People Ate Tainted Pork, We May Be On the Verge of Crisis

The Chicago Tribune has detailed information (reg. req.) on how a pet food recall has brought a federal agency to its knees. The agency admits being behind the curve, while the bulk of the investigation has yet to begin. Also, FDA is investigating an Illinois shipment of rice protein used in human food.

Here are the highlights:

The end of this pet food crisis appears more elusive than ever…

About 45 [California] state residents ate pork from hogs that consumed animal feed laced with melamine from China.

What last month was a limited recall of canned pet food is on the verge of becoming a full-fledged public health scare.

The FDA’s real detective work may be just beginning. Having found many sources of contamination, investigators must now determine exactly how widespread the problem is and how it began.

More highlights after the jump.

From the Chicago Tribune:

The investigation’s progress in Illinois alone illustrates the problem.

About half of the 32 FDA investigators in the state have worked on responding to more than 500 complaints of sick or deceased dogs and cats since the recalls began March 16. They must collect medical records from veterinarians and gather samples of contaminated pet food.

The office is also involved in recall effectiveness. “It’s very taxing on our resources,” said Scott MacIntire, director of the FDA’s Chicago office, which oversees state operations.

MacIntire said his office is investigating a shipment of rice protein concentrate imported to Illinois and potentially used in a human product.

121 Responses to “People Ate Tainted Pork, We May Be On the Verge of Crisis”

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  1. Steve says:

    More than 50 cases seeking class action status have been filed in recent weeks in response to pet illnesses and deaths linked to tainted pet food.

    And recent civil judgments have nodded to people’s emotional attachment to their pets: A default judgment last year in Washington state awarded a man $50,000 for the intrinsic value of his cat.

  2. Floridian says:

    I’m not sure if this was ever posted here, but why are the white coats so unsure of what melamine in humans will do? A woman was hospitalized (as well as her new dog) the day BEFORE the recall because they both ate some of the recalled foods..;k=8618

  3. Sharon says:

    Home cooking is hard for me because I don’t even cook for myself anymore. I wanted to share my frozen entrees with my cat but when I looked at the ingredients on the labels they are the same ones I’m trying to avoid in her food. Right now she is still eating dry Evo, even with a bad tooth. I just pray it is safe since the sight or smell of a can of wet cat food makes me sick.

  4. KatieKat says:

    Lorie, I am soooooooooo glad your babies are doing good!! I felt so bad for you yesterday, and wanted to help ya out, just didn’t know how other than pray a whoooooooooooole lot :)

  5. Helen says:

    Itchmo, the google ads have us targeted pretty well here don’t they. Boy those pet food makers must be scared of us. How uplifting. lol

    On a sadder note my aunt who asked my dad when am I going to shut up about cat food already is STILL feeding the Hill’s Rx diet that made her cat sick in the first place, and they have already sunk $2000 into her kidney problems, but their vet is a sweet old guy who would NEVER hurt their pets so he must be right and I am Chicken Little. AUGGGGGHHHH. And she is going to be beside herself when the cat dies. She LOVES her cats and dogs!

  6. PetSentinel says:

    To Sue:
    “heard from Bush?”
    Sue, are you a comedian? Surely that wasn’t a serious question. I am so glad to say…I didn’t vote for him. Our lives and our pets lives have been set back an untold number of years beginning in 2000.

    Me from Florida where the election was stolen.

  7. OMurphy says:

    Hmm….. Leadership is something that this administartion can not handle!!!!
    Our food supply is not safe(both for humans and animals) , our soldiers getting killed every day in Iraq, the FDA has no clue, they are like FEMA(…took them 4 days to react to the destruction of Katrina) but the President just watch all these going with total silence!!!! Elections are coming!!!!!

  8. Helen says:

    Was Bush reading a book upside down to the ASPCA when they told him about the pet food? Did he just keep sitting there for half an hour reading an upside down book? Is he still doing that?

  9. Krystal says:

    Just called Natural Balance, because I had recently purchased some of their food. Only 1 can I have is recalled. Here’s basically what happened.
    Question: “Can you assure me that these other canned products were NOT made at the American Nutrition plant?”
    Answer: “Yes. Our other products are made at some of our own plants.”
    Question: “Can you tell me if Natural Balance will be discontinuing using American Nutrition as a manufacturer? Especially since they altered your recipes?”
    Answer: “I can’t say that. It’s an ongoing investigation, and we are working with the FDA. I can tell you what’s recalled. . . ”
    Question: “Can you tell me if American Nutrition is currently manufacturing for you?”
    Answer: “Once again, I can’t answer that question. It’s an ongoing investigation.”
    There was more, but basically it was you can get a refund, here’s what’s recalled stuff. What I included is what I think is important. I concluded by saying I am returning it all and will not buy again from them until they can tell me they are not using American Nutrition as a manufacturer.
    Shame on you, Natural Balance. I defended you before, no longer will I. If Blue Buffalo can say THEY will no longer use American Nutrtion, because this was a huge break in trust, so can you.Now you’ve broken my trust. If I found out a bartender slipped something into my drink, I wouldn’t buy another drink made by that bartender. It’s a simple enough concept, don’t you think?

  10. Krystal says:

    Nice Catch! I haven’t seen it, but you can bet I’m gonna copy and paste it on petconnection..and print it for all those who think I’m nuts saying “Be careful with pork!”

  11. krystal says:

    oops, I meant I haven’t seen it before

  12. robin says:


    He’s trying to finish “My Pet Goat,” being prez is hard work!

  13. Helen says:

    Garyn: I found out how much food contains wheat gluten 3 years ago when one of my co-workers decided to eliminate wheat gluten from her diet to help her rhuemetoid (sp?) arthritis. She was a vegetarian, and she had to give that up in order to have more than about 3 foods in her diet. Her food bill tripled even though she was actually eating less, but her arthritis DID improve and she was able to give up most of her chemo treatments. Wheat gluten is bad for us too.

  14. krystal says:

    Itchmo Admin:
    I really think you should check out the article Floridian found, about a woman getting sick from recalled pet food. It’d be a great head story!

  15. nancy says:

    Itchmo ran the woman eats tainted pet food story when it happened. Just wondering, if the “Chicago Tribune lists 17 dead, would # 17 be the golden that died on CBS?
    asks snarkily

  16. robin says:

    E. Hamilton,

    I did the googling and that is interesting. FDA is trying to protect big business buddies. And try not to let this slip out of control as far as that it probably is into the human food chain lots further than the hogs. They will slap around the small guys a little and leave the big mega agri-business friends alone. Menu and Chem-Nutra small fish compared to the likes of Wilber Ellis, Conagra or ADM.

  17. E. Hamilton says:

    I gave the matter a logical think and this is what I think.

    Purina just built a whopping pet food factory in China.
    They are perched to “save the day” and it is a set up.
    All the “Little guys” are being picked off one by one.
    Blue buff was set up to get hit like this, I swear. too bad the CEO of blue was too stupid to contact me, I had some juicy stuff for him.
    The guy from Chemnutra ? Miller? oh does he have the ties to Defense stuff, DARPA and Barbara Bush and it just keeps a coming.
    (do I hear the black helicopters coming?)

    The political folks involved, Mitt Romney, etc, are in on it.
    Those “funds” or investment groups or whatever tax dodge works this week, darn, they are all tied in.

    I want to start a thread or 10 here and ORGANIZE the info and links that are such a mess over at petconnection.
    Stuff gets lost.
    Those people have done a faboo job but jeez you can’t find anything 10 minutes later!
    I would welcome any help. Take links and info put it in ONE thread and be ruthless about keeping the thread to ONE topic.
    No reposts no off topic, just the facts maam.
    Maybe next week if I can get some help.
    The great research being done by so many over at petconnections needs to be in a place where it can be used.

  18. KatieKat says:

    E. Hamilton, I agree with you 100%…the info that people have dug up is invaluable to us all. I wonder if just a website with all the finding would be better than blogging it, that way there is much better orginitzation….just a thought, but I think you are definately on the right track here!

  19. Anonymous says:

    E. Hamilton, Spocko, and those interested in unusual happenings. Bear in mind the self reported aspect as well as the surge of reports from California in the “last six months”. Another fluke?

  20. Moony says:

    Bush is too busy trying to convince us that the Iraq war is still a good thing. And that’s all I’ll say on that.

    I went to the local organic store today, to price taurine and bone meal powder. When I told the proprietor why I was checking for it, she started to get snarky…until I cut her off and told her it killed one of my cats. I’m sure she’s in a pretty bad position - has had to pull much of her food and isn’t at all sure whatever else she buys is going to get sold.

  21. KatieKat says:

    Anonymous Says:

    April 28th, 2007 at 7:58 pm
    E. Hamilton, Spocko, and those interested in unusual happenings. Bear in mind the self reported aspect as well as the surge of reports from California in the “last six months”. Another fluke?

    WOW! now that was a VERy interesting site you have there. Fluke..sure doesn’t look like it.

    Do you think there is a connection to the recent pet poisonings ie, could have been contaminated all along, including human food? If not the Melamine contaminant, possible another?

  22. KatieKat says:

    This Whole senerio that is playing out over the last several months is starting to make me think of horror movies like “Virus”…nobody get’s it until it’s too late :(

  23. E. Hamilton says:

    We work with what we have, what we have here is a tool that can work. It CAN be done. Later it can be moved but for now, FOR TODAY, pick one of these topics and go start a thread in the forum, then go read yourself blind at petconnections and start putting the info IN SHORT FORM-long stuff, post the link, in your thread, ask for help but I WARN you, some will hinder so tune them up or tell them to go elsewhere.
    Go start a thread for any of these topics in the forum, if you want to help but you better buckle up because it is a TOUGH job getting people to STAY ON TOPIC.
    You start it, you babysit it. You Up for it? Get to it. I will help tomorrow

    1-Chemical info- science, please put bernies stuff in it.
    2-newstories- maybe two sections, one for reporters who need a tune, one for those who “get it”
    3-political info, connections, who appointed who, who own what and is running for Prez
    4-pet food companies, name address phone, contact name, whatever you can dig up, we NEED this in one place
    5-costs, ask for the treatment cost for pets or whatever from folks and make them, MAKE them keep it short, have them PM contact info to you, this will be used to show the economic impact and anyone taking this particular job on- may god have mercy on you because it is the toughest

    I have ideas for others but YOU tell me, here or in the forum what else do you want to be able to find?
    What info helps? What do you look for and give up? Get the idea?

    NO HANDHOLDING, they have a sad story?, take it to that thread, not one of these, can’t read directions?, send them to your first post again and them make the directions REALLY clear and simple.
    You are going to have to be tough and strong to do this but I think the talent is here and heck, the FDA guys have jobs and look at what fools THEY are.

  24. Helen says:

    E. Hamilton: I think you are right on target, unfortunately, about Purina. My suspicion has been mounting every day that they don’t recall anything. Oh sure they recalled one little batch of Alpo to make it look like they gave a crap and then went on and on about all their other “safe” crap. Makes me want to keep buying Innova, I can tell you that. At least until Purina buys Natura.

  25. mgm says:

    Perhaps some more drastic measures are needed to get the attention of Congress and the mainstream corporate media. We could 1) gather up all our tainted pet foods and have them delivered to our congresspersons at their Washington offices 2) Find some way of connecting this scandal to sex–the media will jump at anything connected to sex–as in man hospitalized in critical condition after fornicating with melanine-diseased pig 3) dump all our tainted food on White House lawn or on Pennsylvania Ave. via the French farmers method and 4) call FOX news and report that this is an Al Queda terrorist attack on our food supply.

    That the corporate media is ignoring this scandal is a scandal in and of itself.

  26. mgm says:

    RE: my above post. Forgot to mention the one media person who might give this some air time. Keith Olbermann at MSNBC.

  27. robin says:

    E. Hamilton,

    If Purina is going to try to save the day, China was one hell of a stupid place to open a new plant. I think even the masses will have a hard time swallowing pet food made in China. Even with very little coverage people are following this, granted not like us, but following it to the point of being pretty upset about all the imported food from China and the risks involved. They have connected China with the mess.

  28. KatieKat says:

    How about a centralized website for all the pets that have been sickened and lost with photos…..set up the entries is web forms and have folks list ages and food that sickened or killed….and the anout of exoenses you encures…

    I do love the idea of droppping all the food at the whitehouse lawn along with a pile of stuffed animals to show the sick and deceased

  29. Anonymous says:

    KatieKat- just sayin is all. It’s important for everyone to look at what’s going on around them. If not for Itchmo, PC and so many others who would know anything beyond those involved? The general media moves on for lack of interest but that doesn’t make it go away.

  30. KatieKat says:

    good grief i need to slow down and check for typos lol

  31. E. Hamilton says:

    Other topic for TARGETED info,

    6- who has a potential toxic waste site in collections of possibly poisoned pet food? do you have 6 bags of pet food and 400 cans of pet food that you dare NOT feed your pets? let us hear about it here!

    There is info that NEEDS to be organized, if you can help then please go do it .

  32. Moony says:

    I like your idea, KatieKat. Put faces to the statistics. And E. Hamilton’s…but wouldn’t that require making everyone who starts one of those threads a mod so that they can take care of the thread?

    I’m thinking maybe I should box up my remaining food and send it to one of my Senators, with a nice note to please have it tested by the FDA.

    Something I’m wondering, too…do you think plastic (dishes, food containers) would soak up some of the poison? When I was trying to get Miaka to eat, I washed her hard plastic bowl out and put babyfood in it, but she still reacted like she smelled bad food in it.

  33. YaYa says:

    I’d like to see a thread for Companies who have Plants IN China Now (whether processing, storage, actual manufacturing, shipping etc.)

    AND a Thread for Companies MOVING To CHINA. Or whom are in the Process of Moving to China, to produce “American” products there and then will ship them BACK to the USA. For us Lucky USA consumers.

    I am not sure where I read some of this type Info this week; it may have been on the site. I might be able to back track on this particular article, but until I can find “it” (again) I, Will not Post the Companies I remember right now as MOVING TO CHINA.

    I’d also like to see a Boycott CHINA thread and similar ‘items’ to boycott.

    I think this may be the Only HUGE way to get REAL Attention; is to: NOT BUY “Made in China” junk. Post about it and pass the word and FOLLOW through with it.

    You might be Suprised who is following suit to China these days. Then again maybe not.
    SHAME the HECK outta em’!!!!! Shut em’ down Before they get there!
    Hurt em’ in the pocket-book!

    OH and My Original Idea to Boycott the 2008 China Olympics. They are trying Sooooo Hard to make a nice “bedspread” to COVER-up the Ugly part of China for the Olympics!
    At least get the Word out.
    There are PLENTY of Reasons to Boycott China (and the Olympics *there*).

    The Doping of Ingredients I think, is a Big enough Start!

    I don’t know…are These Good Ideas?

    Are there Enough Angry Pet-parents in the USA to make a Dent?

  34. Marilyn says:

    E. Hamilton: I’ll take #5 — the medical costs. Since I’m a vet tech, that’s right up my alley.

  35. Marilyn says:

    E. Hamilton: Think we could divide the costs into two groups? 1) the medical costs, and 2) The costs related to switching from food to food? I’d like to stick with medical costs if I may.

  36. Donna says:

    My company laid off a bunch of software developers and hired a group in China. I think the whole thing stinks worse than the rotting pet food. I’m all for boycotting China, I’m not even doing take out anymore.

    I love the idea of sending bags of the crap to Washington. And I think the guy fornicating with the tainted pig will for sure make CNN take notice.

  37. Marilyn says:

    OK. I just started a new topic on the forum. Medical Costs for Treating Affected Pets. Please start posting. Be as specific as you can. If possible, itemize. If you must estimate, please indicate that it is an estimate. Let’s get this rolling!

  38. E. Hamilton says:

    I just got the postcard blitz done without moderator power and it was stone cold b1tch to get it done, but either we start today , no discussion or what if or it is NOT going to GET done.
    So, do it or don’t , help or don’t, but unless you are either doing it better than I can or doing it PERIOD, I will not listen to argument about it.
    Tomorrow morning I will be starting threads and getting that info organized so we can DO something with it and I would really like it if others would do the same but with you or without you it is going to get done.
    Someone wants to get a dedicated website with mod power and whatever you think this needs going,? Then get after it because in the meantime I will be getting it done. Happy to cooperate , in the meantime I have work to do.
    If you can do it better?, well, I have just invited you to do so.

  39. Anonymous says:

    Marilyn, ALLRIGHT, do it however you want hon, that one is your baby and it will really be useful and really, you are just WONDERFUL!!!!

  40. Marilyn says:

    I just posted a message over at petconnection inviting them all to hop on over here and start posting their medical costs.

  41. E. Hamilton says:

    See how excited I got when Marilyn posted her great start! It was me and I am proud of you and that thread is going to do a lot of good and so will the others.
    First person to get the thread started -it is their baby, you need to be online a lot to get this done so if you need help, team up and share the work, I do not care how.
    Find a way.
    You can do it, now go get that info organized and Go GO GO!!!

    I will be back tomorrow.
    I promise to post good links and info and dig up stuff on petconnection before it gets lost for every single one of you who starts a thread , every one of you.

  42. AZSue says:

    I loved the first post! However, Keith Olbermann is too busy bashing Bill O’Reilly to give a rat’s ass. I am so glad that I don’t have cable anymore…and guess what, life actually goes on without it. Even better, you HAVE a life without it.

    I blame Congress for everything. Don’t care who’s in charge, Rep or Dem, they are all in bed together.

    Bush is just a figure head. Besides, he was too busy blowing up the World Trade Center, causing hurricanes and making Don Imus to speak racial slurs to taint the pet food. I think he even got Rosie O’Donnell fired last week. I wish I had his energy….


    mgm Says:

    April 28th, 2007 at 8:51 pm
    Perhaps some more drastic measures are needed to get the attention of Congress and the mainstream corporate media. We could 1) gather up all our tainted pet foods and have them delivered to our congresspersons at their Washington offices 2) Find some way of connecting this scandal to sex–the media will jump at anything connected to sex–as in man hospitalized in critical condition after fornicating with melanine-diseased pig 3) dump all our tainted food on White House lawn or on Pennsylvania Ave. via the French farmers method and 4) call FOX news and report that this is an Al Queda terrorist attack on our food supply.

    That the corporate media is ignoring this scandal is a scandal in and of itself.

    mgm Says:

    April 28th, 2007 at 8:56 pm
    RE: my above post. Forgot to mention the one media person who might give this some air time. Keith Olbermann at MSNBC.

  43. E. Hamilton says:

    Find a way to keep personal info safe, do NOT let anyone post personal info, make your first post really clear on this.
    Make sure the posters give you an email or a way to stay in touch by private message, that way when we can use the info and it needs to be verified, that can be done.
    Does not matter if the correct tests were done at the time early on. No one knew then and they STILL count.
    Tell people to get copies of bills or ongoing bills and put in an big envelope to save and keep. Document, document, think a count that NO ONE DISPUTE, those costs are VERY very important, keep the posters and the info safe!
    Just a hint Marilyn, this is YOUR baby.

  44. Lorie says:

    Guys I am definitely in on whatever needs done I have to cats trying to survie what Purina has done to them. I am willing to do whatever it takes to bring them down……………………….and I am tiered of living in fear of feeding my cat anything but people food sincelast night when they relapsed.

    BTW, my emergency vet called me back today after I left her a message this morning about Topaz displaying the same GI problems Geisha had to been seen for last night. She told me she sees common thread now btwn my two girls no more food allergy BS it is definitley a symptom of the poisoning, she is going to confer with the holistic vet I said had a cat pass from this with only GI symptoms. She is very young and interested by this I told her maybe her and the other vet with this common thread to figure out the long term fix for thr survivors and be rich and famous she said she would just settle for the cure.

  45. Lynn says:

    Duh…..just a suggestion: Next time there’s a Presidential Press Conference, why doesn’t a pet-loving reporter as Bush this question:

    “What are your dogs eating these days in light of the FDA’s recall on contaminated food?”

    If he doesn’t know what’s been going on, surely Laura will find out and clue him in.

    Still, don’t expect any intervention from him. He’s tunnel visioned all the way to the other side of the globe.

  46. Marilyn says:

    Lorie, Thanks for being the first to post your medical costs. It encourages others to post if someone else has already done. I’m sending you many best wishes for Geisha and Topaz to have a full return to health, and for your nightmare to end.

  47. Lorie says:


    you are welcome but I shold be thanking you and evryone else who has provided all these wonderful infomation filled place to go to share stories report damages, organize mail protest that without we would not be heard. All of need to be a counted for this whole thing is so devastating. I will contirbute in what ever way I can even if it providing info data for stats.

    I spoke to mother today and she is beside herself with this whole gov’t fiasco let alone what she sees it putting her daughter through mentally and finacialy trying to protect her babies. She is appauld that vets are charging us full frieght for a major emergency that they are not even sure how to treat and using our pet as their learning tools. I agree to a point have been to about 4 vets now and had a phone consult with another and some are very opinionated and mad and others are down playing it and not treating it as big crisis as it is.

  48. Kathy Hayes says:

    In responce to the pork being tainted I noticed there is a big sale on pork at my local grocery store this week.

    No thanks I believe i’ll just have some fresh steamed vegies and hope to heaven they weren’t sprayed with some swful insectiside or grown with some fertilizer that’s not legal or shouldn’t be used.


  49. xyz says:

    Moony brought up feeding in plastic bowls. It dawned on me that 5-6 years ago a vet told me to USE STAINLESS STEEL, especially for cats. I don’t know if anything was ever written up but some of the vets out there might know something about it. It seemed to be in relation to mouth or skin problems.

  50. Anne says:

    Plastic bowls cause are known to cause changes in nose color in dogs: so we use stainless, plus stainless doesn’t hold odors and can be put in dishwasher or very hot water to clean.
    I think we need a link to the Whitehouse mail: we can keep badgering Mr Bush to at least acknowledge there is a problem. I read lately he won’t sign the food labeling and food source law congress passed because it might cost too much money to enforce.

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