China Detains Pet Food Contaminator

Beijing cracks down on source of melamine-tainted gluten
By Sarah Levy,  Newser User
Posted May 4, 2007 6:35 AM CDT
Pebbles, the Yorkshire terrier that became a symbol of the national pet food scare is shown in this, March 21, 2007 file photo, at Collett Veterinary Clinic in Los Angeles. Pebbles died Thursday while...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Chinese authorities have jailed the head of a company accused of selling pet food makers  the melamine-contaminated gluten that's killed thousands of cats and dogs. The detention of Mao Lijun suggests Beijing is eager to cooperate with the FDA investigators currently on its turf, after initially disavowing any gluten sales to the U.S. at all.

The company has denied for weeks that it was the source of the tainted gluten that made its way into puppy chow but—even after the recall—sought to purchase large stocks of melamine, apparently used to fake higher protein content. Other Chinese chemical companies continue to sell melamine for animal feed and even human-bound bakery items.