The Journal reports the obvious under the headlines “Tainting of Milk Is Open Secret in China” and “Milk Routinely Spiked in China:”
Before melamine-laced milk killed and sickened Chinese babies and led to recalls around the world, the routine spiking of milk with illicit substances was an open secret in China’s dairy regions, according to the accounts of farmers and others with knowledge of the industry.
Farmers here in Hebei province say in interviews that “protein powder” of often-uncertain origin has been employed for years as a cheap way to help the milk of undernourished cows fool dairy companies’ quality checks. When the big companies caught on, some additive makers switched to toxic melamine — which mimics protein in lab tests and can cause severe kidney damage — to evade detection.
China’s biggest local seller of liquid milk, Mengniu Dairy Co., and multinational food company NestlÃ© SA both say they were aware that Chinese farmers and traders added unauthorized substances to raw milk, but that they didn’t know melamine was among them. “We knew there was adulteration” going on for many years, says Zhao Yuanhua, Mengniu’s spokeswoman. Among other common milk additives: a viscous yellow liquid containing fat and a combination of preservatives and antibiotics, known as “fresh-keeping liquid.”
If you’re buying pet food made in China or anything else for that matter, it’s time to pay more for a product manufactured in a country like America, where we have had oversight and controls on food production for over a century.