update ii : emergency pet food recall


pet food recallWell, they say they have found —

The culprit responsible for the emergency recall of 60 million or so cans and pouches of pet food spanning almost 100 brands of dog and cat food — numbers attributable to MENU FOODS being the sole supplier for an enormous number of different brand labels’ contents. Interestingly, “They” is not Menu Foods. “They” is New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker and Dr. Donald Smith, dean of Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, who issued a JOINT STATEMENT Friday after initiating an independent investigation Menu Foods played no role in.

“Rat poison.” “Cancer treatment.” “Chinese wheat.” That is what people are saying it is all about. “AMINOPTERIN,” a chemical used some places to kill rodents, and others to treat cancer patients. [I am so glad I am not a cancer patient. Or rodent.] And allegedly nowhere in the United States or Canada, two of the three countries hit. Mexico being the third.

[Someone needs to ask if aminopterin is manufactured in the United States. Plenty of stuff we allegedly do not use in the U.S. — can anyone spell DDT? — we still manufacture here, we just ship it — we say — other places. Anyone asked that question yet?]

While a majority of news reports have habitually reported nominal numbers of animals effected and/or killed by the Menu Foods incident, [anything ranging from 10-16 fatalities in most reports — based on Menu Foods’ lab reports], on March 22 THE ANIMAL MEDICAL CENTER IN NEW YORK CITY reported they were already aware of 200 cases and expected thousands of pets to eventually be affected. [ABC NEWS : DOCTORS CAUTION THOUSANDS MORE PET DEATHS EXPECTED].

That is just one veterinary facility in one city in the U.S. You do that math. The last count of self reported pet fatalities on PET CONNECTION was 1,188 deaths. [713 cats | 475 dogs]

Other contaminants mold and heavy metal have been ruled out. However, while aminopterin has been identified in recalled pet food, vets are not all convinced aminopterin is the only contaminant present : ABC NEWS : SOME VETS REMAIN SKEPTICAL :

Some veterinary experts say they are still skeptical as to whether the chemical is responsible for the kidney damage the pets endured.

“With the information that we have, none of us feel that this product fits the lesions we are seeing, but there may be information we don’t know yet,” said Lawrence McGill, a veterinary pathologist in Salt Lake City. “The feeling is that there are more questions than answers with this product.”

“Renal failure is not the expected response to these drugs,” said Susan Weinstein, executive director of the Massachusetts Veterinary Medical Association. She added that most rodent poisons work as severe anticoagulants — meaning they cause the rats that ingest them to bleed to death.

“Whether this particular toxin in this case can create renal failure depends on how this drug works in the body, which may be an entirely different pathway than the anticoagulants,” Weinstein said. “Because we aren’t yet familiar with this toxin, we can’t be confident of the causation link.”

Investigators also have not yet determined whether aminopterin is the only contaminant in recalled food.

“If it is not the only culprit, as I suspect, the problem isn’t over,” McGill said, adding that it is also uncertain as to whether the finding will be much help to veterinarians.

According to McGill, even if the aminopterin is the culprit, “most veterinarians have never heard of this product. There will need to be more information put out to suggest therapeutic regimens.”

There are still a lot of glaring questions here. For starters, is aminopterin the sole cause of the animal fatalities and illnesses? Why did it take a lab less than a week to identify poison in Menu Foods pet food, but Menu Foods over a month to even ascertain anything might be wrong with food after reports of fatalities reached the company from consumers and vets? And why didn’t a single Menu Foods production facility stop production during investigations or the pet food recall?

It is kind of difficult to take a company seriously that professes concern over the discovery of contaminated food on one hand, while continuing to manufacture and distribute the food on the other.


UPDATE : EMERGENCY PET FOOD RECALL 03.21.07 [this includes a list of recalled foods as well as links to sources for information on feline and canine renal failure and the fda’s posting on the pet food recall]

EMERGENCY PET FOOD RECALL 03.17.07 [this includes the original posting and discussion on the pet food recall]









• Increased water intake
• Increased volumes of urination
• Unwillingness to eat
• Vomiting
• Lethargy
• Eating litter [cats]

Animals exhibiting these symptoms should be taken for veterinary care immediately.


Pooks posted a pretty INTERESTING PIECE on just who is selling wheat to Menu Foods — while simultaneously funding the war on Iraq and buying up the U.S. And oh yeah, who owns Wal-Mart? I do not think that proves the Chinese just poisoned all those dogs and cats. I do think it means they paid a lot of advertising dollars into FOX NEWS. The biggest propoganda arm the current White House regime has. Wow. Thanks, Chinese Guys. We really needed four more years of Bush. Zee has posted a LETTER FROM PETA about the recall. I do not approve of all of PETA’s methods. But hey, the idea is right. Protect animals. Animals cannot protect themselves.



EDIT 04.02.07 : If you are looking for a list of foods that is safe for dogs and cats, and that list is shrinking daily, I do not have that list but NATURA FOODS FOR DOGS AND CATS APPEAR SAFE


42 Responses to update ii : emergency pet food recall

  1. Pingback: update : emergency pet food recall « celluloid blonde

  2. Pingback: Food recalls - now it's your dog's or cat's food « OY GIRL

  3. I think we should answer all the questions and get to the truth. Then hold the violators responsible.

  4. Angela

    My 15 year old lab died last month. Why? The vet claims fluid in the chest. But he stopped eating and drinking water. Didn’t move. He was eating Nutro dry dog food. The vet claims it came on “suddenly.” No warning. We then gave him gravy dog food to get him to eat. So we’re unsure why he died. In fact, no one will know until we hear more, or as I say, the real facts will come out. I will bet every dollar I have that there is MORE contamination with this recall. Why did it take three months to hear about this poisoning by CHINA? The food was contaminated since Dec. 2006. My family now has a new lab. We paid $850 and are training her again. Keep in mind, families with pets, especially dogs, give them training. This is costly. A good dog, requires special care, food and training. Imagine if our dear lab was a service dog? What would the cost be to replace him then? These dogs cost $50K up to replace. It is not like going to the pound and getting a replacement.

    I am so upset. Now I hear on my local news (not national) as well as international (Canadian) that it “might” be in the human food supply? They can’t rule this out? Let’s see. Where is our Homeland Security dept? Where is our Dept. of Agriculture?

    I read last week that one of the US processing plants for dog food which was part of this recall was located in Kansas. Apparently, this same plant was fined years ago for contaminated cow food, and the FDA or dept of agriculture had to intervene and warn them not to mix certain feed in their product for cattle.

    Mad cow?

    There is definitely more to come from this CHINA poisoning.

    I don’t believe anything they tell me.

    My otherwise healthy lab is gone and I’m now left wondering who is watching out for Americans!

    Washington, State

  5. With everything going on in the world right now, don’t you wonder if this might be the most overblown, over-publicized, feckless issue to be drug out in the media (short of britney, of course)? Horribly unfortunate, certainly, but still?

    The recall was swift and effective. Fifteen cats and one dog died (according to most reports). Just out of curiosity, anyone know how many Iraqi children died today?

  6. max

    The recall was slow, postponed for a month when it should have been immediate, and too little too late. Reports of ten to sixteen animals dying are based on ten to sixteen animals dying at Menu Foods in a lab – not on household pet and working dog figures — during the month Menu Foods postponed action and, rather than pulling product or doing any scientific testing, fed the food to 50 healthy animals in a “let’s see what happens” experiment. They got a 20% mortality rate in a month. That food was on shelves three months.

    Thousands of animals are dead. Likely, thousands more will be dead. The press is not covering it well, is basing most reports on press releases from Menu Foods, which is not forthcoming, and the only news source that seems to have made an initial effort to speak to veterinarians and get any actual figures is ABC News.

    Animals are companions, guardians, and one of the saving graces of humanity, as one of our only good qualities seems to be our ability to bridge gaps between species that would normally be predator and prey. Something we are apparently unable to do with each other, but can at times pull off with other creatures. They guard our homes. Calm our fears. Comfort our tears. Lead our blind. Defend us with their lives. And, in times of catastrophe, walk through the burned and blackened rubble to find our dead and injured.

    No. I do not think this is overblown.

  7. max

    Yes. Small children are dying. This does not lessen small animals dying. One attrocity does not invalidate another.

  8. max

    Angela, I am so sorry for your loss.

  9. Well, actually one does outweigh the other when you weigh in the fact that your stats are based on speculation and hype. Perhaps cook the little darlings some ground beef until the scare subsides and await the actual facts of the matter. Just an idea. Conspiracy killed the cat.

  10. Concerned about priorities

    The latest stats from the Iraq war in terms of dead Iraqi civillians is “59,408″. And youre talking about “thousands dead” in terms of pets. Where exactly you’re getting that number, I’d be very curious to know. But as far as you saying that human-animal relations are “Bridging the gap” between “predator and prey” is almost child-like in its simplistic viewpoint. Almost infantile is it’s narrow minded scope.

    Of course we can have “relationships” with dogs, dogs show affection unconditionally, you can beat the hell out of a dog, and it will still lick your face. You can leave a dog outside in a dog house every single day for years at a time, and it will still wag its tail and jump on you affectionally, as though you were a savoir sent from Heaven to warm it with its glow.

    How you can say that the ability to have a relationship with a DOG is somehow “divinely bliss” is beyond me.

    People that tend to place the value on an animal near or above the value of a human being, because animals somehow manage to “love” us no matter what, tend to be missing the point. A child that is beaten, molested and abused in numerous despicable ways, will still “love” and show affection to thier abusers, but that by no means would be a seen as a “saving grace of humanity” relationship.

    I’ve counted at least 2 posts on this blog dealing with a “Pet food recall” as the focal point, and the holocaustic tradgedy that may have resulted in “thousands” of pet deaths, (though I do not see the source of that stat anywhere on this blog) but I have yet to find even one post about the innocent deaths that were directly the result of people MURDERING innocent HUMAN beings,(this pet food fiasco, however tragic was not malicious)so judging from the ratio of “Pet food” posts to number of deaths caused, (again, disputable) I should be expecting the next 50 posts to be soley concerned with the number of dead civillians in Iraq.


  11. max

    Well. Thank you for stopping by and attempting to dictate a topic to me. Tragically, the title of the blog is celluloid blonde and the name at the top is max so, you know, max gets to pick the topics.

    And this topic is not the war in Iraq.

    This topic is the emergency pet food recall.

  12. Concerned about priorities

    At any rate, I’m stil curious as to where you got this “thousands” of pet deaths relating directly to the pet food poisoning.

    And I know this is only a blog, but since you didn’t qualify it with “in my opinion” or “I have heard” I’d have to assume that it is some “factual statistic” you actually read somewhere.

  13. max

    Well this is bad timing I just ran out of Diet Cokes and have to run out here but those numbers come from the pet connection reports coming in from individual pet owners, reports from people on bulletin boards who have been speaking to the FDA, and from an estimation of how wide this is going to go if one veterinary facility in one city already has a dead count of 200 they have caught. And those links are all included in the posts here, you just are not looking real hard.

    Look. By getting information out, I can save animals. Mostly I do not get involved in situations because mostly I cannot save anyone or anything. But this? I can save some animals here and I am going to do that. So. You can help. Or you can get out of the way. But do not rage at me. I do not have time or patience for that.

  14. Concerned about priorities

    [this has been cut for being malicious, misleading, and non-helpful]

  15. max

    Okay. Let me put this another way in terms you may perhaps understand.

    How dare you show up on my site and mock people’s grief and pain and talk about priorities when the blog post on WordPress with the biggest visits at the moment is a post about how to make a pretty iWebsite.

    You want to yell at someone for not posting what you consider meaningful issues? Go yell at the iWebsite guy for not posting about the Iraq war it seems to me in the grand scheme of things that merits a hell of a lot less concern than even my shallow posts.

    And show some fucking compassion you droid. Angela’s dog just died. Tell her you are sorry for her loss like a normal person would.

  16. Concerned about priorities

    Angela I am a droid I apologize and am sorry for your loss.

  17. Ah, for fuck’s sake, can’t anyone have more than one issue?

    Look at Max’s other websites, she’s not only concerned about pets, she’s blogged or written on one of her other websites about the war, Bush, Fox News, animals, etc.

    She does more than talk, she takes action and gets others involved. Just go check out her websites. Regarding the people dead in Iraq, we are all on the same page with that.

    But today, it’s pet food recall day. Suck it up.

  18. max

    Eh. That was someone voted off the island coming after me personally under a phony ident. I had to check and block ip’s which is way tiresome. And am going to have to prune it so people with animal issues know they can talk here without getting attacked. It is awful enough to have your animal die. Then if you talk about it you get attacked for grieving? Sigh. What is wrong with people?

    [Okay do not answer that it is rhetorical.]

  19. Whether some people feel it is justified or not, the fact is that we love our pets. I don’t think anyone here has said anything about putting animals lives above peoples lives.

    Your argument just doesn’t hold up logically – because obviously, it makes perfect sense that the only thing anyone is allowed to talk or care about is the war. No one is saying that the poisoned food is on the same par as a war that has taken “59,408” lives. At the same time it’s pointless to get offended that people are concerned about their pets. and a bit assinine.

    Personally, I love my cat and this whole scandal has opened my eyes to how dangerous processed food can be, even for a cat. It is making me really consider making my own food for him. For purely selfish reasons of course.

  20. Oh, that one, the voted off the island guy…
    He better not come to my blog. It is heavily booby trapped.

  21. max

    Yeah. I have been a lot of places, but I do not readily recall being called so many names before in my life. I am sure it has happened. But jeez.

  22. max

    Sumbum thank you for contributing. Your Little Rabble Rouser post so cracked me up.

  23. Oh, I missed that. I already feel like I need to go wash my eyes from that guy.

  24. max

    No. You need to focus on pets. That guy does not matter. We are here about pets.

    Have you seen Sumbum’s enormously cute cat? This is a cat that totaly got photo’d, right or wrong, with streamers and beer bottles. Yay!

    EngTech’s cat is totally cute too. EngTech just does not post here. Damn you EngTech, now I have to find a link.

  25. Thanks for fighting the good fight, Max.

    And post more about global warming. Have you no conscience at all?!?

    (Okay, I’m going, I’m going!)

  26. Wow, I go away for a brief period of time, come back and resume position and voila! I miss all the good stuff. Sheesh.

    Angela, I am sorry for your loss, too.

    And I’ll refrain from making bad jokes about Chinese food and pets.

  27. I feel for the of loss of her dog, so sorry for Angela. I really hope that we don’t find this tainted wheat somehow was used in those cheap ass cookies sold to our kds in every dollar store in Kansas or the freaking school lunch program across the country.

  28. max

    Pooks you crack me up.

  29. Max, do you ever compare IP addresses from known posters to those who post anonymously? You’d be surprised to find people you think are your net friends posting venom under fake id’s!

  30. max

    I do not check ip’s unless there is a problem. That is not always helpful not all ip’s are static — but it is way helpful when they are. Not many people post anonymously around here though.

  31. Oh no! Don’t remind me! I’m the one who posted anonymously because I got logged out. BTW, “anonymous” and “guess who” are defaults if you don’t fill in the blanks. I think.

    (Now crawling back under the covers).

  32. max

    That was pretty funny.

    Me: God damn anonymous posters.

    Still: That was me.

    Me: Oops.

  33. max

    I am getting worried here. I keep hearing about sick dogs and cats that were not on brands from Menu Foods. And they are coming down with liver failure too. I do not think at this point it is safe to be feeding animals any manufactured dog and cat food till something gets figured out here because something is very wrong and not just with the Menu Foods recalls.

  34. I’m getting paranoid, too. There are some cat recipe books I can buy. Maybe I’ll go pick one up. Or I can just print some off of the net.

    Where are you hearing about the dying animals? Are these people you know (besides your dad)?

  35. Don’t get paranoid…be cautious but NOT paranoid.

    Remember it’s Spring and people are out there dumping all kinds of chemicals and crap into the enviorment- by that I mean fertilzers, rat poisons, they’re going to be dumping all kinds of crap like anti-freeze that they have sitting around all winter.

    So keep an eye out for that in your neighborhood.

    All I feed my cats are crunchies and chicken that I prepare with my own little hands-

    Last year I opened up a can of cat food FULL of dead maggots- no kidding, haven’t bought the stuff since.


  36. max

    Mostly stuff on the net. It is hard to tell how much is solid because people are scared so everyone is twitchy about a sick animal right now.

  37. Pingback: update iii : emergency pet food recall « celluloid blonde

  38. New reports indicate that the commercial dog food recall which commenced with products manufactured by Menu Foods is exploding in its tragic consequences.

  39. I used to work in a pet food factory. You would be amazed at what went on. I am not saying all are the same though.

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