Recall Update: Saturday

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Non-Recall News: Read our other daily posts below.

(Thanks SusanUnPC and Offy)

47 Responses to “Recall Update: Saturday”

  1. xyz says:

    They could have come out and said “We blew it with our first reponse. Sorry about that. It was ill conceived and stupid”. Apparently that would have been too easy. Come on folks. Get a clue. People don’t want to buy your product because you can string words together. I don’t want to buy your product because you’ll test an ingredient *if* its suspect. Sure, there’s a lot of stuff out there that’s toxic. Tell us what YOU do to make sure it doesn’t make it into the finished product. You can’t test for everything. How about sharing what you do screen for. Stop spinning and start communicating.

  2. xyz says:

    Someone made a comment (Alabama COOL article) about how freaked out people with pets have been about the recall and the possibility of widespread panic if it were more than pets. I don’t think they realise this still isn’t contained after, what, six weeks?

    We haven’t heard boo from the vast majority of city and state officials on what they’re doing to protect consumers in their states. I personally don’t care whose side of the fence this falls on. Many people have done their best to help keep complete strangers and their pets safe. You can read about their efforts here and on other sites. How about city and state officials coodinating efforts for public awareness? If it has been done I haven’t heard about it.

    Wake up. You’re out of ‘trial runs’ on what to do in a crisis.

  3. kb says:

    The pro labeling group
    and the anti-labeling group

  4. 5CatMom says:

    Looks like FDA spends lots of time (and tax $’s) talking, studying, writing, etc. about the issue of FOOD SAFETY.

    That’s the problem. They’re so busy ANALYZING that they can’t DO anything.


  5. Sharon says:

    The Bush administration has turned the FDA into the mouthpiece for the pharmaceutical industry. Food safety needs to be turned over to the USDA. At least those people know how to do the job. As far as I can tell, that is one of few government agencies not run by the cronies.

  6. nancy says:

    Where does the FDA say 4000 now?

  7. 5CatMom says:

    From ITCHMO’s Saturday Recall Update:

    “Wysong backs away from it’s defense of Menu Foods”

    Note to Wysong: MENU is in the JUNK FOOD business.

    The following was posted on several weeks ago (has since been changed):

    “Menu strives to execute a “quick-to-follow” strategy whereby once a leading brand establishes a popular product format or formulation, Menu offers an analogous product to its customers. Menu’s manufacturing and product development capabilities often permit it to introduce analogous products for retail customers within a matter of months following the introduction of the new product by a branded manufacturer. Menu also develops proprietary and innovative products at the request of certain customers”

    IMHO, here’s the translation: The BRAND hooks you with slick advertising, then turns to MENU for low cost production.

  8. Deb G. says:

    C-Span has the Boston Globe Staff Writer, Diedtra Henderson on the lastest right now 8:05am eastern time. Watch it if you can callers are calling in….

  9. Deb G. says:

    This is really great! They are asking some awesome questions. A Dr. just called in about how Mad Cow is still a real problem. She doesn’t trust the govt. Everyone, watch this if you can.

  10. rikki says:

    Read the latest Wysong manifesto. Not impressed.


  11. Garyn says:

    5Cat mom, exactly. That is what happens with so many food brands. It starts as a small company, they take care to make a good product, the public likes the product and trusts the company and then when we aren’t looking, the company gets gobbled up by a corporate giant who cheapens the product. The product continues to sell because we still think it is being made with care by the little old ladies in the clean kitchen. Purina was actually not a bad food 40 years ago before Nestle’s bought it and destroyed anything that was good about it.

    About the 20 million chickens, I can’t imagine that a farmer would buy the pet food post recall, knowing it was killing animals. I think that the pet food company (insert name) had millions of cans ready to ship to pet food companies and instead, knowing it was tainted and killing animals, sold it to farmers. Then they waited and waited and waited (delay in recall) and then recalled. By then the chickens had eaten the poison. If that isn’t criminal, I don’t know what is.

    I was walking around NYC yesterday during lunch and I felt like I was the only one who was aware of what was going on. People were in line to buy chicken kebabs from street vendors at lunch time. On a good day I wouldn’t buy those, but now, how could anyone even consider it. They aren’t aware.

    Our two main papers have reported nothing. Not too many people in NYC read the NY Times. They read the Daily News or NY Post. I am not a political person but something weird is going on. You tell me.

    The NY Daily News is owned by Mortimer Zuckerman. He is a billionaire liberal. He is a member of The Council on Foreign Relations. So is Dick Cheney and Rice and Kissenger and president Bush’s cousin Johnathan Bush and many others and many corporate giants. This group is called one of the most powerful agents of US foreign policy outside the state department.“Meetings are convened at which government officials, global leaders and prominent members debate major foreign-policy issues” From Wikipedia.

    The NY post is owned by Rupert Murdoch. He is a conservative and Bush supporter. He has a bid out to take over the Wall Street Journal which would be a catastrophe for the Journal since the Post is not a serious paper. It is tabloidish. Paris Hilton going to jail is more newsworthy to this paper than poison chickens. I just don’t get it. He may not want to call attention to himself so his bid isn’t upset.

    I cannot believe that they are even thinking about releasing these chickens into the market. It reminds me of that tobacco commercial except this time it is ‘you don’t always die from melamine’. The entire US population is going to end up on dialysis, if you are lucky enough to afford it!! Are they crazy!!

  12. mal says:

    Plan to close labs drawing fire
    Critics: FDA proposal will hurt the agency

    WASHINGTON — A Food and Drug Administration plan to close seven of 13 field laboratories has angered some lawmakers, government workers and safety advocates, who fear the move will chase away skilled veteran employees and hurt the FDA’s ability to respond to public health emergencies.
    The FDA’s field labs inspect and analyze food, drugs, animal medications and feeds, medical devices and other health products.

    The labs check for compliance with federal guidelines, protect consumers from unsafe, ineffective and mislabeled products, and help investigate public health threats such as product tampering, bioterrorism, foodborne illnesses and contaminated blood supplies.

    Several of the facilities helped investigate the recent pet food scare and E. coli and salmonella outbreaks in spinach and peanut butter. On the heels of these crises, the proposed lab closings have been met with strong suspicion.

  13. ThreeBadKitties says:

    In Wysucks new manifesto, I wonder who the letters of support were from? Menu Food employees? Jerks.

  14. johnypaycut says:

    Ok.. whats the story with Wysong?
    i’ve been checking out their web site. is the pet food good, alright, or a
    ploy to make money?
    im netural in this.. im thinking of maybe getting some for my cat..
    any one got experence with the product, or opinions?

  15. JanC says:

    Re: Wysuck’s (tee hee) new post. I was fuming over the first post defending MF (those initials can either be taken in a polite way or a very rude one… far as I’m concerned, both apply perfectly) & was trying to calm down so I could reply without being rude & nasty. Some of you did a beautiful job responding. Not only did they probably get a ton of some very angry emails about that first post (can’t believe they got any agreeing with them, let’s get real here), I’m sure they had their little trolls out there reading the blogs & they had a lot to read as pet owners were furious.

    At least this second one is not talking down to anyone & has a completely different tone to it. I would say whoever wrote the first one was fired & this was written by somebody else. You have to give them a little credit to respond in a polite way to many angry & nasty emails after people read the ravings of a lunatic. I just couldn’t imagine any company defending MF & to make pet owners look like a bunch of idiots. Who do they think buys their food?

    I was just about to send them an email asking them how they intend to defend MF in light of the latest recall…..but they beat me to the punch.

    Not that my opinion counts for much but I would like to see MF either clean up their act & their facility or get the hell out of this business. We don’t need people like them making food for our best friends.

  16. menusux says:

    If you go back and do some reading, I’d believe MF is quite close to going under.

    There’s never a good time for a $40-million recall, but this one came just as Menu Foods Income Fund was beginning to turn itself around after investors had given it up for a dog. The troubled Ontario company had stumbled badly in 2005 and was forced to cut distributions to unitholders. Then, just as its future was brightening, the unimaginable happened.

    This is part of a pay per view article from March.

    Menu Foods Income Fund investors haven’t had it easy. Over the past few years, the pet-food maker has been battered by everything from mad cow disease to rising aluminum prices. It has danced dangerously close to its debt covenants — at times breeching them — and eventually cut payments to unitholders all together.

    The company’s largest customer — Menu Foods didn’t specify who this is — has put future orders for cuts and gravy products “on hold” .

    This could pinch the company. In 2006, this customer’s cuts and gravy purchases represented about 11% of Menu Food’s annual revenue, the company disclosed in a statement Friday. Aleem Israel, an analyst at Sprott Securities Inc., said in a research note that Procter & Gamble is Menu’ Food’s biggest customer. This consumer goods giant accounts for about 18% of Menu’s total sales.

    Debt covenants haunted the company that year, and it wasn’t able to raise its prices until rival Nestle, the brand leader in the wet pet food world, hiked its prices in 2006.

    So now we see that P & G (Iams, Eukanuba) was the #1 MF customer, and that MF is completing with Nestle/Purina.

    It is also a contract manufacturer of branded pet food products, manufacturing for five of the top six branded companies in North America, including Procter & Gamble, for which it is the exclusive supplier of canned wet pet food sold under the Iams brand, P&G having sold its South Dakota plant to Menu Foods in 2003.

    Menu is the only private-label supplier and contract manufacturer in North America offering wet pet food in pouch format.

    And we also see that pouched food is more than likely produced by MF.

    When the 5/2-5/3 recalls were announced in such a scattered way, one of the things I thought while working on them was that this company’s going under and it really doesn’t give a damn whether it issues the recalls properly or not. Also thought that since quite a few companies who were formerly using MF for their products have said that they will no longer, MF knows who’s left or leaving the fold and their products may not get the attention deserved re: the recalls that a company which has not made statement that it’s through with MF might.

    This isn’t the first time MF has sailed into dangerous waters, but I think this time they hit the iceberg–and all through their own doing.

  17. Steve says:

    When does the CRIMINAL investigations begin?

  18. Lorie says:

    If want to see how scary the meat industry is read a book by Robin Cook: TOXIN I didn’t eat hamburger for at least a month after reading this, yes it is fiction based book, but all writers do research when they are writing and it is usually based on fact. It claims the beff industry is the biggest money maker for th US and they will turn a blind eye to CTA.

  19. YaYa says:

    I missed the C-Span deal! I hope they re-play it later! I wonder, do they have Transcripts of things like the Call ins??

  20. Ann H says:

    Menusux: Well, now, the money folks seem to think the worst is over and the recent recalls are the problem of the pet food industry, not Menu Foods. The market sentiment is bullish now, and before it was only neutral.

    “I think the extent of this recall is not going to sway
    investors one way or another. The big recall is already out
    there,” said Robert Silgardo, an analyst at Dundee Securities
    Corp. in Toronto. “At this point, this is more of a pet food
    industry problem than a Menu Foods problem.”

    Don’t forget the Duane Ekedahl “said that the recall of dry pet food products is “irresponsible” at this moment.
    “Any call at this time for a recall of dry pet food is clearly irresponsible,” Ekedahl said in a statement released this morning in response to a demand by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals for a recall of all dry pet food.
    Pet Food Institute represents the manufacturers of 97 percent of all dog and cat food produced in the United States.
    “Neither state nor federal regulators have found any evidence whatsoever to support a recall of dry pet food products. In fact, the evidence indicates that the efforts of the pet food industry, the FDA and state regulators have stopped the distribution of pet food believed to be contaminated.” ”

    That helps Menu’s position, they’re just following the PFI self regulation party line. After all, who can stop them? Nobody has the clout to put an end to it in time to save any animals.

  21. Louie says:


    If you liked TOXIN, Check out DEADLY FEASTS by Richard Rhodes; published in 1997 by Simon & Schuster. Mr. Rhodes’ book is NON FICTION.

  22. YaYa says:

    Menusux: Excellent Post! And Good hunting. I knew MF was on a sinking ship as far back a 2004. Then they decided to changes ‘things” and do much better in 2005.
    2006 it DID begin the turn-around. {probably when they did contracts for certain “cheaper to buy, cheape to use” ingredients}.Charge the same or more and viola you’ve got Company growth.

    And in those same years is when WE begin to notice a Spike begin, in the illnesses *we’ve* been dealing with.

    If I remember right from this weeks business reports; Nestle just Bought GERBER. Now that’s Scary. :-(

  23. Deb G. says:

    YaYa, it think they do have transcripts, but not sure. It was really interesting to hear the call ins, most of which are pretty upset about the whole issue. I was dissappointed in the Globe though, she was defending the whole thing to much I thought. Most have no trust in the govt. agencies and manufacturers, not to mention the anger toward importing from China things we could be making outselves. I don’t believe we can trust anything coming from there. But we’re no better in a sence, we sent GM Corn to the Dutch and their filing charges since their country doesn’t allow GM products. So, I wonder how much of what we do produce, corn, rice etc. is genecially modified????? Help we all need to be farmers. Who knows what to eat anymore.

  24. JollyCat says:

    Regarding Wysong, their treatise sounds rather puffed up to me and still a bit too edgy. Buy their products?? Please, a company that uses CORN GLUTEN MEAL IN THEIR CAT FOOD??? WYSONG the purveyors of all things healthy. Tsk. Tsk. Don’t waste your money on such grain heavy products.

  25. Anonymous says:


    The objections to Wysong seem to me more about their PR and less about their food. Before all the atrocious PR hooey, I was looking at their foods on their website and liked the look of both ingredients and advocacy for varied diet, etc. I saw they made Rx food for pets with better looking ingredients than the crap Rx food sold by most vets. I didn’t know anything about the company before all this, and I asked a few times why Wysong was not being discussed and I have not seen any evidence or complaints about them making anyone sick, pet or human. They were not a subject of discussion much here until that response to the recall page got posted.

    I am neutral on all that, and am still, like everyone whose pets are still alive, trying not to kill her. If I had to make a choice between Wysong and commercial chicken right now, I would choose the Wysong, regardless of PR, as long as I was choosing something not made by Menu. I know everyone is pretty mad a Wysong for what they have had to say, but that does not seem to have anything to do with their food. I think their philosophy about a varied diet is right on. Varied diet is what kept my cat from dying of Nutro dry food poisoning. Make a decision based on your own criteria. Wysong has made some big PR mistakes, including their defense of Menu foods. Their comment that they will test an ingredient only if it rouses supsicion makes me pause. I don’t trust any pet food or human food producers right now, and am making decisions based on what I think is LEAST likely to kill me and my cat. I hope it works out for me, and wish you well with your own decisions.

  26. Helen says:

    RATS. The anonymous post about Wysong 12:27 pm was me. I need some sleep. Sigh.

  27. Steve says:

    Whats changed?

    Pet Food Industry want to step up to the plate and address that?

  28. susanUnPC says:

    Sharon, that’s an excellent summary of the root of the problem.

    I have a friend who just retired from the federal government — in her day, the FDA’s inspectors were like real “G Men,” investigating, raiding, arresting, recalling.

    But the last 6+ years have systematically starved the FDA of budget and staffing at the same time that the volume of imported food has exploded.

    And Bush appointed a head of the FDA who would be “friendly” to BIG business and who would cut back on the FDA’s effectiveness because that makes things easier for big business. And Bush has done this to ALL federal regulatory agencies — EPA, Consumer Product Safety, and on and on.

    I’m wary of the USDA because it too has suffered big cutbacks, and its “inspections” of slaughterhouses are ***infamous*** for overlooking problems. The USDA is similarly beholden to big ag business, and it’s also gotten the message from Bush to be nice to big business.

    My current favored solution is the Durbin/DeLauro Food Safety Act which would create a whole new regulatory agency for food safety, and give it both teeth and money to do its job. And, until that happens (it’s pending), we have Durbin/Cantwell’s “emergency” amendment to the FDA Revitalization Act which will empower the FDA with more money and staff. Let’s write our senators and representatives, and ask them to support the amendment and the bill.

  29. susanUnPC says:

    Deb, thanks so much for the C-Span tip! I just checked its site — the audio/video isn’t up just yet, but it will be soon.
    – or go to and click on Washington Journal

  30. 3FURS says:

    If you go into Yahoo and type in Mycotoxins in pet food, you will find interesting reading. Especially note aflatoxin symptoms. Schrool down the article and after the contribiters names you’ll see the “allowed” levels in pet food. This might be something else to consider. Best wishes to you all.

  31. Pit Bull Lover says:

    Help! I’m trying to cite pertinent sources in my rebuttal to a *ridiculous* unsubstantiated article in my local paper that’s telling us the food in the state is safe. (Eat up, folks!) Unfortunately, I keep getting “page not found” redirects from the USDA site. What is going on? I need to substantiate the latest “20 million tainted chickens” claim by the USDA and direct this foolish reporter to more accurate info. Help?

  32. susanUnPC says:

    Mal, thank you! Your post of the SacBee article — “Plan to close labs drawing fire, Critics: FDA proposal will hurt the agency” — is profoundly important.

    It illustrates perfectly how the Bush administration is purposely starving regulatory agencies. That’s why Bush appointed Commissioner Andrew C. von Eschenbach, because he knows von Eschenbach will abet the dismantling of federal safety regulation, which is a pain in the ass to big business.

    Mal, this should be front-page news everywhere.

    By the way, von Eschenbach doesn’t care if you call him names or send him nasty e-mails. He’s doing what his boss wants. Write to his boss instead. And write to your senators and reps. so we can get Durbin/Cantwell’s food safety amendment and Durbin/DeLauro’s Food Safety Act passed.

    (Broken record here … but it’s absolutely critical that our members of Congress hear from us.)

    Until ‘09, when we get a new president who appoints new commissioners, we’re stuck with von Eschenbach unless somehow he’s exposed, and his story becomes as big as AG Gonzales’. In the meantime, all we can do is HELP Congress force the FDA to do its job.

    P.S. I’ve been writing about the administration’s dismantling of regulatory agencies since 2005. Here’s a scary summary of the administration’s plan:
    “Dead By Sunset: Kill it, and make it look like an accident”

  33. Jen says:

    Are the forums down or is it just me???

    ITCHMO ADMIN: It’s working as of this moment. Did you try

  34. ally says:

    mal - I’ll second susanUnPC above.
    Oh that is bad. VERY bad.

  35. SandyC says:

    We are having city elections in the coming week. This past week, I had the opportunity to talk to two gentlemen that are running for City Councilmen. Now I realize that their main concerns are city related but I wanted to see how aware they are about the melamine in the food supply issue. Neither one even knew about it. Now if our city officials don’t know about it, you can bet that our state and federal officials don’t either. When I explained it to one and how that it isn’t getting media coverage, he said that there would be mass panic if it was well publicized. He lost my vote. As Americans, we have the right to know what is put in our food and if we are possibly being poisoned by what we eat.

  36. straybaby says:

    “As Americans, we have the right to know what is put in our food and if we are possibly being poisoned by what we eat.”

    we also have the right to panic and avoid food that may be poison.

  37. menusux says:

    This is from 2004–it might provide a little more insight on the FDA situation. If you’ve followed fairly recent news regarding the court fight over “confidential” documents posted on the internet re: the drug, you’ll realize the story is far from over.

  38. Louie says:

    Pit Bull Lover Says:

    Just do a google search “20 million tainted chickens” and see what pops up. Lots of articles out there.

  39. Pit Bull Lover says:

    Thanks, Louie. I did use one of your links. (I’d hoped to be able to direct my local lemmings to USDA or FDA document, but I guess they’re giving the chicken farmers plenty of time to kill/process all those birds that are on *voluntary* market hold — before they notify them of said hold.)

  40. johnypaycut says:

    Thanks for the input on wysong,
    after reading the “learn” segment of the web site , im a bit nervous
    with several items they seem to attempt to rationalise? 4d animals
    explained as being natural food for carnavours ? what cat eats diseased
    organs? nope! however , many of the cat foods do not contain corn(jollycat)
    and i am impresed by the idea of rotation of food? (i’ve been doing this for
    i didn’t like the 1950’s philosphy that life is not extended by medicine? or quality of life is threatened by medicine? non-sense!
    overall i suspect if you pick-and chose the foods you feed carefully you can get some basicly good ones from wysong? (you just have to disreguard the
    propaganda!)… avoid certain products that don’t meet your ideals..

  41. petslave says:

    ie. Wysong–1950’s philosphy is probably correct. I read their website last year & have looked at & used some of their products over the years. I think what’s happening with them is they once were the ONLY premium, holistic, healthiest alternative to the standard grocery store foods. I’ve watched over the years as more & more pet foods came on the market incorporating the latest cat/dog nutritional information into new blends & products.

    Wysong seems to have stuck to their original formulas, though they have added a few new offerings such as the dehydrated, raw (?) Archetype, which I can’t find in any store & is apparantly very expensive. I’ve seen some premium pet food stores drop the Wysong line to make way for the newest brands. So I think they may be feeling a little squeezed out of the market. Who knows if all the newer formulas are much better & of course right now the remaining non-contaminated products are few & far between. But I do sense some of the defensiveness in Wysong’s statements to defend their choices in not following the latest trends in pet nutrition. I would definitely use Wysong over Purina if I had to, but can think of a number of other brands that would come before them if I had the choice. I did use their uretic formula on my bladder crystal prone boy cat & he got another bout of it on the 3rd bag. Canned food is the only thing that works for him.

  42. Helen says:

    johnnypaycut: I do not condone the use of 4-D, and if wysong uses it, ICK! I think the point they were making is that in the wild, the slow, sick, lame animal is the one the carnivore kills and eats because it is the easiest to get and least risk of injury to the predator. That is part of natural selection. The predators weed out the weakest, and the strongest carry on the line. Rendering plants and animals full of tumors from eating a steady diet of industrial chemicals their whole lives while penned in a small box is not part of the natural world in my opinion.

    Wysong, you are still having some serious PR issues here. I hope you are not cutting corners on your ingredients. I really hope you are not putting 4-D in your food, and if you are, you should probably give that up, eh? The kind of sick meat coming from the meat industry is not normal food for ANY creature, except maybe maggots.

  43. Micah says:

    Wysong definately wins the wysong sucks award for this month.

  44. Kiki says:

    …in the wild, the slow, sick, lame animal is the one the carnivore kills and eats because it is the easiest to get and least risk of injury to the predator. That is part of natural selection….

    I hardly think that Wysong and others should assume that wild animal nutrition is optimal nutrition. Eating to live or survive is hardly the same thing as eating for optimal nutrition. Put any of us or our pets in survival mode and I’m sure we will eat whatever is available to us. It’s a lame argument (no pun intended)…

    When we feed our pets, we are hoping that the food we put down optimizes health, nutrition, and longevity.

  45. Lorie says:


    I am going to check that book out thanks.

  46. Louie says:

    Hi Lorie,

    Richard Rhodes is an excellent writer of non-fiction. I first read DEADLY FEASTS a few years ago and couldn’t put it down. Read the whole book in a day. Just make sure you have an empty stomach. LOL.

  47. Louie says:


    Thanks for posting the MENU FOODS info. Here’s the part that I liked:

    “The company’s largest customer — Menu Foods didn’t specify who this is — has put future orders for cuts and gravy products “on hold” ”

    IMHO, Unfortunately, the author referred to “the death of 10 pets”. Where DO people get their information? Even FDA/USDA is now (finally) using numbers in the thousands.

    Very happy to hear that ITCHMO will be on the Steve Dale show tonight. The record on the number of pets affected needs to be made clear.

    Also, hope all have sent ITCHMO a contribution for their excellent work. Such efforts deserve to be funded.

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