I’ve been doing my best to ignore the online, recall-related chatter that dwells on conspiracy theories regarding intentionally poisoned pet foods. The only conspiracy I’ve discussed so far is the one of silence within the industry—undertaken, in my opinion, to protect brands before pets.

Since day one, I’ve maintained that the deliberate addition of toxins to grain seemed far-fetched. After all, what kind of economic benefit would that confer?

But today, the AP reported that the FDA is investigating the possibility of calculated contamination with melamine to artificially (read: fraudulently) raise measurable protein levels in grain, thus garnering the supplier a hefty, undeserved premium.

Now that’s a story I can believe. (Ultimately, human greed is more credible than senseless slaughter.)

This newest round of incredible insinuations, true or not, support the emerging consensus that our food is not as safe as we’d like to think of it. If contamination is possible and can fly under the FDA’s radar, what are the implications for bioterrorism, human safety and nutrition? If animals are fed mildly toxic grain, how might that affect the meat in your supermarket? And our children’s kidneys?

There’s a larger story here that I hope people unconcerned about pets don’t miss out on: The Pet Food Recall has bored holes into our thinking about food safety across all “fed” species—humans included.

The FDA is working hard to peel the layers off this hefty onion; and their work here is vital. I certainly hope the Federal government takes off its “it’s-just-pets” blinkers for this crisis. It should come up with serious funding for the FDA’s efforts with respect to the recall, especially given the rapidly expanding scope of this problem.

Whether it’s true or not, the mere possibility of intentional contamination—for whatever reason—is a huge issue for anyone who depends on others for their food—not just for our pets.