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May 1, 2007 in Bob Marley, celebration, Free Hugs, friends, life, love, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, MoveOn.org, Planned Parenthood, rat poison, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, video, wheat industry, Ziggy Marley | Leave a comment
Surprise the heck out of folks and spread a little random love today! 🙂
April 11, 2007 in animals, ASPCA, AVMA, Blue Buffalo Co., books, Captain and Tennille, cats, ChemNutra Inc., China, Dick Durbin, Doctors Foster & Smith, dog treats, dogs, Don Imus, Erin Burnett, FDA, government, health, homemade pet food, HR 137, life, melamine, Menu Foods, Pennsylvania, pet food, pet food recall, pets, politics, Purina, rat poison, recall, Rudy, Sunshine Mills, toy soldiers, VA Tech, wheat gluten, Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development Co. Ltd. | 1 comment
Toothache still raging, so just a brief roundup today:
- Senate Passes Landmark Animal Fighting Legislation (excerpt: “U.S. Senate unanimously approved H.R. 137, the Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act. The bill, which was also approved by the U.S. House of Representatives in a vote of 368 to 39 on March 26, will now go to President Bush for his signature.”)
- Senator Durbin’s press release regarding tomorrow’s (4/12) Senate oversight hearing on pet food contamination. (excerpt: “Witnesses (see below for full list) will include FDA officials who will be questioned on the timeline of the investigation, the source of the contamination, and the agency’s regulatory and inspection responsibilities. The hearing will also include outside experts who will discuss 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…The hearing will be webcast at this address: http://appropriations.senate.gov/webcasts.cfm“)
- Menu Foods CFO sold shares 3 weeks prior to recall. (excerpt: “The chief financial officer of Menu Foods sold almost half his shares in the company just three weeks before a massive recall of its pet food products, Canadian insider trading reports show.”)
- Chinese city holds clues to how wheat gluten contaminated. (excerpt: “Now, regulators with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are examining the possibility that melamine was intentionally mixed into the wheat gluten in China as a way to bolster the apparent protein content and to meet pet food requirements, according to a person briefed on the investigation.”)
- Additional contaminant found? (excerpt: “Scientists at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine may have found a second contaminant in the wheat gluten used to make the tainted pet food blamed for the deaths and illnesses of scores of cats and dogs across North America, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported.”)
- Important info on homemade food for pets from the AVMA. (excerpt: “Dr. Tony Buffington, DVM, Ph.D., an Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine professor of clinical sciences and a member of the AVMA, agrees that preparing food for your pet can be tricky. In the event a pet owner is determined to make pet food at home, he recommends Home-Prepared Dog & Cat Diets: the Healthful Alternative by Dr. Donald Strombeck as a good cookbook for pets. Dr. Buffington also recommends http://www.petdiets.com/ as one the best Web sites on home-cooked pet diets.”)
April 4, 2007 in Aminopterin, Anderson Cooper, animals, ASPCA, Blue Buffalo Co., Captain and Tennille, cats, ChemNutra Inc., Doctors Foster & Smith, dog treats, dogs, Don Imus, Erin Burnett, FDA, government, health, life, melamine, Menu Foods, Pennsylvania, pet food, pet food recall, pets, Purina, rat poison, recall, rice protein concentrate, Rudy, Sunshine Mills, television, toy soldiers, University of Guelph, VA Tech, wheat gluten, Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development Co. Ltd. | 2 comments
Really quick programming note that I, unfortunately, JUST found out about. Flipped on the TV and discovered that Anderson Cooper 360° is going to report from China regarding the pet food recall. Just now airing here on the West Coast, but maybe those in other time zones can check it out on a replay or perhaps they’ll have some info on his CNN site. Off to watch!
—Okay, I watched the segment and while I am grateful that they are helping to keep the spotlight on this situation, I was a bit disappointed in how short the segment was. It was about 5 minutes into the show, and was only about five minutes in length. They did replay the segment later in the show (about 90 minutes into the two hour show) and included with that airing some emails viewers had sent in thanking CNN for airing a segment the night before. I had missed the previous night’s segment, but did just find this video on CNN’s site about the company (Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development Co. Ltd.) that the FDA listed as the supplier of the tainted wheat gluten. If you type in “pet food recall” into the media player search engine, you’ll get about 6 other videos on the topic. I didn’t see one up yet from tonight’s Anderson Cooper 360° show. NOTE: I usually use Firefox, but had to open up Internet Explorer to get the media player to operate properly.
While tonight’s segment was short, it did at least point out the ridiculous inconsistencies in the pet death statistic the FDA continues to stand by (14 pets dead…and didn’t Menu Foods already tell us most of those were from their own tasting trials?), even though the FDA has said it has received approximately 10,000 complaints, and Pet Connection has had over 3,000 pet deaths recorded to their database by pet owners.
Also explained in fairly good detail was the melamine connection and how it may have affected the kidneys in pets. The University of Guelph (Canada) was mentioned, so of course I just HAD to head to their web site to see what I could dig up, and found this interesting list when I entered “melamine” in their search engine.
Again, while I wish the segment tonight was longer (apparently last night’s show focused on the situation more), I am very grateful to CNN for not letting this story slip on down the “Top Story” ladder.
April 3, 2007 in animals, ASPCA, Blue Buffalo Co., Captain and Tennille, cats, ChemNutra Inc., Doctors Foster & Smith, dogs, Don Imus, FDA, Friday Morning After, government, health, human food supply, life, melamine, Menu Foods, Pennsylvania, pet food, pet food recall, pets, Purina, rat poison, recall, Rudy, Sunshine Mills, toy soldiers, VA Tech, wheat gluten, Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development Co. Ltd. | 12 comments
So it looks like we now have not only the name of the company that provided the tainted wheat gluten to Menu Foods, Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development Co. Ltd., but we are now also hearing from the importer of that wheat gluten, ChemNutra Inc., by way of a press release (included below).
So one would think we’re getting all the answers now, right? Wrong. It only becomes more muddled when Xuzhou Anying now says they did NOT manufacture the wheat gluten, but had actually bought it elsewhere! Read more here. This whole supplier, importer, broker, thing really has me questioning who the heck really knows what goes into our food and who do we assume will regulate that for us? The FDA? Not feeling the love OR the trust on that front.
Another alert poster to this blog, Joe from Friday Morning After (Thanks, Joe!), linked to an article on the thread “Who provided Menu Foods wheat gluten?“, which supports our fear about the tainted wheat gluten getting into our human food supply (or at least the plants which process our food), and not just in the pet food supply. It is now being confirmed in this article by Diedtra Henderson, with the Boston Globe.
ROCKVILLE, Maryland: The tainted wheat gluten that triggered a massive pet food recall also ended up in processing plants that prepare food consumed by people, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said…
Now did any of us REALLY think that there was NO possibility that this would happen? I think not.
However, there is this report from CBS news which conflicts the Boston Globe report. In this article Stephen Miller, CEO of ChemNutra Inc., says that none of the contaminated wheat gluten ended up in human food manufacturing plants. ChemNutra Inc. was the importer of the tainted wheat gluten from Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development Co. Ltd., which was the company who provided the wheat gluten to Menu Foods.
Here is the press release from ChemNutra Inc. dated April 3, 2007:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 3, 2007
CHEMNUTRA ANNOUNCES NATIONWIDE WHEAT GLUTEN RECALL
Las Vegas, NV… April 3, 2007… ChemNutra Inc., of Las Vegas, Nevada, yesterday recalled all wheat gluten it had imported from one of its three Chinese wheat gluten suppliers – Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development Co. Ltd.
The wheat gluten ChemNutra recalled was all shipped from China in 25 kg. paper bags, and distributed to customers in the same unopened bags. The bags were all labeled “Wheat Gluten Batch No.: _______ Net Weight: 25 kg Gross Weight: 25.1 kg Made in China”. The batch numbers included in the recall are 20061006, 20061027, 20061101, 20061108, 20061122, 20061126, 20061201, 20061202, 20061203, 20061204, 20061205, 20061206, 20061208, 20061221, 20070106, 20070111, 20070116, and 20070126.
Each ChemNutra shipment had the certificate of analysis information from the supplier, including batch number and the supplier’s content analysis and test results. ChemNutra shipped from its Kansas City warehouse to three pet food manufacturers and one distributor who supplies wheat gluten only to the pet food industry. ChemNutra’s shipments commenced November 9, 2006 and ended March 8, 2007. ChemNutra did not ship to facilities that manufacture food for human consumption, and the distributor ChemNutra shipped to supplies wheat gluten only to pet food manufacturers. The total quantity of Xuzhou Anying wheat gluten shipped was 792 metric tons.
ChemNutra learned on March 8 from one pet food manufacturer that the wheat gluten it had sold them – all from the Xuzhou Anying – was among ingredients suspected as a potential cause of pet food problems. ChemNutra immediately quarantined its entire wheat gluten inventory and assisted this customer’s investigation.
After that manufacturer issued a pet food recall, the FDA immediately commenced a thorough investigation of ChemNutra’s wheat gluten, including documentation analysis, inspection, and laboratory testing. ChemNutra cooperated fully with the FDA and immediately notified its other three wheat gluten customers about the FDA’s investigation. Those customers had all purchased smaller amounts of the Xuzhou Anying wheat gluten commencing in January, 2007.
On Friday, March 30, the FDA announced they had found melamine in samples of the wheat gluten ChemNutra had imported from Xuzhou Anying. The FDA did not inform ChemNutra of any other impurities in the Xuzhou Anying wheat gluten, nor of any impurities in the wheat gluten from ChemNutra’s other two Chinese suppliers.
The toxicity of melamine is not clear. However, since melamine is not approved by the FDA for pet food, it should absolutely not have been in wheat gluten. ChemNutra is extremely concerned about the purity of all of its products. The company is particularly troubled that the certificates of analysis provided by the above-named supplier did not report the presence of melamine.
ChemNutra wants to ensure its products are safe. Consequently, in addition to its ongoing cooperation with the FDA, ChemNutra will be conducting its own independent, analytical tests of wheat gluten from all of its suppliers.
Yesterday ChemNutra sent recall notices to all four of its direct customers. If any other company received bags of recalled wheat gluten from the lot numbers referenced above, please call ChemNutra at 702.818.5019.
Consumers who have questions about the pet food they should go to the FDA’s website at http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/2007/NEW01590.html. This website lists all brands of petfood involved, with links to the manufacturer who should be contacted with questions.
4/6/07: Here’s an interesting article about China actually getting into the investigation process.
April 1, 2007 in Alpo, Aminopterin, animals, ASPCA, Blue Buffalo Co., Captain and Tennille, cats, Diamond Foods, Doctors Foster & Smith, dog treats, dogs, Don Imus, Erin Burnett, FDA, government, health, life, melamine, Menu Foods, NY Dept. of Agriculture and Markets, Pennsylvania, pet food, pet food recall, pets, Purina, rat poison, recall, rice protein concentrate, Rudy, Science Diet, Sunshine Mills, toy soldiers, VA Tech, wheat gluten | 26 comments
I was getting some information from folks about the FDA possibly holding out on who the wheat gluten supplier to Menu Foods was (we already know that Menu Foods, Nestle Purina PetCare Co. were holding out the info), and wouldn’t you know that when I did a search on the FDA site with the terms “wheat gluten” to verify the information being given to me, THIS popped up (will copy below)! If it was dated 3/30/07 WHY WASN’T IT RELEASED TO THE PUBLIC SOONER???
Mind you, the supplier mentioned at the bottom of the FDA document, Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development Co. Ltd, may in fact NOT be the one who supplied the wheat gluten to Menu Foods (sorry, but the notice gets a tad confusing…will refer to those of you with more knowledge on this subject to offer up some insight, please!), but it is, at the very least, one which has tainted wheat gluten. And this information posted by the FDA is a somewhat good sign that they seem to be checking supplies at some point. I would like to hear, though, why the FDA didn’t bother putting a link to this information on the page they’ve been posting all other pet food recall press releases. Oh wait, silly me, a press release means RELEASE (publicly) of information through the press and that is NOT what it seems they wanted to do with THIS particular information.
I’m sure I’ll be adding more to this entry as information comes along, and I sure as heck hope main media sources are working on this development, too. If you’d like to read more about the conversation we’ve been having here about wheat gluten, click here. Some great information by some fabulous posters in the comment section…many thanks to them! Please note that I had to adjust some formatting of the FDA notice below so that it would fit, but HOPEFULLY I didn’t delete anything except a bunch of spaces. For the EXACT document, click the link here. Also, I could NOT find the attachments mentioned in the document anywhere on the site. That, of course, does not mean they weren’t right in front of me. 😉
Added 4/2/07: Just found this page on the FDA site that shows the process of their “Pet Food Contamination Response” and have to say the typos on that page astounded me. 😉
From the US Food and Drug Administration, Office of Regulatory Affairs:IA #99-26, IMPORT ALERT #99-26, “DETENTION WITHOUT PHYSICAL EXAMINATION AND
INTENSIFIED COVERAGE OF WHEAT GLUTEN DUE TO THE PRESENCE OF MELAMINE”
TYPE OF ALERT: Detention Without Physical Examination
(Note: This import alert represents the Agency’s current guidance to FDA field personnel
regarding the manufacturer(s) and/or products(s) at issue. It does not create or confer any
rights for or on any person, and does not operate to bind FDA or the public).
PRODUCT: Wheat Gluten
02F08 Wheat gluten
02E06 – Wheat flour gluten
71M01 wheat gluten
PROBLEMS: Poisonous or deleterious substance
Unsafe food additive
PAF: PES FAD
PAC FOR COLLECTION: 71003A 09006A
COUNTRY: See Attachment
MANUFACTURER/FEI#: See Attachment
CHARGES: The article is subject to refusal of admission pursuant to
section 801(a)(3)in that it appears to bear or contain a poisonous or
deleterious substance, which may render it injurious to health
[Adulteration, section 402(a)(1)]” (Oasis Charge Code; POISONOUS)
The article is subject to refusal of admission pursuant to section
801(a)(3)in that it appears to bear or contain a food additive that
is unsafe within the meaning of section 409
[Adulteration, section 402(a)(2)(C)(i)]”
(Oasis Charge Code: UNSAFE ADD)
RECOMMENDING OFFICE: Division of Compliance, CVM (HFV-230)
REASON FOR ALERT:
In March 2007, FDA became aware of the illness and death of cats and
dogs associated with certain pet food. Subsequently, samples of the
implicated pet food were analyzed and found to contain melamine.
The consumption of pet food containing melamine may be
associated with acute renal failure in cats. Investigations have revealed
that the source of the melamine was wheat gluten which is an
ingredient in the pet food. The attachment to this alert includes
manufacturers whose wheat gluten products have been found to
GUIDANCE: Districts may detain without physical examination,
products offered for importation from manufacturers and shippers
listed in the Attachment to this import alert. Report wheat gluten
samples found positive for melamine to Cathie Marshall, CVM,
Division of Compliance, HFV-232, at (240) 276-9217.
Appropriate screening criteria have been set for wheat gluten from
China and the Netherlands, as a country through which transshipping
of Chinese wheat gluten may occur. Sampling has been recommended.
Recommendations for detention without physical examination of firms
with violative product should be forwarded to DIOP, HFC-170.
For questions or issues concerning science, science policy, sample collection,
analysis, preparation, or analytical methodology, contact Tom Savage,
Division of Field Science, at 301-827-1026.
To enable the agency to assess whether the firm has identified the
source of the problem, and has taken the appropriate steps to correct
and prevent future occurrences, FDA recommends that a firm
requesting removal from detention without physical examination
provide the following information:
1. a. Results of the firm’s investigation(s) into the problem of
b. Documentation showing corrective action(s)such as:
i. a description of the process(es) currently being used
ii. verification that the process is adequate
iii. measures that have been taken to prevent recontamination
c. Copies of three (3) production records showing the process, quantities
processed, lot numbers and dates of processing.
d. Documentation showing that a minimum of five (5) consecutive
entries have been released by FDA based on third party
laboratory analyses that show the shipments of wheat gluten
do not contain melamine.
All requests for removal from DWPE should be forwarded to
DIOP,(HFC-170) which in turn will forward the requests to CVM
(HFV-230) for evaluation.
PRIORITIZATION GUIDANCE: I
FOI: No purging required
KEYWORDS: Feed, pet food, melamine, wheat gluten
PREPARED BY: Cathie Marshall, CVM, HFV-232, 240-276-9217 and
Linda Wisniowski, DIOP, HFC-172, 301-443-6553
DATE LOADED INTO FIARS: March 30, 2007
Firms and products currently under detention without physical examination
Firm: Date 3/30/07 DWPE Wheat gluten
Product /Code: 02F08
Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology
Development Company Ltd.
Wangdian Industrial Zone,
Peixian, CN-32, China 221623
March 31, 2007 in Alpo, Aminopterin, animals, ASPCA, Blue Buffalo Co., Captain and Tennille, cats, Diamond Foods, Doctors Foster & Smith, dog treats, dogs, Don Imus, Erin Burnett, FDA, health, life, melamine, Menu Foods, NY Dept. of Agriculture and Markets, Pennsylvania, pet food, pet food recall, pets, Purina, rat poison, recall, rice protein concentrate, Rudy, Science Diet, Sunshine Mills, toy soldiers, VA Tech, wheat gluten | 7 comments
Yesterday (3/30/07) found the Menu Foods pet food recall being expanded to include Science Diet dry feline m/d, scaring the beejeebers out of everyone since this is the first time dry food has been included in the recall. In addition to that item being recalled, Nestlé Purina PetCare Company added ALPO® Prime Cuts in Gravy wet dog food to the recall list.
Today (3/31/07) Del Monte has issued a release recalling some pet treats AND some wet food (Jerky Treats®, Gravy Train® Beef Sticks and Pounce Meaty Morsels® Ol’ Roy, Happy Tails, and Dollar General).
PLEASE read the press releases by clicking on the links above, and check those codes/dates VERY carefully. In my opinion (especially considering how this situation is constantly changing), I feel that it’s better to be safe than to be sorry, so I would probably just toss the items (making sure no animals can get into your trash!) even if they don’t have the recalled code on them. But that’s just me.
March 30, 2007 in Aminopterin, animals, cats, dogs, FDA, government, health, melamine, Menu Foods, NY Dept. of Agriculture and Markets, pet food, pet food recall, pets, rat poison, recall, Science Diet, wheat gluten | 13 comments
I am so peeved right now! Maybe I’m just cranky from trying to update a list I compiled of where folks can register their complaints regarding the Menu Foods recall (btw, new recalls of Science Diet dry feline m/d AND ALPO Prime Cuts in gravy wet food) the deaths and the illnesses, or maybe I’m just UNBELIEVABLY annoyed and saddened that it seems we are NEVER going to get solid answers to why in the heck so many things seem to be showing up in the recalled pet food (today the FDA said melamine was found in the wheat gluten used to make the food…let’s see, that makes rat poison AND an Asian fertilizer in the food!), or maybe I’m just disappointed in two kids that apparently set that fire in my neighboring county of LA today. Who knows what it is that’s really got my goat, but regardless, I am peeved to the nth degree, and can only imagine the incredible frustrations pet owners with sick or even worse, dead pets, are feeling. Why on EARTH are we not getting conclusive answers to all of this Menu Foods recall chaos?
I read someone else say (sorry, don’t remember where) that the lab which first discovered the aminopterin (rat poison) in samples of the recalled food (btw, the FDA and Menu Foods are now saying aminopterin was NOT found in the food after all…the lab who found it is sticking by their findings), is one of the labs set up as part of Homeland Security after 9/11, and SHOULD have been able to diagnose what was in the food MUCH sooner than it did since this IS a lab that is suppose to be on the cutting-edge and front line of OUR protection against possible acts of terrorism with our food supply. If anyone thinks that our government is always looking out for OUR best interests, you really need to take a hard look at why it is that we STILL haven’t been given the name of the company that provided the wheat gluten to Menu Foods, and now are we going to find out how melamine got into the products? Not holding my breath. Just look at the slow response with Katrina. Disgraceful. And since this recall (at THIS point) was not with the human food supply it doesn’t seem that anyone is in any huge rush to discover the real causes. Although I suppose if our government wasn’t too interested in helping our own citizens during Katrina, they aren’t going to be in a huge rush to help our pets. Sorry, but I’m obviously still pretty bitter about Katrina.
So why IS it that we are not being told which company gave Menu Foods the wheat gluten, which is OBVIOUSLY the lead suspect in all the deaths? Comment posters on this blog did a lot of detective work and discovered that the offending company is “more than likely” ADM (Archer Daniels Midland), yet no “official” word one way or the other. Hmmm… Make no mistake pet food companies, big business, media, and our government, animal lovers are getting pretty fed up with your lack of answers, your excuses, and what seems to be a concerted effort to NOT let us know what’s really going on. We consider our pets to be members of our family and when you mess with a member of our family you are in for a big fight. Trust me. Pet owners are not about to let this disgusting situation be swept under the carpet, and there are far too many interested parties out there who will continue to push into the reasons behind this recall and the subsequent deaths. We do not want to have to constantly worry if the food we give our pets out of love and care, is in fact turning around and being what kills them. Yes, we can make our own food at home, but if these dangerous items can find their way into the animal food industry, is there really ANYONE that thinks they won’t find their way into the human food industry?
Rant done…for now. Who knows, maybe I’ll just end up deleting this post because when I’m not so upset it won’t make much sense. But for now I’m using this blog to unload and vent. Still peeved, though. Sigh.
***Added 8PM: Here’s a link to the Menu Foods conference today about melamine. Sorry, but all I hear when the President of Menu Foods opens his mouth is that Charlie Brown teacher sound, “Waa-waa-waa-waa, waa-waa-waa-waawaa!”***
The comments on this blog of people who have suffered losses, in addition to a great job vetcetera did compiling a chart of which states are/aren’t being proactive on the Menu Foods pet food recall front, got me interested in trying to track down a list of who can be contacted in each state.
I did run across a few lists, but each seemed to have conflicting information. I ended up combining the information I found on three lists, along with checking on each state’s web site, and have listed what I came up with here on the Pet recall info/posts page. It was very time-consuming and frustrating, so I can only imagine how pet owners who have pets affected by the recall must feel having to play “let’s find the right info” online while they are under so much stress. If you find any misinformation or additional contact information, feel free to post a comment and I’ll update as much as possible.
I realize this is a very sad and frustrating time for so many of you who have experienced horrible losses in your personal lives, but if you could please find the time and energy to contact all these organizations (your personal veterinarian, your State Veterinarian,the FDA, and Pet Connection) it will definitely go a long way in not only holding Menu Foods accountable and having the true statistics come out in the press, but hopefully also help create a system to handle situations like this in a much more fluid and productive manner. Of course it goes without saying that we hope a situation like this will not occur again, but the reality is such that it probably will.
March 26, 2007 in Aminopterin, animals, Berkley & Jensen, cats, dog treats, dogs, FDA, health, Menu Foods, pet food, pet food recall, Petrapport, Inc., pets, rat poison, recall, salmonella, wheat gluten | 1 comment
ARGH! If Menu Foods is confusing the mass media outlets, I guess it’s okay if I’m beginning to get confused about their press releases, too? Why don’t they just dispense with any further confusion on ANYONE’S part by just doing what they should until the mystery of how aminopterin (rat poison) got into their foods is solved: just CLOSE THE TWO PLANTS where the tainted food was manufactured and have ANY pet food manufactured there during that time (whether on the recall list or not) be pulled until some sort of answer is found? Oh wait, silly me, $$$. Doh!
I’m including today’s Menu Foods full press release, along with the opening statement from their press conference last Friday.
March 26, 2007
Clarification From Menu Foods: No Expanded Recall
TORONTO, ONTARIO–(CCNMatthews – March 26, 2007) –
NOT FOR RELEASE OVER US NEWSWIRE SERVICES
Media outlets have reported conflicting and incorrect information, including that Menu Foods has expanded its recall to include all products produced.
To clarify, late last week, the US Food and Drug Administration (the “FDA”) and various media outlets reported that some retailers still had recalled product on their shelves. In response, Menu Foods issued instructions for retailers to remove from their shelves all cuts and gravy products of the flavours listed on the recall list, regardless of the dates produced. For many retailers, this had already been completed as their standard operating procedure.
This step did not expand the recall but provided the remaining retailers with an efficient means of withdrawing the recalled product. The full recall list is available at www.menufoods.com.
In addition, Menu Foods reiterated that there is no evidence of any problems in any products manufactured at either its Streetsville, Ontario, facility or its North Sioux City, South Dakota, facility. Furthermore, there is no evidence of problems in any of the products not on the recall list produced at Emporia, Kansas, or Pennsauken, New Jersey.
By Paul K. Henderson
President and CEO, Menu Foods Income Fund
23 March, 2007
Ladies and gentlemen:
Thank you for assembling on such short notice. I have some brief opening comments. And then we will take questions. The news conference will conclude at 4:30 sharp.
My name is Paul Henderson, and I am the President and CEO of Menu Foods. With me today is Dr. Richard Shields, Executive Vice President of Menu Foods. Rick is head of Menu’s technical services that includes research & development, regulatory and quality assurance. Rick is a PHD in Animal Nutrition.
We are happy and relieved that the experts from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Cornell University have discovered the root of the issue that has harmed North American cats and dogs. This important discovery caps an unprecedented search by top experts. Dedicated and knowledgeable researchers at universities, independent laboratories, and our own veterinary consultants worked tirelessly to defend and protect our cats and dogs. Over the past seven days, we have spoken with almost two hundred thousand consumers. They were scared; some like myself, are angry; they demonstrated a level of care and concern that only those of us who are pet-owners can understand. Our hearts go out to the many thousands of pet-owners across Canada and the U.S. for their losses and their worry. We are grateful to them for their patience as we hunted for the root of the problem.
I can anticipate some of your questions, so let me address them briefly.
Q. How did this substance get into our products?
A. At this stage, we do not know. Our immediate next steps will be to begin testing of all suspect raw materials with the goal of quickly identifying the means through which this substance entered our supply chain.
Q. Which specific products made by our company contain this substance?
A. Again, we do not know with certainty. This morning, the researchers advised us of their discovery as they investigated the recalled product. At this time we have no reason to suspect that this matter goes beyond the recalled product.
Q. What should pet-owners do?
A. Until we have these answers, we have the following advice for consumers:
* We want to reinforce our view that all consumers should immediately stop using the recalled product.
* If your pet is showing any signs of illness after consuming any recalled pet food, see a veterinarian immediately
Q. What about the future of Menu Foods?
A. We have a strong, sustainable business, and we’re confident about the future. Our customers and partners have been understanding, supportive and loyal. And for that, we are grateful.
As I have explained, we have a lot of work to do. And we are eager to get back to it. But we will take questions for about 20 minutes.
I also ran across an interesting article at globeandmail.com, which does a good job chronicling the rise and fall history of Menu Foods before this latest catastrophe.
Just a reminder, too, about Petrapport, Inc.’s recall of Berkley & Jensen pig ear dog treats due to salmonella.
Just did my daily check of the Menu Foods recall web site and see that yesterday afternoon they posted two new press releases, the most urgent being the following:
MARCH 24, 2007 – 14:09 ET
Menu Foods Initiates Market Withdrawal of All Varieties of Recalled Wet Pet Food to Ensure Consumer Protection
TORONTO, ONTARIO–(CCNMatthews – March 24, 2007) – As a result of reports from the FDA and various media outlets that some recalled lots of “cuts and gravy” style wet pet food remain on store shelves, Menu Foods has asked all retail outlets to immediately remove all impacted varieties of wet pet food posted at www.menufoods.com , regardless of the date code. Menu Foods remains concerned that consumers are able to purchase recalled items. There is no known risk from items not listed on the recall list but an abundance of caution is called for in this situation. FDA has been apprised of this action.
So they “say” they are calling for the removal of ALL impacted varieties of wet pet food because some of the tainted food is apparently still on the shelves, but I have to wonder if it isn’t them just trying (belatedly) to cover their fannies since they still do NOT know how the aminopterin (rat poison) got into the tainted food in the first place. And since they are STILL using the two plants in question to manufacture food, how can they be sure it might not happen again? Maybe they need to read the title of their own press release and realize that if they truly are trying to “ensure consumer protection” they’d reconsider continuing to manufacture anything at all until they’ve solved their first horrible mystery/mistake. Oh well, the bottom line is that ALL of Menu Foods impacted wet pet food SHOULD be off the shelves soon, so that will be good…I guess.
Here is their other press release which is pretty much just them trying to use sound bites from their press conference on Friday to sound like they are “on the case” and “concerned”:
Menu Foods Income Fund TSX: MEW.UN INDUSTRY: Financial Services – Personal Finance, Retail – Consumer Interest
MARCH 24, 2007 – 12:17 ET Menu Foods Income Fund: Progress in Search for Cause of Pet Illnesses TORONTO, ONTARIO–(CCNMatthews – March 24, 2007) –
NOT FOR RELEASE OVER US NEWSWIRE SERVICES
Menu Foods Income Fund (the “Fund”) (TSX:MEW.UN) has provided an update on its March 16 pet food recall, which represents an important step forward on identifying the issue’s cause.
On March 23, the New York State Agriculture Commissioner and Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine announced that scientists at the New York State Food Laboratory identified Aminopterin as a toxin present in recalled pet food samples supplied by the Fund. The Food Laboratory received the pet food samples from a toxicologist at the New York State Animal Health Diagnostic Center at Cornell University, where testing has been underway to try to determine the cause of renal failure in dogs and cats. At Cornell’s request, the Food Laboratory tested the samples for poisons and toxins, and identified Aminopterin in the pet food samples.
“We are happy and relieved that the experts from the New York State Department of Agriculture and from Cornell University have discovered the root of the issue that has harmed North American cats and dogs” said Paul K. Henderson, President and CEO, Menu Foods. “This important discovery caps an unprecedented search by top experts. Dedicated and knowledgeable researchers at universities, independent laboratories, and our own veterinary consultants worked tirelessly to defend and protect our cats and dogs.”
On March 16, 2007, Menu Foods announced the precautionary recall of a portion of the dog and cat food it manufactured between December 3, 2006 and March 6, 2007. The recall was limited to “cuts and gravy” style pet food in cans and pouches manufactured at two of the Fund’s United States facilities. These products are both manufactured and sold under private-label and are contract-manufactured for some national brands.
“Our immediate next steps will be to begin testing of all suspect raw materials with the goal of quickly identifying the means through which this substance entered our supply chain,” Henderson told a news conference Friday.
“We have a strong, sustainable business, and we’re confident about the future,” Henderson added. “Our customers and partners have been understanding, supportive and loyal.”
Menu is the leading North American private-label/contract manufacturer of wet pet food products sold by supermarket retailers, mass merchandisers, pet specialty retailers and other retail and wholesale outlets. In 2006, the Fund produced more than one billion containers.
Menu Foods Income Fund
Recall Information 1-866-895-2708
Variety or Multi-Packs:
If you are in possession of a variety or multi-pack, please be sure to check the individual can or pouch rather than relying solely on the date coding on the side of the carton.
- Americas Choice, Preferred Pets
- Best Choice
- Big Bet
- Big Red
- Demoulas Market Basket
- Food Lion
- Giant Companion
- Great Choice
- Hill Country Fare
- Laura Lynn
- Loving Meals
- Meijers Main Choice
- Mighty Dog Pouch
- Nutro Max
- Nutro Natural Choice
- Nutro Ultra
- Ol’Roy Canada
- Ol’Roy US
- Pet Essentials
- Pet Pride – Good n Meaty
- Presidents Choice
- Price Chopper
- Priority Canada
- Priority US
- Roche Brothers
- Save-A-Lot Choice Morsels
- Shep Dog
- Springsfield Prize
- Stater Brothers
- Stop & Shop Companion
- Tops Companion
- Wegmans Bruiser
- Weis Total Pet
- Western Family US
- White Rose
- Winn Dixie
- Your Pet
- Americas Choice, Preferred Pets
- Best Choice
- Demoulas Market Basket
- Fine Feline Cat
- Food Lion
- Giant Companion
- Hill Country Fare
- Laura Lynn
- Li’l Red
- Loving Meals
- Meijer’s Main Choice
- Nutro Max Gourmet Classics
- Nutro Natural Choice
- Pet Pride
- Presidents Choice
- Price Chopper
- Priority US
- Save-A-Lot Special Blend
- Science Diet Feline Savory Cuts Cans
- Special Kitty Canada
- Special Kitty US
- Springfield Prize
- Stop & Shop Companion
- Tops Companion
- Weis Total Pet
- Western Family US
- White Rose
- Winn Dixie
***My initial pet food recall post with links***
Menu Foods has updated their web site, now also including this little section which seems like it could have EASILY been added over the past week:
“Product Information Variety or Multi-Packs:If you are in possession of a variety or multi-pack, please be sure to check the individual can or pouch rather than relying solely on the date coding on the side of the carton.”
Now why on earth didn’t they add that simple, yet IMPORTANT information to their web site earlier? Granted, most people probably would have checked not only the carton, but also the individual can or pouch, but some might have assumed they would ALL have the same date, and since they didn’t see the recall code on the carton they might have continued feeding their pet recalled food. Yet again, another sign (to me) that Menu Foods hasn’t handled this entire situation in the best way possible. I’m still scratching my head as to why they continue to use the plant where the tainted food was produced, since they have yet to narrow down EXACTLY how the aminopterin (rat poison) could have found its way there. Sorry, but I would NOT be using ANY foods manufactured by Menu Foods at this point–not until they have identified exactly HOW and WHY this occurred.
The updated Menu Foods recall web site now has a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section which I will also post below. (Yet again, another area they could have easily added to their web site DAYS AGO!) Here is a link to the updated cat food recall list, and one for the updated dog food recall list, all dated 3/23/07.
***My initial pet food recall post with various links.***
Last Updated: March 23, 2007
1. What exactly is covered by the Menu Foods Recall and for what timeframe?
The recall is limited to “cuts and gravy” style pet food in cans and foil pouches produced on specific dates and times between December 3, 2006, and March 6, 2007 in two of Menu’s plants. The recall affects 42 brands of cat food and 53 brands of dog food. In order to determine whether cat and dog food that your pet consumed is subject to recall, you should refer to the list of brand names on this website.
2. What should I do if I think my pet may have consumed the recalled product?
If your pet is exhibiting any signs of kidney failure please contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. Symptoms include loss of appetite, vomiting, weakness, disorientation and changes in water consumption and urination. If you suspect that you have fed the recalled pet food to your cat or dog, save any remaining pet food and the can or pouch. Open cans or pouches may be double-bagged in sealable plastic and kept in the freezer.
3. Who is going to pay my vet bills for sickness and death?
If Menu Foods product is the cause of sickness or death, Menu Foods will take responsibility. Menu has engaged a professional firm to manage your concerns and is currently contacting concerned pet owners who have reached our call center. Specific direction will be received from these individuals. Please keep copies of all your vet records and receipts for pet food purchases as well as vet bills.
4. What do I do if I have pet food that has been recalled?
Please return it to the retailer for a refund.
5. Will I be reimbursed for the food that I return to the retailer even if my pet did not get sick?
Yes, if it is a valid product that is subject to the recall.
6. How do I know if the food I bought has been recalled?
The information is contained on this website. Not all date codes are subject to recall so please fully check the information on your can or pouch. The information on the website is organized by cat or dog then by brand and description. None of the traditional “loaf” style products are subject to this recall.
7. I can’t get through to the 1-866 numbers. What is going on?
We apologize for the delay in answering every call; we were simply overwhelmed by the volume of calls. Menu has retained a series of interconnected call centers throughout North America. Even with many regional centers running simultaneously we have not been able to answer every call. As we announced in a press release on March 19, 2007, we have taken steps to significantly upgrade our call centers to handle the volume and we have added this Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQ”) section to our website to provide more information.
8. I feed my pet dry food. Is dry pet food safe?
Menu Foods only manufactures wet pet food in cans and foil pouches. Dry pet food is not part of the Menu Foods recall.
9. I’m just not sure if my dog or cat had any of the food that is being recalled. They act fine and don’t appear to have any symptoms. Should I be worried?
As always, remain alert for any changes in your pet’s health.
10. Are there other ways my pet might get sick and show similar symptoms?
Yes – antifreeze ingestion, certain rodenticides and some medications. Certain lilies have been shown to cause kidney failure if consumed by cats. Grapes have been reported to cause kidney failure in dogs and may affect cats. Physical damage from trauma and cancerous conditions can also cause kidney damage.
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)