Woman Claims Her Pets Died From Eating Fish Food

A West Virginia woman claims her fish died from eating their food.

When her 11 goldfish died a few weeks ago, Amanda Minnix thought there was something suspicious going on. She has been a fish owner for the past 13 years, and recently, she decided to switch the type of fish food she feeds her pets.

But the fish did not react well to the new food.

“Within an hour they started swimming sideways and acting really funny, and started dying. I lost 11 of them total in four hours of feeding them the fish food,” Minnix said.

She began doing research and found out that the fish food she bought was manufactured by Sergeants Pet Care Products. The company recalled some lots of Atlantis Goldfish Flake Food and Atlantis Tropical Fish Flake Food in June due to melamine being found in these specific products.

She contacted the company after matching the UPC code on her Atlantis Flake Food bottle with the recalled UPC code on Sergeants web page.

She claims melamine in the fish food killed her fish, and she simply wants other pet owners to be cautious.

The company asked Minnix to submit a claim and pictures of her dead fish.

She said her goldfish are worth an estimated $250.

Source: WTRF.com

(Thanks menusux)

15 Responses to “Woman Claims Her Pets Died From Eating Fish Food”

  1. nora says:

    No suprise here at all. The tainted fish foods have claimed more pets. Just like the tainted dog and cat foods still sitting on shelves in the grocery, pet stores and Walmarts and convenience stores, waiting to be purchased and served to their next (innocent pet) victims.

  2. javakitty says:

    Folks, you have to stop buying stuff from Wally world and similar places. There is some truth to “you get what you pay for.” If you are buying Sergeants brand, which, in my opinion, is a very low end quality company, you have more chance of having problems than with the higher end products. You are not immune from the problems with higher end products, but you do have a better chance of getting better products. Also, your locally owned pet store probably has a better handle on the recalls and has the tainted products off their shelves!

  3. SunRaven01 says:

    I bought frozen bloodworms from a local pet store to feed to my African Dwarf Frogs. After both frogs died within a day of each other, it occurred to me to check the packaging for country of origin.


    I should have checked while in the store.

  4. Rocky says:

    Looks like no pet food is immune to the debacle. Would probably be a good idea to keep the fish food in a secure place so that other pets don’t get into it.

    My cats are attracted to the smell of goldfish flakes, so we have to be careful to always place the container in the pantry, and not let it sit out on the counter.

  5. nora says:

    And you can bet THOUSANDS of fish and reptiles have died and will because of the tainted foods and they will go unreported because their owners were and will be oblivious to any notices of tainting. And it goes on and on and on. So sickening.

  6. highnote says:

    The sad thing about this is that so many people have not been told about the melamine in fish food, meats, etc. They just do not get things out to the public at all. They may have a short article in the paper or have a quick news clip on it but they do not keep telling people about it and so many people miss recalls. I never seen anything in the paper or heard anything on television about the fish food. I only heard about it from the FDA sending me a notice in my e mail. Everyone does not have a computer to look up FDA recalls!!!!! How are people to know? Do their animals or family members have to get ill or die first before someone lets them know?

  7. Don Earl says:

    Note that there is no connection between food for farm fish reported to be contaminated with melamine earlier this year, and the story being reported. I also don’t recall any accounts of the earlier report killing any fish.

    One interesting tidbit, though, is acetaminophen is even deadlier to fish than it is to cats. What is in this food anyway? It’d be interesting to see an unknown toxin scan run on the stuff.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Don- I’d like to know too. Now that people are starting to look at food as a possibility it might be a new ballgame.

    Has anyone been monitoring aquatic or wildlife forums for unusual reports?

  9. Katie says:

    Don, I didn’t know acetaminophen was deadly to fish; thanks for the information.

    Re: melamine and foods
    People were never told about the risks and dangers. When the FDA said it was safe to consume and the dilution factor…the food safety issue got lost. Newspapers, radio and TV did not carry the greatest coverage and we were considered to be hysterical pet parents.


  10. Sergeant's Pet Care Prodcuts says:

    Sergeant’s Pet Care Products would like to respond to the recent post titled: “Woman Claims Her Pets Died From Eating Fish Food,” on Monday, September 10, 2007.

    On May 30, 2007, Sergeant’s issued a full voluntary recall of its Atlantis fish food flakes (Goldfish Flakes, Tropical Fish Flakes and Tropical Color Flakes) within twenty four hours of the confirmation of low levels of melamine contamination. Sergeant’s then followed up by notifying the FDA and publishing its voluntary actions on its web site. We formally notified all of our customers and directed them to immediately pull all the products from their shelves.

    We have discovered there are a few small retailers, who are NOT our direct customers, who had these products still on their shelves. These retailers acquired the Atlantis fish food products from distributors, and not directly from Sergeant’s.

    Sergeant’s is committed to supplying quality products. Freshly manufactured fish food flakes have been certified free of melamine and are being restocked at all of our customer’s shelves as quickly as possible to minimize the inconvenience caused by the product recall. Sergeant’s Atlantis Fish Food Flaked products with production lot codes higher then 1787TPA101 are all certified free of melamine.

    The original press release outlining the Atlantis Flake Fish Food is pasted below for easy forwarding to a friend. Additional information about the recall can be found at www.sergeants.com. Also, please call our customer service number: 866.740.4969.

    Sergeant’s Pet Care Products

    Press Release
    June 5, 2007
    Sergeant’s Pet Care Products, Inc. has announced it is voluntarily removing ornamental fish food products from retail store shelves. A portion of the production lots of Atlantis® Goldfish Flake Food and Atlantis® Tropical Fish Flake Food have been found to contain the contaminant, melamine. Atlantis Goldfish Flake Food and Atlantis Tropical Fish Flake Food are products that are formulated specifically for the feeding of ornamental fish, such as a goldfish and Neon tetra. Atlantis fish food is not formulated for the feeding of fish intended for human consumption.

    “At this time, it is not known if melamine contaminated fish feed has any effect on ornamental fish,” says Denise Petty, Aquaculture Extension Veterinarian at the University of Florida. “However, food fish at two commercial U.S. hatcheries were fed melamine contaminated feeds and, after testing by the FDA, these fish were determined to be negative for melamine and safe for human consumption. It is unknown if melamine forms crystals in the kidneys of fish,” says Petty

    “Given the uncertain nature of the effect of melamine, the high visibility of this ingredient at this time and Sergeant’s concern for the health and well-being of pets, we believe that removal of the Atlantis product from store shelves is the right thing to do,” says Robert Scharf, president of Sergeant’s Pet Care Products, Inc.

    Testing by Sergeant’s has confirmed the presence of very low levels of melamine, approximately 20-80 parts per million (ppm), in some lots of Atlantis Goldfish Flake Food and also in Atlantis Tropical Fish Flake Food. Melamine is water-soluble, and fish food is dispersed and diluted in the water of an aquarium. Therefore, when used as directed, an average dose of fish food containing these levels of melamine would result in contamination in a typical fish tank at minute levels, under 10 parts per billion (ppb).

    Sergeant’s believes that these levels are so low that even if a pet owner accidentally sprinkled an entire package of fish food into the fish tank, the fish would be harmed by over-feeding than by melamine contamination.

    Sergeant’s has advised all national and international distributors and retailers who currently carry Atlantis fish food products to remove the products. Sergeant’s is recommending consumers either discard the product or return it to their retailer for a credit.

    The affected Atlantis fish food products are the following:

    * 10006 Atlantis® Tropical Fish Flake Food, 0.88 oz.
    * 10057 Atlantis® Tropical Fish Flake Food, 2.25 oz.
    * 10154 Atlantis® Goldfish Flake Food, 0.75 oz.
    * 10731 Atlantis® Goldfish Flake Food, 2.15 oz.
    * 10847 Atlantis® Color Enhance Tropical Fish Flake Food, 0.88 oz.
    * 10926 Atlantis® Betta Food, 1.2 oz.
    * 88515 Atlantis Tropical Fish Flake Food, 0.42 oz.
    * 88516 Atlantis Goldfish Flake Food, 0.42 oz.

    Sergeant’s representatives are currently conducting an investigation of the manufacturing facility located in Taiwan to determine the source of contamination. Sergeant’s will resume shipping of Atlantis fish food products following the completion of a thorough investigation and documentation that product is contaminant-free.

    Concerned consumers can contact Sergeant’s by phone at 866.740.4969 or via e-mail at atlantis info for more product information.

  11. Don Earl says:

    Thanks Sergeant,

    So, if as you point out, the melamine isn’t toxic to fish, and would be too diluted to bother them even if it was, what killed this lady’s fish?

    Inquiring minds would like to know.

    As you may well expect, pet owners are getting rather tired of lame press releases from the companies that are murdering our pets.

  12. Anonymous says:

    If the above was indeed posted by Sergeant’s- thank you for posting.

    It is a surprise for a company to go out on a limb and respond directly to comments.

    There’s something else should do/should have done. Hit the responsible, well managed blogs and web pages your customers might frequent. Get the word out. Don’t rely on your direct retailers and distributors to do it for you. Cover as many bases as you can. Take an ad out in Fish Fancy, or whatever publication is a main stay.

    *WE* are your customers. Not just the people that sell your products or see a blurb on page 12 of their local paper. Take a cue from what happened with Tylenol so many years ago. They’re still in business.

  13. Sergeant's Pet Care Products says:

    Yes, this is indeed a message from Sergeant’s. Sergeant’s took a very proactive stance on this. In fact, Gina Spadafori plauded Sergeant’s on her website for being the only company to come forward–for being proactive in the whole pet food recall. We contacted her first, as we knew the reach she has with the pet world–and those who link to her, such as Itchmo. We did post to other blogs and other pet media. We do not know if melamine is toxic to fish and neither do top fish vets or specialists, but given the sensitivity to and results of melamine in other products, we voluntarily recalled the products. Why take any chances? We are in the business of taking care of pets. We welcome your feedback and any questions you may have.
    Sergeant’s Pet Care Products

  14. Concha Castaneda says:

    Thank you Sergeants for doing the right thing.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Sergeant’s : if you post to blogs and pages- say so in your release. Let the media and others in the industry know what you do and how you do it. This isn’t a time for modesty.

    You’re going to take some heat no matter what but at least you seem sincere in trying to inform people. I’m not going to fault you for giving out too much information.

    Next step- run a full tox screen on a wide variety of those sealed, suspect samples for the known and possible contaminants related to pet food. Use ExperTox. Let us know all the results. If some of them are positive for something other than melamine we all deserve to know.

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