FDA May Have Delayed Critical Recall Info, More Recalls Possible

FDAThis single USA Today article yielded some snippets of good information:

  • More pet-food makers could join the four that have already recalled cat and dog food
  • Melamine … may be a marker for something else in the gluten.
  • It took Nestlé four hours to trace that the wheat gluten…

The first two are disturbing enough, but wait, it only took Nestle four hours to figure out that ALPO was tainted? So that implies that either the FDA or Nestle sat on the info for possibly 2 weeks. We’re leaning towards the FDA.

With the Chinese supplier named in the media, it likely means that the FDA is investigating whether the tainted wheat gluten came from another source. We have one lead for you.

12 Responses to “FDA May Have Delayed Critical Recall Info, More Recalls Possible”

  1. CatLady says:

    According to the original Purina press release: “The Company is taking this voluntary action after learning today that wheat gluten containing melamine, a substance not approved for use in food, was provided to Purina by the same company that also supplied Menu Foods.” I’m not an apologist for the pet food companies in all of this, but if Purina’s statement is true, Purina was not notified by the FDA until Friday. The FDA was talking to Menu for 13 days, and Menu knew who the supplier was. I bet they weren’t hiding that information from the FDA. Why didn’t the FDA at least communicate to other potential customers of the wheat gluten and let them know that their grain may be suspect? They let these companies continue to manufacture food with the grain, let the food continue to be in the supply chain, be purchased at stores, etc. Unneccessary deaths should be laid at the feet of the FDA for that kind of delay… and for the continued coverup of the still-unnamed supplier, whose other customers can’t make informed choices about whether to continue to do business with them.

  2. Pat says:

    Wouldn’t it be nice if the FDA was as worried about contamination of human grade foodstuffs (wheat gluten) as they seem to be about whether or not our coffee is “organic enough”?

    http://www.salon.com/mwt/food/.....e_organic/

    (You don’t need to buy a subscription to read the article - you can just click on “Site Pass” and view the ad)

  3. 4lgdfriend says:

    This is a broad coverup by big manufacturers extending into the media. Shamefully, NPR is reporting the corporate spin. This morning 4/3 around 8am they ran a spot (story link unavailable at npr.org) still repeating FDA#s in teens, commenting that there is no proof melamine was the cause. Could melamine have made it into human food? They can’t say for sure, but they trust anything made by a big company is safe.
    Isn’t that nice, isn’t that comforting, isn’t that responsible reporting????

    This is better: http://www.npr.org/templates/s.....Id=9307862 Trading Canned pet Food for Home Cooking

  4. Pet Connection Blog » Pet-food recall: Canaries in the coal mine? says:

    […] USA Today warns that more foods could yet be recalled as the tainted wheat gluten continues to be traced, and that the case is far from closed on what caused the deaths. Blogger Terrierman takes a look at what exactly wheat gluten is and where you might find it. Our friend at Itchmo points to more FDA “Heckuva Job, Brownie” work that may have left pet-food companies as in the dark as we were. […]

  5. Steve says:

    What they aren’t saying is a class action is what will hit a corporate giant where it hurts.

    April 2 Chicago Tribune
    Owners suing for compensation in poisonings

    By Mary Ann Fergus
    Tribune staff reporter
    Published April 2, 2007

    “In the federal class-action lawsuits filed against Menu Foods, a judge eventually will have to decide which underlying state law applies. Most of the contaminated food was made in Menu’s plant in Emporia, Kan., according to the federal Food and Drug Administration.”

    Menu Foods Kansas Plant Resumes Operations
    April 2nd, 2007

    Menu Foods let the Emporia, Kansas, plant continue to produce food after the recall. It then closed down this plant temporarily. Menu Foods originally stated that the plant would be closed for no more than 3 days, but it looks like it took more than a week. There isn’t any information about how they decontaminated the plant or even if it was required, but it’s clear that they have restarted making food.

    Itcmo

  6. Evy says:

    A response to your post from The Dog Food Project about the issue of menadione in pet food is needed to educate already confused consumers. While I am sure their website is well intentioned, the inerrancy of their claims specific to menadione need to be challenged. The Dog Food Project has become a widely used resource of information that presents ‘facts’ that are actually false.

    In their post attacking BLUE BUFFALO PET FOOD, they state “it would be nice if we could rely on all companies at least being familiar with the AAFCO manual.”

    If the author of The Dog Food Project would refer to page 355 of the 2007 AAFCO manual, they would see that three forms of menadione are approved ingredients in pet food. The Dog Food Project stating “the effectivity of menadione on blood clotting is inferior” is a blatant example that they are lacking knowledge in the science of nutrition.

    ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    *The best known function of vitamin K is its role in the blood clotting mechanism. Specifically, it is required for the liver’s synthesis of prothrombin and the other clotting factors in the liver. It appears that vitamin K has a similar role in the activation of other proteins that contain glutamic acid residues in bone and kidney tissue. page 35

    *Vitamin K deficiency signs include the development of gastric ulcers, increased coagulation times, and decrease the serum concentrations of vitamin k-dependent clotting factors. page 123

    *Source: Canine and Feline Nutrition, A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals (2000)

    *Case, Carey, Hirakawa, Daristotle

    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Vitamin K

    Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin. The “K” is derived from the German word “koagulation”. Coagulation refers to blood clotting, because vitamin K is essential for the functioning of several proteins involved in blood clotting (1).

    1. Brody T. Nutritional Biochemistry. 2nd ed. San Diego: Academic Press; 1999.

    http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/inf...../vitaminK/

    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    A deficiency of vitamin K results in prolonged blood clotting time, generalized hemorrhages and death in severe cases. Often, subcutaneous hemorrhages appear over the body surface, giving a blotchy, bluish, mottled appearance to the skin. The clotting time of the blood is a good index of vitamin K status. A normal clotting time of a few seconds may be extended to several minutes in vitamin K deficient animals. page 242

    Source: Basic Animal Nutrition and Feeding (1995)

    W. G. Pond, Ph.D, Research Animal Scientist; D. C. Church. Ph.D, Professor Emeritus, Department of Animal Science, K. R. Pond, Ph.D, Professor, Department of Animal Science

    __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    The U.S. Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) for an Adequate Intake (AI) for a 25-year old male for Vitamin K is 120 micrograms/day. No Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) has been set.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_K

    __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    With not much time to work with, I easily sourced these indications that the claims made by The Dog Food Project about menadione (a safe form of Vitamin K) are scientifically in error.

    I am sure that the NRC, the FDA and AAFCO would all be interested in substantive scientific data from studies done on animals to support their claims on the side effects of menadione in animals. To date and to their collective knowledge, none have been established.

    I write in defense of all pet food companies that wisely use menadione as allowed by AAFCO in the formulation of pet food. I would especially like the reputation of BLUE BUFFALO PET FOOD to be defended and protected. I also offer a scientific response from my nutritionist concerning the issue of menadione and I hope that you provide this information along with The Dog Food Project post on your site to provide people who have already read their post and need to be reassured.

    Evy Serpa

    President

    Kumpi Pet Foods

    Hello to all…”The Facts About Vitamin K”

    Vitamin K is only found in any substantive amount in a few natural ingredients. Most of those ingredients are dark green leafy vegetables like spinach. These aren’t good ingredient choices for cats or dogs as a viable dependable source of Vitamin K. It is true that in most cases with cats or dogs they don’t experience a shortage of Vitamin K intake. From time to time a Vitamin K deficiency is an issue with different individual animals, especially cats. Especially if someone is feeding cats fish (like tuna or other fish) mixed with their food. A cat food with an inclusion rate of over 25% fish of the daily food actually requires Vitamin K to be added to the food according to AAFCO’s 2007 Official Publication.

    When you supplement a vitamin into a food it is essential that the source of the vitamin be safe, is approved by AAFCO and the FDA, is stable and dependable as a digestible source of the vitamin. The Vitamin K source (Menadione Dimethylpryimidinol) used in Kumpi and many other reputable pet food companies, is a common and safe form of Vitamin K that is approved for use in animal foods by AAFCO and is listed in their latest 2007 publication as an approved and safe source of the vitamin as it has been for over a decade.

    For marketing reasons and to set themselves apart, some companies don’t use certain ingredients, like Menadione Dimethylpyrimidinol Bisufite (source of Vitamin K), to make their products seem safer or superior. Some don’t use it since it is difficult to battle against online information that would cause customers to not purchase their products.

    There are not any real problems that have ever been reported to my knowledge which were attributed in a scientific or factual way to problems with cats or dogs receiving the normal feed levels of this common Vitamin K source.

    A VERY MINOR level (far less than 1%) of this ingredient needs to be added to the food. It’s not a poison with hideous side effects. It is a vitamin source, common, safe, approved by AAFCO and the FDA. When fed at appropriate levels, like it is in Kumpi pet food and other companies, it has caused no problems in any animals fed over a period of many years.

    If a prepared feed product is improperly formulated or manufactured your pets can get too much of any nutrient. The inclusion of too much Vitamin A, D, K etc. or numerous minerals like zinc, copper, iron etc. and many other nutrients is potentially terrible or deadly. That is why you need to find a food company that you trust and stick with them. There are many companies that care very much about your canine and feline family members. We are formulating for longevity, high immune response and using overall advanced nutrients from safe sources.

    THE WELL BEING OF DOGS AND CATS WOULD BE BETTER OFF WITHOUT ALL THE COMPLETELY IRRESPONSIBLE RAMBLINGS OF A FEW WELL MEANING BUT TERRIBLY MISINFORMED INDIVIDUALS THAT ARE WRITING ON SOME OF THE WEB SITES.

    The bottom line is Vitamin K is a vital nutrient for cats. It could be important for dogs too, but that hasn’t even been studied enough to know the total truth, so we use a tiny amount even in the dog food to be sure we don’t have a deficiency of vitamin K. Cats can suffer from a deficiency of this nutrient which sometimes is brought on by too much fish being in the overall diet.

    It’s much easier and cheaper to leave Vitamin K out of a food than put in an exacting amount. Whoever wrote that Vitamin K is a cheap additive, dangerous and needless by animals in general is totally misinformed.

    Concerning feline vitamin nutrition it is more intelligent to use an appropriate level of supplementation of Vitamin K in the highest quality food. That way you are assured of not having a deficiency, ever. You rarely need to worry about vitamin excess either – most nutritionists have more sense than that. I am a multi-species animal nutritionist with over 35 years experience and I love dogs, cats and many other animal species. I have devoted my entire career to the nutritional betterment of all species through good nutrition.

    The alleged information that a Vitamin K source can be harmful in dogs and cats, when it is included in the AAFCO 2007 Official Publication as a safe and appropriate source of Vitamin K is totally misinformed. If AAFCO thought for one second that adding this vitamin K source or any other nutrient posed a danger they would issue an IMMEDIATE EMERGENCY NOTICE concerning that issue. It is unwise to underestimate how much is being done to make sure pet foods are wholesome and safe by AAFCO.

    Stick to the facts folks. Don’t get nutritional advice from people who aren’t animal nutritionists. When you need to know whose product to trust, don’t dive off the deep end into a pool of false truths that take you and your pets nutrition program on a terrible and potentially harmful ride.

    Mark Urbanosky

    Nutritionist, Kumpi Pet Foods

  7. 4lgdfriend says:

    about the menadione: An unfortunate side effect of a lot of reading is a growing suspicion and mistrust of industry paps like the AAFCO. I’ve grown so weary of reading their tripe and the information reputing it that
    red flags go up to their “safe” labels every time I see or hear them. And especially if the substance has been labelled safe for over a decade. A lot of information on safety of substances has changed in the last decade. And probably the tip of the iceberg of what should change. I really don’t know how i could feel completely safe feeding my pet anymore. Even with constant reading there’s always something new coming to light. That’s good I guess. and it’s good that manufacturers are held up to scrutiny.
    Even so, I plan to continue to implement homemade alternatives to commercial petfood. And I applaud responsible petfood manufacturers who are willing to dialog with consumers using facts. There is much to be done. Hopefully increased attention and dialog can accomplish some change.

  8. 4lgdfriend says:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/4/3/112836/8000
    ” I think it is highly possible we have not yet found all the contaminents.

    I was just now trying to decipher, using the FDA tutorial guide, the codes the FDA has in the #99- 26 Alert, which importers use to identify substances by code, there are three:

    product codes
    02F [ ] [ ] 08
    02E [ ] [ ] 06
    71M [ ] [ ] 01

    The numbers and letters stand for five things, Industry, Class, Subclass, Process Indication Code, and Product. So by looking at the first number, we see 02, 02, and 71, which is milled grains, milled grains, and Byproducts for Animal foods, respectively.

    So 2 of the codes are for food grade (human consumption) wheat gluten, E and F, but the third one is for Industry number 71, Byproducts, class M, which is not found in Byproducts Indusry 71. What is “M?” The FDA has also left blank spaces in the code numbers for these three batches of material it is searching for, there is supposed to be a series of 5 letters and numbers, and there is only 3, with 2 blank spaces left in the middle, which would help pinpoint more specifically.

    This is extremely suspicious behavior on the part of the FDA, based on what I have read in Susan Hu’s diary from yesterday on the FDA’s drop in product inspections. I believe they may know more about the wheat gluten’s whereabouts than they are currently admitting to publically. And now let me speculate that indeed this gluten MIGHT be in the human food chain, and the FDA does not want to set off a stampede of paniced consumers.”

  9. Kristina Best says:

    Our dogs ate Exclusive till my, now deceased, dog started having vomitting and diarrhea. My other dog just vomittng. When taken to the vet, as well as the animal hospital my dogs were given nothing but many antibiotics; injections as well as oral meds to ease stomach and intestinal distress. Well after none of this worked Hollace died suddenly. When I took him to the emergency vet they said that it looked like he died from a tumor of the spleen which bled into his abdomen. Prabably cancerous.They could not explain the vomitting and diarrhea. These syptoms, that occured prior to his death did not Jive with his probable cause of death, Hemangiosarcoma. The Doctors said so. Also when I looked up cancers of the spleen, the symptoms were not that in which Hollace had. My other dog has not vommited much since I changed from that dogfood. Which leads me to the next question: If Exclusive dogfood had something to do with Hollace’s death and was not on the list… need I say more!

  10. joe Romano says:

    I contacted Nestle-Purina on March 26,2007.I faxed to their ST.Louis Food Processing Guru-Lynda My Dog Mittens “Cremation Certificate”,January 2007,along with The Vet.Invoices,Renal Failure,ALPOPrimeCutsandSlicesReceipts from December 2006,and January 2007.Ialso faxed the NYAgricultural Report of the “Rat Poison”,and Informed her of the Wheat Gluet. Situation that She,and Nestle-Purina WERE NOT AWARE OF!The Recall was Posted.Nestle Purina FOOD PROCESSING GURU-LYNDA PERSONALLY CALLED ME ON SATURDAY EVENING 3/31/07,to Inform me that there Was Melomine in a FEBRUARY SHIPMENT to their NEBRASKA plant.THE FIRST time NESTLE-PURINA ordered Their Wheat Gleut.,from that Supplier.www.purina.com.I see INTERNATIONAL Countries Affiliated with this ALPO Company.China Is Listed.As are other countries that I am sure use the RAT POISON that the FDA does not even inspect these shipments or Tests it.WWW.fda.gov.

  11. tal says:

    The FDA has been corrupt since shortly after its birth. You can read the whole sordid story online in Harvey Wiley’s book “THE HISTORY OF A CRIME AGAINST THE FOOD LAW”
    http://www.soilandhealth.org/0.....05toc.html

    We need to take back our power

  12. joe Romano says:

    To add to the Nestle-Purina issue.WWW.petconnection.com listed comments from people that found that :in 1999,and 2000 The European Union,and a Organization filed Malpractice V.Nestle Co.,Concerning BABY FORMULA,that was tainted.UNICEF ,also had Issues with Nestle in 2000,according to the person who wrote to pet connection in March 2007.The “Chills”,ran down my neck when I read that ;ALL 230,000 Nestle Employees were not available to comment.
    To Re-Cap: January 2007 Alpo is fed to dog,dog goes to Doctor.Dog Dies of RENAL FAILURE! Dog is CREMATED in January 2007.Nestle ASSURES me that it WAS a FEBRUARY SHIPMENT!
    Babies,Dog,”Mighty Dog”,”ALPO PRIME CUTS “,Recall,….FDA commisioner currently being investigated????Who is watching the Store?


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