USDA has cleared hogs associated with this spring's melamine contamination issue for processing. Tests confirm that humans can safely eat meat from hogs that have eaten feed combined with salvaged pet food exposed to melamine, reports

Scientists have concluded that a 132-pound human would have to eat more than 800 pounds per day of pork or other food containing melamine and its compounds to risk health effects. They emphasized that the risk to humans is very low.

Officials estimate some 56,000 hogs ate melamine-tainted feed in California, North Carolina, South Carolina, New York, Kansas, Utah and Illinois. The animals were contained and did not enter the food supply. Testing of the meat showed that melamine and its compounds don't accumulate in pork and are filtered through urine. The animals had always appeared healthy, USDA officials note.

Compensation will be provided to producers for costs incurred as a result of the voluntarily hold on the hogs.

In a related matter, nearly 80,000 chickens are still being held at farms in Indiana while USDA develops a validated test for detecting melamine in poultry meat. The test is expected to be ready later this week.