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David Baxter

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FDA Investigating Animal Deaths as Pet Food Recall Continues
By Steven Reinberg, HealthDay News
Monday, March 19, 2007

Officials at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday said they are "still very early" into their investigation of as many as nine domestic cats and one dog died within a few days of consuming moist pet food made by a Canadian company.

The deaths have spurred a massive recall of more than 60 million packages of "cuts-and-gravy" style dog and cat food involving some of the best-known brand names.

"So far, we have not identified any causes of kidney failure," Dr. Stephen F. Sundlof, director of the Center for Veterinary Medicine at the FDA, stressed in a press conference held late Monday. "These could include mold and heavy metals. It appears that some of the food may have been contaminated from an outside source."

The company, Ontario-based Menu Foods Inc., had suggested the illnesses might be linked to their use of a new supplier of wheat gluten, a protein used in the foods. The FDA officials said they weren't sure if wheat gluten is responsible or which company supplied the wheat gluten.

In addition, the agency is not sure that only pet food was contaminated. "Right now we don't think people are at risk," Sundlof said.

The reported deaths were limited to pets that took part in a product taste trial conducted by the company, according to U.S. health officials. The FDA at the teleconference said the agency had no reports of other pet deaths as a result of the tainted food.

The company announced the recall over the weekend for pet food made at a plant in Emporia, Kan., and another in New Jersey between Dec. 3, 2006, and March 6, 2007.

According to Sundlof, the recall involves almost 1 percent of all the pet food sold in the United States.

The recall involves moist-variety pet food only, sold in sealed packets in the United States, Canada and Mexico under 50 brand names of dog food and 40 brand names of cat food.

The brands being recalled include Iams, Science Diet, America's Choice, Preferred Pets, Eukanuba, and Nutriplan. The stores that sold them include Ahold USA Inc., Kroger Company, Safeway, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., PetSmart Inc., and Pet Valu Inc. A full list can be seen at the Menu Foods Web site.

The cause of the deaths among the affected pets has not been determined, although all of those that died developed kidney failure after eating the affected product, the FDA said. The test involved 40 to 50 dogs and cats, the agency noted, adding that Menu Foods has started testing the pet food in question, but so far also has not found the source of the problem.

One animal expert was fairly astounded at the death toll from the test itself. "Anything that has a 25 percent mortality rate is very dangerous, " said Steven Hansen, a veterinarian with the ASPCA's animal poison control center in New York City.

Speaking with The New York Times, Menu Foods spokeswoman Sarah Tuite said the timing of the deaths has been linked to the company's use of a new supplier of wheat gluten. She did not name the supplier, but said that the company switched to another supplier of wheat gluten as of March 6.

Dogs or cats that have eaten the suspect food and show signs of kidney failure should be taken to a veterinarian. According to the FDA, kidney failure in animals is characterized by loss of appetite, lethargy and vomiting.

The agency is also requesting that people with sick or deceased pets who believe their pet might have consumed one of the implicated products contact a state complaint coordinator. A list of coordinators can be accessed at the FDA Web site.

"We are very pleased (Menu Foods) are putting the alert out before they really determine what is happening," said Stephanie Shain, director of outreach, the Humane Society of the United States.

The FDA and the Humane Society advise consumers who have any of these products to stop feeding them to their pets.

"People should check the web site to see if you have any of the food on the recall list," Shain said. "If you have any of the brands that are listed, you should stop giving it to your pet and contact the company."

Menu Foods is notifying retailers and is arranging for the return of all recalled products. The FDA is conducting an investigation and working with Menu Foods to ensure the effectiveness of the recall. In addition to their Web site, Menu Foods has a consumer recall hotline at 1-866-895-2708.

Tuite said her company will compensate the owners of pets that died, but did not mention a sum, the Times reported.
 

David Baxter

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Recalled Cat Product Information
Recall Information 1-866-895-2708

  1. Americas Choice, Preferred Pets
  2. Authority
  3. Best Choice
  4. Companion
  5. Compliments
  6. Demoulas Market Basket
  7. Eukanuba
  8. Fine Feline Cat
  9. Food Lion
  10. Foodtown
  11. Giant Companion
  12. Hannaford
  13. Hill Country Fare
  14. Hy-Vee
  15. Iams
  16. Laura Lynn
  17. Li'l Red
  18. Loving Meals
  19. Meijer's Main Choice
  20. Nutriplan
  21. Nutro Max Gourmet Classics
  22. Nutro Natural Choice
  23. Paws
  24. Pet Pride
  25. Presidents Choice
  26. Price Chopper
  27. Priority US
  28. Save-A-Lot
  29. Schnucks
  30. Science Diet Feline Savory Cuts Cans
  31. Sophistacat
  32. Special Kitty Canada
  33. Special Kitty US
  34. Springfield Prize
  35. Sprout
  36. Stop & Shop Companion
  37. Tops Companion
  38. Wegmans
  39. Weis Total Pet
  40. Western Family US
  41. White Rose
  42. Winn Dixie
 

David Baxter

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Messages
37,760
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Recalled Dog Product Information
Recall Information 1-866-895-2708

  1. Americas Choice, Preferred Pets
  2. Authority
  3. Award
  4. Best Choice
  5. Big Bet
  6. Big Red
  7. Bloom
  8. Wegmans Bruiser
  9. Cadillac
  10. Companion
  11. Demoulas Market Basket
  12. Eukanuba
  13. Food Lion
  14. Giant Companion
  15. Great Choice
  16. Hannaford
  17. Hill Country Fare
  18. Hy-Vee
  19. Iams
  20. Laura Lynn
  21. Loving Meals
  22. Meijers Main Choice
  23. Mighty Dog Pouch
  24. Mixables
  25. Nutriplan
  26. Nutro Max
  27. Nutro Natural Choice
  28. Nutro Ultra
  29. Nutro
  30. Ol'Roy Canada
  31. Ol'Roy US
  32. Paws
  33. Pet Essentials
  34. Pet Pride - Good n Meaty
  35. Presidents Choice
  36. Price Chopper
  37. Priority Canada
  38. Priority US
  39. Publix
  40. Roche Brothers
  41. Save-A-Lot
  42. Schnucks
  43. Shep Dog
  44. Springsfield Prize
  45. Sprout
  46. Stater Brothers
  47. Weis Total Pet
  48. Western Family US
  49. White Rose
  50. Winn Dixie
  51. Your Pet
 

David Baxter

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Messages
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Points
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Pet Food Recall Widens After Toxin Found
By Steven Reinberg
Saturday, March 31, 2007

SUNDAY, April 1 (HealthDay News) -- The massive pet food recall widened over the weekend to include two major brands of moist dog food, pet snacks, and, for the first time, a brand of dry cat food.

Food giant Del Monte announced late Saturday that it was recalling a number of dog and cat foods from its Pet Products division. These include select product codes from Jerky Treats, Gravy Train Beef Sticks and Pounce Meaty Morsels brands. Dog snacks and wet dog food products sold under private label brands have also been recalled, the company said on its Web site, delmonte.com.

Del Monte joined Nestle Purina and Hill's Pet Nutrition in recalling selected pet foods over the weekend for fear they were processed with imported wheat gluten that was tainted.

The recalls followed a report by U.S. health officials Friday that melamine, a toxin used in fertilizer in China and plastic in the United States, had been found in imported wheat gluten used in moist pet food made by Menu Foods. Menu Foods recalled more than 60 million cans and pouches of moist pet food nationwide March 6 after reports of animal illness and death.

Del Monte strongly suggested that people stop feeding their pets the listed products and said purchases would be refunded after consumers contact the company at 800) 949-3799.

Melamine was also found in Prescription Diet m/d Feline dry cat food, made by Hill's Pet Nutrition and sold only through veterinarians, the FDA said Friday night. This was the first time any dry pet food has been involved.

That announcement coincided with a voluntary recall by Nestle Purina PetCare Co. of all sizes and varieties of Alpo Prime Cuts in Gravy, which the company said may also contain melamine.

Hill's of Topeka, Kansas, has begun recalling Prescription Diet m/d Feline dry cat food, the FDA said in a prepared statement. The company had, for a two-month period, made the cat food with wheat gluten from the same China company that supplied Ontario-based Menu Foods, the FDA said.

Nestle Purina of St. Louis, Mo., said in its own statement that it was recalling the Alpo cans and pouches because it learned that it also received wheat gluten from the same company.

"The contamination occurred in a limited production quantity at only one of Purina's 17 pet food manufacturing facilities," the Nestle statement added.

The dog food being recalled involves 13.2-ounce and 22-ounce Alpo Prime Cuts cans and 6-, 8-, 12- and 24-can Alpo Prime Cuts Variety Packs with 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, the company said.

Consumers should immediately stop feeding their dogs these specific Alpo products and consult with a veterinarian if they have any health concerns with their pet, the company added.

The cat food being recalled is labeled Prescription Diet m/d Feline dry food. The products are: 4 lb. bag, U.S. & Canada UPC code 52742 42770; 10 lb. bag, U.S. & Canada UPC code 52742 42790. Consumers may contact Hills Pet Nutrition at 1-800-445-5777 or at www.HillsPet.com.

The FDA warns that any cat owner who has bags of Prescription Diet m/d Feline should stop using them. In addition, they should see their veterinarian if their pet shows any signs of kidney illness, include loss of appetite, lethargy and vomiting.

Dr. Stephen F. Sundlof, director of the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine, said during a Friday news conference that the FDA still hasn't determined how melamine got into the wheat gluten.

The FDA, he said, is currently inspecting all foreign shipments of wheat gluten and tracing those shipments that have already entered the United States.

Last week, New York State official said that the rodent poison aminopterin had been found in samples of the recalled food. However, Sundlof said Friday, further testing by the FDA and others have failed to confirm the presence of the poison in the pet food.

The pet food scare began March 6 with a nationwide recall of more than 60 million cans and packages of moist cat and dog food made by Menu Foods for a number of name-brand companies.

According to published reports, Menu Foods has said that 16 animals died. The Veterinary Information Network said earlier this week that at least 471 cases of pet kidney failure have been reported and more than 100 pets have died.

To date, Sundlof said Friday, the FDA has received 8,800 calls reporting kidney failure in cats and dogs. However, none of these cases has been confirmed, he added.

For more information on pet food, visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
 
Joined
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I'm wondering if this is what happened to my kittycat. :( :( We've bought Save-A-Lot wet food and Special Kitty in the few months.
 

ThatLady

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Nov 4, 2004
Messages
4,104
Points
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Thankfully, my finicky felines don't eat any of the products that have been implicated to date. I watch the additions to the lists very carefully, but none of my herd has shown any symptoms. Of course, I have one cat that eats, primarily, shrimp. Not cat food shrimp. Real FREAKING, EXPENSIVE SHRIMP!

She does eat some canned cat food and a bit of dry, but she insists on a shrimp or two daily. Lovely creature. NOT!
 

sunset

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Feb 22, 2006
Messages
607
Points
16
This is really scary. I think my sister will start having to cook people food for the dog. I know a lot of people are thinking of this now, because they are scared and dont really know how or why this is happening.
I saw on another forum, and lady who cooks chicken, peas, carrots, in bulk, and now feeds her dog that. I am probably missing a couple of ingredients, but you get the idea...
What is this world coming too?
 

Daniel

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What is this world coming too?

What surprised me was that this happened not long after the bagged spinach and Peter Pan peanut butter recalls.
 

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