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Author Topic: PET FOOD RECALL - Acetaminophen !  (Read 9319 times)
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« on: March 31, 2007, 06:12:51 AM »

Please check this thread for updates on the continuing recall - it appears it is going to get worse before it gets better.

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« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2007, 06:13:33 AM »

From: FDA Recalls
To: FDA-RECALLS-L@LIST.NIH.GOV
Sent: Friday, March 30, 2007 3:09 PM
Subject: Hills Pet Nutrition, Inc. Voluntarily Recalls Single Product, Prescription DietT m/dT Feline Dry Food, Only Product Containing Wheat Gluten

Recall -- Firm Press Release

FDA posts press releases and other notices of recalls and market withdrawals from the firms involved as a service to consumers, the media, and other interested parties. FDA does not endorse either the product or the company. This listserv covers mainly Class I (life-threatening) recalls. A complete listing of recalls can be found in the FDA Enforcement Report at: http://www.fda.gov/opacom/Enforce.html

Hills Pet Nutrition, Inc. Voluntarily Recalls Single Product, Prescription DietT m/dT Feline Dry Food, Only Product Containing Wheat Gluten
Contact: Amy Thompson
785-368-5016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- Topeka, KS -- March 30, 2007 -- In accordance with its over-riding commitment to pet health and well-being, Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc. is voluntarily recalling Prescription Diet m/d Feline dry food from the market. Hill's is taking this precautionary action because during a two-month period in early 2007, wheat gluten for this product was provided by a company that also supplied wheat gluten to Menu Foods. U.S. Food and Drug Administration tests of wheat gluten samples from this period show the presence of a small amount of melamine. Prescription Diet m/d Feline Dry represents less than one half of one percent of all Hill's products.

This is the only product Hill's currently sells in the United States that contains wheat gluten from any supplier. No other Hill's Prescription Diet® or Science Diet® products are affected by this voluntary recall. Hill's Science Diet Savory Cuts Feline canned cat foods, manufactured by Menu Foods, were previously withdrawn from the market as a precaution. Together with this earlier withdrawal, less than 1% of all Hill's products have been affected.

The voluntary recall of Hill's Prescription Diet m/d Feline dry food involves discontinuation of all retail sales and product retrieval from sellers. This recall does not include Prescription Diet m/d Feline canned food which contains no wheat gluten.

Consumers should stop using this product and return it for a refund. All Hill's products carry a 100 percent guarantee, and consumers can receive a refund for recalled product.

Hill's expects to resume shipment shortly of a reformulated version of this highly beneficial product that will not contain wheat gluten. Please check with your veterinarian for an alternative Prescription Diet until m/d Feline dry is reformulated and made available again.

Following is a list of Prescription Diet m/d Feline dry products included in this recall:

Recalled product
U.S. & Canada UPC
Size

Prescription DietT m/dT Feline dry food
52742 42770
(all lot numbers)
4 lb. bag

Prescription DietT m/dT Feline dry food
52742 42790
(all lot numbers)
10 lb. bag


Hill's has been fully cooperating with the FDA since the outset of its investigation and made the decision to voluntarily recall these products in consultation with the FDA. We deeply regret any concern that this has caused our valued customers.

For more information, consumers can contact the company at 1-800-445-5777 or visit www.HillsPet.com for details
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« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2007, 06:14:40 AM »

REMARKS BY PAUL K. HENDERSON
PRESIDENT AND CEO, MENU FOODS INCOME FUND
TO A NEWS CONFERENCE
MARCH 30, 2007  TORONTO
                                                                                                             Ladies and gentlemen:

Thank you for your attendance, and for your continuing dedication to this disturbing and emotional story.

I am Paul Henderson, President and CEO of Menu Foods. With me today is Randall Copeland, Executive Vice-President of Sales and Marketing, and a thirty-year veteran of the pet food industry, having spent a good portion of that time in plant operations.
 
This afternoon, I have a brief opening statement and then we will take a limited number of questions. For the sake of those listening in by phone, please do not begin asking your question until you have a microphone in hand.

One week ago, some of the dedicated researchers who had been investigating this matter reported the discovery of a single, toxic compound in our pet food. That, seemingly, cleared the way for us to address the problem, deal fairly with the pet-owners who had been injured, put our business back together, and move on.

In the intervening week, other top scientists have been unable to validate the findings.  That is, they were unable to find the toxin – called aminopterin – in our pet food, or in any of the component ingredients. It was also brought to our attention that some veterinary experts held the view that aminopterin was inconsistent with what was being observed in dogs and cats.

There is an entirely different story today.

 As you heard earlier from the FDA and Cornell University, a compound called melamine has been identified as being present in the food that caused the pet illnesses and deaths.

Melamine has been found in the finished product that was the subject of recall and has not been found in other Menu Foods pet food outside of the recall. Menu Foods only manufactures wet pet food.

Melamine has been found in the wheat gluten from a new supplier in the United States, who sourced this wheat gluten in China. This is the same ingredient that Menu Foods made reference to in its recall press release of March 16.  Melamine has not been found in the wheat gluten that we obtain from our other suppliers.

The recalled product is unfit for consumption by pets. It contains melamine.


The pet food that we have manufactured after March 6 is safe and healthy. How do we know this?
 

First, it contains no melamine. Secondly, it contains none of the suspect wheat gluten.

Thirdly, all of the testing that has been conducted, including the routine taste tests that were underway prior to the discovery of this problem, have demonstrated that those products not associated with the suspect wheat gluten performed very well and in a manner consistent with historic norms.

Menu Foods has been in operation for more than 35 years. Our plants are modern, run by dedicated, experienced and well-trained employees.  We operated with good manufacturing practices and are routinely audited by well recognized, independent experts on food safety and sanitation. It’s clear from our customer base that we must meet the most rigorous quality standards in the industry in order to be allowed to produce these products for some of the world’s largest brands.  That is how we have confidence in our abilities to produce quality products.

With all of these quality standards, how did this happen?  Quite simply, one supplier’s product was adulterated with a material that is not part of any known screening procedure for wheat gluten.  The important point today is that the source of the adulteration has been identified and removed from our system. 

Needless to say, we have a great deal of interest in finding out why we were supplied with this kind of product. This is a subject of very great interest to us and our lawyers and you can expect that we will be following up. For litigation purposes, we cannot elaborate at this time.

Let me be clear on this - we have removed that problem from our system.  Our recall is well underway and products produced today are being made with known, quality and tested raw materials.

As a result, I can say with complete confidence today – to consumers, to our customers, to governments – that Menu Foods continues to uphold the high standards for which we have been known since 1971.

Our products are safe. We continue to engage in the highest levels of monitoring and testing in the pet food industry. These tests will be expanded as a result of this experience.

A final word on melamine. We have had correspondence with the FDA and we know that they are diligently following-up on the supply of the suspect wheat gluten.  It is not our place to name the supplier as we do not want to interfere in any way with the important investigation they are conducting.

What we know today is that the products made by Menu Foods are of the highest quality, are safe, and will be returning to store shelves across North America in the coming weeks and months.

Now, as we did last time, I think we can anticipate some of your questions.

Does Menu have something it wants to say to any pet owners who have suffered a loss?

All of us at Menu Foods want to express our sympathy to those people who have suffered with sickness and loss of pets.

We are pet-people and we have almost 1,000 caring employees who are dedicated to making food that is safe, nutritious and palatable.

We are proud of our employees and the hard work, loyalty and diligence they have demonstrated in these trying times

We are angered that a source outside of the company has apparently adulterated the product causing this regrettable loss.

We are grateful to our customers and retailers who have been so responsible in the quick removal of affected product from the market and ask their continued diligence to assure that affected product is not accidentally restocked in their systems.


What is your reaction to the FDA’s Announcement earlier today?



We believe the announcement today by the FDA supports the products and the procedures used by Menu Foods in the recall.  We are pleased that they have acknowledged that the nature of the adulteration could not have been identified by detection methods used by the industry and by their acknowledgement that no violations occurred.

One area that has made this recall particularly confusing is that Menu Foods executed the recall before there was a known scientific cause for the illness experienced by pets and with very few reported incidents from the field.  We believe today’s press announcement by the FDA again supports our actions. The actions we took out of an abundance of caution undoubtedly saved many lives.

The FDA has reported that the adulterant found in the wheat gluten has only been found in wheat gluten from one specific supplier of that ingredient.  This is the ingredient referenced in our recall announcement of March 16.

What is the immediate priority for Menu Foods?


Our first priority is the recall.  We have implemented procedures to work with our retail customers to effectively clear all recalled product from the supply chain before each customer can receive new products.  These new products have ingredients that we know are clear of the adulterant that was found in the single source of wheat gluten.

In light of the FDA’s findings, what are Menu’s next steps for getting back to business?

We look forward to returning to supplying safe, palatable “cuts and gravy” product for consumers.  Our traditional loaf products do not contain any of the suspect ingredients and only two of Menu’s four plants have ever had the suspect ingredient in use at any time.  All of our products produced after March 6 have been clear of the suspect wheat gluten.

We are working with our partners to help make it easy for consumers to know that they are purchasing only products that are clear of the suspect wheat gluten, in order to ease their mind and provide assurance of safety.
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« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2007, 06:18:06 AM »

Anyone who has had a pet eat this food should print this out and speak to your vet.


Updated information for veterinarians
Content on this page has been provided by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

AMERICAN COLLEGE OF VETERINARY
INTERNAL MEDICINE (ACVIM)
1997 Wadsworth Blvd., Suite A
Lakewood, CO 80214-5293
http://www.acvim.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 21, 2007
MEDIA CONTACT:
Jenn Armbruster
Communications & Media Relations Manager
303.231.9933 or Jennifer@ACVIM.org


PET FOOD RECALL: UPDATED INFORMATION FOR VETERINARIANS
LAKEWOOD, Colo. – In response to the recent national pet food recall, the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) has collected the following information for veterinarians in regards to the treatment of animals that have ingested the recalled food.

a.. Menu Foods of Ontario, Canada has initiated a North American Recall of its "Cuts and Gravy" format dog and cat food manufactured in its Kansas and New Jersey facilities between December 3, 2006 and March 6, 2007. See www.menufoods.com/recall for list of recalled food. Also consult www.avma.org for the most up to date information.

b.. According to an FDA press release dated March 16, 2007, some dogs and cats refused further feedings following feeding of the product, while others exhibited signs of renal failure (including loss of appetite, lethargy and vomiting).

c.. Veterinarians should examine and perform screening blood work and urinalysis on all patients who have consumed the recalled foods, symptomatic patients that have eaten recalled foods, and generally on all patients.

d.. Veterinary experience with affected pets is still limited. Colleagues are reporting that pets having confirmed exposure to the diet have a wild spectrum of presentations. Some animals exhibit signs of mild renal insufficiency developing over days to weeks while others rapidly exhibit signs and acute renal failure. Most clinical cases have been cats. Anecdotal information suggests that many cats respond to standard fluid therapy and recover. Animals treated aggressively, even those with severe azotemia, seem to have a fair prognosis based on evidence to date.

e.. Veterinarians should take a dietary history with each pet. After a thorough physical examination, the minimal data base of a comprehensive blood panel and a urinalysis should be performed to screen for causes of clinical signs including renal disease. It is important to screen for all diseases because this recall will bring in clients whose pets had preexisting diseases or coincidentally have developed an unrelated illness at the time of the recall. If renal disease is diagnosed, additional tests such as a urine culture and imaging should be considered to rule out causes of renal disease other than a toxicant.

f.. Patients with renal disease should be managed with appropriate fluid therapy including an assessment of electrolyte status and administration of medications to treat gastrointestinal signs. If the patient is in acute renal failure and anuric or oliguric, additional considerations to acid-base status, and diuretic therapy (including lasix, mannitol and/or dopamine) may be required, necessitating a careful monitoring of fluid rates, vital parameters such as CVP, and urine production.

g.. If a patient with anuric or oliguric acute renal failure is not responding to appropriate therapy, veterinarians should promptly consider contacting a small animal internist with the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (www.ACVIM.org) in their local community for case consultation and possible referral. Hemodialysis can be utilized for severely affected patients and is available at a limited number of veterinary teaching hospitals.

h.. Duration of treatment in patients which may have renal failure due to ingestion of the recalled food is unknown at this time and obviously will vary between patients. Long term effects on renal function are unknown. Patients succumbing to illness should be necropsied and tissues saved in formalin for histopathology to determine cause of death.

i.. The Iowa State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory reports that autopsy and microscopic examination of tissues from affected animals indicate acute renal toxicosis including the presence of birefringent crystals, as well as other crystal formations. The Iowa State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory has the capability to analyze pet food for the suspected toxic agents described above and examine tissues from animals that have died. More information is available at www.vdpam.iastate.edu.

j.. The Animal Health Diagnostic Center (AHDC) at Cornell University will also receive food samples for testing and tissue samples for histopathology. For more information, see www.diag.center.vetcorne ll.edu. According to the AHDC, substances that have been preliminarily ruled out are: ethylene glycol, cholecalciferol, other glycols including diethylene glycol, propylene glycol, heavy metals, ochratoxin, several solvents and cleaning products known to be used on the machinery used in the production of these foods, and several pesticides.
Prepared by Sandy Willis DVM DACVIM
ACVIM Communications Committee Chair
www.ACVIM.org
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« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2007, 06:24:55 AM »

http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/03/30/pet.food.recall.ap/index.html

FDA finds new chemical in tainted pet food, sick animals

POSTED: 10:29 a.m. EDT, March 30, 2007

RICHMOND, Virginia (AP) -- Government testing found a chemical used to make plastics in recalled pet food linked to the deaths of dogs and cats, officials said Friday.

The Food and Drug Administration said it found melamine in samples of the Menu Foods pet food, as well as in wheat gluten used as an ingredient.

Cornell University scientists also have found the chemical, also used as a fertilizer, in the urine of sick cats, as well as in the kidney of one cat that died after eating the company's wet food.

Menu Foods recalled 60 million containers of cat and dog food earlier this month after animals died of kidney failure after eating the Canadian company's products.

It is not clear how many pets may have been poisoned by the apparently contaminated food, although anecdotal reports suggest hundreds if not thousands have died. The FDA alone has received more than 8,000 complaints.

The new finding comes a week after scientists at the New York State Food Laboratory identified a rat poison and cancer drug called aminopterin as the likely culprit. They've since detected melamine as well, though it's not clear how that chemical would have poisoned pets.

Meanwhile, animal rights advocates called on federal food safety regulators and pet food companies to expand a nationwide recall of dog and cat food to include dry varieties, claiming they make pets sick.

The FDA said Thursday it had no plans to suggest a wider recall to pet food companies, and veterinarians said they have not seen a trend of animals becoming ill after eating dry pet food.

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals plans to make the appeal Friday in Washington after it said it received complaints from pet owners who claim their animals suffered kidney failure after eating dry pet food.

Norfolk, Virginia-based PETA wants the FDA and the companies to extend the recall to foods that have received complaints, chemically test it and perform necropsies on the animals involved. It also wants companies prosecuted if the FDA's probe turns up wrongdoing.

FDA spokeswoman Julie Zawisza said she did not know how many of the complaints the agency has received have concerned dry pet food. Officials at Ontario, Canada-based Menu Foods, which made the recalled pet food, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Nearly 100 brands of pet food were recalled after animals suffered kidney failure. The recall involved "cuts and gravy" style dog and cat food. The recall covered products carrying names of major brands including Iams, Nutro and Eukanuba.

Veterinarians aren't seeing a trend of pets getting sick off dry food, said Paul Pion, founder of the Veterinarian Information Network. He said since so many people use dry food, you would expect to see many more ill pets if the food was tainted.

"I wouldn't put much credence in it, but it's not out of the realm of possibility," Pion said.

The Veterinary Information Network reported Tuesday that at least 471 cases of pet kidney failure have been reported since the recall, and more than 100 pets have died. (Full story) Menu Foods has confirmed 16 pet deaths.
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« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2007, 06:28:27 AM »

Nestlé Purina, Hills join pet food recall
By Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY
A recall of pet food expanded Friday to include the first dry product, which is available only through veterinarians' offices.

Meanwhile, the FDA now says the contamination in wet pet food that has injured and killed pets across the country may not have been the pesticide aminopterin but possibly a fertilizer and plastics agent called melamine.

In a news conference Friday morning, the Food and Drug Administration announced that its labs had detected melamine in samples of the pet food, in the wheat gluten used to make it and in the urine and kidneys of cats who were injured by it.

FDA investigators are not certain how melamine would sicken or kill dogs and cats; there is little scientific information available about melamine exposure in animals.

ON DEADLINE: What is melamine?

Hills Pet Nutrition announced that it is recalling its Prescription Diet Feline Dry Food, Friday evening. The company said the food contained wheat gluten provided by a company that also supplied wheat gluten to Menu Foods, the firm that initiated the earlier recall. It did not say whether any pet illnesses had been associated with the food.

Nestlé Purina PetCare also late Friday said it was recalling all sizes and varieties of its Alpo Prime Cuts in Gravy wet dog food with specific date codes.

The company said it, too, learned that it received wheat gluten from the same company that supplied Menu Foods and Hills.

Purina said the wheat gluten was used in "limited production" at only one of its 17 pet food manufacturing plants.

The company then notified the FDA and began its recall.

Purina's recalled products include: 13.2-ounce and 22-ounce ALPO Prime Cuts cans and 6-, 8-, 12- and 24-can ALPO Prime Cuts Variety Packs. They have four-digit code dates of 7037 through 7053, followed by the plant code 1159. Those codes follow a "Best Before Feb. 2009" date. This information should be checked on the bottom of the can or the top or side of the multi-pack cartons.

Purina's 5.3-ounce Mighty Dog pouch products, manufactured by Menu Foods, were previously withdrawn from the market as a precaution on March 16 as part of the Menu Foods recall.

No Purina dry pet foods were affected by either recall.

Hill's Science Diet Savory Cuts Feline canned cat foods, manufactured by Menu Foods, were previously withdrawn from the market as a precaution. Together with this earlier withdrawal, less than 1% of all Hill's products have been affected, the company said. The recall does not include Prescription Diet m/d Feline canned food, which contains no wheat gluten.

The affected products:

• Prescription Diet™ m/d™ Feline dry food, 4 pound bag, 52742 42770(all lot numbers)

• Prescription Diet™ m/d™ Feline dry food, ten pound bag, 52742 42790(all lot numbers)

The company advised consumers to stop using the product and return it for a refund. Hill's is reformulating the food so that it will not contain wheat gluten, the company said.

Earlier in the day, the FDA said its labs found no aminopterin in its tests. Neither did labs at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University in New York. Cornell has been involved in testing of the Menu Foods since the first indication of the problem, "We have not been able to confirm aminoptrin in the food or body samples," says Donald Smith, dean of the college.

New York State, which originally found the aminopterin in the pet food, said Friday that it stood beyind its find. It also said it had no doubt that melamine is present in the pet food, but that there was not enough data on the mammalian toxicity levels to conclude that it could cause illness in cats and dogs.

The FDA has to date received more than 8,800 calls related to the pet food, made by Menu Foods of Canada and recalled March 16 after a New York State lab announced it had discovered aminopterin, a rat poison, in some samples.

Smith says that Cornell veterinarians found melamine in the affected animals' kidneys and urine but don't have a medical explanation for how it might be causing injury. He is being very cautious "There's no evidence yet to tie (the pet injuries) into the melamine," Smith says.

Menu Foods said Friday it imported the wheat gluten from China because of tight supply. Normally it gets wheat gluten, often used as a binding agent in wet pet foods, from North America and Europe.

The China wheat gluten supplier — a new supplier for Menu — was dropped in early March after the company realized there may be a problem. Menu said no product made since then contained the contaminated wheat gluten.

"Quite simply, one supplier's product was adulterated in a manner that was not part of any known screening process for wheat gluten," Menu Foods CEO Paul Henderson said today. He declined to identify the company that provided the wheat gluten — other to say that it was a new supplier for the company — and said Menu Foods was contemplating legal action against the supplier.

Henderson said Menu Foods had a "great deal of interest" in learning why it was supplied with adulterated wheat that would pass the screening.

The FDA said Friday the agency is now testing 100% of incoming wheat gluten supplies from China.

In the USA, melamine is primarily used as to make plastics. But in Asia it is also used as a fertilizer, said Stephen Sundlof, director of FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine.

Earlier this month, more than 60,000 cans of wet pet food manufactured by Menu Foods were recalled because of reports that cats and dogs were being injured and killed by a mysterious contamination in the food, which was sold under more than 95 brand names.

Sundlof acknowledged that there is frustration on the part of the public that the cause hasn't been pinned down. He said FDA personnel have been working around the clock to determine the extent of the contamination and its cause. More than 400 employees at national headquarters and in 20 district offices are working on it, he says, as well as at least three field laboratories.

"FDA recognizes that pets are very important to the American people," Sundlof said. "As a veterinarian, my life's work has been to work with animals."

Contributing: Julie Schmit in San Francisco; Randy Lilleston and Steve Marshall in McLean, Va.
 
 
Find this article at:
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-03-30-pet-food-recall_N.htm?csp=24



Pebbles, a 7-year-old Yorkshire terrier, died after battling kidney failure. Pebbles ate dog food that was later recalled. The FDA found melamine, a chemical used in plastic and fertilizer, in the food

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« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2007, 11:14:22 AM »

http://
http://www.petconnection.com/blog/2007/03/30/pet-food-recall-fda-press-conference-report/
Pet food recall: FDA press conference report

In an FDA press conference this morning, a reporter asked the FDA’s Dr. Stephen Sundlof if people could be feeding unsafe food to their pets right now, because the FDA won’t reveal the name of a company - that makes dry “kibbled” food as well as “wet” pet food - that received wheat gluten from the same source Menu did.

The response? “It is possible, but I think we’ve been following every lead that we can. My sense is that we have gotten most of it under control.”

As soon as we have any information, he assured reporters at a press conference this morning, we’ll notify the public. Except for the name of the company, it seems.

How about the numbers? asked another attendee. You’re still saying only 15 confirmed deaths, but some reports are in the thousands. How do you explain the discrepancy?

Dr. Sundlof said FDA can’t confirm any cases beyond those first few in Menu’s test labs, even though they have received over 8800 additional reports, because “We have not had the luxury of confirming these reports.” They’ll work on that, he said, after they “make sure all the product is off the shelves.”

He pointed out that in human medicine, the job of defining what constitutes a confirmed case would fall to the Centers for Disease Control, not the FDA… and there is no CDC for animals.

Updated: Karen Roebuck of the Pittsburg Tribune-Review, who broke the story earlier this morning that melamine, not aminopterin, had been found in the tested foods, asked if any of the wheat gluten had found its way into the human food supply.

The response: “At this point we are not aware that any of that went into human food.” They do know the company that supplied the contaminated wheat gluten, and are tracking its shipments, but they aren’t disclosing the name of the company.

They are, however, doing “100 percent review and sampling of all wheat gluten from China.”

More to come.

If you have a pet with a recall-related illness, let us remind you to:

    * Call the FDA to report your information
    * Call your veterinarian and ask him or her to report to your state veterinarian, also for the FDA
    * Enter your pet in our database
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« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2007, 01:12:22 PM »

Pet foods NOT on the recall list.  Please go to the link as this list may change:


   http://petsitusa.com/blog/?p=210
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« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2007, 01:15:24 PM »

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-goldstein/tainted-wheat-gluten-sold_b_44743.html



Tainted Wheat Gluten Sold as "Food Grade"


Del Monte Foods has confirmed that the melamine-tainted wheat gluten used in several of its recalled pet food products was supplied as a "food grade" additive, raising the likelihood that contaminated wheat gluten might have entered the human food supply.

"Yes, it is food grade," Del Monte spokesperson Melissa Murphy-Brown wrote in reply to an e-mail query.
Del Monte issued a voluntary recall Saturday for several products under the Gravy Train, Jerky Treats, Pounce, Ol' Roy, Dollar General and Happy Trails brands.

Wheat gluten is sold in both "food grade" and "feed grade" varieties. Either may be used in pet food, but only "food grade" gluten may be used in the manufacture of products meant for human consumption. Published reports have thus far focused on tainted pet food, but if the gluten in question entered the human food supply through a major food products supplier and processor, it could potentially contaminate thousands of products and hundreds of millions of units nationwide.

Stephen F. Sundlof, director of the Food and Drug Administration's Center for Veterinary Medicine said the FDA is not aware of any contaminated gluten that went into human food but said he could not confirm this "with 100 percent certainty." Wheat gluten is a common food additive used as a thickener, dough conditioner, and meat substitute. It is widely used as an additive in commercial bakery items and special purpose flours.

The FDA announced today that it has traced the contaminated wheat gluten to a single processor, Xuzhou Anying Biological Technology of Peixian, China, but has not released the name of the U.S. distributor who supplied the product to Del Monte, Menu Foods, Nestle Purina, and Hills Nutritional. In all, more than 70 brands and over 60 million cans and pouches of dog and cat food are now part of this massive recall, as well as at least one brand of dry cat food.

Public statements have indicated that the contaminated gluten was distributed by a single U.S. company, but since the FDA refuses to name the supplier, it is not yet known if this company also supplies human food manufacturers. It is also not yet known if Xuzhou Anying sells direct to food manufacturers in the U.S. or abroad.

While cats seem particularly susceptible to the effects of melamine poisoning, there is little research on the substance's human toxicity. Unless and until the FDA determines otherwise, one cannot help but wonder if our sick and dying cats are merely the canary in the coal mine alerting us to a broader contamination of the human food supply.
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« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2007, 05:22:39 AM »

Recall -- Firm Press Release


FDA posts press releases and other notices of recalls and market withdrawals from the firms involved as a service to consumers, the media, and other interested parties. FDA does not endorse either the product or the company. This listserv covers mainly Class I (life-threatening) recalls. A complete listing of recalls can be found in the FDA Enforcement Report at: http://www.fda.gov/opacom/Enforce.html

 
ChemNutra Announces Nationwide Wheat Gluten Recall

Contact:
Devon Blaine/Lisa Baker
310-360-1499

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE --Las Vegas, NV -- April 3, 2007 -- ChemNutra Inc., of Las Vegas, Nevada, yesterday recalled all wheat gluten it had imported from one of its three Chinese wheat gluten suppliers – Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development Co. Ltd.

The wheat gluten ChemNutra recalled was all shipped from China in 25 kg. paper bags, and distributed to customers in the same unopened bags. The bags were all labeled "Wheat Gluten Batch No.: _______ Net Weight: 25 kg Gross Weight: 25.1 kg Made in China". The batch numbers included in the recall are 20061006, 20061027, 20061101, 20061108, 20061122, 20061126, 20061201, 20061202, 20061203, 20061204, 20061205, 20061206, 20061208, 20061221, 20070106, 20070111, 20070116, and 20070126. Each ChemNutra shipment had the certificate of analysis information from the supplier, including batch number and the supplier's content analysis and test results. 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. ChemNutra's shipments commenced November 9, 2006 and ended March 8, 2007. ChemNutra did not ship to facilities that manufacture food for human consumption, and the distributor ChemNutra shipped to supplies wheat gluten only to pet food manufacturers. The total quantity of Xuzhou Anying wheat gluten shipped was 792 metric tons.

ChemNutra learned on March 8 from one pet food manufacturer that the wheat gluten it had sold them – all from the Xuzhou Anying - was among ingredients suspected as a potential cause of pet food problems. ChemNutra immediately quarantined its entire wheat gluten inventory and assisted this customer's investigation.

After that manufacturer issued a pet food recall, the FDA immediately commenced a thorough investigation of ChemNutra's wheat gluten, including documentation analysis, inspection, and laboratory testing. ChemNutra cooperated fully with the FDA and immediately notified its other three wheat gluten customers about the FDA's investigation. Those customers had all purchased smaller amounts of the Xuzhou Anying wheat gluten commencing in January, 2007.

On Friday, March 30, the FDA announced they had found melamine in samples of the wheat gluten ChemNutra had imported from Xuzhou Anying. The FDA did not inform ChemNutra of any other impurities in the Xuzhou Anying wheat gluten, nor of any impurities in the wheat gluten from ChemNutra's other two Chinese suppliers.

The toxicity of melamine is not clear. However, since melamine is not approved by the FDA for pet food, it should absolutely not have been in wheat gluten. ChemNutra is extremely concerned about the purity of all of its products. The company is particularly troubled that the certificates of analysis provided by the above-named supplier did not report the presence of melamine.

ChemNutra wants to ensure its products are safe. Consequently, in addition to its ongoing cooperation with the FDA, ChemNutra will be conducting its own independent, analytical tests of wheat gluten from all of its suppliers.

Yesterday ChemNutra sent recall notices to all four of its direct customers. If any other company received bags of recalled wheat gluten from the lot numbers referenced above, please call ChemNutra at 702.818.5019.

Consumers who have questions about the pet food they should go to the FDA's website at www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/2007/NEW01590.html. This website lists all brands of petfood involved, with links to the manufacturer who should be contacted with questions.

####

 

FDA's Recalls, Market Withdrawals and Safety Alerts Page: http://www.fda.gov/opacom/7alerts.html
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« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2007, 05:38:09 AM »

  It is very ironic that more pets have died from "Nutritionally Complete, Scientifically Tested" pet foods over the years than from the "dangerous" species appropriate raw diets.



YOUR WHOLE PET
Bigger than you think: The story behind the pet food recall


The March 16 recall of 91 pet food products manufactured by Menu Foods wasn't big news at first. Early coverage reported only 10-15 cats and dogs dying after eating canned and pouched foods manufactured by Menu. The foods were recalled -- among them some of the country's best-known and biggest-selling brands -- and while it was certainly a sad story, and maybe even a bit of a wake-up call about some aspects of pet food manufacturing, that was about it.

At first, that was it for me, too. But I'm a contributing editor for a nationally syndicated pet feature, Universal Press Syndicate's Pet Connection, and all of us there have close ties to the veterinary profession. Two of our contributors are vets themselves, including Dr. Marty Becker, the vet on "Good Morning America." And what we were hearing from veterinarians wasn't matching what we were hearing on the news.

When we started digging into the story, it quickly became clear that the implications of the recall were much larger than they first appeared. Most critically, it turned out that the initially reported tally of dead animals only included the cats and dogs who died in Menu's test lab and not the much larger number of affected pets.

Second, the timeline of the recall raised a number of concerns. Although there have been some media reports that Menu Foods started getting complaints as early as December 2006, FDA records state the company received their first report of a food-related pet death on February 20.

One week later, on February 27, Menu started testing the suspect foods. Three days later, on March 3, the first cat in the trial died of acute kidney failure. Three days after that, Menu switched wheat gluten suppliers, and 10 days later, on March 16, recalled the 91 products that contained gluten from their previous source.

Nearly one month passed from the date Menu got its first report of a death to the date it issued the recall. During that time, no veterinarians were warned to be on the lookout for unusual numbers of kidney failure in their patients. No pet owners were warned to watch their pets for its symptoms. And thousands and thousands of pet owners kept buying those foods and giving them to their dogs and cats.

At that point, Menu had seen a 35 percent death rate in their test-lab cats, with another 45 percent suffering kidney damage. The overall death rate for animals in Menu's tests was around 20 percent. How many pets, eating those recalled foods, had died, become ill or suffered kidney damage in the time leading up to the recall and in the days since? The answer to that hasn't changed since the day the recall was issued: We don't know.

We at Pet Connection knew the 10-15 deaths being reported by the media did not reflect an accurate count. We wanted to get an idea of the real scope of the problem, so we started a database for people to report their dead or sick pets. On March 21, two days after opening the database, we had over 600 reported cases and more than 200 reported deaths. As of March 31, the number of deaths alone was at 2,797.

There are all kinds of problems with self-reported cases, and while we did correct for a couple of them, our numbers are not considered "confirmed." But USA Today reported on March 25 that data from Banfield, a nationwide chain of over 600 veterinary hospitals, "suggests [the number of cases of kidney failure] is as high as hundreds a week during the three months the food was on the market."

On March 28, "NBC News" featured California veterinarian Paul Pion, who surveyed the 30,000 members of his national Veterinary Information Network and told anchor Tom Costello, "If what veterinarians are suspecting are cases, then it's much larger than anything we've seen before." Costello commented that it amounted to "potentially thousands of sick or dead pets."

The FDA was asked about the numbers at a press conference it held on Friday morning to announce that melamine had been found in the urine and tissues of some affected animals as well as in the foods they tested. Dr. Stephen Sundlof, director of the Center for Veterinary Medicine, told reporters that the FDA couldn't confirm any cases beyond the first few, even though they had received over 8,800 additional reports, because "we have not had the luxury of confirming these reports." They would work on that, he said, after they "make sure all the product is off the shelves." He pointed out that in human medicine, the job of defining what constitutes a confirmed case would fall to the Centers for Disease Control, but there is no CDC for animals.

Instead, pet owners were encouraged to report deaths and illness to the FDA. But when they tried to file reports, there was no place on the agency's Web site to do so and nothing but endless busy signals when people tried to call.

Veterinarians didn't fare much better. They were asked to report cases to their state veterinarian's office, but one feline veterinary blog, vetcetera, which surveyed all official state veterinarian Web sites, found that only eight had any independent information about the recall, and only 24 even mentioned it at all. Only one state, Vermont, had a request on their site for veterinarians to report pets whose illnesses or deaths they suspect are related to the recall. And as of today, there is no longer a notice that veterinarians should report suspected cases to their state veterinarians on the Web site of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

The lack of any notification system was extremely hard on veterinarians, many of whom first heard about the problem on the news or from their clients. Professional groups such as the Veterinary Information Network were crucial in disseminating information about the recall to their members, but not all vets belong to VIN, and not all vets log on to VIN on the weekend (the Menu press release, like most corporate or government bad news, was issued on a Friday).

But however difficult this recall has been for veterinarians, no one has felt its impact more than the owners of affected dogs and cats. While the pet media and bloggers continued to push the story, the most powerful force driving it was the grief of pet owners, many of them fueled by anger because they felt that their pet's death or illness wasn't being counted.

Many of them were also being driven by a feeling of guilt. At Pet Connection, we received a flood of stories from owners whose pets became ill with kidney failure, and who took them to the vet. The dogs or cats were hospitalized and treated, often at great expense -- sometimes into the thousands of dollars -- and then, when they were finally well enough, sent home.

For some, the story ended there. But for others, there was one more horrifying chapter. Because kidney failure causes nausea, it's often hard to get recovering pets to eat. So a lot of these owners got down on their hands and knees and coaxed and begged and eventually hand-fed their pets the very same food that had made them sick. Those animals ended up right back in the hospital and died, because their loving owners didn't know that the food was tainted.

To many pet owners, the pet food recall story is a personal tragedy about the potentially avoidable loss of a beloved dog or cat. Others have a hard time seeing the story as anything more than that -- with implications beyond the feelings of those grieving pet owners. Which brings us to the bigger picture, and questions -- not about what happened but about the system.

How did this problem, now involving almost every large pet food company in the United States, including some of the most trusted -- and expensive -- brands, get so out of hand? How come pet owners weren't informed more rapidly about the contaminated pet food? Why is it so hard to get accurate numbers of affected animals? Why didn't veterinarians get any notification? Where did the system break down?

The issue may not be that the system broke down, but that there isn't really a system.

There is, as the FDA pointed out, no veterinary version of the CDC. This meant the FDA kept confirming a number it had to have known was only the tip of the iceberg. It prevented veterinarians from having the information they needed to treat their patients and advise pet owners. It allowed the media to repeat a misleadingly low number, creating a false sense of security in pet owners -- and preventing a lot of people from really grasping the scope and implication of the problem.

And it was why Rosie O'Donnell felt free to comment last week on "The View": "Fifteen cats and one dog have died, and it's been all over the news. And you know, since that date, 29 soldiers have died, and we haven't heard much about them. No. I think that we have the wrong focus in the country. That when pets are killed in America from some horrific poisoning accident, 16 of them, it's all over the news and people are like, 'The kitty! It's so sad.' Twenty-nine sons and daughters killed since that day, it's not newsworthy. I don't understand."

In fact, Rosie didn't understand. She didn't understand that the same government she blames for sending America's sons and daughters to die in Iraq is the government that told her only 15 animals had died, and that the story was about a pet "poisoning accident" and not a systemic failure of FEMA-esque proportions.

Think that's going too far? Maybe not. On Sunday night, April 1, Pet Connection got a report from one of its blog readers, Joy Drawdy, who said that she had found an import alert buried on the FDA Web site. That alert, issued on Friday, the same day that the FDA held its last press conference about the recall, identified the Chinese company that is the source of the contaminated gluten -- gluten that is now known to be sold not only for use in animal feed, but in human food products, too. (The Chinese company is now denying that they are responsible, although they are investigating it.)

Although the FDA said on Friday it has no reason to think the contaminated gluten found its way into the human food supply, Sundlof told reporters that it couldn't be ruled out. He also assured us that they would notify the public as soon as they had any more information -- except, of course, that they did have more information and didn't give it to us, publishing it instead as an obscure import alert, found by chance by a concerned pet owner, which was then spread to the larger media.

All of which begs the question: If a system to report and track had been in place for animal illness, would this issue have emerged sooner? Even lacking a reporting and tracking system, if the initial news reports had included, as so many human stories do, suspected or estimated cases from credible sources, it's likely this story would have been taken more seriously and not just by Rosie O'Donnell. It may turn out that our dogs and cats were the canaries in the coal mine of an enormous system failure -- one that could have profound impacts on American food manufacturing and safety in the years to come.

Christie Keith is a contributing editor for Universal Press Syndicate's Pet Connection and past director of the Pet Care Forum on America Online. She lives in San Francisco.

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2007/04/03/petscol.DTL
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« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2007, 12:51:40 PM »

Dog biscuits added to pet food recall

Manufacturer includes broader range of production dates, FDA reports
 
Updated: 50 minutes ago
WASHINGTON - The recall of pet foods and treats contaminated with an industrial chemical expanded Thursday to include dog biscuits made by an Alabama company.

The Food and Drug Administration said Sunshine Mills Inc. is recalling dog biscuits made with imported Chinese wheat gluten. Testing has revealed the wheat gluten, a protein source, was contaminated with melamine, used to make plastics and other industrial products.

Also Thursday, Menu Foods, a major manufacturer of brand- and private-label wet pet foods expanded its original recall to include a broader range of dates, the FDA said. Menu Foods was the first of at least six companies to recall pet foods and treats made with the contaminated ingredient.

The FDA knows of no other pet product companies planning recalls, agency officials told reporters.

Sunshine, of Red Bay, Ala., sells pet foods and treats under its own brands as well as private labels sold by grocery, mass merchant and dollar stores, according to its Web site. A list of recalled products was not immediately available.

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« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2007, 09:56:02 AM »

One possibility: Pet food adulterated on purpose
Story Highlights
• NEW: Theory: Chemical may have been added deliberately to raise protein level
• NEW: FDA: We've been working round the clock since we were told of recall
• Senate to hold hearings on FDA's handling of tainted pet food
•Recall expands to include dog biscuits, more Menu Foods products

(CNN) -- Contaminants that led to a massive recall of pet food could have been added intentionally, according to one theory being considered by the Food and Drug Administration.

"Somebody may have added melamine to the wheat gluten in order to increase what appears to be the protein level," the FDA's Stephen Sundlof told CNN on Friday.

"Wheat gluten is a high-protein substance and by trying to artificially inflate the protein level, it could command a higher price. But that's just one theory at this point." (Watch theory about why anyone would deliberately adulterate pet foodVideo)

Sundlof said the agency is virtually sure the animal deaths linked to tainted pet food were caused by something that contaminated the wheat gluten, a normal ingredient of the food.

The FDA has found melamine, a component of fertilizers and plastic utensils, in the gluten, but that may not be the culprit, said Sundlof, director of the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine.

"Melamine is not very toxic as a chemical, so we're wondering why we are seeing the kinds of serious conditions, especially the kidney failure, that we're seeing in cats and dogs," he said.

"We are focusing on the melamine right now because we believe that, even if melamine is not the causative agent, it is somehow associated with the causative agent, so it serves as a marker," Sundlof said Thursday.

The recalled food has been linked to kidney failure in an undetermined number of dogs and cats. (Watch people whose pets died describe what happenedVideo)

The Senate's second-ranking Democrat announced Thursday the Senate will hold hearings on the FDA's handling of the recall.

"The FDA's response to this situation has been tragically slow," Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, told reporters in Chicago. "Pet owners deserve answers. The uncertainty about what is safe to feed their pets has gone on far too long." (Watch Durbin call response to pet food recall 'a failure'Video)

Responding on Friday, Sundlof said, "We learned of the pet food recall from the company, Menu Foods, on the evening of March 15. We were in the plant on the morning of March 16, and since then we have had more than 400 people working on this issue virtually around the clock ... identifying the one company in China that produced this material."

The original recall included more than 60 million cans of "cuts and gravy-style" wet cat food and dog food made by Menu Foods.

Since then, the recall has broadened to include some pet foods produced by Nestlé Purina PetCare Co., Del Monte Pet Products and Hill's Pet Nutrition.

And on Thursday, Sunshine Mills in Red Bay, Alabama, said 20 types of large dog biscuits are contaminated with potentially toxic wheat gluten from China. The dog-treat maker said it has received no reports of death or illness related to the products.

Company spokesman Conrad Pitts told CNN it purchased the tainted wheat gluten from The Scoular Co. of Minneapolis. Scoular officials said they bought the product from ChemNutra Inc. in Las Vegas, which recalled the tainted wheat gluten on Monday.

ChemNutra obtained it from Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development Co. Ltd., a Chinese company. (Watch how the toxic food was traced to ChinaVideo)

The FDA has embargoed further imports of the Chinese company's wheat gluten, which it has determined was contaminated with melamine. Xuzhou Anying Biologic said it was astonished by the report but that it would cooperate with the U.S. investigation.

"We have never exported to the U.S. -- we are a trading company. We don't even know how we became implicated in this matter," Mao Lijun, the company's general manager, said Friday.

Asked if the company sold wheat gluten to another Chinese company that could have exported it to America, Lijun said he could not comment since the company was going through records to establish that.

The original recall announcement for Menu Foods covered products manufactured between December 3 and March 6. But on Thursday, the Ontario-based company widened it to include products dated back to November 8. (Details on recall)

Although no new brands were added on Thursday's amended list, Menu Foods added 20 varieties of pet food to the recall in response to ChemNutra's recall announcement. About 1 percent of the U.S. pet food market has been affected by the various recalls, the FDA said.
Official figure of 16 deaths expected to grow

Sundlof acknowledged that the official count of 16 pet deaths linked to the food will increase.

"We know that there have been a lot more animals affected by this, made ill and have died," he said. "Trying to put an estimate to it at this time is just not something we can do."

He said the agency is in the process of defining how to confirm suspect cases. The FDA has received 12,000 complaints during the three weeks since the recall was announced -- a number it would typically get over two years.

"Right now, our priority is still ensuring that all contaminated product is identified and removed from store shelves," Sundlof said.

The FDA said it has no evidence that any of the questionable wheat gluten has entered the human food supply.

CNN's Katy Byron, Susie Xu and Miriam Falco contributed to this report.
 
 
 
Find this article at:
http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/04/06/pet.deaths/index.html?section=cnn_latest_
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« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2007, 10:14:47 AM »

http://www.vin.com/WebLink.plx?URL=http://www.fda.gov/opacom/7alerts.html

http://www.vin.com/promo/News/Recall/Hills_Letter_Regarding_Reimbursement.pdf


http://www.menufoods.com/recall/PRESS%20RELEASE%2004052007%20CAN.htm


http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/politics/4691151.html


http://cahfs.ucdavis.edu/

http://cahfs.ucdavis.edu/pet_food.htm
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« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2007, 04:02:09 AM »

Thousands of pets probably sickened by food
Veterinary chain’s data estimates 39,000 animals were affected

The Associated Press
Updated: 8:53 p.m. ET April 9, 2007

WASHINGTON - Pet food contaminated with an industrial chemical may have sickened or killed 39,000 cats and dogs nationwide, based on an extrapolation from data released Monday by one of the nation’s largest chains of veterinary hospitals.

Banfield, The Pet Hospital, said an analysis of its database, compiled from records collected by its more than 615 veterinary hospitals, suggests that three out of every 10,000 cats and dogs that ate the pet food contaminated with melamine developed kidney failure. There are an estimated 60 million dogs and 70 million cats in the United States, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.

The hospital chain saw 1 million dogs and cats during the three months when the more than 100 brands of now-recalled contaminated pet food were sold. It saw 284 extra cases of kidney failure among cats during that period, or a roughly 30 percent increase, when compared with background rates.

“It has meaning, when you see a peak like that. We see so many pets here, and it coincided with the recall period,” said veterinarian Hugh Lewis, who oversees the mining of Banfield’s database to do clinical studies. The chain continues to share its data with the Food and Drug Administration.

FDA officials previously have said the database compiled by the huge veterinary practice would probably provide the most authoritative picture of the harm done by the tainted cat and dog food.

From its findings, Banfield officials calculated an incidence rate of .03 percent for pets, although there was no discernible uptick among dogs. That suggests the contamination was overwhelming toxic to cats, Lewis said. That is in line with what other experts have said previously.

At least six pet food companies have recalled products made with imported Chinese wheat gluten tainted with the chemical. The recall involved about 1 percent of the overall U.S. pet food supply.

Finally tally isn't possible
Measuring the tainted food’s impact on animal health has proved an elusive goal. Previous estimates have ranged from the FDA’s admittedly low tally of roughly 16 confirmed deaths to the more than 3,000 unconfirmed cases logged by one Web site.

“On a percentage basis it’s not breathtaking, but unfortunately it’s a number that, if it was your pet that was affected, it’s too high,” veterinarian Nancy Zimmerman, Banfield’s senior medical adviser, said of the newly estimated incidence rate.

In another estimate Monday, the founder of a veterinary group said 5,000 to 10,000 pets may have fallen ill from eating the contaminated food, and 1,000 to 2,000 may have died.

The estimate was based on a Veterinary Information Network survey of 1,400 veterinarians among its 30,000 members. About one-third reported at least one case, said Paul Pion, the Network’s founder. He cautioned that a final, definitive tally isn’t possible, and that even his estimate could be halved — or doubled.

“Nobody is ever going to know the truth,” Pion said. “It’s always going to be a guess.”

Also Monday, the Web site petconnection.com said it had received reports of 3,598 pet deaths, split almost evenly between dogs and cats. The site cautioned that the numbers were unconfirmed.

Banfield’s veterinarians treat an estimated 6 percent of the nation’s cats and dogs. After the first recall was announced, the chain beefed up its software to allow those veterinarians to plug in extra epidemiological information to help track cases, Zimmerman said.

The new template allowed vets to log what a sick pet had eaten, any symptoms its owner may have noticed, the results of a physical examination, any urine and blood test results and other observations.

Lewis said there is no reason to believe the company’s findings — including an apparently heightened vulnerability of kittens to the contaminant — wouldn’t hold for other veterinary practices as well.

No CDC for pets
In outbreaks of foodborne disease in humans, the FDA leans on its sister agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to help track and confirm cases. During the ongoing pet food scare, FDA officials have repeatedly reminded the nation that there is no CDC for dogs and cats.

A spokesman for the American Veterinary Medical Association said the lack of hard numbers has worried pet owners eager to understand the extent of the problem. He suggested the recall could spur the creation of an animal counterpart to the CDC.

“This might be something that would push this in the future,” AVMA spokesman Michael San Filippo said.

Another large veterinary chain, Los Angeles-based VCA Antech Inc., has not tallied reports from its nearly 400 VCA animal hospitals around the country, a spokesman said.
© 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18029173/wid/11915773?GT1=9303
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« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2007, 04:24:47 AM »

It's unbelievable ... the list goes on and on!... Angry
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« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2007, 08:40:14 AM »

It is ironic that a lot of vets and other uneducated people say that "raw will kill your pet" yet kibble has caused more deaths/illnesses than raw ever has.

This one hasn't made it to the list of recalls yet:



Marin case confirms new tainted pet food
Jim Staats
Marin Independent Journal
Article Launched:04/09/2007 07:34:24 PM PDT

Scientists at a state animal health laboratory confirmed Monday that a popular brand of pet food submitted for testing by Marin veterinarians was indeed contaminated, even though it is not on a growing list of recalled pet foods.

The pet food apparently sickened a cat owned by a Greenbrae woman. The cat has slowly recovered and was returned to its home on Monday.

At the request of the Mill Valley Pet Clinic, three varieties of Nutro Max Cat Gourmet Classics, in 3-ounce cans, were tested by the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System at the University of California Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

The food tested positive for melamine, which has been found in wheat gluten imported from China. Melamine is used to make plastics and other industrial products.

Tests were ordered by the Mill Valley Pet Clinic after the cat was diagnosed with acute renal failure on March 26. UC Davis officials supplied the test results to the Mill Valley Pet Clinic, but declined comment.

"We do not discuss results from specific testing with third parties," said Birgit Puschner, of the lab's toxicology department.

Dr. Marianne Willis, veterinarian at Mill Valley Pet Clinic, said the UC lab "doesn't want to be in the middle of all this. They said since we ordered the test and paid for it, we were free to do what we want with it."

She said clinic veterinarians were notifying the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the food manufacturer of the tainted food.

Last week, the FDA added dog biscuit manufacturer Sunshine Mills Inc. to a growing list of companies that have recalled more than 100 brands of pet foods and treats made with imported Chinese wheat gluten.

Several varieties of Nutro Products brand pet food - including 3-ounce food pouches for cats, 5.3-ounce pouches for dogs and 12.5-ounce cans for dogs - are either on the FDA's list or on Nutro's own list at its Web site, www.nutroproducts.com. But the lists do not include the 3-ounce cans for cats.

The canned cat food that tested positive for melamine at UC Davis were the Lamb & Turkey Cutlets, California Chicken Supreme and Chicken Cacciatore.

A Nutro spokesman could not be reached for comment Monday.

The overall recall covers "cuts and gravy"-style products made between Nov. 8 and March 6 from a select variety of popular brands including Iams, Hy-Vee, Nutro, Paws and private label brands sold by Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Kmart and Longs Drug Stores.

Last week, the FDA said 21 pet food samples obtained from consumers tested positive for melamine. The recall is one of the largest pet food recalls in history, according to Stephen Sundlof, director of the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine. The FDA has received more than 12,000 complaints but has confirmed only about 15 pet deaths.

Mill Valley Pet Clinic officials ordered the food sample test for Cleo, an 11-year-old domestic short-hair cat brought to their office last month after she stopped eating. She was rushed to the Pet Emergency and Specialty Center of Marin in San Rafael.

Kellie Little, Cleo's owner, said she purchased the food from Pet Club in Corte Madera on March 19. She said she has been in contact with Nutro officials about six times over the past two weeks, but she was told that only the cat food in pouches had been recalled, not the canned cat food. She provided two samples to the company's office in addition to the samples sent to UC Davis.

Little's cat has slowly recovered under constant veterinary care, and she brought Cleo home Monday.

"I feel it's kind of a victory that we may be able to save some other cats' lives," Little said of Monday's test results.

When it comes to specific pet foods on the recall list, "we're getting updates every day," said Dr. Chris Rodi, Pet Emergency and Specialty Center of Marin.

NUTRA MAX CAT GOURMET CLASSICS

The following three 3-ounce varieties tested positive for melamine by UC Davis:

- Chicken Cacciatore, UPC 79105352055

- California Chicken Supreme, UPC 79105300117

- Lamb & Turkey Cutlets, UPC 79105300148
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« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2007, 10:48:19 AM »

39,000!  Cry

Thanks for keeping us updated w/all this info.
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« Reply #18 on: April 11, 2007, 05:34:18 AM »

http://www.petconnection.com/recall/index.php

Update 4/10, 5:12 a.m. PT: 3,730 pets have been reported as deceased to our PetConnection database. Of these, 1,938 are cats, and 1,1792 are dogs. Total reports of all owner-suspected cases of food-related illness: 11,703. These are self-reported numbers, and should be in no way be considered confirmed or "official." But if even a fraction can be confirmed, they show deaths far exceeding the FDA's count of 16 pets, most of whom died in a manufacturers feeding trial.

Other sources also support higher numbers, including state numbers from the Oregon State Public Health Veterinarian (40 cases, April 6) and the Michigan State Veterinary Association (46 dead, April 6), as well as a sampling of all U.S. and Canadian veterinarians from the independent Veterinary Information Network. (4/10: our post or the Sacramento Bee story; need a log-in?).

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« Reply #19 on: April 16, 2007, 06:38:30 AM »

(I will be offline for a bit, but will continue to post any updates on this tragedy)

http://www.itchmo.com/read/natural-balance-pulling-venison-dry-dog-formula_20070415


BREAKING NEWS: Natural Balance Pulling Venison Formulas


Itchmo has confirmed an email from Natural Balance that they are removing two products from sale:

    * Venison and Brown Rice Dry Dog Formula
    * Venison and Green Pea Dry Dog Cat Formula

These products do not contain wheat gluten. No deaths or serious illnesses have been reported and no recall warning has been issued. The warning applies only to products sold in the last week, according to Natural Balance.

    Please know that at this time we are removing this product from the shelves, as we have had some phone calls indicating gastric upset after eating this formula. At this time, we are unsure if this could just be a particular batch problem, or simply customers switching diets too fast. However, in the meantime while we are looking further into this matter, we are not recommending to feed this formula, and are suggesting to feed our Potato and Duck or Sweet Potato and Fish Dry Dog Formula.
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Getbig IV
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« Reply #20 on: April 16, 2007, 06:44:20 AM »

http://www.pnv2.com/index.html

  Please click on the above link for more information


Welcome to Pets Need A Voice Too!
This is the new home for the KeepOurPetsSafe (KOPS) Nationwide March.
Please bookmark our site and check back often for updates.

We are marching in memory of our pets that have lost their lives, we are marching in memory of those pets that are fighting for their lives, we march as pet owners, dog lovers, cat lovers and average citizens that are tired of the lowered safety standards for goods coming in to this country.


The latest numbers
04/13/07. . . FDA: MORE THAN 13,000 REPORTS
Petconnection.com (as of 04/13/07; 6:30 a.m. PDT):  4,069 dead - (2,099 cats; 1,970 dogs)
PETCONNECTION: 12,663 Total Reports


http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2007/04/pet_food_recall26.html



Abigail, Alex and Allie (June 15, 2001- Feb. 17, 2007)



 
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Getbig IV
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I be dead and stinkin up teh place!!


« Reply #21 on: April 17, 2007, 01:29:22 PM »

I don't use this poison, but for those that do:


> Just an head's-up:
>
> Dr Andrew Jones, DVM, he issued a warning with regard to Heartguard Chewables
> today.
>
> He states that he's recently heard that this product may soon be recalled and
> he suspects it may be due to this product containing wheat gluten as a binder
> to hold the pill together.
>
> To avoid a potential problem for those of you who use a heartworm
> preventative, he suggests switching to Interceptor (his opinion, not mine. Smiley )
>
> If anyone's dog is on any type of medication, it would be prudent to check
> not only with your vet, but also with the manufacturer what the binder is.
> Heck. The way things are going, you may as well include human medication into
> that too.
>
> Just so everyone is aware of a potential problem . . .



 UPDATE:

  A friend of mine called Merial (the manufacturer of the product). She spoke with Kelle Straw. Kelle said there is no wheat gluten in Heartguard, nor has there ever been any. Anyone wishing to confirm this can call Kelle directly. She is head of their media department: 678-638-3687.

Permission given by Kelle to cross post and distribute.
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Princess L
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« Reply #22 on: April 17, 2007, 08:48:15 PM »

I don't use this poison, but for those that do:


Why do you not use heartworm prevention?
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:
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Getbig IV
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« Reply #23 on: April 18, 2007, 05:36:24 AM »

Why do you not use heartworm prevention?

Princess, I have replied and put some info in the Vaccination thread.  Smiley
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Getbig IV
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« Reply #24 on: April 18, 2007, 06:22:41 AM »

It's not just wheat gluten!!!!!

http://www.fda.gov/oc/po/firmrecalls/naturalbalance04_07.html


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- Pacoima, CA -- April 17, 2007 --  Natural Balance, Pacoima, CA, is issuing a voluntary nationwide recall for all of its Venison dog products and the dry Venison cat food only, regardless of date codes. The recalled products include Venison and Brown Rice canned and bagged dog foods, Venison and Brown Rice dog treats, and Venison and Green Pea dry cat food. Recent laboratory results show that the products contain melamine. We believe the source of the melamine is a rice protein concentrate. Natural Balance has confirmed this morning that some production batches of these products may contain melamine.

The recall was prompted by consumer complaints received by Natural Balance involving a small number of cats and dogs that developed kidney failure after eating the affected product.

Dogs or cats who have consumed the suspect food and show signs of kidney failure (such as loss of appetite, lethargy and vomiting) should be seen by a veterinarian. We recommend our customers immediately stop feeding our recalled venison products regardless of date code and return unused product to their retailer for a full refund.

The products are packaged in bags, cans and zip lock treat bags and sold in pet specialty stores and PetCo nationally.

No other Natural Balance products are involved in this voluntary recall as none of our other formulas include the rice protein concentrate.

Although the problems seem to be focused on a particular production period of the venison products, over the last four days we have notified our distributors and retailers by phone and e-mail to immediately stop selling and return all recalled Venison dog foods and treats and the Venison dry cat food. Venison canned cat food is not involved.

The source of the melamine appears to be a rice protein concentrate, which was recently added to the dry venison formulas. Natural Balance does not use wheat gluten, which was associated with the previous melamine contamination.

None of Natural Balance's other dry formulas, none of our other canned or roll products and none of our other treats are involved with this voluntary recall.

We continue to work closely with the FDA in their ongoing investigation.

Consumers with questions may contact the company at 1-800-829-4493 or visit the website at www.naturalbalance.net.

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