Recall Update: Tuesday (FDA Says 4150 Pets Reported Dead)

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172 Responses to “Recall Update: Tuesday (FDA Says 4150 Pets Reported Dead)”

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  1. Monika says:

    Danielle,

    Wysong also has a multipage analysis of the WHOLE DOG JOURNAL!

    I want to like them (them being Wysong because I have actually
    used their canned in the past) but the more I read their website
    and their Menu Foods FAQ’s the more I think that they are, simply
    put, too full of themselves. Anyone constantly declaring themselves
    the authority on whatever the topic at hand isn’t going to draw too
    many people in.

    In any case, here is a link to Wysong shredding the WHOLE DOG JOURNAL
    http://www.wysong.net/controversies/wdj.shtml

  2. Danielle says:

    Monika,
    Thanks for the link. That page is even wackier than their FAQs. This is my personal favorite statement from Wysong:
    “The author seems unaware of the fact that “by-product” is a mere word invention. It creates a negative connotation but has nothing to do with health or nutrition. Health and nutrition are not about superficial impressions created by word labels. Feeding just muscle meats to pets is a serious error since no carnivore in the wild eats such a diet. If they did, they would become diseased from doing so. In fact, carnivores often prefer the non-muscle meat parts of their prey that are labeled “by-products.” WDJ evidently feels food animals have no inherent merit and that they should be raised, slaughtered, and everything but “prime meat” should go to a landfill.”
    This is scary. So if they believe in using the whole animal, and aren’t listing by-products on their food, what are they calling it?

  3. menusux says:

    They’ve also decided to bash their competitors AND defend Menu Foods:

    http://www.wysong.net/controversies/apperon.shtml

    Apperon vs Wysong

    http://www.wysong.net/controversies/innova.shtml

    Innova/Natura vs Wysong

    http://www.wysong.net/controve.....gold.shtml

    Solid Gold vs Wysong

  4. E. Hamilton says:

    There are plenty of places in the world that seem to LIKE the stuff that might go into a landfill, sell it to them.

    Be sure to add a few chemicals made from burning coal first, boost the protein count, make it look better, get more money for shoddy goods, that IS what the almighty buck over everything else means , right?

    No rules for you BIG GUYS, right?

  5. ally says:

    Pet food recall: liveblogging 5/1 FDA press conference

    For those interested, Christie is starting to liveblog the FDA press conference over at the Pet Connection.

  6. Grace says:

    Here is a link to a Reuters article from 4-10-07 about the CFO of Menu selling half his stock before the recall.
    I love the company spokesman quote:

    “This is a guy who conducts himself to the highest ethical and moral standards and he wouldn’t do anything to imperil the high governance standards that he demands of himself and the company,” said Bornstein.

    I guess this company will not be subject to U.S. insider trading rules.

    http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/reu....._cfo_col_1

  7. Debbie4747 says:

    I’m not so sure the CFO of Menu who sold half his shares was really doing any insider trading. If he was he would have sold them all. Besides what he sold is probably what he makes in a week, given his position. Bottom line is that we all know they knew about the problem long before they announced it and they did nothing. Even if the guy did know about the problem when he sold his stock is really inmaterial because his rep is already shot and he would appear totally dumb becuase he should have just sold them all.
    And in all fairness, maybe he needed them for his “vet bills”, live everyone else that was feeding their pets his crap *assed products.

  8. Mia Fentis says:

    I just switched my allergy prone Westie to Calif. Natural Sweet Potato and Herring for now. I m going to be home cooking but I just got him tested after he had been ill last week off and on. Thankfully, Nik tested clear. I would also reccommend Merrick as well.

    HTH, Mia sick by this mess.

  9. susanUnPC says:

    SANDY, look what you did!

    “Dingell Dispatches Investigators to West Coast Ports; Live Hearing”
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/5/1/131936/6888
    – it’s my diary; i post as susanhu over there
    – 205 comments, and climbing — people are very upset about the adulteration of their food

  10. ann says:

    Has anyone heard anything more about the second shipment of the RPC?

  11. Kitti says:

    From an outraged lurker, please see this unconfirmed breaking story at www.horsesass.org:

    BREAKING: Americans ate 3 million melamine-tainted chickens!
    by Goldy, 05/01/2007, 1:34 PM

    In a conference call with media this afternoon, USDA Assistant Administrator Kenneth Petersen revealed that as many as 3 million chickens, contaminated with melamine from a single Indiana feed mill, have already been slaughtered, distributed and eaten. An additional 100,000 breeder chickens are currently being voluntarily quarantined by farmers.

    These 3.1 million chickens represent only those that fed on a single batch of feed made from melamine-tainted pet food “salvaged” in February. Petersen told reporters that the “investigation will lead to additional farms.”

  12. pinkpanther says:

    twilight zone: after pconnection’s becker was called on his paid connection to Hills http://tinyurl.com/2qa2pb they had to fess up (since the caller was an atty). Pcon was caught doing some MenuPR for the pfoodco’s. Nikki posted some facts about Hills that upset pcon.
    And voila, has not been heard from since. Few days later pcon is back with this gem-the petfood co’s, they say are: “stunned, and that’s why they’ve reacted with such shoot-the-messenger defensiveness. It’s a natural, and very human response….” and then “You know how to feed pets, nutrition backed by decades of real science. ” Anyone objecting to this poisonpetfoodco pr bs has their comments edited off the site. It’s ashame to see this, but, par for the state of rotten Denmark.
    Big Media, Big Business and AVMA in bed.

  13. Hermes Momma says:

    This is going to continue to unfold. I just realized that the protein powder my husband was consuming for his nutrition/weight program includes soy protein isolate. Now this didn’t really concern me until I saw the FDA Import Alert requesting the detention of ALL vegetable (rice, corn, wheat, soy) protein products for animal and human use from China (http://www.fda.gov/ora/fiars/ora_import_ia9929.html) issued on Friday (4/27).

    I called EAS (the sport supplement co.), which is a division of Abbott Labs and the gentleman on the phone told me that he had received an email about the detention and they were looking in to the source of their proteins. Now Abbott makes a number of nutritional products including the EAS line, Ensure and baby formulas like Similac. I’m going to insist that my husband quit using until they assure us that the ingredient was not sourced from China and it is safe to use. Also, I hope that they have a heck of a QC system and a good tracing system given that they are producing infant formulas.

  14. petslave says:

    Thanks for all the links for nutrition info everyone! They look good, will read through them later. Unfortunately I’m now off to take 2 of my cats to the vet for bloodwork–neither would eat this morning & my tiny 7 pounder looks really rough & is drinking a lot of water.

    I’ve been home feeding both my dogs & cats for about 3 weeks now & just started with Honest Kitchen this past Friday. I do NOT think it’s the Honest Kitchen products–they look really great with none of the glutens & proteins & all human grade. The dogs love it & the cats have adapted to it.

    But I was feeding the cats Natural Balance venison & pea dry sporadically all last year & I think as late as Jan/Feb this year I fed a bag, so now I’m scared I’m seeing some problems with that. They were also eating Wellness canned no-grain formulas.

    Hopefully it’s something entirely unrelated. I took in my diabetic cat a few weeks ago & his white blood cell count was high, liver & thyroid slightly high, so guess I’m on alert now. The one good thing is his diabetes is under control with all the grainless high protein feeding I did last year–I took him off the diabetes pills myself when the vet he was seeing insisted I keep feeding him the vet diabetes formula & continue the pills even though they damage the liver over time.

    I’m going to ask for copies of all their bloodwork results for my files. I’m also in agreement with using the vets for diagnosis then reseaching for myself after the lab results come back. Off for the half hour drive with 2 frightened kitties & a knot in my stomach……

  15. lacy says:

    Petslave,
    What were your cats eating in between the Natural Balance and the Honest Kitchen?

  16. Grace says:

    Did you know they even use wheat gluten and pea protein in wine-making? (Hope it is not sourced from China…or if so, then “hopefully” the contaminants would not remain in the finished product.) This is from an FDA document:

    “The subjects of the notice are hydrolyzed wheat gluten isolate and pea protein isolate. The notice informs FDA of the view of Martin Vialatte that hydrolyzed wheat gluten isolate and pea protein isolate are GRAS, through scientific procedures, for use as fining agents in wine making. Protein fining agents are used in the wine industry to clarify wines and to reduce astringency. During this treatment, tannins natural to grapes, which are responsible for astringency and haze, interact with hydrolyzed wheat gluten isolate or pea protein isolate to form insoluble complexes that precipitate from the wine.”
    http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~rdb/opa-g182.html

  17. Jules says:

    Oh, Petslave,

    I wish you’d stop feeding Natural Balance . . . any formula!!! My dog died eating the Duck & Potato canned & dried in the first 2 weeks that I switched her food to it . . . and my other dog had really high kidney values on her blood work. After a month and a half of homemade food for her, her values have come down; she’s playing like a puppy; and her fur looks like a mink coat!

    There has to be something in NB’s food that I suspect THEY don’t even realize!!!

    My heart stopped when Natural Balance’s Venison & Green Pea dry for cats and kittens was recalled. My 6 month old kitten was eating that!!! Thank goodness she must have had an old batch, because her kidney values came back normal. HOWEVER, her Alkaline Phosphatase was HIGH (125 where 102 was considered high), and her Albumin was HIGH as well.

    Was it the food? Who knows? But I do know, is that she’s off all commercial food and THRIVING on a raw diet supplemented with vitamins. My dog is doing just as great.

  18. Sylvia says:

    Lame Response I Received From Senator Patty Murray of WA State

    When I wrote her asking her to help ensure the safety of food imports from China due to the revelations from this pet food disaster, all I got back was a canned response about how great free trade with China is for the state of Washington. She just does not seem to think that anything but the money matters. I wrote her a second time when it was revealed that the contamination had spread into the human food supply, but have gotten no response. On her web page she seems proud to be the number one promoter of free trade in the Senate.

    http://murray.senate.gov/trade/trade-work.cfm

    But what about safe and fair trade? I think we can do better than the grotesque situation we have right now. Here is Senator Murray’s e-mail if you want to contact her.

    http://murray.senate.gov/trade/trade-work.cfm

  19. Jules says:

    Regarding my post about Natural Balance . . .

    I just googled why my kitten might have high Alkaline Phosphatase on her blood work:

    “Liver enzymes including alanine transaminase and alkaline phosphatase are elevated when liver damage has occurred, and bilirubin will increase if the liver is not functioning normally.

    Liver problems for a 6 month old kitten?? Oh yeah, it’s the food!!!!

  20. Renee says:

    I just sent the following email update message to all my friends. I have been trying desperately since the start of the recall to keep everyone informed and get them to become active in spreading the word. Unfortunately it falls upon deaf ears most of the time.
    This whole crisis is way beyond scary at this point. I cannot even comprehend it all even though I have been following every moment of this recall since the very first day. I just got done contacting all of the following media sources URGING them to please cover this damn story already!!- CBS-Evening News, Morning News, NBC, Dateline, Early Today, Evening News, MSNBC TV, Weekend Edition, Today Show, NY1, ABC, Nightline, Primetime, 20/20, This Week, World News Now, ABC News Specials, and 7online.com I still plan to contact more but at least it’s a good start. The FDA and pet food industry *cannot* get away this…time to force feed *them* some of their poison food and let them choke on it. I urge everyone to follow my lead and be as active as possible with spreading the information to the media, and anyone that crosses your path. Thanks.

  21. Don't believe it says:

    Come on people, please convince me otherwise . . . .

    Lame responses from THIS Senator and THAT Senator; lame questions and answers from FDA . . . present and former commissioners . . . geez, I’m so fed up with all this bullshit! Why do you all still lament on all this crap? I’m convinced that nothing will be done no matter how much we bitch. The big commercial companies with the big bucks are going to keep this quiet or subdued. Right? I’m done trusting the pet food companies as well as my government.

  22. Lorie says:

    Jules,

    Sorry to hear about your kitten that is so WRONG what these companies are doing. My 2 cat were affected by the recall as well, just been cleared of kidney damage after March 23rd exposure. What are the symptoms your kitten has for liver damage.

  23. Sylvia says:

    Don’t believe it says,

    Sounds like you need to just take a deep breath, relax a bit, and perhaps have a nice glass of fine wine…
    just be sure it is not some of that “melamine wine”!

  24. Don't believe it says:

    Yes Sylvia,

    I’m have been taking deep breaths, and relaxing . . . ’cause my babies are not eating any commercial food! Nope I don’t drink either, that’s poison too, so I’m not worried about that, but I AM worried about what others are believing. Oh well, I tried.

  25. Debra says:

    Can someone refresh my memory? The researchers at Guelph were able to create the crystals by combining melamine and cyanuric acid in cat urine (or a solution with the same pH), right? And there’s speculation that it’s the crystals that caused the deaths, because they basically filled the kidneys? I would guess that they got the same results (crystals) with dog urine, whatever it’s pH is. What I want to know now is, have they combined melamine and cyanuric acid in pig urine or chicken urine or human urine?

  26. Cathy says:

    Jules - the liver can be helped by giving your kitten Milk Thistle a supplement you can find in the health food store and also Denosyl which you can get from your vet.

    I put my liver dog on these (and also Actigall for his gallbladder) and his liver numbers were in normal range within a month.

    Good luck with your kitty!

  27. shallah says:

    re: UCDavis offering to test any pet’s urine for melamine for a fee - has anyone offered this for humans? FDA only knows how long this junk has been turning up in both human, pet and animal food. Remember that wheat gluten was sold as human grade. I would like to know if the government will ever test the humans who ate the tainted pork in California of the chickens from Illinois.

  28. Don't believe it says:

    Thanks Cathy!

    But how do I know how much to give to a 7 month old kitten? Please don’t tell me to ask a VET, I’ve been to 4 Vets and they are clueless on any subject except on emergency care (and I have my doubts about that too now).

    I am aware of Milk Thistle for human usage and liver repair, but how much for my kitten???? She’s 7 months old and 7 pounds. I’m so worried about giving her too much and damaging her liver. Thanks for your help!

  29. Donna says:

    I haven’t read the entire thread…did KatieKat get the results back from her Felidae test yet?

  30. ally says:

    Weirdness.

    People using Internet Explorer over at PC are reporting problems accessing one blog entry. My FireFox works fine there, tho. Except here - on Itchmo’s blogs once they pass the 120 or so mark for number of comments. Then everything locks up & I have to force quit FireFox. Safari seems to be working fine tho. Gremlins run amok…

  31. Grace says:

    Some brave soul with a few bucks may try sending their own urine to UC Davis and try to pass it off as pet urine. (Even if they realize it is human urine, they would be obligated to report the melamine findings.) Perhaps an investigative reporter will try this if it is the only way to get humans tested.

  32. Cathy says:

    Don’t Believe It - it’s been a few years since I gave Milk Thistle to my dog but I found a link that gives some dosing information:

    http://www.littlebigcat.com/in.....olume4no07

  33. Eric says:

    Lorie,
    I have yet to hear anything negative about Kumpi…I pray multiple times daily that it stays that way.

  34. Hermes Momma says:

    Ally:

    I’m having the same problem with PC website. Its forcing the IE browser to close when you try to access the live-blogging FDA press conference page.

  35. A. Reader says:

    this is pretty big from the standpoint of scientific understanding of the crisis:

    researchers have discovered that mixing melamine + cyanuric acid + cat urine leads to the formation of crystals identical to the crystals found in the kidneys of cats afflicted by the toxic pet food.

    so it’s not just melamine, it’s not just cyanuric acid, it’s the combination that kills.

    press release at:
    http://www.avma.org/press/rele.....recall.asp

  36. Sarah says:

    I can not believe that I almost switched to Wysong. I will NEVER EVER support that company. I am speechless and the mindless drivel that the company posted re: internet re-butt-all and defending Menu Foods. It is insulting to everyone’s intelligence to say such outrageous crap and then expect to keep or get customers. Unbelievable. It boggles my mind that anyone can condone animal testing - Wysong wrote, per verbatim :

    “when pets are confined to a home, yard, or leash and then fed what the owner selects, that is like a caged animal experiment. The cage is just bigger than in a laboratory”

    How in the hell can anyone compare a pet in its own environment, with companionship, play, love, interaction with others, fresh food and water etc a happy animal to that of a CAGED ANIMAL that is by force, deprived of fresh air, sunshine, room to stretch its own legs, force fed food (and poisons on a regular basis) and undergo painful tests, experimentation, and have diseases and illnesses induced upon them. Their living conditions are not only unsanitary but cruel, these animals (dogs, cats, rats etc) do not have comfort in their cages, they are in small steel small cages, sometimes only on concrete, for not just days but months, evne years on end. Their are given a death sentence. Some never see outside or even breathe fresh air. Some never experience the comfort of a loving arm, a warm bed, a ball to play fetch with. They are scared, they are very sad. THEY ARE TORTURED. They go through painful muscle biopsies and other regular routines until they die or are left to die.

    I am sick to my stomach and tearful to read such an insensitive and cruel statement by Wysong. They may want to continue to support Menu foods. I WILL NEVER. I WILL NEVER support Wysong. Everyone needs to show how they feel with their $$. Please Do not support these companies that are against everything that you believe in.

    I dare Wysong or anyone to go to:

    http://www.iamscruelty.com/videos.asp

    and watch videos at peta on animal testing and witness firsthand the abuse animals go through, AT IAMS and other pet food companies, in animal testing and see if anyone could have the the audacity to condone it, let alone like Wysong compare it to an animal that has a home environment, that is loved, that is treated with kindness and compassion and given shelter and food and water. Most of us would do anything for our fur babies. Wysong and Menu Foods should be on display in cages and tortured and see how much fun that is, since it’s good enough in their minds for other animals, that have a soul, that have feelings and emotions and are just like us.

    Shame on you Wysong. Shame on all the animal abusers out there who condone such cruelty.

  37. Eric says:

    Unless Wysong was the last possible option of feeding my cats and dog in the ENTIRE WORLD, they will never see any of my money.

  38. Debra says:

    I kind of answered my own question, but it brings up other questions: (I just posted this over at petconnection, too):

    Ok, normal cat pH is roughly 6.0 to 6.5 (though I found other sites that say 5.5 to 7.0). A chicken’s normal pH is 6.3 to 6.7 so does it make sense that crystals would form in the chickens, too? And pig pH is roughly 5.5 to 7.7, so is that close enough, too, to create crystals? (I’m not very good with chemistry, so if my numbers or thinking are off, someone please correct me.)

  39. Cheryl says:

    Have any of you read the ingredients on veggie burgers? Soy protein & wheat gluten are the main ones. That is scary for anyone who eats them on a regular basis-including my daughter. I e-mailed a couple of companies and am waiting for a response.

  40. Debra says:

    I read the ingredients on the muffintops I eat for breakfast and saw wheat gluten. I emailed them and they said they get their ingredients from manufacturers in Europe. I thought that was ok, but then I saw on ChemNutra’s site that they export from China to the US and Europe (now it just says US). I think I’m going to find a different breakfast food.

  41. Jules says:

    What I don’t understand is why everyone thinks that because these companies SAY that they USE only U.S. companies in their ingredients . . . why don’t you suspect that THOSE U.S. companies might be getting ingredients imported from China in the first place, but these companies may not know. Huh?

    ChemNutra is an American based company (yup, it’s an american company that Menu used) BUT, BUT, BUT, they freakin’ imported from China.

    Why do you all believe them if they say their products are US based?? My next question would be . . . “But how do I know YOUR suppliers didn’t get it from China?” Get it???

    Please tell me that!!!

  42. KatieKat says:

    Donna,

    I didn’t have Felidae tested, you must be thinking baout someone else :)

  43. Donna says:

    dayam. loosing my mind.

  44. kb says:

    I posted the following in the forums as well.

    KING5, the NBC affiliate in Seattle, did a story on the 5pm news this evening.
    FDA under fire amid reports of tainted food
    May 1st, 2007The investigation into tainted pet food blamed for killing animals has evolved into a serious look at our entire food safety system, and experts say there is a serious problem. KING 5’s Gary Chittim reports.

    There is a video link to the story as well.

    http://tinyurl.com/2z5hq8

  45. Sylvia says:

    Talk about timing! Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke just happened to give a speech today on “free” trade. He seems to think it is not poisoning our pets…its just making us more prosperous. Boy, were we ever confused! Now we see the light…
    http://www.federalreserve.gov/.....efault.htm
    He ends his speech with:
    “If we resist protectionism and isolationism while working to increase the skills and adaptability of our labor force, the forces of globalization and trade will continue to make our economy stronger and our citizens more prosperous.”
    Actually, I cannot relate that hollow statement to the suffering of our little pets and their owners. It this the prosperity he is talking about?
    I think the problem with the poisoned pet food stems the fact that the term “free trade” is a euphemism for a system that enables international scalawags and criminals to have free reign in enriching themselves at any cost to others.
    I hate the term “free trade” because only a sucker thinks that you get anything good for free. Con artists use the lure of getting something for nothing or nearly nothing to bait people all the time. There is obviously something wrong here in the U.S.A. that is allowing international trading activities to be so destructive and I am guessing that it is our lobbying system.
    Senator Patty Murray of Washington state is a major player in international trade issues as stated on her website:
    “Senator Murray is one of Washington’s most articulate voices on international trade. Since being elected to the U.S. Senate 12 years ago, she has championed Washington’s role as an international hub. Her services began with the Seattle APEC meetings, and important congressional votes on NAFTA and the World Trade Organization. Murray was a key backer of all of these initiatives. She voted for Fast Track, she supports easing unilateral trade sanctions, and she serves on the subcommittee which funds the Export-Import Bank and other export promotion agencies.”
    “Senator Murray was a leading proponent for normalizing the trade relationship between the United States and China. She supported granting Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) status to China as well as China’s entry into the World Trade Organization.
    Please consider letting her know that we want fair and safe trade for all the world, not “free” trade. Her e-mail contact:
    http://murray.senate.gov/email/index.cfm

  46. Sharon says:

    Posted this at petconnection and wanted to post it here too in case anyone knows the answer:

    What I don’t understand is:

    WHY IS CYANURIC ACID in the pet food in the first place???

    Where did it come from?

    Sorry for the emphasis but I must have missed this information somewhere cause this just makes no sense to me.

  47. Eric says:

    Donna,
    Teric was the one getting foods tested (Canidae, Felidae, Kumpi and KumpiKat). Teric will post the results when received.

  48. Fiona says:

    Thank you , Thank you very much for getting back to me. You all are great….This is the information I needed. I love my girls and only want the best for them.

  49. Katie says:

    GI upset following tainted food??

    Lorie and I are experiencing pets who are showing symptoms of GI ulcers after our pets ( cats and a dog) ate contaminated food.

    I read where the researchers mixed melamine and cyanuric acid in at a pH resembling stomach acid and got crystals in a test tube.

    I’m wondering if anyone else has experienced this?

    Both of our pets are now taking Pepcid to relieve symptoms.

    Do you think it is possible that the mixture (melamine + cyanuric acid) could have ulcerated the stomach or intestinal lining??

    Katie

  50. Sylvia says:

    Sharon,
    I think someone is deliberately trying to make that issue confusing. But I found this article:
    Transcript: FDA-USDA Update on Recall of Pet Foods
    http://www.swnebr.net/newspape......pl?160497

    It seems to me that the FDA scientists believe that the cyanuric acid was added separately as opposed to being something produced by the victim’s metabolism in the digestion of melamine. That is important, that it is a separate contaminant. I wonder where it came from?……………………………………………

    “REPORTER: Hi. Ricardo Alonzo Zaldibar with the LA Times. And I was wondering if you could explain a little bit more about cyanuric acid. Now the melamine I understand that’s used in making plastics, and cyanuric acid I’ve seen that’s used in treating swimming pool water. But now how would it have gotten into this pet food? Would it have been added separately, or is it somehow or another a byproduct of a processing or breakdown of melamine? And if you could explain that, please?

    DR. MCCHESNEY: We’d love to be able to say we absolutely know how it got in because if we did we could all go home. But we don’t know that. But we can say it is a nitrogen rich compound much like melamine, so presence of either of those compounds or both of those compounds in a protein product could serve to increase the apparent protein level if one was only looking at the nitrogen level. So why it’s in there, we still don’t know. We can only speculate on that.

    REPORTER: But now you call it a melamine-related compound or chemical. That’s what I’m trying to understand, why do you call cyanuric acid a melamine related product?

    DR. MCCHESNEY: It’s structurally similar.

    MODERATOR: That was Dr. McChesney.

    REPORTER: But now you’re thinking that it’s not in any way kind of like a product of the breakdown or digestion of melamine or anything like that? It probably would have been added separately for the same purposes, right?

    DR. MCCHESNEY: We don’t know. Probably so.

    Q; Okay. That explains a little bit more. Thank you. “

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