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THE PET FOOD MESS

By Gary Bogue
Monday, April 9th, 2007 at 7:56 am in Pet food.

I’m reprinting this here in my blog in case you didn’t read it in my Sunday column:

Why is it so difficult to get accurate information?
So where are we with this horrible pet food recall mess that seems to be responsible for the deaths of unknown numbers of our beloved cats and dogs?

First of all, why are those desperately important numbers still unknown?

Wouldn’t it be helpful to know these things? Especially to the many hundreds or thousands of veterinarians and pet owners who are apparently still trying to care for and treat these poor animals?

The FDA has still confirmed only 16 pet deaths due to the tainted pet food recall.

Meanwhile:

** The College of Veterinary Medicine at Iowa State University is investigating 43 suspected cases of pets that died from eating tainted pet food (New York Times, by Katie Zezima, April 6).

** The Michigan State Veterinary Medical Association reports 46 dead pets. Oregon State Veterinary Medical Association reports 35 dead pets (Washington Post, by Patricia Sullivan, April 5).

And that’s only two state veterinary medical associations out of 50!

** PetConnection.com, a Web site for pet owners said that as of last Thursday it had received 3,240 reports of pet deaths (Kansas City Star, by Jennifer Mann, April 6).

The above is only a drop in the bucket. This is HUGE. So where are we?

The Chinese government said last Thursday that no wheat gluten had been exported to the U.S. The Chinese company that the FDA says supplied Menu Foods with the tainted wheat gluten denies it ever shipped them the stuff. Eh?

And the FDA appears so befuddled, it looks like the media knows more than it does. Now that’s scary.

I never thought I’d find myself saying this, but, “Hey, Congress, where are you now that we need you? We need a Congressional hearing!”

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4 Responses to “THE PET FOOD MESS”

  1. Deanne Perata Says:

    So, the people doing this supposed death toll research can add another Cat (if not 2) to the Number of Cat Deaths. I really want to know how far back could this problem have existed. The poor animals can’t speak up and have the people responsible for their deaths explain how long it took before an investigation /inquirey was initiated.

    This is the second cat I have lost to almost identical circumstances. One day… a fine healthy cat. The next day my cat just lays lethargic. When I go to pick her up, I realize the cat is almost totally limp. Kidney failure, says the Vet. Huge Vet Hospitalization expenses, Subcutanious fluid injections every day for six months. Large vet bills and the guilt of having fed them pet food that was considered superior.Even fed to them after they were sick. Not to mention the void I felt by the loss of my animals. Did I mention that the deaths took placea pproximately 2 years apart(two)years? This is why I need to know how far back the investigation is being researched. And I ask you, “How many people keep empty pet food cans after they feed their animals?” This recall does me NO good. It is only a token offer for people whose pets are still alive..

  2. Pat in Antioch Says:

    This is the most recent article I’ve seen…. I know I’m lucky that my guys weren’t affected…..Deanne, I’m truly sorry for your loss…both of them.

    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.

    Pat in Antioch

  3. Liz in Walnut Creek Says:

    My condolences Deanna. How very sad.

    When I read Gary’s phrase about the FDA seeming befuddled (great phrase!) my thoughts went to the FEMA fiasco in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

    You’re right Gary. An investigation is needed before the country faces a similar disaster among humans (and we’re forced to listen to Bush tell us what a heck-of-a-job the FDA’s “Brownie” is doing).

  4. Lumina Says:

    This whole thing doesn’t smell right, and it’s time to speak the plain truth.

    Why would a company — Menu Foods — with plants located in the Bread Basket of the World — Kansas — be importing wheat gluten from CHINA, of all places? Isn’t that unnecessarily costly? Wouldn’t any public company care more about the bottom line and seek out locally produced commodities rather than import them from the other side of the world? The typical big-business globalization trend is to send OUR raw materials to China to be manufactured, due to the free slave labor they use there.

    Next question: Why would the initial reports attribute the problem to rat poison, and the later reports, especially out of New York State, attribute the problem to Melamine, a plastic? So which is it? Who’s right, the FDA or the State of New York lab? I’d bet against the FDA any day.

    Furthermore, if Melamine is poisonous enough to kill cats and dogs when it’s present in their canned food, how can the FDA legitimately allow that material to be used in our tableware, cooking utensils, and disposable knives, forks, and spoons?!

    Clearly, the health and wellbeing of neither pets nor humans matters one bit. In fact, it would appear that there’s a conspiracy afoot to kill us all off, one way or another.

    Is Melamine toxic, or isn’t it? Did the pet food contain Melamine or rat poison? Did it come from China, or not?

    There definitely SHOULD be an investigation into this situation, because it’s certainly looking like a big pack of lies.

    The most troubling question is why one company in a foreign country dominates the pet food production in the US. Currently, there aren’t many untainted alteratives out there in the mainstream grocery stores. If this is true for a common staple such as canned pet food, what if it happened to a common staple that’s consumed by humans? Is this whole incident just a dry run for something bigger?

    The best solution is to grow locally, buy locally, and eat locally produced food. Buy certified organics. It’s the only way to keep yourselves and your loved ones healthy in this sick world.

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