Cats, dogs, pigs and now chickens

Our government on Friday placed a hold on 20 million chickens raised for market in several states because their feed was mixed with pet food containing an industrial chemical. Three government agencies — the Agriculture Department, the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency — are overseeing a risk assessment to determine whether the chickens would pose a threat to human health if eaten, USDA spokesman Keith Williams said. The assessment may be completed as early as Monday. Federal investigators have been trying to determine how much of the tainted pet food had been used in feed for hogs and chickens. Hog farms in at least six states may have received tainted pet food for use in feed. Those animals also have been barred from market.

My questions are why was the tainted pet food being fed to chickens and hogs? Was this a normal part of their diet? Or, were the chickens and hogs being feed the “recalled” pet food?

Although the risk of human illness seems low, this pet food scandal only points to the many holes in our food safety system, especially related to imports.  Again, I would really like to know if these food animals were being feed “recalled,” “left-over” pet food that was known to be contaminated with melamine.