Recall Update: Wednesday

Investigation in China:

Consumeraffairs.com: Nothing to be found in China.

We visited the two facilities, but there’s essentially nothing to be found in that they are currently closed down, not operating,” Walter Batts, deputy director of the FDA’s Office of International Programs, told reporters. “There’s essentially nothing, as they have determined, that is available to be seen at the facilities. They’ve been closed down, machinery dismantled, nothing to really get access to.

Legal: Nationwide class action lawsuit being filed.

FDA Press Conference: Transcript from yesterday’s press conference.

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Check out our fun and informative non-recall news below.

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(Thanks to many readers)

49 Responses to “Recall Update: Wednesday”

  1. Kiki says:

    What the #$%@ did the FDA expect when they couldn’t get into China for a few weeks. I’m sure everyone here knew that the Chinese were wiping the plate clean. It’s just stupid - all this running around like chickens with their heads cut off - the FDA is just WASTING our taxpayer money acting like they are doing stuff. WHat have they essentially done since this crisis began?? They are a day late and a dollar short on reporting recalls, they allow contaminated food to enter the human food supply chain while not even using their own standards of testing and risk assessment to determine risk - nothing quantitative that I have seen and certainly nothing long-term, they continue to cry wolf - the all clear sign - only to be embarrassed by yet another recall that they don’t even know about, they can’t estimate the number of deaths, they have not done ONE thing to make me feel like maybe we are turning a corner here and that they might have a handle on this crisis. I’m no longer just scared and nervous for our food supply, I am livid that these guys still have jobs. What a way to wake up in the morning and read about this stupidity…like they actually expected to inspect something - %$^%^ stupid….

  2. Genny says:

    Hey KiKi,

    (Speaking of “What the #$%@” ? What the #$%@ happened last night?)
    (Sorry, couldn’t help myself) ( ;

  3. Ann H says:

    The class action lawsuit. IMO, it will help with the truth in labeling issues. I am seriously as a pet owner considering joining the suit. They have mis-represented the pet food quality long enough. AAFCO labels need to be removed as IMO they are deceptive and are not adhered to by the pet food manufacturers.

    exchange:
    statement: ” I am serving on jury duty and trying to keep up with some of my email while out of the office. I assume you have sent me this because of my position as the AAFCO Investigator for Animal Products. I will respond to part of your concerns raised in this email.

    Just so you understand. AAFCO does not have any regulatory authority. AAFCO develops model regulations that states may or may not adopt. It is up to the states to developo and enforce their regulations.

    It is my understanding that the way the poultry and swine recieved the melamine contaminated pet food was not from the product that was recalled, but from being fed the waste developed during the manufacturing of the pet food that was eventually recalled. I’m sure you realize that not 100% of every batch of pet food mixed ends up in the pet food package and offered for retail sale. There is always a little left in the machinery that must be cleaned out before the next batch is made. I believe, although I do not have personal experience of inspecting very many pet food plants, that often times the next batch of pet food flushes out the last of the previous batch of pet food. This change over pet food cannot be sold as retail pet food because it does not match either of the products being packaged for retail sale. If both batches of pet food, are good, then the change over pet food should be safe and have value as a feed source. It is common practice in both human and pet food manufacturing practices to sell or give this “waste” product to people to raise animals. ”

    my response: Pet food manufacturers did recalls for “cross-contamination” and the products recalled did not have the ingredients on the label. That threw pet owners into another turmoil. There have been deaths and illnesses reported from the “cross-contamination” by vets.

    So, the Pet Food Industry is lax in adhering to the concept of recipe ingredients and discrediting the AAFCO seal.

    Where are the regulations and enforcement of “this change over pet food cannot be sold as retail pet food….” ???

    You must understand that virtually all assumptions about the safety of commercial pet foods have been tossed out the window.
    We’ve been told repeated “no more recalls”, “safe pet food”, and in hours more recalls and more instances of animals feed tainted foods.

    statement: “In this case the pet food unfortunately was contaminated with melamine and long before anyone knew there was a problem with the pet food the manufacturing waste had been fed to the chickens and swine. Once this was descovered Washington State Deptartment of Agriculture again contacted the renderers within Washington to alert them to be on the look out for someone wanting to renderer animals that might have been fed melamine contaminated feed.”

    my response: The pet food industry is also not doing Quality Control. Any person who cooks can immediately tell the difference between gluten and flour.

    As the FDA said May 8th. It is the pet food industry’s responsibility to make sure the foods they sell are safe. You have Duane Ekedahl saying it’s the FDA’s responsibility.

    In effect, based on multiple comments by Mr. Ekedahl and by Menu Foods, the claimed “self-regulation” does not exist. This pet food scandal explicitly makes that evident.

    While the AAFCO may not be able to regulate, this makes the labelling saying they meet the AAFCO standards also a lie. Consumers realize that.

    The AAFCO needs to stop the pet food industry from using that “AAFCO seal/statement” to mislead consumers. At this point, there is ample evidence that references to the AAFCO on the labelling as a means of quality assurance is false, misleading and in violation of Truth and Advertising Laws.

    While the AAFO has been silent on these issues of contamination, I would expect your organization to view your tacit agreement that the pet food industry is using your stamp of approval of their contents as your organization’s implication in the scandal and deceit perpetrated on consumers.

    statement: “When this pet food recall first began, Washington State Department of Agriculture, personell contacted all of the pet food recycling businesses that we are aware of located within Washington, or selling product into Washington and told them to be sure to watch for recalled product and not sell it for animal feed within Washington. We aslo contacted our renderers that might render such items and cautuioned them not to accept pet food for rendering. I believe many other states took similar actions.

    I cannot speak as to why some of the additives are allowed in animal feed that are allowed. However, urea and biuret and other sources of non protein nitrogen are usefull to ruminants. Ruminants have 4 compartments to their stomach, and are such animals as cows, deer, elk and others. The rumen in these animals is essentially a large fermentation vat. The animal eats feed and microbs in the rumen digest a large portion of the feed. Then the microbes and whatever feed the microbs did not digest in the rumen are digested by the animals in their lower digestive tract. In this process urea is formed in the rumen whether or not any urea is fed. In certain situations adding urea or other sources of non-protein nitrogen to the diet of rumenants is bennificial to the rumenant.

    There are very low limits of the amount of non-protein nitrogen that can be included in feed for non-ruminants. I believe that in what we would consider to be natural feed, for at least some animals, there are small amounts of nitrogen that is not part of the protein contained in the feed. It would be difficult, if not impossible to avoid all non-protein nitrogen in all non-ruminant.”

    my response: “At this point in time, I think, that should there be any subsequent recalls based on the rendered products, use of by-products, use of offal from the food animals that ingested contaminated pet food (i.e. poultry, pigs, fish) being released back to inclusion in pet foods would give grounds for legal action as many pet food companies assert that they are now testing for melamine and associated contaminants in the pet foods, and any pet suffering from ingestion would be the basis of far broader litigation. Should that occur it will be obvious there is no quality control and no concern for the safety of the animals consuming the pet food and give lie to any assertions of testing for these “new” contaminants.

    In essence, the AAFCO should consider their own reputation for allowing pet food manufacturers and pet food brands using your labels as implication of your organization participation in this on-going scandal. Your organization also has the obligation to address the goodwill of the AAFCO charter and influence on consumers in their trust that the food is safe for their pets.

    Grounds seem to have been laid to prove that the pet food labelling must indicate that your standards are not enforced by the pet food industry and thus must be removed from the labelling until the AAFCO is confident of improved pet food safety controls and adherence to industry standards.

    Truth in Advertising is grossly abused in this existing situation.

    Pet food labels should indicate that AAFCO makes no assertion of the safety of nor the truth of the adherence to ingredients as listed on the package.

  4. Pit Bull Lover says:

    I distinctly recall reading a transcript of a recent press conference in which some FDA tool stated uncategorically that samples *were* successfully gathered from the suspect Chinese factory sites. (The reporter was attempting to verify with the FDA news reports that the suspect factory/factories had been demolished in an effort to destroy evidence.)

    FDA = the Feign and Duck Administration

  5. Genny says:

    Pit Bull Lover,

    I remember that, too.

    FDA = the Feign and Duck Administration —- Excellent! lol.

  6. Kiki says:

    Here is part of the complaint filed!! I jumped on this bandwagon so fast. This lawsuit WILL change things - PLEASE, PLEASE FORWARD ALONG. if not better quality food for pets, at least truth in labeling laws. I can’t wait!! I’ve been waiting for the smart, sophisticated lawyer to take the bull by the horns and my dream have been answered!! As a consumer - I have felt deeply humiliated and betrayed by the pet food industry. I loved my pets and always tried to feed them the best quality food. I followed my vets recommendations to buy Iams, Science Diet…all assuring that this was the highest quality nutrition I could ever feed my pets. What the %^&??? I would rather have fed them table scraps all this time rather than 4 D, not-fit-for-human consumption animal parts and low quality not-fit-for-human consumption vegetable protein. HOW DARE any vet tell me that I am harming my animal by feeding healthy, wholesome regular food versus the %$#^ that they have recommneded. I’m so livid.

    Genny: I don’t know what happened - I think K is perimenopausal - that’s the only thing I could come up with. Who cares??? iF she wants to feed her cat the ingredients below - let her…I don’t care what her cat eats - really!!!

    PART OF THE COMPLAINT HERE:
    “The $58,000,000,000 spent by consumers on pet food over the last four years has been without the knowledge that the “quality,” “prescription,” “premium” or “gourmet” food that
    they are feeding their companion animals was made of garbage unfit for human consumption, including, but not limited to, restaurant grease, roadkill, hair, blood, pus, esophagi, chicken heads, feet and intestines, cow brains, excrement, fetal tissue, moldy grains, hulls, styrofoam
    packaging from discarded supermarket meat, euthanized animals, including cats and dogs, ground up flea collars, and diseased, dying, disabled and dead animals. “…

  7. Kiki says:

    Ann - very interesting exchange - good job staying on topic with that and not letting things slide by.

  8. ally says:

    This morning’s Chicago Sun-Times has an article that I just cannot believe let alone get my brain wrapped around:

    CHINA SAYS FURTHER CHECKS SHOW PET FOOD INGREDIENTS FREE FROM CONTAMINATION

    May 16, 2007
    BY CHRISTOPHER BODEEN Associated Press

    “SHANGHAI, China—- China says checks on food exporters have turned up no sign of a chemical blamed for the deaths of cats and dogs in North America, and urged U.S. authorities to refrain from further action against Chinese producers.”

    ”We hope the American side will accurately and objectively deal with problems among individual companies and not take stringent measures against other Chinese companies producing the same type of products,” it said.

    “China says the two companies added melamine to the gluten after failing to provide the protein level required in their contracts.”

    So even tho China admits to the melamine at two companies (guess we’ll never know about the BULLDOZED company, eh?!), they now say no worries US! It’s all good!

    Riiiiiiiiight.

    Guess they’re trying their darndest to save face for the 2008 Olympics.

    Ohhh this gets my kniickers in a twist. GRRRRR.

  9. ally says:

    Meant to add to my previous post, full article from the Chicago Sun-Times can be found here:

    http://www.suntimes.com/news/w.....07.article

  10. ally says:

    I had a comment to go with the above, but it’s currently being held hostage in Itchmo’s spam reservoir. Hopefully the PTB will free it from the net!

  11. Genny says:

    KiKi,

    Woo Who! They want info of pet food purchased over the ** PAST FIVE (5) YEARS ** !!!

    (Melapause…..he he)

  12. Helen says:

    Genny, Kiki: Good morning. Hope all that is over. Good comments. :)

  13. Kiki says:

    melapause!! LMAO!!! Great - maybe exacerbated from eating mela-chicken…

    Hi Helen: aren’t you the diplomat! You handled yourself in an outstanding manner last night. You are more gracious than I by simply ignoring bad behavior. I, on the other, hand, try to stay respectful, but still don’t let things slide - as you can see with this pet food crisis and knowledge of rendering 4D animal parts among other things - it makes me livid…can you tell?

    got to give you alot of credit…:)

  14. Helen says:

    Kiki: You deserve credit also. You persistently inform, and defend your standpoint. I just really do worry about us wasting energy arguing with each other, because it really does benefit those we know to be responsible for this debacle. They were probably reading and yelling “Hey honey, We’re off the hook tonight! They are fighting with each other instead of organizing the pet food revolt! Get out the champagne!” :P

    I just wish we could all be a little less sensitive, but I know it is hoping for a lot under the circumstances. We can’t seem to help it sometimes, and understandably. I am feeling pretty sensitive myself.

  15. menusux says:

    http://dailynews.att.net/cgi-b.....amp;src=ap

    China’s Premier Pledges Currency Reforms
    Updated 10:43 AM ET May 16, 2007 AP

    “China’s bulging global trade surplus _ which last year grew to US$177.5 billion _ and currency regime are expected to among the top issues discussed at a meeting of top Chinese and U.S. trade officials next week in Washington.

    “Wen reiterated Beijing’s vow to let markets play a greater role in setting the yuan’s value, which critics say is artificially low, giving Chinese exporters an unfair advantage.”

    This type of action is likely to make Chinese goods more expensive for those who import/want to import them. And in the case of food/food ingredients, when the higher prices are coupled with the costs of product testing, it may mean that in many cases, companies will choose not to go with the Chinese products for a $ reason, if nothing more.

  16. Kiki says:

    Helen: point well taken. I’m sorry it escalated. I really had good intentions of just informing. I’m sorry it was taken personally.

    I’m sure they did open up the champagne - funny!!! Not for long once this lawsuit gets going - I’m passing the link to everyone I know even non-pet owners in case they have friends and family with pets!!

  17. Helen says:

    Kiki: It is pretty exciting to have some legal action going. Between lawsuits and boycotting, they should all be feeling some pain.

  18. Kiki says:

    finally…I just want radical change in this industry. I think they have literally been getting away with murder for years.

    How they can live with themselves, I just don’t know.

  19. Black Lab Owner says:

    To Ann H:

    You go girl!

  20. mgm says:

    I just want to express my gratitude to Itchmo and to all the posters here who have contributed so much to my knowledge. This is now the first site I check every day. It’s been such a relief, too, to know that I’m not the only one who watches my cats like a deranged hawk and freezes with fear if one is drinking what seems like excessive amounts of water (not) or throws up what turns out to be a fur ball. Thanks to all.

  21. Kiki says:

    I second MGM’s feelings…

  22. Helen says:

    I third them.

  23. menusux says:

    Not sure if Itchmo has a policy of not accepting any Google ads from companies who’ve had recalled products or not. This one for Blue Buffalo just appeared.

    Human Grade Pet Food
    Try our Healthy and Holistic Pet Food Today. Learn More About BLUE!
    BlueBuff.com

    ITCHMO ADMIN: Thanks for letting us know. We notified Google ads and it should be removed in a few hours. Please let us know if you see any other ads that are inappropriate or advertise recalled brands.

  24. Helen says:

    menusux: Itchmo can request specific companies get yanked, but it takes time, and they can’t all be yanked. Google targets audience. We are a pet food and pet supply target audience. This is helping Itchmo survive. Please tolerate it. :)

  25. menusux says:

    Not complaining about the ad–just didn’t know what policy was here re: ads for companies with recalled products.

  26. Helen says:

    menusux,
    Ah, I get you. Itchmo does not get to decide what advertisers Google posts. They can complain about an ad if it is offensive to readers, but if they requested everyone with recalls get yanked, what would be left for Google to advertise? Small group that would be.

  27. menusux says:

    For me, I’ll be glad to leave the decision re: what goes/stays up to Itchmo admin.

    Might voice an opinion if we get one featuring DE in the buff. :-)

  28. e wem says:

    A University added melamine and cyanuric acid to cat urine and got crystals.

    Question:
    Did anyone anywhere think of adding melamine and cyanuric acid to human urine?

    Isn’t this the obvious next step?

    University students - be the first to see your name in print. Someone do this test for us.

    We need to deliver the results to the FDA as soon as possible

  29. LorieVA says:

    mgm,

    We are all in the same boat, i went away this past weekend for the first time since my cats fell ill in March, I am sure they were grateful the crazy lady left for over 24 hours, so they could have some peace. I poke prod wave laser pointers speak names loudly offer food out of no where just to see their reaction. Watch fountain use food intake litter box use…………………..I think I need therapy

  30. LorieVA says:

    Hooray i just signed up for the class action i love seeing Nestle listed makers of x,y, z and Fancy Feast.

  31. Steve says:

    A class action is what will hit a corporate giant where it hurts.

    This is your chance folks.

  32. Genny says:

    Helen & Kiki

    Helen, the witty diplomat. Kiki, the articulate informer. Me, the stop the lying, projection & mistrueing, fair is fair little scrapper. Sorry, just can’t stand the kicking of concerned, caring, helpful posters around.

    huh? Did someone say champagne? Now we’re talking. Please pass the bottle.

  33. Genny says:

    Kiki,

    “finally…I just want radical change in this industry. I think they have literally been getting away with murder for years.”

    I second that! I’m so happy that they are at least are wanting info from the past 5 years, or is that standard in a class action law suit?

  34. Helen says:

    Genny, you are a very concerned, caring, helpful poster, and I am glad you won’t allow any kicking, including kicks directed at you. I have had my feelings stung on here a couple of times, usually a misunderstanding or else I didn’t agree with someone (Oh MY!), but I am still here, glad to be learning. Itchmo is better than champagne (but champagne sure doesn’t hurt). :D

  35. Kiki says:

    Bubbly for all - to all of K’s ppl!! hip, hip hurray!!

  36. LorieVA says:

    Oh boy there is a storm brewin’ on the other blog, batten down the hatches. Yikes. soap boxes being pulled out as we speak

  37. Genny says:

    Thanks Kindly Helen,

    Usually better at taking up for others than moi but that went way too out of bounds for and about several of us. IMO this should be a place for helpul info, exchange of opinions and hopefully, civil adult discussion not a place for unwarranted snobby, snotty, childish attitudes, no matter how stressed, scared, emotional or upset someone is. Don’t ask if you don’t want a variety of answers. Kind of reminds me of ….Stay outta the kitchen if you can’t stand the heat. Go somewhere else to eat.

  38. 4lgdfriend says:

    Kiki said: What the #$%@ did the FDA expect when they couldn’t get into China for a few weeks. I’m sure everyone here knew that the Chinese were wiping the plate clean.”

    What the**** did we expect when the FDA took a few months to get *some* of the info out on *some* of the suppliers and *some* of the places the melacrap was sold to for *some* of the purposes…….all while testing for only *some* of the *unknown number of* toxins (none of those tests being done, as E Wem so aptly shouted - ON HUMAN urine.

  39. 4lgdfriend says:

    answer: we expected the FDA was covering for big business while suppliers sold stock, covered their fat behinds and dumped the poison as fast as possible.

  40. Genny says:

    Kiki,

    Cheers! * hic*

  41. Helen says:

    LorieVA, Yup, the defending of by-products has begun again. Sigh.

  42. Kiki says:

    where, where…that’s my fav topic??? where do I go to jump in with the mud wrestling???

  43. Genny says:

    LOL @ Kiki…..SIC ‘EM, GIRL!

  44. Kiki says:

    Found it in the menu section above… just posted my 2 cents…

  45. Genny says:

    I’d say that’s a quarter’s worth. Fasten yer seatbelts!

  46. Maureen says:

    Kiki,

    Which class action lawsuit did you join? There are many that have been filed. I was involved in a class action some years ago and the attorneys were incredible. I know that not all law firms have the financial resources to take on something as big as this. I hope Itchmo allows you to post the name of the law firm that you are pleased with.

  47. Genny says:

    Maureen,

    I’m not Kiki but the link is below. It’s from today’s blog titled:

    Menu Foods Releases Claims Information. There’s a link to a pdf file where you can read and complete form.

    http://www.itchmo.com/read/men.....6#comments

  48. YaYa says:

    Hi Maureen, there is a National Pet Foods Lawsuit; not just the claims forms supplied by Menu Foods.

    The info for it is Here:

    http://www.mflegal.com/petfoodlawsuit

    I hope my link works for you.

    I’m not sure how these things works these days, but back a few ago, if you took a settlement from a company, then you could not go back and sue them later for the same issue.

    I don’t know if that still would apply if at all, to this.
    Maybe someone could answer it for us here.

  49. Kiki says:

    Here is the lawsuit I joined. It is NOT about the pet food recall. It IS about misleading advertising (having people believe that the food was wholesome and good, when in fact, it is disgusting, rendered animal and 4D). It is nationwide and almost everyone with a pet is probably eligible. They ask for the names of food you bought your pet for the past 5 years. Great lawsuit - pass it along!!

    http://www.mflegal.com/petfoodlawsuit


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