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The Cliks are everything they are billed to be and more! I have seen some high energy acts in my day, but what The Cliks put forth in their show at The Knitting Factory (8/22/07) is incomparable (100_2136_edited.jpgespecially considering the miserably hot and humid conditions in the venue), and to have been witness the next day to seeing them taking the small, quiet Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson studio (before Craig had even come out) and INSTANTLY turn it into the most rocking, electrified space you could inhabit in a matter of merely one or two hits on the drum by Morgan Doctor, and the first lyrics by Lucas Silveira–well, it was nothing short of miraculous and memorable. I certainly hope you all got to catch their fantastic Late Late Show performance, but I’ll keep my eyes open for a replay for those who didn’t. (Craig is on hiatus for two weeks and they have a tendency to repeat the most recent shows, so maybe, just maybe it will air again soon!)

My best buddy Sheryl (who interestingly enough is also my ex-sister-in-law ;)), and I headed off for our 1 1/2 hour drive to Hollywood last Wednesday, with The Cliks blasting on the sound system and excitement brewing for seeing not only them, but also another band I’d just discovered that morning, Tanner Horn and the Astronauts Before Breakfast. Sadly the infamous Los Angeles traffic kept us from arriving at the venue until the last minute or so of Tanner and crew’s final song “Hole in My Soul” (sigh), but the 60 seconds that we did see made me realize we had missed out on one heck of a unique, exhilarating (and sweaty! ;)) performance. (For any of you in the LA area, Tanner Horn and the Astronauts Before Breakfast will be having their CD release party at 14 Below in Santa Monica, this Friday (8/30/07), with their CD being included in your $10 cover charge.  You can also get their 6-song EP on iTunes for $5.94!)

Can I just say again how unbelievably freaking-sticky-hot the Knitting Factory was?! I mean what the heck was the deal with folks having to feel like they were stuck in the middle of “Humidity Hell”? If we were sweating buckets, I can only imagine how the band felt, and that was actually pointed out by Lucas when he mentioned a couple times knitting-factory-hollywood.jpgduring the show that he had sweat in his eyes. The stickiness really left a bad taste in my mouth for driving all the way out to that venue again. Thankfully Sheryl and I did find what appeared to be the ONLY fan in the place (hence, the “heavy breathing” sound on the videos I taped…wasn’t me, was the fan :)), and camped out in front of it for the better part of the night. The only time we moved from it was to get some really good drinks from the bar (only $5 AND the cup was overflowing–woo-hoo!), or to head into the humid swamp known as the restroom…ick. Thankfully The Cliks were so amazingly powerful in their performances that you were almost able to forget about the beads of sweat finding their way down your body.

100_2137_edited.jpg

To say Lucas, Jen (Benton), Nina (Martinez), and Morgan had the crowd wrapped around their collective little finger would be an understatement. I think Lucas could have asked the crowd to do more than sing along to “Oh Yeah” (not that anyone needed any enticements to sing along–just came naturally) and everyone would have done whatever the request, without batting an eyelash. This concert was truly one of those times where the musicians, the crowd, the music, and the energy all organically combine into one incredible force that just can’t be put into words—something you had to be there to experience for yourself. I’m so thankful Sheryl and I were there to share in it, and hope that all of you reading this and viewing the videos, get even an inkling of what a Cliks concert has in store for you.

Here’s one of the videos I took, but unfortunately the sound at the venue wasn’t very good, and the lighting was horrific. That being said, it’s the freaking Cliks, folks, so deal with it! 🙂

The Cliks “Back In Style” to “Oh Yeah” at The Knitting Factory 8/22/07

I also taped the encore of “Nobody Else Will”, but kept getting my shot blocked by the dancing head in front of me, and for some reason the middle part was really blurry (think I tried to zoom in too much under poor lighting conditions), so I opted to remix the 3 shorter videos into one using YouTube’s remixer. Unfortunately, despite SEVERAL attempts over the past 3 days, the YouTube remixer will allow me to create the video, preview it, then publish it–but no video ever shows up! ARGH! Went over to100_2150_edited.jpg Photobucket and used their remixer (basically the same one YouTube has by Adobe) and it worked. Sadly WordPress doesn’t allow for Photobucket videos to be embedded, and the Adobe remixer doesn’t allow you to save the final product to your hard drive, so if you’d like to see the video you’ll need to click here for “Nobody Else Will” on my Photobucket account. Again, it’s not the best image quality, but Lucas’ vocals are absolutely out of this world. The lyrics are as heartfelt as they get in the first place, but add Lucas’ intense, raw, sexy vocals and hot damn, one heck of a good performance.

the-cliks-rosie-self-pic-8-22-07.jpgJen, Nina, Morgan, and Lucas were so accommodating and kind with their fans after the show, as was Rosie from Tommy Boy/Silver Label records who jumped right in and took a couple pictures for us when the camera was acting up. As a matter of fact, Rosie snapped an overhead shot of herself while she was waiting for the band, my friend, and myself to pose. Wish it would have turned out better because it was pretty funny when she did it.

As if seeing The Cliks at the Knitting Factory wasn’t enough, Sheryl and I also had tickets to their taping for the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson the next day. So back into the car we went (diabetic dog at home, so couldn’t stay in LA for the night…the things we do for our poochies :)), facing even ickier Los Angeles traffic on Thursday since we were traveling during the day. We did finally make it to the studio, and were pleasantly surprised to land a spot in the CBS studios parking lot–usually not an easy task! We made sure to get in line more than an hour early since there was no way we were taking any chances that we wouldn’t get in, especially after driving so far. Thankfully there were no worries late-late-show.jpgon that front, and when we did finally get into the studio, we were only about 4 rows back on the aisle (hey, a gal with long legs just HAS to have an aisle seat…plus I wanted a better view of the band!), but of course we wished we were even closer. For those of you who have never been to a taping of the Late Late Show, it’s in a fairly small studio with an audience that Craig doesn’t want to exceed some odd number like 113. We were told the reason he likes to keep it so small is because he likes the feel of a comedy club atmosphere, and the connection he can have with a smaller audience such as ours. I went to a taping of his show last October and the intimacy of the studio does lend itself to having you feel like you really are an important part of the entire show. “Audience Enhancers” is what Chucky B. (the warm-up guy) calls the studio audience.

So we finally get into the studio, everyone is seated, Chucky B. is cracking jokes, videos of some previous musical guests are playing on the monitors scattered over the seating area, Craig’s desk is pushed off to the side, and the band equipment is set up already. (Sorry to burst the bubble of anyone who didn’t know this, but segments for the show are not taped in sequence, and quite often are taped for airing on subsequent days, hence Craig hadn’t even been on stage until long after The Cliks were…his loss!) Then a few minutes later, out of nowhere and without much ado, Jen, Morgan, Nina, and Lucas walk over to their equipment and start testing it all out. It was really quiet in the studio, so Chucky B. starts whispering, saying “This is what bands do, they tune up their equipment. I think I see them checking me out. Apparently they don’t see this.” (He then flashes his wedding ring to everyone.) Um, apparently Chucky B. knows diddley-squat about The Cliks since wedding ring or not, chances are slim-to-none any of them would be interested. 😉 So the other Cliks fans that were there (probably about 15 or so of us throughout the audience), Sheryl and I, are all on the edge of our seats, just waiting for something…anything. Then BAM, out of the blue, and with a not-very-enthusiastic introduction of, “The Cliks”, the band jumps right into “Oh Yeah”. Well, despite the apparent lackluster enthusiasm on the part of the Late Late Show‘s folks, there was no way in hell I was going to not show my excitement, so I was rocking out the whole time, as were the other Cliks fans, clapping, shaking our asses in our seats, hollering out, and hoping we were letting the band know just how much we enjoy and adore them.

(***Video below ADDED 9/6/07: Thanks to Silver Label for making this video available!***)

The Cliks on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson 8/23/07 (First TV appearance!)

I have to say it all seems like a blur, totally surreal, and WAY too short of a time to have the band play, but the short time they did was absolutely the most energized four minutes or so you could ever ask for. From the overhead lights to the microphones near our feet, and from the phony Los Angeles cityscape backdrop on stage to the bustling real-life LA streets outside the studio, there was NO WAY anyone within earshot could help but feel the energy and enthusiasm the band was putting out. When it came to the last notes on the guitars and Morgan’s last drum hit, the sudden silence was incredibly deafening and made your realize how much The Cliks had filled up that short time and space with most intense rhythm, vocals, and music possible. Talk about living in the moment! WOW!

I really do believe that those in the audience who had no clue who The Cliks were beforesnakehouse.jpg their performance (unfortunately that would seem to also include the majority of the Late Late Show staff), were definitely impressed with them afterward. A CBS page made sure to tell us (Sheryl and I were both wearing our The Cliks black t-shirts, so it was pretty obvious who we were there for ;)) how hard The Cliks rocked and that they were off the hook (or something like that), so we know they made at least one new fan–especially since we saw him a bit later at Barnes & Noble in the “C” section of the CD area, obviously looking for The Cliks “Snakehouse”.

Side note…Morgan’s parents were in the audience and were so morgan-the-cliks.jpgcute! After the band was done and they’d left the stage (after some seriously long and loud applause and hooting and hollering from the audience!) an older couple started walking down the stairs toward the stage, Chucky B. made some comment, then someone on staff said they were the parents of “the drummer”, so Chucky B. made nice, and we all clapped for them. When Morgan’s parents hit the stage, right before slipping behind the wall to find the band, they faced everyone and waved, and boy could you tell they were Morgan’s folks–especially her mom, who she really looks like.

Alas, the good times had to eventually come to an end…sigh. It goes without saying that I am beyond anxious to see The Cliks again and am going through some serious withdrawals in the meantime. There is just something so pleasing about finding a band that is so vested in not only their music, but also in their fans. Jen, Nina, Morgan, and Lucas, could NOT have been any nicer to everyone during and after their shows, and I think that speaks volumes about the kind of people they must be–very sincere and caring. This was especially evident when I explained to Lucas after the Knitting Factory show, that one of my best buds, who had actually met them a couple of times in Vegas and at True Colors, was unable to make it back to LA for the show. Lucas was kind enough to tape a short, sincere message to Jackson–something I will never forget. How unbelievably cool of Lucas to do that!

Thank you SO MUCH to The Cliks, for all you give to your fans, personally and musically. Now get your asses back to SoCal ASAP! 😉

(***UPDATE 8/29/07:MUST SEE: Our “The Cliks” Adventures at The Knitting Factory and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (Videos, Pics)***)

Am so excited about FINALLY getting to see The Cliks live tonight! My buddy Jackson got me hooked on them a few months ago when “Snakehouse” just came out and I’ve been dying to see them since then. Guess I’ll be going from one extreme to another because I’ll not only be seeing them tonight at the Knitting Factory in Hollywood, but also at a taping of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson tomorrow. I believe there are still tickets available for tonight’s KF gig, but alas the tickets for the talk show taping are gone. You can catch The Cliks on this Thursday’s (technically early Friday AM) showing of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson in most markets at 12:37 AM on CBS. Definitely check your local listings (and set you VCR or DVR!) since times do vary in some areas of the country.

Only thing that could make these two days perfect would be if Jackson were able to join us as planned, but sometimes life throws you a curve ball just to keep you on your toes. (Doesn’t life know staying on your toes gets tiring? ;)) You already know you’ll be missed like crazy, my dear friend, and that it mostly definitely won’t be the same without you, but in your honor I will dance my ass off and make lots of noise–as usual, on both counts. LYB

MySpace pages:

  • The Cliks
  • Maxitit (The Knitting Factory calendar has them listed as opening for The Cliks)
  • Tanner Horn and the Astronauts Before Breakfast (Their web site states they are opening for The Cliks even though the KF site doesn’t say so. I hope they are performing since I’m now hooked on them after discovering their music yesterday morning!  Get their 6-song EP on iTunes for only $5.94!)

The Cliks

Maxitit

Tanner Horn and the Astronauts Before Breakfast

(***UPDATE:MUST SEE: The Cliks at The Knitting Factory in Hollywood TONIGHT(8/22/07) AND on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on CBS TOMORROW(8/23/07), also MUST SEE: Our “The Cliks” Adventures at The Knitting Factory and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (Videos, Pics)***)

“I think there’s something really sexy about feeling comfortable in your own skin.” ~Lucas Silveira

Time for us all to take a wee break from the never-ending pet food catastrophe, wouldn’t you say? Mind you, I’ll still be doing my best to keep folks updated while I’m back to full-time student teaching (one week down, seven to go…LOVE being back with the kids! ;)), but I figured an upbeat, fun post was in order, don’t you? And to help me with that, I’ve enlisted some help from my dear buddy Jackson, who is not only the man responsible for turning me onto the band we’d like to introduce you to, but also quite a musician himself. I knew he’d do a much better job using his musical background and writing prowess to get you hooked on the band than I would, so here’s what he has to say:

There’s a certain band that’s up until now kept rather quiet and under the radar of the mainstream music industry. With the release of the astonishing album, “Snakehouse,” hitting stores on April 24, the little-known foursome are captivating new fans of all types. And why should they not? This band has it all.

The pace is kept at a steady rate for the majority of “Snakehouse,” allowing a multitude of infectious melodies to seep into your mind and will remain there on some level until your next listen. The music is kept simple and is very much the definition of rock ‘n’ roll, timeless pieces nearing the style of Joan Jett but driven more so by the enthralling and powerful voice of Lucas Silveira. Fan favorites such as “Oh Yeah” and “Complicated” are just a fraction of the excellence to be heard. You might find yourself thinking you know how the specific tune over the speakers might develop, only to be amazed by a melody that’s not only completely different but instantly pleasing to the senses and intoxicating in its severity. Never once does Lucas shy from the microphone and never once does the album seem slow, despite the gentle ninth track, “Nobody Else Will,” which breathes an intense beauty in our ears before charming and impressing us one last time with the closer, “Back in Style.”

The band is The Cliks. Give them a try.

Thanks, Jackson! And I totally agree with giving them a try. After some arm-twisting from him, I hit their MySpace Page, liked what I heard, then headed over to iTunes and bought “Snakehouse” for $9.90. Have to say I have been listening to it for most of the day and still can’t get enough! “Oh Yeah” and “Nobody Else Will” are instant favorites of mine, but honestly there isn’t one song on the CD that didn’t grab me. The energy and intensity put out by the band, the incredible strength of Lucas’ vocals, and the honesty and raw emotion of the lyrics just has me entranced. I LOVE it when I run across music that affects me in that way.

Here is The Cliks web site, some short clips on YouTube, their management page, and a really good read about the winding path that has brought Lucas Silveira to where he is at now. Also got the okay from Kelly Davidson (Etched on Film) to link to her blog page, where you’ll find a link to a gallery of some incredible pictures she took of The Cliks on April 26, 2007. The only video out so far is “Oh Yeah”, which I’m including below. I dare you to not play it over and over again! Enjoy the music, everyone. And mark my words (okay, they were Jackson’s words first), this band will be HUGE in no time at all.

The Cliks-“Oh Yeah”

Menu Foods (Menu Foods US recall, Menu Foods Canada recall) and Del Monte have expanded their “voluntary” recall of pet food and pet treats to include items whose date of manufacture goes back to November 8th, 2006. That was when Menu Foods first began using wheat gluten provided by ChemNutra Inc., the company who imported the tainted wheat gluten from Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development Co. Ltd. in China. (See prior post here.) The initial recall by Menu Foods on March 16, 2007 was for food products manufactured from December 3, 2006-March 6, 2007.

On 4/6/07 Purina updated the FAQ section of their 3/30/07 press release to state:

The FDA announced April 5 that Menu Foods is expanding the dates of its recall of all chunk and gravy pet food products it produced. Has anything changed with regards to the range of Purina products affected?

  • No. Purina previously directed that all Mighty Dog 5.3-oz. pouch products were to be removed from shelf, regardless of date code. Because Menu Foods produced Mighty Dog pouch wet dog foods, the date range of recalled Mighty Dog pouch items now includes products produced between November 8, 2006, and March 14, 2007. Consumers should not feed products within these affected date codes. ALPO Prime Cuts in Gravy canned dog food, which was recalled by Purina on March 30, were produced at a Purina facility and are not affected by the Menu Foods announcement.No other Purina products are affected by the recall. No other Purina dog food products, no Purina wet or dry cat foods and no Purina treats are included in this recall nor have been impacted by the contaminated wheat gluten.

Since they have now narrowed down the tainted wheat gluten to a specific importer, with specific dates of use for pet food processing, I’ll cross my fingers that this is the LAST of the constantly changing recall lists. (Updated lists here.) Of course the way this situation continues to evolve, I don’t suppose I would be too surprised to see more products added. But we can hope, right?

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

PRODUCT CODES:

02F[][]08 Wheat gluten

02E[][]06 – Wheat flour gluten

71M[][]01 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)

and/or

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

contain melamine.

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

melamine contamination

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.

AND

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

ATTACHMENT 3/30/07

Firms and products currently under detention without physical examination

CHINA (CN)

Firm: Date 3/30/07 DWPE Wheat gluten

Product /Code: 02F[][]08

Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology

Development Company Ltd.

Wangdian Industrial Zone,

Peixian, CN-32, China 221623

FEI# 2000023594

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.

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!”***

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POSTS for 3/17-8/22:

  • 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.

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Sniffin’ out the info

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