USDA and FDA investigators report that byproducts from pet food contaminated with melamine by way of wheat gluten imported from China were used in chicken feed on farms in Indiana.
The finding surfaced as part of the USDA/FDA ongoing probe into imported rice protein concentrate and wheat gluten. Both are linked to pet food contaminated with melamine and melamine-related products. FDA is investigating links to product exporters in China.
In early February, some 30 broiler farms and eight breeder farms in Indiana received and fed contaminated feed to chickens, officials says. All broilers have since been processed, while the breeders are under voluntary hold by owners, reports Meatingplace.com
Similar situations have been linked to hog farms in a few states, involving 6,000 hogs total to date.
Agency officials say they believe the likelihood that people would fall ill after eating the product is low due to dilution rate, and that a recall was not necessary. However, USDA cannot approve products derived from these poultry for human consumption.
USDA is offering to compensate producers who euthanize the affected poultry.
"FDA and USDA anticipate that as the investigation continues, additional farms that received contaminated feed will likely be identified," according to a joint press release.
Source: USDA, FDA, Meatingplace.com