For many pet parents, this falls under the “Are you kidding me?” file. The many media outlets are reporting that “Dr. Stephen Sundlof, director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, only knows the name of the company that brokered the wheat gluten supply, not the actual supply itself” and that the plant that made the food is still “fully operational”.
The FDA says the Kansas City plant remains open. Asked why that is so, given that the agency can’t figure out why the animals died and continues to receive complaints from the public, Sundlof said: “We will investigate those.”
Also, the government-verified death toll rose to 14 pets. We don’t know who seems slower to react, Menu Foods or the FDA.
The number of confirmed deaths from the contaminated food rose from 10 to 14 â€” 13 cats and one dog â€” the government said Tuesday.
The 14 animal deaths include four consumer-owned cats and a dog. The other cats died in a taste test conducted by Menu Foods, the FDA says.
All 9 previous deaths were cats from the Menu Food test lab. It also seems that the February 27th testing conducted by Menu Foods was “part of Menu Foods’ routine quarterly testing,” according to the FDA. So did Menu Foods test in response to customer complaints? Or is this why it took so long to test the product?
CBS also reports that the Kansas plant had never been inspected by the FDA until this now.
FDA inspectors had never before visited the Kansas plant. The FDA warned the company following a 2004 inspection of its New Jersey factory after it failed to flag food made for zoo cats of the risk of mad cow disease if the product were fed to cattle.