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”

  1. mittens says:

    if we almost kill your ‘ property’ you get nothing? what responsible owner if they had the means and the animal had definitely eaten recalled food wouldnt take their pet in for blood work? it’s the company’s fault that they sold you poisoned food- they’re responsible for the very need to test your pet. i suppose they expect you’ll keep feeding the poor thing until it does get renal failure than they’ll break you off 5 bills if youre lucky?

    when people eat contaminated food- say from a worker with hepetitis- whether they get sick or not -the offending company HAS to pay for exams and vaccines for everyone that ate there at the time someone with a transmissable disease handled the food. they know they’d get their backside sued into the ground if they didn’t.

    there’s nothing these scum bags won’t do to not do the right’s just setting the groundwork for people who have informed themselves of this irresponsible behavior to never ever ever be willing to trust your filthy whore company again no matter what.this behavior is so short sighted. theyre just hoping the public with its 2 second attention span will forget this all ever happened.

  2. pat says:

    so hartford’s insurance co.’s position is that renal failure is the only sickness that the poison pet swill will cause? this is why it’s important to confirm expertox’ findings of acetaminophen in certain foods. if it can be established that toxins appear in pet swill as a matter of course, the writer above should be able to recover in class action rather than dealing with a particular insurer for a particular company.

    and i think it’s also time to start castigating and boycotting the insurers of the pet food industry, whom you can be sure will stop at nothing to deprive as many victims as possible of their rightful compensation.

  3. Carol says:

    I clearly remember the advice given to pet parents to have your pet tested if they had eaten any of the “recalled” aka poisoned food. I also remember hearing –even if no symptoms–go to vet for bloodwork. I just can’t remember where I heard this—it may have been on my local news, but if anyone else can remember and bring up the story I think that could help the people in argument whose bills are high and have “unaffected” pets. I think I had heard this on Today Show with the vet from Angell Memorial in Boston??? Anybody else??? Way back in March—

  4. MarySmith says:

    Washington Post - United States
    Friday, June 22, 2007; Page D01

    Pet Food

    DETAILS:13,300 pounds of beef- and chicken-based
    pet food products from SAMS Food Group because
    labels were switched, including 16-ounce white plastic
    jars of “Das Dutchman Essenhaus, Amish Country
    Kitchen” chicken and beef base with the number “EST 18796.”

    DEFECT: The beef-based products contain wheat gluten and soy protein.
    Those ingredients are not in the chicken-based products.

    SOURCE: Wire reports.

    The Washington Post Company

    ITCHMO ADMIN: We contacted Sams Food Group and spoke to a representative named Wendy. She said that they do not make any pet food and said that it was a mistake. They only make human food. We’re waiting to hear back from Washington Post for clarification.

  5. Ann H says:

    Will Nutro pay for veterinarian bills for customers whose pets were impacted by the recalled products?
    “As Nutro has always done, we will treat our customers fairly and with compassion. Our customers who have suffered through an illness or death of their pet and feel a Nutro product in any way contributed to that illness or death, should contact our Consumer Services Department at 800-833-5330 and provide the information requested. These requests will be resolved as quickly as possible.

    For additional information, please review the list of involved products. ”


  6. Ann H says:

    Personally, if it were me, I would:

    1) print out that web page, and other pages as applicable
    2) document what you were told
    3) get a letter from your vet
    4) file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau
    5) file a complaint with the FTC

    Copy the company with all the complaints you filed.

  7. Black Lab Owner says:

    This is standard insurance practice — be it in health insurance or Katrina related claims their practice is to deny legitimate claims in the hope of deterring others from collecting and to have enough to give to the bloated CEOs.

    Unfortunately, it takes determination, perservance and almost heroic efforts of the part of the claimant to collect.

  8. mittens says:

    ** with compassion**

    some how i am not feeling the love at this moment, Nutro, dear.

    if there’s some documention of them suggesting you get your pet tested if they ate contaminated food and they refuse to compensate you, that’s grounds to sue their sorry lying spinning compassionate, fair ass.

    unfortunately i am not sure if it will work. even with alleged harm caused to humans by food it’s no serious medical foul, no crime, no responsibility save in a case like i reference above- when the local health department comes in because a caarrier of a communicatable disease is found in an establishment preparing food. if you just throw up and have a sick stomach and no permanant damage is caused or significant harm there’s no calpability. anyone can crack a tooth and say it was because they ate a cookie with metal in it from a specific store/brand .it’s a common enough scam- like those fingers in fast food’s very hard to trace where someone may have picked up a pathogene and by the time youre over puking etc.- there’s no evidence’s difficult to prove and the pet food industry is taking full advantage of this difficulty. how many of us save months worth of food cans and wrappers?

    they also recently ruled that the growers and sellers of all that tainted spinach of a year or so ago aren’t responsible for sickening millions because it wasn’t done knowingly. of course our government already paid these ‘farmers’( the cute idea that most ‘ farmers’ nowadays are the little guy as opposed to big agri firms is mind boggling. they ain’t farmer brown and his freakin cow.) off by attaching millions of dollars of appropriations to the flippin” bill that funded the troops in iraq. and thus our repulsive government fleeces us, gives the money to agri business who in turn fund politicians campaigns, get millions in tax benefits for employing insignificant handfulls of people here and there and can poison and kill with apparent impunity. i’m waiting for the bill to save dying nuns and orphans that will fund the pet food industry for their horrible ‘loses’ due to the recall. it seems like a sick joke- but watch it happen. millionaires being subsidized by OUR hard earned money while people with devastating vet bills due to a crooked industry get nickled, dimed and ignored .

  9. High Note says:

    Mary Smith I read your post and wondered if the Washing post had any more info on this. I mean are they recalling these products because of wheat gluten and rice protein that was tainted? If so.. this means it is still out there and the FDA has missed a lot of things!

  10. Carol says:

    We must remember the squeaky wheel gets the oil—I agree with Black Lab Owner as I just left the work force (for my husband) ofr four years of billing human health insurances and sure enough there were many “denials” whether blamed on “computer entry error” or “not a covered service” etc I found that taking the time to call, write a letter of appeal and even going one step further and contacting legislators did help MOST of the time. The insurance companies (IMO) think most of us will just go away–but if we don’t and they know it, it seems they take a “second look” and may come through in the end…Maybe the same will be true with these Pet Food Companies that had said they would help way back when they were more in the news and were worried about their PR.

  11. Elaine says:

    Poultry workers diagnosed with TB

  12. Trudy Jackson says:

    Elaine, I can’t get that link to work. Where is this going on? Thanks,

  13. menusux says:

    About the SAMS Food Group Recalls:

    Here’s the company, in Bedford Park, IL:

    They make various food bases for human food:

    Beef Bases:


    “INGREDIENTS: Cooked Beef, Salt, Food Starch-Modified (corn), Sugar, Seasoning (hydrolyzed soy and corn protein, salt, with partially hydrogenated vegetable oil [soybean, cottonseed]
    added), Maltodextrin, Soybean Oil, Seasoning (hydrolyzed corn and yeast protein, hydrolyzed wheat gluten, with partially hydrogenated vegetable oil [cottonseed, soybean] added), Onion
    Powder, Seasoning (hydrolyzed wheat gluten, partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oils, yeast extract, lactic acid, dehydrated bonito fish), Caramel Color, Disodium Inosinate and
    Disodium Guanylate, Oleoresin Celery.”


    “INGREDIENTS: Salt, Dextrose, Beef Fat (beef tallow, BHA, BHT, and citric acid added to protect flavor), Monosodium Glutamate, Food Starch-Modified (corn), Seasoning (salt,
    hydrolyzed soy and corn protein, yeast extract, caramel color, flavoring, with partially hydrogenated vegetable oil [cottonseed, soybean] added), Onion Powder, Soybean Oil, Caramel Color, Garlic, Pepper, Lactic Acid, Disodium Inosinate and Disodium Guanylate,
    Oleoresins (Paprika, Celery, Capsicum).”

    Their Chicken Base does not:


    “Cooked Chicken Meat, Salt, Sugar, Food Starch-Modified (corn), Maltodextrin, Chicken Fat, Flavoring (yeast extract, maltodextrin, soy sauce [soybeans, wheat, salt], whey (milk), salt, natural flavors, citric acid), Onion Powder, Disodium Inosinate and Disodium Guanylate, Turmeric Powder, Oleoresin Turmeric.”

    This recall release says nothing about dog food at all:

    Illinois Firm Recalls Beef and Chicken Bases Due To Mislabeling
    By FSIS
    Jun 21, 2007 - 6:00:18 PM

    “WASHINGTON, June 21, 2007 - SAMS Food Group, Inc., a Bedford Park, Ill., establishment, is recalling approximately 13,300 pounds of beef and chicken base products because the labels were inadvertently switched.

    The beef base product contains wheat gluten and soy protein, which are known allergens. Those ingredients are not in the chicken base product and are therefore not declared on the chicken base label.

    The following products are subject to recall: [View Labels, PDF Only]
    16-ounce white plastic jars of “DAS DUTCHMAN ESSENHAUS CHICKEN BASE, AMISH COUNTRY KITCHEN.” Each jar bears the establishment number “EST. P 18796″ inside the USDA mark of inspection. The top of each jar contains the package code “Best by 1/2008″ and one of the following identifying codes, “L06332 P06333 1200B,” “L06312 P06313 1100A,” “L06331B P06333 1100A,” “L06321 P06324 1100A,” “L06307 P06311 1100A,” “L06352A P06353 1100A or L06331A P06333 1100A.”

    16-ounce white plastic jars of “DAS DUTCHMAN ESSENHAUS BEEF BASE, AMISH COUNTRY KITCHEN.” Each jar bears the establishment number “EST. 18796″ inside the USDA mark of inspection. The top of each jar contains the package code “Best by 1/2008″ and one of the following identifying codes, “L06310 P06312 1200B,” “L06319 P06321 1200B” or “L06310 P06321 1200B.”

    The chicken and beef base products were produced on various dates between November 6 and November 29, 2006 and were shipped to a distributor in Indiana for further retail distribution.

    The problem was discovered following consumer complaints related to the product label switch. FSIS has received no reports of illness due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an allergic reaction should contact a physician.

    Media with questions about the recall should contact company President Alan Levin at (800) 852-0283. Consumers with questions about the recall should contact company Quality Assurance Manager Barbara Sellers at (800) 852-0283.”

    Das Dutchman Essenhaus is an Amish Restaurant in Middlebury, IN:

    Das Dutchman Essenhaus
    240 US 20
    574.825.9471 or 800.455.9471

    From what’s listed at the other links, not sure if this recall involves pet food at all–maybe contacting Washington Post can clarify?

    ITCHMO ADMIN: We contacted Sams Food Group and spoke to a representative named Wendy. She said that they do not make any pet food and said that it was a mistake. They only make human food. We’re waiting to hear back from Washington Post for clarification.

  14. petslave says:

    Here’s some from the TB article that Elaine posted–if you copy & paste the web address it works. Greenville is in SC. Sounds like someont there had it & spread it, blaming it on ‘foreigners’:

    “Poultry workers test positive for TB
    131 at Greenville plant show signs of exposure after active case found

    Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2007 - 2:00 am

    By Liv Osby

    What’s your view? Click here to add your comment to this story.

    State health officials tested 286 employees at a Greenville poultry-processing plant for tuberculosis after a case of TB was reported there, and nearly half had a positive skin test.

    The investigation at Columbia Farms began a week ago after tests on the first individual confirmed active TB, said Thom Berry, spokesman for the state Department of Health and Environmental Control……….”

  15. Trudy Jackson says:

    Thanks, Greenville S.C. is right on our border. We have a lot of immigrants that work the fields here. In fact, they are the only ones who do now. And all over N.C. I am more southeast,[hurricane prone] but the workers are here too.

  16. chris says:

    China blog / Peking Duck

  17. Lorie says:


    It was the FDA website:

    Q: What if my pet ate one of the dog and cat foods being recalled?

    If your pet shows signs of illness (such as loss of appetite, lethargy and vomiting), you should consult with your veterinarian immediately. “The American College of Internal Medicine (ACVIM) has recommended that pets (dogs and cats) that ingested pet food that was on the recall list, whether showing signs of illness (lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, anorexia, etc.) or not (asymptomatic) should be seen by their veterinarian for baseline blood chemistries and urinalysis in order to ascertain the status of their renal (kidney) function. (The ACVIM is the Official Organization of the Veterinary Specialties of Small Animal Internal Medicine, Large Animal Internal Medicine, Cardiology, Neurology, and Oncology.”

  18. petslave says:

    chris–the comments on that article are interesting to say the least. sounds like some of those people should come over to these forums & REALLY get educated on the fda’s “role” & the extent of US/China relationships. scary that people think this way.

  19. Trudy Jackson says:

    Chris, thanks for posting that. i read the whole thing. It’s scarey to say the least. More people need to see it.
    I really do think they are trying to kill us. Why are We still dealing with China? And they killed little babies.

  20. Katie says:

    The Sam’s recall makes you wonder….product was made in Nov 2006 and looks like some contained gluten…


  21. Carol says:

    Lorie, Thanks for your investigation—-I hope the poster who wrote today’s reimbursement story sends this to Nutro—I think I will even though I did not use their product ( and never will in the future after reading the story).

  22. thomas says:

    Gee I wonder if this is to protect us or to further take away our rights ???

    I wonder how many other farm bureaus are posting this?

  23. kb says:

    Sounds like the recalled product is people food? Wish it was a more widely used product. Maybe then it would finally get enough attention.

  24. thomas says:

    In the state where I live the puppy mill operators call anyone who opposes them animal rights activists . They try to connect the people who care about animals with terrorism.

    One dairy farmer dumped milk containinated with antibiotics in his milk tank when his milk company discovered the antibiotics he claimed he saw people around his milk tank and the police started looking for terrorists. When it was finally proven he did it himself he was arrested and put on probation.

    Who are the real terrorists ? Aren’ t they the people in agribusinesses and mega corporations ,who are willing to take away our rights to know what is in our food , our pet food, our drugs? Lets vote out all the people connected to these people who have lined their pockets at our expense and the expense of our pets. Lets see about getting the right to farm act thrown out and ger a right to safe food , safe water and safe air act.

  25. Anonymous says:

    hmmm, timing and ingredients are quite suspicious. Wonder if the FDA missed this product in their “investigation” and recall of human food products containing the original adulterants.

  26. Anonymous says:

    The Progressive: Ruth Conniff: Slave Labor, Poisoned Toys Give Global Capitalism a Black Eye

  27. chris says:

    An Indentured FDA is Incapable of Solving America’s Food Safety Crisis
    Resolving The Worsening Crisis At The FDA
    Steven Fox, May 11, 2007


  28. Trudy Jackson says:

    Well, chris, if that doesn’t open up peoples’ eyes, then I don’t know what will. That was a great read. I hope everyone gets to see it.

  29. High Note says:

    Do not know whether any one heard about this but it seemed important to me:
    Tell the Forest Service to stop the prairie dog massacre.
    Prairie dogs provide food for the eagle, hawks, badgers, swift fox, endangered black footed ferret and many other predators.
    Their burrows provide shelter for burrowing owls, salamanders, black footed ferrets and other creatures.
    The Forest Service wants to use your tax dollars to poison and kill tens of thousands of these little critters and they will distroy the vital habitat in National grasslands.
    The Forest Service wants to do this because some ranchers who graze cattle on FEDEREAL LANDS! and they do not like the prairie dogs.
    The ranchers are pressuring the Bush Administration to kill more prairie dogs on PUBLIC LANDS!
    This plan to poison prairie dogs is both inhumane and wasteful.
    This could end up like years back when they slaughtered the coyote population and then we had way too many rabbits and they had to slaughter them. Or like what happened in Austria when they messed with the wild life and they ended up with way too many rats. After all this is public land and why should the rancher be able to control it! It is for the wild life.
    Some things just should not be messed with. Go to and sign the petition.

  30. Trudy Jackson says:

    Someone please -whoever read Chris’ last post, tell Me not all coffee has that crap in it? I drink coffee all day. this is gross.

  31. Trudy Jackson says:

    High Note, The greed of the Gov. never surprises Me. Kill, and more kill is all they think about. I can’t get the link in, but I do sign most of these prtitions. Thanks,

  32. Steve says:

    Another Friday

  33. chris says:

    I am in need of dry kibble.

    Anyone out there have any suggestions on what I can buy this weekend, have it tested next week (if safe) feed it to my gang. I’m about out of what I have on hand.
    Need cat & dog suggestions….

  34. chris says:

    Info on Muenster Foods:

    Chicken meal, ground brown rice, ground grain sorghum, ground barley, rice bran, chicken fat, (naturally preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), flax seed, ground oats, dried beet pulp, diatomaceous earth (an inert carrier and anti-caking agent), natural chicken flavor, fish oil, yeast culture, dried kelp meal, potassium sulfate, salt, dried eggs, yucca schidigera extract, sage, zinc amino acid complex, manganese amino acid complex, copper amino acid complex, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement (natural-source vitamin E), mixed tocopherols, citric acid, rosemary extract, ferrous sulfate, choline chloride, manganese sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, biotin, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B-12 supplement, folic acid, menadione sodium bisulfite complex, ethylene diamine dihydriodide, and cobalt carbonate.

    Cat: (has corn gluten) - S***
    Chicken meal, ground corn, corn gluten meal, chicken fat (naturally preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), ground wheat, ground brown rice, ground grain sorghum, flax seed, ground barley, dried beet pulp, diatomaceous earth (an inert carrier and anti-caking agent), rice bran, natural chicken flavor, fish oil, yeast culture, sodium bisulfate, dried kelp meal, potassium sulfate, salt, dried eggs, yucca schidigera extract, sage, zinc amino acid complex, manganese amino acid complex, copper amino acid complex, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement (natural-source vitamin E), mixed tocopherols, citric acid, rosemary extract, ferrous sulfate, choline chloride, manganese sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, biotin, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B-12 supplement, folic acid, menadione sodium bisulfite complex, ethylenediamine dihydriodide, and cobalt carbonate.

  35. chris says:

    Holistic Select?
    Ingredients: Lamb Meal, Ground Brown Rice, Ground White Rice, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Natural Mixed Tocopherols), Oatmeal, Dried Beet Pulp, Flaxseed, Dried Egg Product, Carrots, Sun-Cured Alfalfa, Peas, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Quinoa (Organic), Apples, Blueberries, Inulin, Taurine, Beta-Carotene, Cranberries, Dehydrated Kelp, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Yucca Schidigera Extract, DL-Methionine, Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, d-Pantothenic Acid, Niacin Supplement, Choline Chloride, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Folic Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Biotin, Lecithin, Rosemary Extract, Inositol, Polysaccharide Complexes of Zinc, Iron, Manganese, Copper and Cobalt, Potassium Iodate, Sodium Selenite, Lactobacillus acidophilus Lactobacillus casei, Enterococcus faecium, B. subtillus, Bacillus licheniformis, Bacillus coagulins, Aspergillus oryzae, and Aspergillus niger.





  38. petslave says:

    chris–Canidae/Felidae dry is better than either of those that you listed the ingredients for & it doesn’t seem like anyone has had any problems with them. Also, Natura (Innova, EVO, California Naturals & Karm) & the Nature’s Variety dry formulas seem to be OK–they both make their own dry. Both of these are usually fairly easy to find in larger feed stores & smaller pet food shops.

    Also check out some of the itchmoforum pages (accessed at top of this page on top line). There are a number of forum threads regarding what everyone recommends & is having good luck with (knock on wood). I might have already posted these for you on another page, can’t keep up with all the recommendations people have been wanting the past few days & I always feel compelled to answer since I know how hectic & scary it is it is until you can find something that works.

  39. thomas says:

    The person having trouble getting reimbursed from Nutro and hartford insurance might want to join the class action suit that was mentioned recently on itchmo and inthe forums.

  40. YaYa says:

    Chris, the 1st ones dog food sounds pretty good but the Cat sounds like pure crap, wonder why that is.

    I’m using KumpiKat Dry for my cat and making wet homemade and so far so good.
    It has No corn or other filler type yucky stuff Oatmeal and some rice flour are the only grains types in it.

    Hope that helps. They do make a Doog food wet and dry Kumpi. I don’t have a dog tho.

    This is just my personal experience.
    If yu do buy the Cat, add it slow to adjust to it and it is a bit higher in protein. Some perhaps whip up some homemade wet for a while? Just some thoughts from here.

  41. chris says:


    Thanks much. I may have missed them if you posted. It’s hard to keep up where I asked…and who answered.

    My cats wont eat Felidae. Dogs will eat the Canidae but I noticed (sorry if this is gross) a white film on their poop after they ate it. ???? Dont have a clue as to what that means but I had never seen it before.

    Does Natura make all of the others you mentioned?

    Natures Variety had something made by Menu if I remember correctly?

    What a nightmare this is…

    Thanks for your help. :-)

  42. Pit Bull Lover says:

    I’m SO glad I ditched Nutro Natural Choice Lamb and Rice canine kibble, initially as a matter of principle, because of their connection to Menu Foods. I’m sure Nutro would say it’s not connected, but my dog’s no longer gagging, reluctant to eat, lethargic, etc. since the switch. But it’s purely a coincidence, I’m sure. Isn’t it, Nutro? :!

  43. menusux says:

    Until the sale of Nutro to Mars/MasterFoods is final, Nutro belongs to Bain Capital, LLC:

    Wall Street Journal May 30, 2007

    “Bain Capital, the LBO group that owned pet food maker Nutro, is beating a retreat, selling out this month to Mars Inc. (yep, the giant candy maker). ”


    “Bain Capital, LLC is a principal investment firm specializing in private equity, venture capital, public equity, and leveraged debt assets. The firm seeks to invest in seed, start up, early to late stage, growth capital, emerging growth, corporate divestitures, spin offs, management buyouts, industry consolidations, and family/founder situations. It focuses its investments in information technology, including information data, software, hardware, and Internet; communications, including telecommunications, broadcasting, and media; healthcare, including devices and equipment, distribution and information, providers, and other medical products; industrial and manufacturing including, automotive, steel and non-ferrous metals, industrial equipment, engineered components, and business services. The firm also seeks to invest in retail and consumer products including, traditional retailers, on-line merchandising, consumer products, food and restaurants, and consumer services and finance including banking, credit cards, insurance, mortgage, brokerage, exchanges, transaction processing infrastructure and software, and information. Additionally, Bain Capital manages hedge funds and invests in fixed income, equity, commodity, and high yield debt obligation public markets. Bain Capital was founded in 1984 and is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts with offices in New York City; London; and Munich, Germany.”

    Mr. Stephen G. Pagliuca
    Managing Director
    111 Huntington Avenue
    Boston, MA 02199
    Phone: 617-516-2000
    Fax: 617-516-2010

    Think it’s time to bypass the “gatekeepers” at Nutro in California and let their Bain bosses know how reimbursement is being handled. The sale to MasterFood/Mars isn’t final yet–this will take a few months. Bain would surely like to keep goodwill, as their paychecks depend on people willing to invest in their various portfolios. It may not burn Bain any more if people no longer buy Nutro, but it WILL burn them if people don’t want shares of their investments, now or in future.

  44. chris says:

    I thought the same thing. I don’t know why they would make good for dog and not for cat? I remember someone saying that her pups were doing great on Muenster.

    I guess I’ll go buy several brands this weekend, have them tested to make sure they are safe first.

    I’m making kibble out of roast beef now (cooking the heck out of it). I thought by giving a pet-tab to my gang it would give them vitamins they were needing. Until I found this:

    Pet-Tabs® were found to contain 1.4micrograms of lead per tablet. This is a very small
    dose of lead - many municipal water supplies have higher lead concentrations. Human bone
    has approximately 15 micrograms of lead per gram of bone. In the same study, a human
    vitamin supplement (The Vitamin Shoppe Multivitamins Especially for Women) was found to
    contain 15.3 micrograms of lead per daily dose. This amount of lead (15.3 micrograms) is
    more than 10 times the amount permitted without a warning in California, the only state
    that regulates lead in supplements. On average, most American adults are exposed to about
    3 micrograms of lead daily through food, wine and other sources, and while 15.3
    micrograms of lead per day may not be immediately toxic, the mineral is stored in the
    body and could build up to dangerous levels with time.

    Guess I need to have the food tested for metals as well. This just sucks!

    Thanks to the PFI and FDA I dont feel I have any other choice than to have it tested myself. !#&*^#@!

    Best I keep the rest of my thoughts to myself.

  45. Pukanuba says:

    Hi All:

    Happy Fri……yo ho ho & a bottle of rum. Here’s hoping no more recall Fridays.

    Chris: I agree with petslave. The only ones I trust right now are Canidae & the Natura Products (Innova, Evo, Karma, CA Natural) dry……however, Natura canned is still being made at Menu even tho they claim they have someone watching over them until they can get their own plant. They do make their own dry. I’ve been using Canidae & my dog is doing super…..sensitive tummy so few foods seem to agree with her. I only use a little & the rest her mommy cooks for her…, is she spoiled. There’s been some talk of Natures Variety (I have a couple of samples to try) but if I remember correctly, their canned is also made at Menu. I don’t use canned so I don’t pay attention.

    Watch out for that artificial Vitamin k that’s supposed to be a baddie…’ll notice a lot of foods still use it (menadione sodium bisulfite). Also check at pet food list to see where the dry is made…..Diamond & ANI are good ones to avoid. They have had a lot of problems.

    Don’t want to mention any names to try to be a good girl but NSSS has a very valid point. I used their products for years & at one time I believe they had a decent product. Now it does suck, big time. If you go to pet food tracker & read some of the posts about non-recalled dry foods, you’ll see lots of animals have gotten sick on their food & the company could GAS less. No wonder they’re selling out. I don’t think anybody will ever trust their brand again. There are several on my list that I wouldn’t buy again if they were the only pet foods on the market & this is one of them.

    Ok, I’m off my soapbox now.

  46. Pukanuba says:

    Another one I’ve used a few times is Bench & Fields Holistic from Trader Joes. My dog seemed to do well on that one also. However, TJs just had another recall of chopped onion I think it was. Always liked TJs but they’ve had quite a few recalls lately….makes me a bit nervous.

  47. chris says:


    Glad to see your here. I appreciate your opinions and thoughts. There are so many foods I flat out dont trust. I even wonder if my home cooking may be full of melachicks. I am so tired of this! WHY WONT THE FDA DO SOMETHING? Do you think they may when people start getting sick? What’s it going to take for those#@!&%^#.

    Sorry but I am pissed!

  48. Pit Bull Lover says:

    Menusux: “Think it’s time to bypass the “gatekeepers” at Nutro in California and let their Bain bosses know how reimbursement is being handled.”

    BRILLIANT! You wiley agitator, you.

  49. Pukanuba says:


    The FDA will start doing their job when millions of people start dropping from melamine poisoning from the food THEY released into the food chain. Maybe not. I forgot: we don’t count. They would have to be millions of CEOs with money & power before our government will sit up & take notice. How silly to think that we might count.

    I feed my dog rice & chicken but from now on I’m going to buy Foster Farms. That’s one of the places Spocko contacted that said they have special feed for their chickens so we know those aren’t melachickens. I’m so afraid that even my home cooking may be contaminated. This is a sad state of affairs. Thanks to our current administration & all his cronies, we are fast becoming a Third World country. Wonderful…..

  50. chris says:

    Pukanuba says:

    This is a sad state of affairs. Thanks to our current administration & all his cronies, we are fast becoming a Third World country. Wonderful…..

    BINGO! You hit the nail on the head!

  51. 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.

  52. 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.

  53. chris says:


    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.

  54. 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

    “(…) 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 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.”

  55. Maureen says:

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

  56. 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.

  57. chris says:

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

  58. 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!

  59. 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.

  60. Pukanuba says:


    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… I’m not 100% positive if it was Merrick that they were talking about… 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).

  61. 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

  62. 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.

  63. 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.

  64. menusux says:


    You’re right re: Romney & Bain:

    “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.”


    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.””


    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.

  65. 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!

  66. Pukanuba says:


    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.

  67. 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.

  68. 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.

  69. 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!

  70. 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.

  71. Mrs. Roberto P. says:

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

  72. Anonymous says:


  73. Pukanuba says:


    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?

  74. Barbaram says:

    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)

  75. Kitty says:


    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,


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