Thursday, May 10, 2007

Latest News and Info... and Coming Soon from PetFoodTracker

Rather than do separate entries I'm going to put a bunch of links in this one.

1. Transcript from Tuesday night's chat here (with itchmo, thepetfoodlist, Gina, and Christie over on PetHobbyist.com - it was an amazing chat - thanks to the other panelists and everyone who came! (We'll do it again soon.)

Which brings me to my focus for the next little while - I'm working on a list of "Foods that have NOT been recalled but which people are reporting have caused illness/death in their pets".

I don't want to do this, and I kept wishing I didn't need to do this, but the chat on Tuesday really pointed out the urgency, so I'm gonna do it. So you'll see less posting/head bashing from me as I track down the various reports I've seen online.


I'll also (in the same list or in a separate list) keep track of what foods YOU have sent out for testing - so please email me if you have sent food out, or if you know of posts online where people are talking about foods they've sent out for testing.

(Note: I'm *way* behind on responding to emails right now, I will do my best to catch up in the next few days. But I have chronic neck/arm/elbow/wrist problems, all made worse by typing... so please have patience.)


Okay, on with the news.

2. Pet Food Express (a great retailer who has been on top of this from Day 1) posted test results for some of the products they carry.

3. USA Today has another great article, read it. It starts:
Even some pet-food companies say they don't always know what's really in the food they sell. Or where the ingredients come from.
4. House Agriculture Committee, FDA, more. See Christie's post over at petconnection.com

5. FDA Issues melamine warning to employees. Itchmo has learned that the FDA has issued a surveillance order for Chinese vegetable proteins on May 1 — including corn gluten and wheat products — based on melamine contamination. Therese at petsitusa said it well...

Let me get this straight…if you’re an FDA employee melamine may be harmful, but if you’re not an FDA employee there’s nothing to worry about? So…does that mean I can eat all the melamine tainted food I want as long as I don’t get a job with the FDA?

6. Gina's post‘Unusual spikes of inexplicable illness’ edition (does head-exploding count?) is another must read.

7. Melamine found in fish food at an Oregon hatchery. But it's safe to eat. Yeah, right.

Other blogs have posted a bunch of articles repeating the FDA/USDA's statements that our food and pet food are safe. I've decided not to post them, because it's all a bunch of crap anyway. If your blood pressure isn't high enough, and your head hasn't exploded, you can find those articles over at petconnection.com, posted earlier in the week.

Listen. I don't care what the FDA or USDA says. You can find all the information you need on their websites. Our pet food is not safe. Our food is not safe.

And no, I don't know what the hell is safe to eat either. I'm trying to buy local, and certified organic. Trader Joe's has some of the lowest prices on certified organic products, so I'm doing a lot of shopping there. (That's not a recommendation, but based on their quick action in pulling and testing their pet food I trust them more than other retailers.)

And, it goes without saying, if it's made in China - I'm not touching it.

Pet Connection posted on Tuesday that the FDA mentioned there might be more recalls. While I've been expecting more recalls, I have no idea which companies/products they might be. The cross-contamination / it's not wheat gluten it's wheat / additional rice protein supplier stories are all filled with conflicting information, so at this point I don't believe any of it.

My guess? More recalls will happen when individuals begin getting back test results from private labs and going public with the results.

ADDED: Want to get your own pet food tested? Go here
http://www.accutracetesting.com/poison_testing.php


2 comments:

KLG said...

My dogs became ill after I fed them a new "roll" of the Natural Balance beef flavored roll three weeks ago. I took them off of it after two feedings and they got better. I still have the roll and would be interested in getting it privately tested. Do you have information on how to do that? Thanks!

Kim said...

Hi klg,

I'm so glad your dogs got better!

Here's a place that is doing pet food testing, I've added it to the main post.
http://www.accutracetesting.com/poison_testing.php

Volunteers Needed! Get food off shelves...

howl911.com, itchmo.com, thepetfoodlist.com, petconnection.com, petfoodtracker.com and spockosbrain.com 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 Itchmo.com.

Printing Information:
1. Print the main FDA Pet Food Recall page http://www.fda.gov/oc/opacom/hottopics/petfood.html – 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: http://www.fda.gov/oc/opacom/hottopics/petfood.html