Friday, May 11, 2007

Additional Royal Canin Recalls - 8 Sensible Choice Dry Dog Food and 7 Kasco Dry Dog and Cat Food

Eight Sensible Choice Dry Dog Food Products, Seven Kasco Dry Dog and Cat Food Products Recalled Nationwide by Royal Canin USA Effective Today
(Thanks for the quick notice Mike!)
ADDED: Both Recall Lists have been updated to include this information, download them above.
ADDED 5-11 12:30pm : Royal Canin has changed affected product dates

The dates in the press release that Royal Canin quietly slipped out last night are off by a year.

The original release says “with date codes between July 28, 2006 to April 30, 2007.” According to a Royal Canin rep who spoke with our food co-op, those dates are off by a year. The dates now shown on their web site are the current ones:

“products with Best By date codes between July 28, 2007 to April 30, 2008

The current release also specifies that the dates are “best by” dates, not production dates. See the new statement at:

Note that my assumption earlier today that they received rice protein from Cereal Byproducts is now confirmed.

Royal Canin USA is announcing today the voluntary nationwide recall of eight Sensible Choice dry dog food products and seven Kasco dry dog and cat food products.

This announcement is based on the company's ongoing extensive review of its manufacturing and quality assurance testing procedures, which identified trace amounts of a melamine derivative from tainted Chinese rice protein concentrate provided to the company by domestic ingredient supplier Cereal Byproducts, headquartered in Illinois.

"We deeply regret the concern and anxiety this announcement today will cause our loyal customers and the entire pet community," Olivier Amice, President and CEO of Royal Canin USA, said. "While a very limited number of Sensible Choice and Kasco products in this recall tested positive for trace levels of a melamine derivative, Royal Canin USA is voluntarily withdrawing these products out of an abundance of caution and because we are fully committed to the welfare of our customers' pets."

Royal Canin USA has no confirmed cases of melamine related illness in pets eating Sensible Choice and Kasco products affected by this recall.

Last month, Royal Canin USA announced it will no longer use any Chinese vegetable protein suppliers.

The following eight Sensible Choice dry dog food products and seven Kasco dry dog and cat food products with date codes between July 28, 2006 to April 30, 2007 are being voluntarily recalled:
SENSIBLE CHOICE(R) (available in pet specialty stores nationwide)
-- SENSIBLE CHOICE(R) Chicken and Rice Adult (Dry Dog Food)
-- SENSIBLE CHOICE(R) Chicken and Rice Reduced (Dry Dog Food)
-- SENSIBLE CHOICE(R) Lamb and Rice Reduced (Dry Dog Food)
-- SENSIBLE CHOICE(R) Chicken and Rice Puppy (Dry Dog Food)
-- SENSIBLE CHOICE(R) Chicken and Rice Large Breed Puppy (Dry Dog Food)

KASCO(R) (available in pet specialty stores nationwide)
-- KASCO(R) Chunks (Dry Dog Food)
-- KASCO(R) Hi Energy (Dry Dog Food)
-- KASCO(R) Maintenance (Dry Dog Food)
-- KASCO(R) Mealettes (Dry Dog Food)
-- KASCO(R) Mini Chunks (Dry Dog Food)
-- KASCO(R) Puppy (Dry Dog Food)
-- KASCO(R) Cat (Dry Cat Food)
Based on today's announcement, pet owners should stop feeding their pets the eight Sensible Choice dry dog food products, seven Kasco dry dog and dry cat food products listed. Pet owners should consult with a veterinarian if they are concerned about the health of their pet.

The safety and nutritional quality of Royal Canin USA pet food is our company's top priority because we understand that the health of pets comes first. Pet owners who have questions about the voluntary recall of Sensible Choice and Kasco dry pet food products and other Royal Canin USA products should call 1-800-513-0041 or visit our web site at

All Sensible Choice and Kasco products have a satisfaction guarantee and the company will refund or replace the diets that are part of this recall announcement.

2nd Rice Protein Distributor -Refuses to name companies & Summary of Who got What

I've said it before, I'll say it again. It is UNACCEPTABLE to not name the pet food companies that received poisonous rice protein.

Some good news though - in this article from the Chicago Tribune, we at least have an explanation for something else. We couldn't figure out the discrepancies as far as which companies got the rice protein - because they'd all mentioned Wilbur-Ellis. This explains it. Wilbur-Ellis sold it to Cereal Byproducts, who then resold it. Read the rest of the article below.
The contaminated products were imported by ChemNutra Inc. and Wilbur-Ellis Co. They were more widely distributed by Menu Foods, a pet food manufacturer, and Cereal Byproducts.

Here's my summary of Who Got What (originally posted April 26th), updated to reflect this new information. Based on deduction and something I found on google that was apparently deleted from the article below (see quotes just under this), I've assumed that Royal Canin is one of the companies that received RPC directly from Cereal Byproducts. (Added: I left a message for Royal Canin asking for confirmation, I'll update this when I hear back from them.) UPDATE: Royal Canin just recalled more food, and confirmed that Cereal Byproducts was their supplier. See my latest post for more.

From my Google search of "royal canine cereal byproducts" (yes, Royal Canin is mispelled). This content is no longer in the article.

Chicago-area company implicated in tainted pet food | Chicago Tribune

A congressional source familiar with the pet food contamination issue said that Cereal Byproducts shipped tainted rice protein to Royal Canine, which issued ...,1,2765210.story?coll=chi-newsnationworld-hed - May 10, 2007 -


Who got What Protein (Updated May 11th 10am)

Wheat Gluten (4):
1. Menu Foods (countless wet cat and dog foods)
2. Del Monte (Pet Treats, wet dog food)
3. Sunshine Mills (dog biscuits)
4. Hill's Pet Nutrition (dry cat food)

Rice Protein (5)
(Received by distributor Wilbur-Ellis, who said that 5 pet food manufacturers received the product - in Kansas, Missouri, Missouri, New York and Utah)

1. Diamond -plant in Missouri
- Natural Balance (DRY food)

2. CJ Foods, plant in Kansas
- Blue Buffalo

3. Cereal Byproducts in Missouri
- Royal Canin - plant in Missouri (formerly listed as receiving it directly from W-E)
- UNKNOWN Company
- UNKNOWN Company

4. Chenango Valley Pet Foods -plant in New York
- SmartPak/LiveSmart
- Drs Foster and Smith
- Lick Your Chops (*just announced today*)

5. American Nutrition – in Utah
- Natural Balance WET food
- Kirkland (Costco Brand) WET food (*announced today*)
- Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul Kitten and Puppy canned food
- Diamond canned dog food
- Blue Buffalo canned dog and cat food and treats

Corn Gluten (1)
- Royal Canin South Africa

The rest of the article mentioned above...
Chicago-area firm recalls rice products

By Stephen J. Hedges
Washington Bureau
Published May 11, 2007, 12:46 AM CDT

WASHINGTON -- A Chicago-area feed supply company is the latest U.S. business to find itself implicated in the distribution of tainted rice protein from China, the Food and Drug Administration confirmed Thursday, raising the specter that customers of the firm may have unwittingly spread the contaminant melamine in pet food.

Cereal Byproducts Co., which has plants in five states and a headquarters in Mt. Prospect, issued a recall for the rice protein products on May 4. The company's products went to three pet food manufacturers.

Word that yet another company has been implicated two months into the pet food contamination scare suggests that the scope of the problem is expanding, despite an FDA investigation. Since the first discovery of tainted pet food after numerous reports of cat and dog illnesses and deaths in early March, the FDA has determined that the same contaminated ingredients from China have also been used in chicken, hog and fish feed.

That raises the possibility that more of the contamination has found its way into human food.

So far, FDA officials said, there have been no reports of human illness, and they have suggested that the levels of melamine, a compound found in plastics, would be greatly diluted by the time the compound reached human food.

Michael Kirwan, Cereal Byproducts' treasurer, declined to discuss the recall at length, and would not name the companies that received the tainted rice protein. He said that his company has not distributed the tainted rice protein to manufacturers of human food.

Cereal Byproducts has established a Web site to explain the recall at, Kirwan said.

The contaminated products were imported by ChemNutra Inc. and Wilbur-Ellis Co. They were more widely distributed by Menu Foods, a pet food manufacturer, and Cereal Byproducts. So far, the pet food recall includes more than 100 brands, which are listed on the FDA's Web site.

The Chinese companies involved are Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development Co., which sold products labeled as wheat gluten, and Binzhou Futian Biology Technology Co. Ltd., which sold Wilbur-Ellis and Cereal Byproducts the products labeled as rice protein.


Thursday, May 10, 2007

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Okay, on with the news.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ADDED: Want to get your own pet food tested? Go here

Monday, May 7, 2007

FDA - We make FEMA look good

Okay, first, go here for items that say "FDA... we make FEMA look good"
Buy a few - I think we'll be needing them for awhile. And send one to me while you're at it. ;-),0,6717023.story?coll=bal-health-headlines
Food imports called safe FDA czar urges new strategy to inspect, protect supply line

By Jonathan D. Rockoff Sun Reporter Originally published May 5, 2007 WASHINGTON // Federal investigators believe they have now traced all of the sources of contaminated food supplies from China, according to the nation's new food safety czar, who said yesterday that the U.S. government needs to move in new directions to protect food supplies.

Despite publicity about tainted shipments from overseas, Dr. David W.K. Acheson said Americans shouldn't fear eating imported foods.
What??! Are you out of your bloody mind?? Okay folks, I've been reading these things every day for weeks, it's your turn. What follows are links to some FDA Import Alerts that detail what is on our imported foods, both human and pet. (I read some yesterday that started a whole new thread of scary stuff in my mind, I'll post them when I can.)

OASIS Refusals by Industry for March 2007 (Note: This is for 1 month only!)

Here's a link to the violation code translation

And here's a list of the CURRENT, active Import Alerts

And check this page out:

Pesticides, Metals, Chemical Contaminants & Natural Toxins

The rest of the don't-worry-be-happy article is below - as posted by Christie over at PetConnection late Saturday night. Yeah, I'm late posting it - it made me so angry yesterday I started, but couldn't finish, this post.

Okay, now that we’ve gone… er, let’s see… 24 hours without a recall… guess what? YES! It’s all over! The crisis is behind us. Our pets’ food is safe. And so is ours. We can move on.

How do I know? The FDA said so. Now, let me say that I’m abandoning all efforts at journalistic objectivity here and frankly confessing this article made my head explode, and it wasn’t pretty. Here, feel my pain:

Despite publicity about tainted shipments from overseas, Dr. David W.K. Acheson said Americans shouldn’t fear eating imported foods.

“Consumers should be reassured that the international situation is under control,” he said in an interview. “We’re now getting on with this proactive strategy.”

Acheson, who was named this week to the newly created post of assistant FDA commissioner for food protection, said investigators have made significant progress in tracing the tainted ingredient from China that is believed to have killed cats and dogs in this country and entered other animal feed products.

Note the language: “Believed to have.” As if it hadn’t been actually physically discovered in the gluten and rice protein, in the food, and in the urine and kidneys of the dead pets. Also, note the use of the phrase “despite publicity,” implying this is a hysterical over-reaction to something, rather than a something on its own. How about, “Despite there having been melamine and cyanuric acid in foods imported into this country, people shouldn’t fear eating them.”

Moving on:

He said that Americans should not worry about serving pet food to their dogs and cats. Over the past seven weeks, the contamination prompted the recall of 150 brands of pet food, forced the quarantine of more than 100,000 hogs and chickens that may have been fed tainted feed and prompted the Chinese to detain one food company’s executive.

I feel so reassured.

Acheson said he has begun developing new plans for protecting the nation’s food supply from contamination, either through commercial transactions or terrorist acts.

He said the FDA needs more sophisticated computer systems and, perhaps, additional scientists to identify foods that might be at risk for contamination and in need of stricter inspection.

He said he is also studying whether the FDA needs to ask Congress for expanded legal authority, new regulations and more inspectors - potential changes that lawmakers are already considering.

So, these are things that might happen, but haven’t yet. So why is it safe now?

“Globalization of food is here. It’s here to stay. We need to acknowledge that and make sure food coming to the United States is as safe as we can make it,” Acheson said in a telephone interview, one of the first he has conducted since taking on the new post on Tuesday.

I have an idea. I don’t want the food coming into our country to be “as safe as we can make it,” I want it to be safe. Call me crazy.

Investigators suspect that Chinese suppliers of two pet food ingredients, wheat gluten and rice protein concentrate, spiked them with melamine in order to boost their value. Investigators also believe that the industrial chemical, not approved for use in food, killed at least 16 pets by working in combination with melamine-related compounds.

First of all, those weren’t “pets,” they were dogs and cats in Menu Foods’ test labs. Since anyone paying even remote attention can see there are thousands of dead pets, let’s at least go with the AP’s “unknown numbers” of dead pets.

Here’s where my head exploded:

Acheson said the search for the pet food contaminant is “virtually closed” and investigators have a “very good handle” on its distribution. Government officials say the threat to humans is extremely low.

See? I told you, it’s all over.

Inspectors are redirecting their efforts into checking all vegetable protein shipments from China and visiting American importers to test ingredients and make sure the firms know who made them.

But why? It’s all over. Everything’s safe!

Acheson said hiring more inspectors might help prevent future scares, but the FDA will never have enough manpower to examine all food supplied by 150,000 registered food makers from abroad.

“Right now, we inspect 1 percent of food imports. If we were to inspect 2 percent, would that problem go away? I don’t think so,” he said.

Nothing like a positive attitude going in. And remember: your cats and dogs were killed and sickened by a scare. A scare that is costing Americans between $2 and $20 MILLION DOLLARS in vet bills.

The government attempts to target the riskiest foods for close monitoring, but the failure to identify wheat gluten for attention suggests that more needs to be done to find the right targets, Acheson said.

Ya think?

Acheson said the FDA wasn’t planning to establish a database for collecting reports of injuries to pets, a demand of pet owners that Acheson said veterinarians are considering.

He also questioned whether it would be beneficial to create a system for monitoring the safety of fresh vegetables, similar to one that ground beef producers established after an E. coli outbreak at Jack in the Box restaurants in 1993.

Instead, he said, more research is needed to identify points in the food production cycle where contamination is most likely to occur. Then, methods could be developed to prevent problems from arising.

Of course. Good. Don’t do anything constructive or proactive or useful. Instead, let’s do more research. Excellent.

Invitation to panel discussion of the pet recall crisis invites you to attend a special panel discussion of the pet recall crisis, on Tuesday, May 8 at 10 PM Eastern Time.

When Menu Foods, back on March 16, announced its first recall of pet foods due to melamine contamination, the mainstream media was only briefly interested.

To a small group of bloggers, it was apparent from the first days that this story was much larger than most people thought. They began compiling data, comparing information, collecting personal stories, and digging for facts. Since then, there have been dozens of additional recalls, threats to the human health supply, a re-evaluation of international food safety standards, and a rising wave of frightened and angry pet owners., on behalf of founder Jeff Barringer and its,, and communities, invites you to attend an online panel discussion with the bloggers who have been following the pet food crisis from the beginning, to discuss the story behind the recall, what's likely to happen next, and what pet owners can do to protect their pets now and in the future.

Joining us will be:

  • Gina Spadafori and Christie Keith of
  • Ben Huh of
  • Therese Kopiwoda of and
  • Kim Duke of PetFoodTracker

    The chat will be held on Tuesday, May 8 at 10 PM Eastern Time in the Auditorium. To receive a free email reminder of the special chat, sign up here.

    More information, and complete information on how to attend the chat, is here, or, if your email program does not read HTML:

    We definitely give permission to cross post - in fact, ask you to share this announcement with anyone you think might be interested. The chat is free, you don't need to register for the site to attend, and there is nothing to download or install.

    We hope to see you there.

  • 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: