Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The latest in head-exploding news...

From Friday (I couldn't stand to look at it long enough to post it until now) Menu Foods lied when they said they couldn't talk to people that had claims... see this for the truth

Court: Menu Foods harassed pet owners

The pet food company that recalled 60 million cans of contaminated dog and cat food repeatedly made harassing phone calls to pet owners who had lawyers and said they didn't want to talk, even after a judge ordered the firm to leave them alone, court records show.

Lawyers from six firms representing clients who claim their pets were harmed by Menu's pet food asked a federal judge in New Jersey Wednesday to stop Menu from "bullying" people who had called the company since the recall was announced March 16, according to their court filing.

U.S. District Judge Noel Hillman in Camden, N.J., agreed with the plaintiffs, describing the calls as "aggressive," according to a transcript of the hearing obtained by USA TODAY.


On the good news side, see this, about how much this will be costing good 'ol Menu Foods

TORONTO, May 30 (Reuters) - A huge recall of contaminated pet food is likely to cost Canada's Menu Foods Income Fund (MEW_u.TO: Quote, Profile , Research) at least C$45 million ($42 million), even without taking a slump in sales into account, the company said on Wednesday.


Menu Foods said second-quarter sales and results would also be affected by the recall. Its largest customer, a customer that accounted for 11 percent of 2006 sales, has already put future orders on hold, and other orders were also in doubt.

"Management cannot predict the extent to which sales to other customers will return to pre-recall levels, or the timeframe over which this will happen," it said.

The company declined to estimate other likely costs, including legal costs, but warned of a number of risks, including a heavy dependence on key customers and the lack of long-term sales contracts.

Added: On the "are they out of their fricking heads" side - Menu Foods said this in their report of quarterly earnings.

Notwithstanding the significant costs of the recall, I am proud of the
timely and professional manner in which management of the Fund dealt
with this situation. Menu was the first manufacturer to act, with its
recall initiated weeks ahead of other manufacturers. Our proactive
action in recalling suspicious product, despite the fact that it tested
clean for all known toxins, undoubtedly saved the lives of many cats
and dogs.
Lies lies lies and more lies. Unbelievable. Their CFO sells his stock, then they delay the recall at least another 3 weeks after that, killing thousands of pets because of the delay.

As reader/contributor Mike points out -

And Menu Foods is the reason why the `Human and Pet Food Safety Act of 2007' provides for mandatory recall authority, deadlines, and penalties........

And then, from our friends at the FDA, who claimed when they canceled all further media briefings last Monday that there was nothing further to report, well, turns out, the Friday before they said that, they learned that there was in fact more to report - that melamine had been put into cattle and fish feed by - get this - a US company.

No, you're not crazy - it is in fact illegal to put melamine in cattle/fish food - but they did it anyway. Here's the presented better than I ever could by Christie at - who also liveblogged it.

During the media conference I just liveblogged, it was announced that Tembec, an Ohio-based company, has been adding melamine and related compounds to an ingredient used to make fish, shrimp, cattle, sheep, and goat feed. These products have been sold internationally as well as domestically.


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is alerting livestock and fish/shrimp feed manufacturers about a voluntary recall of products used in feed production because several have been found to contain melamine and related compounds.

The feed ingredients were made by Tembec BTLSR Inc. of Toledo, Ohio and Uniscope, Inc. of Johnstown, Colo.

Tembec, a contract manufacturer for Uniscope, makes AquaBond and Aqua-Tec II, which it distributes for Uniscope. Uniscope makes Xtra-Bond using ingredients supplied by Tembec. All of the products are binding agents that are used to make pelleted feed for cattle, sheep, and goats, or fish and shrimp.

The companies have confirmed that Tempec added melamine as part of the formulation of the products to improve the binding properties of pelleted feed. Melamine is not approved as an additive for animal or fish/shrimp feed.

The companies have stopped adding melamine to the feed products.

Full release here.

So, I’m curious.

On May 22, the FDA suspended its until-then twice-weekly media conferences on the melamine contamination investigation, saying there was nothing new to report and they’d let us know when there was.

The night before they suspended the media conferences because there was nothing new to report, UC Davis had found melamine in a previously unrecalled pet food. FDA did subsequently issue a recall notice for this food, although they had not at the time they canceled the media conferences.

On the very day they canceled the media conferences because there was nothing new to report, a news story broke that the FDA’s own labs found melamine in catfish submitted by the state of Arkansas for testing, which was meant for human consumption. That catfish had been imported from China.

This was the first time melamine was detected in food meant for human consumption, but there still has been almost zero coverage of this in the mainstream media. Would there have been if the media conferences hadn’t been canceled?

Now we find out that four days before canceling the ongoing press conferences because there was nothing new to report, on May 18, FDA learned that a US company had been adding melamine to its binding agent, which is used to make commercial fish and shrimp feed as well as livestock feed for cattle, goats, and sheep — not only in the US, but we’ve been exporting this stuff.


No comments:

Volunteers Needed! Get food off shelves...,,,, and have joined together to ask for your help.
Update 6-10: Recalled food was purchased from a
California store on 5-29th – this stuff is still out there!
We need Volunteers to help get recalled food off store shelves. Read this post at Spocko’s Brain for instructions. Print a list (or two) on this site. Visit stores, then report safe stores here at

Printing Information:
1. Print the main FDA Pet Food Recall page – this will be handy to show retailers who haven’t heard anything about the recall. (3 pages)

2. Print the list of 14 Major National Brands - it includes flavors and date information where applicable so you can tell if specific products for these brands have been recalled. The brands are: Alpo Prime Cuts, Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul, Doctors Foster and Smith, Eukanuba, Gravy Train, Hill’s Science Diet, Iams, Jerky Treats, Lick Your Chops, Mighty Dog Pouches, Natural Balance, Nutro, Pounce, Royal Canin. (It’s 7 pages and includes FDA contact information.)

3. Print the List of All Brands – it will remind you what products have been recalled - but it does not give you date and flavor information, there is just too much to put in one document. (7 pages, but the 7th page is links to more detailed information so you don’t need to print it)

If you want, and are going to a store that you know has store brands that have been recalled (such as Walmart), go to that recall information at the links on the summary or at the FDA site and print it out. Some of the information is formatted in ways that make it difficult to read (one of the main reasons for this site), but it’s better than nothing.

Note: The FDA is the official source for all recall information and recalled products. This is an unofficial volunteer effort to help get the word out and get recalled foods off of shelves. We’re doing the best we can but can’t guarantee these lists are completely accurate. Again, here is the official recall site: