Uniscope and Tembec Voluntary Recall Feed Ingredients

FDA asks feed manufacturers to avoid ingredients containing melamine
May 31, 2007

Uniscope and Tembec Voluntary Recall Feed Ingredients

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is alerting livestock and fish/shrimp feed manufacturers about a voluntary recall of products used in feed production because several have been found to contain melamine and related compounds.

The feed ingredients were made by Tembec BTLSR Inc. of Toledo, Ohio and Uniscope, Inc. of Johnstown, Colo.

Tembec, a contract manufacturer for Uniscope, makes AquaBond and Aqua-Tec II, which it distributes for Uniscope. Uniscope makes Xtra-Bond using ingredients supplied by Tembec. All of the products are binding agents that are used to make pelleted feed for cattle, sheep, and goats, or fish and shrimp.

The companies have confirmed that Tembec added melamine as part of the formulation of the products to improve the binding properties of pelleted feed. Melamine is not approved as an additive for animal or fish/shrimp feed.

The companies have stopped adding melamine to the feed products.

Based on the levels of melamine and related compounds in the initial ingredients, FDA estimated the probable level of melamine and related compounds in livestock feed as less than 50 parts per million (ppm) based on the recommended mix rate of two to four pounds of binding agent per ton of livestock feed. The estimated levels in fish and shrimp feed are less than 233 ppm and 465 ppm, respectively, of melamine and related compounds. The estimated levels of melamine and related compounds vary in the livestock feed and the fish and shrimp feed because of differing levels of melamine in the binding agents used for each type of feed.

FDA advises feed manufacturers and others who mix their own feed not to use these products, and to contact the manufacturers. FDA advises feed manufacturers to recall finished feed that is made from AquaBond or Aqua-Tec II due to the estimated levels of melamine and related compounds in the finished products. FDA believes that no recall is warranted of the finished feed made from Xtra-Bond based on the estimated levels of melamine and related compounds in the finished product and based on currently available data and information.

The estimated melamine levels in feed made with these binding agents are similar to the levels discussed in the interim safety/risk assessment of melamine and related compounds made available by FDA earlier this month. In that assessment, federal scientists determined that, based on currently available data and information, the consumption of pork, chicken, domestic fish, and eggs from animals inadvertently fed animal feed contaminated with melamine and its analogues is very unlikely to pose a human health risk.

The interim safety/risk assessment concludes that in the most extreme risk assessment scenario, when scientists assumed that all the solid food a person consumes in an entire day contained melamine and the melamine compound cyanuric acid in equal amounts, the potential exposure is about 250 times lower than the dose considered safe. This is a large safety margin. Translated to consumption levels, this means that a person weighing 132 pounds would have to eat more than 800 pounds per day of food containing melamine and its compounds to approach a level of consumption that would cause a health concern.

FDA is encouraging domestic feed suppliers to be vigilant in quality control in their supply chain and to monitor for any improper additives, including melamine and its analogs.

The Tembec and Uniscope products also reportedly contain a urea formaldehyde resin-type ingredient, a raw ingredient used to make the binding agent in these products. FDA is investigating this use of the urea formaldehyde resin-type ingredient in the Tembec and Uniscope products, and will take appropriate regulatory action if warranted.