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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Animal & Veterinary

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CONTAMINATED ANIMAL FEED SUPPLEMENTS RECALLED

FDA Veterinarian Newsletter 2002 Volume XVI, No III

The Food and Drug Administration is announcing the voluntary recall of several animal feed products produced by Quali Tech Inc., a manufacturer based in Chaska, Minnesota. These products are protected minerals and mineral pre-mixes. These products are added to feed to provide cattle, pigs, and other livestock with necessary micronutrients.

This action was taken as a response to a joint investigation conducted by FDA, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Minnesota Department of Health, and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. The operators of Quali Tech have been cooperating fully with the investigation and recall.

Quali Tech voluntarily recalled these products after laboratory data from several sources indicated that they contained dioxin. In addition, Quali Tech discontinued production of the contaminated products on February 28, and will not resume production until the source and cause of the dioxin can be identified.

The only products subject to this recall are the Sea-Questra-Min and Carbosan products in their original packaging and any premix manufactured by Quali Tech containing these trace minerals. All other mixes containing these trace mineral products are not subject to the recall. For the purpose of this recall a premix is defined as "a uniform mixture of one or more micro-ingredients with diluent and/or carrier."
Dioxin is a broad family of chemical compounds that can be produced by a broad range of common human activities. It is released into the environment through burning of various materials including municipal waste, household trash, and fuels like oil, coal, or wood. The manufacture of paper and chemicals, as well as other industrial processes, can also produce dioxin.

Some amount of dioxin is naturally present in the environment and the above activities have caused background levels of dioxin to increase over time. Recently, the efforts of State and Federal environmental agencies have served to reduce these non-natural sources of dioxin. As a result, background levels of dioxin have begun to drop.

Addressing the problem of dioxin resulting from the use of the protected minerals and mineral premixes which are the subject of this recall is an important part of the overall effort to reduce dioxin levels in the food chain and environment.

Dioxin compounds are commonly found, at very low levels, in food, particularly in foods containing meat or animal fat. FDA routinely surveys for dioxin as part of its' Market Basket survey. FDA continues to survey for dioxin in the Agency's Market Basket survey and through a directed survey of animal products.

The low levels of inclusion of the above mineral products in feed and the normal background levels would make it difficult if not impossible to determine whether these products would increase the low level of dioxin in food.

A complete list of recalled products is available by contacting Quali Tech spokesman Jim O'Neal at 612-766-8420.