Friday, May 4, 2007

Additional Drs Foster and Smith DRY DOG Food Recalled

Like the new SmartPak recall this morning, these foods were made at Chenango, and are being recalled due to the possibility of cross-contamination.

For Immediate Release: 05/04/07
Drs. Foster & Smith Press Release

Only 1,174 customers affected - all contacted immediately by email, phone, or USPS

In a precautionary measure, Chenango Valley has expanded its recall list to include additional foods - even formulas with no wheat gluten or rice protein concentrate - that may have been processed utilizing the same equipment as previously-recalled products.

We have been informed today by Chenango Valley that two production lots of Drs. Foster & Smith Dry Adult Dog Food Lamb & Brown Rice FormulaTM (see below) may have been processed sequentially after another product that has since tested positive for Melamine. Even though manufacturing equipment is thoroughly cleaned between production runs, and Drs. Foster & Smith Dry Adult Dog Foods do NOT contain ANY wheat gluten or rice protein concentrate, we are participating in this precautionary recall with your dog's best health at heart.
We know these are upsetting times for pet owners. Please rest assured that no confirmed illness or death has been reported from feeding Drs. Foster & Smith brad foods during any precautionary recall to date.
The products affected by this expanded precautionary recall are:
  • Drs. Foster & Smith Dry Adult Dog Food Lamb & Brown Rice FormulaTM
    6lb (#12965), 15lb (#12966)
    with a "BEST BY" date of FEB 09 09

  • Drs. Foster & Smith Dry Adult Dog Food Lamb & Brown Rice FormulaTM
    6lb (#12965), 15lb (#12966), 30lb (#12967),
    30lb Case Pack 2-bag (#13870), 30lb Case Pack 4-bag (#13871)
    with a "BEST BY" date of FEB 26 09

If any of your bags of Lamb & Brown Rice Formula match the descriptions above, please discontinue feeding and contact us for a replacement bag at no charge for product or shipping. (To identify the "BEST BY" expiration date, please inspect the top right of the back label.)

Please call our Customer Care Team between 9am - 7pm CST at 1-800-239-7121 or email us at if you have any questions.

We are directly contacting all 1174 customers affected by this precautionary recall by email, phone or USPS. If your pet has consumed any of the recalled food listed above and shows signs of illness (such as loss of appetite, lethargy and vomiting), you should consult with your veterinarian immediately.

While the levels of contact with melamine may be low, or non-existent, we will err on the side of caution and recall Drs. Foster & Smith Dry Adult Dog Food Lamb & Brown Rice FormulaTM as the amount and mechanism of melamine - and the health risk associated with melamine - is not known.

USDA: 20 million chickens on farms may have had bad feed

Added 7:30pm (thanks Mike!) - another article on this with more information.

WASHINGTON (Map, News) - Federal officials on Friday placed a hold on 20 million chickens raised for market in several states because their feed was mixed with pet food containing an industrial chemical.

Three government agencies - the Agriculture Department, the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency - are overseeing a risk assessment to determine whether the chickens would pose a threat to human health if eaten, USDA spokesman Keith Williams said. The assessment may be completed as early as Monday.

The 20 million chickens represent a tiny fraction of the 9 billion chickens raised each year in the United States. Meat from the birds can't go into commercial use without the USDA's inspection seal, which is being withheld until the risk assessment is completed, Williams said.

Which states have chicken producers affected by the hold will be announced later, Williams said. State agriculture officials as well as chicken manufacturers were being contacted as the agencies determine the extent of the problem, he said, adding that many farms in several states probably were involved.

Investigators found last week that about 5 percent of feed used at some smaller chicken production operations came from pet food tainted with the chemical melamine, Williams said. Larger manufacturers, because they usually use special feed for the chickens they raise or contract for raising, are unlikely to have exposed their animals to large amounts of the tainted pet products, he said.

As of Friday, no melamine had been detected in the feed used by larger manufacturers, Williams said. However, because investigators know some of the tainted pet food was used in that feed, officials still placed a hold on the birds, he said.

"Absent the risk assessment in this particular situation, USDA will not put the seal of inspection on this meat," he said.

Since March 16, more than 100 brands of pet food have been recalled because they were contaminated with melamine. An unknown number of dogs and cats have been sickened or died after eating pet food tainted with the chemical.

The Agriculture Department's Food Safety and Inspection Service said Thursday that no evidence indicated any harm to humans from chicken or pork that had entered the market after having eaten melamine-contaminated feed.

Federal investigators have been trying to determine how much of the tainted pet food had been used in feed for hogs and chickens. Hog farms in at least six states may have received tainted pet food for use in feed. Those animals also have been barred from market.

The USDA and FDA said this week that chicken feed in some farms in Indiana contained byproducts from pet food manufactured with contaminated wheat gluten imported from China.

At the time, the agencies estimated that 30 broiler poultry farms and eight breeder poultry farms in Indiana had received contaminated feed in early February. More farms probably received contaminated feed, the agencies said.

Williams said Friday that the risk assessment for chickens that had eaten feed with melamine would involve four aspects:

-The absence of melamine in feed used by large commercial producers.

-The dilution of the pet food with larger amounts of other ingredients in the feed.

-The healthy state of chickens that ate the feed.

-The lack of evidence of harm to humans by trace amounts of melamine because of the varied human diet and other factors.

Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro, D-Conn., the chairwoman of the House Appropriations' agriculture subcommittee and co-chairwoman of the Congressional Food Safety Caucus, said the link between the tainted pet food and chicken feed "highlights the egregious holes in our food safety system."

"It is time to grant the FDA and other food safety agencies clear mandatory recall and inspection authority," she said in a statement. "These initial steps would help create a modern, comprehensive food safety agency that will be capable of protecting our food supply and restoring consumer confidence."

Sen. Tom Harkin, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, said he agrees that the chickens should be held while risk to humans is assessed.

"This news proves how quickly a food safety concern can grow - it warrants great care and further proves why we need an audit of the nation's food safety system," Harkin, D-Iowa, said in a statement.

So, what's everyone eating for dinner tonight?

From Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Agriculture Department said on Friday as many as 20 million chickens currently on U.S. farms in several states may have been fed contaminated feed.

A USDA official said the birds must be held until the government can complete a risk assessment to determine if they can be processed. The results could come as early as Monday.

The birds were among those believed to have been given contaminated feed with pet food containing melamine, a chemical used in plastics and fertilizer. It is uncertain how many chickens have been processed.

ASPCA Warns Crisis Not Over: More Cases May Be Seen

Note that all emphasis (in bold) is theirs!

As Pet Food Recall Expands, ASPCA Warns Crisis Not Over: More Cases May Be Seen
Urges Veterinarians to Continue Aggressive Fluid Therapy to Treat Pet Food Recall Cases

NEW YORK, May 3, 2007—With Menu Foods yesterday greatly expanding its recall of pet food products due to new evidence of cross-contamination, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today warned pet parents that this crisis is far from over, and urged them to watch their pets closely for any symptoms that may be related to the recall.

“Given the fact that there is new evidence of cross-contamination in ingredients that may have been considered safe prior to this news, we need to be much more aware of where the ingredients in our pets’ food are coming from,” said Dr. Steven Hansen, a board-certified toxicologist and senior vice president with the ASPCA, who manages the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center (APCC), located in its Midwest Office in Urbana, Ill.

“We are strongly recommending that pet parents immediately investigate, via their pet food manufacturer’s Web site or by calling them directly, where the ingredients—specifically protein supplements—are sourced from.”

Given the current situation and until this crisis is resolved, the ASPCA is recommending pets be fed products containing U. S.-sourced protein supplements only.

“The continued expansion of the recall is extremely worrying,” said Dr. Louise Murray, director of medicine at the ASPCA’s Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital (BMAH) in New York City, and a board-certified internist. “The magnitude of this crisis leaves us frustrated as to how to best protect pets and prevent any more illnesses or deaths.”

However, recent media reports that laboratory experiments on the interaction of melamine and cyanuric acid in cat urine showed the formation of crystals, are not surprising to ASPCA experts, and offer a glimmer of hope to veterinarians who have been worrying about how to save sick animals who have ingested the contaminated food.

“The fact that we have started to learn how the presence of melamine may be impacting these animals, gives us a small glimmer of hope—that at least we know we are on the right track when it comes to treating the animals affected,” said Dr. Hansen. “These findings really start putting everything else we have seen into perspective.”

In a study that was done several years ago on dogs and rats, the presence of melamine in their systems was found to only lead to the development of crystals in urine, but there were no further adverse effects—and nothing that showed a direct link between the chemical mechanism of melamine and the renal failure recently seen in the affected animals.

“Now that we see that crystals are formed when melamine and cyanuric acid are combined in cat urine, it may be that the cause of renal failure is somehow related to the obstruction caused by these crystals,” continued Dr. Hansen.

This also explains why animals whose symptoms were detected early enough, and who were rushed to their veterinarians and put on aggressive fluid therapy—as the ASPCA has been recommending—survived; since this treatment may help to prevent additional crystals from forming, and aid in flushing out the existing crystals from the animals’ urinary tracts, thus relieving the obstruction and reversing the effects of renal failure.

Patience is the key,” said Dr. Murray, who has successfully treated several animals thus-affected with aggressive fluid therapy at BMAH. “We now understand that we have to bathe these crystals in fluid for as long as possible. With other causes of kidney failure, if there is no improvement in the animal’s condition after a day or two, the prognosis is usually not encouraging.

“In this case, however, when treating animals who have been sickened by eating the contaminated foods, longer-term intravenous fluids may be required —so we would strongly recommend that all veterinarians treating such cases be patient and continue administering fluids longer than they might otherwise, because they can really be life-saving.

Unofficial estimates, including by those in the veterinary community, suggest the number of recall-related deaths may be in the thousands. The pet food recall crisis continues to unfold, with new developments appearing daily, and ramifications at the international trade, business and human health levels. As recently as yesterday, Menu Foods greatly expanded its recall list because of evidence of cross-contamination at plants where the contaminated ingredients were in use.

The ASPCA continues to warn pet parents to stay extremely alert to the situation. “Please stay abreast of recall news, which you can do via our Pet Food Recall Resource Center on our website, and remain extremely vigilant to your pets’ wellbeing. If they have eaten any of the recalled foods or show any of the signs generally attributed to kidney failure—or illness in general—please take them to your veterinarian immediately,” urged Dr. Murray.

The ASPCA continues to monitor the situation, and is providing regular updates and advice for pet parents at its Pet Food Recall Resource Center at

Added 1:48pm: On the 7 week anniversary of the initial recall announcement, I turn to Judi McLeod of the Canada Free Press again, who says it well. Emphasis (bold or italics) is mine.

Welcome to Pet Cemetery 2007

When the latest contaminated pet food scare is over, thousands of hearts will have been broken. Pet people love their pets. What could possibly be worse than knowing a pet died from the very food you have fed it?

Shame on the FDA for consistently claiming the number 16 for dead pets in the latest wave of dead pets from poison masquerading as commercial pet food; the latest because the massive Menu Food recall is only the deadliest recall to date. Some of the same pet food manufacturers whose products are on current recall have made recalls for other contaminanted products as recently as 2006.

"In the most deadly recall of 2006, 4 prescription canned dog and cat foods were recalled by Royal Canin (owned by Mars). The culprit was a serious overdose of Vitamin D that causes calcium deficiency and kidney disease." (

"Consumers have reported the deaths of as many as 8,500 dogs and cats as a result of tainted pet food, federal officials said Thursday. (, May 4, 2007). "In the two months since reports of a few pet deaths led to a massive U.S. pet food recall, the Food and Drug Administration said about half of the calls to its hot line were from owners of deceased cats and dogs."

"Officials said the agency had not confirmed those reports but added that the numbers of allegations were likely to rise as it caught up with a backlog of calls reporting sick or dead animals."

Notice how quickly FDA bureaucrats resort to the use of the word "allegations".

The numbers FDA is reporting could be flawed for a couple of practical reasons. Emotionally wrought owners don't necessarily take their time from dead pet grief to check in with the FDA hotline. Countless pet owners have no confidence in the FDA as a protector of food safety in either the animal or human kind.

The long awaited statistics indicating an 8,500 dead pet toll were admitted even as the FDA tried to reassure nervous consumers that their food supply was safe, a necessity now that tainted pet food has been fed to both hogs and chickens.

Some two months after the first Menu Food recall, food safety agents are being dispatched to U.S. food manufacturers for inspections. Chinese authorities, which detained the head of a Chinese company suspected of shipping contaminated wheat gluten to U.S. pet food suppliers, were in the news.

Detaining a single shipper is not too likely to bolster public confidence when Chinese suppliers boast that melamine and other agents to boost protein levels in commercial pet food has been in use for years.

Authorities seem to have marginalized brokenhearted pet owners and only made a show of response when the contaminated pet food entered the human food chain.

"New food safety czar David Acheson said he wanted to assure consumers that the human food supply was safe. "It is very unlikely that there is a human health effect here," he said." (

Government agents are doing too little too late by beginning to visit domestic food makers to "raise awareness" and test Chinese ingredients.

Some of the tainted pet foods were sold as "salvage" and fed to 6,00 hogs and nearly 3 million chickens destined for human consumption.

Why are Chinese police remaining mum about confirming the arrest of Mao Lijun, the general manager of Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development Co--the company Las Vegas-based ChemNutra said it imported its melamine-laced wheat gluten from?

Meanwhile, just as countless pet owners suspected in the first place, the toll of dead animals in the most recent contaminated pet food tragedy is in the thousands and growing.

With apologies to author Stephen King, it's Pet Cemetery 2007.

Folks, whatever your beliefs - take a moment today to say a prayer for all the wonderful pets affected by this tragedy. You gave us unconditional love and we love you more than words could ever say. Our hearts will be broken until we see you again on the other side. But we will not let your deaths be in vain.

And a personal note to my angel in fur: Buckwheat - I miss you so much. I can't believe it's been 7 years tomorrow, it feels like it was just yesterday. I'm so sorry for everything you went through, I wish *so* much that I had known then what I know now. If I had you'd still be alive. I love you sweetie.

Additional SmartPak Canine Recall - DRY food - Cross Contamination at another company suspected

Cross contamination at another manufacturer? This makes me expect more recalls (like I wasn't already)

Added 8:36am: Foods previously recalled that were made at Chenango include Lick Your Chops, Doctors Foster and Smith, and SmartPak. See my previous blog entry here.

And note: the SmartPak website does NOT list this new recall. And the FDA took 48 hours to send out the release. Both of which really piss me off because I've been checking these sites for 2 days to make sure nothing new was added. (Added: They did add it to their website, but you have to scroll down to see that something new has been added. That's not good enough. Try putting it at the top. In RED. Or something.)

Here's what they have on their site: (you have to scroll down to see it)

LiveSmart Adult Lamb and Brown Rice Recall

On May 2, 2007 we initiated a voluntary recall of all orders of LiveSmart Adult Lamb and Brown Rice. This product tested positive for presence of melamine in a test received earlier in the day.

In our last message regarding the dog food recall situation, we described that one of our dog food brands, LiveSmart Weight Management Chicken and Brown Rice, contained rice protein concentrate sourced from Wilbur Ellis, and that we had voluntarily recalled the product to reduce the chance of harm to dogs due to potential for melamine contamination. As part of our efforts to understand and prevent further issues, we sent all the LiveSmart brand dog foods out for melamine testing the day after we initiated our recall.

Those tests came back today, May 2, 2007, and LiveSmart Adult Lamb and Brown Rice showed presence of Melamine. This was unexpected, since the formula does not contain rice protein concentrate, wheat gluten, or any of the ingredients on FDA’s import watch list. All the ingredients in the formula with the exception of the lamb and lamb meal originate from United States sources. The lamb and lamb meal we use in the formula is sourced from New Zealand. (Our manufacturing partner, Chenango Valley Pet Food, sources that ingredient from New Zealand because the lamb are raised free range and the New Zealand government is known for stringent rules on use of antibiotics.)

Once we received these test results this morning, we immediately suspended production of SmartPaks containing LiveSmart Lamb. We pulled the product off the website. We notified UPS to redirect all packages destined for our customer’s homes. And we initiated a complete recall of all lots of the product after discussing the situation with the FDA.

Since the food is only sold in portion-paks shipped straight to the consumer’s home each month, the focus of the recall is informing affected customers via telephone, email, and letter. There are no bags of potentially affected product on store shelves anywhere in the country.

Test results for the LiveSmart Weight reduction formula—the subject of our original recall—did not have any melamine detectable in the sample. Nor was there any melamine detected in samples of LiveSmart Adult Chicken and Brown Rice, LiveSmart Puppy and Brown Rice, or LiveSmart Senior and Brown Rice.

SmartPak recommends that dogs who have been fed LiveSmart Lamb and show signs of kidney illness (loss of appetite, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea) be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible.

We are all very upset to have exposed our customers and their dogs to this situation. We and other responsible members of the pet community will be working hard over the next several months to learn from this situation and to re-earn your trust. We will continue to update our website as more information becomes available.

SmartPak Canine Voluntarily Recalls LiveSmart Adult Lamb and Brown Rice Formula

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- Plymouth, MA – May 3, 2007 –On 5/02/07, SmartPak Canine executed a voluntary nationwide recall on all lots of LiveSmart Adult Lamb and Brown Rice food. This product tested positive for presence of melamine in a test received earlier in the day.

The LiveSmart Lamb formula is only sold in portion-paks shipped straight to the consumer's home each month, so there are no bags of potentially affected product on store shelves anywhere in the country. The focus of the recall has been informing affected customers via telephone, email, and letter. Ninety-nine percent of the roughly 220 pet owners feeding LiveSmart Adult Lamb via its portion pak pet food subscription service were contacted by live phone contact or message, and/or email. The company has had live contact with the majority of affected pet owners, and is continuing an aggressive outreach program to ensure that the notification has been received. To reduce likelihood of pet owners continuing to feed the food, replacement product is being shipped to affected customers free of charge.

At the time the recall was initiated, there had not been any ill effects reported in dogs. Through the efforts to reach out to all customers, the company has become aware of two instances of vomiting and learned that a 10 year old Rottweiler had passed away two weeks previous to the recall. These reports have been forwarded to FDA and are being investigated by the company's Medical Director to determine if they are connected with the LiveSmart Adult Lamb formula. The company has asked that any dogs showing signs of kidney illness (loss of appetite, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst) be seen by their veterinarian.

The company is presently investigating the source of the contamination in conjunction with its contract manufacturer, Chenango Valley Pet Food. The LiveSmart Adult Lamb formula does not contain rice protein concentrate nor wheat gluten. All the meat and vegetable matter, with the exception of New Zealand lamb, is of US origin. It appears that the product may have been cross contaminated at the Chenango plant by a prior batch of food unassociated with SmartPak that contained an ingredient that had been contaminated with melamine.

SmartPak has also tested each of its other four brands for melamine contamination, and there was no melamine detected in the samples of these foods. Those brands are LiveSmart Adult Chicken and Brown Rice, LiveSmart Senior Chicken and Brown Rice, and LiveSmart Puppy Chicken and Brown Rice.

Questions regarding this recall may be directed to Paal Gisholt, the company's president and CEO, who may be reached at 800 461-8898. Affected customers are asked to call the company's toll free customer service number at 800 461-8898, which is available 24/7. Additional information will be reported on the company's website as it becomes available.

Consumers with questions about the pet food they use should visit the FDA Web site at

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Reports say pet food death toll exceeds 8,000

Just a few days into this nightmare I projected that the number of pet deaths would reach 10,000. It won't be much longer before the FDA's numbers back up that projection. I really hate being right about this, especially since so many pets will have died and not been counted for one reason or another. (Including countless feral cats being fed recalled food, who would have just stopped showing up one day.)

From The Los Angeles Times

By Abigail Goldman and Don Lee, Times Staff Writer
7:22 PM PDT, May 3, 2007

Consumers have reported the deaths of as many as 8,500 dogs and cats as a result of tainted pet food, federal officials said Thursday.

In the two months since dead pets led to a massive U.S. pet food recall, the Food and Drug Administration said about half of the calls to its hotline were from owners of deceased cats and dogs.

Officials said the agency has not confirmed those reports, but added that the numbers of allegations likely will increase as it catches up with a backlog of calls reporting sick or dead animals.

The statistics came as the FDA tried to reassure consumers about the food supply for both pets and humans: The pet food recall was expanded; food safety agents were dispatched to U.S. food manufacturers for inspections; and Chinese authorities reportedly detained the head of a Chinese company suspected of shipping contaminated wheat gluten to U.S. pet food suppliers.

Canada-based Menu Foods Income Fund, which first identified a health risk in its products in March, expanded its recall list late Wednesday to include 3 million more cans and pouches of pet food.

That new list, adding to the company's previously announced recalls of more than 60 million products, includes foods that may have been tainted by cross-contamination, Menu Foods said.

Federal officials traced the initial problem to protein concentrates imported from China that were tainted with melamine and other chemicals.

On Thursday's call, new food safety czar David Acheson said he wanted to assure consumers that the human food supply was safe. "It is very unlikely that there is a human health effect here," Acheson said.

In addition to tightening import rules for similar food ingredients from China, the FDA said it has begun visiting domestic food manufacturers to "raise awareness" and test Chinese ingredients.

Some of the tainted pet foods were sold for use in feed for 6,000 hogs and nearly 3 million chickens destined for human consumption.

Chinese authorities have detained the head of a Chinese company suspected of shipping melamine-contaminated wheat gluten to pet food suppliers in the U.S., according to news reports Thursday.

The arrest of Mao Lijun comes after he repeatedly denied in interviews that his company exported wheat gluten, The New York Times reported. Mao is the general manager of Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development Co., based in Jiangsu Province, north of Shanghai.

Until a few days ago, Xuzhou Anying's Web site stated that its products include wheat gluten and ESB Protein Powder, an additive for animal feed that artificially boosts the protein content. The company, founded in 1995, said that its "latest researched, developed and produced" ESB powder was "a new way to solve the problem of shortage of protein resource."

"Don't be fooled by those names. Whatever they call it, NPN, ESB ... no matter how good they boast their products are ... they are all the same, it's still melamine," said Zhang Huimin, president of Hebei Haojia Husbandry Co. in Handan city.

Goldman reported from Los Angeles and Lee from Shanghai.

And from The New York Times (thanks Mike!)

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

19 New Cat Food Brands, 9 New Dog Food Brands Recalled by Menu Foods due to cross contamination

Menu Foods expanded their recall today. See the post just below this for the full text.
Added 9:32am: See this for a couple of corrections to yesterday's press release. (They added Cat's Choice and corrected a couple of dates. Their website has corrected information) Thanks Mike!

Added 9:40am - Menu Foods updated yesterday's press release to include the above corrections.

The Menu Foods list had a few errors. Therese at and I put together a list of the new brands. It took the two of us more than two hours to cross-check the Menu Foods press release and their website information against the Master List of Recalled Pet Foods that I've got here.

Below is a list of which BRANDS are new to the recall. The Menu Foods press release was missing some names, and included brands that just had new flavors. (Our list also pointed out that one brand was missing from their cat recall list, they've now corrected that. Good to know we're not the only ones working late.)

If you find mistakes in any of our info - email me and let me know. Thanks to those of you that already have!

9 New Dog Brands - Menu Foods Recall on 5-2-07 due to cross-contamination
(All of these are canned foods only)

  1. Co-Op Gold
  2. Go Natural

    (This company was listed on the Menu Foods “recalled Dog Product Information” page Wednesday night at It is no longer there, and the company (Petcurian) has said it is not being recalled, so we're removing it. Thanks Therese!
  3. Health Diet Gourmet Cuisine
  4. La Griffe
  5. Master Choice
  6. Nu Pet
  7. Performatrin Ultra
  8. Triumph
  9. Truly
  10. Western Family Canada (Note: Western Family US has been on the list)

19 New Cat Brands – Menu Foods Recall on 5-2-07 due to cross-contamination
(All of these are canned foods only, except the Triumph which also includes pouches)

  1. Cat’s Choice (This is NOT on their press release, but is on their “recalled Cat Product Information” page at ) Added 9:32am Menu Foods just issued a correction and stated Cat's Choice is new, and it has been added to the press release.
  2. Co-Op Gold
  3. Despar (This is NOT on their press release, but is on their “recalled Cat Product Information” page at . It appears to be one of the two European brands they mentioned. Thanks Renee!)
  4. Fame
  5. Feline Classic
  6. Feline Cuisine
  7. Giant Eagle
  8. J.E. Mondou
  9. La Griffe
  10. Master Choice
  11. Medi-Cal (UPDATE: Thanks to an alert poster, we've learned that this is apparently not new, but we never heard about it. If we didn't, chances are many of you didn't, so we're leaving it here, but subtracting it from the number of new brands. It's a Royal Canin canned food that was recalled in Canada only)
  12. Natural Ultramix (added: this is a Castor and Pollux brand. See their press release)
  13. Nu Pet
  14. Performatrin Ultra
  15. Roche Brothers (Note: Dog food from Roche Brothers has been on the recall list)
  16. Roundy’s
  17. Stuzzy Gold (This is NOT on their press release, but is on their “recalled Cat Product Information” page at ) It appears to be one of the two European brands they mentioned.Thanks Renee!)
  18. Triumph
  19. Western Family Canada (Western Family US has been on the recall list)
  20. Your Pet (Dog food from Your Pet has been on the recall list)
Full flavor and date details can be found at

When the FDA updates its site, you can find information there too. They've got a great new search feature. But it hasn't been updated since April 30th. Added 9:22am: The FDA site is in the process of being updated, so keep checking it.

UPDATE: My two lists have been updated to include the new brands - see the section at the top of the page to open them in PDF format. Thanks Therese for hosting the files! (My file hoster died tonight...)

Added 10:53pm:
Dog Food Brands that added new flavors to the list (see the press release for details, my lists do *not* have this information)
Best Choice
Hill Country Fare
Hy Vee
Natural Life
Ol' Roy Canada
Pet Pride / Good n Meaty
Presidents Choice
Priority US
Springfield Prize
Stater Brothers
Western Family US

Cat Food Brands that added new flavors to the list (see the press release for details, my lists do *not* have this information)
Americas Choice, Preferred Pet
Best Choice
Demoulas Market Basket
Drs Foster & Smith
Food Lion
Giant Companion
Hill Country Fare
Hy Vee
Laura Lynn
Master Choice
Meijer's Main Choice
Pet Pride
Presidents Choice
Price Chopper
Priority Canada
Priority US
Special Kitty Canada
Springfield Prize
White Rose
Winn Dixie

Added 6:25am Thursday: Judi McLeod of The Canada Free Press has an article out this morning "No nice guys among robber barons in pet food industry". Doesn't that title just say it all? Nothing on the expanded recall, but a must read.

NEW Menu Foods EXPANDS Recall in US, Canada and Europe

This is bad, bad, bad. Lots of new brands, new flavors, and new dates. (See my most recent post for details)

Menu Foods Adds to Recall List

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(May 2, 2007) - Menu Foods

Attention Business/Financial Editors

Menu Foods has previously recalled wet cat and dog food produced with adulterated wheat gluten supplied by ChemNutra Inc. Menu Foods is now expanding the recall to include cuts and gravy and select other products which do not include ChemNutra wheat gluten but which were manufactured at any of Menu Foods’ plants during the period that ChemNutra wheat gluten was used at that plant, to the extent they have not already been subject to a recall, due to the possibility of cross-contamination. Menu Foods has received a report from a customer and has received study results, both of which indicate cross-contamination.

As a result, Menu advises the public:

- Additional items in the United States and Canada have been added to the recall list as shown below. A further two varieties for Europe have been added to the recall list.

- The recall dates of those products previously recalled have been modified to include all dates during the period that ChemNutra wheat gluten was used in the applicable Menu plant. All of these products, including the expanded dates, have previously been withdrawn from the market and should already be off the retailer shelves.

Menu estimates that this additional recall represents less than 5% of the products that have already been recalled or withdrawn.

An updated list of the recalled products, including this addition, is available at the Menu Foods website at

More about the non-answers from the FDA yesterday

A great post by Christie over on her other blog
Hey, FDA, here's a tip for you

This is my tip of the day for the FDA, which they might want to consider before tomorrow's media conference:

When a question begins with the phrase "how many," the answer should be in numeric form.

Last night, very very late last night, the USDA published a transcript of Tuesday's media briefing, which I had liveblogged at PetConnection. There was one section I knew I wanted to look at more closely, and I did that here. Then I carefully re-read the whole thing, and something else grabbed my attention.

First, Miriam (misspelled "Marian" in the transcript as well as my liveblogging) Falco of CNN asked, "Do you know how many people may have consumed chicken products?"

To which David Acheson, the new FDA "food safety czar," replied:

Let me first try to clarify what I meant by the 'don't form a large part of the diet.' I did not mean to imply for that there are not a large number of American consumers eating pork and poultry. That is not what I meant. The contrast to draw here is with a pet who frequently will consume the same sort of food 100 percent. But if you have a contaminated product and it's 100 percent of the pet food, that's a very different scenario from a human consumer in which chicken or pork is just essentially the meat on the side of the plate with the two veggies. That's what I was implying is that poultry typically is not an exclusive nutrient in the human diet.

Realizing, I guess, that he hadn't answered her question in the slightest, he then added, "I'll pass the rest of it, I think, over to Dr. Petersen."

That would be Dr. Kenneth Petersen, the Assistant Administrator for Field Operations with the Food Safety and Inspection Service with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, who asked Ms. Falco to repeat her question. She responded:

The question I had was: how many people may have eaten some of these chicken products? Your press release yesterday was very vague. It was processed. But how much? How many people may have consumed this? You told us about 350 hogs in California and Kansas and Utah, but how many chickens are we talking about? How many people might be out there?

Did you notice all the "how many," "now much" questions in this paragraph? Me too. See if you can find any numeric answers in his reply:

Okay. Well, we have, of course, have to remember we haven't found any evidence to indicate consumption of this is unsafe. Yesterday when we identified the farms of interest, so now we're looking at the farms, and then what was determined was the poultry were fed this feed several months ago. And so, given the short lifespan of chickens when they grow out, those have already gone into the food chain and so we would need to look at what individual plants they may have gone to.

But given those other consumption factors that Dr. Acheson has indicated, that's not a feature of our investigation today. It's trying to find how many people consume chicken from these individual farms. As he indicated, chicken of course is an important part of the American diet; it's not necessarily something that people are going to eat every day and on an ongoing basis. So because we don't see any health issue because of the consumption factors, how many people could have eaten infected chicken – or, not infected, but the chicken that consumed the contaminated feed or even pork that was consumed -- is not the feature of our investigation today.

Lori Adder of the Wall Street Journal didn't have much better luck:

(H)ave you pegged a number to how much the government is expecting to spend on depopulating animals and indemnifying farmers?

Dr. Acheson responded to something else she had asked, then turned the numeric question over to Dr. Petersen again, who responded:

On the financial aspects of the depopulation, that's the Section 32 funds which, of course, as we've suggested, are designed to restore the purchasing power to the farmers, the affected growers, and I don't have, I wish I did today, I don't have a dollar value for you.

Lester Aldrich with Dow Jones News Wireless tried a "how long" question - again, probably wanting some kind of answer in, you know, numeric form. He didn't get it:

Lester Aldrich: Yes. Do you have any sense of how long this has been going on in China? This whole thing seems to be well-known over there, like it's common knowledge. Have we been importing these kinds of products for a long period of time?

DR. ACHESON: This David Acheson at FDA. The truthful answer to your question is that we don't know. Clearly, that is a concern as to whether this has been going on for some period of time, and, if it has, how come it's just surfaced. You could speculate that the reason it just surfaced is for some reason the ratio of the melamine to the melamine-related compounds was different in a couple of batches. That's what triggered the alert here because it made the pets sick and caused a serious examination investigation of the whole system. So I don't know how long this has been going on, but I too have read reports that this is not something that started recently, but as to the facts we don't have them.

Perhaps sensing that the FDA and numbers, not so much, Daniel Goldstein with Bloomberg News tried to mix it up a little asking for some names - something I'd tried a couple of press conferences before, without any luck. He didn't have any, either:

DANIEL GOLDSTEIN: Yes, hi. Just a question on the 38 or so farms in Indiana. Can you tell us who owns those farms? Those are commercial farms, they are contract growers, and who actually they were supplying poultry to?

MODERATOR: Give us one second, please.

DR. ACHESON: This is David Acheson. At this time we are not able to do that because it's part of an ongoing active investigation.

The New York Times got pushy with its "how many" question, and although the answer was vague, and reluctantly given, it was, at least, in the form of a number:

New York Times: How many plants do you think, do you believe received Chinese protein concentrated vegetable origin exactly?

DR. ACHESON: At this point I don't have a number on that in terms of the total number of plants.

New York Times: But it's several hundred? Is it just dozens? How many are we talking about, just kind of roughly if you don't have an exact number?

DR. ACHESON: As I say I don't have an exact number but it could well be in the hundreds.

At one point I sincerely believed that if this food crisis had hit human food instead of pet food, the response would have been a lot different.

Apparently I was wrong.

You and me both Christie, you and me both.

Bad food effects unknown - especially long-term effects

It's obvious to doctors in Michigan - but I guess the USDA and FDA don't have access them. (that was sarcasm - they're WORKING with them!) All of this food needs to be recalled - and we need to know the names of the companies that sold those chickens!

(Thanks to Peggy who posted the link at petconnection!)

From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

By Karen Roebuck
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
As more contaminated human and pet food products are found daily, the biggest unknown remains the long-term health effects from eating food laced with industrial chemicals, doctors and researchers said Tuesday.

"That is one thing people are still concerned about -- long-term effects -- and we still don't know the answer to that," said Dr. Wilson Rumbeiha, a pathologist with Michigan State University's Center for Population and Animal Health. Rumbeiha is working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on the pet food contamination.

Between 2.5 million and 3 million Indiana-raised chickens that ate contaminated feed were slaughtered in March and are in the human food supply, U.S. Department of Agriculture and FDA officials announced yesterday. The processed meat will not be recalled, but 100,000 other birds that ate contaminated feed will not get into the food chain, they said.

About 6,000 pigs in six states ate contaminated feed, but only several hundred are believed to have been sold to consumers. The surviving pigs will be put down, but the sold pork will not be recalled, federal officials said.

The FDA is refusing to accept shipments of 11 vegetable protein ingredients from China used in many human and pet foods, from energy bars to baby formulas to gravy. The FDA is testing samples of those ingredients and human foods at hundreds of manufacturing and processing facilities nationwide.

Four chemicals -- melamine, a chemical used in plastics; cyanuric acid, a chemical commonly used in pool chlorination; and their by-products, ammelide and ammeline -- have been found in wheat gluten, rice protein concentrate and in the urine, kidneys and tissues of infected cats and dogs, Rumbeiha said.

Since March 16, 153 brands of cat and dog food have been recalled.

Few health studies have been gauging the effects of ingesting the four contaminants, and no studies have looked at the impact of consuming them in combination, he said.

"We all believe that individually these compounds that are named alone are not that dangerous, but together they are more toxic," Rumbeiha said.

Still, USDA and FDA officials are quick to say that they believe the health risk to humans is minimal, and less than to pets, because of the "dilution effect." Animals tend to consume one type of food all the time, while humans eat a variety, they said.

Rumbeiha, Dr. Bruce Dixon, director of the Allegheny County Health Department, and other doctors and veterinarians said that while people and many pets are unlikely to become seriously ill immediately after consuming tainted foods, they may be suffering kidney damage that won't be evident for years.

Humans can function normally until nearly 90 percent of their kidneys shut down, and sometimes do not realize they have a problem until they need dialysis, said Dr. Stephen Sandroni, director of the division of nephrology and hypertension at Allegheny General Hospital on the North Side.

"It's not unlike secondhand smoke; it's not unlike asbestos; it's not like aspirin and phenacetin, which affected kidneys. It's a slowly damaging process," Dixon said. "I don't think anybody has the data yet to suggest it's not a significant risk. I think it is."

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Washington Post - Owners, Manufacturers, Suppliers All Feel Fallout

The Washington Post reports

Crisis Over Pet Food Extracting Cost

Owners, Manufacturers, Suppliers All Feel Fallout

Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, May 2, 2007; Page D01

In Nevada, the chief executive of an import company examines the lawsuit that just hit him, wondering how much it will cost to ensure that his next purchases of pet food ingredients are free of industrial poisons.

In Kansas, wheat growers wonder how China usurped the once-bustling market in gluten, a protein-rich byproduct of those amber waves of grain that once symbolized America's bounty

And at a park in Washington, the owner of a soft-coated terrier says that after learning the food he had been giving his beloved Checkers for the past six years was on the recall list, he will never again buy pet food brands with foreign ingredients.

"They've lost a lot of credibility," said Fred Mitzner, who after the recall started buying California Natural dog food. "It was very upsetting."

While the Food and Drug Administration pursues what is sure to be a long investigation into how pet food became contaminated with an ingredient for making plastics, and while Congress begins the months-long process of haggling over food-safety amendments, pet food companies, their suppliers and their customers do not have the luxury of waiting.

They have to cope with the crisis immediately, and for most, that is already proving expensive.

Stephen S. Miller, chief executive of ChemNutra of Las Vegas, was sued last week by a pet food company to which it had sold tainted Chinese wheat gluten. He now faces legal fees and the costs of extra on-site inspections he plans to impose on his Chinese suppliers.

Producers of brand-name pet foods, several of which were revealed by the recall to use the same ingredients that economy chow makers use, stand to lose once-loyal customers, many of whom are saying they would not return to their former brands.

And some pet owners like Mitzner, fed up with worrying about poisoning their animals, can expect to pay up to three times as much for organic or other specialty chows.

If there is one player that may benefit from the still-spreading disaster -- federal officials said yesterday that millions of chickens that ate the contaminated food were sold for human consumption -- it is the U.S. wheat gluten industry, which has been struggling for years to compete against cheaper Chinese imports.

"We've seen a renewal of interest in U.S.-manufactured wheat," said Steve Pickman, a vice president at MGP Ingredients of Atchison, Kan., one of four surviving wheat gluten companies in the United States.

People seem to be learning a lesson, Pickman said: "When you buy strictly on price, you don't necessarily get a bargain."

At the heart of all these dynamics, legal and marketing experts say, is that great lubricator of commerce, trust. It is a commodity American buyers have extended to China in return for significant cost savings but, in retrospect, with little testing and documentation to back it up.


No such mix-ups or contamination events have plagued U.S. producers of wheat gluten, Pickman said. But domestic producers have been unable to match the rock-bottom prices that the Chinese offer. The going price of about 60 cents a pound, he said, is 20 to 30 percent lower than the cost of production in the United States, where 540 million pounds of the stuff are bought every year -- 70 percent of it from foreign sources.


"If you want to import from China you need to go to the factory," said Paul Splitek, vice president of mass retail for Boston Warehouse Trading, which imports candy, chocolates and ceramics for companies such as Crate & Barrel and Pottery Barn. "If you don't, you are dumb and acting irresponsibly," said Splitek, who estimates that 60 percent of food factories in China have reliable safety, labeling and documentation practices.

But NutraChem's Miller did visit his suppliers regularly, Stern said. Short of full-time surveillance, he and others said, it is impossible to guarantee that a supplier is not pulling an occasional fast one.

The melamine scandal has angered some in China as well as in the United States.

Richard Zhang, an import-export sales manager for Qingyuan Foodstuff, which sells corn gluten and other feeds in Shandong Province, said his company does not use additives such as melamine in its products, but that some smaller competitors started doing so a few years ago. Because of their conduct, he said, the Chinese government is demanding that all vegetable protein exporters send their products to Beijing for central testing first.

That means the misbehavior of a few firms has delayed shipments for everyone by up to two weeks.

"We really hate them," Zhang said of the companies that were cheating. "They have destroyed the credibility of the whole industry."

Oh, you don't hate them nearly as much as we do.

Premium pet food brands also stand to take a hit from the loss of trust.

A poll of 1,000 American adults, conducted by GfK Custom Research North America after the food recall began, found that 66 percent of pet owners sometimes buy premium brands and 40 percent do so regularly. Of the 1 in 6 whose brands were recalled, the survey found, nearly half said they did not plan to return to their old brand, even after the crisis has passed.

I'm sure that number has gone up, given how badly all of the companies have handled the recall.


Some local pet owners are poised to bypass the commercial market altogether.

At the Kalorama Recreation Center and Park in Northwest Washington, Karin Wiedemann said she no longer trusts the Purina dried dog food she bought for years for her 5 1/2 -year-old Rotweiler-German shepherd mix, Bella. But she does not want to switch to the expensive organic brands because she doesn't think they're any better.

"It's made me so wary and skeptical of all dog food," Wiedemann said of the recalls. "It's all mass produced. It makes me think, 'Where are all the ingredients coming from for the organic food?'"

So instead, she is considering making Bella's food from scratch, a huge commitment for someone who rarely cooks for herself. ...

Carl Tobias, an expert in product liability at the University of Richmond School of Law in Virginia, said that given how slow Congress and regulators can be to act, consumers and companies have little choice but to become more demanding about the sources and integrity of the products they buy.


Correspondent Ariana Eunjung Cha in Shanghai contributed to this report.

What actually killed our pets?

Another great post from Gina at Petconnection

The Canadian press had this reported pretty widely a couple of days ago — and it’s blogged in here somewhere. But now the AVMA is saying what may have killed the pets who ate the tainted pet food:

Tests conducted on contaminated pet food and necropsies from affected animals have resulted in a new theory to explain how animals are being adversely affected by contaminated pet foods. A chemical reaction between melamine and cyanuric acid is suspected of forming crystals and blocking kidney function.

The investigation into contaminated pet food has focused on melamine contamination of ingredients imported from China, such as wheat gluten, rice protein concentrate and corn gluten (imported into South Africa). It is now believed that cyanuric acid, as well as melamine, has been found in urine samples from animals that died.

Analysis of the crystals in the kidneys of affected animals have revealed that they are approximately 70 percent cyanuric acid and 30 percent melamine, and are extremely insoluble. Furthermore, tests mixing melamine and cyanuric acid in samples of cat urine resulted in almost immediate formation of crystals that were identical to crystals found in the kidneys of affected animals. Two other melamine- related substances—ammelide and ammeline—may also play roles and are under investigation.

Here’s the rest. And here’s the Toronto Star, from three days ago:

Guelph scientists may be closer to figuring out why North American pets are dying from contaminated food.

Two of the chemicals U.S. authorities say they’ve found in food additives from China – melamine and cyanuric acid – can react to form crystals that could block kidney function, according to the University of Guelph’s Agriculture and Food Laboratory.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration found melamine, which is used to make plastic, in wheat gluten and rice protein concentrate in some pet foods. They’ve also found cyanuric acid, a chemical used to treat water in swimming pools, in wheat gluten.

So far, 16 pets have died, but experts say that number is low. Dozens of contaminated pet food products have been recalled.

“This is a piece of the puzzle, a significant finding,” said John Melichercik, director of analytical services for Guelph’s laboratory services. “We have found these crystals in cats that have suffered renal failure.”

American health authorities have implicated the two compounds, but because neither seemed sufficiently toxic on its own, it was unclear how they were involved. But both compounds are something “you wouldn’t expect to see in pet food,” Melichercik said.

Here’s the rest.

3 million melamine-fed chickens eaten by people, FDA won't release names of companies

Took me all night to get around to posting this because it just ticked me off so much. I apologize for the delay, but bloggers have emotions too. And today I am fed up.

The FDA press conference today was a joke - see the liveblogging done by Christie over at . (And here's the transcript)

The highlights? As Itchmo posted

3 Million Contaminated Chickens Sold, Hundreds of Plants May Have Gotten Tainted Ingredients

  • 2.5 to 3 million chickens have been fed the tainted pet food and already sold to the public.
  • “Hundreds” of plants could have received tainted vegetable protein from China.
  • Due to “low risk”, chicken and pork not recalled. Yet FDA says they lack toxicity data on melamine.
I saw earlier that USA Today had posted an article about this, but when I went back to double-check the link, I found that the title of their article has changed, from

FDA: Risk from tainted feed low

(which was bad enough) to

FDA: Feed no human threat

Here's some of it
Almost 3 million chickens may have eaten feed containing small amounts of pet food contaminated with melamine, but the health risk to consumers is minimal, federal officials said Tuesday.

The chickens, most of which were likely slaughtered in March and have already been consumed, were raised at poultry farms in Indiana. They are a tiny fraction of the 9 billion broiler chickens slaughtered every year in the USA, the Agriculture Department said.

There may be more, according to the Food and Drug Administration, as the government's investigation continues into where salvaged pet food contaminated with melamine went after it left pet-food makers. They have recalled products from about 150 brands since mid-March.

But David Acheson, FDA assistant commissioner for food protection, said there is little threat to human health because the proportion of melamine in the original pet food was less than 6%, and the re-purposed pet food made up less than 5% of the chicken feed. He also said no one eats only chicken. The FDA has received unconfirmed reports of approximately 1,950 cats and 2,200 dogs dying after eating contaminated pet food. Pets typically eat only one food, day after day, which increases their exposure to toxins in foods, Acheson says.

You know what? This is all a bunch of crap. The truth is the FDA doesn't KNOW whether there's a risk. And trying to baffle us with this type of numbers bullshit is inexcusable. The fact remains that 3 million chickens that ate melamine-tainted food were eaten by people - and there are more out there. The FDA won't release the names of the companies involved. Sound familiar?

And we thought it would all change once it affected human food. What fools we were.

Christie just posted some more about this here, note this part:

The USDA website just posted a transcript of today’s FDA media conference (liveblogged here on PetConnection with a backup link here). This is a section I was particularly interested in seeing again, an exchange with Karen Roebuck (or, as the FDA calls her here, “REPORTER”) of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, who has done exemplary work on this story from the beginning:

REPORTER: Hi. Regarding the April 27 import alert, it said that about 750 samples of wheat gluten and products were tested, and 330 were positive for melamine-related compounds. Are those all pet food samples? And have any human food samples in the surveillance to date, I mean even a single one, tested positive? And also, it seems contradictory to say that you have to put down the pigs because they are not safe enough to be slaughtered now and go into the market, but yet it’s safe enough not to recall the ones that have already been slaughtered.

MODERATOR: Let’s start with Michael Rogers and then maybe we could go to Dr. Sundloff.

MR. ROGERS: I’ll comment on the first part of the question. I’m not going to get into the specific numbers. Certainly when this import alert was published those potentially represented the numbers at the time, but this is an ongoing investigation, and we continue to analyze samples and receive additional data that would alter the positives and negatives. Having said that, the import alert, which is detention without physical exam, is a proactive opportunity by the agency to take a look at these vegetable protein products. But it’s certainly important to reference that all of the positive samples for rice protein concentrate and wheat gluten have been associated to two primary sources in China.

Did anyone detect an ANSWER in that response? Back to the transcript, and a follow up question from Roebuck:

REPORTER: But were they all pet food, or were any of them in human food?

MR. ROGERS: There is no evidence to suggest that any of the bulk products went to human food manufacturers.

Again, I say, what a bunch of crap.

FDA/USDA: Soylent Green Is People; Risk To Humans "Very Low"

I expected to see this story (the new FDA numbers and the import holds) all over the news this morning, and didn't. So instead, here's another heart-stopping post from David Goldstein...

(Note: If you're not familiar with the movie Soylent Green, click on the first link before you read the rest. And no, this is not a real press release.)

Once again, the FDA downplays the ever expanding food safety crisis:

April 30, 2007

Joint Update: FDA/USDA Update on Tainted Soylent Green

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continue their investigation of Soylent Green, which has been found to contain people and people-related compounds.

Based on information currently available, FDA and USDA believe the likelihood of illness after eating Soylent Green would be very low. The agencies are taking certain actions out of an abundance of caution. As announced on April 26, Soylent Green known to have been adulterated (ie, contaminated with adults) will not be approved to enter the food supply.

As reported on April 22 by FDA, the Agency determined that plankton protein concentrate imported from China was contaminated with people and people-related compounds. As part of the ongoing investigation, FDA has determined the plankton protein was used in the production of Soylent Green.

At this time, we have no evidence of harm to humans associated with the Soylent Green, and therefore no recall of the product is being issued. Testing and the joint investigation continue. If any evidence surfaces to indicate there is harm to humans, the appropriate action will be taken.

The assessment that, if there were to be harm to human health, it would be very low, is based on a number of factors, including the dilution of the contaminating people and people-related compounds from the original plankton protein concentrate as it moves through the food system. First, people are only a partial ingredient in plankton protein concentrate; second, plankton protein concentrate is only a partial ingredient in Soylent Green; third, even if people are present in Soylent Green, Soylent Green is only a small part of the average American diet, which typically also includes Soylent Yellow and Soylent Red. In addition to the dilutional factor, neither FDA nor USDA are aware of any human illness that has occurred from exposure to people or its by-products. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention systems have limited ability to detect subtle problems due to ingestion of people and people-related compounds, the public should rest assured that no problems have been detected to date. To further evaluate any potential harm to humans, the FDA is developing and implementing further tests and risk assessments based on the toxicity of people, and how much people people could be expected to actually consume.

USDA and FDA continue to conduct a full, comprehensive examination to protect the nation's food supply and will provide updates as new information is confirmed.


And if you think that's absurd, just read this.

Monday, April 30, 2007

FDA Import Alert - Detaining ALL Vegetable Protein - 1950 cats 2200 dogs reported dead to FDA

Added 9pm: USA Today reports on this here
The Food and Drug Administration is enforcing a new import alert that greatly expands its curtailment of some food ingredients imported from China, authorizing border inspectors to detain ingredients used in everything from noodles to breakfast bars.

The new restriction is likely to cause delays in the delivery of raw ingredients for the production of many commonly used products.

The FDA has issued the following Import Alert... - all vegetable protein products from China are being held. There is a ton of additional information in this, read it all at the link or down below. (Many thanks to Mike for sending the information!)

And for the first time we have real numbers from the FDA, from below:
As of April 26, 2007, FDA had received over 17,000 consumer complaints relating to this outbreak, and those complaints included reports of approximately 1950 deaths of cats and 2200 deaths of dogs.

(Note how similar these numbers are to those reported over on

Here are numbers reported by pet owners into the Pet Connection database, updated just a few minutes ago:

  • Total reports of illness or death: 14,228
  • Total cats reported dead: 2,334 cats
  • Total dogs reported dead: 2,249


TYPE OF ALERT: Detention Without Physical Examination (Countrywide)

(Note: This import alert represents the Agency's current guidance
to FDA field personnel regarding the manufacturer(s) and/or products(s) at issue.
It does not create or confer any rights for or on any person, and does not operate
to bind FDA or the public).

PRODUCTS: Wheat Gluten
Rice Gluten
Rice Protein
Rice Protein Concentrate
Corn Gluten
Corn Gluten Meal
Corn By-Products
Soy Protein
Soy Gluten
Proteins (includes amino acids and protein hydrosylates)
Mung Bean Protein

PRODUCT 02G[][]08 - Soy Bean Meal/Powder/Gluten/Protein Isolate
CODES: 18E[][]03 Soy Protein Powder
02F[][]08 Wheat Gluten
02E[][]06 - Wheat Flour Gluten
71M[][]01 Wheat Gluten
02D[][]12 Rice Protein
02D[][]13 Rice Gluten
71I[][]03 Rice Protein
71G[][]02 - Corn Gluten
02B[][][][] Milled Rice Products
54[][][][][]- Amino acids and protein hydrosylates

PROBLEM:   Poisonous or Deleterious Substance
Unfit For Food
Unsafe Food Additive

In recent weeks, there has been an outbreak of cat and dog deaths

and illness associated with pet food manufactured with vegetable

proteins contaminated with melamine and melamine related

compounds. In response to this outbreak, FDA has been conducting

an aggressive and intensive investigation. Pet food manufacturers

and others have recalled dog and cat food and other suspect

products and ingredients. This has been one of the largest pet

food recalls in history, a recall that continues to expand. Thus

far, 18 firms have recalled product, 17 Class I and 1 class II,

covering over 5,300 product lines. As of April 26, 2007, FDA had

received over 17,000 consumer complaints relating to this

outbreak, and those complaints included reports of approximately

1950 deaths of cats and 2200 deaths of dogs. The Agency is

working with federal, state, and local governments, academia, and

industry to assess the extent of the outbreak, better understand

how melamine and melamine related compounds contributed to the pet

deaths and illnesses, and to determine the underlying cause of the


As of April 26, 2007, FDA had collected approximately 750 samples

of wheat gluten and products made with wheat gluten and, of those

tested thus far, 330 were positive for melamine and/or melamine

related compounds. FDA had also collected approximately 85

samples of rice protein concentrate and products made with rice

protein concentrate and, of those tested thus far, 27 were

positive for melamine and/or melamine related compounds. FDA's

investigation has traced all of the positive samples as having

been imported from China.

Although FDA's investigation is ongoing, the Agency has learned

the following about the outbreak and its association with

contaminated vegetable proteins from China:

1. For the vegetable proteins and finished products that have

been found to be contaminated, it is unknown who the actual

manufacturers are, how many manufacturers there are, or

where in China they may be located.

The samples of vegetable proteins that have tested positive

for the presence of melamine and melamine analogs have, thus

far, been traced to two Chinese firms, Xuzhou Anying

Biologic Technology Development Co. Ltd. and Binzhou Futian

Biology Technology Co. Ltd. Records relating to the

importation of these products indicate that these two firms

had manufactured the ingredients in question. There is

strong evidence, however, that these firms are not the

actual manufacturers. Moreover, despite many weeks of

investigation, it is still unknown who the actual

manufacturer or manufacturers of the contaminated products

imported from China are.

All of the contaminated wheat gluten has thus far been

traced to Xuzhou Anying. According to the General

Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and

Quarantine (AQSIQ) of the Chinese government, Xuzhou Anying

purchased its wheat gluten from 25 different manufacturers

and Xuzhou Anying may just be a supplier. Press statements

by Xuzhou Anying state that it did not manufacturer the

wheat gluten it had shipped to United States that has been

associated with the outbreak, but that it received that

wheat gluten from other sources not named in the press


Despite its investigation into the matter, FDA has been

unable to determine who, in fact, the actual manufacturer(s)


2. The source of the contamination problem is currently unknown

and FDA has been unable to isolate the scope of the problem.

Melamine is a molecule that has a number of commercial and

industrial uses. Other than a few limited authorizations

for use in food contact materials for human food, melamine

has no approved use as an ingredient in human or animal food

in the United States. FDA is continuing its investigation

into how the melamine and melamine related compounds may

have gotten into the vegetable protein, and has asked the

Chinese government to help with this investigation.

In addition, FDA does not know how widespread the problem in

China might be. For example, FDA does not know which

regions of the country may or may not be impacted by the

problem, which firms are the major manufacturers and

exporters of vegetable proteins to the United States, where

these vegetable proteins are grown in China, and what

controls are currently in place to prevent against


According to the Chinese government, Xuzhou Anying did not

declare the contaminated wheat gluten it shipped to the

United States as a raw material for feed or food. Rather,

according to the Chinese government, it was declared to them

as non-food product, meaning that it was not subject to

mandatory inspection by the Chinese government. In

addition, in a communication to the U.S. government, the

Chinese government has requested that FDA either request or

require that U.S. importers of plant protein products insist

on AQSIQ certification, based on AQSIQ testing, as part of

the import contract. According to a media report, China's

Foreign Ministry issued a statement that the contaminated

vegetable protein managed to get past Chinese customs

without inspection because it had not been declared for use

in pet food. The news report said the contamination problem

has prompted China to step up inspections of plant-based

proteins and to list melamine as a banned substance for food

exports and domestic sales.

This information indicates that there are manufacturing

control issues that cannot be linked to specific sources in

China, but instead require country-wide monitoring.

3. On April 17, 2007, pet food manufacturers in South Africa

recalled dry cat and dog food due to formulation with a

contaminated corn gluten, a vegetable protein. FDA has

learned that the corn gluten was contaminated with melamine

and that the corn gluten had been imported from a third-

party supplier in China. According to news reports, the

contaminated pet food has been linked to the deaths of

approximately 30 dogs in South Africa.

GUIDANCE:    Districts may detain without physical examination, all Vegetable
protein products from China.

Definition from the FDA site


In some instances a product may be detained as soon as it is offered for entry into the United States. This procedure is the administrative act of detaining a product without physical examination and is based on past history and/or other information indicating the product may be violative. A product may be subject to a detention without physical examination (DWPE) recommendation until the shipper or importer proves that the product meets FDA guidelines or standards.

Occasionally, FDA identifies products from an entire country or geographic region for DWPE when the violative conditions appear to be geographically widespread. Detention recommendations of this breadth are rare and are initiated only after other avenues for resolving the problem have been exhausted. (See FDA Regulatory Procedures Manual (RPM), Chapter 9-25-00 for details on Detention Without Physical Examination - formerly known as Automatic Detention)

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: