Digest: Pet food case still unsolved, Frankenskeeters, McJobs to be redefined?

Pet food update: Menu Foods of Streetsville, Ontario, the manufacturer that has recalled over 60 million cans and pouches of pet food implicated in sickening or killing many cats and dogs, had begun testing the food Feb. 27 after receiving reports of sick pets. Seven of the 40-50 test animals died. The only suspect right now is a new wheat gluten supplier. New York Times

Wheat gluten?: Slate’s Explainer looks at what’s in pet food, which ranges from “chicken meal” (ground-up heads and feet, etc) to carbohydrates and thickeners. Slate

What’s the buzz: Scientists have just announced they’ve genetically engineered mosquitoes (with red eyes, no less) that cannot transmit malaria. Trials revealed that the GM mosquitoes could quickly establish themselves in the wild and drive out natural malaria-carrying insects. Before they’re released in sub-Saharan Africa, where malaria kills a child every 30 seconds, scientists will first have to prove “as far as possible” that the resistance genes will not trigger a more aggressive form of malaria, or spread to other insects. And, we hope, whether eating them will sicken mosquito predators like bats, birds, and fish. The Guardian (UK)

Oh no they didn’t: McDonalds has asked the Oxford English Dictionary to change its definition of “McJob” as it’s “insulting to those talented, committed, hard-working people who serve the public every day.” Mother Jones blog

Of Tar Heels and hogs: An op-ed says that as long as North Carolina’s massive hog factories are here to stay, they should be forced to further clean up their acts. News Observer

After the raids: A touching profile of the fallout experienced by a Mexican immigrant family in North Carolina, the head of which was deported after years of working in a Smithfield slaughterhouse for $8/hour. News Observer

The cold war: Regina Schrambling explores what makes Americans squander electricity keeping ingredients cold that could survive just fine at room temperature…including Hellman’s mayonnaise — but not, we think doubtfully, the organic version. We’re going to get our soy sauce out of the fridge right now. Salon

Amber waves of fuel: Soy is a better choice for biofuel than corn, says this op-ed by two scientists, but an even better source could be prairie plants native to the Midwest that can be grown on marginal land with minimal inputs. Star Tribune

Too many cooks spoil the broth: Auditors give Homeland security’s food-safety technology systems a failing grade. Government Computer News

Thanks but no thanks: Africa does not need or want U.S. rice genetically modified with human genes to treat childhood diarrhea, says Friends of the Earth Africa. Pambazuka News (Africa)


Exposure to agricultural pesticides increases a woman’s risk of developing diabetes during pregnancy (Reuters)

Kosher Coke (with sugar) makes its annual Passover appearance (CBS4)

Fructose and HFCS not interchangeable and not to blame for obesity, says Corn Refiners Association (Food Navigators)

Missouri is shooting feral hogs from helicopters on conservation land (Brownfield)

New Yorkers: Sign up for a veggie box subscription (Neswsday)

Colombia wants to extradite eight Chiquita employees allegedly involved with the company’s payments to terrorists (SFGate via AP)

GMO soy maker likely to be Brazil’s new Ag Minister (Dow Jones)

One of Australia’s top organic farming experts says he’s been dumped by the Commercial Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation for criticizing GM crops (Canberra Times)

One Responseto “Digest: Pet food case still unsolved, Frankenskeeters, McJobs to be redefined?”

  1. Am I the only one who feels icky about using animals to test the lethality of the pet food?

    Sure, they have to track it down, but what would they be doing if it was bread or pasta or crackers instead of pet food? How would they be testing food that was suspected of killing humans?