Natura to Abandon Menu Foods

Innova CansNatura (whose wet foods are not under recall, but made by Menu Foods) “has pledged to either acquire or build a canning plant so that the company can exercise complete control over its product lines.” (Watch video from the founder on their homepage.) Natura also make Innova and Evo brands as well as others.

Itchmo applauds this move. We’d love to see other manufacturers do the same.

Until Natura begins its canning operation, it will have one of their own Quality Control employees on-site in South Dakota to oversee the production of its products. Natura has also instructed its buyers to utilize ingredients from domestic suppliers only.

Full release after the jump.

April 02, 2007 06:05 AM Pacific Daylight Time
Natura’s Response to Menu Foods’ Recall: ‘We Will Operate our Own Canning Facility’

SAN JOSE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Although not implicated in the recent massive Menu Foods canned food recall, Natura Pet Products has pledged to either acquire or build a canning plant so that the company can exercise complete control over its product lines.

In a video message to Natura customers, Peter Atkins, one of Natura’s founders and owners, made assurances that no Natura canned food contains the suspected contaminate, wheat gluten from China, or wheat of any kind. Furthermore, Natura’s canned foods are made exclusively in a Menu Foods South Dakota plant, rather than in the affected Kansas and New Jersey plants. Nonetheless, Natura plans to remove any doubt that they are producing pet foods with unsafe ingredients.

“I want to make sure that you know that we take very seriously our responsibility to provide healthful and safe products for the thousands of dogs and cats that eat Natura pet foods,” said Atkins. “To do this effectively we must ultimately control the manufacture of ALL products that we sell. Therefore, the Natura Pet Products board of directors has authorized the immediate implementation of a plan to either acquire an existing canning operation or build a new can plant from scratch. This substantial financial commitment will insure that you, our loyal customers, can be confident in knowing that all Natura pet food products will always be of the highest quality – that we truly live up to our mission to make the healthiest pet foods in the world.”

Natura owns and operates the manufacturing plants that make its dry pet foods and its baked treats and biscuits. Its quality management programs at these plants are unequaled in the industry and as a result of these programs Natura has achieved many human food plant certifications, including a “Superior” rating from the American Institute of Baking, Organic Certification, registration with the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and ISO 9001:2001 compliance.

Until Natura begins its canning operation, it will have one of their own Quality Control employees on-site in South Dakota to oversee the production of its products. Natura has also instructed its buyers to utilize ingredients from domestic suppliers only.

About Natura Pet Products

Founded fifteen years ago by John and Ann Rademakers and Peter Atkins, Natura is recognized as the most trusted name behind the healthiest pet food in the world. Natura’s products are formulated, manufactured, and prepared at human grade levels. Lines include: INNOVA, EVO, CALIFORNIA NATURAL, HEALTHWISE and KARMA. For more information visit: or call (800) 532-7261.

12 Responses to “Natura to Abandon Menu Foods”

  1. Steve says:

    If they follow through and deliver on this pledge they can be assured they will have no shortage of customers.

    “It’s the Customers Stupid!”

  2. E Wem says:

    Me Too!

    Right now there is no pet food maker that will clearly state they use only USA ingredients. I can’t find one that manufactures their product from scratch. If they say they do, you find they are buying processed items like chicken meal etc from third parties.

    We just had a scandal in Detroit where a supplier was smuggling Chinese raised chicken (not even labeled as chicken) into our area and supplying the local Chinese restaurants. I have stopped eating Chnese.

    I am desperate to find an honest product

  3. Hornblower says:

    I’m not so sanguine about food from North America being somehow healthier by definition. For example, the EU has a long standing ban on US beef because of growth hormones - interesting in light of this just released study linking beef consumption during pregnancy with lowered sperm counts of male children.

    This is a much larger issue of food quality and safety.

    I also find Natura’s statement that their “products are formulated, manufactured, and prepared at human grade levels” to be somewhat misleading. How can they make that claim until they have this private canning operation?

  4. Evy says:

    E Wem,

    My little bitty pet food company uses only USA ingredients with the only exception being the lamb meal from New Zealand. They are internationally known for the excellence of their sheep and grazing lands.

    Not all meat meal is purchased from third parties. I work with a small manufacturing plant that sources virtually all of their ingredients from heartland America, within a 100 mile radius of their plant. Their community pride and technological excellence got my vote when I was looking for someone to make my products.

    I first worked with a premiere multi-species nutritionist who has been in this industry (and appalled by most of what he sees) for over 35 years.

    My dog food has a ‘politically incorrect’ label. Corn is my first ingredient, so my nutritionist could pack the meat in. Look at the meat/grain ratio grid at for some insights there. We have been so bamboozled. Also, I use meat and bone meal, another consumer perception gone awry - and I have posted multiple times about this issue and have been lambasted online with ‘facts’ they have read. Corn is THE best grain for a dog food, it is highly digestible (we don’t use raw corn) and we do use a non-GMO corn source.

    I list meat and bone meal so IF there is not the grade of beef I want for production, sometimes they will use pork in the food too. Also, if BSE ever hits the food chain, I am going strictly pork and won’t have to worry about my bags being in violation. As small as my company is, that would be a lot of capital to worry about.

    I am happy to take the ‘heat’ from the industry and those who still believe the propaganda. I have lived in ‘angst’ for nine years now, trying to educate people. It is so ironic that I have often told people that I am alternative to corporate America - I never knew the need would mean life and death to this extreme.

    My company is a fluke. I worked in the field of dog behavior for decades and when my OWN dog died when he was only five, I took matters into my own hands. Three years ago (my company turned nine yesterday) I had to go fulltime. I work from the spare bedroom of my house and have a whole two whopping employees. It is myself and two other women who keep this going.

    I am vendors with The New York State K9 Handling Unit, The MTA/NYC and The United Nations Ambassador Security K9 Detail. Talk about folks who scrutizine a soul and want the best :)

    This whole recall issue has caused me to break into tears several times. I am emotionally supporting an elderly woman locally whose cat was affected. I cannot imagine the sorrow of so many who are going home to empty food bowls, keeping toys that used to dance around the room and leashes that were held in hands that now hold memories. This has been a travesty in the worst way. My whole life has been dedicated to helping dog owners develop a better relationship with their pet and learn how to abandon props and see their pet as a living being with their own unique emotional makeup.

    How could anyone doubt our pets have souls? How could anyone doubt they feel love, jealousy, fear, compassion - so many emotions that run parallel to ours? I work hard to support rescue groups and admire the work they do. I could ‘how could’ for a long time…….our pets are a part of our hearts and when they are affected (for good or bad) it affects us as well.

    I am just so sorry that the industry has been ‘revealed’ at the expense of innocent pets betrayed by greed. But now, people will look differently at their choices in pet food and definitely are far more aware.

    Itchmo was kind enough to do a post about me:

    Innova Products are some of the best out there and I am pleased to see their response to this situation. They have shown tremendous integrity in taking this stand and I applaud their efforts. They are one of the companies I support when people find they can’t use my products for whatever reason.

    Innova has always been one of the best companies in my opinion and I would encourage people to support them fully!! I hope other companies follow suit.

    INNOVA - thanks for showing that you ARE more concerned about pets and the owners who love them than the money you can make. I’ve always trusted you to refer people to and what you have done is seal the deal for me :)

  5. susanUnPC says:

    Thanks to my friend “Agathena” on Vancouver Island, I learned that Innova buys meat from this facility on Vancouver Island — I can’t say that they buy ALL their meat there, but it’s very encouraging that Innova/Evo does purchase from this Vancouver Island small operation:
    – Buddies Natural Food’s list of which companies buy its ingredients

    Buddies also sells to Orijen (a terrific food that my cats are now eating — it’s sold in several U.S. states now) and Nature’s Variety/Prairie, another good brand.

    Orijen’s link:
    – Sold throughout Washington state, Oregon, Georgia, Florida, etc… just check their store locator.

  6. Evy says:

    Hornblower ~

    Do not be surprised if Innova can state that they could sell their meat to the EU market, as my supplier can as well.

    Natura (aka Innova) can make the claims they do because they have contracts with their manufacturer and there is a HARD paper trail for them to follow. Do not throw them into the lot of the industry who has chased after money.

    A pet food company can have a tremendous control over their product. You trust your mechanic without knowing how to fix the car! Natura and I have found manufacturers we can trust - and they are stepping up to the plate in a big way by deciding not to do business with Menu Foods any longer. Innova has such public demand, they needed to go with a plant that was large enough to handle their demands. I found Crosswind Petfoods, who manufactures my product, by interviewing many plants. They are APHIS, AIB and met a lot of criteria.

    INNOVA is doing a fantastic thing and take my word for it, they are doing it to their own hurt financially. It would much less expensive for them to ride out the storm, see if the plant changes hands - of all the options they have, I feel they are showing great integrity.

    INNOVA - good going!!! You have always been a leader in the premium segment of pet foods and I am thrilled to see your integrity.

    President of Kumpi Pet Foods

  7. susanUnPC says:

    Uh oh. My world is getting “rocked” again.

    Someone posted this link in a Daily Kos diary. It’s by a Harvard law school student, and it’s shocking. It shows why Sen. Leahy’s demand that the FDA shape up just isn’t enough, and I’m going to write to him and my senators again:

    Deconstructing the Regulatory Façade:
    Why Confused Consumers Feed their Pets
    Ring Dings and Krispy Kremes

  8. Steve says:

    The issue is not so much about trade or doing business with partners in other parts of the world as it is this.

    Menu and others failed to test and inspect this ingredient upon arrival at their facilities. If they had done so they would have rejected the toxic-poisonous ingredient-substance.

    That, is the BIGGY from which they can not escape liability for.

  9. Evy says:


  10. Evy says:

    Steve ~

    While I am NOT defending Menu Foods the substances found are not common to their past experiences. Sourcing from outside the US is scary business and I have been solicited by an alarming number of companys from overseas. Personally, it frightened me, but then again I am not ‘big’ business either. I don’t need or want to pinch pennies since my volume is so small.

    Natura/Innova did the best they could and I assure you they are feeling violated right now and betrayed.

    Our entire food chain is affected it looks like. I have posted several times about almost losing my 87 year old mom in February to some kind of food poisoning. I adore her and it would have devastated me to lose her. So I am taking this VERY personally!!! I won’t belabor her symptoms and the emotional toll.

    And you are right about having needed to do better inspection. So far, there hasn’t even been a proof positive about what has caused this. They are doing recalls, but I have not read a definitive statement that says THIS IS IT, this is what caused the problem. Melamine is a culprit, but again, please let me know if I have missed a definitive statement.

    Until I can see exactly what it was that caused this mess I still feel a bit uneasy.

    Has anyone anywhere done anything other than ‘find’ something in products? Has anyone declared that whatever has caused this, proof positive, has been found?

  11. Agathena says:

    There is also the issue of buying local whenever and wherever possible. By that I mean a product that is made of local ingredients.

  12. Not a believer says:

    It will be a cold day in hell before we see Natura follow through with their filmed pledge to the pet food community.

    Ha! I work for a dry food plant and know that building or running a cannery is no easy business, and these Californian tree-hugging volvo-driving hemp-wearing idiots wouldnt know where to start.

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