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President Obama’s weekly address hit upon one of the more troubling aspects of our government right now: the total failure of the FDA to keep us, our children, and our pets safe in the knowledge that what is consumed will not harm any of us.  He has named a new Commissioner of the Food and Drug Agency, Dr. Margaret Hamburg (go ahead, giggle as I did at her last name being Hamburg(er)–I blame the cold meds I’m taking), and Dr. Joshua Sharfstein (nope, no food-related funny with his last name) as Principal Deputy Commissioner.  Obama is also creating a new Food Safety Working Group which ultimately sounds like it will be making sure that the left hand of government agencies involved with food safety know what the right hand is doing–what a concept!

And as an animal welfare advocate I am THRILLED with the short, but oh-so-important sentence President Obama stated, “As part of our commitment to public health, our Agriculture Department is closing a loophole in the system to ensure that diseased cows don’t find their way into the food supply.”  Please read Wayne Pacelle’s email sent out this afternoon in response to this fantastic decision.  Thank you President Obama, and thank you to everyone who helped put an end to the horribly abusive downer cattle issue!

Great news from President Obama on farm animals

March 14, 2009


Our investigation thrust a global spotlight on abuse of downed cows.

Dear ******,

It’s been a long fight, and today, we closed another chapter on it. Since the mid-1990s, The HSUS has been working hard to stop as a matter of public policy the abuse of downer cattle — animals too sick or injured to walk. And today, President Obama himself announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture was officially putting a stop to non-ambulatory cattle being mishandled in order to get them into slaughter plants. He made the announcement along with two top selections for the Food and Drug Administration and a series of other statements about food safety.

I invite you to read my blog post for today about the food safety crises and horrifying investigations that led up to today’s announcement.

The length of time we had to persist and what our investigations revealed are sad, but today I celebrate this news. And I hope that it is a harbinger of a far more serious attitude toward food safety and animal welfare from the new Administration. I am personally looking forward to working with Secretary Vilsack — a man of great integrity — on a wide range of issues. And I express my gratitude to him and his team today for his decisive action.

Many of you joined us in demanding change on this issue, so this is your victory as well as the animals’. Thank you for all you do.

Sincerely,

Wayne Pacelle
President & CEO
The Humane Society of the United States

P.S. Did you know you can easily subscribe to receive my blog daily by email or RSS? Look for the links to subscribe on the right side of my blog, www.waynepacelle.org. I write daily about pressing issues like farm animal abuse, so it’s a great way to stay in touch.

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Many of you know I’m vegetarian, so news regarding vegetarian and vegan fare is important to me, hence the need to post this recall of a PANOS brands product, for my vegan friends (and those with milk protein issues) out there.  I guess reading those labels doesn’t always work, eh?

PANOS Brands Recalls Vegan Rella Cheddar Block

Contact:
Kathie Gibbs Borkowski
(201) 843-8900 x 425

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE –Saddle Brook, NJ — November 20, 2008 — PANOS brands, of Saddle Brook, NJ is recalling Vegan Rella Cheddar Block, (a cheese substitute) with a Sell by date of 12/09/2008. This product is being recalled because it may possibly contain an undeclared milk protein. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to milk protein run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume this product. No other lot or variety of Vegan is involved.

The product was sold directly to the consumers from their retail stores located nationwide.

The recalled product is packed in 8oz packages with UPC Code 0 37983 00015 4 and a sell by date of 12/09/2008.

There was one reported incident of an allergic reaction associated with the consumption of the product. The product is manufactured by Swan Gardens/Tree of Life, Austell, GA. This recall is being conducted with the knowledge of the Food and Drug Administration.

Consumers who have purchased this product are urged to return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may call (800) 494-8839 ext. 425

Looks like it’s time for a pet food/treat recall–AGAIN!  My personal experience with practically ANY Hartz product has been horrific (and I work at an animal hospital!), so keep that tucked away in the back of your mind when shopping.  And get this, when I searched online for the Hartz website so I could post the link for you, they STILL have the recalled product listed and for sale!  Here is the information I got in an email alert from the FDA

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.

The Hartz Mountain Corporation Voluntarily Recalls One Specific Lot of Nationwide Chicken-Basted Rawhide Chips Because of Possible Health Risk

Contact:
John Mullane
(914) 712 9150

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — October 20, 2008 — The Hartz Mountain Corporation, Secaucus, NJ is voluntarily recalling one specific lot of Hartz Chicken-Basted Rawhide Chips due to concerns that one or more bags within the lot are potentially contaminated with Salmonella. Hartz is fully cooperating with the US Food and Drug Administration in this voluntary recall.

Salmonella can cause serious infections in dogs, and, if there is cross-contamination caused by handling of the rawhide chips, in people as well, especially children, the aged, and people with compromised immune systems. Healthy people Read the rest of this entry »

Sniffin’ out the info

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