May 9, 2007


US officials: Farmed fish received meal containing melamine



Farmed fish were fed meal spiked with an industrial chemical linked to the ongoing recall of pet foods, US health officials said Tuesday (May 8), though they said the level of contamination was probably too low to pose a danger to human health.


The Canadian-made meal included what was purported to be wheat gluten, a protein source, imported from China. The ingredient was contaminated by the chemical melamine


After pigs and chickens, the farmed fish mark the third food animal given contaminated feed. The level of contamination is expected to be too low to pose any danger to human health, said Dr. David Acheson, the US Food and Drug Administration's assistant commissioner for food protection.


It wasn't immediately clear if any of the farmed fish entered the food supply. However, Acheson said at least one firm's fish were still too young and small to be sold. Investigators were visiting other US aquaculture farms that used the contaminated feed.


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.


Canadian officials are aware of the finding, Acheson said.


"We used it to make pet food. They used it to make fish meal," he told reporters.


Federal health and food officials have said some 20 million chickens and thousands of hogs also were fed feed contaminated by melamine. As with the fish, they said the risk to human health is very low.


Video >

Follow Us