Second Company Likely Imported Tainted Rice Protein From China

Two US Senators say that a company in addition to Wilbur-Ellis has imported rice protein concentrate that is “also likely to be contaminated with melamine.” [Reuters story here]

The senators say that the FDA is aware of the second importer, but is not identifying the company. The information was provided to the senators from industry insiders, not the FDA. Despite a senate hearing, the FDA continues to withhold information about the companies involved.

The senators’ letter came ahead of a congressional hearing on Tuesday to examine the pet food scare as well as the larger issue of human food safety before a U.S. House of Representatives committee.

FDA spokeswoman Cathy McDermott said so far the agency is only aware of one rice protein importer, Wilbur-Ellis Co., but the investigation is ongoing.

The circle of contamination continues to widen. Please stay tuned for more possible recalls over the next week.

Itchmo continues to advise avoiding all foods that contain rice protein.

(Thanks to Pet Connection)

223 Responses to “Second Company Likely Imported Tainted Rice Protein From China”

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  1. connie says:

    Sheba is a Mars product & according to the woman I talked to on the phone from Good Life recipe(another mars product), Mars makes all their own foods. What she could not guarantee me though, was whether or not all the ingredients came from this country. Sheba, whiskas, goodlife recipe(cat & dog), pedigree are all mars products. I know pedigrees website says our product has no (the a word) rat poison or melamine in it. I personally have not been to the cat food sites, so I cant tell you what they say. With all the crap coming into this country now, I just want something grown HERE. China’s stunts have just made us all lose soo much trust with everyone.
    I fed cats friskies(purina) for years & had no issues. I fed the dogs pedigree for years(no issues). Switched to an indoor formula cause I had one cat regurgitating all the time(not vomiting), & bought some Beneful cause it sounded like a good change(lets not go there today..but Beneful no more). Good life recipe the dogs love, so do the cats…..but they cant tell me they are u.s. domesically grown ingredients, so for dry I went with Dads, at least until this is over, & likely longer if everyone stays healthy. I took all off any wet store food(friskies, 9 lives, store brands, alpo, again store brands) & noticed a positive difference in my animals within 2 weeks. I cook ckn leg 1/4’s twice a week(yes cook), its just easier on me, & give them broth & ckn with dry daily.

  2. connie says:

    off my yahoo news page wed eve:
    Still, the FDA has no intention of banning imports of wheat gluten, rice protein or similar products from China.

    “We believe the safety net is in place to make sure that no additional products are going to get into the commerce of the United States,” said David Elder, director of FDA’s enforcement office.

    Melamine was first found in March in wheat gluten used for some pet foods. Menu Foods, Procter & Gamble Co., Colgate-Palmolive Co., Nestle SA and Del Monte Foods Co. have recalled pet products made with the gluten.

    More recently, rice protein tainted with melamine was also shipped to at least five pet food manufacturers by a supplier that imported it from China, the FDA has said.

    ohh hey yippee. they sell & ship crap & we’re still gonna buy it. (I have several comments running through my mind…& none are printable!)

  3. Elena Kent says:

    Please keep in mind that not only may the pet food products in pet food stores and popular retail stores be tainted, but no one is regulating or guaranteed to be purchasing safe pet foods from companies that buy out products such as Big Lots and stores like that. Do the suppliers that sell in buy out quantities concerned about the pet food recalls or just unloading onto them their over supplies??? Something to think about. Don’t know if it is true, but I know that I am not taking my chances on anything that doesn’t have absolutely organic ingredients that are not imports. And even then, I still wonder…. I shared my concerns with our regional FDA investigator.

  4. justjeneric says:

    I read in the news that melamine was found in pig urine at a hog farm being inspected by the FDA somewhere in the western US. It was played down with the explanation that these pigs were not sold to grocery stores- only to people buying the whole carcass. Duh, they will be consumed somewhere by someone! According to the article, the pigs are fed unused, unsold pet food and/or pet food that hasn’t passed inspection. Scary, isn’t it.

  5. Cathy says:

    “The FDA’s behavior is not acceptable in a democracy. There must be a way to deliver some consequences (though it’s unlikely that Bush, Cheny, et al will get any consequences for their Iraq prifiteering either).”

    This country is anything but a democracy.

  6. Cathy says:

    johnypaycut Says:

    April 23rd, 2007 at 11:52 pm
    Each cats different? the 1’s that are taught by mom to hunt never forget..
    “i have 1 that eats her kill! now this isn’t happening , i changed her diet,
    to include some raw meat.. if your cat isn’t eating the kill , it may be more than just hunting instinct. it might be something your being told by that behavior? it’s unusual for a cat to never eat a animals it’s killed..
    im not sure why yours is doing that.. but you might want to check into it?”

    It’s not unusual whatsoever. Unless the mother cat knows how to kill and eat her prey and teaches it to her kittens, the kittens never learn that it is food. If you have an indoor mother cat (never caught her own food), she never teaches this to her kittens. Both of my indoor cats have killed mice in our garage but never once ate any of them.

  7. Helen says:

    I am about to have a nervous breakdown over this. I would rather eat tainted food than feed it to my cat, and I am probably eating plenty of tainted food and have no idea what. I buy local and organic as much as I can, but I have limited income and winter is 6 months long. Buying local and organic creates a market demand for local and organic, making it cheaper, easier to get, good for the local economy, good for us, our pets, our farmers, our ecology, and even our CO2 production (less fuel spent shipping). Even if you can only buy a few items, you are still helping with the creation of higher demand. Every single local organic item you purchase is helping more than you think. The government has shown they are not going to take care of this unless we force the issue with outcry and voting. Meanwhile we can try non-political means, such as refusing to buy all this poison crap. The way we force the producers to make safer products is to only buy from the producers who hold themselves to higher standards. When the poison crap manufacturers see that the higher quality products are in higher demand than the cheap poisonous ones, they all start making better quality in order to compete. That is how it works. That is why organic foods have become more readily available in this country than they were a few years ago. Let’s all keep taking every action we are able to, OK?

  8. justjeneric says:

    Helen, I’m with you. I just wanted to cry last night. My head hurts from all the reading, researching and worrying about my baby as well as everyone else’s. The more I read (even here) the more I don’t know which way to turn…..raw diet, homecooked, supplements, salmonella, bloat, etc., etc., etc. I want to do the right thing if I can just figure out what it is. For now just feeding her timberwolf organics (not recalled….yet) and adding human food (not scraps). I cook chicken, pasta, rice, green beans, carrots, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, beef heart and add it to the dry food. I want to move away from the dry and feed her only human food once I figure out the best way to go about it. For now, I’ll just keep reading and praying for all the babies out there as well as their families.

  9. Tina says:

    If you feed raw you are safe, most roaw feeders switched or have never fed kibble Why who wants chemicals, preservatives, dead aniamls and poisons put in from renderding plants & chemical companies. Go to enough seminars and read enough books & you learn. Your vets are more incompatent to nutrition than any of you think, They do’t enve teach nutriti on at the colleges for Vets.they all get a hills book, don’t even have to rerad it Are told to just listen to the rep. If they want knowledge they have to do exactly what you & I do. Seek it out. try it you may like it.
    IF you ant quality products, stay US make Not canadian, their policies are more Lax. learn to read the bags. there are hundreds of info sites on line & tha API has great info(animal protection institute)
    IF people would put as much concern into their animals as they do their hobbies and stopped believing the rediculous tv adds Stay our of Petco and Petsmart and go to the Independent pet stores that Actually learn about the food they carry What a better situation you’d all be in
    just amazes us how shocked you all are. Why becuase all that advertising has been lies?? No doubt. So its time to wake up people and protect your cats and dogs Cause those big conglmerastes don’t care.. not in the least. they want your money.

  10. Helen says:

    Doctors tell humans not to eat animal organ meat, especially livers due to all the contaminants the animal was exposed to being concentrated in the liver. Does this not also apply to pets? Lots of people have gone raw and are feeding organ meat to their cats for taurine, but if it is not organic meat, this could be very dangerous…pesticides, heavy metals, etc.

  11. justjeneric says:

    Just went to the grocery store and bought meat and veggies. Just went to amazon and bought four books. Going to the parmacy tomorrow to buy supplements. Sure hope I get this figured out. I’m hopeful the new diet will also help with Maggie’s itching problem (before one of us goes crazy). Even if it doesn’t at least I will feel safe feeding her. PS. Thanks, Tina, for the API site, I copied some recipes from there and used their recommendations for ordering books on the subject.

  12. Helen says:

    justjeneric: If Maggie has been itchy, it is likely from some grain that does not agree with her. I bet it will clear up in a hurry from what you are going to be feeding her now!

  13. Lisa Martens says:

    You know what I think? My thoughts are, instead of arguing and spinning our wheels, we should simply ASSUME that whatever it is that we feed, we’re all going to be NUTS. At this point, and I’m sure most feel the same, nothing is safe.

  14. justjeneric says:

    Helen, the poor thing is miserable and I am so sorry for her that I am going to take her to the vet for a shot tomorrow. I adopted her two months ago and was told she didn’t scratch much at the shelter - well she sure scratches here. Her skin looks just fine and she has no bugs but, good grief, she scratches, bites, whines, and is making the both of us crazy. She had a shot about a month ago and it lasted two weeks. I hate to do it again but I don’t know how else to make her comfortable. However, the food I give her, Timberwolf Organics, has no grain in it at all, none, so I don’t think it’s grain. I do have a question about the home cooked or raw diet - Maggie has heartworms (damn her last owner) - do you have any idea if that type of diet would make a difference? I hate to sound dumb but I’ve never dealt with heartworm before - that makes me nervous enough…..combined with the food scare I am about going nuts here.

  15. justjeneric says:

    Oops, I lied, I just read the package and there is millet and oats in the timberwolf.

  16. Helen says:


    No, I have never dealt with heartworms either. Poor Maggie! I can tell you my mother had a cat who was the itchiest creature ever until she started getting enough Omega 3 fatty acids. After that her problem stopped, and she gained weight (healthy weight) and was much happier.

    I am going nuts and terrified and utterly convinced that nothing I feed my cat is safe. I went to get her some tuna, and some time while I wasn’t looking, every brand started packing tuna in soy broth instead of water and still saying “Tuna in Water” on the front of the can! The super low sodium tuna is soy-free, so I am giving her that now. Canned tuna is what cured my mother’s cat. I am feeding that, Innova dry, poached chicken, and Sheba. She has refused any offer of raw meat her whole life, but will eat gently cooked meat, which doesn’t have taurine. She also gets powdered spirulina, which cured the digestive problems from antibiotics she got at the shelter. I just put a little dab of spirulina on her wet food and she loves it. She likes little bits of steamed spinach also. I don’t know what I would have done without this site, because I feel like I have let my cat down and she will be poisoned no matter what.

  17. Helen says:

    justjeneric: Did the itching start with the timberwolf or before? If it started before, it is probably not the food. She may also be allergic to something in your house?

  18. Helen says:

    PS Listen to whatever the vet says about treating heartworms and look on the internet for info also!

  19. justjeneric says:

    I opted not to do the “shot” series for her and just keep her on the heartworm pills - it’s what my vet recommended since she is young and in good health otherwise (except itchy) and her case is very mild. Knowing how painful the shots are and worried about keeping her inactive for so long (she’s a border mix and not happily still for any length of time) helped me make the decision. It was a hard one but I did what I thought was best. The shelter was feeding her Science Diet and I switched to Royal Canin and then Timberwolf. I add salmon oil to her food each day so she gets a double dose of omega between what I give and what’s already in the food. I’m like you in not knowing what to do - I honestly believe nothing is really safe and that’s why I am making the switch to home cooked or raw. I guess I will decide which once I’ve read all the books I ordered. What else can we do but what we hope is right? Just keep reading the good information here and keep a close watch on our babies, I guess. It sounds like you are doing all you can for your cat. I wish you the best of luck. Thanks for your suggestions and may the force be with us all.

  20. Helen says:

    justjeneric: I hope Maggie recovers to good health. I can’t imagine how the change of diet to way better food would have made her itch so unless she just has an allergy? Can dogs be allergy tested for millet and oats? Millet is usually hypo-allergenic, but some creatures are allergic to really odd things. It could also be an environmental allergen, so maybe ask the vet about that also? We are so obsessed about food, it is easy to overlook other sources of trouble, yes? You might also ask the shelter, since they said she “didn’t itch much” what does “much” mean? Might give another clue.

  21. justjeneric says:

    Helen: she came to me from another state so I suppose it is possible it could be environmental - poor thing lived on an off-ramp of I-85 for almost a month before she was caught and at some point had puppies which the rescuers don’t know what happened to. She’s had a tough life for such a young girl and I mean to make it all up to her. That’s another reason I am determined this food thing isn’t going to get her. I am going to ask the vet today about running an allergy test. Thanks for your concern.

  22. Deb says:

    I have 3 large dogs, plus 2 feral cat colonies to care for. I don’t have the option of cooking food for the 2 feral cat colonies, I simply cannot put that much time into it!!!

    I *was* using the Kirkland brand dry food for the cats, but learned today (ty ITCHMO) that their wet dog food has been recalled (yes, was using 2 TBS of that a day in the a.m. for my dogs, mixed in with their dry food, to get their meds & supplements in). So now I am not using any Kirkland food at all.
    I have been using Nutro’s Natural Choice Senior Lite dry pet foods for my dogs (all 11 yrs plus). I called Nutro HQ today and had a lengthy discussion. They said they are recalling all of their wet foods, but that their DRY foods are made from ingredients grown strictly inside the U.S. and are completely safe. They told me if they had any suspicions that they would have recalled the food, as they voluntarily recalled their wet food. They ASSURED me their dry food is completely safe, as I balked and barked at them.

    I went to the store and stocked up on ground turkey and beef soup bones (for broth stock). Tonight the dogs devoured their new mix very merrily. So for now, it’s only Nutro dry food for the cats & dogs, with cooked ground turkey mixed into the dog food (w/hot water for a bit of juice to get those supps down). May get some Innova canned for the ferals to have as a treat once or twice a week. Or even a little canned tuna fish.

    I feel very worried about what to do. I’ll make my own food for the dogs if I must (keeping close track on the recalls and calling Nutro weekly). I’ve heard good things about Innova, could try that first. Just finished heartworm treatment for my old senior rescue who came here from Georgia - $1500 in vet bills in ONE month for ONE dog. You can see my dilemma. I want my animals to stay healthy, but I need electricity too! :o(

  23. connie says:

    in case anyone else out there keeps as bad notes as I do, I was writing down Brands, not maufacturers:

    The below article from today’s news pretty much confirms American Nutrition in Utah is the remaining unnamed “pet food maker” who purchased potentially tainted RPC from Wilbur-Ellis. The five pet food makers Wilbur-Ellis sold the melamine-laced Chinese RPC to are 1) Diamond Pet Foods, makers of Natural Balance dry foods (plant in MO), 2) Chenango Valley Pet Foods, makers of Drs. Foster & Smith and SmartPac/LiveSmart (plant in NY), 3) Royal Canin, plant in MO, 4) C.J. Foods, makers of Blue Buffalo dry foods (plant in KS) and 5) American Nutrition, makers of Blue Buffalo and Natural Balance wet foods. This story, however, is far from over, as Sen. Durbin contends there is a second supplier whom the FDA has yet to name which purportedly sold potentially adulterated Chinese RPC to several pet food makers, also as yet unnamed.

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