(***UPDATE 4/3/07: Pet food recall: Companies named & tainted wheat gluten reported in human food manufacturing plan ***)

I’m perplexed as to why it appears to be as difficult to find out the name of the company that was supplying the oft-mentioned wheat gluten to Menu Foods, as it would be to find out how to break the code at Fort Knox. As many of you know, the only connection there seems to be between the deaths of 16 cats and dogs (and counting) and the THREE WEEKS IN THE MAKING recall Menu Foods FINALLY released on March 16th of nearly 100 pet food products they manufacture, is the possibility of contamination of wheat gluten used in the manufacturing of said products during a particular time.

MGP Ingredients has issued a press release stating that they are NOT the company who provided the wheat gluten to Menu Foods, although they had in the past, so why is it that the identity of the company that DID provide the wheat gluten being kept such a closely guarded secret? I tried my hand at playing detective trying to figure out which company, of the many I did find as wheat gluten suppliers, might have been the one supplying its product to Menu Foods, but apparently donning Sherlock Holmes attire and sleuthing on the internet isn’t my forte. I do find it hard to believe that it is really that hard for someone who knows what they are doing, though. So why IS it taking so long to have someone come forward with this information?

If this situation had happened in the human sector of the food industry wouldn’t we all know by now who the possible culprit was? Didn’t we all quickly hear of the growers of spinach who “might” have had something to do, directly or indirectly, with the spinach scare we all went through recently? Why aren’t we getting information as quickly when the scare has to do with our beloved animals?

All I seem to keep hearing is that this recall is going to cost Menu Foods $30-$40 million. I do feel for the innocent folks whose livelihood will be affected by this catastrophe (those working for Menu Foods who had nothing to do with this), but try telling a pet owner who has lost their family pet, a member of their family, that $30 million dollars even comes close to covering the anguish and grief they are feeling right now knowing that they literally had a hand in bringing an early demise to their pet. Try telling them, the people who were merely tending to the daily needs of their pet by opening up that can or pouch and feeding their 4-footed friend, that this recall is going to have a horrible affect on the well-being of Menu Foods. I highly doubt they give a rat’s patootie. I know I don’t.

Come on Menu Foods, FDA, media sources, let’s start hearing some answers as to WHICH company provided the wheat gluten, IF the wheat gluten or anything associated with it had ANYTHING to do with the deaths of all these pets, or what OTHER scenario could have taken place for this heartbreaking catastrophe to occur. While the answers to the questions won’t ever take away the pain the owners of the affected pets are feeling, or ever fully restore the confidence of pet owners in the pet food industry, at least it will help everyone come to some sort of understanding as to how this could have happened, and how to make sure it does NOT happen again.

LINKS: My initial post, AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association), ASPCA, FDA (Food and Drug Administration), Menu Foods, MyFoxDC (videos and information), PETA’s blog(possible lawsuit), Delta Society (list of pet loss and bereavement support groups)

Added on 3/27/07: I just can’t let this wheat gluten thing go, so thought I’d share an interesting read I just found over on vetcetera.

Added on 3/28/07: Am VERY glad to see so many folks are NOT letting this whole thing be swept under the carpet, and are instead trying to put the pieces of this VERY confusing puzzle together. Check out this link to a portion of a great discussion at Conspiracy Central.

Added on 4/1/07: Looks like there’ s a name to a supplier of at least SOME tainted wheat gluten, if not THE tainted wheat gluten Menu Foods used.