Regulators reveal new information on China-U.S. food links

The tangled food relationship between China and the U.S. keeps getting tangledier. As new details emerge in the wake of the March wave of pet deaths, concerns about the possibility of tainted food reaching U.S. dinner tables are growing. U.S. regulators said yesterday that cyanuric acid, a chemical used as a stabilizer in swimming pools, was added to pet food, and that some doctored wheat flour used in the pet food was fed to fish raised for human consumption. Meanwhile, the USDA is considering approving sales of chicken from China, a prospect that worries some. Mix all these revelations with just a dash of xenophobia — “They’re already killing our pets. Do we want to eat their food?” is an honest-to-goodness quote from one U.S. poultry-industry rep — and you get one big mess. Said Rebecca J. Goldburg of Environmental Defense, “It shows the degree to which, with the globalization of agriculture, things that go wrong in one country can affect many of us who never thought we’d be touched.”