Wednesday, May 09, 2007

BOSS MELAMINE: Mao Li Jun bulldozed company when jig appeared up

Buy melamine. Low concentrations in pork, chicken and fish won't hurt you.

"Before Mao Lijun's business exported tainted wheat products that ... killed American pets, his factory sickened people and plants around here for years," reported the LA Times today, below the fold in the C section.

"It wasn't authorities that finally acted. Mao himself razed the brick factory -- days before the investigators from the US Food and Drug Administration arrived in China on a mission to track down the source ... "

"Xuzhou Anying's website posted certificates claiming, among other things, that it had won top quality grades ..."

The Times reported Xuzhou Anying's website,, was down and pictures of its ESB Protein Powder, its melamine product, had been taken down. However, you can still see them on Alibaba, the global trading website. (DD did not verify xzay was gone.)

However, it is possible to review Xuzhou Anying's website, up until April of last year, at (For one example, see here.)

"China is a big country of agriculture; the people's life is improving along with the development of social and need more meat, and egg and mild [sic]," reads a Xuzhou webpage. "But for the high price of protein feed it improves the cost and decreases the benefit, which results in the pasturage develope slowly. 'ESB Biologic Protein Meal' settles the tableau of the protein resource in China, it decreases the cost of feed and improves the integral benefit and boosts the pasturage integral development of China. So developing the item is very necessary in this form.'"

Xuzhou Anying melamine powder: Solving the world's protein shortage through dirty tricks chemistry.

"China's 'watchdog agency' [quotes, mine] said the businesses had added melamine to the food ingredients in a bid to meet the contractual demands for the amount of protein in the products," reported the Times, without any sense of irony.

Last Wednesday, this blog examined Xuzhou Anying's website. It was deemed obvious crap for, among other things, addition of a product, zinc oxide, an insoluble white powder. Like melamine, technically not an outright poison, Xuzhou Anying's site claimed it was well-absorbed in the diet of animals.

While it is possible to applaud the arrest of Mao Lijun and the self-destruction of his facility, one cannot simply waltz away from the responsibility that must be shouldered by domestic partners in furthering his business.

Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology's website, extolling its products, did not pass the sniff test. And it has been peddling melamine as protein powder, if is accurate, at least from 2006.

Therefore, while a company like ChemNutra, a supplier to MenuFoods -- which distributed rebranded tainted pet foods, can claim it was the victim of a plot, it should fall on critical ears. Simple due diligence -- or even a visit to the place and a talk with the locals -- should have dissuaded a reasonable person, one not cutting corners in the mad pursuit of profit, to not do business with Xuzhou and others of similar ilk.

And while the FDA and USDA can make a big noise about suspending shipments of certain products from China and stepping up inspections, the hard truth is that melamine adulteration slipped by for a good long time, exposed only when pets began to die. The reasonable person would be concerned and ask what is to be done when one cannot and should not depend on Chinese regulation.

Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns, in Chicago on Monday, relating how low amounts of melamine in pork and chicken were not harmful. But what if you have a problem with kidney stones?


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