Recall Update: Friday

Updated throughout the day

  • AVMA and the FDA announced a database to track recall-related deaths. Thanks but we really wished they had set this up 27 days ago. It seems limited to only the current recall at the moment. (Thanks to Pet Connection. Really. Cause they got a database set up quickly.)
  • Itchmo is currently consulting with a CDC-sponsored epidemiologist in the viability of an independent pet food illness database.

More on the hearing:

34 Responses to “Recall Update: Friday”

  1. 5CatMom says:

    A Senate Hearing Committee guest believes the food supply is safer now because the number of sick/dying has decreased?

    Did I really hear that?

    “Afterwards, therefore because of” is FAULTY LOGIC 101.

    Maybe the number of sick/dying has decreased because we’re not feeding MENU’s junk.

    Maybe the number of sick/dying has decreased because pets can’t afford to go to the vet and get into your database.

    Where DO you get your information?

    New subject. Since we’re no longer feeding MENU’s junk, the contaminated food will be in the food supply longer and available for uninformed consumers.

    The BRANDS are risking our pet’s health - just to sell a few more units of their products.

    That’s really, really LOW. Not to mention OFFENSIVE.

    You guys need to get off your rears and recall your products immediately.

    God help us.

  2. susanne says:

    After listening closely to the hearings, I truly believe that the Pet Food Industry is completely and systemically broken, focusing exclusively on their self interests and profits at the expense of pet health, welfare, and nutrition. The Pet Food Industry cannot and will not make the right decisions if they are permitted to continue to self-regulate.

    I urge the government to quickly intervene and implement strong and strict regulatory measures. In order for the government to not wash its’ hands on this, we as pet owners and animal lovers need to let Senator Durbin and others know that based on these hearings, we all believe the industry is broken and in need of regulation. We can’t be satisfied with the oversight hearings. There were alot of lies and misstatements continuing to be made - the FDA folks looked like idiots. We need to continue to push for change or no change will occur.

  3. Pet Connection Blog » Pet-food recall: The big picture says:

    […] news, Itchmo is currently consulting with a CDC-sponsored epidemiologist in the viability of an independent pet food illness database. This is what I was writing about yesterday, when I said our own recall-related database would […]

  4. Cynthia says:

    here’s another washington post article about the hearing:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....02101.html

  5. susanUnPC says:

    “Itchmo is currently consulting with a CDC-sponsored epidemiologist in the viability of an independent pet food illness database.”

    WTG, Ben! And there’s a donation button in the right column on the home page. It’s expensive to run such a busy Web site that requires upgrades to servers and software, then to make all those long-distance phone calls, and so on.

    Let’s help Itchmo! keep its strong voice going!

  6. susanUnPC says:

    One little trick for getting the recall issue more publicity, so more people see stories:

    http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/.....all13.html

    While this isn’t a great article, it gets in some of the hearing’s revelations, and ends on a high note with Dr. Hodgkins’ demands. When we see such articles, we can e-mail them to friends … and, maybe, we can elevate this article to the “Most E-Mailed” list in the right column at the Seattle P.I. (The same is true for any newspaper site that features “Most E-Mailed.”) People look at the “Most E-Mailed” lists, and tend to read the articles more.

  7. BJ says:

    The article mentioned above - http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....02101.html - I just read it (right after corresponding with someone whose dog is dying) and the comments posted to it. I could not BELIEVE the callousness of some of the comments, and the total lack of regard and compassion for the individuals and animals who have suffered so greatly.

  8. Jan says:

    For those of you who haven’t been to the Pet Connection website recently, somebody posted a terrific website for the recalled food in an easy to read format. You can even type in whatever food you want to check on.

    http://data.tennessean.com/DB/.....od2007.php

  9. 5CatMom says:

    This morning I called EPA, FDA, and lots of other A’s in an effort to report my theory as WHY this debacle occurred, namely the 1999 Novartis petition as posted many times previously.

    One of the FDA folks that I spoke with off the record, and who didn’t want to be identified stated “FDA told their employees to feed natural”, as in natural foods.

    My next question was “Then why in the world doesn’t FDA recall existing pet food?”

    The answer was “I don’t know”.

    Just though you’d like to know.

  10. 5CatMom says:

    Note to Pet Food CEO’s:

    Recall existing pet food NOW.

  11. 5CatMom says:

    Jan,

    Thanks. Can you email to Senator Durbin and Senator Kohl?

  12. 5CatMom says:

    Everyone,

    Please excuse typos, my keyboard is a bit messed up.

    Good thing I’m not putting LOT NUMBERS on pet food cans.

  13. Lynette says:

    Want to hear some callousness? I am embarrassed to live in the Windy City.
    http://newsblogs.chicagotribun.....ounce.html

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE thank the Senators who have gotten involved. We NEED them to keep pushing this forward!!! Let them know this is an IMPORTANT issue that warrants their time and effort!!!

    Contact Senator Durbin: http://durbin.senate.gov/contact.cfm

    Contact Senator Kohl: http://kohl.senate.gov/gen_contact.html

    Senator Bennett: http://bennett.senate.gov/contact/emailmain.html

    Senator Byrd: http://byrd.senate.gov/byrd_email.html

  14. A Reader says:

    Guess you missed this opinion column:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....02101.html

  15. Lynette says:

    Want to see callousness? I’m embarrassed to live in the Windy City. Nothing but criticism here, from Senator Durbin’s own constituents:

    http://newsblogs.chicagotribun.....l#comments

    PLEASE thank the Senators for getting involved! Urge them to keep pushing!

    Contact Senator Durbin: http://durbin.senate.gov/contact.cfm

    Contact Senator Kohl: http://kohl.senate.gov/gen_contact.html

    Senator Bennett: http://bennett.senate.gov/contact/emailmain.html

    Senator Byrd: http://byrd.senate.gov/byrd_email.html

  16. dazzled_1 says:

    They have to keep the recall going. My dog is very sick from eating Pedigree dry dog food and/or Milk Bone dog bisquits. These are not on recall yet.

  17. 5CatMom says:

    To Everyone,

    If it ain’t NATURAL - Don’t feed it. See above post.

    “One of the FDA folks that I spoke with off the record, and who didn’t want to be identified stated “FDA told their employees to feed natural”, as in natural foods.

    My next question was “Then why in the world doesn’t FDA recall existing pet food?”

    The answer was “I don’t know”.

    PLEASE GET OUT THE WORD.

    Many Thanks

  18. Jan says:

    Yo, 5CatMom…….did you want me to email that website to the Sens? Do you have any idea how to reach them by email? Be happy to email once I know how to reach them.

    You probably heard me in an earlier post when I said I had to throw all my treats away. Most had wheat or wheat gluten, some were made in China. Sad I had to waste all that money but I wouldn’t feed that stuff to my baby.

    I still don’t trust anything on the market right now. Don’t care what anyone tells me, especially the ones who speak with forked tongue at these pet food companies, but if the wet food has been recalled I don’t understand how they can tell us the dry is ok. I’m no nutritionist but it stands to reason that they share the same ingredients, just in a different form.

    I was feeding Nutro Ultra dry & when I saw the wet was recalled, I freaked & brought my dog in for blood tests. She’s ok. (Wasn’t doing well on it anyway so I switched shortly before the recall.) I think most everything on the shelves from these companies is suspect & I wouldn’t buy any of them, nevermind feed them to my beloved dog. Actually, I will boycott all of them until the end of my days. Will never trust them again. It’s all natural or stuff that I cook PERIOD.

  19. Jan says:

    Me again….,.sorry, just noticed a post with their email addresses. Will forward the website on to them……thanks.

  20. 5CatMom says:

    Jan,

    Thanks for your help, and in getting those email addresses. I’ve called just about all the A’s by now, as I believe the current pet food recall issue has exposed a NATIONAL SECURITY ISSUE that needs to be addressed by some of those very A’s.

    You would not believe the ordeal. I’ve also discovered that, in addition to having, broken departments of EPA and FDA, as evidenced by yesterday’s Senate Committee Hearing, our HOMELAND SECURITY system is broken.

    We hear such rumors every day, but I have had personal experience today.

    Would like to work with other bloggers and try to get some of this stuff fixed, or at least identified.

    Most of the yo-yo’s I talked to today didn’t even know what the Federal Register is!

    Don’t know about you, but I’m fed up with the service we’re getting from our very poor FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

    We need changes.

    I’ve been working on this for day’s. No food. No sleep.

    Told a couple of A’s that I’ll get on an airplane and come to DC if necessary.

    So thanks a lot.

    Thanks much.

  21. 5CatMom says:

    Jan,

    Very glad your dog is OK. My cats are on one of the naturals.

  22. Lynette says:

    Per www.petfoodinstitute.org:

    The Pet Food Institute has formed the National Pet Food Commission, an industry-government partnership composed of government officials, veterinarians, toxicologists and food scientists who are committed to maintaining and enhancing the high standards we have set in this country that protect our pets.

    The purpose of the new commission is two-fold: 1)To investigate the cause of the current pet food recall, and 2) To recommend steps the industry and government should take to further build on safety and quality standards already in place. [ read more on PFI’s consumer site, PetFoodReport.com…]

    Per www.petfoodreport.com:

    http://www.petfoodreport.com/whatweknow.htm

    The pet food industry remains a partner in the investigation with the FDA and has cooperated with state and federal regulators since evidence leading to the recall first surfaced. The industry will continue cooperate fully with any other official investigations relating to this incident.

    [No more 3-week delays, then?]

    The FDA’s investigation is ongoing and has not reached any conclusions about how
    any foreign substances entered the process. I think it’s presumptuous to additional
    regulatory measures at this time. Only when we have this information can we make
    an accurate and informed decision.

    [Because the system is obviously perfect now?]

    http://www.petfoodreport.com/r.....esting.htm

    How Pet Foods Are Regulated
    Pet foods are one of the most highly regulated food products. They are required
    by law to provide on their labels more information than most human foods. State
    departments of agriculture provide standards and enforcement policies for regulation
    of manufacture of pet foods resulting in safe foods. Ingredients in pet food must
    be acceptable to state authorities. In the March 23 press conference Sundlof also
    stated that regulation of pet foods is the same as human foods.

    [BULL! No information on carbohydrates, for example. Carbohydrate information is key for management/treatment of feline diabetes and feline obesity.]

    Pet food manufacturers are responsible for producing safe products. The U.S. Food
    and Drug Administration and state governments provide the rules, guidance and oversight
    under which safe pet food is produced. FDA requires pet food to be wholesome, contain
    no harmful or deleterious substances, and to be truthfully labeled.

    [Except that they can claim anything they want - such as weight loss or urinary tract health without any support for those statements - I can provide you with a MULTITUDE of false claims on Hill’s Pet Nutrition website, for example.]

    How Ingredients and Finished Pet Foods Are Tested
    Pet food ingredients undergo significant testing for safety and quality assurance
    including screening for mycotoxins (including aflatoxin), bacteria (including Salmonella
    and E.Coli) and nutrient content. Furthermore the finished product is analyzed to
    ensure appropriate nutrient levels, evaluating protein (including 11 amino acids),
    fat, fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

    [Then why have we had THREE deadly recalls since 2005?]

    http://www.petfoodreport.com/a.....rnutrition

    Veterinarians agree that pets are living longer, healthier lives since the use of
    commercially prepared pet foods became widespread. Decades of research have gone
    into the development of pet food to make sure the special nutrition needs of pet
    dogs and cats are met.

    [Not ALL veterinarians - Dr. Hodgkins, for example, says pets are living longer DESPITE poor nutrition - just like humans are living longer DESPITE all the processed foods available now - because of medical advances.]

    Question
    What does “complete and balanced” mean?

    Answer
    Unlike most foods for people, many pet food products are designed to be the sole
    source of nutrition for a pet dog or cat. Products that are labeled “complete
    and balanced,” as defined by the Association of American Feed Control Officials
    (AAFCO), have been tested to make sure they meet the complex nutritional requirements
    of a healthy dog or cat.

    [FOR SIX ANIMALS (OUT OF EIGHT) FOR SIX MONTHS]

    Question
    What does it mean on a pet food label that a product has been tested using animal
    feeding trials?

    Answer
    There are two ways a pet food company can test the nutrition of its products. One
    method is the use of standardized animal feeding trials, designed by the Association
    of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), to make sure their products meet the
    complex nutritional requirements of dogs and cats. The animals in these tests are
    fed the food for six months and are closely monitored to make sure they stay healthy.
    A product using this test will have language similar to the following on the label
    - “Animal feeding tests using AAFCO procedures substantiate that Nancy’s
    Food for Dogs provides complete and balanced nutrition for all life stages.”

    [BULL! As long as they don’t lose a significant amount of weight - and SIX of the EIGHT complete the trial, it’s good! If ONE food passes the test, all foods in the line are presumed to pass!]

    Question
    Are fillers used in pet food?
    Answer
    Every ingredient used in pet food is there for a reason. Decades of research have
    gone into making pet foods that meet the nutritional needs of dogs and cats. The
    makers of pet food do not put in anything that’s not needed.

    [Oh, then CELLULOSE - which is SAWDUST - is needed for nutrition??? It’s an ingredient in Hills’ prescription m/d dry cat food, among other foods.]

    Question
    What is ingredient “splitting?”
    Answer
    Some people incorrectly believe pet food makers split up ingredients to give the
    illusion that some ingredients are at higher concentrations than others. Pet food
    makers are required to carefully label their products according to stringent government
    regulations. Just as the case with food for people, pet foods must clearly state
    what ingredients are included in the product. Each ingredient in pet food is there
    for a reason and to serve a nutritional purpose.

    [Okay - I guess they put corn starch & corn gluten separately - use rice and corn… for other reasons, not so there’s not a grain as the first ingredient? The “every ingredient” is there for a reason is an insult to our intelligence!]

    ********************************************************************
    PLEASE EMAIL THE SENATORS AND TELL THEM TO KEEP PUSHING!!!! The Chicago blogs are reaming Senator Durbin for taking time out of his schedule to focus on pet food - they ask “what’s next, resolutions for puppies”? Let Senator Durbin and the others we think this is IMPORTANT!!! We NEED them to keep pushing!!!
    Contact Senator Durbin: http://durbin.senate.gov/contact.cfm
    Contact Senator Kohl: http://kohl.senate.gov/gen_contact.html
    Senator Bennett: http://bennett.senate.gov/contact/emailmain.html
    Senator Byrd: http://byrd.senate.gov/byrd_email.html
    ********************************************************************

  23. Debbie says:

    Hi, 5CatMom! : ) I, too, have been working on this for hours and hours, that have turned into days, that have turned into weeks…forgetting to eat too…inflaming the symptoms of my chronic illnesses, and even forgot to clean out my cats’ liter boxes yesterday!…writing emails, letters, making flyers, making phone calls……….I’m sure just like you, definitely no sympathies, self-glorification, or gratitudes needed or wanted…it’s all for the sake of the animals.
    BUT, for the life of me, I would to know what’s wrong with some people!!!!!???? A lot of people (strangers) have highly appreciated my intensely researched info - mostly from Itchmo - that I related to them, but some people choose to remain ignorant about the recalled foods still on shelves, saying: “oh, well, I’ve had my dog (or cat) on this for years bec they like it.” Duhhh???? At best, I hope that’s only in my area, which is known for ignorance is bliss!
    Anyway, in one of my flyers, I am going to include the point you brought up about the recalls still being on the shelves, and that this poisonous issue will be continuing longer. Thanks for that noteworthy point!

  24. Debbie says:

    To ITCHMO, I would like to participate in that “safe store” site, but I am not computer saavy. I tried and tried to fill in the areas to log in, but nothing works. Is it possible for you or someone else to relate on that site that “Pets Supplies Plus” are safe stores?
    There are only 120 stores throughout the country, small franchises…and they are very vigiliant about taking off the latest recalls.
    Thanks for any help.

    And just for the record, PetSmart could not care less about the lastest recalls. According to them, my local one, they only supposedly took off that ones that were dated in that certain period. So I take it that they are doing only what is coming down from their corporate HQs.
    I called my state’s FDA about them today, left a message…will probably be waitng forever for a return call…but I will keep on them.

  25. Larry says:

    I posted this on petconnection. I am posting it over here in hopes of getting folks to call their own States Attorney office to get some redress for criminal conduct.

    Menu Foods admits to knowledge that pets were dying from their toxic products as early as February 20th, yet they didn’t recall product and tell the FDA until March 16th.

    This was a cruel act perpetrated on over 4000 pets at great expense and even greater grief to pet owners.

    Menu Foods executives who had the authority and responsibility to quickly pull toxic product from the market, should be held criminally accountable for thousands of acts of animal cruelty.

    Here in Maryland animal cruelty is a crime under Maryland Code § 10-606(a)1 which says:

    Prohibited:

    (a) A person may not”

    (1) Intentionally mutilate, torture, cruelly beat, or cruelly kill an animal.

    Penalty:

    (b)(1) A person who violates this section is guilty of the felony of aggravated cruelty to animals and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 3 years or a fine not exceeding $5,000 or both

    Most states have similar laws.

    Continuing the manufacture, sale and distribution of foods known to cause animals injury, suffering or death weeks after due notice is animal cruelty. The first pet who died were an accident. Those pets that could have been saved through responsible corporate action are viscious crimes.

    I hope pet owners will contact their own state attorney general and their State Senators and ask that these executives at Menu Foods be brought to justice for their criminal conduct.

    This is not the first recall of foods that injured or killed pets. Only if corporate executives believe that their failure to act promptly will be criminally punished, will executives make the correct future decisions to take due care with our pets.

  26. 5CatMom says:

    Lynette,

    Thanks for the info. That’s what we need - more do nothing burecrats.

    Just turn it over to ITCHMO.

  27. Jan says:

    Hi 5CatMom:

    Bless you for taking up so much of your time to try to work with our broken gov’t to either get answers or some help. Pretty sad state of affairs I might add.

    I have been reading so much that my eyes are blurry but I want to know what’s going on or NOT going on.

    I sent that website to both Senators as you requested & thanked them for taking up the cause to help pets & pet parents everywhere.

    I have also been researching food as my dog hasn’t been doing well on some of the dry I’ve used recently. I’ve been buying the premium dry but still having no luck. So I dropped in to a place locally that makes Hund-n-Flocken & was lucky enough to be able to spend some time with the owner. After talking to her & finding out what a lot of these ingredients are (not sure about you but reading ingredients doesn’t help me because I have absolutely no clue what most of that stuff is), I bought a small bag of HnF. Once I started to mix that in with the old dry, I noticed a few changes in my dog, good changes, not bad. So once I can completely change her over, this is what I’m going to use from now on. Oddly enough, this is actually less money than the other two “premium” brands I’ve bought recently.

    If I can help you in any way with any of your “causes”, let me know. I’m trying to read as much as I can to keep up to date on what’s going on. My dog can’t speak for herself nor does she have any say in what she eats…..therefore, it’s all up to me.

    I will repeat (as many times as I possibly can) that I do not & will not ever trust any of the companies that recalled pet food. I hope & pray that other pet owners feel the same & refuse to ever buy their products again. I cannot believe they have been absolutely silent during this whole fiasco……how about an apology for poisoning our pets? How about telling us what you intend to do to keep this from happening again? How about help with vet bills for these pet parents going into debt (bless them) to try to keep their pets alive? What a bunch of losers. They’ll never get my money again.

    And how about ethylene glycol (or whatever it is) found in pet food in South Africa. How did we ever get an ingredient in antifreeze into pet food? And could that be what the “other contaminant” is that the FDA & other labs testing pet food has been unable to identify? It does cause ARF. Hmmmmmmmmmm

  28. 5CatMom says:

    Jan,

    Thanks for your hard work.

    There’s so much that needs to be done right now before the A’s on the Hill loose interest. They’re paying attention, for now, because it’s being covered across the nation in local papers. These papers need to read ITCHMO.

    Maybe they already do. I don’t know as I’m still a newbie here. I’ve read many of the papers, and, although the recall issue is covered, it seems our views aren’t getting out there. Too many quotes from the A’s.

    I’d like to see a headline that reads: ITCHMO Bloggers Find Cause of Pet Food Recall, Discover National Security Scandal and Broken Department of Homeland Security. Well, you get the picture.

    That would be a hoot! I’ve worked on grass roots stuff before. Got to be organized, and got to get the message out. Had some great victories, but that’s a different story. It was fun, and did some good as well.

    I sent Dr. S (FDA vet) emails last week, but haven’t heard back. Well, he said he didn’t know why …..So I told him.

    Do you know a way to “mass mail” a letter to all Senators and Reps. at the same time? Would be good to keep them all informed about the issues.

    It’s clear those guys never talk to each other. No suprise here.

    Connect the dots? They can’t even find the dots. Do they even know what dots are?

    I gave them some dots on Friday . . . expect to see the black ‘choppers any minute. Just kidding.

    I tried to call Senator Brownback’s office on Friday and screener cut the line. There’s a very long post (sorry, guys) that relates the whole story.

    Told everyone I spoke with that I’m embarassed to be an American.

    FYI, there’s a method to the long post madness. I’m also contacting local news papers and referring them to ITCHMO. I invite anyone who’s willing to do the same.

    Have discovered some amusing stuff. Details later.

    Again, thanks so much for pitching in.

  29. 5CatMom says:

    Forgot to add,

    Also many thanks to all who are doing things.

    Lynette, Larry, Debbie, Cynthia, SusanUnPC, BJ and everyone who is researching, posting links, searching China websites, contacting Senators, writing letters of thanks (very important), watching MENU, talking to friends about the issues, telling others about ITCHMO, reading labels, and all the rest - - - it’s all important.

    Don’t know about you, but has been an eyeopener.

  30. Jan says:

    5CatMom:

    Not sure if you’ve discovered pet connection but lots of interesting posts there too. I keep going back & forth between these & howl911.

    I sure hope the pet food companies’ execs (morons) & MF’s execs (super morons) are over here reading these posts……that’d be such a crackup.

    If we think this pet food recall has been an eye opener for us, I think the real eye opener would be for the heartless folks at the top of the pet food companies to read these posts & see what the average pet owners think about them & how much we’d like to tell them where we all feel they can put their “wholesome” food.

  31. 5CatMom says:

    Jan,

    Yes, it’s very disturbing. This is not just about pet food. I don’t have time to also deal with pet connection, but would be grateful if ITCHMO folks would let them know. Copy some of the posts over to there, or something.

    I’m raising lots of sand about this, and no one is telling me to shut up, so I don’t know.

    Did you see my other posts? Sure sounds like a big deal to me.

    Anyway, I just sent an email to the New York Times, so maybe they can deal with it.

    Would be a good idea, if you believe this IS a story, for other bloggers to do so as well. They won’t pay attention to only one email.

    Here’s email address for the New York Times:

    news-tips@nytimes.com

  32. 5CatMom says:

    Jan,

    Wish ITCHMO had a way to search through all the posts. Unless you follow the posts day by day, things get lost.

    With a good search tool all the A’s could log on and see what’s really going on.

    I hope everyone contributes to ITCHMO, so we can get some good tools.

    ITCHMO is the greatest.

  33. 5CatMom says:

    HOMELAND SECURITY
    EPA
    FDA
    PET FOOD COMPANIES

    The pet food recall reveals what, I believe, is a NATIONAL SECURITY ISSUE.

    WE’RE NOT SAFE.
    WHAT ARE YOU DOING ABOUT IT?

  34. Louie says:

    To: Duane Ekedahl, President
    Pet Food Institute

    Can you explain this to me:

    “The pet food industry has been working diligently with the Food and
    Drug Administration, which has led the investigation to understand the
    cause of this incident since we learned of the first recall,” Ekedahl said.”

    http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-.....amp;EDATE=

    Duane, we know WHY this happened. If you want to help, tell FDA to let the BRANDS know when FDA delete’s a test.

    Seems like SOMEONE isn’t paying real close attention. Why don’t you get off the biz jets and DO YOUR JOB.

    Duane, you’re fired.


Close
E-mail It