Associated Press Back To Vague, Misleading Info About Pet Food Recall

The Associated Press’ Dan Caterinicchia wrote an update to Federal and corporate reaction to the recent barrage of pet food and human product recalls. From what we can find, it’s the only story Caterinicchia has written related to the pet food recall and clearly shows how much information he’s missing.

If I get a little snarky, please forgive me.

WASHINGTON –U.S. companies and federal regulators appear to be ramping up efforts to address consumer concern about a spate of recalls on imports of everything from toothpaste to pet food.

Great! Awesome! Some real action. We’d love to know more!

Supermarket operators Supervalu and Safeway are posting signs in stores and giving workers talking points, while Winn-Dixie has a corporate team at the ready for any emerging tainted products issues.

Signs? Talking points? What about real change? Oh, I dunno, what about working with suppliers to ensure quality standards?

TV ads from Safeway and the maker of Tylenol emphasize quality control and inspection of their products while the Food & Drug Administration updated its Web site and shuffled its PR staff to deal with a crush of questions from the public.

No, seriously. Is there anything being done beyond public relations? Website updates don’t stop toxic imports. Trust me, we tried.

Yet the public’s growing concerns could trigger action. The FDA assigned nearly a third of its 21-member communications team for more than a month to address questions about the pet food recall.

When you mean “trigger action” you mean temporarily reassignments. So if there’s an arsonist on the loose, the fire department’s “action” should be temporarily reassigning people to answer 911 calls? Dan, how are they going to actually stop the problem?

Reader alert: The next paragraph might just make your head explode.

The deaths of dozens of dogs and cats nationwide have been linked to imported pet food containing Chinese wheat gluten tainted with the chemical melamine. (Emphasis ours.)

How many times have dozens of reputable sources said it’s not dozens, but thousands of deaths? Oregon alone reported dozens of deaths. Dan Caterinicchia, we are sorely disappointed in your ability to Google. And it’s not just melamine, or just wheat gluten. Tsk. Tsk.

The FDA also started holding twice-a-week teleconferences, partly because it does not have money for national media ads.

This should be past tense. Held. They ended the calls weeks ago while the tainted pet food and melamine continued to expand into the human food supply. Did you get a chance to talk to Andrew Bridges? The other AP writer who’s been covering the pet food recall who was also on these calls?

“We rarely spend that much time with the media on a single issue … but it was evolving and a press release was not adequate,” said FDA spokesman Doug Arbesfeld.

Maybe the FDA should spend more time on issues of life and death.

More than 5 million people visited a Web site dedicated to the issue in April alone and consumers appear to trust the agency’s information since its recall pages routinely top searches done using Google Inc.’s engine, Arbesfeld said.

Oh, so you do know how to Google. But I would not equate top Google ranking with trust.

Eden Prairie, Minn.-based Supervalu also has a toll-free number for consumers and posts press releases and other items to its Web site, she added.

Did this strategy work well? The FDA’s toll-free number was swamped for weeks. And I’m sure you know how easy it is to find those recall press releases. Wow. Press releases on a website. Kudos for Supervalu. Kudos.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission also works with Customs to identify products that need inspection, said Julie Vallese, a spokeswoman.

The CPSC has recalled roughly 270 products this year, about 60 percent of which were made in China. It has been working directly with Chinese manufacturers since 2005 to ensure they understand U.S. safety regulations and that “you can’t pick and choose when to adhere,” Vallese said.

Apparently they still have a long way to go.

“When the U.S. says you met that safety regulation, it’s not just lip service,” Vallese said, adding that the Chinese are paying more attention.

No, but when the FDA says no amount of melamine is acceptable, that is just lip service.

Here’s a link to the full article in all it’s critical thinking glory.

(Thanks E. Hamilton)

27 Responses to “Associated Press Back To Vague, Misleading Info About Pet Food Recall”

  1. E. Hamilton says:

    Associated press needs to hear from every pet parent that sloppy news is worse than no news. And that you are tired of crappy reporting.
    If they can’t tell the TRUTH then they can shut the FARK up.
    What use is a “news” agency that just repeats lies?
    That lying piece of crap from the FDA says the media is “misquoting” his lies, let the media know that a liar is calling THEM stupid!

    This is the NOT REALLY GOOD AT MY JOB reporters name
    Dan Caterinicchia
    and this is where you can tell the media how to get better at BEING the media! Or they can go down the drain with the poisoners, makes no nevermind to me.

  2. Jay says:

    Classic ma-roon material and I’ll have more to comment on.

    Meanwhile, boycott Priority brand at Safeway who does Menu with conscience. While my small town has only two major super markets, I have been able to cut my Safeway bill by 95%.

    The brand is PRIORITY and it killed my cat.

    Boycott Menu, regardless of where they hide.

    Secondly, boycott all members of PFI on general principles. Ethical producers — resign and announce that you have done it. They don’t exist for you anyway, but for the Menus, the DelMontes, the P&Gs, and the rest of their ilk. For some of you there may even be profit in being ethical and above the board.

  3. Trudy Jackson says:

    And the Chinese haven’t changed it’s ways one damn bit. I saw thid afternoon and tonight on TV how they are making dumplings out of cardboard. said people couldn’t really tell the difference. It was a dirty , filthy place with old plastic bowls that they were soaking the cardboard in. discusting.

  4. E. Hamilton says:

    NO member of the PFI can be trusted.
    Any pet food company that has EVER been a member of the PFI is PART OF THE COVER UP!
    They take YOUR money, under fraudulent claims and use YOUR money to screw you and every other pet parent!!
    If you buy ANY food from ANY member of the PFI then you ARE supporting the poisoners and the lies and the cover up.
    I understand that keeping your pets alive is a priority so if you must do it then call the 800 number ever day, several TIMES everyday and make it clear that the PFI is NOT acceptable to you and that you are looking for alternatives.

  5. Jay says:

    How about this –

    Excerpt: Chinese writer Zhou Qing has even produced a book that evokes “The Jungle.” His “What Kind of God,” a 2006 finalist for the Lettre Ulysses Award, tells of monstrous abuses: soy sauce bulked up with
    arsenic-tainted human hair; hormone-infused snack foods that grow facial
    hair on 6-year-old boys and breasts on 7-year-old girls; dangerous drugs
    fed to pigs to make their meat look better. Zhou’s book concludes:
    “While cracking down on the immediate perpetrators of food-safety
    incidents, it’s even more critical that we crack down on the officials
    who bear responsibility.”

    The only fly in the author’s ointment was that the Chinese government edited and removed a good portion of the truth before publication.

    Amen, no member of the PFI can be trusted, now or ever. To stay with that crowd after what they have done is nothing more than supporting poison for profit.

  6. Roberto P. says:

    I just left a message at 1-212-621-1500. AP is headquartered in Manhattan. Complained about this brainless wonder. Address and e-mail are on The press used to be free. What happened? Big business, government, or both seem to own them now.

  7. Billy Wiseman says:

    just thought you all would like to see #16 :+{

  8. Trudy Jackson says:

    Jay, Where did You find that book? I don’t see it anywhere.

  9. Roberto P. says:

    Trudy, there is an excerpt here:

  10. Kathy says:

    Page not found Roberto! Someone must still be watching and moving stuff on us.

  11. straybaby says:

    Snowman looks like he was a wonderful pup. Was he yours?

  12. Katie says:

    I’m thinking the companies, incl. Safeway are getting tired of the questions. I think they don’t want to see their business go to the organic and natural food stores. I think they want the public to see them caring and see them as a step above Wal-Mart and others like them. The FDA and USDA and gov’t lawmakers are probably starting to get tired of seeing the media running stories about food safety. Every night it’s something new, like last night’s story about cardboard. More people talking about their food and how safe it is. Not really what agribusiness wants from the public. They want us fat,happy and stupid. So they find some reporter willing to write their garbage. Try to make the general public feel secure.
    Hopefully we will keep the “real” story as front page news.
    Keep telling your friends, co-workers, strangers in the stores about bad food. Keep pestering the media and grocery store managers with your questions. It’s time for the FDA and media to be honest.


  13. E. Hamilton says:

    Kathy, they are still watching but so what? It just PROVES that the FDA and the pet food companies KNEW the right thing to do, we told them. I have no idea why their Mama’s did not teach them how to do the right thing, or why their Daddy’s neglected to teach them the meaning of truth and honor, but the fact remains, the right thing is what they CHOSE NOT TO DO.
    I hope when this goes to court that the parents who failed to teach these subhumans how to behave are held up for public contempt.

    Some of these people who sold poison and lied about it have children, scary thought, and I think these children are always going to have something nasty to throw in the face of the liars. Values are going to be a tough sale in THAT household.

    How are you supposed to tell a kid to respect you when you lie and steal by fraud and kill pets? Even a new car won’t make up for peers calling your Dad a puppy killer. When your teen friends call your Mom a poisoner, and it is TRUE, how fun is that?

    Even worse, these people are STUPID.

    So, PFI and pet food company spies, how stupid are you? Are you so stupid you think your kids don’t use the internet?

  14. Ruth says:

    Has anyone found any weird stuff in Milk Bones?? Found in new box: Black thick hairs of unkown origin. Can only guess. Funny not listed on box as an ingredient.
    Will have to find a recipe for home-made dog bones for daughters pets.

    So I hope the Del Monte trolls are reading this.

  15. E. Hamilton says:

    Ruth says:
    July 13th, 2007 at 11:56 pm

    Probably just rendered pets from the ones that died in April, dilution factor should make it safe enough to feed any member of the PFI.
    I hear Duane likes em a lot.

    There was some TV show that sent peanuts to the network?
    Maybe we should send little packages of the hairy milkbones and plastic flecked kibble and poison canned food and the totally nasty pouches to someone?

    Maybe China wants it back?

  16. Ruth says:

    I was watching the news and saw that China is being over-run by rats due to the recent flooding problems. They have over 2 millions rats and having a hard time getting rid of them. And many more soon to follow.

    Maybe Menu Foods could send them the tainted pet food and they could use it as bait for rats. Good way to get rid of the pet food don’t you think? So listen up….Menu Foods and PFI. And Del Monte….(send your disgusting Milk Bones too.)
    (Sorry for being snarky)
    Its been 4 months 3 days since my Marley died. Still miss her very much.

  17. Jenny Bark says:

    I’m so sorry. We lost an Eskie too, our beautiful Misty. We also lost our beautful Roxy she was a mixed breed but we loved her just as much. We love all our babies but no one replaces another. I believe we will all be together again. I believe our babies go to heaven and waite for us.

  18. ~Martha~ says:

    Methinks this article is not “sloppy journalism” at all. It has to be a deliberate attempt to mislead, and cover-up. Now who would pay a writer to do such a thing? Not hard to figure that one out IMO.

  19. Roberto P. says:

    Sorry that didn’t work. This one worked about a second ago.
    It accesses an excerpt of “What Kind of God” about China’s food problems.

  20. Pukanuba says:

    I always believed in the premium dog foods & also the treats……until all this happened. I threw out a whole box of Milk Bones & whenever my dog is out with me & somebody offers a Milk Bone, I tell them very politely that I’d rather she didn’t have any treats (sort of a fib but I don’t know what else to say & keep the conversation polite……) I believe that those biscuits are made in the same place Ol Roy biscuits are made…..OR were recalled, the others were not. However, that was enough for me to throw the box away & never again will my dog eat one.

    I had just a few “safe” foods that I figured I could feed my dog…..just a little, while the rest is home cooked…..until the latest results with one of the pf I felt was THE safest. That was it for me. No more commercial pf, whether they belong to PFI or not, don’t trust any of them. I think there is still a problem with all the commercial food so they can keep their crap & I will give my dog wholesome food…..the stuff I eat.

  21. Trudy Jackson says:

    Please read Robertos’ ulr. It’s the most discusting thing ever. and i googled What kind of god and found more gross things. there’s tons of things on what He writes and on china. You really should read it. What Kind Of God by Zhou Qing.

  22. Garyn says:

    Veggie Booty, a childrens snack has now sickened 61 children in 19 states. It is reported that the seasoning sourced from China was tainted with salmonella.

    Also, scroll down and read the blog entry “The world is a dangerous place to eat”

    It is reported that China shipped goods to the US worth a total of $288 billion in 2006 and India’s exports were valued at only $22 billion and yet more products were rejected from India than China.

    I guess Mr. Caterinicchia missed this one. The Chinese are certainly not paying attention to anything.

  23. ~Martha~ says:

    Can we really think this was just “sloppy journalism”? Might it be he was paid quite well to write an untrue//half-true/misleading piece as a coverup attempt by someone? Now who would do that I wonder? And why?

  24. Garyn says:

    China halts imports of US meats from top producers Tyson, Cargill, Sanderson and others.

  25. 3FURS says:

    Pukanuba, I cannot be polite. The meter reader came today and he loves my dog, so he passed her a Milk Bone through the fence. I shouted NO !! and the dog dropped the bone, which I passed back to the man. He was aware of the pet food recalls, but he said Milk Bones are still good. Well we a lengthy disussion on the fact that ALL processed pet food is poison.

  26. pam says:

    my opinion of the ap has changed. i thought they printed the news, not fairy tales.

  27. Captn'Carl says:

    It’s the news media after all - whaddya expect? Truth, Clarity, Honest reporting? Hah! Wake up!

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