The poisonous petfood horror story gets bigger and bigger now the killer ingredient has been traced back to a massive Chinese scam of adding melamine to feed and fertiliser products to give them a false reading on protein content.
China turns out to have an industry devoted just to turning coal into melamine to enable Chinese companies to cheat their market. It is standard practice.
Wikipedia, as ever a brilliant resource, offers a succinct understanding of just what melamine is. It explains:
Melamine is used combined with formaldehyde to produce melamine resin, a very durable thermosetting plastic, and of melamine foam, a polymeric cleaning product. The end products include countertops, fabrics, glues and flame retardants. Melamine is one of major components in Pigment Yellow 150, a colorant in inks and plastics.
Melamine is also used to make fertilizers.
The awful issue here is that China, in the grip of capitalist frenzy, is employing any devious method of finding added profit that it can devise. Brilliant people with a brief for expediency will find some nasty shortcuts if there are no regulations to stop them.
The scam may now be exposed, but the problem remains, with melamine-containing feed and fertiliser products exported all over the world - and, alarmingly, some US pork products already out in the market before it was realised that the pigs had been fed melamine-containing swill.
Of course, it may yet come to pass that we discover that farm animals around the world have been eating it for years. After all, the idea behind the melamine con is that the foodstuff is rich in protein to help with the fast growth of animals.
One greed feeds another greed.