used to boost the protein levels of their product, despite the fact that the company had openly posted ads on the Internet, including this appeal: “We urgently need a lot of melamine scrap.” The good news is that the Chinese government is no longer pretending to know nothing of this practice and we here in the US are taking a closer look at what we’re eating.
Here’s some food for thought: Did you know that right here in the US, we have producers of wheat gluten? Sure—it’s just one of the many products that come from those amber waves of grain! And yet, the companies involved in the pet food recall source their gluten from all the way over in China. Any idea why? Because it’s cheaper! Food manufacturers can purchase gluten from China for 20-30% less than what it costs to produce US wheat gluten. Who benefits from this cheaper price? Not you, not US farmers, and certainly not the environment, which has to absorb the cost of transporting gluten all around the world. The only one who benefits is the food manufacturer, who puts that savings in their own coffers at the expense of our environment, our farmers, our safety, our selves.