Recall Update: Friday

Itchmo To Discuss Dr. Sundlof’s Interview On WGN Radio:

Itchmo will be on Steve Dale’s Pet World show on WGN Sunday night to discuss his interview with the FDA’s Dr. Sundlof. I know that some of you have sent in questions.

You can listen to it online. Details after the jump.

More Recall Reimbursement Stories: (Previous reimbursement stories.)

Today we have posted another email from a reader whose claim for vet bills was rejected. More on her story after the jump. The reason for the denied claim? “While your pet may have consumed some of the recalled product, testing of your pet has revealed that your pet did not suffer from renal/kidney failure from consuming the Nutro Product. Accordingly, there is no property damage as a result of the insured’s product.”

Sadly, her costs for diagnosing her pet isn’t something the insurance company will cover. It seems only fair that if a pet ate food contaminated with a toxin, the company whose name is on the bag should cover the testing costs.

Add Itchmo New To Your Site: Keep other pet owners informed with recalls and other pet news with our widget. The widget will update automatically with the latest headlines. Get it here.

Check out our non-recall news below. And as always, we’ll keep covering all pet news.

Also, if you have questions or need help, try our ItchmoForums. Get your questions answered by great pet owners.

WGN Radio:

Listen to it online (click “Listen Now” at the top left of the page) on Sunday at 8-10pm Central Time.

Vet Bill Claim Letter From Reader:

My dog ate some of Nutro’s Natural Choice Seniors food that was recalled. He had started to pass bloody urine before I pulled the remainder of the can he was working on. It cost me a few hundred
dollars in vet bills to have his blood and urine tested and X-rays done. Thankfully, there was no permanent kidney damage.

I faintly remember one pet food manufacturer saying, early on in this debacle, that they would cover diagnostic tests fees, but I don’t remember which company that was. So I filed my claim with Nutro Products to have them pay for the vet bills. My dog’s vet was in support of my claim.

The Nutro Product people were quite understanding and concerned at the outset and asked me for all information, bills, the left over cans, etc. The entire claims process took about 6-8 weeks, during which time the claim was handed over to the Hartford Insurance Company (out of Toronto) who again needed all documents faxed to them as well. The supportive tones were waning, quickly.

At the end of this time, I received a very short, curt reply that my claim had been denied. The reason? “While your pet may have consumed some of the recalled product, testing of your pet has revealed that your pet did not suffer from renal/kidney failure from consuming the Nutro Product. Accordingly, there is no property damage as a result of the insured’s product.”

So much for covering the diagnostic test bills. I very much hope those whose pets were injured or died because of tainted food receive the compensation which they are certainly due.

75 Responses to “Recall Update: Friday”

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  1. petslave says:

    chris - the canned Natura & Nature’s Variety are made by Menu, but both of their dry food lines are made in their own plants. Natura & Canidae are pretty adamant that they are testing thoroughly. Canidae says they have all domestic ingredients (though I’m not sure how they can be getting all the supplements just in the US since most are made in China now).

    The Canidae (Felidae) canned cat foods don’t seem to be too popular among a lot of cats, luckily mine are fine with it. Evanger’s makes their canned & their own line which a lot of people have been using–it sounds like their food may be more preferred by kitties in general. The dog doo problem might just be from food change. I’ve seen that happen to my dog’s when I do a food change. They have several formulas so you might try all of them to see if any work well. My dogs do better without grain so I’ll go back to EVO (Natura) when I get to poor to continue 100% home feeding.

  2. chris says:

    And to think we have another 16 months of this administration makes me sick along with our pets. I dont see them doing anything about it or even make mention of it.

  3. chris says:

    petslave,

    I think I may try going the Canidae route for the dogs. Going to need to find something else for the kitty. I personally dont care Evanger’s.

  4. Maureen says:

    There’s startling news all over the place regarding safety of vitamins and supplements today. Suggest reading the link after these excerpts; there are some major brands of vitamins that are contaminated or have more or less % of ingredients than stated on the label. AARP and Vitamin Shoppe are just two noted brands.

    This is from Saturday morning’s headlines on MSNBC.com:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16655168/

    “(…)ConsumerLab.com also tested a vitamin marketed for dogs called Pet-Tabs Complete Daily Vitamin-Mineral Supplement for Dogs and found the product was contaminated with 1.4 micrograms of lead per tablet.
    Whether most people — or dogs, for that matter — really need to take a multivitamin is a subject of debate.(…)”

    From the same article, especially see point 3 re companies who have had their products tested by independent labs (I posted a great release by NSF, an international testing lab that’s affiliated with WHO/World Health Organization):

    “Vitamins and other dietary supplements aren’t required to undergo the same testing as medicines, so it’s buyer beware. But there are some steps you can take to help you pick a better product, says David Schardt, a senior nutritionist at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a nonprofit consumer advocacy group in Washington, D.C. He recommends:
    — Choosing well-known mainstream brands by companies that have a lot at stake.
    — Buying from large, trusted retailers, not unknown sellers on the Internet.
    — LOOKING ON THE BOTTLE FOR A STAMP FROM USP, NSF or ConsumerLab.com. While the stamp doesn’t guarantee the product is safe and effective, it does indicate that the manufacturer has submitted the product for testing to show that it contains what is stated on the label.
    — Not spending a fortune on vitamins. Pricey products toting all sorts of “extras” aren’t necessary and may be trouble.”

  5. Maureen says:

    Just noted that the MSNBC.com article linked in my post above first appeared last January. So hopefully the Pet-Tabs were pulled and the lead contamination problem fixed.

  6. kb says:

    FDA to phase in testing all ingredients in vitamins and supplements. Link to article in today’s Seattle Times. Says manufacturers are looking for cheapest products out of China.
    http://tinyurl.com/3xnaoe

  7. chris says:

    I hope the FDA will use a lab that is capable of testing this time.

  8. Sandi K says:

    menusux Says:

    Menusux, and if Im not mistaken, I remember reading that Mitt Romney was founder of Bain Capital LLC, just food for thought. Ewww, poor choice of words, huh?

    and a little off-topic, Im wondering out Merrick foods? Our cat is dead from eating poison food but my mom just bought some Merrick Grammy’s Pot Pie for her dog and Im wondering if anyone has heard anything about that food? I read the ingredients and i will do some more research for her but its always good to hear what anyone hear has to say about it….thank you!

  9. Sandi K says:

    I have to add and I will see if I can find that article, but the article said that Bain Capital at least was (dont know about now) was one of the most ruthless buy-out companies you could ever run into….wonder if it says anything about Mr Romney….I personally wouldnt trust him as far as I could throw him but thats only my opinion. And Im not meaning to get political here but Bain Capital has its name involved in this pet food recall and deserves to have that known.

  10. Pukanuba says:

    SandiK:

    According to the pet food list, all their foods are made in their own facility. The only other thing I’ve ever heard about Merrick is that people say there is a rendering plant owned by them in close proximity…..now I’m not 100% positive if it was Merrick that they were talking about…..you must understand since March, there have been a zillion comments about different foods so I may have them confused with another food. See who else responds & what they say. I did see that food in one of my trips to the little pet store but I do remember some negative talk about Merrick.

    I’m sure there are a lot of good products out there but for now Canidae & Natura products are the only ones I’ll use….& I use very little. Mostly home cooked. Other people use different premium foods but some of them I can’t find around here (So CA).

  11. mary ann says:

    chris, my pups won’t eat candaie either and the kibble is so tiny my dog chocked on it. they love cal.natural by natura pet so i’ll just stick with it. plus cal.natural sells more food then candaie. good luck

  12. Cheryl W says:

    I feed Evo dry to my dogs & cat. I also give them some canned Evanger’s. They all love the Evo & Evanger’s. I switched directly over to Evo after getting some bad Natural Balance Ultra. It has never been recalled but all of mine got sick eating it. I called Evanger’s to get some samples & was surprised when I received a case of both dog & cat food for free.

  13. High Note says:

    I went to a party this evening with some neighbors across town and some of them started talking about how bad our food recalls were getting with lettuce being recalled and then peanut butter, toothpaste and hamburger.. No one said a word about melamine in our meats. I said well it is not any worse then eating melamine pork, chicken, etc. and they looked at me like I was crazy. One woman said what do you mean? I said you have not heard? She said no.. what is melamine? I went on to tell the story. Some of the guys acted made cute little commits, you know the sort of commits of putting you down but in a funny way. After I told them all. They all looked at me like I was telling a story out of a kids story book. No one knew about this! I do not think they even believed a word I said. It was sort of upsetting feeling like I was making it all up, but knowing it all to be true! There really must be a lot of people that know nothing about this. I know they only said something about it on TV once and then they said that they let out the chickens when that happened. But that was all that was said about it. I just felt very stupid for saying a word. did me no good at all. No one really thought I was telling the truth and if any one did they made me feel like I was making a big thing out of nothing at all.
    This made me realize that there really are not many people out there that know at all. They knew about the pet food recall but not much about it either. Only the part of Menu foods recalling their products. Most of them gave their dogs dry food so they said they were not worried about it. Even when I tell them how their pets food are made the gals make faces but they ignore it.
    without itchmo I would not have none much myself. I just got to probing for some home made recipes and stumbled on the itchmo sight.
    This is so upsetting to me. How can we fight something without the pull of the media? I do not think these companies are hurting enough.

  14. menusux says:

    SandiK,

    You’re right re: Romney & Bain:

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

    “From 1978 to 1984, Romney was a vice president of Bain & Company, Inc., another Boston-based management consulting firm. In 1984, Romney left the company to co-found Bain Capital, which quickly became a highly successful private equity investment firm.

    “In 1990, Romney was asked to return to Bain & Company, which was facing financial collapse….

    “Following his year at Bain & Company, Romney returned to Bain Capital. During the 14 years he headed the company, Bain Capital’s average annual internal rate of return on realized investments was 113 percent.

    “During Romney’s tenure, the firm founded, acquired or invested in hundreds of companies including Staples, Bright Horizons Family Solutions, Brookstone, Domino’s, Sealy Corporation and The Sports Authority. Romney now refers to Bain as a venture capital firm, but its main business is conducting leveraged buyouts.

    “Romney left Bain Capital in 1998 to head the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Games Organizing Committee.”

    “In 1994, Romney won the Massachusetts Republican Party’s nomination for U.S. Senate after defeating businessman John Lakian in the primary.

    “After Romney touted his business credentials and his record at creating jobs within his company, Kennedy ran campaign ads showing an Indiana company bought out by Romney’s firm, Bain Capital, and interviews with its union workers who had been fired and criticized Romney for the loss of their jobs, one saying, “I don’t think Romney is creating jobs because he took every one of them away.”

    http://dealbook.blogs.nytimes......n-capital/

    Romney’s Presidential Run Puts Spotlight on Bain Capital
    NYT June 4, 2007

    “The New York Times takes a look at Mr. Romney’s ties to Bain Capital, finding that he has drawn upon his contacts for eye-popping levels of fundraising — and yet has drawn criticism for his role in the sometimes messy world of leveraged buyouts.

    “On the campaign trail, Mr. Romney usually refers to Bain as a venture capital firm, largely to evoke a spirit of entrepreneurship, innovation and perhaps even scrappiness. But these days, Bain’s bread and butter is conducting leveraged buyouts. Among its most recent transactions is a proposed buyout of Clear Channel Communications, the owner of the nation’s largest radio network, and while Mr. Romney headed the firm it struck deals for Domino’s Pizza; Duane Reade; and Artisan Entertainment, the independent movie studio that produced “The Blair Witch Project.””

    http://dealscape.thedealblogs......_romne.php

    May 31, 2007

    “Thanks to the power of online video services, the Huffington Post has resurrected TV ads from Republican Mitt Romney’s failed 1994 bid for the U.S. Senate. The ads sponsored by opponent Sen. Ted Kennedy painted Romney, then a partner at Bain Capital LLC, as a heartless businessman crushing the poor workingman. Evidently, Ampad, a Bain Capital portfolio company, acquired rival SCM and proceeded to lay off its employees, who were later offered their jobs back at a lower rate.”

    Since Romney’s campaign funding has drawn extensively on “Bain-days” contacts and also since he’d like to move to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, he and/or his camp should be asked about melamine, Nutro and remibursements–Whether it be in public or via e-mail. The “Bain Way” apparently also includes buying cheap Chinese product without testing. Even though Mitt wasn’t at the helm at the time, his “Bain brothers” who dig deeply into their checkbooks for his cause were and are.

  15. Elaine says:

    I went in to a D&B store to check out their dog food today. I asked where the dog food was located? and was told. I was looking for some of the varieties that have been mentioned here, but the shelves were full of Nutro products, many “organic, and natural, and new and improved, etc”!

    They also had Iams, Science Diet, and another product (maybe Diamond foods?). Needless to say, I didn’t find what I was looking for, but interesting to me, was that TWO of the sales associates, the one that I asked and another one followed me to the pet food aisle and asked if I had found what I wanted. I told them “No, I AM NOT going to buy any Nutro products, or products from any of the other companies that didn’t recall the product hoping it would all get sold, even tho they knew pets were dying! I am boycotting those companies for their lack of ethical behavior.

    There were signs above all the pet food saying it was “safe” etc. It was very apparent to me that the pet food isn’t selling, and they were wanting to know my reaction to the “new” products!

  16. Pukanuba says:

    Elaine:

    You go, girl……good for you. Sadly, I know people who don’t have a clue are still buying this “new & improved” garbage but it doesn’t look to me like many are. No matter where I go, I look down the pet food aisle & rarely see more than one person….& a lot of times that person is reading the bag or can……which makes me smile, especially when they put it back. Now THAT makes my day.

    One natural pet food store in town carries Nutro (they carry all the premium products so don’t ask me why they carry this one), another holistic pet store I go to in another town doesn’t carry it, they only carry the really good stuff. When I tried CA Natural & my dog got sick on it (sensitive tummy, nothing wrong with it…..she gets sick on the best of them), the owner at the local place suggested I try Nutro’s sensitive stomach…..I didn’t mean to but I know I gave him a dirty look & said “I don’t think so”! Anyone I know who is feeding any of the brands that we all know to be crap, I talk to them about it & offer to send them some of the posts about animals getting sick on that particular brand. I think it’s very important to make sure other people are not making their pets sick with the crap that’s still out there.

    It is true that people are convinced that only the canned food had problems, that all dry food is perfectly safe to feed to their animals. That’s simply because the money & power of the big PF companies kept it out of the media…..only those spending time on the internet (at the wonderful websites we all know & love) got the whole scoop. I feel it’s up to us to help get the word out so these companies don’t sell a lot of their crap.

  17. Mrs. Roberto P. says:

    IMHO–I have no proof of this at all. My husband posted about our sick cat and the free sample. It came in a bag of cat litter. It was called Elegant Medley by a company whose name begins with P. LadyCat ate some of it. LittleCat (a feral) wasn’t around. I washed and recycled the can, unfortunately. In five days, LadyCat was sick. She’s getting better now, but I don’t know yet if she’ll end up in chronic renal failure. Her urine tested POSITIVE for melamine. The Wellness chicken dry (old lot and new lot) that the cats were eating tested negative for antifreeze, melamine, cyanuric acid, acetaminophen, etc. at Cornell University. The P company says she got into antifreeze or Lilies. I don’t have Lilies and the antifreeze lives in the trunk of the car. She is a housecat. We got her from a shelter and she was declawed so she never, ever goes outside. She was negative for ethylene glycol poisoning. That company denies any wrongdoing. I looked up the product on the Internet and it contains wheat gluten. If you can avoid it, do not do any business with the P company. They will lie like rugs to you. How else could she have gotten melamine in her urine when her regular food was negative? I use stainless steel bowls. One lousy can and I don’t know what will happen to her. I hate that company.

  18. Pukanuba says:

    Mrs. P:

    You should go to pet food tracker & read what others are saying about certain pet foods to see if there are any other complaints. Also, Itchmo Forums has a lot of different threads about food making animals sick. It doesn’t matter whether one person or one hundred complained, the large PF companies will not own up to the fact that their food is crap & contaminated with who knows what. You can’t depend on much when it comes to these criminals but you can depend on them not helping you. They gladly take your money when you purchase their crap but they could care less if your pet gets sick or dies. I will never purchase another product from these heartless individuals as long as I live. I’m always trying to talk people out of buying their crap if I can.

    I hope your kitty cat is ok.

    There isn’t much that I trust out there which is why I’m home cooking with just a tad of dry for the crunch. My dog goes nuts when I start nuking her yummy food…..she has always looked forward to her meals but not like this.

  19. Mrs. Roberto P. says:

    Thanks, Pukanuba, for the info. The vet I go to is helping me with home made food for both cats. LadyCat requires less meat protein than LittleCat. I am still using the Wellness dry which tested negative. When it’s gone I don’t know what I’ll do. I just don’t want anyone to use that “P” brand of food. They are horrible! I will check out petfoodtracker. Thanks again!

  20. Pukanuba says:

    Mrs. P:

    Take a look at Felidae or the Natura products (Evo, Innova, Karma) for cats. I don’t have a cat but I use Canidae (the doggy version of Felidae) & I’m very happy with it. Natura’s products I feel are pretty safe……other people talk about different premium foods that they’ve had good luck with. If you go to either the pet food list or Itchmo Forums, you can get tons of great info.

  21. Mrs. Roberto P. says:

    Thanks again Pukanuba. Looked at Natura website. Nearest store is between 8 and 15 miles where I can buy Ennova.

  22. Anonymous says:

    thanks

  23. Pukanuba says:

    Kitty:

    In case you aren’t aware, Menu does their canned food so that’s one good reason not to use their canned. Dry is made by Ohio Products…..don’t know anything about them but nothing was recalled that they manufactured. Dry ingredients look pretty good. Anyone else tried this Life’s Abundance?

  24. Barbaram says:

    Kitty,
    Yes, I have Life’s Abundance for my cats. They like it alot. I must take one cat off of it for awhile only because he is allergic to something, so my vet is working with me to find the cause. It’s not the food, it’s him. Their isn’t anything wrong with that food. If you decide to get some, I think you’ll be happy with it. My kitties sure are. Hope yours like it! ( If you get some)

  25. Kitty says:

    Hello,

    I have coresponded in this forum with a couple responses. I think I have offered very valuable information with helpful solutions to this dilemna of what is really in so many pet foods.

    I cannot see my responses and wonder where they are. Please advise.

    Thank you,

    Kitty

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