UPDATE: This Menu Foods statement will anger lots of parents (Full Press Release):
We are pleased that [the FDA has] acknowledged that the nature of the adulteration could not have been identified by detection methods used by the industry and by their acknowledgement that no violations occurred.
One area that has made this recall particularly confusing is that Menu Foods executed the recall before there was a known scientific cause for the illness experienced by pets and with very few reported incidents from the field. We believe todayâ€™s press announcement by the FDA again supports our actions. The actions we took out of an abundance of caution undoubtedly saved many lives.
Menu Foods is running as fast as possible away from taking on any responsibility for using sub-par ingredients. They’re letting the FDA cover them because there were “no violations.” OJ Simpson didn’t go to jail, but…
They also said “The actions we took out of an abundance of caution undoubtedly saved many lives.” Which we strongly and emphatically disagree with, and Menu Foods continued to dodge questions about why they waited weeks to investigate customer complaints of illness and death.
CEO Paul Henderson of Menu Foods says due to lawsuit, they cannot name the supplier who shipped “adulterated” product. They claim that the tainted material would not have been found by any existing testing processes, however their foods are now safe. They also said that their products will return to the shelves in the “coming weeks and months”.
CEO says to pet parents: “we are pet people.”
The company admitted that the advice it gave to the first callers who reported deaths was incorrect, when it was notified of deaths from the feeding tests.
Will Menu Foods stop using wheat from China? Menu Foods says they are “currently not using” wheat gluten from China, only from US and Europe.
About the number of deaths: We cannot comment. “We’ve processed more than 300,000 calls for information”. A portion of those callers are indicating illnesses.
Is it definitive? How do we know that test results won’t change? “The important factor” is that it involves a single factor — wheat gluten. “There will be more findings.” But the root factor was removed.
Will you offer compensation for pet owners’ suffering? CEO sidesteps the question. “We will take responsibility.”
The perception is that the pet food industry is not transparent and forthcoming with information. Can we take a look at your company, tour the factory and speak to your employees? Can you open up your company up to scrutiny? “Certainly not at this time.”
Regarding the accusations of roadkill and other poor ingredients: “These rumors you hear are that. Rumors.”
What kind of cooperation are you getting form China? Criminal and legal? “We prefer not to get into specifics… The FDA is involved.”
Are you conducting your own tests? Or just relying on the FDA? CEO did not give a clear yes or no. “It’s a cooperative effort.”
Timeline question: March 6, Menu Foods stopped the supply. But waited until March 16. Why the 10 day difference? CNN cut out the video! ARG!
CNN newscaster is still quoting only 16 deaths. CNN is taking your opinions as to whether the recall should be expanded to dry foods.