Fish farms share pet-food trouble

first_imgIt wasn’t immediately clear if any of the farmed fish actually entered the food supply. Acheson said at least one affected firm’s fish were still too young and small to be sold. Investigators were visiting other U.S. aquaculture farms that used the contaminated feed. Farmed fish typically are sold for direct consumption or for stocking lakes and streams. The head of a St. Louis company reported brokering a deal to import nearly 353,000 pounds of what was supposedly Chinese wheat gluten that went directly to a Canadian aquaculture feed ingredient company called Westaqua. Listings for Canadian fish meal producers include Westaqua Commodity Group Ltd., based in Vancouver, British Columbia. When reached by telephone, the president of Westaqua Commodity Group Ltd. declined to talk about the matter. Since March 16, more than 100 brands of pet food have been recalled because they were contaminated with melamine. Acheson said that fish samples would be screened for signs of melamine. “Depending upon what we find in that testing, that is going to drive the next steps,” Acheson said. WASHINGTON – Farm-raised fish have been fed meal spiked with the same chemical that has been linked to the pet-food recall, but the contamination was probably too low to harm anyone who ate the fish, federal officials said Tuesday. The Canadian-made meal included what was purported to be wheat gluten, a protein source, imported from China. The material was actually wheat flour spiked by the chemical melamine and related, nitrogen-rich compounds to make it appear more protein-rich than it was, officials said. The FDA is considering enforcement options, officials said. The ingredients came from two Chinese firms: Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development Co. and Futian Biology Technology Co. Ltd. The level of contamination is expected to be too low to pose any danger to human health, said Dr. David Acheson, the FDA’s assistant commissioner for food protection. There had been a similar report a day earlier about other food animals, pigs and chickens, given contaminated feed. Canadian officials are aware of the finding, Acheson said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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