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Mississippi Dioxin Problems...
Another article about the contaminated feed used in Mississippi was
'published' in the NANDO times yesterday afternoon... Like the AR
democrat Gazette article, this one seems to confuse balancing public
health issues with business concerns.
-If the FDA doesn't believe the levels of dioxin in the affected
chicken, eggs and catfish pose no risk, why are they requiring the
poultry industry to test their products?
-Are the poultry producers being required to test simply because they
can afford it, in contrast to the catfish industry which "would have
been crippled if the federal government had required testing?"
Also, I have a question about the AR Democrat-Gazette article, which
"The 1 part-per-trillion directive has been an operational nightmare
for Hudson Foods Inc., based in Rogers. Fewer than 20 laboratories
in the nation can test for such small levels of dioxin."
-My question: Is this true? Has the FDA provided a list of these labs
to the affected chicken/egg/catfish farmers?
Bradford B. Newton
North Carolina SBTDC
from the NANDO Times:
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (July 15, 1997 12:15 p.m. EDT) -- Temporary shutdowns
at poultry plants idled hundreds of workers
after federal inspectors found that dioxin-contaminated feed had been
used by farmers producing chicken, eggs and catfish.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration stressed that the dioxin was not
enough to endanger consumers. But the agency
directed about 350 poultry farms and animal feed manufacturers to stop
using the feed on July 3, and it ordered poultry
processors and egg producers to stop shipping affected products as of
The contamination was traced to a clay anti-clumping additive that a
Mississippi mine provided to two Arkansas soybean meal
Springdale-based Tyson Foods Inc., the nation's largest poultry
producer, closed two plants Monday in Pine Bluff, and
spokesman Archie Schaffer said he didn't know when the 300 to 500
workers could return. ConAgra said about 1,300
workers at a poultry plant in Batesville would return Tuesday. A fourth
plant, Townsends of Arkansas in Batesville, expected to
Lynn Phares, spokeswoman for the Omaha, Neb.-based ConAgra, said, "Our
plants are looking at their options for processing
chickens from other locations or changing the number of chickens that
Investigators are still trying to find out how the additive from the
Kentucky-Tennessee Ball Clay Co. in Sledge, Miss., became
Dioxin is considered a probable carcinogen at high enough levels, but
the FDA said the danger was in cumulative lifetime
exposure, not in eating a few chickens raised on the feed.
Catfish farmers convinced the FDA that it did not have a workable plan
to test their product, and they got a temporary reprieve
from the midnight Sunday deadline. A testing plan for catfish that
received the suspect feed will be made final this week, FDA
spokesman Larry Bachorik said Tuesday.
While the feed affected a much smaller percentage of poultry than
catfish, people eat a lot more chicken and eggs than catfish.
Mike Freeze of the National Aquaculture Association, a fish-farm
industry group, told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette about
60 percent of the state's 300 catfish farmers had used some of the
contaminated feed. He said the industry would have been
crippled if the federal government had required testing.