By Dan Shapley
The FDA has a huge task ahead of it, as it tries to ensure melamine didn't contaminate human foods such as baby formula, breads and cereals. Tens of millions of pounds of wheat and rice gluten and other ingredients the Food and Drug Administration has vowed to test enter the United States each year. The FDA has acknowledged it is not up to the task of monitoring an increasingly complex and widespread food system, which includes nearly 440,000 facilities in 170 countries. Melamine-contaminated wheat gluten is blamed for the deaths of dozens, if not hundreds or thousands, of pets nationwide. The discovery of the previously untested-for chemical highlighted serious deficiencies in the food safety system that Congress and the public are now questioning.