Fake Food

In a land known for producing counterfeit DVDs and brand name apparel, food for humans and other animals is not exempt from tampering. Melamine is a coal derivative often used to make dishware; it is safe to eat off, but it cannot be heated in a microwave. It certainly is not nutritious.

For years, producers of animal feed all over China have secretly supplemented their feed with the substance, called melamine, a cheap additive that looks like protein in tests, even though it does not provide any nutritional benefits, according to melamine scrap traders and agricultural workers here. …

The pet food case is also putting China’s agricultural exports under greater scrutiny because the country has had a terrible food safety record.

In recent years, for instance, China’s food safety scandals have involved everything from fake baby milk formulas and soy sauce made from human hair to instances where cuttlefish were soaked in calligraphy ink to improve their color and eels were fed contraceptive pills to make them grow long and slim.

–David Barboza and Alexei Barrionuevo, Filler in Animal Feed is Open Secret in China

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