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May 28, 2007 in animals, ASPCA, books, Captain and Tennille, cats, China, corn gluten, cyanuric acid, Dick Durbin, Doctors Foster & Smith, dogs, Don Imus, FDA, government, health, House of Representatives, human food supply, life, LiveSmart, melamine, Menu Foods, Pennsylvania, pet food, pet food recall, pets, politics, Purina, RC2 Corporation, recall, rice protein concentrate, Rudy, Sunshine Mills, toy soldiers, VA Tech, wheat gluten | Leave a comment
Who would have thought this exasperating pet food contamination situation would STILL be dragging along TEN WEEKS later?! Here are some interesting articles covering: Menu Foods bullying of those filing claims against them, Seattle owners filing lawsuits, the response of web sites and blogs to the recall madness, the possibility of subpoenas being issued to the FDA, and the far reaching concern of the quality of exports from China.
Hope everyone had a safe Memorial Day!
Court: Menu Foods Harassed Pet Owners– USA Today-News10.net
“The pet food company that recalled 60 million cans of contaminated dog and cat food repeatedly made harassing phone calls to pet owners who had lawyers and said they didn’t want to talk, even after a judge ordered the firm to leave them alone, court records show.”
Seattle Pet Owners Part Of Class-Action Suit Over Tainted Food– SeattlePI.nwsource.com
“About 75 class-action lawsuits have been filed against Menu Foods around the country, said Tom Baisch, an attorney with the Seattle law firm Myers and Co. Baisch said his firm, along with Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, has consulted with more than 500 people — many from the Seattle area — who believe they’re owed reparations.”
Pet Food Scandal Unleashes Once-Obscure Web Sites-BaltimoreSun.com
“The Internet has changed all the rules here in terms of mobilizing public opinion on important issues, and this pet-food contamination is a clear illustration,” Durbin said in a telephone interview from his Chicago office.”
House: FDA Unresponsive To Information About Pet Food Recall-NorthCountryGazette.org
“A Congressional committee has given the U.S. Food and Drug Administration until June 1 to produce requested records concerning drug and food safety in the United States or they will subpoena them.”
Menu Foods: Tainted Pet Food Raises A Bigger Concern-LawyersAndSettlements.com
“Now comes news on Friday that officials in Canada have intercepted a shipment of corn gluten contaminated with melamine and cyanuric acid.”
(4/28):Natural Balance expanding recall after American Nutrition, Inc. altering comes to light/FDA raids Menu Foods and ChemNutra
April 28, 2007 in American Nutrition Inc., animals, ASPCA, Binzhou Futian Biology Technology Ltd., Blue Buffalo Co., books, Captain and Tennille, cats, ChemNutra Inc., China, corn gluten, Diamond Foods, Doctors Foster & Smith, dog treats, dogs, Don Imus, Erin Burnett, FDA, government, health, life, melamine, Menu Foods, Natural Balance, Pennsylvania, pet food, pet food recall, pets, politics, Purina, recall, rice protein concentrate, Rudy, Sunshine Mills, toy soldiers, VA Tech, wheat gluten, Wilbur-Ellis, Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development Co. Ltd. | 2 comments
So yesterday we saw Blue Buffalo lambasting American Nutrition, Inc. for adding rice protein to products American Nutrition, Inc. (ANI) manufactured for Blue Buffalo WITHOUT the knowledge of Blue Buffalo. Today we are getting the FDA’s “firm” press release from Natural Balance echoing the same sentiments:
“It should be noted that the products being recalled were not formulated or labeled to contain rice protein concentrate. While the FDA is investigating this, current information indicates this error is a result of a manufacturing deviation by American Nutrition. Natural Balance is working with the FDA in this matter.”
It was bad enough to find out that imports from China of rice protein, wheat gluten, and corn gluten were obviously tainted with melamine (if not more), but now discovering (via Blue Buffalo and Natural Balance press releases) that American Nutrition, Inc. was adding rice protein WITHOUT THE KNOWLEDGE of the companies contracting ANI for pet food manufacturing has me really freaking out. How naive have we all been to assume that companies are “somewhat” ethical in their commitment to consumer safety, let alone ethical in their business practices with companies who contract with them, by actually manufacturing what said companies have agreed to as ingredients in their pet food formulas? Weeks ago when I said that this pet food contamination debacle was just the tip of the iceberg, I TRULY had no idea it would uncover such blatant disregard for business ethics, safety of food, morality, and just plain old common sense. And that’s just in the pet food industry. Perhaps it’s time to take another vicodin even though the root canal tooth isn’t bothering me. Anyone else? 😉
Also, Andrew Bridges continues his excellent coverage of the pet food industry scandal with this latest story of the FDA raiding a Menu Foods plant and the Las Vegas offices of ChemNutra. Day late and a dollar short, FDA–in my opinion.
Recall — Firm Press Release
FDA posts press releases and other notices of recalls and market withdrawals from the firms involved as a service to consumers, the media, and other interested parties. FDA does not endorse either the product or the company. This listserv covers mainly Class I (life-threatening) recalls. A complete listing of recalls can be found in the FDA Enforcement Report at: http://www.fda.gov/opacom/Enforce.html
Natural Balance Pet Foods, Inc. Recalls Products in Response to American Nutrition Inc. Pet Food Recall
Natural Balance Consumer Contact:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — Pacoima, CA — April 27, 2007 — Because of the pet food recall initiated today by American Nutrition Inc., Natural Balance Pet Foods has announced it is issuing a nationwide recall of a number of canned products manufactured by American Nutrition. This action is limited to four specific Natural Balance canned formulas: Chicken Canned Dog Formula 13 oz , Beef Canned Dog Formula 13 oz, Lamb Canned Dog Formula 13 oz, and the 3oz and 6 oz Ocean Fish Canned Cat Formulas.
Natural Balance Pet Foods is taking this voluntary action after learning the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confirmed rice protein concentrate used by American Nutrition contained melamine, a substance not approved for use in food. These products are being recalled in addition to our previously recalled Venison and Brown Rice canned and bagged dog foods, Venison and Brown Rice dog treats, and Venison and Green Pea dry cat food.
Natural Balance Pet Foods has not received any indication of quality or safety issues, including pet illness, with the four withdrawn formulas. However, because American Nutrition informed the company that these four specific products may include rice protein concentrate, Natural Balance Pet Foods felt this action was necessary for the protection of its customers and their pets.
It should be noted that the products being recalled were not formulated or labeled to contain rice protein concentrate. While the FDA is investigating this, current information indicates this error is a result of a manufacturing deviation by American Nutrition. Natural Balance is working with the FDA in this matter.
FDA’s Recalls, Market Withdrawals and Safety Alerts Page: http://www.fda.gov/opacom/7alerts.html
April 26, 2007 in animals, ASPCA, books, cats, China, corn gluten, Doctors Foster & Smith, dogs, Don Imus, FDA, government, health, human food supply, life, LiveSmart, melamine, Pennsylvania, pet food, pet food recall, pets, pig/hog farm, politics, Purina, recall, rice protein concentrate, Rudy, SmartPak, Sunshine Mills, toy soldiers, VA Tech, wheat gluten, Wilbur-Ellis, Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development Co. Ltd. | 1 comment
Again, limited time, so just a quick roundup:
Chenango Valley Pet Foods Issues Recall-chron.com
“Chenango Valley Pet Foods has begun voluntarily recalling pet foods manufactured with a certain shipment of rice protein concentrate, the company said Thursday…Doctors Foster & Smith Chicken & Brown Rice Formula Adult Lite Dog Food…Doctors Foster & Smith Chicken & Brown Rice Formula Adult Lite Cat Food…Lick Your Chops Lamb meal, Rice & Egg Cat Food…Bulk Chicken & Brown Rice Formula Adult Lite Dog Food sold to one consignee, SmartPak…Consumers with questions may contact the company at: 610-821-0608…Also, SmartPak Canine is voluntarily recalling a batch of its LiveSmart-Weight Management Formula dog food…”
“China’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement there was no evidence to support the FDA’s claim but that it would cooperate with the United States to find out what actually killed the animals…The comments in a statement released by the Chinese Foreign Ministry were the first detailed response from Beijing to concerns that emerged a month ago about the country’s wheat and rice gluten exports.”
Hogs thought fed contaminated food may have entered food supply – (AP) Newsday.com
“Several hundred of the 6,000 hogs that may have eaten contaminated pet food are believed to have entered the food supply for humans, the government said Thursday.”
Another recall/Hog concerns expand to several states/House hearing on food safety/Canadian pet food regulation
April 24, 2007 in animals, ASPCA, Binzhou Futian Biology Technology Ltd., books, CA Dept of Food/Ag, Captain and Tennille, cats, ChemNutra Inc., China, corn gluten, Diamond Foods, Doctors Foster & Smith, dog treats, dogs, Don Imus, Erin Burnett, FDA, government, health, House of Representatives, human food supply, life, LiveSmart, melamine, Menu Foods, Pennsylvania, pet food, pet food recall, pets, pig/hog farm, politics, Purina, recall, Rudy, SmartPak, Sunshine Mills, toy soldiers, VA Tech, wheat gluten, Wilbur-Ellis, Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development Co. Ltd. | Leave a comment
Please note that there HAS BEEN ANOTHER RECALL, this one (SmartPak’s LiveSmart Weight Management Chicken and Brown Rice Dog Food) is mentioned at the bottom of the “Hogs Ate Pet Food Tainted with Chemical” story linked below. Here is the link for SmartPak, but I see no notice of the recall at this point (6:35 PM PST). My time will be limited for the next eight weeks, so posts will more than likely be news links. Then again, when I get on a rant there’s no stopping me. Guess we’ll just see. 😉
“”What has the FDA done to prevent food-borne illnesses? It appears the FDA has decided to centralize food safety decision making in Washington D.C., cut back on inspections, and hope that food producers and manufacturers will self-police their industry based on voluntary guidelines,” said Stupak, chairman of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the Committee on Energy and Commerce.“
“The suspicion of international contamination is eerily similar to past incidents in China,” Barton said. “A dozen years ago, 89 children in Haiti died after taking cough medicine made with, believe it or not, poisonous antifreeze that was traced back to China. The world never got an answer from the Chinese on how this crime occurred.”
“Ten pet food manufacturers sent unusable dog and cat food containing the toxic chemical melamine to hog producers in California, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah and possibly Ohio, FDA officials announced during a late afternoon press conference. Contaminated pet food was also sent to one chicken farm in Missouri, the officials added.”
Hogs Ate Pet Food Tainted with Chemical-AP-PawtucketTimes.com
“However, the Food and Drug Administration said the urine of some hogs tested positive for the chemical, melamine, in North Carolina and South Carolina as well as California.
Also Tuesday, the FDA said another pet food company, SmartPak, had recalled products made with tainted rice protein concentrate. The company said the recall covered a single production run of its LiveSmart Weight Management Chicken and Brown Rice Dog Food.”
Canada to review need for pet-food regulation-DVMNewsMagazine.com
“It doesn’t mean Canada should or will impose regulations, he says, adding that regulations didn’t keep pets from dying in the United States.“
Senators: Second importer of tainted rice protein found/CA Dept. of Food/Ag. update on hogs and melamine
April 23, 2007 in animals, ASPCA, Binzhou Futian Biology Technology Ltd., books, CA Dept of Food/Ag, Captain and Tennille, cats, China, corn gluten, Diamond Foods, Dick Durbin, Doctors Foster & Smith, dog treats, dogs, Don Imus, Erin Burnett, FDA, government, health, human food supply, life, Maria Cantwell, melamine, Menu Foods, Natural Balance, Pennsylvania, pet food, pet food recall, pets, pig/hog farm, politics, Purina, recall, rice protein concentrate, Rudy, Sunshine Mills, toy soldiers, VA Tech, wheat gluten, Wilbur-Ellis, Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development Co. Ltd. | 1 comment
Looks like Sen. Durbin is continuing to stand up for pets and their parents by pushing forward with his pursuit of the truth in all this pet food contamination mess. He, along with Sen. Cantwell, sent a letter today (will copy it below…note to Sen. Durbin’s office, “You might want to proofread the letter before sending next time. United States Senator was spelled Untied States Senator.”…then again, I suppose we are ALL feeling a bit ‘untied’ lately. 😉) to Commissioner Andrew C. von Eschenbach, M.D. (FDA) requesting action by the FDA on many fronts, most interestingly in regard to this alarming (yet not very surprising) discovery of a second importer of rice protein, which is more than likely melamine-tainted:
We have learned that in addition to Wilbur-Ellis, a second United States company imported a shipment of rice protein from China that is also likely to be contaminated with melamine. We request the FDA identify this second importer as well as those manufacturers to which it may have sold the contaminated product. Again, we request the FDA closely track this shipment and immediately press the affected companies to recall any food containing the imported rice protein.
Part of a Reuters Alert story “US Senators raise new concerns in pet food scare” reports:
An aide to Durbin said the senators found out about the second importer from industry sources.
If confirmed, that could further expand a pet food recall that so far includes more than 100 brands. FDA officials have confirmed 16 deaths of cats and dogs from kidney failure and have received more than 15,000 reports of illnesses.
The senators’ letter came ahead of a congressional hearing on Tuesday to examine the pet food scare as well as the larger issue of human food safety before a U.S. House of Representatives committee.
FDA spokeswoman Cathy McDermott said so far the agency is only aware of one rice protein importer, Wilbur-Ellis Co., but the investigation is ongoing.
Is anyone else as tired of the same old line of crap from the FDA? The, “Um, uh, the investigation is ongoing…we have our fingers up our patootie and can’t handle our jobs…what’s a little poison amongst friends?” line of malarkey they keep regurgitating. ARGH!!! I feel like a broken record bitching and moaning about the fact that the FDA should be able to track ANY DARN THING at ANY MOMENT. There is no reason,with technology such as it is, that someone can’t get on the phone or online and track things down. Heck, the blogging community has done a better job tracking down information than some of the media AND government agencies. Okay, gotta keep the blood pressure down…breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out. The good news is that there is another hearing tomorrow, so hopefully some folks responsible for protecting our food supplies (both human and pet) will get their collective fannies nailed to the wall by Senator Durbin and others.
DURBIN, CANTWELL ASK FDA TO STRENGTHEN INSPECTIONS AND DISCLOSE COMPANIES THAT PURCHASED CONTAMINATED RICE PROTEIN FROM CHINA
Monday, April 23, 2007
[WASHINGTON, DC] — U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) today sent a letter to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner, Andrew von Eschenbach asking him to identify the companies that were recipients of the contaminated rice protein shipments from China and to request that the FDA identify and inspect all suspect pet food ingredients imported by the U.S. from China and other countries.
Recent reports indicate that in addition to the contaminated wheat gluten found during the first wave of pet food recalls, contaminated shipments of rice protein and corn gluten have been used for pet food and could have entered the human food supply. On April 2nd, a Chinese company, Binzhou-Futian, sold rice protein to Wilbur-Ellis and a second unknown importer. Wilbur-Ellis has said that the shipment was distributed to five pet food manufacturers. Three of those manufacturers have revealed themselves and recalled food, the other two have not.
Given the strong possibility that these two pet food manufacturers also received contaminated rice protein and that they have failed to implement voluntary recalls, Durbin and Cantwell today asked FDA to release the names of these manufacturers and require them to trace and recall any pet food made with the potentially contaminated rice protein. The Senators have also asked that the name of the second importer be released.
Last week, Senator Durbin and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) met with U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner, Andrew von Eschenbach in Durbin’s Capitol office to discuss the latest recall of pet food, this time caused by contaminated rice protein imported from China. In the meeting, Durbin and DeLauro learned that the Chinese Government has blocked requests from the FDA to send personnel to China to inspect the facilities suspected of producing the contaminated products. The FDA first contacted the Chinese Government on April 4, 2007, but have not been granted permission to send food inspectors into the country. In response, Durbin and DeLauro sent a letter to the Chinese Ambassador to the United States, Zhou Wenzong, urging the Chinese Government to issue visas to U.S. food inspectors as quickly as possible.
Two weeks ago, Durbin and Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI), the Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee held a hearing the FDA’s response to the pet food recall. The hearing examined the timeline of the investigation, the source of the contamination, and the agency’s regulatory and inspection responsibilities. In the hearing, the Senators also questioned outside experts about the current state of the pet food industry, as well as regulatory or resource shortfalls that led to the widespread recall of tainted pet food.
Text of the letter appears below:
April 23, 2007Commissioner Andrew C. von Eschenbach, M.D.
Mail Code: HF-1
5600 Fishers Lane
Rockville, MD 20856Dear Commissioner:We are writing today in light of the recent expansion in the pet food recall. Over the past week, shipments of imported rice protein and corn gluten have been discovered to be contaminated with melamine. In addition, we have learned that the human food supply may be at risk from tainted pet food sold to a hog feeding operation in California.Once again, our food supply has been put at risk by contaminated ingredients that originated overseas and were never inspected by the FDA. In addition to identifying those companies who were recipients of the contaminated rice protein and have yet to do the right thing by identifying themselves, we request that the FDA begin comprehensive testing and sampling of both rice protein and corn gluten, similar to the testing and sampling performed on wheat gluten. The FDA must assure Congress and the American people that the shipments of rice protein known to be contaminated with melamine imported by Wilbur Ellis and the second unknown importer are the only shipments of contaminated rice protein to reach the United States and that no contaminated corn gluten has reached the United States. Should any additional contaminated rice protein or corn gluten be found, the FDA should take immediate action to identify those companies receiving the contaminated products and press for removal of any contaminated food from the market. Additionally, we request that the FDA conduct comprehensive testing on all pet food about which it has received complaints regarding symptoms of kidney failure in dogs or cats. The FDA’s strategy thus far of waiting for companies to self-report contamination and make the individual decision to remove contaminated food in their own time frame has served to increase the number of animals sick and dying and magnify this sad situation.Repeatedly, American pet owners have been told that products not on the recall list are safe for their pets, only to discover that the recall has expanded and that their pets may still be vulnerable. In order to prevent further contaminated food from reaching our shelves, we are requesting the following of the Food and Drug Administration:1. Wilbur-Ellis Co., the San Francisco-based company that imported the shipment of contaminated rice protein has said that the shipment was distributed to five pet food manufacturers. Three of those manufacturers have revealed themselves and recalled food, the other two have not. Given the strong possibility that these two pet food manufacturers also received contaminated rice protein and that they have failed to implement voluntary recalls, we believe the FDA should release the names of these manufacturers and require them to trace and recall any pet food made with the potentially contaminated rice protein. If FDA is unable to reveal this information, we ask for a detailed legal explanation.2. We have learned that in addition to Wilbur-Ellis, a second United States company imported a shipment of rice protein from China that is also likely to be contaminated with melamine. We request the FDA identify this second importer as well as those manufacturers to which it may have sold the contaminated product. Again, we request the FDA closely track this shipment and immediately press the affected companies to recall any food containing the imported rice protein.3. The FDA has engaged in significant testing and sampling of wheat gluten. Given we now know contaminated shipments of both rice protein concentrate and corn gluten have also been exported from China, we ask the FDA to begin comprehensive testing and sampling of rice protein concentrate and corn gluten immediately.4. We have seen this recall expand dramatically, both in terms of the number of brands and different products recalled, and in the number of ingredients contaminated. In light of the strong possibility that these protein sources were purposefully contaminated for economic purposes, we are concerned about the safety of other imported pet food ingredients and the possibility of them being contaminated. Accordingly, we ask the FDA to proactively respond by:
· Identifying and inspecting all suspect pet food ingredients imported by the U.S. from China and other countries;
· Studying the feasibility of testing protein-based pet food ingredients imported from China and other countries for melamine;
· Taking steps to work with the Chinese Government and other foreign governments to inspect their facilities and provide technical assistance to improve their food safety standards.
Approximately 63% of Americans own a cat or a dog. The FDA owes the American public their best effort to prevent contaminated food from getting to store shelves and to remove contaminated food that is already on shelves before more pets die. We look forward to the Food and Drug Administration’s prompt and complete response to this letter.
Richard J. Durbin
Untied States Senator
Maria E. Cantwell
Untied States Senator
FDA update on investigation/CA Dept of Food&Ag press release regarding hogs and melamine/3 more contaminants found
April 22, 2007 in Aminopterin, animals, ASPCA, Binzhou Futian Biology Technology Ltd., Blue Buffalo Co., books, CA Dept of Food/Ag, California, Captain and Tennille, cats, ChemNutra Inc., China, corn gluten, Diamond Foods, diet, Doctors Foster & Smith, dog treats, dogs, Don Imus, Earth Day, Erin Burnett, FDA, government, hair, health, human food supply, life, melamine, Menu Foods, Natural Balance, Nutro, Ozomatli, Pennsylvania, pet food, pet food recall, pets, pig/hog farm, politics, Purina, recall, rice protein concentrate, Rudy, Sunshine Mills, toy soldiers, University of Guelph, VA Tech, vegetarian, wheat gluten, Wilbur-Ellis, Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development Co. Ltd. | 2 comments
So much for taking today off from posting and enjoying Earth Day instead. Was checking email and found news from the FDA titled “Update on Tainted Pet Food“, which included a link to the press release from the California Department of Agriculture, so I just had to come post about it. To read the articles in their entirety click on the links I’ve provide, and I would also highly, HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend you read a VERY informative article by Karen Roebuck at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. She discusses the melamine situation with the hogs in California, and sheds light on laboratories finding three additional contaminants in pets who were sickened or died after eating tainted pet food:
Researchers also have identified three other contaminants in the urine and kidneys of animals sickened or killed after eating the recalled foods, including cyanuric acid, a chemical commonly used in pool chlorination, three researchers told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Cyanuric acid is what most likely sickened pets, one researcher said..Researchers in at least three labs found cyanuric acid, amilorine and amiloride — all by-products of melamine — in the crystals of animals’ urine, tissues and kidneys…
Another interesting, yet not surprising, nugget in her article was:
The Chinese government told the Trib and the FDA yesterday that the Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development Co. Ltd., which the FDA said supplied the tainted wheat gluten, did not export any wheat gluten intended to be used in food.
Anyone else getting some increasingly worrisome vibes about our continuously deteriorating relationship with China. Bad vibes I tell ya, bad vibes.
Okay, I really AM going to “try” and get away from the computer today, this beautiful Earth Day 2007, but knowing me I’ll keep checking for updates. 😉 In the meantime here is today’s (4/22/07) update from the FDA, and last Thursday’s (4/19/07) release from the California Department of Agriculture regarding the melamine and hogs. Usually, as a 14 year vegetarian, reading something like the news about the hogs would have me gently chiding non-vegetarians for eating meat, but considering many items vegetarians eat may be affected by the tainted glutens and proteins, there is really no one who can be happy about the state of our food supply. Until later, my friends.
Updated Pet Products Recall page/Melamine and hogs/Intentional poisoning?/Homemade pet food/US Wheat Industry assurances
April 21, 2007 in American Bullie, animals, ASPCA, Berkley & Jensen, Binzhou Futian Biology Technology Ltd., books, CA Dept of Food/Ag, Captain and Tennille, cats, ChemNutra Inc., China, corn gluten, Doctors Foster & Smith, dog treats, dogs, Don Imus, Erin Burnett, FDA, government, health, homemade pet food, human food supply, life, melamine, Menu Foods, Pennsylvania, pet food, pet food recall, Petrapport, Inc., pets, pig/hog farm, politics, Purina, recall, rice protein concentrate, Rudy, salmonella, SmartPak, Sunshine Mills, toy soldiers, VA Tech, wheat gluten, wheat industry, Wilbur-Ellis, Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development Co. Ltd. | Leave a comment
Phew! Just finished spending a good deal of time revamping and updating the Pet Products Recall page (changed the name from Pet Food Recall info/posts page since I decided to include ALL pet-related recalls, such as the salmonella-related recalls, not just the ones related to the pet food chaos), so give it a gander and let me know if there’s anything I need to change and/or add. Thanks! Too pooped out now to do a regular post, but did want to at least post some interesting news articles and links I have run across today.
Melamine and hogs/Intentional poisoning of products?:
- Updated: Chemical in tainted pet food turns up on hog farms; probably not in Oregon-OregonLive.com (Mentions hogs in NY, but I don’t see any further details in the article and haven’t been able to find anything online…stay tuned!)
- Chemical found in state hogs-SacBee.com
- Contaminated pet food sold to hog farm-ModBee.com
- Pet Foods May Have Been Intentionally Poisoned–CBS4, Florida (This story broke a couple days back, but it’s a good recap)
- Pet Food Contamination Scandal Spreads to Pork, FDA Opens Criminal Investigation-consumeraffairs.com (Interesting to see “criminal investigation” being used by the FDA since, in my opinion, the whole darn thing has been criminal from the get-go, most especially the FDA.)
US Wheat Industry assurances:
- With the Ongoing Pet Food Recall, the U.S. Wheat Industry Works to Assure Consumers that American Wheat Products are Safe-GrainNet.com
Homemade diets for pets? Pro and Con:
- Pets’ nutritional needs are different than yours-SunSentinel.com
- Local vet: Homemade is the best way to go-MaineToday.com
- Healthy or harmful?-MaineToday.com
- Before you cook for Rover or Mittens, check with your vet, ASPCA urges-pressofAtlanticCity.com
While revamping and updating information on the Pet Product Recalls page, I found this 4/16/07 Consumer Health Information update titled “FDA’s Ongoing Pet Food Investigation”, which I hadn’t seen before. Also wanted to post the FDA’s search engine for recalled foods , but I would HIGHLY recommend continuing to check the web sites of individual companies or here. At least the FDA site is another tool for those interested in finding out the most information possible. I think we have all discovered that you cannot depend on just one media source, blog, or government agency to give you all the information you need, since it is always changing. While there are some fantastic sites and resources available, there just isn’t really one media outlet alone that has been able to keep up on EVERY bit of info that surfaces. That being said, I will still stick to my claim that the blogging community has been the primary source for the most updated information getting out to concerned lovers of pets in quick and effective fashion.
Probably won’t post tomorrow (unless some news breaks), so have a GREAT weekend, everyone! 🙂
April 19, 2007 in animals, ASPCA, Binzhou Futian Biology Technology Ltd., books, cats, CBS, China, corn gluten, Diamond Foods, Doctors Foster & Smith, dogs, Don Imus, FDA, government, health, human food supply, life, melamine, Natural Balance, Pennsylvania, pet food, pet food recall, pets, pig/hog farm, politics, Purina, recall, rice protein concentrate, Rudy, Sunshine Mills, toy soldiers, VA Tech, wheat gluten, Wilbur-Ellis | 6 comments
I just watched the 11 o’clock news on CBS2 in Los Angeles, and unfortunately found answers to the hog farm questions I posed in my earlier post tonight. I tell ya, if this excerpt won’t get you to read the entire story, and sit up and take notice that this situation is NOT just an issue for those with pets, I don’t know what will.
“State officials believe the melamine came from rice protein concentrate imported from China by Diamond Pet Food’s Lathrop facility, which produces products under the Natural Balance brand and sold salvage pet food to the farm for pig feed.”
If this melamine contamination of wheat gluten, rice protein, and corn gluten, has not directly entered the human food system already, this story is an indication of how it can make its way there indirectly. Tip of the iceberg, people, tip of the iceberg. I also find it quite bothersome to discover that this is what is happening with the recalled food: being sold as “salvaged” food. Tsk, tsk, tsk.
(4/20-Updated story here.)
Pet food recall: Melamine in Wheat gluten/Corn gluten/Rice protein–Causes Blue Buffalo Co. to pull item
April 19, 2007 in animals, ASPCA, Binzhou Futian Biology Technology Ltd., Blue Buffalo Co., books, Captain and Tennille, cats, ChemNutra Inc., China, corn gluten, Doctors Foster & Smith, dogs, Don Imus, FDA, Friday Morning After, government, health, life, melamine, Menu Foods, Natural Balance, Pennsylvania, pet food, pet food recall, pets, politics, Purina, recall, rice protein concentrate, Rudy, Sunshine Mills, toy soldiers, VA Tech, wheat gluten, Wilbur-Ellis, Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development Co. Ltd. | 1 comment
This whole situation just gets more bizarre each day, with the most odd today being the news that pet food unsuitable for pet consumption (due to melamine in the rice protein) was instead fed to hogs! And just where might those hogs end up? Also makes you wonder where the recalled pet food returned to vendors over the last 5 weeks will end up, too. Hmmm… (***UPDATE about the hogs!***)
Joe, from Friday Morning After, posted a heads up on another Andrew Bridges article which explains this continuously evolving (and not for the better) situation better than I just did. (Sorry folks, still dealing with my tooth issues, so a bit off–can we say root canal next week? Ick.)
So to sum up for those keeping score, we are now talking melamine in:
- Wheat gluten (initial pet food recall)
- Rice protein concentrate (Natural Balance and Blue Buffalo Co. recall. Here’s a notice from Wilbur-Ellis, a company which imported tainted rice protein from China.)
- Corn gluten in Royal Canin foods found in South Africa. (I find it interesting that the main Royal Canin web site does NOT have a notice about the recall (as of now 4/19 PM), but the Royal Canin USA web site DOES have one saying their products are NOT affected.) [***UPDATE just one hour after this post!: Royal Canin US is now recalling products. I will sadly add this release/items to the Pet food recall info/posts page.***]
If this entire situation wasn’t so frustrating and heartbreaking due to the needless deaths of so many beloved pets, I think I’d start a pool to see which ingredient will turn up next as having been tainted with melamine. Sigh.
Here’s what Blue Buffalo Co. has as a pop-up on their web site:
Dear Pet Parents:
The Blue Buffalo Company has undertaken a voluntary recall on one production run of our Spa Select Kitten dry food. The production code on the recalled product is:
“Best Used By Mar. 07 08 B.”
We have taken this action because the rice protein concentrate used for this one production run was obtained from Wilbur-Ellis, the same company who supplied this ingredient to Natural Balance. Test results received late last evening (4/18) indicated that this rice protein concentrate tested positive for melamine. This is the first and only time our manufacturing partner sourced an ingredient from Wilbur-Ellis, and we had no knowledge that they had imported the ingredients from China.
We have advised the FDA of this finding and will be working closely with them on this issue.
Of the 5,044 bags produced in this one run, we were able to prevent the majority from ever entering retail distribution. We are working closely with our retail partners to remove this product immediately and will be re-stocking the shelves with Spa Select Kitten dry food that was produced without any rice protein sourced from Wilbur-Ellis as soon as possible.
If you currently have a bag of Spa Select Kitten dry food, please check the code date and if it matches the one shown above discontinue use immediately and return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. If your cat has eaten any of the recalled food, please call your veterinarian immediately to discuss if there are any risks to your pet.
Should you have a specific question call our Customer Service Department at 1-800-919-2833 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We understand your desire for immediate answers and we will be working to get back to you as quickly as we can.
No other Spa Select cat food or dog food, canned or dry, is included in this recall.
As a family owned company whose reason for being is to provide cats and dogs with the highest quality natural foods, we are extremely upset by this recall and can’t begin to apologize enough to our customers. From our perspective, it is unacceptable to produce even one bag of food with the potential to cause a pet to become ill, and we will further tighten our ingredient sourcing and quality assurance procedures as a result of this incident.
The Blue Buffalo Company
March 17, 2007 in Alpo, American Bullie, American Nutrition Inc., Aminopterin, animals, ASPCA, AVMA, Berkley & Jensen, Binzhou Futian Biology Technology Ltd., Blue Buffalo Co., CA Dept of Food/Ag, cats, CBS, Cereal Byproducts Co., ChemNutra Inc., Chenango Valley Pet Food, China, corn gluten, cyanuric acid, Dennis Kucinich, Diamond Foods, Dick Durbin, diet, Doctors Foster & Smith, dog treats, dogs, FDA, government, health, Hill's, homemade pet food, House of Representatives, human food supply, Humane Society of the United States, LiveSmart, Maria Cantwell, melamine, Menu Foods, Natural Balance, Nutra Nuggets, Nutro, NY Dept. of Agriculture and Markets, Ol' Roy, pet food, pet food recall, PETA, Petrapport, Inc., pets, pig/hog farm, politics, Purina, rat poison, recall, rice protein concentrate, Rosa DeLauro, Royal Canin, salmonella, Science Diet, SmartPak, Sunshine Mills, University of Guelph, USDA, wheat gluten, wheat industry, Wilbur-Ellis, Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development Co. Ltd. | 40 comments
POSTS for 3/17-8/22:
- 3/17/07: Fairly long lists came out yesterday (3/16/07) for a PET FOOD RECALL. Press Release, Cat food (cat food list updated by Menu Foods on 3/23/07), Dog foods (dog food list updated by Menu Foods on 3/23/07) PLEASE take the time to follow the links I’m including to see if the brand of food you feed your pet is listed. On behalf of your pets, thank you!
- 3/18/07: Science Diet has added some of their foods to the voluntary recall list. Pets HAVE died and others are suffering severe health problems, so PLEASE check this new list AND the ones I listed above. Thank you! Science Diet Recall (On 3/30/07 Science Diet recalled feline m/d)
- 3/18/07 10:15PM PST: The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) is even posting information which shows just how far-reaching this has become. They even have a web page with information on how to register adverse reactions/consumer complaints. I appreciate that so many of you are reading as much as you can about this and staying on top of the situation. What wonderful owners your pets have! 🙂 And PLEASE continue to spread the information to AS MANY folks as you can, and have THEM stay on top of it as well. I’ll definitely continue to add information as I find out about it.
- 3/19/07 11:10 AM PST: Looks like Menu Foods has another press release, which interestingly enough says it’s not for US newswire services, whatever THAT really means. It’s in PDF format and can be accessed from their main recall page.
- 3/20/07 11:20 AM PST: It is disconcerting to hear that in February, Menu Foods apparently was notified of the problems with pets eating certain Menu Foods produced food, did their own testing in which approximately 17% of the tested pets died, yet it wasn’t until March 16th that the recall was announced?!?! I am obviously no expert on how these things work, but it sure seems to me that the motto of “better safe than sorry” should have been in place LONG BEFORE March 16th! Menu Foods recall notice states:
“We take these complaints very seriously and, while we are still looking for a specific cause, we are acting to err on the side of caution” said Paul K. Henderson, President and CEO, Menu Foods. “We will do whatever is necessary to ensure that our products maintain the very highest quality standards.”
Seems to me that “acting to err on the side of caution” would have meant alerting consumers about the problems MUCH sooner than they did. According to news reports, Menu Foods was alerted by pet owners about deaths and renal failure on February 20th, Menu Foods began their own tests February 27th where between 15%-20% of the pets they tested died, yet the recall was not announced until March 16th, THREE WEEKS AFTER they were first alerted of the deaths and health issues?!?!
I certainly hope to hear SOME type of logical explanation SOON from Menu Foods, but until then all I can assume is that $$$$ (especially since in their initial press release on 3/16/07 they repeatedly mention how much the recall could cost their company) and probable financial loss is what had Menu Foods dragging their feet, while their consumers were unknowingly feeding their beloved pets food which could possibly kill them, if not leave them with painful health issues and enormous veterinary bills which many owners cannot truly afford. I worked in the veterinary field for nearly 7 years and know the high cost of health care for pets, along with having had expensive medical situations with my own pets. But that is what pet owners do, they care for their pets as if they were members of their family, which they are (just four-legged instead of two-legged), and will put themselves into debt just to make sure their pets get the best care possible. Unfortunately there will be pets whose health care costs related to the issues from the tainted food will be too high for some owners to absorb, and they will then have to make the heartbreaking choice to have their beloved pet euthanized.
Come on Menu Foods, let’s get cracking on finding some solutions here. I think everyone understands that “accidents” and “mistakes” do happen in life, which might possibly explain how the food became tainted in the first place, but the part I’m having the hardest time understanding right now is why the recall took so long to be announced to consumers. What do you have to say Menu Foods? You have countless pet owners looking to you for answers.
- 3/21/07: Menu Foods Recall: Good video
- 3/22/07: Pet Food Recall: Who provided Menu Foods wheat gluten?
- 3/23/07: Pet food recall: NY Dept. of Ag says “Aminopterin” (AKA rat poison)(<–2:15 PST: Click for links to videos of the Menu Foods media teleconference held today)
- 3/24/07: Pet food recall: Menu Foods updates recall web site (includes FAQ)–dog and cat recall food lists updated, too!
- 3/25/07: Pet food recall: Menu Foods recalling ALL wet food (There’s been a non-Menu Foods pet pig ear treat recall)
- 3?25?07:Pig ear dog treats recalled: SALMONELLA contamination (NOT Menu Foods recall related)
- 3/26/07: Pet food recall: Menu Foods “clarifies”?
- 3/29/07: Pet food recall: Where to register complaints
- 3/30/07: Pet food recall: First rat poison, now melamine! How about trying to put FOOD in the food? (Also includes a link to the Menu Foods press conference on 3/30/07 and link to recall of Science Diet feline m/d)
- 3/31/07: Pet food recall: Items added 3/30 & 3/31!
- 4/1/07: Pet food recall: FDA memo naming recalled food WHEAT GLUTEN SUPPLIER?! (Also includes a link I found on 4/2 to the FDA’s chart of their “Pet Food Contamination Process)
- 4/3/07: Pet food recall: Taking action AND Pet food recall: Companies named & tainted wheat gluten reported in human food manufacturing plant
- 4/4/07:Pet food recall: Anderson Cooper 360° in China on wheat gluten story
- 4/5/07:Pet food recall: MORE products added on 4/5 (Sunshine Mills produced) (Also includes a link to the recall notice for American Bullie dog chews)
- 4/6/07:Pet food recall: Senate hearing on FDA/Kudos to Sen. Durbin “The FDA’s response to this situation has been tragically slow…”
- 4/7/07:Pet food recall: Yet AGAIN, recall EXPANDS (links to updated lists)
- 4/10/07:Changing AP story on Pet Food Recall deaths AND “Go Orange for Animals” with the ASPCA today!
- 4/10/07:Pet food recall: Menu Foods issues THIRD recall list today (4/10)
- 4/11/07:Animal news round-up: HR 137 passes, Oversight hearing on 4/12, CFO sold shares…
- 4/12/07:Pet food recall: Oversight hearing on CSPAN & FDA warns some recalled food STILL on shelves
- 4/13/07:Pet food recall: Headlines around the globe
- 4/16/07:Pet food recall: Natural Balance pet food notice from FDA
- 4/17/07:Salmonella AGAIN: Twelve days AFTER FDA “warning” American Bullie dog chews finally recalled (NOT Menu Foods recall related)
- 4/17/07:Melamine the culprit (again) in Natural Balance’s expanded recall today (4/17)
- 4/18/07:Pet food recall: Menu Foods adds another item
- 4/18/07:Pet food recall: Melamine in rice protein/kudos to Natural Balance/Wilbur-Ellis the new ChemNutra?
- 4/18/07:Sen. Durbin and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro continue investigation
- 4/19/07:Pet food recall: Melamine in wheat gluten/Corn gluten/Rice protein–Causes Blue Buffalo Co. to pull item
- 4/19/07:Stanislaus hog farm quarantined after “salvaged” melamine-tainted food fed to hogs
- 4/21/07:Updated Pet Products Recall page/Melamine and hogs/Intentional poisoning?/Homemade pet food/US Wheat Industry assurances
- 4/22/07:FDA update on investigation/CA Dept of Food&Ag press release regarding hogs and melamine/3 more contaminants found
- 4/23/07:Senators: Second importer of tainted rice protein found/CA Dept. of Food/Ag. update on hogs and melamine
- 4/24/07:Another recall/Hog concerns expand to several states/House hearing on food safety/Canadian pet food regulation
- 4/26/07:4/26 Pet food contamination news: More recalls/China bans melamine/hogs & human food chain/
- 4/27/07:4/27-FDA Press Release re: Additional Diamond Pet Food recall
- 4/27/07:(4/27)MORE firm FDA press releases: Blue Buffalo BLASTS American Nutrition, Inc.
- 4/28/07:(4/28):Natural Balance expanding recall after American Nutrition, Inc. altering comes to light/FDA raids Menu Foods and ChemNutra
- 4/30/07:(4/30)Melamine+China=Disgusting/Expanded pet food recalls
- 5/3/07:(5/3) No shocker here: Menu Foods expands pet food recall (again!) 7 weeks AFTER first recall
- 5/4/07:(5/4) Combination of melamine & cyanuric acid may be key to deaths/Another pet food recall/Crisis far from over/Transcript of USDA & FDA update
- 5/10/07:(5/10)US investigators in China on contaminated pet food case/Incorrectly labeled wheat flour the culprit/FDA-USDA release info/Science lesson/Menu Foods delays financial reports
- 5/14/07:(5/14) Royal Canin USA recalls 8 Sensible Choice dry dog foods and 7 Kasco dry dog and cat foods
- 5/15/07:(5/15) ChemNutra calls for a national Pet Food Ingredients Safety Summit/Kirkland recall/Hogs that ate tainted feed being released for consumption
- 5/18/07:(5/18) Chenango Valley Pet Foods expands recall: possibility of cross-contamination (includes ferret food)
- 5/28/07:(5/28) And the pet food contamination saga continues…
- 5/29/07:(5/29) Head of China’s Food and Drug Agency sentenced to death/Nutra Nuggets recall
- 6/7/07:Dog food recalled due to possibility of salmonella (Ol’ Roy Complete Nutrition) (NOT related to melamine-tainted pet food recall)
- 7/11/07:Videos of Michael Moore on CNN (Parts I & II with Wolf Blitzer AND Larry King Live with Dr. Gupta)/Pet food recall update
- 8/21/07:Wal-Mart pulls chicken jerky dog treats produced in China
- 8/22/07:Red Flannel dog food (Mars Petcare) recalled in PA due to possibility of salmonella contamination
- 9/13/07:Possible new “made in China” tainted dog treat: Smokehouse Chicken Breast Tenders Treats
- 9/19/07:Pet food recall: Bravo! recalls tubes of raw food poultry products for pets due to possibility of Salmonella/Listeria
- 9/13/08: Deja vu: Mars Petcare US announces 9-12-08 pet food recall of SEVERAL brands due to potential salmonella contamination (list included)