Recall Update: Wednesday

Update:

Let’s recap recent events:

  1. Millions of chickens ate toxic feed in February and have been consumed by people.
  2. Meanwhile, FDA has gotten 4,150 reports of pet deaths.
  3. 1 in 6 pet owners have been affected by recalls. That’s 8.3 million households.
  4. FDA refuses to recall any remaining tainted chickens, citing “low risk.” But experts say “they know little about how the toxin interacts with other compounds in food.”
  5. However, they are not willing to let the remaining tainted chickens and hogs into the human food supply. Why the contradiction? (Transcript of conference)
  6. FDA’s newly promoted “food safety czar” sticks to the party line and refuses to name the brands of foods contaminated.
  7. He also says “hundreds” of plants received tainted Chinese vegetable protein.
  8. Why? Melamine spiking is so widespread, there’s an industry devoted to it dating back 15 years.
  9. In a rare move, the FDA has detained large swaths of Chinese vegetable proteins.
  10. China is also requiring central testing of all vegetable protein. Estimates say only 60% of Chinese food makers are reliable.
  11. Deja vu all over again? FDA has seen this before in 1985.

Here are the substances that the FDA is blocking from China:

Wheat Gluten, Rice Gluten, Rice Protein, Rice Protein Concentrate, Corn Gluten, Corn Gluten Meal, Corn By-Products, Soy Protein, Soy Gluten, Proteins (includes amino acids and protein hydrosylates), Mung Bean Protein

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(Thanks mike)

48 Responses to “Recall Update: Wednesday”

  1. xyz says:

    A “tricky labels” thread in the forum might prove interesting.

  2. Carol says:

    Has anyone found any info on whether or not these tainted chicken went to any pet food makers? It seems the FDA says “no worry” for humans, but we all know it doesn’t take much for our pets. I’m calling Natures’ Variety this am myself to see what they know.

  3. Steve says:

    Where are the criminal indictments? None of this smoothing over and tugging heart strings routine and bullsh*t the media is going to start feeding people.

    None of this crap. . . “the Millers console each each other, thinking of the heartbreak, tears form in the corner of their eyes, as they think, “how could they have betrayed us and pet parents”… Across town Duane Ekedahl, takes a morning stroll, head down. . .”my god, what have we done, we trusted china, and”. . . . sobbing, he sits on a park bench, a woman walking a dog, the dog comes over to Duane, “hello boy, you aren’t mad at me are ya.” the dog licks Ekedahls hand….

  4. xyz says:

    On another, but related note- has anyone done homework as far as water filters, water filter systems, or the most pure bottled water to give to those recovering? It strikes me this would be a good idea for all of us to consider, but even more important for the little ones. I think (? ) water treatment plants filter for melamine and whatever it is they use for treatment, but just to be on the safe side…

  5. Debbie4747 says:

    I agree about the chickens possibly landing in the pet foods. The FDA or whoever really needs to start letting people know where this crap is going.
    I think they should be the ones to tell Timmy why Lassie died.

  6. menusux says:

    Steve Says:

    May 2nd, 2007 at 8:31 am
    Where are the criminal indictments? None of this smoothing over and tugging heart strings routine and bullsh*t the media is going to start feeding people.

    None of this crap. . . “the Millers console each each other, thinking of the heartbreak, tears form in the corner of their eyes, as they think, “how could they have betrayed us and pet parents”… Across town Duane Ekedahl, takes a morning stroll, head down. . .”my god, what have we done, we trusted china, and”. . . . sobbing, he sits on a park bench, a woman walking a dog, the dog comes over to Duane, “hello boy, you aren’t mad at me are ya.” the dog licks Ekedahls hand….

    Ah, the BS wagons were rolling already yesterday (sniff the air–you can tell) even before the FDA conference.

    http://www.itchmo.com/read/rec.....ment-12697

    http://www.itchmo.com/read/rec.....ment-12769

  7. maddy says:

    I also agree with the strong possibility of chickens and plant foods (soy,wheat, etc..) landing back in pet food. Where else is it going besides a thousand and one numerous ways to feed it to humans?

    What about potato protein, not looked at but found in some pet food? ie. Pet promise?

    and Whey protein concentrate in Stoneyfied organic yogurt?
    and 365 frozen vegetables from china

    Why is it not bonehead thinking to have pet food, contaminated or not, fed to animals?????????

    and why are we not aware of what is fed to animals? There should be criminal charges as well as new laws?

    Tricky label forum great idea….what they don’t put on labels complicates it all

    pets, meateaters, vegetarians………the prospect of what is in what and how raised or grown is truly Orwellian

  8. Lorie says:

    xyz,

    I have done research for my little kitties tap water vs brita vs bottled vs distilled according to what I am reading cats should always use distilled i have always used Brita but they say it doesn’t do enough. Not sure what the safest brand of distilled is though. I am a little annoyed with my vet my youngest has had crystal issues for 2 years or so and not once did she tell using distilled water would help all she did was cram Hills SD c/d down my throat. WHATA SURPRISE

  9. e wem says:

    Item (1) has a link to Pet Connection’s exerpts from FDA hearings. Reasearcher says adding melamine to cat’s urine caused crystals to form before your eyes within hours, blocking off the kidneys.

    I keep thinking about the urinary problems of older male cats. Crystals blocking their tracts so they they have to be catheterized - like my dear cat had a few years ago. The vet had the standard line: “Did you change the pet food brand recently?” I had just switched to Walmarts own brand premium dry food. She said the ’stress’ of changing diet seemed to bring on blockages.

    Was it melamine in the Walmart food? They have been adding melamine for years according to one Chinese producer

    A cat here. A cat there.

    My neighbor had her cat put down a few years ago when the kidneys failed. The vet told her cats are sensitive that way. When the kidneys go they don’t have much hope. Was that melamine?

    The FDA let melamine chicken pass. We still do not know what chemical in cat urine causes melamine to make the acid crystals. This reaction may be possible in humans too, depending on diet, or medications they are taking.

    What about pregnant women?

    What about humans with bad kidneys already? A lot of them are highly medicated. This is Russian roulette.

    I watched my cat suffer and cry trying to urinate. So many people got the same line from their vet: it is a common male cat illness. But what are the real numbers in the 15 years we have been importing food from China?

    Male cats neutered before full male development (like we do in the US to prevent spraying) have smaller urinary passages so they are more in danger from blockage by crystals.

    In my childhood I can’t remember this being a common problem. I don’t remember a single case.

    All that special diet they market for urinary health. Maybe they were creating the illness in the first place.

    Man these pets have paid a price for being our friends.

  10. ThreeBadKitties says:

    Lorie - How long has your cat eaten the Hills diet? Did it not help? My sister’s two kitties have some type of UTI (their urine samples never show crystal, but they do have blood in the urine) and the vet recommended the Hills )where the first ingredient is pork by products). She fed it to them a few months ago but neither of the kitties liked it at all. I’m also interested in the distilled water information - can you point me to where you researched? I’ve always given my cats Brita (or bottled) but never even thought of distilled water!

  11. Lorie says:

    Threebadkitties: it is the second topic on the page

    http://www.littlebigcat.com/in.....lume3no061

  12. Amy says:

    Carol - please let me know what you find out from Nature’s Variety. I’ve been giving mine their Raw Instinct kibble and a little bit of their canned and have been considering their raw frozen and/or freeze dried products. Thanks!

  13. Monika says:

    teric,

    i’m not sure if i missed the post or if you still haven’t received the
    results but was just hoping for an update on what you discovered
    on the Felidae and Kumpikat foods you had tested.

    Thanks.

    I just started feeding the two foods above to my cats yesterday. They
    jumped on the Kumpikat like they haven’t been fed in days. When I
    put down the Felidae only the female stayed and ate.

    Looking forward to your results!

  14. Molly says:

    xyz: Check out this site: http://knowbottledwater.org/

  15. Gerry says:

    Maybe the fellows at the FDA that are telling us that the meat from the chickens and hogs that ate the melamine grain is safe, would like to come to a dinner party. lets see.. melamine chicken..melamine pork chops..with melamine wheat rolls.. and lets not forget the melamine rice with melamine soy sauce.

  16. Marc says:

    Is there any information of pet treats being contaminated? I noticed some of the ingredients on some pet treats the same as pet food…?

  17. Lorie says:

    Molly.

    Do you know what all is in our water. What a water treatment plant puts in it. For me the chlorine and floride are poison enough for my cats little kidneys i will take my chances with distilled.

  18. Lorie says:

    teric, i am also waiting to hear about Kumpikat.

  19. Gerry says:

    marc.. If I remember right there have been some treats and biscuits recalled. There is a list on howl911. It is a great site too but I noticed they havent updated since march27th.

  20. susanUnPC says:

    I’m sharing these two articles which completely revolutionized how I feed my cats:

    FEEDING YOUR CAT: KNOW THE BASICS OF FELINE NUTRITION
    Lisa A. Pierson, DVM
    http://www.catinfo.org/

    CAT DIABETES (and also how the cat’s digestive system works and what it requires)
    Elizabeth Hodgkins, DVM
    http://www.catnutrition.org/diabetes.html

    I won’t try to summarize these two articles because it is essential that they be read in full. The articles also recommend the proper kinds of cat food (wet, canned food is a key), what’s wrong with many brands, and reality checks regarding vet tests.

    What my cats get now (the two I “own” and the five homeless I feed): Merrick’s wet food, By Nature Organics wet food, occasional Wellness wet food + supplemented by very small amounts of dry kibble for snacking (Orijen or Serengeti).

    I also VARY their daily meals with different Merrick’s/By Nature Organics recipes so they don’t have to eat the same old thing all the time — which I think is a mean thing to do to animals — and also so any incidental exposure is limited (although I trust the brands I’m feeding the cats now).

  21. Lorie says:

    Finally on the AVMA page and article about the test tube finding in Canada:

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

  22. pat says:

    the great thing about a melamine banquet is that when you’re done with your mela-chicken nuggets, you can also eat the plastic dishes the food was on. after all, it would be only a small part of the average diet. so there’s no dishes to wash!

  23. Lorie says:

    If this is a repeat url post forgive me:

    http://www.fda.gov/cvm/MelamineAnalogs.htm

    This discusses the testing procedure to be used by the FDA: checking for all 4 or 5 substances

  24. Carol says:

    Amy, I’m still waiting for respose back from Natures’ Variety–I’ll post it as soon as they let me know. I did call and speak to Nicole at Wellness/OldMotherHubbard and asked specifically about the possibility of the tainted chicken now being in their products and she said that they are very actively looking into that and will post it on their website as soon as they know any info.

  25. Erik T says:

    Lorie wrote…

    I have done research for my little kitties tap water vs brita vs bottled vs distilled according to what I am reading cats should always use distilled i have always used Brita but they say it doesn’t do enough. Not sure what the safest brand of distilled is though. I am a little annoyed with my vet my youngest has had crystal issues for 2 years or so and not once did she tell using distilled water would help all she did was cram Hills SD c/d down my throat. WHATA SURPRISE

    Lorie,

    I don’t want to start a heated debate about water. I will say that drinking distilled water is bad for your health. It is acidic where as drinking water is slightly alkaline. This can lead to cardiovascular disease.

    In addition, it has the unique property of robbing the body of necessary vitamins and minerals as well as some toxins.

    It can be used for short periods of time, 2 weeks, to help clean out toxins. Longer than that and the body starts to get robbed of vitamins and minerals.

    GE makes some under sink water purifiers that are quite nice. They will save you a lot compared to bottled water.

  26. Gerry says:

    Pat….Why didnt I think of that! lol

  27. Annie says:

    Marc,To be safe if treats have wheat ,corn or rice gluten I wouldn’t give. and give pets bottle water instead of tap.

  28. Lorie says:

    Erik T,

    I am going to totally agree with you on it is a short term use item to givemy little kitties kidneys a break since being exposed. I can cause ostio (Not a speller) bone damage etc.. with long term use. i will probably go back to Brita in a week or too or a mix of both distilled and Brita. Just as a pet parent who was told there cats may develop CRF from this you start to look for anything to help

  29. Amy says:

    Thanks Carol - I live in Omaha and NV is headquartered in Lincoln which is about 40 miles away so if need be I can always go knock on their door, or their owner’s door, and try to get the facts. :) He claims to feed NV to his own pets but that note on their website is old… they actually haven’t done a recall update in 2 weeks and I don’t know if it makes me nervous that they’re not addressing issues or comforted that they have no issues to address. Thanks to all of this recall BS, I also don’t know which way is up anymore. Ugh!

  30. ally says:

    Lorie Says:
    May 2nd, 2007 at 11:50 am
    “Finally on the AVMA page and article about the test tube finding in Canada”

    Yeah, we were discussing that yesterday over at PC. I recalled a previous study done in Canada and Gina kindly found the link & included a blog entry pertaining to both studies which you can read here: http://tinyurl.com/3852td

  31. DonnaD says:

    Looking for TeriC, and results of Felidae testing ** with my fingers crossed **

    Donna

    My Pet Counts! http://good-times.webshots.com.....1854aqjQOs

  32. Rick says:

    Lorie,

    The Pur water filter is MUCH better than Brita–it removes much more than Brita. The little egg thing attaches to your faucet.

  33. Monika says:

    I’ve been giving DISTILLED WATER to my dog (who has chronic kidney failure) as I read about it in the Pitchairn book (I believe) and I also did the same for my cats (who do not have any kidney issues). I know there was some discussion about distilled and people but if we’re getting our minerals and vitamins elsewhere is it necessary to use non-distilled water then?

  34. K9Rescue says:

    >>

    I emailed this question to Eagle Pack on 5/1/07. Their response was: “Our chicken does not come from Indiana and our pork does not come from the named states. In addition we test.”

    While I certainly appreciate their response, it begs the question of: “OK, so where DO you get them?”

    Sheesh, getting definitive info out of the pet food mftrs is like pulling hens’ teeth.

  35. Lorie says:

    Rick,

    Thanks after all this stuff with the cats and now all this crap withour food also it really gets you thinking about everything we consume. I am going to look into a better water system. Since I can buy that, still waiting for them to invent a plastic strainer/filter for our food consumption.

  36. K9Rescue says:

    Hmmm, don’t know why the quoted part from an earlier post was truncated, but my reply was in response to Carol’s Q above (5/2 @ 7:38 am).

  37. Molly says:

    Lorie, Yeah, I know what is in the water. Lots of poison. Investing in a really good water filter and changing the filter elements often is a good way to go. Even with distilled water, if it sits around in the jug too long it absorbs petrochemicals from the plastic. Most filters won’t remove the normally beneficial minerals, but if the minerals are not good for a cat with kidney problems, and distilled is what is recommended, go always with what you think is best for your furries. A good filter will remove agricultural chemicals as well as the chlorine and fluoride. You have to read the label regarding what the filter element will remove, as not all filters are designed alike. You don’t want it to “reduce” the poison, you want it to remove it!

  38. Leslie Kuhn says:

    Has anyone tried Evangers dry food?I had switched to Wellness & they were doing ok but I found out some Wellness is made by ANI. Makes me nervous even though they say they tested it.I have 3 dogs & 2 cats. Have been home cooking but would like some kibble for dental health. lso I checked my hermit crab food & 3 different brands had glutens & proteins added. The only food I had for him that was real food was the treat. He is 19 years old so I am giving him mostly fruit & veg pieces.Thought about trying dried shrimp for protein.Also my dogs are burping & getting gassy on the Wellness dry chicken formula; they were fine on the senior & weight control.

  39. Debra says:

    Did I miss something somewhere? The melamine was apparently added by the Chinese, right? What about the cyanuric acid? It’s an open secret in China that they add melamine to boost the protein content, but do they do the same with cyanuric acid? Is cyanuric acid a byproduct/breakdown component of melamine or a completely different contaminant? What I’m wondering is, was the wheat gluten contaminated by the Chinese with melamine and some *other* ingredient was contaminated with cyanuric acid (either in China or here), or was a batch of wheat gluten with “fresh melamine” combined with a batch where the melamine had broken down so that both contaminants were present? I don’t know if it even matters, but it’s been bugging me for a while.

  40. DonnaD says:

    Well I’m glad CNN finally found this story newsworthy. Perhaps if they began covering it when it began, we and our pets might not have consumed millions of contaminated chickens. But how could they be expected to keep up with *everything* happening, what with the scathing Alec Baldwin scandal, and all…

  41. Monika says:

    Leslie Kuhn,

    Not sure if you know about thepetfoodlist.com. I think you’re
    better off going to that site to get answers about specific brands
    of pet food. It’s a great resource and answers are in one place.
    They have seperate topics for each brand and even subtopics
    relevant to that brand. Hope you find your answers there.

    Evangers topic is located here: http://thepetfoodlist.com/foru.....board=28.0

  42. Chad says:

    I was looking at Furoshnikov’s formula from cookforyourdog.com. Does anyone have any experience with this product? Or do you know of any other products like this that contain all the vitamins etc. I would like powdered form if possible.

  43. Sylvia says:

    Some folks are making a fortune off of pet food recall!

    IDEXX LABS (NasdaqGS:IDXX)
    AP
    Idexx Labs 1Q Earnings Beat the Street
    “Particularly strong revenue growth in the reference laboratories and instrument consumables businesses resulted in part from the well-publicized pet food recalls during the quarter, which we believe caused an unusually high number of pet visits to the veterinary clinic for exams that included diagnostic testing,” said Chairman and Chief Executive Jonathan Ayers.
    Link to company web page on recall. Has some good info. I am NOT saying there is anything wrong with this company itself. (Right place, wrong time, so to speak.)
    http://www.idexx.com/animalhea.....recall.jsp

    But, here is a link to creep investors salivating over recall, (one goof says he’s a vet and his profile even links to a clinic in NY state) There is something wrong with this bunch.

    http://messages.finance.yahoo......&frt=2

    Link to list of links to financial publications licking their chops:

    http://finance.yahoo.com/q/h?s=IDXX

    I say follow the money. If someone placed call options on stocks like IDXX or put options on stocks like Menu Foods prior to reports of sick and dying pets, then you have a trail to deliberate sabotage, rather than tainting by negligent greed. Wonder if that is part of FDA’s “criminal ivestigation”?

    If “free trade” means that the kind of sociopaths that take glee in profiteering off of dead and dying pets l are also running our international trading system, I’d rather pass on this “greater prosperity for all” scheme. See Ben Bernanke speech:
    http://federalreserve.gov/boar.....efault.htm

    Freedom in this case has truly been just another word for nothing left to lose for more and more people. Pets are the last straw.

  44. kb says:

    Well, if we can’t get the mainstream media to pay attention, at least we have a comic strip that understands!
    http://www.comics.com/comics/arlonjanis/index.html

  45. My Dog's Mom says:

    I have noticed that there is very little reporting on this on television news (non-cable) channels. The ONE report I saw was useless “information”, noteworthy for what it did not cite. They did not mention actual numbers of pet deaths, additional contaminated food sources, nor did they mention the entrance of these foods in the human food chain.

    I live in Los Angeles. The bulk of the air time was given to an alligator spotted in a local public park! I listened all day to radio and TV, and now I am certain that this is being censored because major shareholders and/or corporations do not want the American public to mess up their little love affair with cheap Chinese products. The paucity of focused, detailed, good reporting is telling in and of itself.

  46. Sylvia says:

    From what someone at Petconnection (maybe also our Steve here said), Ben Bernanke (Fed Chairman) seems to be getting worried about trade with China. Maybe now is a good time to contact the Fed.
    Here is my letter to the Federal Reserve. Anyone is welcome to use it. (and enhance it or correct any boo-boos)
    http://www.federalreserve.gov/feedback.cfm
    Dear Chairman Bernanke and Federal Reserve Board,
    I am writing regarding the current pet poisoning disaster that led to a massive recall of foods contaminated with products from China. I thought you would be interested in the negative impact this issue could have on “free trade”. I hope the Board will exert its influence towards a successful investigation of culpability in this matter leading to swift and effective punishment of the guilty individuals and/or entities. If regulation and inspection system failure is also evident, then please bring your influence to bear in the quick yet sound remediation of these systems. I believe that the American people need concrete actions to ensure the safety of their food supply. Speeches will not suffice. Their perception of the benevolence of international trading is in your hands.
    Thank you for your attention to this matter.

  47. xyz says:

    Thanks for the water suggestions. It’s still something of a mystery as to what might be best but it’s a start.

    Another forum suggestion- a thead listing verified cert. organic meat and poultry suppliers. It can be difficult to get meat markets to carry it but if we can find regional info. some of the stores might consider it.

  48. QBU says:

    Hey, do we have to start worrying about domestic grain products, too?

    http://tinyurl.com/2dqt8e

    New Biotech Product Could End Up in Feed

    By AMY LORENTZEN
    Associated Press Writer

    DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Ethanol industry leaders say a new biotech product that helps corn fight off pests could end up in exported animal feed and risk the industry’s relationship with foreign markets.

    At issue is the Agrisure RW corn rootworm trait developed by Syngenta Seeds Inc. The Renewable Fuels Association, a leading industry group, expressed its concerns over the product in a letter sent to Syngenta’s seed executives that was obtained by The Associated Press.

    The letter said the trait has not been approved for export markets but is being sold to growers in Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska and Wisconsin. The association said the trait could end up in exported distillers grains, a byproduct of ethanol production that is fed to livestock.

    “There is a risk that the shipment would be rejected by the importing customer - permanently damaging the U.S. ethanol industry’s relationships with these important markets,” association President and CEO Bob Dinneen said in the letter sent Friday.

    He asked Syngenta executives to “ensure this product stays out of unapproved market channels” by educating customers of marketing issues and removing dry mill ethanol facilities - where distillers grains are produced - from its lists of points of sale for grain containing the trait.

    Syngenta spokeswoman Anne Burt said the Golden Valley, Minn.-based company is stringently monitoring Agrisure RW, by tracking its sales and making sure growers only deliver the byproduct to domestic users, among other precautions.


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