This is another difficult post to write. Because of its content. It is frightful, for which I apologize.
The beat goes on and on regarding the 500 million pounds or so of poisonous Chinese drywall. It is affecting more and more homes, now estimated at over 100,000, and more and more people, and was apparently used for over four years. Its damage continues. If you missed my first two posts on it you can catch up here:
January 29 -- http://activerain.com/blogsview/895160/I-Think-We-Need-To-Recall-China
March 21 -- http://activerain.com/blogsview/994937/Update-Chinese-Drywall-The-Lawyers-Have-Landed
It is a very serious problem. It has made the mainstream news. Most recently, AP, 11 April 2009, reports that bills have been "introduced a bill in the House calling for a temporary ban on the Chinese-made imports until more is known about their chemical makeup." I'm thinking we aren't that smart, but we'll see. A friend of mine said that the Chinese would probably regard a disruption in America's purchasing of their products as an act of war. After all, a full 20% of their economy relies on the American consumer.
Why do I say that at least we aren't eating the drywall? Because we ARE eating other stuff! The recent epidemic of kidney failure in both humans and animals has prompted medical researchers to find out why. They did, and the culprit is melamine.
Remember the pet food that was killing animals a short while back? Melamine.
What is melamine? It is a chemical which was discovered in 1830. It is derived from coal, is a white, crystal powder and is two-thirds nitrogen. It has been used in manufacturing everything from plastics, utensils, laminated flooring, cleaning products, furniture, kitchen cabinets, pesticides, herbicides - well, you name it. Most recently it has been discovered in food products. Yes, food products produced in
But why would they put it in food products? Profit - 33% profit and more! That old Communist staple - profit! How do they do it? Many food prices are based on their protein content. The quick and easy way to measure protein content is by measuring the nitrogen levels in food. In 1999 the Chinese Academy of Sciences (the CAS), which is funded by the Chinese government, discovered that by adding melamine to foods the nitrogen content is boosted. Especially dairy products. They found that they could dilute milk products, add melamine to pick up the nitrogen, and that picks up the profits! They call it "protein enhanced." But, is there more protein? No, that is the fake out. So, melamine makes things look like they have more protein, when they don't.
It also kills.
To make it viable for food production, melamine is combined with cyanuric acid to form melamine cyanurate. As this gets absorbed by the blood, it forms yellow crystals which block renal cells. Enough blockage and the kidneys and bladder malfunction, eventually failing. Baby formulas use milk products. Of course babies are very vulnerable to such blockage. People with weakened kidneys and bladders are at risk also. Scientists think that long-term exposure to melamine will lead to cancers and reproductive damage.
This is what caused the deaths of so many pets a couple of years ago. The Chinese got caught because one company, Menu Foods, got so greedy and put so much melamine in their pet foods, that dogs did not suffer gradually but died immediately when they ate the food. Then the United States FDA discovered melamine in 100 brands that contained wheat products from China, then in pig feed, and poultry feed, then in dehydrated milk, and then in eggs. All these have been "protein enhanced." Remember that term!
As I have said in my other two posts, the Chinese are NOT incompetent people.
Could China have test marketed its discovery on Chinese babies? A reported 50,000 baby illnesses or deaths have been reported (more?) from drinking melamine-tainted milk and formulas. Hong Kong reported similar problems. Then there were problems caused by milk and other products in many other nations. Now in many, many food products. Melamine has been discovered in fish foods used to feed a variety of fish and shrimp in "farms." The next time you buy a seafood product, read the label. If it is "farm-raised," think again before buying it. Many nations have taken to destroying Chinese food products before it gets into their markets.
Take the hint! WISE UP!
Our government has known about the melamine introduction in foods for a long time. It took pet deaths before the FDA reacted. Do you think these bills in Congress will go anywhere? I am not hopeful. Chinese food products are everywhere, even in foods "produced" in other countries. The label may say Canada, but they are just putting the product in cans or frozen containers -- the food products come from China.
What should we watch out for? Wow, what shouldn't we watch out for. Here is a list I found compiled by Maneka Ghandi, in the Bihar Times. She admits it is probably a partial list. But, here 'tis:
Pet foods ** Fish food ** Farmed-raised seafood ** Wheat gluten ** Corn gluten ** Rice protein ** Biscuits ** Over 31 brands of powdered milk including Lipton, Glico, Ritz and Heinz ** DHA+AA baby cereals ** Egg products from Cadbury ** Cadbury dark chocolate eclairs and dairy milk hazelnut chocolates ** Coffee creamers ** White Rabbit Creamy Candy ** Dove chocolate Dreyers cake mix and ice creams ** Dutch Lady candy ** First Choice crackers ** Ritz snacks ** Kraft Oreos and related products like wafer sticks ** M&M's ** Mars chocolate products ** Magnum ice cream ** Mentos ** bottle yogurts ** Snickers fun size ** Yili Hi-cal milk ** Youcan sesame sticks ** Instant coffees ** Milk teas - like Lipton green milk tea, Unilever Tea ** Nestle chocolates ** 305 Chinese dairy-based products such as coffee creamer, vegetable creamer, and powdered deserts ** bakery products from China such as caramel tarts, cream buns, honey buns, meat buns ** Chinese-made cheesecake ** Eggs from Hanovo Foods and Green Living Beings ** Mr. Brown coffee products
I would have to say, if it is from China, avoid it! That is a frightful list! What other foods are so tainted!?
My recommendation: Read labels carefully! If a product says "PROTEIN ENHANCED," don't eat it! If the label says, "Made in China," don't buy it! The sooner we American consumers figure this thing out, the better.
Don't wait for the government to protect you. Act for yourselves before you are acted on by others. Wise up...
Can I suggest a recent post on the same topic from an agent in the middle of this problem? Check here:
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560