Saturday, June 9, 2007

Itchmo reports: Lab Reports Melamine In Unrecalled Dry Pet Food Exported From US

A lab report provided by a reader indicates that a sample of Country Value Puppy formula exported from the US contained melamine. The report obtained and translated by Itchmo states that the sample was tested by a South Korean university’s veterinary research center. This report has not been verified in the US. Country Value is also sold in the US, but has not been recalled.

This is also the first report of a lab — besides Expertox in Texas — reporting on possible contamination of unrecalled pet food.

Jim Fallon, a spokesman for Diamond Pet Foods, said that the food with the best by date of March 2008 was made in September 2006 at their South Carolina plant.

The lab reported finding melamine concentrations of 346.21 parts per million, a number that is higher than the amounts typically found through cross contamination according to the manufacturer Diamond Pet Food. Fallon also said that they have received no calls regarding Country Value through their recall hotlines. Diamond is working on pulling the retained samples and will test them for melamine and says they will pursue this “aggressively and cautiously.”

Diamond has recalled several products in recent months due to melamine contamination. The Itchmo reader also wrote that the importer denied that the food was contaminated.

...(see the rest at the link above)

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

ASPCA issues alert on Acetaminophen in Pet Food

The ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center has just issued a warning following the reports of acetaminophen in pet food:

With reports that acetaminophen has been found in brands of cat and dog food not included on the Menu Foods recall list, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today reminded pet parents that vigilance is the key to keeping their pets safe and healthy—coupled with a strong dose of common sense.

“Though reports of dogs and cats poisoned from the Menu Foods recall seem to have abated, this news is extremely worrying,” 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.

“Our data show that if an average-sized cat ingests as little as one extra-strength acetaminophen pain-reliever caplet and is not treated in time, it can suffer fatal consequences,” continued Dr. Hansen. “Depending on the amount ingested, clinical effects can include a condition called ‘methemoglobinemia,’ which affects the ability of blood cells to deliver oxygen to vital organs, or even liver damage.”

“At this point, we have very little information as to the actual level and concentration of this reported contamination, so it’s extremely important to be able to recognize any potential warning signs of this kind of poisoning.” However, early information on this contamination suggests that concentration levels are not high enough to have an adverse effect on most dogs; cats are more at-risk.

Dr. Louise Murray, director of medicine at the ASPCA’s Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital (BMAH) in New York City, and a board-certified internist, elaborates further. “Cats are especially sensitive to acetaminophen toxicity for two reasons. First, they don’t have enough of a specific enzyme that enables the body to metabolize the drug well. Second, cats are typically more susceptible to red blood cell damage than certain other species of animals. Put these together with a high dose of acetaminophen, and you have a potentially deadly combination.”

The most common effects of acetaminophen poisoning in cats include swelling of the face and paws; depression; weakness; and difficulty in breathing. “We also see a condition called ‘cyanosis,’” said Dr. Hansen, “which is literally when their gums and tongue start turning a muddy color due to the lack of oxygen.”

In 2006, the APCC received more than 78,000 calls to its hotline involving common human drugs such as painkillers, cold medications, antidepressants and dietary supplements—a 69 percent increase over 2005.

Until more information is provided by the U. S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), the ASPCA urges pet parents to keep an eye out for any signs of illness in their pets, and also report any changes in dietary consumption or behavior to their veterinarian immediately. Those considering a home-cooked diet for their pets should do so in consultation with their veterinarian, or visit the ASPCA’s Web site for more information.

“It is important to remember to never give any medication to your pet without first talking to your veterinarian, and always store potentially poisonous substances in a secure cabinet above the countertop and out of the reach of pets,” said Dr. Hansen. “If you think your pet has ingested a poisonous substance, you should take her to your veterinarian immediately.”

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

The release is not yet up on the A’s Web site. Will link when it is.

Some Ol' Roy (Walmart Brand) Dry Dog Food Recalled due to Salmonella

Single Lot of 55lb Bags of Ol’Roy Complete Nutrition Dry Dog Food Voluntarily Recalled In Select Stores by Doane Pet Care

Manassas, Virginia – Doane Pet Care is announcing today a voluntary recall on a specific single lot of 55 pound bonus bags of Ol’ Roy Complete Nutrition dry dog food. This product was produced at one facility in Manassas, VA and was distributed exclusively by some Wal-Mart Stores. Please note that no other Ol’ Roy products are affected, and that this recall is not related to the Menu Foods recall (and other recent recalls) of pet food due to tainted Chinese vegetable proteins.

This product has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. People handling this pet food can become exposed to Salmonella, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with this pet food or any surfaces exposed to this product. Consumers who have the dry dog food bearing the code “04 0735 1” with a “Best By Apr 13 08” should not feed it to their pets.

This voluntary recall has been issued because FDA detected Salmonella in the product. Doane Pet Care has not confirmed the presence of Salmonella, despite extensive independent testing of duplicate samples. Nonetheless, the company is issuing this voluntary recall out of an abundance of caution. The company regrets any inconvenience to pet owners. No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this product, or any product produced at this facility.

Product: Ol’ Roy Complete Nutrition dry dog food
Size: 55 pound bonus bag
UPC Code: 6 05388 72076 4
Lot Number: 04 0735 1
Best Buy Date: Apr 13 ‘08
Best Buy Date Location: Back of bag
Affected Stores: Only 69 Wal-Mart Stores potentially received this product from 2 distribution warehouses in Virginia. The 69 stores are located in Maryland (4 stores), North Carolina (10), Ohio (1), Pennsylvania (3), Virginia (40) and West Virginia (11).

A full listing of the affected stores is available by clicking this link: This product UPC has been blocked from retail sale at these 69 locations.

Any remaining product should not be fed to pets. Dispose of product in a safe manner (example, a securely covered trash receptacle) and return the empty bag to the store where purchased for a full refund.

Pet owners who have questions about the voluntary recall of this 55 lb bonus bag of Ol’ Roy Complete Nutrition dry dog food products should call 800-624-7387, or visit the web site listed above.

Thanks for the heads up Mike!

Added: The Master List of All Brands Recalled has been updated to include this recall. Download it at the top of the page.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Acetaminophen Update - in at least 6 foods

It sounds like the manufacturer who sent food in to be tested and was told it was positive for acetominophen weeks ago is NOT one of the companies that currently has food recalled - it is a new/different company. This from a transcript from Call4Action out of Pittsburgh:
The following is a transcript of a report by reporter Aaron Saykin that first aired June 5, 2007, on WTAE Channel 4 Action News at 5 p.m.

A Texas laboratory has confirmed that traces of a human painkiller have been found in some pet food. ...

Traces of acetaminophen were detected in dog food that was tested by a Texas lab called Exper-Tox.

The lab would not name the type of food contaminated or the company that distributes it but said the company is not among the 150 others involved in the pet food recalls over the past three months.
Not a surprise, in fact I assumed this to be the case - but it's good to have confirmation. This means there is a company out there who KNOWS their food tested positive for acetominophen, and they did not recall it. Can't wait to find out who it is - so I know who to boycott forever.

And from ABC in Houston (Thanks Therese!)

- ...A Houston doctor says he's uncovered pet food contaminated with pain medication.

The doctor who runs the lab believes the problems with pet food are far from over. His finding has sparked a new federal investigation.

Just one little acetaminophen pill is enough to kill a cat. But according to the lab, this drug was found in at least a half dozen pet food samples.

Technicians at EperTox in Deer Park test all kinds of samples. For the past few months more than a thousand of those samples have been different types of pet food. The results are troubling.

"We don't really how big and how involved this problem is right now. We are only uncovering the beginning of it," said Dr. Ernest Lykissa.

What Dr. Lykissa says he uncovered in his lab is more contaminated pet food. In more than two dozen samples Dr. Lykissa says either cyanuric acid or acetaminophen were found.


ExperTox lab manager Donna Coneley was so troubled by the results that she verified the tests.

"We were questioning that," she admitted. "We took that same sample and did an extraction."

Due to a confidentiality agreement, the lab can not reveal which pet food samples tested positive for the drugs. At least one sample was Pet Pride cat food. All test results were reported to the pet food makers, which should have been reported to the FDA.

It may be up to owners to police pet food because, according to the lab manager, no one from the FDA has investigated their positive findings. In fact, to date not a single government inspector has asked to look at one of the tainted pet food samples tested in this laboratory.

Late this afternoon, an FDA spokesperson says the agency is trying to get those samples. For now Dr. Lykissa considers the quality of pet food questionable.

He said, "The FDA has to become a lot more vigilant, because if we're finding those things who knows what we're not finding."

The tests were conducted over the past month. An FDA spokesperson says the agency wants to test the samples independently to determine the levels of contaminants.

The makers of Pet Pride food said court order prevents them from commenting on our story.

Note that Pet Pride is made by Menu Foods, and is a Kroger brand. Fortunately, Kroger stepped up early on and pulled ALL products made by Menu Foods on March 23rd. Thank you Kroger.

On Friday, March 23, our concern for pets and their well-being prompted Kroger to expand the recall to include all wet pet food manufactured by Menu Foods in cans and pouches, including Pet Pride and IAMS brands in pouches and cans, and Mighty Dog pouches.

Kroger's decision to recall all wet pet food produced by Menu Foods goes beyond the initial recall announced by Menu Foods. Kroger has taken this additional step as an extra precaution until we are satisfied that Menu Foods can assure our customers that these specific products are safe for consumption by your pets. Again, this elective recall does not include dry dog food products.

Texas lab finds pain medicine in pet food - Manufactuer Told - FDA Investigating

Another great piece from Karen Roebuck at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. (Thanks Karen for covering this story from the beginning - and not letting go - you're saving lives and we appreciate it!) Emphasis in red is mine.
At least five dog and cat food samples submitted by worried pet owners and pet food manufacturers contained varying levels of the pain reliever...
The highest level of acetaminophen was found in a dog food sample submitted by a manufacturer, she said. Coneley declined to identify the company but said its officials were given the results "well over a month ago."

(rest below)

Also see my previous post on acetominophen being found. And there are 3 posts on other (mostly dry) foods that haven't been recalled but that folks have reported has made their pets sick.
Others (Hills / Science Diet, Purina and Beneful so far)
By Karen Roebuck
Tuesday, June 5, 2007

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is investigating a Texas laboratory's finding of acetaminophen in dog and cat food, an agency spokesman said Monday.

"We're very interested in being able to test these samples ourselves to determine the levels of those contaminants," said FDA spokesman Doug Arbesfeld. "What's significant is these things are there. They don't belong there."

The pain medication is the fifth contaminant found in pet foods during the past 2 1/2 months and can be toxic or lethal to pets, especially cats. It is not known if any animals became sick with acetaminophen poisoning, or died from it.

"We were looking for cyanuric acid and melamine, and the acetaminophen just popped up," Donna Coneley, lab operations manager for ExperTox Inc. in Deer Park, Texas, told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review yesterday. "It definitely was a surprise to find that in several samples."

At least five dog and cat food samples submitted by worried pet owners and pet food manufacturers contained varying levels of the pain reliever, she said. Only the food, not individual ingredients, were tested.

The medication was found most often with cyanuric acid, a chemical used in pool chlorination, Coneley said. Varying levels of melamine, a chemical used to make plastics, also were found among the hundreds of samples ExperTox tested, she said.

The contaminants were found in foods that are not among the more than 150 brands recalled since March 16, Coneley said. The highest level of acetaminophen was found in a dog food sample submitted by a manufacturer, she said. Coneley declined to identify the company but said its officials were given the results "well over a month ago."

That company should have -- but did not -- notify the FDA, which first learned of the acetaminophen findings after pet owners posted lab reports on the Internet, Arbesfeld said.

"With any poison, it's the amount that matters." said Dr. Wilson Rumbeiha, a Michigan State University pathologist who is working with the FDA on the pet food contamination investigation. His lab has screened for acetaminophen but found none, he said.

The highest level of acetaminophen found by the Texas lab -- 2 milligrams per gram of dog food -- is a large amount, Rumbeiha said. That is eight times what a 10-pound cat could safely consume, he said.

However, a 20-pound dog would have to eat more than 6.5 pounds of food in 24 hours to be poisoned, unless it ate the same contaminated food daily, Rumbeiha said.

A still-unmeasured amount of acetaminophen and cyanuric acid were found in cat food submitted by Don Earl, 52, of Port Townsend, Wash., whose 6-year-old cat, Chuckles, died in January.

He said he was suspicious of two flavors of Chuckles' Pet Pride food because his other two cats refused to eat it and because Chuckles, strictly an indoor girl, had been healthy.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Non-Recalled (mostly dry) Foods Causing Illness/Deaths - Many Unconfirmed Reports

Update 6-12: I've put the Hill's Prescription and Hill's Science Diet reports and information into a separate post, as we now have THREE different foods from them that tested postive for toxins in private tests.

I have seen hundreds of reports of pets who got sick or died - from eating (mostly dry) food that has not been recalled - posted on various sites online. Many of us have been told by FDA officials that they have also received numerous reports of other unrecalled foods causing illness. However, the foods which people keep complaining about have not been recalled. So I'll be doing what I can to 'shine a light' on these reports and complaints, in the fervent hope that as more people become aware of the problem it will be addressed.

None of these foods have been recalled, and the problems reported may very well have been temporary, and/or may have nothing to do with the current round of recalls.

And, I do think these foods need to be thoroughly tested for all possible contaminants (Melamine and the Melamine Compounds including Cyanuric Acid, as well as excess Vitamin D, Aflatoxin, Aminopterin and Acetominophen) - and the results must be made public.

Recently, there was an article about Nutro dry foods (see here), and an entry about Iams (see here). Reports/comments for those brands are listed in those posts.

This post is for the other foods that people have been reporting. I've been reading these online for many weeks now, and since it seems like many people only look on one or two sites for their information, I'm posting them here to increase awareness, and so that the full scope of the issue is understood better. There are foods out there that still need to be recalled!

These are just a few of the comments that other people have posted online, on other websites, forums and blogs. I am providing links to them so you can check them out for yourself. In most cases I have posted a portion of the comment and you can click the link to read the rest. I've tried to include links from different sites - in most cases there are multiple stories on the same site.

Note that I've left the Quote Marks off to make it easier to read. Everything under a link is from the original poster. Where there is a '...' it means I've edited some of the post. Again, click the links to see the full post.

Disclaimer: These are reports by people like yourself who posted online (or emailed me) that they believe a certain food made their pets sick. This information is simply for you to use as part of making an educated difference about what products you purchase - both for yourself and your pet. None of these foods have been recalled, and the problems reported may have nothing to do with the current round of recalls! If your pet has eaten any of these foods and got sick, please report it to the company and FDA! Some people have been told that the FDA will only test additional foods when they receive enough complaints about it. So if you have a complaint, please contact your local FDA office.

And please, feel free to add your own story in the comment section, or email me with it. (I still have a bunch of emails to work my way through, so it might take me a while to respond but I will get back to you.)

In no particular order... (more coming soon)


Purina Pro-Plan Dry Dog Food>1=9145&boardsparam=Page%3D24
Last month my one-year-old Yorkie became violently ill with bloody diarrhea after eating from a new bag of Purina Pro-Plan dry dog food. The vet put him on antibiotics and a diet of hamburger and rice. The diarrhea immediately stopped. After 7 days, I reintroduced the dog food by mixing in a small amount with the hamburger/rice. The bloody diarrhea started again. I discontinued the dog food and continued the antibiotics and hamburger/rice for 3 more days. I purchased a NEW bag of Purina Pro Plan and this time my Yorkie was fine. I was convinced that the original bag of dog food was contaminated, so I contacted Purina. Their insurance carrier contacted me 2 days later and sent me a check for my vet bill and medicine.

Purina One Dry Dog Food
I lost my dog on saturday of kidney failure. SHe was a healthy 8 yr old papillion. She ate Purina one dry dog food. ... IT was horrible and came on so sudden. My other dog ate the same food and seems to be okay, however she is much larger. I have spent almost 3 thousand dollars in 3 days and I have no answers. ...
I fed my dogs Purina One dry dog food and in November, within a few days of each other, my 2 beautiful babies were both being treated for kidney failure. Our vet could not explain it, as they had both been healthy. After multiple hospital visits and treatments, November 27th I lost my beautiful .... Early Christmas morning, my once strong ...made his last visit to the emergency hospital. ...

More Purina reports here (the post is originally from the 2005 Purina recall, but the comments are from the past few months)

Beneful Dry Dog Food
Numerous reports at this site:
And even more reports here:
Attempts to get Beneful recalled here:
More info here:

California Natural (Natura Pet) (Added 6-9 1pm Email to PetFoodTracker)
I contacted them on March 22 to ask them if they had changed their formula for California Natural (Chicken and Rice) Dry Dog food. I have 3 golden retrievers and after opening a new bag one by one, all of them had diarrhea and 2 had vomiting. The 2 with the vomiting required vet care and the vet said it was something that they ate. I switched them all over to real chicken and rice and they were ok. I bought another bag of California Natural and when they all started to have diarrhea again, I pulled them off the California Natural and they are getting real chicken and rice.

More foods, comments and links will be posted as I have time...

Added: Looking for 'safe' foods? Check out .

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: