Recall Update: Wednesday

When did melamine-tainted food first enter the US?

There has been very little investigation into possible melamine contamination prior to the first Menu Foods recall. We find it highly unlikely that two or more unrelated companies spiked pet food with the same ingredient around the same time.

UPDATE: FDA admits the problem may go back as far as summer of 2006. Also, says up to 10 firms sold tainted pet food as animal feed.

Criticism of FDA continues to mount while human food is at risk:

Actions you can take:

Other news:

Popular Recall Links:

(Thanks to SusanUnPC, Steve and mike)

150 Responses to “Recall Update: Wednesday”

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  1. KatieKat says:

    Oh I wanted to say, to get Senator Durbin’s letter mass mailed even further and to reach more people, I would suggest making up blog pages with links for Senator Durbin’s letter to the FDA, as well as and also links to the PC blog.

    I have a blog page on Yahoo360 that I have hardly posted on, but decided to use it to promite awareness to the public about the Pet Food situation and what they can do to help.

  2. Laurie says:

    Is rabies the only vaccine that is required by law? Does anyone know?

  3. Kiki says:

    I’ve heard that about rabies - isn’t the vaccination actually good for 3 years?

  4. susanUnPC says:

    5CatMom, I have memorized these two easy-to-recall Web addresses, and can find any House or Senate member through these two:

    Rep. DeLauro will be in the alphabetized drop-down list at the top of the site.

  5. susanUnPC says:

    KatieKat, that’s a great idea. I’ll post an excerpt at my and Larry’s blog later today, and will check to see if anyone at has written about Durbin’s letter. And I’ll ask my daughter if she’ll link his letter at her company’s blog (since they have a section for pets and politics there).

    As an aside, ultimately, while this story has politics written all over it, it’s not just politics.

    It’s a situation. A very bad situation. Everybody here who digs hard for info — from 5CatMom to Steve, and on (amazing contributions!) — is demonstrating how bad the situation is, and that we need strong regulatory agencies.

    We, as individuals, can’t possibly police all foods and ingredients, particularly with the growth in the number of industries and countries of origin. We need our regulatory agencies to be proactive, not just reactive. And we need to give them real TEETH so they can shut down companies that endanger us and our pets. That’s all we want. And it’s not too much to ask.

  6. purringfur says:

    SHARON: On not being able to post on www . petconnection . com site. At times there is quite a lag time - more than a few minutes for me. I thought the same as you.

    Gina even said that some posts get hung up in the “moderator cue” until they can be taken care of. So, keep refreshing and you’ll see your posts. Petconnection is bombarded with posts.

  7. Laurie says:

    Some think the rabies shot technically lasts even longer than 3 years, but some states have laws that you must get one every 3 years.

  8. Heath says:

    My vet’s lab coat has a name of a pet food brand (shall remain nameless) embroidered into the coat.

    Gee…wonder what pet food she recommended for my cats.

  9. Kiki says:

    Heath, I think that is sick.

    I have lost alot of respect for the vet profession after finding out how much they are involved with the pet food industry. Basically, they receive all their nutrition classes from Hills staff, Hills buys their textbooks, funds their research, gives their scholarships, provides them an income - I mean the lack of ethics it is much, much worse than in science or medicine

  10. Traci says:

    I would say IF you have an INDOOR-ONLY cat and that you or your cat only comes in contact with other known indoor-only non-diseased cats, then their is little reason to get vaccines. I am not a vet, but it is just logical. If that is not the case, the most important to get is the upper respiratory vaccines. I will ask this afternoon if it only works as a series spread out over months for kittens or whether it works that way on adults also; I don’t remember if boosters are supposed to be necessary when it is done this way, will ask–I tend to hear this stuff and forget it until next time I need to know. Rabies of course (while perhaps mandated by law) requires being bit, and only if you have outdoors cats in an area known for rabies should you have to worry. Since I work at a rescue I have my two cats vaccinated for Feline Leukemia on the rare chance of some accidental exposure.

    “Transmission of the disease

    The transmission of the disease almost always occurs as a result of an infected animal biting a non-infected animal. There have been a few reported cases of infection resulting from aerosolization occurring in caves where large quantities of infected bats reside. Rabies virus does not live very long outside the host and remains viable in the carcass of an infected animal for less than 24 hours. The rabies virus is shed at high levels in saliva. However, being bitten by a rabid animal does not necessarily mean that the bitten animal (or human) will become infected. It has been speculated, that only around 15% of exposed people will contract the disease. Humans, cats, and dogs are only mildly susceptible to the disease unlike skunks, raccoons, foxes, and bats that are much more susceptible to the virus.”

    “How is FeLV spread?
    Cats persistently infected with FeLV serve as sources of infection. Virus is shed in very high quantities in saliva and nasal secretions, but also in urine, feces, and milk from infected cats. Cat-to-cat transfer of virus may occur from a bite wound, during mutual grooming, and (though rarely) through the shared use of litter boxes and feeding dishes. Transmission can also take place from an infected mother cat to her kittens, either before they are born or while they are nursing. FeLV doesn’t survive long outside a cat’s body—probably less than a few hours under normal household conditions.

    What cats are at greatest risk of infection?
    Cats at greatest risk of infection are those that may be exposed to infected cats, either via prolonged close contact or through bite wounds. Such cats include:

    Cats living with infected cats or with cats of unknown infection status

    Cats allowed outdoors unsupervised, where they may be bitten by an infected cat

    Kittens born to infected mothers ”

    Please make sure if you adopt from a shelter or rescue that they test the cats for feline leukemia and other diseases so you don’t unknowlingly bring a sick cat home that can infect other household cats.

  11. dm says:

    A Letter to My Elected Officials

    I have to say that I am shocked and completely disillusioned. I believed that I had paid my government to form a group that would oversee the food that was being put on the shelves at my local food outlets. I thought that we had standards in this country.

    A few years ago we started ‘outsourcing’ jobs. Some of my friends lost their jobs because greedy CEOs wanted a bigger bonus, and could get it
    by hiring workers in China and India to do our jobs for less money. The result, as I have seen in my company, is that work standards have slipped, product quality has been degraded, deadlines are often not met, and hundreds of American workers are out of work. But our CEO gave himself a hefty bonus last year.

    Currently, as I contemplate advising my son on what field he should go into, one that won’t be taken over by someone overseas, I am learning that the same people who took over our jobs are now poisoning our food supply. Once again, in the name of increased profit. It started with our pet food, but how do we know the human food chain isn’t affected? We don’t know, do we? By their own admission, the FDA inspects only 1% of food that is imported…and they have left the food industry to police itself.
    This is simply not acceptable.

    I would ask you, as my elected official, to work at TAKING AMERICA BACK.
    This is my country, and I want it back. No more jobs going overseas. No more food or additives coming into my country. We have plenty of farmers here who are being paid not to farm…while we’re importing garbage from a communist country.

    Please end it.

    This is not the type of commerce that made America the great country it is. Correction…was. The actions of late have served to level the playing field. We are losing our position as the greatest nation at an alarming rate. We need to urge people in powerful positions to think beyond themselves and their wallet. Decisions need to be made that are for the good of
    everyone, and then everyone will benefit. Not just the elitist few. And since most people, unfortunately, aren’t capable of acting in any behalf other than their own, my government needs to inspire them, in the only way that they will listen…the leaders of our companies need to get monetary incentives for making the right decision, and penalties for making the wrong decisions. Going outside the country for goods and services

    This must stop now before America becomes the country that the world is sending charity to.

    Thank you for your time.

  12. purringfur says:

    Kiki Says:

    April 25th, 2007 at 2:32 pm
    My feeling is that the story by the FDA just keeps changing to accomodate the emerging facts of this catastrophe. Even the best spin docs can’t fix this anymore…

    I agree. As someone on another site said, the new spin, once it has to be revealed that more human food that has been laced with this melamine compound, is that it’s a “safe” level with minimal risk.

    Remember, even a couple of weeks ago, the FDA said the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) is monitoring for an increase in HUMAN kidney problems. There would be no need to do this if the FDA/CDC absolutely knew this poison had not been in circulation in our human food for quite some time.

    It’ll just take longer for humans to go into complete renal failure and die.

  13. 5CatMom says:


    Thanks for the info. I had a different website that didn’t have current info. Yours is much better.

  14. 4lgdfriend says:

    I would ask you, as my elected official, to work at TAKING AMERICA BACK.
    This is my country, and I want it back. No more jobs going overseas. No more food or additives coming into my country. We have plenty of farmers here who are being paid not to farm…while we’re importing garbage from a communist country.

    Please end it.

  15. Kiki says:

    Anyway, the idiots are assuming that the toxins would affect us in the same way that it affects cats. That would be a little bit of a stretch. Once the toxins are found in our food supply, they will treat it as “a level that is considered minimal risk”. This calls for an investigation into criminal negligence. Authorities have to find out who knew what and when, then key people have to be severely prosecuted.

  16. Kiki says:

    DM: I agree 100% with you. Until we can take care of our own country, our own people, our own problems, we have no DAMN business getting involved in anyone else’s business.

    Let us work to become a model country, then other countryies can decide if they want to emulate us or not. Why force “democracy” and “our way of life” down peoples throats when we can’t even take care of our own. It’s embarrassing and ludicrous.

  17. 4lgdfriend says:

    Kim said: About the vaccines - they could be a factor for 2 or 3 of my cats.
    Kim, I know exactly how you feel… but you’ve made my day to think that some of this is getting through to people. I made that commitment to my cat that died several years ago (I believe due to vaccine and Hills). Vets gave him days to weeks (and gave me not a shred of help on anything I MYSELF could do for him), but with superior nutrition he lived 8 months very comfortably. I finger fed him every 2 hrs around the clock for 3 months and transitioned him to raw food. That was the start of my research and the source of my outrage and my commitment to get the word out whenever possible. The results convinced me that we ARE capable of helping our beloved companion animals, doing the research and legwork ourselves and that by NOT doing this we are actively neglecting or slowly outright killing our dear friends. will post links to duration of immunity studies. TAKE HEART.

  18. 4lgdfriend says: MANY RESOURCES including: Quotes from this article: “Labels aren’t guidelines:
    Another problem is byzantine labeling and clever marketing on the part of vaccine manufacturers.

    “The label means nothing,” Schultz says simply, noting that vaccines licensed for one year and three years are often the same product. “The label has an arbitrary and capricious annual revaccination requirement, and it takes an act of Congress to take it off” - literally. Schultz says the Department of Agriculture has applied to remove the language, a legislative process that he estimates will take seven years.

    While many veterinary colleges have moved toward vaccine protocols of every three years for core vaccines that are “modified live viruses,” or MLV, such a parvo, distemper and adenovirus, others suggest that immunity lasts far longer - Schultz among them. “Duration of immunity is whatever is determined by the studies, and those studies show that duration of immunity is seven to nine years, which is a lifetime.”

    Veterinary immunologist Jean Dodds of Santa Monica, Calif., another popular lecturer on the vaccine topic, stresses that overvaccination can overwhelm the immune system

  19. 4lgdfriend says:

    Many vaccines are effective for a lifetime, w/ one dose given at the proper time once maternal antibodies have waned. No boosters are thereafter needed. This is particularly true of FVRCP. See the following study: EXCERPT:
    “Vaccinosis is illness and death caused by drug vaccinations. Scientific documentation link vaccinations to formation of cancerous growths (sarcomas) in cats vaccinated with Feline Leukemia and Rabies vaccines; Clinical Feline Leukemia illness can be precipitated by the Feline Leukemia vaccine; and Paralysis and Aggressive Behavior development is linked to Rabies Vaccine in dogs. Organ pathologies of heart, kidney, liver and immune mediated illnesses and some deaths of animals are being linked to vaccinosis.

  20. 4lgdfriend says:

    NOTE: Drs. Schultz & Dodds are in the process of doing a long term Rabies study to get 5-yr & 7-yr duration of immunity accepted by pharm. companies & vets. This would help extend the time required by law in many states/countries. Some serious feline health advocates believe
    rabies falls into the category of one well times vax provides lifetime immunity

    GOOD SUMMARY Article by Dr. Jean Hofve DVM
    (Note reference to the article by Dr. Ronald Schultz, Univ. of Wisconsin,the premier vaccine researcher in the country. See Schultz article link below.)
    Dr. Hofve is listed as a member of the Complimentary and Alternative Veterinary Medicine list. Link to member websites here:

  21. 4lgdfriend says: Long-term immunity in cats vaccinated with an inactivated trivalent vaccine Fred W. Scott, DVM, PhD, and Cordell M. Geissinger, BS American Journal of Veterinary Research, May 1999 - Vol. 60 No. 5
    “Vaccinated cats had high FPV titers throughout the study and solid protection against virulent FPV 7.5 years after vaccination.”
    “challenge studies indicate that a vaccinated kitten can remain protected from feline parvo for eight years.”

  22. 4lgdfriend says:
    “I have studies that show duration of immunity at seven to nine years for all the core vaccines except rabies, and even on an antibody basis I can show that rabies gives much longer protection than three years,” says Dr. Schultz.

    Although AAHA recommends vaccinating against distemper every three years after the initial puppy shots, challenge studies have shown that the minimum duration of immunity can last five to seven years, and perhaps even longer. In fact, titers have indicated that dogs can be protected for nine to 15 years. “To be honest, although canine distemper is a core vaccine, I think a dog only needs to receive it once in his life,” says Dr. Schultz. “The same goes for canine parvo and adenovirus-2. That’s the vaccination program I’ve been practicing on my own dogs without any difficulty whatsoever. We’ve never had a vaccine-preventable disease occur.”

    “challenge studies indicate that a vaccinated kitten can remain protected from feline parvo for eight years.”

  23. 4lgdfriend says:

    Toxins come from “pollutants (pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, heavy metals, hydrocarbons, benzenes, pthallates, PCB’s, carbon monoxide etc.) that contaminate our food, water and air. They come from drugs, antibiotics, cortisone, flea control chemical products, heartworm prevention products and vaccinations.” See http://www.holisticvetpetcare......ukemia.htm (GLORIA DODD DVM)

  24. 4lgdfriend says:

    My best advice is to join a holistic cat health list such as the holisticat or yahoo group. Much experience to be had there.


    also check While veterinarians should report adverse events to the manufacturer or the Department of Agriculture’s Center for Veterinary Biologics, there is no database of information that can be used for an epidemiologic study. This is unsettling for researchers studying vaccine adverse events such as vaccine-associated sarcomas, which Dr. Ford says occur in somewhere between one in 10,000 and one in 1,000 vaccinated cats. Either is unacceptable.
    “This could be a train wreck for our profession,” Dr. Ford commented. “For over 10 years, we have known there is a cause-and-effect relationship between vaccination and fibrosarcoma in some cats. There is no evidence today that, in the past 10 years, we have succeeded in decreasing the incidence.”

  25. 4lgdfriend says:

    Traci Says: I would say IF you have an INDOOR-ONLY cat and that you or your cat only comes in contact with other known indoor-only non-diseased cats, then their is little reason to get vaccines. I am not a vet, but it is just logical. If that is not the case, the most important to get is the upper respiratory vaccines.

    not to be given lightly.

  26. Traci says:

    here is another link, balanced and leaving it up to the reader. Just read the info and keep your pets indoors or outdoors supervision/protected enclosure only if possible. It means they will have less chance of coming in contact with the diseases for which vets are vaccinating as well as safe in other ways.

  27. Brigitte says:

    I just opened up a can of Healthy Request Campbells Mushroom soup and noticed it contains soy protein concentrate - I can’t help it but I’m worried every time I try to eat something. Is there any way we can find out if it’s safe to eat? I tried writing manufacturers before to ask if any ingrediants are imported from China and guess what? I get ignored…. This just isn’t fair!

  28. Brigitte says:

    OOps, thought I posted to the wrong blog… how did this turn into a discussion about vaccines?

    ITCHMO ADMIN: LOL. In the name of proper organization (which will help other people) vaccine talk can go in the Forums under Vaccines and Medications

  29. Traci says:

    Several posts up, this is where I got into the discussion:

  30. Helen says:

    My vet won’t give rabies and feline leukemia vaccines together, and won’t give the leukemia vaccine unless there is a very good reason, because he says the combination causes cancer in cats. He had recommended rabies only once every three years to me well over ten years ago. He doesn’t suggest any vaccines without a reason and knows my cat is an indoor cat. He only gives the rabies every three years because of the law. Nine years ago my 17 year old cat got sick and died in a very short time and the tests the vet did revealed no health problems…she just got sick and died over the course of a month, and he could not find a thing wrong with her. She ate Iams Senior and people meat. My nine year old never ate Iams, but got sick from Nutro dry (looks like no permanent damage), and none of her food has been recalled to date. She is much better after the Nutro was replaced.

  31. Nervous cat mom says:

    Does anyone have a link to Rep. DeLauro’s campaign site? I’d like to make a contribution.

  32. Lynn says:

    Check this out, an abstract to “NBJ’s Natural Pet Product & Pet Nutrition Report 2006″ - only $995 a year to subscribe.

    This apparently provides the pet food manufacturer the current dope on what’s hot in terms of “nutrients” for pets. Here’s the abstract:

    “An analysis of markets, trends, competition and strategy in pet supplements, natural & organic pet foods and other specialty, natural petcare products.

    Available for immediate download in electronic format (PDF file), NBJ’s Natural Pet Product & Pet Nutrition Report 2006 presents detailed analysis on the $1.4 billion U.S. natural pet and pet nutrition market. Supplements accounted for more than half this market in 2005, and natural & organic pet foods another 36%. Overall annual growth has been between 20-25% since 2002, and NBJ forecasts continued strong growth in all categories, particularly food.

    Perspective is offered on the entire conventional pet food, pet product and pet care market, and the role played by the still relatively small portion of natural products. Sales are broken down into 8 distinct sales channels (natural food stores, pet product retailers, vets, etc.) and a number of different product sub-categories. Profiles of 15-20 pet food and pet supplement companies provide examples of how firms are going about fueling and managing growth in this emerging market. (See table of contents and table of exhibits for more information.)

    NBJ’s Natural Pet Product & Pet Nutrition Report 2006 is designed for companies participating in or evaluating this market and can be of value to business planners, investors, product developers, ingredient suppliers and others requiring an accurate snapshot of the business of natural pet and pet nutrition products.

    The report provides market quantification in over 20 tables and graphs and more than 50 pages with a market forecast to 2010. Sections are also devoted to retail, with profiles of the major pet chains and WalMart activities in natural products, the emerging category of certified organic foods, and opportunities like pet treats and coat and body care.”


    Sure would be nice to lay our hands on one of these recent issues and see exactly what bull the advertisers are pushing. And who’s advertising.

  33. Lynn says:

    Nervous Cat Mom:

    How about this website for DeLauro?

    Go get ‘em, DeLauro!

  34. Helen says:

    Wal-Mart sells food that is labelled organic but isn’t. Horizon milk is an example.

  35. Jules says:


    you wrote: “Wal-Mart sells food that is labelled organic but isn’t. Horizon milk is an example.”

    Huh? How do you know that? Can you please tell me where you got that info? Thanks!

  36. Helen says:

    Got it from my local Co-op. They refused to sell the products from Horizon anymore after they found out the animals were all given feed that is not organic. There is some loophole in the organic labelling that allows companies who want to get the high price profit from “organic” by cheating. They said Wal-Mart has jumped all over the loophole market. The not-so-organic products are cheaper to produce, are still allowed to have the organic label and the organic price, so the profit margin is MUCH higher and allows the cheating companies to strangle the REAL organic competition.

  37. Helen says:


  38. Helen says:

    It’s the same with the human food companies as it is with the $%^$$ pet food companies. They will cheat and poison us any way possible, as we have seen with many of the so-called “holistic natural organic” pet food companies that have just been exposed. Organic food is so expensive, and just imagine when they can slap that organic label on something to make us all feel warm and safe. We have to keep tabs on the human food producers also.

  39. Judy says:

    What I don’t understand is, if the poisoning goes back to the summer of 2006, why are so many dying now? Did they put too much melamine in the last batches?

  40. Helen says:

    How do we know that more are dying rather than more are finally being reported? We will never know how many people buried their loved ones without ever knowing the food killed them? How many people only figured it out when the story broke? My co-worker’s cat died in January of ARF, and he had never even thought it was food poisoning.

  41. Erik T says:

    Isn’t it just sickening that China exports food in the first place. It is physically incapable of agriculturally supporting it’s population of 1.3 billion. It has to import vast quantities of food from other countries.

    BUT … It is currently the largest exporter of fruits and vegetables in the world. I guess greedy chinese businessmen are selling food to other countries while their own people starve. Operating unchecked by their own government. A lot of this food is not fit for consumption.

    I guess I should expect nothing less from a morally bankrupt people. The used to practice Buddhism. One of the tenants of Buddhism is “Do No Harm.” Mao Tse-Tung killed the religion off. Mao, may you rot in hell!

    Even more astounding is the USA importing food. We are the worlds breadbasket. There is no reason to import food, unless it cannot be grown here. We import this substandard crap because greedy businessmen are helping themselves and screwing this country. Again unchecked by government.

    Both countries, China and the US need to put these businessmen out of business.

  42. Kiki says:

    Lynn, This might help. It’s about cranberries in petfood, but part of the paper is an overview of the various pet food companies as well as background data on the industry as a whole.

  43. Kiki says:

    So the 5 main dog food companies are:

    1. Walmart
    2. Nestle
    3. P&G
    4. Mars
    5. Colgate/Palmolive

    Interesting why it isn’t framed in this way. I guess they do not want to lose any more marketshare than they are already losing. I urge everyone to go ahead and spread the word on who the REAL guys are…

  44. Kiki says:

    More info on the pet food industry


  45. Kiki says:

    Article: What’s really in pet food?

  46. Kiki says:

    As of now, petfoods can state they are “organic” and not actually be certified. This from an article in the April 2007 issue of PetFood Industry.


  47. karen says:

    Not sure if this USAToday article has already been posted here…

    “FDA raids company that imported tainted wheat gluten”

  48. karen says:

    Argh… not sure if the link I posted earlier is working. If not, try the one below.

    “FDA raids company that imported tainted wheat gluten”

  49. Anonymous says:


  50. Adult Diaper WebLog » Blog Archive » Signed and Vetoed Legislation Letters says:

    […] Recall Update: Wednesday | Itchmo … an excerpt at my and Larry’s blog later today, and will check … Basically, they receive all their nutrition classes from Hills … This calls for an investigation into criminal negligence. […]

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