Tuesday, April 10, 2007

NUTRO Recalls all Wet Food Products with Wheat Gluten

Nutro Products Orders Removal of All Wet Pet Food Products Made by Menu Foods with Wheat Gluten

It's about time.

Added: And as if this weren't enough... I'm not a huge PETA fan, but at this point I'm much more likely to believe them than Nutro. http://www.peta.org/feat/contract/o-other15.html
For years, Nutro representatives have been telling consumers that the company does not use animals in laboratories to test its pet foods. Now, we know differently.

Menu Foods recalls additional pet food made with ChemNutra wheat gluten

Tainted food expands to 3rd Menu Foods Plant... Recall expanded

Pet food maker Menu Foods Income Fund has voluntarily
recalled additional products made with tainted wheat gluten at its
Canadian plant, the company said late on Tuesday.

The move was prompted by reports from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration identifying the presence of the industrial chemical melamine in "cuts and gravy" style pet food produced in Menu Foods' Mississauga, Ontario, facility.

Menu Foods said it "undertook an accounting of all recalled wheat gluten supplied by ChemNutra Inc. to Menu Foods in the United States."

Based on that review, Menu Foods said it identified a "single interplant transfer" of the wheat gluten, shipped from Menu Foods' plant in Emporia, Kansas, to its plant in Mississauga.

This wheat gluten was subsequently used in the production of pet food in December 2006 and January 2007, which is now being recalled. "Menu Foods transfers ingredients among its four plants," company spokesman Sam Bornstein wrote in an e-mail. "The adulterated wheat gluten was moved during one such transfer."

Menu Foods' recall list was originally announced on March 16. It was updated late last week to cover foods produced between Nov. 8 to March 6. The latest update -- the first to involve its Ontario plant -- comes amid news that the the chief financial officer of Menu Foods Income Fund sold nearly half his units in the pet food maker less than three weeks before it announced its massive product recall, according to insider trading reports.

The new varieties in the United States and Canada have been added to the recall list. The latest recall group is listed below, and a complete list of recalled products, including the new items can be reviewed at http://www.menufoods.com.

Here's a good list of the new products added to the recall.

Any one think it's a coincidence that this happened today, just after the news about melamine found in Nutro cans in California was made public?

And isn't it amazing that Menu just happened to have all this information handy, when it's taken them days to get the information together in the past?

My question to Menu Foods - how long have you really known?

And, why would we believe the South Dakota plant is also not affected?

And yes, I'll be updating the Pet Food Trackers for the 3rd time in 2 days .

The List of All Brands of Pet Foods Recalled Summmary 4/9

NOTE: The current file is at the top of the page, under "Recalled Pet Food Lists"

Master List of All Brands Recalled Pet Food Summary

Date of recall
Dog and/or Cat recalled
Type of Contaminant (Wheat Gluten, Rice Protein Concentrate, Corn Gluten, Salmonella)
Name brand or Store brand
Stores where products are sold
Canned, Pouch, Dry, Snacks/Treats
Links to detailed info on flavors and dates recalled

Suggested Use(s)
Check products already bought at your home, neighbors, etc.
Take into stores that don't know about recall

This is a “Master List” Summary (PDF file) of all the Pet Food Brands that have had at least one food recalled. This includes store brands!
Individual foods/flavors are not listed, some of that information is on the Major National Brands Pet Food Tracker, also found at the tope of the page , the rest you can access via the links included.

Clicking on the link at the top of the page will open the file for easy printing, right click on the link to open in a new window. Click here to download the latest Adobe Reader

The List of the 10 Major National Brands Pet Food Recall Details 4/9

This file replaces the previous Pet Food Tracker (Recalled Pet Food Tracker - National Brands Updated 4-2 )

(Added Tuesday 8:35pm This has been updated to include the new Nutro products that have been recalled.)

Ten Major National Brands - with Details (flavors and date codes)
Includes detailed flavor and date codes for these Ten Brands only
Alpo Prime Cuts
Gravy Train
Hill's Prescription and Science Diet
Jerky Treats
Mighty Dog Pouches
Pounce Cat Treats

Also Includes:
FDA Complaint Coordinator list
Parent Company Brand Info

Parent company info moved to make it shorter
Formatting changes to make it shorter

Suggested Use(s)
Take into national retailers that carry these products to see if they are still on the shelves.

This is a summary (PDF file) of the pet foods recalled by 10 of the most commonly found Major National Brands. Other brands will be added soon... in the meantime to see ALL products recalled, go to
http://www.menufoods.com/recall/ for brands not listed here. The summary is 4 pages, and includes FDA contact information for every state. This list is for quick-reference only – it is NOT a complete list of all recalled products!

Clicking on this link will open the file for easy printing, right click on the link to open in a new window. Click here to download the latest
Adobe Reader .

NUTRO cans not part of recall test POSITIVE for Melamine

See itchmo.com for breaking news on 3 Nutro cans that are NOT part of the recall but have tested positive for melamine. I'll have these files updated again today.
  • Chicken Cacciatore, UPC 79105352055
  • California Chicken Supreme, UPC 79105300117
  • Lamb & Turkey Cutlets, UPC 79105300148
Marin Independant Journal broke the story last night

Itchmo includes other information about the same products, and howl911.com gets my psychic award of the day as they had posted this earlier. (Nutro Max Cat California Chicken Supreme, 3 oz cans, "use by" date 05-16-09. (not on Menu Foods official recall list, but is suspected of causing same symptoms as the recalled food, resulting in death.)

In other 'how-much-more-did-they-know-news', petconnection.com reports Menu Foods CFO sold half his shares 2 weeks prior to recall. Note - I'm psychic, he's not. He's a liar and is responsible for the deaths of thousands of pets.

I've said it before and I'll say it again (in fact I just said it on Friday, but updated the post yesterday and removed it.)

Don't feed your pets ANYTHING that's on the recall lists - regardless of the dates! (That's not advice, just my personal opinion, I know nothing, no legal whatever, don't hold me to it, blah blah blah. )

Because here's the thing. Do you trust any of these companies now? With so many companies with food NOT on the recall list (see that list here thanks to http://www.thepetfoodlist.com/ , why would you keep feeding your pets any other food now?

This story is not over. There will be more foods reported by independent labs as 'tainted'. And more pets will die.

And Nutro's website says they'll be releasing a press release today. 10pm is my cynical guess...

Monday, April 9, 2007

FORBES - Misnavigating the Pet Food Crisis

Thank you Forbes! I couldn't agree more... I'm trying to keep everything other than Pet Food info over at my other blog, but since this made me feel so much better to read, I figured it might help a few of you too.


Misnavigating The Pet Food Crisis
Marc E. Babej and Tim Pollak

The tainted pet food crisis has roiled a passionate market. And the story isn't dying: As the recalls mount, and the threat moves from cuts-in-gravy to staple dry food and even to treats, feeding pets seems like Russian roulette. How have the pet food companies involved reacted? Too little, too late--and, for the most part, the wrong way.

For most pet-owning families, their pets are family. This is hardly news to the nation's pet food manufacturers, but it might as well be. They've been strangely, almost eerily, silent. Such behavior consumers might expect from a big, impersonal corporation, but not from the people who make the food for their beloved pets.

A recent tour of their Web sites was almost surreal. As you might expect, the worst offender was Menu Foods, maker of the majority of the food affected by the recall. Rather than a heartfelt apology, the Menu Foods site displays puppies joyfully eating out of bowls emblazoned with the corporate name.

The consumer brands aren't doing much better. The home pages of Hill's Pet Nutrition, Del Monte Foods and Nestlé Purina PetCare offered links to press releases that sound like the product of a chemist, a lawyer and a publicist huddled around a conference table. MasterFoods trumpeted its non-involvement. Iams also led with good news: "This recall does not affect any Iams or Eukanuba products marketed outside of the U.S. and Canada." But what about their North American customers? Two more clicks, and buried in a page of technical copy is the following line: "We want you to know that we care deeply, and we continue to take action on your behalf." Sounds good--but what actions are they taking?

To Iams' credit, so far alone among this caring crew, it ran a national newspaper ad acknowledging the crisis. It expressed the sentiment that its employees were "heartsick that any of our products were involved," but provided little in the way of reassurance to jittery pet owners. Worst of all, the ad said nothing of substance about the steps being taken to ensure this would never happen again.

So far, pet food brands have been hiding behind each other, feeling secure in the knowledge that their collective market dominance leaves pet owners with few options. Sure, there are alternatives--high-priced organic specialty foods such as Merrick or Abady, or the fresh, refrigerated dog foods being rolled out to national retailers by Freshpet. Even homemade recipes have been getting a lot of attention. But these options can't possibly satisfy the hunger of an estimated 100 million America dogs and cats.

What should the industry be doing?

First, say you're sorry. Act like you really care about the animals. You may not think you owe an apology, but in pet owners' minds, you do.

Second, offer to replace the pet food in people's pantries, even it it's not your brand. Every new recall announcement creates more doubt about the food that's already out in the market. It might not be the cheapest solution, but it would buy a lot more goodwill than an ad campaign.

Third, stop being defensive. Simply reassuring people your other products are safe isn't very reassuring. After all, a few weeks ago, you were de facto assuring that all your products were safe. Do you trust the guy who says "just trust me" right after he messed up? Probably not. To regain consumers' trust, pet food brands have to give consumers reasons to trust that their food is safe.

Fourth, offer some substance. Explain what really happened, and what specific steps you are taking now to prevent something like this from happening again.

Fifth, send a message from the top. Jim Burke, the legendary head of Johnson & Johnson (nyse: JNJ - news - people ), personally managed the 1982 Tylenol crisis. The pet food manufacturers are all hiding behind their brands--to wit, the full-page ad signed by "The Employees of Iams and Eukanuba Pet Foods," not by A.G. Lafley, the CEO of Procter & Gamble (nyse: PG - news - people ), which owns both brands. The pet owners of America deserve to hear from the CEOs to whom they entrust the health and well-being of their pets. There are differences between this crisis and Tylenol's, but there is no less need for corporate courage, integrity and leadership.

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