Menu Foods CEO Dodges Cat and Dog Food Recall Blame


Paul Henderson

On June 29, Menu Foods CEO Paul Henderson clearly tried to deflect any blame related to the pet food recalls at the company’s Annual Meeting. We’re not buying it.

Henderson first gives a brief synopsis of the “M.A.R.C. (Melamine and Related Compounds) recall” — a term that the Pet Food Institute and Pet Food Commission created to remove reference to pet food recalls. (You got to love acronyms. Doesn’t sound so bad to the pet owners when you use fancy terms, right?)

If we sound ticked off in our responses, it’s because we just might be. Henderson says:

I want to be very clear here that we were not making demands on our suppliers to produce low price gluten. Let me stress this point. We were more than willing to pay the going rate for what we thought was a product that met all of our specifications.

So, you’re telling us that there were no red flags when your company was paying so far below market prices for wheat gluten. Even Sundlof believed that you should have suspected that something was wrong when the prices were so low. Ever looked up the definition of gullible in the dictionary? Or did you just think you won the wheat gluten lottery?

Basically, you turned a blind eye and didn’t ask why prices were so low. Tsk… Tsk… Bad Menu Foods. Have you ever heard the saying that you get what you pay for? Well, in this case, our pets paid for it.

We’ve spent over 35 years in this industry and, in those three and a half decades, we have never seen anything like this – certainly we’ve never had to issue any food safety recall before this unfortunate incident.

Of course your company had no previous food safety recalls because there were no food inspections done at your company and pet food safety was never really examined before all of these recalls. So, don’t pat yourself on the back for your so-called perfect record. You just never got caught — until now.

It’s important to understand that everyone involved in the industry – suppliers, competitors, regulatory authorities – never suspected melamine. It just hasn’t ever happened before and none of the industry standard tests – which we all used – could have detected it. To our knowledge, no pet food or human food manufacturer had ever tested wheat gluten for melamine, prior to this incident.

Actually, pet food melamine spiking in China goes back at least 15 years and spiking of baking ingredients in the US happened as early as 1975. So, Henderson, it seems like it’s been happening for awhile now. It’s a travesty that industry standards did not include the detection of compounds like melamine.

And it wasn’t only our industry that was blindsided by the fraudulent acts of Chinese suppliers. According to other food safety reports, the contaminated plant proteins found their way into the respective feed systems of the pork, fish farming, and poultry industries, resulting in wide quarantines.

The pork and poultry industries received “contaminated plant proteins” when pet food companies including Menu Foods gave them contaminated pet food scraps. And the melamine continues to spread through not only our pet food but human food too.

The rest of the transcript (and our retort) after the jump.

Menu Foods, other industry participants, the US Food and Drug Administration and many others worked feverishly to determine the nature and source of the problems that began to be identified in early March. Menu cooperated fully with the government investigators and threw an array of its own technical and management resources to discover what was going on. Recognize that for several weeks, there was conflicting information about whether a problem even existed . . . let alone what the source of that problem might be.

Nevertheless, even in the face of inconclusive data, we acted.

How many dead pets does it take to make results conclusive? There were reports that the company was receiving complaints about the cuts and gravy style pet food as early as December. You told the FDA that you received your first kidney failure complaint on February 20 and tests began 7 days later on February 27 (this test was actually part of your routine quarterly feeding trials and not a specific test done in response to the complaints). The first animal in the clinical trial died on March 2 and the mortality rate is quoted at 1 in 6. That’s the same odds as playing Russian roulette with a revolver. Who knew eating pet food would give you the same odds of survival?

You acted on inconclusive data? You waited for animals in your feeding trials to die before your company did anything. If you acted on inconclusive data, you would have acted when you received the first complaint.

It took Menu Foods 14 days from when the first animal dies in your testing trials to finally recall pet food. That’s two full weeks after your own lab’s cats and dogs died from eating Menu Foods products. Talk about feverishly fast. It’s not reasonable to believe that there was “conflicting information” about problems in your pet food. Nothing is inconclusive about the connection between Menu Foods products and dead pets in your own labs.

We demonstrated our responsibility to our customers, the pet food industry and pet owners, by acting with diligence and speed.

Let’s go over your recall timeline. The Menu Foods recall is first announced on March 16 and on March 19, 6 more brands are added and one is removed from the Menu Foods recall list. On March 20, 2 more brands are added and Canadian brands are added to the Menu Foods recall list. On April 5, Menu Foods expands recall dates. On April 10, the recall is expanded due to the contamination of Canadian plant. On April 17, Menu Foods expands the recall again. On May 3, the recall is expanded again. And finally on May 22, Menu Foods adds two more brands that should have been included in the May 2nd recall. Your recall expanded over two months. Yes, true diligence and speed.

In fact, even before contaminated wheat gluten was identified as the possible source of the problems, we suspended its use out of an abundance of caution.

It’s very suspicious that Menu Foods suspended the wheat gluten supply while you claim that your firm didn’t know the source of the problem.

In fact – and I will emphasize this – Menu Foods’ first recall was more than two weeks before any other manufacturer initiated their recall.

And weeks and possibly months after pets were dying. Almost a month after Menu Foods said that they received the first complaint. Up to three months after reports say that complaints about the cuts and gravy style pet food were being made to your company.

We have implemented new procedures and processes that will help reinforce the confidence in Menu Foods shown by our customers over the years.

Please enlighten us on these new procedures and processes.

Let me talk briefly about our industry and regulatory relations going forward. This company – or any company for that matter – cannot realistically protect itself against every conceivable threat – whether accidental or deliberate.

Perhaps you can protect yourself against your company’s own greed. If it’s too cheap to be safe, it probably is.

I also want to thank the vast majority of our customers who recognized that we were not responsible for this situation and who have stuck with us
throughout this difficult time.

We politely request names and numbers of these customers who continue to put faith in Menu Foods. Now.
Here is the full transcript. (PDF file)

(Thanks Sandra)

75 thoughts on “Menu Foods CEO Dodges Cat and Dog Food Recall Blame

  1. I’m sorry to say I have to agree with one passage by Mr Henderson—-“there have been alot of sleepless nights” Boy is that true in my household—only mine were trying to keep my two cats alive…………………………and going into 5 months now—I still am!

    Once the screaming in my head stops, I may post some other comments about the rest of his statements but right now I think I’ll pass–except I want to know who else is to blame in the delay for the public to know they were killing their own test animals–and I was trying to kill my pets at the same time–fancy that–I just didn’t KNOW IT THOUGH!!! I just can’t think of anyone else to blame so I would like to know who they are blaming for that.

  2. And if Mr Henderson and Co cared so much about the pets affected and pet parents why have they ignored and not responded to credible people with very sick animals like me who have tried to contact them with details—it has been about PR and protecting their future all along and if they think for one minute we all don’t see through the smokescreen, they are delusional. This crisis has affected every minute of every day since February 12, 2007. Emotionally, physicall, financially, causing arguments in the household about finances and the “right and humane” future care of our cats. This is much bigger than a few sick animals in the US. Our pets were a priority when we were buying their food and making them money, but whens we had the crisis come to us from them, they went and hid their heads under the sand. Cowards IMHO.

  3. For those that don’t know what article I’m referring to, the MenuFoods website has a new press release by Mr.H.—Their website was down yesterday for a while and that’s why I guess.

  4. Ignorance is not an excuse, especially when it is the pet food companies and the FDA’s job to make sure pet food and human food is safe. China says it has been adding melamine for 15 yrs. Seems to me this would mean it was common knowledge in China and wouldn’t have been all that hard to find out if someone had truly done their homework into the suppliers they were using. I saw the pictures of the melamine in the “wheat gluten”. Did no one question why there were particles in it? I can tell you one thing, if I bought a bag of flour and found particles, I wouldn’t be using it. Not even before I knew what I know now. Maybe some of us are born with common sense and some are neither born nor aquire it throughout life.

  5. It suddenly came to me while out hanging clothes on the line this beautiful sunny morning in RI what may make my head stop screaming and the hollow feeling I have in my gut feel better is when I read something like the following from someone like MF>>>>
    (My editorial IMO)
    “Pet parents of US and Canada, I am truly sorry for the devastation caused by the recent poisonings in your pet food. I am sorry that we had no testing in place for melamine and related products even though we suspect this had been going on in China for 15 years. I am sorry we did not pay more attention to the calls starting in December when we knew we recently changed a supplier of our wheat gluten. I am sorry we did not announce we had some troubles with our “routine” QC feedings and getting the word out to allow you to make an educated decision to keep feeding during our testing. I am sorry the testing killed so many of our test animals. I am sorry that we only had one phone line for people to call and I’m sorry we didn’t show more concern for all of you who tried to contact us. I am sorry I did not show at the Senate hearings, I realize that was an added insult to those of you affected. I am sorry we did not resolve issues quickly with you as I realize that this may have prevented you from continued medical care with your sick pets. I am sorry the word did not get out earlier as the tainted feeds may not have reached further than here. It is time that I step up to the plate and realize that many mistakes were made by my company and will stop blaming everyone else. I hope the others that have contributed to this will also step up.”””–again, this is my hoped for readings-it is only my opinion….. Carol

  6. No one has been held accountable for this disaster and no one has accepted responsibility. Nothing has been done to stop the murdering of our pets or to prevent it from happening again. If I read one more press release from industry, the FDA, UC Calif , or even the ASPCA, I think I will explode! I am sick and tired of people who are less than human. How much more of this are we supposed to be able to put up with? These people are sick, mentally ill and without a conscience. How does that happen?

  7. Wake up America!

    Not off subject, just a bit of a rant to lay blame for this entire web of corruption where it really belongs. Directly at the feet of those who have allowed things to progress to this state.

    Oh Boy. Listen to this meathead Henderson. Oh poor us, we’re the victims here-not you!

    This corporate muttonhead even goes so far as to try and shift the entire blame to the unscrupulous Chinese while totally absolving his company for any blame whatsoever.

    Who made the decision to buy cut-rate products with the eye on the bottom line rather than on quality? This seems to be the new American Way. Look at all of the junk produced here today compared to years ago when made in America really meant top quality. Look at the automobiles. Gas prices manipulated to insure all the good old boys get a nice helping of pork before the axe falls and America finally decides to mandate fuel efficient cars. Boy are we gonna pay for every step of that as well. Wake up America!

    This is the end product of years and years of the Dumbing-down of America. This is what it has come to. Bold faced lies, treachery and deceit, a total 360 turnabout from the days when a person’s word was his bond. And why not. Look at who the leaders were over the past 20 years and the Crimes including treason they have gotten away with.

    Trumped impeachment? How is that possible, especially after an overwhelming majority decided to impeach then a couple of days later, reneged. True typical American political behavior. And- we’re supposed to trust these people to do what’s right for us? Hah!
    Wake up America!

    Draft dodgers were give unconditional amnesty while the rest of the men and women in uniform paid for their treason with blood. Go America- right down the drain!

    So many Crimes by the leaders of this country over the past few years that it is impossible to recount them all here. What good are laws that are not enforced?

    Corruption rampant and unimpeachable around every turn. What ever happened to leading by example? Oh I see. Wake up America!

    A recently tried and convicted traitor’s sentence commuted by “the decider”- C’mon –where does this crap all end? How then in light of these developments can anyone or any corporation be held accountable for anything? Wake up America!

    There is no punishment for crime anymore. In many States, there is no more death penalty, only the promise of a life of leisure (no more chain gangs or license plate manufacturing), only the pursuit of law degrees and other ambitious goals that the honest and working individual (because they’re too busy working and supporting this corruption through excessive and unending taxes) can never hope to attain. Plea-bargaining, parole and governmental pardons have eroded the criminal justice system to the extent that
    The laws mean nothing anymore. Wake up America!

    Theft of Social security, illegal immigrants stealing everything out from under our noses with the bold and arrogant approval of the government; criminal prosecution of border patrol agents for preventing the illegal entrance to this country – why?

    Are the damned votes that these parasites will cast that damned important to the corrupt goons in power? Obviously so, enough to outweigh all sense of justice and trample the constitution and laws time and again with little or no resistance from “concerned citizens”. Little or no resistance, that’s a joke. How about aided and abetted by the same so called “concerned citizens” who voted these tyrants, dictators and power brokers into office to begin with. Wake up America!

    So, who can blame this Henderson for lying through his teeth to us? After all, he has had the best teachers that money can buy, and is guaranteed no jail or prison time for anything at all he chooses to do.

    Talk about an uphill struggle against insurmountable odds.

    Wake up America!

  8. Good speach, Capn. Carl.

    You obviously heard the news that the Prez kept Scooter Libby from going to jail, and yet, we have border patrol agents in jail for over 10 yrs each for wounding a drug smuggler, (doing their job to protect our border), and we have soldiers that fought in Iraq in prison, charged with murder, on the word of Iraqi insurgents, and our Prez won’t pardon them!

    Then we have the scum with no conscience that poison the food supply with no consequences at all, and we are told it isn’t enough poison to hurt us!

  9. Captn’ Carl says:

    July 3rd, 2007 at 10:34 am

    Ditto on everything Capt’n Carl said above. Seems the little people (meaning us..the folks just trying to get by) have fewer and fewer rights and recourses to defend ourselves from corruption going on all around us. And all these agencies and bureaucratic positions set up to defend us is a joke…at the taxpayers expense too.

  10. “I also want to thank the vast majority of our customers who recognized that we were not responsible for this situation and who have stuck with us
    throughout this difficult time.”

    I read the whole article until this part, that just really pissed me off. I sure would like to hear from the customers who are standing up for Menu Foods and wonder if its OK with them (the Customer if their pet died). This guy sounds so much like Mitt Romney.

    So there you have it. Sounds like Menu Foods aren’t going to pay for pet’s Vet bills. If they pay it will be minimal.

    Nothing like taking Responsibility. This will certainly stop any other pet food company from taking responsibility and do any more recalls.

    No one is at fault, I suppose only the pet owners who TRUSTED pet food companies at their word on safe food are at fault. Our pets paid the price.

    So, Menu Foods were the ones who went through a DIFFICULT TIME, what about the pets and their owners. The days and months we have suffered with our pets. OUR pets died. YOU pompous ass.

  11. I might be losing it, but I’m so sick of the lies, lies and more lies. from the PFI, from FDA, from China. How much do they think We can take? Now in the Wall Street journal something about kids snacks, and too much lead in the land in china? I feel like screming!!! And I guess We’re dealing with some of the same companies? I just had an egg that tasted really strang. were the chickens they were talking about, only meant for meat, or are some of them for laying?

  12. I just sent an e-mail to the only address I had for Menu Foods (investorrelations) telling them what I thought of Mr. Henderson’s statements. Do we have to go to World Court to make the Chinese wheat gluten manufacturer pay for our sick pets?

  13. Is anyone else having a Declaration of Independence moment?

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

    Happy 4th a day early!

  14. Ruth, you want to see a company defend Menu? Try Wysong.. you can do a search on their incredible attitude….for what they had on their internet site..

    oh me. I get angry thinking about it….

  15. Mrs P. and Everyone else who has had it with this so called “serve the people” out of control government. I am ready to start the revolution. Who is with me here?

  16. Ruth says:

    July 3rd, 2007 at 12:54 pm

    I’m with you Ruth. Who are these “vast majority of customers” MF blames China for the melamine contamination and ChemNutra for the gluten contamination but what about their OWN QC testing? Don’t they test what they are making??? Wasn’t there reports of this melamine being visible—and wasn’t it even wheat flour which I would think would be a different consistency?? What about the delay in making this public?? Is that also someone elses fault?? Wasn’t it a meeting with IAM’s that finally caused MF to go public on March 16?? I have not seen too many public supporters except for Wysong which did change their tone!

  17. Capn’ Carl I’m with you!
    I sort of suspect our illustrious federal government wouldn’t like the fact that the document that defined the United States of America also tells us that when the government abuses us and usurps our rights, we should form a new government that meets our needs.
    Quote from that document (3rd paragraph):
    “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

  18. OK–we know P & G cancelled its cuts & gravy orders from MF, but according to news reports, will still have Eukanuba and Iams non-cuts & gravy meals made there. P & G was the largest MF customer–cuts & gravy orders were 11% of P & G’s business with them and non-cuts & gravy is 10%, making P & G’s section of MF business 21% before the recalls.

    Canadian Loblaw’s whose President’s Choice brands are in US supermarkets, says they’ll stay with MF (And we’ll stay away….):

    Macleans CA-April 30, 2007
    The Great Pet Food Scandal

    “But the economic model that led to the poisoning shows little sign of
    change. Even in the throes of a PR nightmare, the big grocery chains
    continue to support Menu, a production behemoth with whom they share
    a mutual dependency. Loblaw Companies, for one, which sells Menu
    products under its President’s Choice and No Name brands, has no
    plans to switch suppliers. “They’ve been a valued partner,” says
    spokeswoman Elizabeth Margles. “We do have confidence about them at
    this point.””

    Stores & Store Brands who have never publicly said they’re through with MF:

    “Menu Foods manufactures both low cost and high end pet food products. It manufactures pet food for 17 of the top 20 North American retailers, including PetSmart, Safeway, Wal-Mart, Pet Valu, Kroger, and Ahold USA.

    “Menu Foods also produces Loblaws’ President’s Choice, A&P’s Master Choice, Sobeys’s Compliments, Safeway’s Select, Eukanuba, and Nutro.

    “The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company (A&P Supermarkets)
    DeMoulas’ Market Basket
    Food Lion
    H-E-B (As Hill Country Fare)
    Kroger (As President’s Choice)
    Price Chopper
    Safeway Inc.
    Wal-Mart (As Ol’Roy and Special Kitty)

    We have not heard that Purina or Science Diet has backed away from MF either for their cuts & gravy/pouched meals.

    MF provided everyone with an excellent list of their clients–these recall lists. So basically if you stay with MF, we’ll stay away from your products. Many of you have more than pet food to sell and we can find other producers of similar products too.

  19. Yeah, Happy Fourth. And our forefathers are turning over in their graves.
    I’m ready for the Revolution. Where do We start?
    And We might need to march.
    Is anyone out there paying attention???

  20. Mrs P,

    Replied to you on other post I cannot believe it was the same exact flavor Of Ff Elegant medley that made your kitty sick and they told you the same crap they told me it wasn’t their food. Except they told me it was my cats were old they were 6 and 8 at the time of poisoning. I hate PURINA. I wil hang on to food till we figure out what batch out of my case it was.

  21. Captn’ carl, Trudy & Mrs.P I agree with all of you. I took the time today to call my federal Senators and Representitive to ask them to not allow Farm bill 2007 to pass with Title 1 Section 123 in it . This section takes away even more of our rights (what few we have left thanks to Bushie ,the farm groups, agribusinesses and corporations who have helped China poison our pets and kill our citizens thanks to defective tires etc.. We are quickly becoming a 3rd world country thanks to the corruption in our government. Maybe we should all do something at a certain time tommorrow night like a candle for regaining our safe food and freedom and personal safety.

  22. Thomas,

    Is that the section that takes away the right of the states to pass laws against GMO foods?

    If so, I already called my Senators and Representative about it. They expect us to just TRUST the USDA/FDA!

  23. Sorry I didn’t see the other post, Lorie. Exactly the same flavor! LadyCat is older (13), but her lab work (blood count, chem panel, thyroid panel) was absolutely normal in Dec. She had sudden kidney failure which is now chronic. And she had melamine in her urine. I hate Purina!!

    A New England (New Hampshire: state motto – Live Free or Die) distributor for food for local grocery stores is afraid of getting in trouble with Uncle Sam, but they are standing up for us. They are stamping on some products “Product of China.” I picked up a can of peaches the other day stamped that so I called the company. They said they did that because it was the heavy syrup variety and the corn syrup came from China. The light syrup kind wasn’t stamped anything because the ingredients were US and EU. They expect to get some kind of cease and desist order any day.

  24. Every time I post anything about China or Communisum, My post gets lost?? what is going on? are We being watched? I had 2 posts not show up.

  25. Trudy,
    I lost a couple of posts today. Sometimes Itchmo doesn’t even come up for me. I thought it was my computer and restarted. I guess things are moving so slowly they time out.

  26. I thought Republican meant less big government. It seems to mean more big government for big corporations and rich guys, and NO big government at all for common folk like me. What happened?

  27. The transcript has been removed. I went to the Menu Foods website and it also was removed there. Maybe they don’t want pet owners to read their report. Or they just are still having a DIFFICULT TIME and not responsible for this situation, too.

  28. Can anyone think of a way to get attention to a P&G boycott? People I have spoken to seem to think pressuring P&G not to do business with MF is some kind of weird, PETA-type action. I want P&G to hurt in the pocketbook but can’t seem to get people’s attention. I have a P&G and C-P free household now and it wasn’t even hard or expensive. If anything, my grocery bill dropped. That’s the biggie for me. It’s cheaper to avoid those products.

  29. I don’t buy P&g anymore either. I don’t go to the Doller Tree, or any of those stores where everything comes from china. What do you mean C-P. I don’t buy a lot of things i used to. I hope it’s working.

  30. I’d like to remind Mr. Henderson, his industry colleagues, and their suppliers of US law:

    May 16, 2007

    “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is taking this opportunity to remind feed and feed ingredient manufacturers of their legal responsibility to ensure that every ingredient used in their products is safe for its intended use, whether the product is meant to be used to feed animals intended for human consumption or non-food animals such as pets.

    “Manufacturers are responsible for taking their own measures to ensure the safety of their products. Manufacturers should not wait for possible FDA testing of their materials as manufacturers bear the responsibility of ensuring only safe products are put on the market. ”

    Federal Food Drug & Cosmetic Act

    “SEC. 301. [ 21 U.S.C. 331] The following acts and the causing thereof are hereby prohibited:

    a) The introduction or delivery for introduction into interstate commerce of any food, drug, device, or cosmetic that is adulterated or misbranded.

    (b) The adulteration or misbranding of any food, drug, device, or cosmetic in interstate commerce.

    (c) The receipt in interstate commerce of any food, drug, device, or cosmetic that is adulterated or misbranded, and the delivery or proffered delivery thereof for pay or otherwise.

    (g) The manufacture within any Territory of any food, drug, device, or cosmetic that is adulterated or misbranded.”

    And I’d like to revisit two Congressional Testimonies from April 24, 2007:

    Paul Henderson-Menu Foods
    Page 2

    “In November 2006, Menu Foods bought wheat gluten from ChemNutra for the first time. ChemNutra is a U.S. company, based in Las Vegas, that is an established supplier of ingredients to food, feed and pharma companies throughout the country. Although this was our first purchase of wheat gluten from ChemNutra, we had purchased other ingredients from ChemNutra in the past.

    Page 7

    “On April 3, 2007, ChemNutra issued a press release announcing a recall of all wheat gluten it imported from Xuzhou Anying. ChemNutra admitted that melamine “should absolutely not have been in wheat gluten.” Four other pet food manufacturers obtained contaminated wheat gluten from ChemNutra and initiated recalls: Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Del Monte Pet Products, Nestle Purina PetCare Company, and Sunshine Mills Company.”

    Stephen Miller-ChemNutra

    Page 7

    “How This Will Affect ChemNutra’s Business

    “All of our customers except Menu Foods understand that ChemNutra was a victim in this situation. A number of them have been asking questions, but Menu Foods is the only customer that has cancelled its contract with ChemNutra.”

    “ChemNutra shipped from its Kansas City warehouse to three pet food manufacturers and one distributor who supplies wheat gluten only to the pet food industry.”

    “The Company is taking this voluntary action after learning today that wheat gluten containing melamine, a substance not approved for use in food, was provided to Purina by the same company that also supplied Menu Foods.”

    “The Company took this voluntary recall action immediately after learning this morning from the FDA that wheat gluten supplied to Del Monte Pet Products from a specific manufacturing facility in China contained melamine.”

    Paul Henderson of MF testified that the CN “wheat gluten” went to Hill’s, Sunshine, Purina & Del Monte. MF, Purina & Del Monte make for 3 pet food manufacturers–Sunshine & Hill’s apparently received their “wheat gluten” from the PF supplier and were not direct CN clients.

    Stephen Miller also testified that the only account CN lost was Menu Foods–if he told the truth under oath, Purina and Del Monte remain CN clients.

    Now you know who else to avoid.

  31. Sorry, C-P is Colgate-Palmolive, owner of that fantabulous Hill’s Science Diet. I’ve got quite a hate list going here. I’m not shopping at big chain stores anymore. I live in a small town and there are a lot of small businesses around here. You have to go to the big towns to find WalMart, et al.

  32. Elaine- and doesn’t that sound so familiar? What a mess. Freedom anyone?

  33. Another day
    More rights taken away…….

    Send in the clowns…….oh, I forgot, we already have them in the top level of government & the big corrupt businesses that we all know & love so well…….gag, choke, puke. And then we spent probably millions to try one of Cheney’s gansters & Bushie pardons him. I wonder if I did the same & had to go to prison, would he pardon me? Ya think?

    Too fed up to say anything else.

  34. I just noticed that MenuFoods has completely changed the recall info page and want someone out there who knows more about computers than me to bring up what it looked like a couple days ago as there must be a very good readon it’s been revamped—I think menusux did this before for us–I check the site every day as I’ve been trying to get them to acknowledge my 2 cats and the rest of us affected since March 16th. Anybody on here who can do the “archive thing?”

  35. It’s the press release info that has a very different appearance—sorry for the typos—I’m getting tired!!!

  36. Pukanuba, If You did what He did, You’d be in prison for life, or worse. And the clowns are at the very top and want to stay there.

  37. MF and Henderson not to blame! and in re: to the rest of the pet food companies and corporations not knowing about spiked melamine… I wish I had kept the URL, maybe someone has it catalogued on their hard drive? wasn’t there a warning, several months before this happened, to manuf. that there were false protein concentrates being offered on the market?

    They should all have been testing product prior to and after manufacturing. We still don’t know for sure that it was melamine. While China is the source of melamine, Mr Henderson I believe you are 90% of the problem, you and CN. You wanted cheap – you got cheap. I really wonder if you cared what the cheap product was. And, you had dead animals and calls – how early in the year was that? you must have forgotten.

    Iam’s: since no one knew or had a test for melamine, how come Iam’s knew what the problem was. And how many calls did they get and for how long, before they decided a crisis was brewing and they better force a recall. They are not lily white.

    Menu Foods and the PFI are really good at the spin. PR is working really hard but they forget – if they had stopped the problem early on, we would not have been forced to sleuth the internet and found so many amazing facts. They lie,lie,lie.


  38. I guess I posted this at Petconnection. i bought some Omega 3 fish Oil pills the other day. they don’t look clear like they usually do. they look all murky and funny. I don’t know why this would happen? Even My husband noticed this and that’s unusual.

  39. Here’s MF’s recall page as of June 29, 2007–this was before Henderson’s speech to the shareholders was added:

    This is G o o g l e’s cache of as retrieved on 29 Jun 2007 16:51:19 GMT.

    Here it is with the link for the speech added. Save the page if you want to keep a copy as the next time the Googlebot crawls the web, this June page will be replaced. Right now the recall link shown above with “recall” in lower case was just done today, July 2 and it reflects the link for the speech. The link with “RECALL” in caps has not been redone by Google since 29 June and this is why we’re able to get hold of it before the speech link went on the page.

    Carol, if it’s a fairly recent thing you’re looking for, you can always click the “cached” link for a page on a Google search–this will bring up the last page Googlebot saved. If you need something further back, we’d need to go to the Internet Archives. Think the Archives are a bit too far back for what you need–I seem to remember their newest MF page being from late 2006.

  40. Katie, You did a very good job. after supper[haha] i’m going to look at all your links. Thanks for the info.

  41. Henderson’s spin would be laughable if it weren’t so infuriating. Luckily, we’re all still watching, so Menu’s CEO won’t get away with his latest attempt to deflect the blame. He might as well have kicked at a hornet’s nest.

    I don’t think I’m alone in my tendency as a consumer/customer to hold a grudge… If a business’ stance on something strikes me the wrong way, I’m unlikely to forget it, no matter how many costume changes the company goes through over the coming months and years. To me, Menu Foods is a poisoned well. It’s the corporate equivalent of the “dead man walking,” to co-opt a phrase from the executioner’s book of slang.

    I also refuse to reconsider the products of companies who outsourced production to Menu Foods, and I hold particular prejudice toward any company that was a vocal defendant of MF. For instance, when I was desperately searching for a replacement for the Nutro products I’d been feeding my dog, Old Mother Hubbard (Wellness, Old Mother Hubbard, Neura) products were quickly crossed off my list after I read the company’s defense of MF in late March on the New Cat City blog:

    “There are two very important factors in determining the quality of a food. The first is the manufacturer. In this case, Menu Foods is a top notch manufacturer that receives excellent scores for food safety and quality systems. They make a consistent product which is exactly what the company asks for. Frankly, they make product for so many companies because they are one of the best…”


    At least until I reach mental critical mass, I’m not forgetting *any* of the corporate (mis)deeds, callous responses to concerned or mourning customers, misleading statements and outright lies perpetrated by these bast#$%s over the last several months.

  42. Thanks, menusux, for the link to the cached speech. (I was panicking because I’d not saved the PDF before commenting on the story. Whew!)

  43. Menusux, I read everything you wrote. and it sounds like some one should be charged with this? I wonder why no charges against anyone? the law is supposed to be the law.

  44. Menusux, thanks for the link to the speech. Do you remember the link for the pictures of regular wheat gluten and melamine-contaminated wheat flour? I thought I saved it but I guess not. Thanks again.

  45. For Mrs. P —

    Some other executives at Menu Foods, with email addresses:

    Robert W. Luba, Chairman of the Board of Trustees & Administration Board (

    Mark A. Wiens, Chief Financial Officer, Executive Vice President, Secretary of Administrator (

    Randall C. Copeland, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing of Administrator (

    William F. Grant, Executive Vice President – Corporate Purchasing & Logistics of Administrator (

    Christopher J. Mifflin, Executive Vice President – Operations of Administrator (

    Richard G. Shields, Executive Vice President – Technical Services of Administrator (

    Serge Darkazanli, President and Chief Executive Officer (

    Boycott Menu and all who have a business relationship with them, now and future. Wal-Mart (Special Kitty), Safeway (Priority), Kroger (house brand), and Wysong.


  46. Mrs. P. How’s this for a starter? This a list of all the products listed on the P&G Website. A great place to start a boycott of their products. As I said, this is a start. At least people who look at this list will know which products not to buy.

    Two thumbs up for a great idea in boycotting these maggots! Captn’ Carl

    Here is a list of the products to boycott. Since the only thing they seem to understand is money, lets all work together to deprive them of as much as possible!

    Proctor & Gamble, What’s next? Soylent Green?

    Air Fresheners
    Febreze Air Fresheners
    Antiperspirants & Deodorants
    Old Spice
    Baby & Child Care
    Children’s Pepto
    Pampers Kandoo

    Body Wash & Soap
    Old Spice
    Old Spice
    Commercial Products

    Max Factor
    Dish Washing
    Feminine Care
    Hair Care
    Head & Shoulders
    Herbal Essences
    Infusium 23
    Hair Color

    Health Care
    Prilosec OTC

    Household Cleaners
    Febreze Air Fresheners
    Mr. Clean
    Mr. Clean AutoDry Carwash

    Laundry & Fabric Care
    Febreze Air Fresheners
    Oral Care
    Crest Glide
    Crest Whitestrips
    Paper Products
    Pet Nutrition
    Prescription Drugs
    Dantrium IV
    Prestige Fragrances
    bruno banani
    Giorgio Beverly Hills
    Gillette Fusion
    Gillette M3Power
    Gillette SatinCare
    Gillette Venus
    Skin Care
    Gillette Complete Skincare
    Small Appliances
    Snacks & Coffee
    Home Café

  47. Mr. Henderson,

    Since tomorrow is a workday north of the border, thought you might like to review the following:

    Your Remarks at the Menu General Meeting June 29, 2007

    Page 2

    “Wheat gluten has been in short supply, and, in 2006, feedback from our historic suppliers led us to conclude that we needed to add an additional supplier for this key ingredient.”

    Try the word CHEAP–Mr. Henderson–you weren’t in agreement with the prices reputable suppliers were quoting you, so you were on the prowl for the cheapest source you could get–no matter where it came from.

    Page 3

    “As it turns out, the gluten was contaminated with melamine.”

    Now try STUPID, Mr. Henderson–because the US FDA’s test indicated that the substance was wheat flour, not wheat gluten. You would have known that if proper testing would have been done on receipt of the ChemNutra product.

    “I want to be very clear here that we were not making demands on our suppliers to produce low price wheat gluten… We were more than willing to pay the going rate for what we thought was a product that met all our specifications.”

    Now say STUPID and CHEAP together, Mr. Henderson. Because if you were willing to pay what you call the “going rate”, you would never have needed to deal with ChemNutra for the would-be wheat gluten–you would have purchased it from your historic suppliers. None of us would have needed to know about melamine if you’d done that.

    Page 4

    “We demonstrated our responsibility to our customers, the pet food industry, and pet owners, by acting with dilligence and speed.

    Page 5

    “In fact-and I will emphasize this–Menu Foods’ first recall was more than two weeks before any other manufacturer initiated their recall.”

    Now look in the mirror and say LIAR, Mr. Henderson–because your testimony before US Congress on April 24, 2007 states where the first “Menu” recall began. It was begun by Iams and the link to this information is right on the Menu Foods website:

    Wednesday, March 14, 2007

    “At 8:30 p.m., Iams told Menu Foods that it intended to recall cat food manufactured by Menu Foods in Emporia, Kansas from December 17, 2006 through March 14, 2007.”

    Your speedy and dilligent recall began March 16, 2007, and the last entry on the Menu Foods recall page was May 22, 2007.

    Menu Foods General Geeting June 29, 2007

    Page 6-(regarding suits against Menu Foods)

    “In the end, our goal is to acheive fair compensation within the framework of the law.”

    Now the two words are CHEAT and HARRASSMENT, Mr. Henderson, because a US District Court judge had to restain you from harassing those who submitted claims. Here’s your version from the Menu Foods website:

    “On May 24, 2007, a United States federal court issued an order that, for the time being, prevents Menu Foods from having direct contact with individual U.S. pet owners.”

    Menu’s worked hard to try to cheat people out of full reimbursement for what they spent because Menu Foods bought contaminated wheat flour for wheat gluten. Menu has spoken loud and long about being taken by ChemNutra and its Chinese supplier, but apparently the shoe’s too small only when it’s being fit on Menu’s corporate foot–not those who paid you and your co-packers good money for your adulterated products.

    If there are corporations in Hades, Mr. Henderson, I am certain there’s one with a sign on it reading “Menu Foods” waiting for you eventually–you’ll be able to get away with all of this down there.

  48. Thank you Jay and Cap’n Carl! I didn’t expect that kind of info. What a lot of work! I really believe a boycott is the way to go. These people only think about their stock dividends, quarterly profits, etc. We (the common folk) buy or don’t buy their products, so I think we have a bit of power here. And to the politicos: we voted you in (the large corporations didn’t). We’ll vote your useless a**es out!

  49. Isn’t it interesting that Mark A. Wiens,CFO, gets away with selling his Menu Foods shares 3 weeks before the recalls yet Martha Stewart goes to jail. Oh……it was just a coincidence. Spin,spin, spin…….the lies.

  50. I am not buying from any United States company that has a factory in China. I am not voting for anyone in any election that has lobbied for Farm Groups, agribusinesses , drug companys etc. I will not vote for any elected official that has supported or voted for any laws that take away our constitutional rights.

    Perhaps we need to totally boycott any product containing high frutcose corn syrup or corn syrup. It is ADM that has such a strong China connection, that was willing to help finance Watergate, that tried to get corn ethanol started back in the Nixon – Johnson era. They have been involved in promoting GMO’s and Ge’s. Lets hurt all the companys that moved to China by not buying their products or bs. Lets really show Bushie and his cronies we are fed up.

  51. I would like to find a list of companies with factories in China. I know Nestle built one. Who else? These are probably the companies that protested China’s attempt to stiffen workers’ rights laws. The International Herald Tribune mentioned US-based multinational companies saying that protecting the Chinese worker would make business too expensive.

  52. Mrs. P,

    Awhile back Petconnection had a thread about Tyson and Mission Foods “quietly” informing their plants to quit using ingredients from China. It was an attempt to convince the consumer that they were shaping up!

    BUT—–some research by us troublesome bloggers found that Tyson and Mission BOTH have China connections! Tyson was entering the chicken business in China, and our USDA had written a rule to accomodate them!

    USDA’s rule said that U.S. could import chicken from China, as long as the chicken was owned by a U.S. company! How convenient is THAT?

    I think there was also mention that Cargill had a China plant.

    This was right after the 20,000,000 melachickens entered our food chain, I think, in case you want to research the archives.

  53. Hey everyone,

    MSNBC is taking a poll on what they should write about in an upcoming article. Please go here and vote for Government Accountability. Let’s get a little more light on this subject and spread the message to others out there that are unaware!

  54. China linked to recalled snack food
    ‘Booty’ producer links salmonella with seasonings

    Newsday July 3, 2007

    “The Sea Cliff company that produces Veggie Booty, which has been linked to the salmonella poisoning of more than 50 people nationwide, said yesterday that seasonings imported from China had likely contaminated its recalled snack food.

    “Also yesterday, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture said salmonella had been found on a sample of the snack food and possibly in a vegetable seasoning it imports from China.

    “U.S. State Department officials who have been dealing with the recent cases of contamination could not be reached for comment. But one source said U.S. officials have been specifically discussing the Veggie Booty problem with Chinese officials.

    “The acknowledgments of links between the salmonella epidemic and the snack food, which is aimed at youngsters, came in a news release issued by the company, Robert’s American Gourmet.

    “In it, company president Robert Ehrlich said the company had been informed yesterday by the Minnesota Department of Health that a sample of Veggie Booty tested positive for the rare strain salmonella Wandsworth. Officials in Minnesota could not be reached immediately to confirm the account.

    “The federal Food and Drug Administration last week issued a recall of Veggie Booty, and the company on Monday recalled its Super Veggie Tings, a snack aimed at adults that contains the same seasoning. No illnesses have been linked to Veggie Tings.

    “In the news release, Ehrlich said the company’s own independent testing of samples of the seasoning indicates “that it is the likely cause [of the salmonella poisoning]. Sources of origin on all components of the seasoning have been determined to be primarily from China.”

    “Sources familiar with the investigation say an additive had been suspected because the cooking of the cereal products that make up most of the Veggie Booty should have killed any bacterial contamination.

    “The seasoning is combination of various dried vegetables, including spinach, kale, carrots, cabbage and broccoli, according to the sources.”

    When will everyone get smart and just say NO to China?

  55. This was the warning on fake protein concentrates that I spoke of earlier. Someone on PetConnection or here at Itchmo originally found this. I remember we talked back than about how could a company say they hadn’t been warned to be on the lookout –


  56. Any purchase of pet food from a company that is a member of the the PFI is aiding and supporting the poisoners.
    Every dime paid to a member of PFI means that they have your permission to continue the lies and the poison.
    NO pet food company can be trusted.

  57. E.,
    Thanks for reminding me to look up PFI members. I have been researching Kumpi for my dogs, and Crosswinds Petfood, Inc, which makes the Kumpi is not a member. I want to stay with the dry kibble as it works best for me.

  58. Transnationale lists companys with factories in china . they are at I have trouble getting whole web addresses to post so will give it in sections after you put that in go to companys in china.

    I read yesterday that Goodyear has a factory in china ,some of there off brand tires are being made in china.

    They still have not named where the plant is that manufactures Veggie Booty . I wonder why? They refer to it as the contractor, I wonder if there is a chance of cross contaimination to other companys products that are made there as happened with the pet food products?

  59. Transnationale lists companys with factories in china . It is

    I wonder what plant manufactures Veggie Booty . The FDA has not mentioned the name nor has Roberts. I wonder about cross containimation to other products? They refer to them as the contractor.

    Also I read yesterday that Goodyear tire has a plant in China and is having some of their off brands manufactured ther.

  60. I read this in today’s paper grocery ad:
    Kroger: Tyson: New! Chicken raised without antibiotics, 100% all natural
    No artificial ingredients, No hormones

    TOO BAD it didn’t say no MELAMINE.

    HAPPY 4th of JULY!!

  61. Thomas,
    Thank you for that transnationale link. That will be very useful to me. Happy 4th!

  62. Thomas,

    I was wondering the same thing…wonder who the manuf. is and thinking cross contamination.

    Happy 4th of July, everyone.


  63. Happy 4th to all. You are all a tremendous people , with great ability to find the truth.

  64. I found a web site
    that claims there was a law suit giled against Roberts American Gourmet by a woman who gained weight from eating their product. This web site lists the parent company in 2001 as Keystone Foods . A privately owned company , that is a supplier for major fast food . The company has businesses in China.
    After going on the web site I went OMG.

  65. thomas says:

    July 4th, 2007 at 5:50 pm
    Happy 4th to all. You are all a tremendous people , with great ability to find the truth.

    I have to echo thomas’ sentiment. I am encouraged daily to keep working on this, blogging and adding my 2 cents on the issues I am educated on, because others are doing the same!

    We all come from different areas of the country with different political views, and an amazing conglomeration of life experiences! I feel this is a very good thing, we are making a difference, and we are all committed to keeping on AND ensuring the safety of our food supply.

    I think most of us realize what a complete mess our country is in because we can see how the transnational food conglomerates have control of our congress, and I am sure it is the same with oil, energy, you name it, the control is there.

    It isn’t about Republicans and Democrats, and who is president, they are all on the take and only care about their bottom line, plus they like to be in power and pulling the strings.

    Would be wonderful if a third party would emerge, founded on liberty, ethical behavior, etc. etc. you name it! We need to throw the bums out!

  66. I know a lot of this has some facts but come on people let’s get it right the company is inspected by AIB (American Institute of Baking) so before we place names or labels on someone or something lets make sure our information is correct. Let’s not let our anger make statements that are not true

Comments are closed.