Melamine found in fish feed at ODFW hatchery
May 09,2007 00:00 by Bend_Weekly_News_Sources

SALEM, Ore. - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has confirmed the finding of melamine in fish feed at the Marion Forks Hatchery in Idanha, Oregon. 

Marion Forks Hatchery - photo by  
The Marion Forks Hatchery manager had discontinued use of the feed, labeled as Bio Vita Starter, #1 crumble grade, lot # 32734, several days earlier when the FDA initially contacted them about testing the feed. The #1 crumble grade of food is used as a starter diet for juvenile salmon and trout. 

Subsequent to the FDA's confirmation that there was melamine in the fish feed, Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW) officials contacted the Skretting Company representatives to find out if the feed had been shipped to other ODFW hatcheries. Representatives from Skretting confirmed that the same lot was sent to the Willamette, Gnat Creek, Big Creek, Cole Rivers, Butte Falls and Leaburg hatcheries. 

Hatchery managers immediately discontinued using any remaining fish feed from the lot in question and notified the FDA. There has been no sampling by the FDA at these locations as of yet.

"Although officials from the FDA have not associated any risk to the fish or humans as a result of the melamine finding, we've stopped using the lot #32734 feed," said Steve Williams, ODFW deputy fish administrator.  

"We're taking a measured approach and working with several state and federal agencies to ensure the health of our hatchery fish populations."

The Oregon Department of Agriculture is responsible for regulating commercial fish feed and other animal feed distributed in Oregon. ODA has been working with FDA on the investigation of melamine-contaminated ingredients and will continue partnering with FDA and ODFW in the fish feed investigation.

The fish feed is manufactured in Vancouver, Canada by the Skretting Company.  It's distributed under the Bio-Oregon label out of Longview, Wash. 

Melamine is not thought to bio-accumulate in fish. However, Skretting is taking the precautionary step of voluntarily recalling all un-fed starter feed related to the batch in question.

In their recent press release, Skretting officials said that they are working in close cooperation with the FDA and Canadian Food Inspection Agency on this issue.