Files to Download (Recalled Pet Food Lists & More)
- These are Adobe PDF files. Use Firefox if you're having trouble accessing these files in Internet Explorer (or use IE 7).
- 1. The Master List of All Brands of Recalled Pet Food Summary (Includes new Ol' Roy Salmonella Recall, FDA Contact Info) Updated 6-6 2pm (7 pages)
- 2.The List of the 14 Major National Brands Recalled Pet Food Details Updated (Includes flavor and date code info) Updated 5-23 8pm (7 pages)
- Vegetable Protein Summary Updated 5-23 (Who got what)
- **NEW** 9-4 Summary List of NON- Recalled Pet Food that Tested Positive with Contaminants
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Commercial Pet Food - My Decision to Stop Buying It
I went to several retailers this weekend to make sure they'd pulled all the recalled foods, and I was somewhat relieved to see they had. However, in every store I felt myself getting more and more sick to my stomach, as I looked at the products on the shelf wondering which product would be recalled next.
Like so many people in the past 4 weeks I've learned more about pet food and pet food manufacturing than I ever wanted to know. I've been appalled and horrified, felt angry and deceived, and then felt overwhelming guilt for keeping my head in the sand for so long.
Just a few of the lowlights...
The unforgivably slow and poor response by most of the companies and retailers involved in the recall. Learning that many brands (low-end high-end and in between) do only their own Marketing - the rest is contracted out to the lowest bidder. Finding out aboutRendering Plants. Reading undercover reports of how dogs and cats are horribly treated by pet food manufacturers.
Learning that there is no control over ingredients, and that 90% of the canned pet food is made by one company with the words "Income Fund" in their company name. Discovering that there are no penalties if companies don't report/recall poisoned food in a timely manner, and tragically finding out that the deaths of thousands of beloved pets is meaningless to them. Specialty Pet Food Retailers that knew less about the food on their shelves than I did.
Yet even with all this, I just kept trying to find a 'good' brand. A 'safe' company. One with 'integrity'. I kept reading updates of companies that didn't have recalled products over at www.thepetfoodlist.com.
After switching from Wellness and Innova because their canned foods are made by Menu and I decided early on to boycott any company doing business with them, last week I bought a couple more cans of Natural Balance (barely touched), and tried both Merrick and Solid Gold (both of which my cats liked.)
After reading about the negative health benefits of dry food (links coming soon) I stopped giving it to them, but yesterday I did buy a tiny bag of Natural Balance dry food for them - to be given to them as occasional treats only. They loved it, and I gave them some yesterday and more today.
And yet, all day Friday I sat here and hit 'refresh' over and over, waiting for the next recall, waiting for the other shoes to drop. And I'm not the only one, many of us online were doing the same thing.
I spoke with my FDA Complaint Coordinator last week, and as many other people have previously reported being told by their FDA people, he indicated that they are conducting tests on other dry food because of the numerous reports of illness and death they have received. And he told me his personal recommendation to callers is to not feed any food - wet or dry - made by any company with food on the recall list. I've been recommending the same thing, but, this still hit me hard.
Going into Friday night I was a bit relieved that there were no new recalls, but then I found out some information about the Merrick company that disturbed me, the family apparently owns a rendering plant right next door to their pet food company. While there's really no indication /proof that one affects the other, it does in my mind. And it's enough for *me* to cross them off the list of companies I'll give even a penny to. (I'll edit this soon to include a link to this information, posted over at petsitusa.com)
And while I'd planned to create a list of 'Good' companies and 'Safe' pet food this weekend, I kept avoiding it. I put it off and put it off and put it off. And I couldn't sleep. Not Thursday night. Not Friday night. And not Saturday night. And then tonight I realized why.
After over 4 weeks now of recall after recall after recall, I've come to the inescapable conclusion that I just can't trust my cats health to anyone but myself. I've been researching both home-cooked and raw diets, and my cats and I will be making that transition this week. I cooked for one of them this week, and so far he's thrilled. And he'll take to raw food like a cat would take to a, well, mouse.
And while there's a list of things it's not safe to feed your pets- and a few other things you really need to know - I found that once you get past the conflicting information it's really pretty basic. And straightforward. And it makes sense. Common sense.
I'll do my best these next few weeks to share information on making this transition with you, in the simplest way possible. And I'll try to keep your choices and options simple. Because whether it's deception on the part of the pet food industry, ignorance on the part of our vets, or just the normal learning curve of doing something new, to many of us it seems overwhelming to contemplate taking full responsibility for our pets food.
But how can we not? Living in dread of the next recall is no way to live. Wondering if the food you buy today will be recalled tomorrow is no way to live. Having food from the brand you bought yesterday be recalled is no way to live.
Watching your pet obsessively for symptoms of poison is no way to live. Standing in front of pet food in stores with a sick feeling in your stomach is no way to live.
Wondering if your other cat will someday need to go on fluids for chronic kidney failure is no way to live. Watching your dog struggle through the night trying to recover from poison is no way to live.
And watching one more beloved pet die before their time is no way to live.
So, I'll keep up the Lists of Recalled foods, and I'll make them easier to use as I get suggestions from you all on how to do that. I'll let you know here about everything directly related to food being recalled, and I'll add new lists when and if necessary. And on my other blog I'll continue to let you know what you haven't been hearing about from the companies involved.
And I promise I won't 'preach' about home cooking or raw food diets, I know for many of you it would be more difficult to do than it will be for me.
But I won't be doing a list of "Safe foods from Good Companies' like I'd planned. Not because there aren't any out there, because I do believe there are, somewhere. But because I wouldn't be able to sleep at night if I did.
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
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.
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