US Rice Protein Supplier Says One Bag was Marked Melamine

Wilbur-Ellis says its April 4 shipment contained one bag (out of 146) that was marked “melamine”. The AP article does not make it clear whether the company distributed any bags marked melamine to Diamond Pet Foods, which made the Natural Balance products. It does say that the 146 bags were quarantined and tested. The bag marked melamine tested, you guessed it, positive for melamine.

Also, 2 out of 5 says their shipment was not contaminated:

Thacher [CEO of Wilbur-Ellis] declined to identify his company’s other four customers, except to say two tested the ingredient and found no melamine. Wilbur-Ellis has not heard from the other two, both of whom received limited amounts of the ingredient, Thacher said.

(Bumped. Original timestamp 00:04)

35 Responses to “US Rice Protein Supplier Says One Bag was Marked Melamine”

  1. Brigitte says:

    Ok, what am I missing?

    Wilbur-Ellis named Diamond in Meta, MO as one of the manufacturers it supplied the tainted rice protein concentrate to. And says there are 4 others in Kansas, Utah, N.Y. & MO (not yet named)…

    Natural Balance foods, recalled recently, which they say are manufactured in their own plant in Pacoima, CA. Dry food is packed at Diamond (MO) and Canned at American Nutrition (Utah). Wilbur-Ellis never said that rice protein concentrate was sent to CA. So, how did it get into the food?? Something doesn’t add up here…

    Not sure but trying to figure out who the other pet food manufacturers are that rec’d the tainted shipments of rice protein concentrate…. CJ Foods, KANSAS (produces Blue Buffalo-Dry) and American Nutrition, UTAH (packs Natural Balance-Canned, produces Blue Buffalo-Canned, Canine Caviar-Canned). Anyone else have any guesses?

  2. Brigitte says:

    Ok, sorry for the post above, please disregard it. Apparently I picked up some misinformation about where Natural Balance food is manufactured.

    Now I see that USA Today also quoted a Diamond Pet Food spokesman Jim Fallon, who said that the Natural Balance foods are the only foods manufactured by Diamond which include rice protein concentrate in the formula.

    Here’s also another clarification from Natural Balance for anyone who was just as confused as I am! lol

  3. ~Martha~ says:

    We’re all confused at this point!

  4. 5CatMom says:

    New news from USA Today regarding location of companies that bought the rice protein:

    The other four manufacturers have yet to be named, but are located in Utah, New York, Kansas and Missouri, Wilbur-Ellis said in a news release.

    Comment by Jill Weisenfeld — April 19, 2007 @ 12:18 am

  5. 5CatMom says:


    Got that from Pet Connection website

  6. Brigitte says:

    Thanks 5CatMom… I got that too… I guess they expect us to try and figure out who these pet food manufacturers are. Why drop “clues” yet not tell us the full story? They got to be kidding?? Meanwhile, more pets are getting sick and dying unnecessarily. :(

  7. 5CatMom says:


    Self regulation only works with people of integrity. The CEO’s of these company’s should be fired.

    No excuse for letting poison come into your plant, unless you’re just asleep at the switch. No excuse for not letting your customers know about it ASAP.

    The whole pet food industry is rotten from stem to stern, with the Pet Food Institute at the helm. Those guys need to get off their rears. Next will be corn and soy products. Also, hope the meat meals are US grown/sourced.

    Such incompetance at every level!

    I’ll NEVER buy BRANDS - not even if they gave me the stuff and paid me to use it.

  8. Sheltimom3 says:

    I don’t understand WHY NB decided to add this rice crap! I am so mad now I could, and have screamed!! That idiot should be forced to let the names of the other companies out too!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Brigitte says:

    It used to be BRANDS had a reputation to keep - so it was a good idea to buy BRANDS - not so anymore… their only priority is to make more money, at whatever cost! So sad!!

  10. Brigitte says:

    5CatMom, funny you mention the free food. Iams is already trying to buy back customers with free food:

  11. 5CatMom says:

    I contacted Hill’s following the death of my “beautiful girl” after using a new bag of their food. Got a letter yesterday from Hill’s dated April 12th.

    The nice lady assures me that:

    their “objective is to provide wholesome foods”

    “frequent inspections . . . and testing of our finished products all confirm our commitment to quality.”

    “The pet food industry is highly regulated in the U.S. by the USDA, FDA and State Department of Agriculture. Additionally Hill’s is a member of the Pet Food Institute, a trade industry organization that works to maintain high quality standars in pet food manufacturing. More veterinarians feed Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. products to their pets than any other pet food.”

    Hope you’re right Hill’s.

  12. xyz says:

    Are the majority of media still using shoe phones? I can’t help but ask because they keep tossing around melamine like it’s the only possible toxin involved. Kudos to those few that lead with something they’ve written and researched beyond copy and paste.

  13. June says:

    I read my bag of Wellness brand dog food and the 3rd ingrediant was brown rice protein. Any word from that company? Their website still has the recall regarding wheat gluten. Glad to see they are on top of the issue!

  14. Gudewife says:

    Does it strike anyone else as strange that a shipment of rice protein concentrate contained 146 bags? Seems like a strange number…144 would be a gross, 145 would be a logical number, too…but 146? Is there a possibility that the bag marked “melamine” was like a bonus filler, to be added at the destination if the distributor wanted to increase the weight or protein content of the product? I’m usually pretty skeptical of conspiracy-theory type stuff, but 146 seems like a very odd number to me…maybe my brain’s just addled after a month of all this stuff….

  15. Stephanie says:

    By Julie Schmit, USA TODAY
    Testing by the Food and Drug Administration has detected melamine in imported rice protein concentrate from China, and the company who imported it said late Wednesday it had recalled it.

    The FDA is so slow to update their site. Through all of this, I am shocked at how many things are recalled and we never hear about it.

    I am so frustrated with how they drag their feet. Dropping little bits of information so we have to guess what is safe and what is not. This is crazy

  16. 5CatMom says:


    You might want to call the company and ask them if THEY’VE TESTED their grain products - all of them - wheat, rice, corn, soy, barley, etc.

    Given what we’ve learned about the sad state of the pet food industry, assumptions may be lethal.

    If they give you the “not affected” or won’t answer your questions properly, you might want to consider a different food.

    If they say “we test”, ask to speak to the test department. I’ve learned by calling some of the companies that they don’t know what a test is.

    Not all, but many of the companies have delegated their QC responsibilities to contract companies; the contract companies have delegated to the suppliers; the suppliers have delegated to corrupt off shore companies. You get the picture.

    Good luck. Please let us know what you learn.

    Not to worry, there’re lots of good foods out there, just in case you have to switch.

  17. Hank says:

    Thank you so much for the updates. I am never buying any pet food from Menu Foods, Natural Balance and any others tied up in this dreadful fiasco. It is a wake up call for manufacturers in the precious drive to cut costs and buy cheaper ingredients that you can’t replace quality in any fashion.

  18. teric says:

    List of Pet Food manufactures.

    From this we may be able to figure out who the other companies are. There are many in KS.

  19. johnypaycut says:

    How deep does the trash get? as far as you’l allow it ..
    the “corporations” are in bed with the lackeys (c.c.p.,china).
    they’l make all maner of noise proclaiming inocence? (why does china refuse to allow food inspectors,f.d.a. into the country?).
    they only way to end it, demand Congress, and senate and bush, end “free” trade with this dangerous nation. if not you’l end being poisoned
    as well, your children, I WARN YOU. the DANGER is greater than most think. if it’s allowed to go unchecked ? the morrons will continue ..
    they don’t give a rats a$$ about “america”.
    (i suspect after people die then they’l figure it out, by then it’l be a state
    of war.) what morrons we have running this country, sigh??

  20. 5CatMom says:

    Hey IAM’s,

    Do you have an OUNCE of business experience? You should have put that bit in the CONTRACT with MENU. You know Contracts 101?

    Maybe the Pet Food Institute doesn’t know about contracts.

    Such incredible stupidity!

    “P&G says its new policy forbids its suppliers from obtaining raw ingredients from different sources unless P&G has checked out that supplier and OK’d the switch”

  21. 5CatMom says:


    Very good info. I sent you a post last night. Do you have Purina and Hills on your list?

  22. e wem says:

    ‘Rice Protein Concentrate’. What does that mean? As the food industry figures out how to fractionate foods into components to maximize their profits they are creating stuff that may not be nutritious or safe.

    Look at ice cream ingredients. You will see words like ‘milk fat’. The true fat in milk is ‘butter’. I am assuming that this ‘milkfat’ is not butter, but only some greasy component of butter stripped off while making something else to sell.

    The second rate food component is then used as a filler in stuff like ice cream, the same way that ‘rice protein concentrate’ is dumped into pet food. Call it a concentrate. I suspect it is a by-product and a rip off.

    These so-called pet food ingredients from China look like industrial by-products to me. Junk left over after extractions. Give it a food sounding name like ‘protein concentrate’ or ‘milk fat’ or ‘meat by-products’.

    Just like money-launderers they sell the products through a chain of phoney front companies so no one know the origin or history of the product.

    Ever since the mini-blind scandal I have distrusted Chinese exports. Millions of sets of mini blinds were sold yearly in the US. They give off dust laced with lead. The Feds recalled the blinds. Vertical blinds were not recalled because they were made by US companies and US companies did not put lead into their vinyl.

    The Chinese supposedly used the lead to soften the vinyl, but China also had a huge industry recycling batteries. Gee Whiz, where can we dump all the recycled lead?

    How about this swill left over from making some rice product? Gee whiz, lets call it a concentrate.

    Someone at itchmos asked about tomato pomace in pet food.
    That is the peels, cores, seeds, hulls etc. The waste.

    Gee whiz what do we do with this trash? Stuff it into pet food.

    I am disgusted. I fear the glutens l cpuld have gone into human food and the big companies are pulling a cover-up. Chicken nuggets, fast food.

    I respect Krogers though. They had a large sign apologizing. They have cleared their shelves and tried to find substitutes.

    Keep up the good work itchmo. We need you.

  23. 5CatMom says:

    Hey IAM’s,

    Since you guys are so incredibly STUPID, have you also considered asking MENU to do a tad of QC at the RECEIVING DOCK?

    I believe that’s called RECEIVING INSPECTION.

    HOW DARE you use our pets to test the safety of your food!

    And don’t try to pass the buck to FDA. You guy’s are so STUPID there would need to be an FDA inspector to follow you around all day.

    Just to make sure you don’t do SOMETHING STUPID.

  24. teric says:

    5Cat Mom,

    I’m in the same boat as the rest of you trying to figure out who the other 4 companies are.

    So far we know those plants are located in:

    Utah, New York, Kansas and Missouri, Montana, (Pacoima, CA. NB facility).

    My thought is make a list of all companies who are in those States and don’t use the products until we find out exactly who they are. I would gather WE WILL KNOW either today or tomorrow. They cant continue to keep this information from us. Our list of food to use and that we think MAY be safe keeps getting shorter and shorter. This is truly a nightmare.

    I sent Evy an email this morning re: Crosswind Pet Food Industries who is located in KS. I would expect we will hear from her soon. She is really good about getting back to us with our concerns.

  25. Deanna says:

    e wem……you are SO on the “money!”

    Btw…”Nestles”…for one….puts out breakfast cereals….as well as just bought “Gerbers”….Do our kids have to drop like flies too, because of the lack of preventativeness measures? You know, ones like perhaps “proper” inspection measures BEFORE it even has a CHANCE to get to all these companies, who they themselves, have QC inadequacy issues!

    This recall should have everyone reading labels of EVERY food stuff before buying…and not just pet foods!

    I’m so angry right now!…….I can’t believe the arrogance of all these people that are dragging their a$$es instead of expediting things by holding out info that could prevent more deaths of our beloved pets….just goes to show that these companies who claim “that they care about our pets”….in fact DO NOT!!!

  26. blkcatgal says:

    I’m confused. The supplier said they got the shipment on April 4. However, I have been told by NB reps on 3 different phone calls that the rice protein was first added to their foods on March 28. Something’s not adding up.

  27. purringfur says:

    In deciding to have a number of foods available for my dogs in case I have to switch, I thought of Blue Seal, since someone told me about it yesterday.

    I’m trying to call the actual manufacturing plant, which is in Arcade, New York, to ask if they received/use any rice protein concentrate or powder to use in their foods, since I only heard from one person that she is feeding her dog the new, top-of-the-line Blue Seal product that came out just a month ago. I DO NOT KNOW ANY OF THE INGREDIENTS IN THE DOG FOOD, NOR AM I TRYING TO SAY THAT THIS COULD BE THE NEW YORK COMPANY THAT RECEIVED THE RICE PROTEIN.

    The number for the Arcade, NY plant is 800-648-1450. I keep getting a recorded message that “There are network problems. Call back later.” Or, I hear a few beeps like the tones you hear from a touch-tone phone. The Customer Service number for all of Blue Seal, which is just a recording to leave your name and number, is 800-367-2730.

  28. 5CatMom says:


    I’ve talked with lots of folks about this debacle, and it sure seems that the safest course of action is to avoid all the BRANDS for a while, and then to avoid products that contain grain products or grain-like ingredients until everyone gets their grain elevators cleaned out.

    Seems to me that the BRANDS have delegated too much responsibility to contract companies. I’d like to start seeing some GMP’s put up on line.

    Show us what steps are in your process, show us what tests are done, where they are done, by whom, what are the results.

    I don’t understand why, when I call Hill’s or NB, that I end up talking with the nutritionist. Nothing against nutritionists, they have an important role to play, too.

    But they can’t answer technical questions about manufacturing processes, quality control, test results, test equipment and calibration.

    This is a failure of management at the highest level. The CEO’s and director are to blame because they’ve been asleep for way too long.

    Did they know the EPA/FDA dropped the test for melamine in 1999? How long has this been going on?

    The worst of it is that NOT ONE has stepped forward and displayed an OUNCE of integrity. The FDA/EPA all the other A’s can’t fix this.


  29. teric says:

    Email from Evy re: Crosswind Industries in KS

    No worries ok?

    I am working on something to post on the site :)

    You are SAFE!!


  30. teric says:

    ..5CatMom says:
    safest course of action is to avoid all the BRANDS for a while, and then to avoid products that contain grain products or grain-like ingredients until everyone gets their grain elevators cleaned out.

    I totally agree with you.

  31. blkcatgal says:

    Well before these recalls I tried to avoid all products that contained grains. That is one of the reasons why I was feeding my cats the NB venison and peas. I read the ingredients list and there were no grains or things that sounded like grains listed. Then this recall….and I find out that NB changed their formula adding rice protein (which sure sounds like a grain to me) without notice. And the packaging and website was not changed until now. How is one suppose to know??? My cats are now eating Royal Canin IVD venison and peas. I called Royal Canin today and they have told me that there are no grains in this food. I sure hope so.

  32. june says:

    I spoke with Wellness (Old Mother Hubbard) consumer affairs, they said that their products are not affected by the recall as they do not use any products from that manufacturere of the rice protein. They are in the process of updating their website. They will have test results tomorrow, at least that is when they told me to call back for a more definative answer.

  33. Karen says:

    I just checked Blue Buffalo’s website–they are recalling one batch of dry kitten formula that contains the contaminated rice protein. The info pops up as soon as you go onto the site:

  34. Billie says:

    Had a feeling one would be Blue Buffallo cause they never answered my email, and Royal Canine doesn’t surprize me either. Wrote to Willis yesterday and got a reply that it’s not up to them to let out who got the bad rice protien!! Said the FDA would say yesterday, well nothing from them yet and their are 2 other Cos not accounted for!!

  35. jim says:

    something has had me confused since i read the article re: Wilbur-Ellis …
    if melamine is considered a contaminant, why was there a friggin’ bag
    labeled “melamine” included with the shipment of rice protein (concentrate)??

    is it common practice to included a bag/box/whatever of something
    completely unrelated to (and possibly harmful to) the main item(s) being
    shipped? if i shipped 145 white bags of coffee beans, all labeled “coffee
    beans”, wouldn’t it be weird if i also include a black bag of rabbit
    droppings, labeled “rabbit droppings”? if i received such a shipment, i’m
    pretty sure the first thing i would do, is get someone on the phone and
    ask “what the hell, dude?”.

    i suppose i should instead be grateful that either someone mistakenly included it with the shipment (or maybe intentionally as a warning by
    someone trying to help?).

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