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Contaminated food fed to fish

May 11, 2007 at 2:40 AM

WASHINGTON, May 11 (UPI) -- U.S. government officials said Thursday they've identified 198 fish hatcheries that "may or may not" have received melamine-contaminated feed.

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration has confirmed melamine in fish feed manufactured by Vancouver-based Skretting and distributed under the Bio-Oregon label out of Longview, Wash. Skretting is recalling the tainted feed.

The FDA said Marion Forks Hatchery in Oregon is the only positive sample of contaminated feed it has found. FDA official David Acheson said, however, Oregon officials reported Skretting's prodcuts were sent to several hatcheries.

Acheson said the investigation continues but so far federal scientists have "concluded that humans who may have eaten fish fed the melamine-containing feed face a very low health risk."

Another FDA official, Michael Rogers, said the FDA has "identified a universe of 198 facilities in the domestic arena that may or may not have received feed that contained the suspect lot."

Rogers also said the FDA received up to 18,000 complaint calls from pet owners and a "quick review" suggests as many as 50 percent may -- and he emphasized "may" -- allege an animal death. He said the agency wasn't "comfortable" giving numbers of confirmed pet deaths.

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