Volume 85 Issue 50 | p. 2 | Letters
Issue Date: December 10, 2007

Larvadex and Melamine

Department: Letters

The Food & Drug Administration's excuse for not finding melamine in imported food is that they "were not looking for it" (C&EN, Sept. 24, page 83).

Melamine is the main degradation product of cyromazine (Larvadex) and causes bladder tumors and stones. Larvadex is a suspected fetotoxin. They are both triazines.

Larvadex is a pesticide fed to poultry to inhibit insect development in chicken feces. When fed to grazing animals, the poison kills the dung beetles that bury cow manure. The excessive accumulation of excrement on pastures supposedly stopped the use of Larvadex in some countries. Perhaps this is not true in China, where melamine-contaminated food originated.

Tests for Larvadex detected it in chicken muscle and eggs. Obviously, neither Larvadex nor melamine should be in human food. Why wasn't FDA looking for them? Why do we allow Larvadex to be fed to animals we plan to eat? Why do we allow a laundry list of actual garbage, from arsenic to feathers, to become part of our food supply?

J. J. Jacobson
Austin, Texas

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