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Author Topic: Pet Deaths Prompt Recall of Pet Food  (Read 4071 times)
Soldier4Christ
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« on: March 22, 2007, 10:18:31 AM »

A major manufacturer of dog and cat food sold under Wal-Mart, Safeway, Kroger and other store brands recalled 60 million containers of wet pet food Friday after reports of kidney failure and deaths.

An unknown number of cats and dogs suffered kidney failure and about 10 died after eating the affected pet food, Menu Foods said in announcing the North American recall. Product testing has not revealed a link explaining the reported cases of illness and death, the company said.

"At this juncture, we're not 100 percent sure what's happened," said Paul Henderson, the company's president and chief executive officer.

The recall covers the company's "cuts and gravy" style food, which consists of chunks of meat in gravy, sold in cans and small foil pouches between Dec. 3 and March 6. The pet food was sold by stores operated by the Kroger Company, Safeway Inc., Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and PetSmart Inc., among others, Henderson said.

Menu Foods did not immediately provide a full list of brand names and lot numbers covered by the recall, saying they would be posted on its Web site—http://www.menufoods.com/recall —early Saturday. Consumers with questions can call (800) 551-7392.

The company said it manufacturers for 17 of the top 20 North American retailers. It is also a contract manufacturer for the top branded pet food companies. Its three U.S. and one Canadian factory produce more than 1 billion containers of wet pet food a year. The recall covers pet food made at company plants in Emporia, Kan., and Pennsauken, N.J., Henderson said.

Henderson said the company received an undisclosed number of owner complaints of vomiting and kidney failure in dogs and cats after they had been fed its products. It has tested its products but not found a cause for the sickness.

"To date, the tests have not indicated any problems with the product," Henderson said.

The company alerted the Food and Drug Administration, which already has inspectors in one of the two plants, Henderson said. The FDA was working to nail down brand names covered by the recall, agency spokesman Mike Herndon said.

Menu Foods is majority owned by the Menu Foods Income Fund, based in Ontario, Canada.

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Brother Jerry
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« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2007, 03:20:59 PM »

They have found the cause.  A drug that is used as rat poison in some overseas countries.

"The toxin was identified as aminopterin, which is used to kill rats in some countries, state Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker said. Aminopterin is not registered for killing rodents in the United States, though it is used as a cancer drug, according to the Environmental Protection Agency." - Fox News

I have also seen reports on where they think it came from China, but by what I have seen that is more rumor than anything substantiated.
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Soldier4Christ
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« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2007, 03:32:42 PM »

Hmmm  ..... doesn't sound good. I can understand things like salmonella getting into fresh food supplies but how does such a thing as this "accidentally" get into pets food? I look forward to seeing that explanation. It will probably end up being an accidental spilling that wasn't reported.

If I understood right it is primarily from food that comes to the U.S. from Canadian pet food suppliers. Perhaps they use the chemical there as rat poison??

From what I've heard it is only in the moist prepared foods. I'm glad that I'm an advocate of using dry foods only for my dog.

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Brother Jerry
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« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2007, 03:46:38 PM »

Yes it has been only moist canned foods.  I too use dry for the dog.  The only moist food she gets is the table scraps....and her belly shows she gets plenty of that Cheesy
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« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2007, 03:52:32 PM »

lol ... I can understand that. Mine gets fed table scraps by my wife, then me and he really gets a feast when the grandkids come around, which is quite frequent. Anything that hits the floor when they're here is fair game to him.

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« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2007, 04:34:39 PM »

LOL yeah pretty much...come dinner time we do not have a dog...we have a goat.
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I am unlike most fathers.  What I would like my children to have more of is crowns to lay at Jesus feet.
Soldier4Christ
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« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2007, 04:48:04 PM »

and vacuum cleaner, mop and dish washer all in one.

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« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2007, 03:05:40 AM »

The number of deaths is fairly small, but the number of painful illnesses for life are getting pretty high. I couldn't stand the thought of putting a dog through long-term pain. I really doubt that many people could stand watching something like kidney failure in a dog. It would also lead to many other problems that would all involve pain. So, I would imagine that many of these dogs will be put to sleep and out of their misery. This is also hard to do with an old friend who is best well-known for giving love and companionship.

My one remaining little buddy will be 16 soon. We were pretty happy that we fed him only dry dog food, but mainly table scraps. I did notice that many expensive brands were involved, including brands that are usually fed to working dogs like police dogs. I haven't heard yet about our dogs on the police department, but the impact could be horrible in police services. Overall investments in each dog is usually well over $50,000 after the training. They are worth their weight in gold, and the same can be said for many other kinds of working dogs used in rescues, for the blind, in airports, and all kinds of critical jobs that dogs perform every day. Most people would be absolutely amazed to find out how important dogs are. My poor little old man doesn't do anything except give unconditional love, and a value can't be placed on this.

In short, this is a very sad story. In like recent stories, we should also remember that our own food supply is less and less safe. Food that is cooked at high temperatures appears to be the most safe. At the same time, there are many changes in various kinds of illness and disease, some of which we thought were eradicated long ago. STOP sometime, think, take a look around, and start noticing how many things are getting worse and worse. Are we receiving a HINT of some sort?
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« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2007, 09:47:19 AM »

I would think so. I hadn't thought about all the service dogs involved. That would have a big impact on things.

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« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2007, 08:37:23 PM »

I have 2 cats (although I'm a dog lover....used to have a Shiz Tzu who died of old age)....I was glad to read Whiskas is safe.  My cats love the dry Whiskas, and only one of them will eat moist food (Friskies....and only certain flavors!).  I also checked the food list for a friend who is moving and had her internet disconnected.   She feeds her dog Pedigree and that is safe as well.
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« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2007, 11:26:30 PM »

FDA testing reveals chemical in pet food 
Government lab did not confirm presence of rat poison

Recalled pet foods contained a chemical used to make plastics, but government tests failed to confirm the presence of rat poison, federal officials said Friday.

The Food and Drug Administration said it found melamine in samples of the Menu Foods pet food, as well as in wheat gluten used as an ingredient. Cornell University scientists also have found the chemical, sometimes used as a fertilizer, in the urine of sick cats, as well as in the kidney of one cat that died after eating the company's wet food.

Menu Foods recalled 60 million containers of cat and dog food earlier this month after animals died of kidney failure after eating the Canadian company's products. It is not clear how many pets may have been poisoned by the apparently contaminated food, although anecdotal reports suggest hundreds if not thousands have died. The FDA alone has received more than 8,000 complaints.

The new finding comes a week after scientists at the New York State Food Laboratory identified a rat poison and cancer drug called aminopterin as the likely culprit in the pet food. The FDA said it could not confirm that finding.

New York officials have detected melamine as well, though it's not clear how that chemical would have poisoned pets. It's typically used to produce plastic kitchen wares, though it's apparently used as a fertilizer in Asia, said Stephen F. Sundlof, director of the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine.

New York remained confident in its aminopterin finding, said Patrick Hooker, commissioner of the New York state Department of Agriculture and Markets. Hooker added that neither aminopterin nor melamine should be in pet food, but that it was unclear why the latter substance would be poisonous to the cats in which it was found.

"While we have no doubt that melamine is present in the recalled pet food, there is not enough known data on the mammalian toxicity levels of melamine to conclude it could cause illness and deaths in cats. With little existing data, many questions still remain as to the connection between the illnesses and what has caused them," Hooker said.

The recall involved nearly 100 brands of "cuts and gravy" style dog and cat food made by Menu Foods. The recall covered products carrying names of major brand-name and private-label products sold throughout North America.

The apparently melamine-contaminated wheat gluten also was shipped to an unnamed company that manufactures dry pet food. The FDA is attempting to determine if that product, imported from China, was used to make any pet food, Sundlof said. There is no risk to human food, he told reporters.

Menu Foods used wheat gluten, a source of vegetable protein, to thicken the gravy of its pet foods, FDA officials have said.

Menu Foods spokesman Sam Bornstein did not know whether company testing had found melamine in its products. The company planned a press conference later Friday.
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« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2007, 02:01:21 PM »

Pet Food Recall Grows to Include Dry Products


The recall of wet and dry pet foods contaminated with a chemical found in plastics and pesticides expanded Saturday to include a new brand even as investigators were puzzled why the substance would kill dogs and cats.

Nestle Purina PetCare Co. said it was recalling all sizes and varieties of its Alpo Prime Cuts in Gravy wet dog food with specific date codes. Purina said a limited amount of the food contained a contaminated wheat gluten from China.

The same U.S. supplier also provided wheat gluten, a protein source, to a Canadian company, Menu Foods, which this month recalled 60 million containers of wet dog and cat food it produces for sale under nearly 100 brand labels.

Menu Foods and the Food and Drug Administration, which regulates the pet food industry, have refused to identify the company that supplied the contaminated wheat gluten.

Hill's Pet Nutrition said late Friday that its Prescription Diet m/d Feline dry cat food included the tainted wheat gluten. The FDA said the source was the same unidentified company. Hill's, a division of Colgate-Palmolive Co., is so far the only company to recall any dry pet food.

Federal testing of some recalled pet foods and the wheat gluten used in their production turned up the chemical melamine. Melamine is used to make kitchenware and other plastics. It is both a contaminant and byproduct of several pesticides, including cyromazine, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Melamine is toxic only in very high doses and has been shown in rats to produce bladder tumors, according to the EPA.

The federal pet food testing failed to confirm the presence of aminopterin, a cancer drug also used as rat poison, the FDA said. Cornell University scientists also found melamine in the urine of sick cats, as well as in the kidney of one cat that died after eating some of the recalled food.

Earlier, the New York State Food Laboratory identified aminopterin as the likely culprit in the pet food. But the FDA said it could not confirm that finding, nor have researchers at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey when they looked at tissue samples taken from dead cats.

Experts at the University of Guelph in Canada detected aminopterin in some samples of the recalled pet food, but only in very small percentages.

''Biologically, that means nothing. It wouldn't do anything,'' said Grant Maxie, a veterinary pathologist at the university. ''This is a puzzle.''

The FDA was working to rule out the possibility that the contaminated wheat gluten could have made it into any human food.

Menu Foods announced the recall this month after animals died of kidney failure after eating the company's products.

An FDA official allowed that it was not immediately clear whether the melamine was the culprit. The agency's investigation continues, said Stephen F. Sundlof, director of the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine.

Menu Foods said the only certainty was that imported wheat gluten was the likely source of the deadly contamination, even if the actual contaminant remained in doubt.

''The important point today is that the source of the adulteration has been identified and removed from our system,'' said Paul Henderson, Menu Foods chief executive officer and president. Henderson suggested his company would pursue legal action against the supplier.

About 70 percent of the wheat gluten used in the United States for human and pet food is imported from the European Union and Asia, according to the Pet Food Institute, an industry group.

One veterinarian suggested the international sourcing of ingredients would force the U.S. ''to come to grips with a reality we had not appreciated.''

''When you change from getting an ingredient from the supplier down the road to a supplier from around the globe, maybe the methods and practices that were effective in one situation need to be changed,'' said Tony Buffington, a professor of veterinary clinical sciences at Ohio State University.

Sundlof said the agency may change how it regulates the pet food industry.

''In this case, we're going to have to look at this after the dust settles and determine if there is something from a regulatory standpoint that we could have done differently to prevent this incident from occurring,'' he said.

For further information on current recall list:

http://www.menufoods.com/recall/product_dog.html

http://www.menufoods.com/recall/product_cat.html

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« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2007, 03:53:59 PM »

I thought we had massive stock piles of excess wheat, so I find it hard to understand why we would be importing anything to do with wheat.

I just ate some whole wheat triscuits, so this was a bad time for you to mention this might have gotten into human food supplies also.   Shocked
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« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2007, 04:33:07 PM »

Menu Foods is in Canada where wheat is not as prevalent as it is in the U.S. I am sure that they also import some from the U.S. also.

Most of the foods that we have in our grocery stores here in the U.S. for human consumption is from U.S. sources not from China.

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« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2007, 05:52:59 AM »

Pet food recall expands to include dog biscuits
FDA says product sold by Wal-Mart made with imported Chinese wheat gluten

The recall of pet foods and treats contaminated with an industrial chemical expanded Thursday to include dog biscuits made by an Alabama company and sold by Wal-Mart under the Ol'Roy brand.

The Food and Drug Administration said the manufacturer, Sunshine Mills Inc., is recalling dog biscuits made with imported Chinese wheat gluten. Testing has revealed the wheat gluten, a protein source, was contaminated with melamine, used to make plastics and other industrial products.

Also Thursday, Menu Foods, a major manufacturer of brand- and private-label wet pet foods expanded its original recall to include a broader range of dates and varieties. Menu Foods was the first of at least six companies to recall the now more than 100 brands of pet foods and treats made with the contaminated ingredient.

The recall now covers ''cuts and gravy''-style products made between Nov. 8 and March 6, Menu Foods said. Previously, it applied only to products made beginning Dec. 3. In addition, Menu Foods said it was expanding the recall to include more varieties, but no new brands.

The FDA knows of no other pet product companies planning recalls, agency officials told reporters.

''Other than that, I think, you know, the public should feel secure in purchasing pet foods that are not subject to the recall,'' Stephen Sundlof, director of the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine, told reporters.

Sunshine, of Red Bay, Ala., sells pet foods and treats under its own brands as well as private labels sold by Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Kmart, Longs Drug Stores Corp. and Stater Bros. Markets. The recall included specific brands like Wal-Mart's Ol'Roy, as well as a portion of Sunshine's own Nurture, Lassie and Pet Life dog biscuit brands.

Previously, Menu Foods had recalled some wet-style dog foods it made for sale under the Stater Bros. and Ol'Roy brands as well.

Sunshine said there have been no reports of dog illnesses or deaths in connection with the recalled dog biscuits, which contain 1 percent or less wheat gluten by weight.

The FDA continues to focus on melamine as the suspected contaminant of the pet products, though Sundlof said it could be a marker for the presence of another, not yet known substance. Melamine previously was not believed to be toxic.

Late Thursday, the FDA said 21 pet food samples obtained from consumers tested positive for melamine.

The recall is one of the largest pet food recalls in history, Sundlof said. The FDA has received more than 12,000 complaints but has confirmed only about 15 pet deaths. Anecdotal reports suggest the tally is in the hundreds or low thousands.

Sunshine Mills said it would post a complete list of the recalled dog biscuits on its Web site, http://www.sunshinemills.com.

The FDA last week blocked wheat gluten imports from the Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development Co. in the eastern city of Xuzhou, saying they contained melamine. A Las Vegas importer, ChemNutra Inc., this week recalled all wheat gluten it had bought from the supplier and in turn distributed to pet food manufacturers.

Xuzhou Anying has said it is investigating the claims.

Also Thursday, the FDA warned consumers not to give American Bullie A.B. Bull Pizzle Puppy Chews and Dog Chews to their pets. The FDA said salmonella could contaminate the dog treats, made and distributed by T.W. Enterprises of Ferndale, Wash.
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