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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
  midnight Sunday.
  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
  reopen Wednesday.
  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
  they process."
  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.