Recall Update: Tuesday

Recall-Related News:

Itchmo Iams Large Breed Testing Update:

After a report of cyanuric acid being found in a sample of what was reported to be Iams Large Breed dry dog food, Itchmo readers help locate 2 bags that matched the lot number of the alleged food. Our multiple tests have yielded inconclusive results.

We shipped out one bag to Midwest Labs and had it tested for melamine and cyanuric acid. The lab results came back negative for both items. We contacted Accutrace, who had Expertox test the original, opened sample again and confirmed that it was positive. They also added that the levels of cyanuric acid detected was 78 ug/g.

As a reference measure, we sent a bag of Iams Large Breed dry dog food with a different number to Expertox via Accutrace and it tested negative for both substances.

Expertox believes the discrepancy is due to the different methods of testing.

We still have one more unopened bag. We will continue to look for an independent lab that will test for cyanuric acid using the same method as Expertox.

Itchmo has also contacted the FDA regarding any updates to their investigation and we hope to hear from them soon.

Testing Your Own Pet Food?

Here’s our guide to making sure your test results are as accurate and trustworthy as possible. Share your test results with other pet owners and coordinate testing in this thread in our forums.

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32 Responses to “Recall Update: Tuesday”

  1. Ann H says:

    If I were a pet food company (and I’m not) and I wanted to control the testing results (for whatever my reasons) and after many years of testing products and a familiarity with labs (in the late 80’s the PFI lobbied for and got the AAFCO chemical testing for labeling & standards), I would (most likely) be familiar with lab protocols, setting parameters ( limits & which substances) I could then chose the lab and ….?

    Okay. I’m a pet owner. I want the FDA & State Agriculuture Departments to set up testing standards & protocols that must be adhered to - for the nutrition standards and for the safety standards in testing that apparently are sorely needed - for the labs, for the PFI and for the State Agriculture Departments - and for the FDA.

    If you think about it, the State Agriculutre Departments, who are the only ones besides the pet food industry doing any testing, test a very small number of pet foods in what appears to be Annual programs compared to the number of pet food companies licensed/registered in their particular state and a miniscule amount consider the volume on the market what we now know are **serious differences in lots/runs of products**.

    IMO, there is too much room to play fast & loose with testing and too much incentive to use that in marketing and public relations -

    Before pet owners had no clue - I have a clue now.

    Thank you Itchmo & Don!

  2. Susan says:

    This is absolute 100% pure speculation, but I wonder….. Regarding the differences in lots/runs: My cousin’s spouse worked at a people food plant in the late ’70’s, believe it or not on the mayo line. They had recipes for each brand. When the Helllman’s run was done, they didn’t empty and clean the machines; they’d start the Grand Union run. So the first 50 or so jars were actually the previous brand and then gradually the jars would become more and more the current brand. My speculation is if the giant bin is still 1/4 full of “wheat gluten” (even if the new recipe calls for barley or whatever) is the beginning of the run “cross-contaminated”? Then, the company has to recall the entire lot number, yet the bags/cans will test out at different levels. I know I shouldn’t speculate, but I do wonder about it.

  3. purringfur says:

    In talking to a pet food manufacturing plant, I learned that it takes a while for the machines to be “tuned” to a food. When the plant was testing for cyanuric acid, they set the machine for 15 parts per million and then even down to 10 ppm. When you send in your samples, can you specify how many ppm you want it tested for?

    If the machine is set to detect 50 ppm, if there were 48 ppm in the sample, I imagine the test would say the sample is “free” of “NAME YOUR TOXIN.” Is this correct? Or am I way off here? Scientists?????

  4. Ann H says:

    Here’s some info on the tests..

    http://www.norchemlab.com/services/technology.html

    excerpt from the Norchem website:

    Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) has long been the “Gold” standard in forensic toxicology laboratories as a confirmation technique for drugs of abuse. Currently, GC/MS is rapidly being replaced by a superior confirmation method using Liquid Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry /Mass Spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) instrumentation. While similar to GC/MS in terms of function, confirmations utilizing the new “Platinum” standard LC/MS/MS technology provide many selectivity and sensitivity advantages. Overall, LC/MS/MS is fast becoming the choice of top forensic laboratories to provide legally defensible confirmation results with improved turnaround times.

  5. Amy says:

    purringfur - it probably wouldn’t say it was ‘free’ of toxin; more likely I think it would say it had an acceptable amount of toxin based on the parameters set forth in testing.

  6. Ann H says:

    Safe, IMO is what they’d say - and TECHNICALLY they’d be “safe” in saying that. :)

    Sure wouldn’t say much for the target market that does repeat usage tho. :(

  7. Elaine says:

    More toxic toothpaste recalled.

    www.worldnetdaily.com/news/art.....E_ID=56134

  8. 5CatMom says:

    “Menu Foods Income Fund (TSX:MEW.UN) (”Menu Foods”) previously disclosed in its first quarter results that a significant customer had put orders for cuts and gravy product on hold. Menu Foods announced today that it has received notice from that customer, stating that the customer will no longer purchase cuts and gravy products from Menu Foods. The customer continues to purchase “loaf” products from Menu Foods. As also previously disclosed, the cuts and gravy product purchasers from the customer accounted for approximately 11% of total sales in 2006.”

    http://tsedb.globeinvestor.com.....g=396469_1

    ———————————————————————
    IMHO, it’s a mystery why Menu has ANY customers left. The loss of an 11% customer means that there will be less tainted food available for the unsuspecting pet owner.

  9. Kim says:

    Excellent info on the testing Ann H - very helpful.

  10. Carol says:

    I just sent an email to my statewide newspaper (RI-so it’s easy) with DonEarl website link and hopefully will get some reply back. They haven’t covered the story since early on and I’m afraid (but glad at the same time ) it’s because that there were very few Rhode Islanders with ill pets (back then).

  11. lacy says:

    Well that doesnt say much for Natura using Midwest Labs. Ive been using their food for a few months and was so happy they had testing. Well now Im not so sure if Midwest Labs would even be able to find melamine and Cyanuric Acid unless it was at very high levels. Urg.

  12. kim says:

    The FDA has been using GC-MS testing for melamine.
    http://www.fda.gov/cvm/MelaminePresence.htm

    Even though they use LC-MS testing for other things!
    http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~comm/fluoroqu.html

    USDA has been using LC-MS testing for melamine in swine
    http://www.fsis.usda.gov/PDF/FERN_CHE_0003.pdf

    I found 3 companies:
    This company uses LC-MS testing for melamine
    http://www.maxxam.ca/new_latest.asp

    So does this company
    http://www.wcaslab.com/tech/Pe.....ethods.htm

    Here too
    http://animalhealth.msu.edu/

  13. kim says:

    Oops, not the last one. They’re still working on the LC-MS melamine protocol… guess these labs don’t talk to each other.

  14. Radcliff, Allie, Luna, & Ozzie says:

    It’s a pity that no one has been willing (able?) to identify the company who jumped ship.

    I can’t guarantee we would start buying their products, but we definitely take a look at them.

  15. Elaine says:

    This is a conference to be held in Ames Iowa by a coalition working for food safety and to protect U.S. family farms and ranches.

    Look at this website for more info on the group organizing it. Anyone in the area is welcome and encouraged to attend this. Or anyone outside the area that can afford a plane ticket.

    Conference Two: Taking Action
    Gateway Hotel and Conference Center
    2100 Green Hills Drive, Ames, IA 50014
    June 19-22, 2007

    Click Here to Register Now

    Join us to work together across industries, across interests, and across American to strive for better trade policies. The current extreme globalization model is not working, and America is unilaterally giving up its jobs, farms, food safety and environment for the benefit of a few multinational corporations and financiers. This conference will build upon our efforts for a more just trade policy for America.

    www.prosperousamerica.org:80/

  16. E. Hamilton says:

    Here is a GOOD story from one of the GOOD reporters, one click of your mouse and you can thumbs UP, no tech skills or Digg registration required, easy.

    http://www.sltrib.com/entertainment/ci_6116876

  17. Susan says:

    Thumbs up!

  18. Elaine says:

    Thumbs up! Thanks for that one, E. Even this technologically challenged old person could figger that one out!

  19. Anonymous says:

    http://www.commondreams.org/news2007/0612-08.htm In 2006, UCS and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) conducted a survey of nearly 1,000 FDA scientists. Their responses painted a disturbing picture of an agency in which regulatory deadlines and industry pressure has undermined the quality of science, posing a potential threat to public health. Nearly two in three respondents (617 scientists) said that the *laws and regulations that govern FDA, including the agency*s structure, need to be changed for the agency to better serve the public.* (http://www.ucsusa.org/scientific_integrity/interference/fda-scientists-survey-summary.html)

  20. Kim says:

    Holy WOW. That survey is gold. I have some survey experience so the first thing i did is look at the “Selected essay responses”

    http://www.ucsusa.org/scientif.....mmary.html

    Just one from 21 pages of comments from FDA Scientists:
    “We use or are mandated to use ancient scientific methods and it’s almost impossible to update.”

    And you HAVE to read the Survey Summary brochure. it’s at the top of the page under “related links”.

    - Almost one in five (18 percent) responded, “I have been
    asked, for non-scientific reasons, to inappropriately
    exclude or alter technical information or my conclusions
    in an FDA scientific document.”

    - More than three in five (61 percent) knew of cases in
    which “Department of Health and Human Services or
    FDA political appointees have inappropriately injected
    themselves into FDA determinations or actions.”

    -Three in five (60 percent) also knew of cases “where commercial
    interests have inappropriately induced or
    attempted to induce the reversal, withdrawal or modification
    of FDA determinations or actions.” Fifty percent also
    felt that non-governmental interests (such as advocacy
    groups) had induced or attempted to induce such changes.

    And that’s just the beginning. Not a surprise given what we know now, but, stil, OMG.

  21. kim says:

    In case anyone can’t open the summary brochure, here’s more:

    Chilling Effect on Scientific Candor
    Agency scientists report being afraid to speak frankly about safety
    concerns and feel constrained in their roles as scientists:

    - One-fifth (20 percent) say they “have been asked explicitly
    by FDA decision makers to provide incomplete, inaccurate
    or misleading information to the public, regulated
    industry, media, or elected/senior government officials.”
    In addition, more than a quarter (26 percent) feel that
    FDA decision makers implicitly expect them to “provide
    incomplete, inaccurate, or misleading information.”

    - Two in five (40 percent) said they could not publicly
    express “concerns about public health without fear of
    retaliation.” More than a third (36 percent) did not feel
    they could do so even inside the confines of the agency.

  22. Susan says:

    Kim, Doesn’t this all remind you of that vet and ProHeart6? She almost lost her job for protecting the dogs.

  23. 4lgdfriend says:

    voila.

  24. menusux says:

    Canada seems to be having the same debate we are regarding labeling:

    http://www.cbc.ca/consumer/sto.....ports.html

    CBC News June 12, 2007

    “Bruce Cran, president of the Consumers’ Association of Canada, says that consumers have a right to know where their food was grown.

    “”Secrecy is not something that we should be having to fight here,” he said.

    “Under current federal regulations, goods can be stamped with a “Product of Canada” label if 51 per cent of the production costs are Canadian. For example, companies can label their juice Canadian by adding water to imported fruit concentrate and bottling the product.”

  25. jw says:

    FP Trading Desk
    Menu Foods Income Fund down more than 20%
    Units in Menu Foods Income Fund (MEWu/TSX) are taking another hit Tuesday morning, falling more than 20% in heavy trading, after the company announced a major customer was ending its contract manufacturing agreement with Menu Foods to make “cut and gravy” pet food products.

    According to Cormark Securities analyst Aleem Israel, the company in question is Procter & Gamble, who own the Iams pet care brand.

    In a note to clients, he said P&G sent notice to Menu Foods that it would no longer purchase cuts and gravy products for its Iams brand.

    P&G accounted for approximately 11% of MenuFoods total cuts and gravy sales before putting a hold on orders in the first quarter, according to the company release.

    The lost contract is a huge blow for MenuFoods whose stock price dropped in half in March after announcing a recall of 60-million containers of dog and cat food that follow several pet deaths.

    David Pett
    dpett@nationalpost.com

  26. Anonymous says:

    I tried to look up our federal definition of Product of the US & didn’t find much, but came across a site with info on COOL. I liked their reassuring webpage about imported food saftey. Here’s the take on imported produce. The seafood one is even scarier! (Hey guys, like a little China-raised catfish to eat?)

    http://www.countryoforiginlabe.....afety.html

    “Imported Produce Saftey

    Without imports, the United States would not be able to supply the fruit and vegetable needs of the population, and consumers’ health would be at risk. Without imports, U.S. consumers would have no bananas, would eat grapes only in the summer and fall, and would have fewer than half the winter salads they enjoy now. U.S. government tests have shown that imported produce and U.S.-grown produce are safe. Because of the rigorous U.S. food safety system, imports have to meet the same strict standards that U.S.-grown products are subject to. Growers outside the United States understand the importance of meeting U.S. market demands, including food safety demands. Finally, retail and foodservice buyers have exacting food safety standards that they require of their suppliers in the United States and throughout the world. ”

    WOW, if we don’t import food, our health could be a risk. Gee, we better thank them for importing all that clean healthy food then!

  27. petslave says:

    I just sent that anonymous posting, sorry, got so excited about how safe our food is, I forgot to put in my info. Here’s more fun stuff about us not wanting to know where our food is coming from, just keep it coming so we can shovel it all into our oblivious mouths:

    http://www.countryoforiginlabel.org/overview.html

    “A highly prescriptive country-of-origin labeling mandate for meat, produce, seafood and peanuts sold at retail was included in the 2002 Farm Bill. The measure was supported by groups opposed to imports of certain foods because of the perceived competition they pose. In an effort to give the law a mantle of virtue, they called it a “consumer right to know” law, although research has yet to demonstrate that consumers are seeking this information. The food industry and foreign governments, who rightfully view country-of-origin labeling as an anti-import law, oppose the law.”

  28. petslave says:

    well i guess my anonymous posting will come after the second posting

  29. Elaine says:

    Re: Country of Origin Labeling .org, What a bunch of BS! Ya know, us stoopid people don’t really want to know where our food comes from.

    “The food industry and foreign governments, who rightfully view country-of-origin labeling as an anti-import law, oppose the law” The more I find out about the imported foods, the more I am FOR an anti-import law! Sheesh!!

  30. Itchmo » Blog Archive » Recall Update: Wednesday says:

    […] lab reports contradict Expertox results and questions still […]

  31. Dee says:

    What I was told:
    Midwest Labs - they set detection at 10ppm
    ExperTox sets detection at 0.1 ppm

    Hmmm, who do you think might detect something?

    MidWest advised me they felt the FDA was on top of this.

  32. YaYa says:

    Thank you for this Dee, it’s been invaluable right now!

    The last part of your post from them was a dissappointment.

    FDA is sort of become/stll is like a drug or Gawd or something to some folks I guess.
    They say Jump and many still ask How High.

    {actually around this household, FDA is a 3 letter dirty word!}

    Aha!


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