Difficulties of keeping the global food supply chain safe

May 10, 2007

The difficulties of keeping the food supply chain in a worldwide network of food producers, processors and distributors are highlighted in an Editorial in this week's special gastroenterology edition of the Lancet.

Health officials in the USA are currently investigating how melamine, a chemical used to make industrial glues, fire retardants and fertilisers, got into the USA's food chain.

Investigators believe the chemical was added to rice-protein and wheat gluten supplements produced in China. Because purchasers of such imported products routinely measure nitrogen content to estimate the amount of protein in foods, it is believed the Chinese suppliers may have added melamine to make their products appear to contain more protein.

The adulteration was discovered after more than a dozen dogs and cats died after eating melamine contaminated pet food; scraps of this pet food were also fed to pigs and chickens destined for human consumption.

The Editorial says: "Although US health officials have determined that eating meat from these animals poses a very low risk to human health, the incident highlights how difficult it has become to guarantee food safety when the food supply depends on a vast worldwide network of producers, suppliers and distributors."
-end-


Lancet

Related Melamine Articles from Brightsurf:

Novel approach to enhance performance of graphitic carbon nitride
In a report published in NANO, scientists from China underline the importance of defect engineering to promote catalytic performance by providing a simple and efficient way for modifying and optimizing metal-free semiconductor photocatalyst graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) to solve the dual problems of environmental pollution and lack of fossil resources.

Brain-computer interfaces without the mess
It sounds like science fiction: controlling electronic devices with brain waves.

Putting food-safety detection in the hands of consumers
MIT Media Lab researchers have developed a wireless system that leverages the cheap RFID tags already on hundreds of billions of products to sense potential food contamination -- with no hardware modifications needed.

USTC develops a family of bioinspired artificial woods by traditional resins
A research team from the University of Science and Technology of China demonstrates a novel strategy for large-scale fabrication of a family of bioinspired polymeric woods with similar polyphenol matrix materials, wood-like cellular microstructures, and outstanding comprehensive performance by a self-assembly and thermocuring process of traditional resins.

A polymer 'love hormone' sensor for the early detection of autism
Is it going to be possible to detect features of autism at birth?

Lightweight catalyst for artificial photosynthesis
Nanochemistry meets macrostructures: Chinese scientists report the synthesis of a macroscopic aerogel from carbonitride nanomaterials which is an excellent catalyst for the water-splitting reaction under visible-light irradiation.

New stem cell technique shows promise for bone repair
A new study, affiliated with South Korea's Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), has introduced a new method of repairing injured bone using stem cells from human bone marrow and a carbon material with photocatalytic properties

New stem cell technique shows promise for bone repair
A new study, affiliated with Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology has introduced a new treatment for skeletal system injuries, using stem cells from human bone marrow and a carbon material with photocatalytic properties.

Catalyst from the microwave
Lunch out of the microwave usually doesn't taste nearly as good as a meal made in a conventional oven.

Food scientists: We can detect much more food fraud
Researchers point out that 'non-targeted' methods of analysis can reveal far more food fraud.

Read More: Melamine News and Melamine Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.