USA Today: Rice Protein Sold to 4 Others

Supplier was identified as San Francisco-based Wilbur-Ellis. CEO John Thacher said “his company sold the concentrate to five pet-food makers, but that most of it went to two firms.” USA Today says of those five, only Diamond Pet Foods is named. The other major manufacturer tested for melamine and it did not test positive. Diamond Pet Food says they do not use rice protein in their foods.

According to Thacher, the melamine contamination was reported to the FDA a week ago on Sunday.

The rice protein concentrate was imported from China from Binzhou Futian Biology Technology. Their Web site lists three different types of feed grade rice protein.

Also of note, as you may have read in our comments, Natural Balance has updated their list of ingredients to include rice protein in recent days — raising questions about when the substance was actually added to the product. Howl911 has a side by side ingredient comparison.

117 Responses to “USA Today: Rice Protein Sold to 4 Others”

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  1. 5CatMom says:


    Not real clear about what you want to do. Do you want to send ChadJ or I an email?

    Have you contacted ITCHMO and asked for help?

  2. 5CatMom says:


    Sounds like Monikad has some important info. Can you help out here?

  3. june says:

    Monika and Teric Thanks so much for the info you are providing. Find all very informative. Monika thanks for the referral. I also questioned the color of Evangers and decided it was due to the ingredients. The mackeral did me in ( a whole mackeral ina can ) but my 4 girls love it. Found that leftovers have to be kept in a plastic container in ref. as they pick up the can taste. I have also found that they eat less and are full and content until next feeding ( 3 daily ) Works well for me as they are not looking for dry food, I have yet to find one thats decent that they will eat. I also have been questioning vitamin k, think there are Evangers flavors that don’t have it but not sure. Just so thrilled at the moment to find a food that they will eat, that seems to be safe, that I’am leaving that part of it until this is over? First recall my cat barely survived and here we go again. I am FURIOUS over this.

  4. Annie says:

    In addition to the NB contact that Monikad has, here is another contact at NB, someone who also responds to emails sent on the general email address on their website.

    This contact info was posted ‘Natural Balance Recall Expands to Canned Food and Treats’ thread’ as well.

    On 3/19 Jennifer responded to my question of ‘Does NB use any outside sourcing? Her answer YES, Diamond.

    Jennifer Freeman, B.S., R.V.T.
    Animal Nutrition
    Natural Balance Pet Foods Inc.
    800-829-4493 X106

    Good luck!

  5. Sandi says:

    I am in agreeance with an earlier comment. It would be much easier now to make a list of “safe” foods for our pets since the list of “unsafe” has become phenomonally long. Does any one know of such a list?

  6. Monika says:


    I want to give the contact info of the Natural Balance rep I have to ChadJ
    and 5CatMom - should I just leave my email on here and trust I don’t get a bunch of irrelevant comments and only inquiries from people that need to contact Natural Balance? I’m willing to leave it on here if that’s what it takes.
    Just let me know if that’s okay.


  7. 5CatMom says:


    I’m still new here and don’t know all the rules. Here goes:

  8. 5CatMom says:


    Nice lady there, but I’m not sure she’s part of the management team. The info I received was not accurate, in my opinion, based on what has happened at NB

    Other companies also seem to suffer from poor communication, it’s not just NB.

    Saying that ingredients are tested is not the same as saying “we test in house with our own technical staff”

    To me, testing doesn’t mean that you simply read a tag on the bag.

  9. Monika says:


    Check your email. I just sent you the info.


  10. Chad says:

    Hi Monika:

    Thank you for much for being willing to help, can you please send me the info to chadjackson @ allstate dot com.

    Their are no spaces in my email and the “dot” is obviously a “.” I just posted it like that so it is harder to programs to get my email off this site.

    Thanks again so much!

  11. JUST MOI says:

    This is just too much, how many of our healthy 4 legged family members have to die, or get so sick that we see the pain and agony on thier faces and incur huge vet bills that puts strain on our budget? Our children watch in horror and dont understand what is happening when they lose their best buddy…JUST HOW MUCH MORE CAN OUR PETS GO THROUGH..I have an idea, lets found out what these people and companies involved in all of this…WHAT THEY ARE FEEDING THIER BELOVED PETS????

  12. linda says:

    i spent 40 minutes on the phone today with purina regarding fancy feast - they assured me that their product is not tainted with the wheat gluton or the rice concentrate - their product has barley rice, which when you look at it is crap, but at least it is safe. Their wet foods do not have corn gluton, yet their dry food does - i haven’t received a confirmation that the dry is safe

  13. Karla says:

    Every one of you needs to safely switch your cats who are True Carnivores, over to Feline Pride Raw food. This is the most efficient way to feed your cats similar to how cats eat in the Wild. Dry food is poison and of no use to your cats body. We cannot trust any of these companies anymore!

  14. Claudia says:

    The site I’ve been going to for information about what is safe (and they’re updating it on a regular basis) is

    I live in Canada and really never thought we had it in us as a caring nation to put pets at risk like this — makes me sick. We have less regulation than the US (which is now being reviewed in parliament thanks to a member of parliament and a long petition).

    Anyway, I’ve switched my 5 cats over to Orijen ( No grains of any kind and all human-grade ingredients coming from neighboring provinces. The only ingredient I’m wondering about is the tapioca, which I will be calling them about in the morning. So far, so good, though it took about a week for my cats to get off the carbo wagon. They eat much less of this stuff, so the cost winds up being the same. Mom’s feeding her cats Felidae, Acana, Orijen and home-cooked stews.

    I have also long dumped China as a country that I buy things from (from food to shoes, if it says made in China or somewhere remotely close by, I do without). Give me Canadian or US made goods anyday — I’ll gladly pay more for them.

  15. MenuFoodsSucks says:

    Regarding Natural Balance…

    I still have faith in Diamond and NB foods. Why? As soon as they received phone calls from consumers, they IMMEDIATELY began pulling products off of the shelves and started a recall, BEFORE lab results were even back exposing the melamine. The same cannot be said for Menu Foods.

    My dogs are eating Diamond Natural, and my cats, Natural Balance Ultra. All are doing well.

    Diamond/NB did the responsible thing, pulling produts if there was even a CHANCE they could be contaminated. They didn’t sit there and try tro squeeze another penny out of people until the last minute like Menu has continued to do with “All fods cleared as safe” then later adding more foods, etc. I hope Menu Foods goes under! I also think that some of the companies sourcing these grain products to pet food companies have NOT been honest in revealing te sources of those products. THAT is utterly unacceptable! NB for example, bought their ingredients from an AMERICAN company, not realizing these ingredients had been sourced from communists! Shame on you China, I hope your “preferred nation” status gets yanked right out from under you. We cannot trust communists to supply ANY food products to this country, animal or human, under ANY circumstances! What if it had been something even more sinister?!!!

    !!!!!THINK ABOUT THAT!!!!!

  16. Mia says:

    Regarding Natural Balance… I was assured they did never used imported sources of rice … so in essence, I feel they lied to me> My little Westie has been eating NB for about 2 years, and he has been sick off and on the last few weeks. Why in the world should I trust them?

    My little guy already had allergy issues so as far as I m concerned..I am off NB. I switched to a blend of Merrick and Calif. Natural. until I figure out what to do next. Nik is being tested for all the crud they put into NB food.


  17. JoyD says:

    Some people have suspected for a while that a non-protein nitrogen ingredient has been killing pets. One possibility is the one cited in the Chinese importer site warning of a “Pseudo Rice Protein” which is BIURET FEED:

    Here’s a Itchmo link to my findings re: Biuret Feed Grade:
    Melamine/Urea, cyanuric acid and amiloride in a single feed ingredient

    But here’s something else interesting.

    IBDU (isobutylidene diurea) is most widely as a lawn fertilizer. But, here is a reference to its use as a feed for monogastric (non ruminant) animals.

    A quote from the description of US Patent # 3984572 titled “Feed for monogastric animals” reads:

    “Currently, methionine and lysine are being used as artificial feeds for monogastric animals, and urea, isobutylidene diurea and biuret are being used for ruminant animals. Among these compounds, isobutylidene diurea is excellent as an artificial feed for ruminant animals because it is gradually decomposed in the first rumen to form ammonia, whereby it can be utilized for the synthesis of microbial protein of the microorganisms inhabiting the rumen. The microbes are digested and absorbed in a digestive organ below the abomasum so as to be effective for growth of the ruminant animals. Since monogastric animals have a different digestive mechanism from ruminant animals, one of ordinary skill would not have considered that isobutylidene diurea might be effective as a feed for monogastric animals.”

    The inventors of this patent are:
    Sakaki, Yasuhiro (Yokohama, JA)
    Kawai, Hiroshi (Tokyo, JA)

    The Assignee:
    Mitsubishi Chemical Industries Ltd. - Aka Mitsubishi Monsanto

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