LATEST NEWS ON POISONED PET FOOD:
The Wilbur-Ellis company whose rice gluten (protein concentrate) was found to contain melamine the other day has issued a voluntary recall of all lots that they have shipped to pet food manufacturers. They have also issued a press release concerning the details of this recall. Turns out that their Chinese supplier Binzhou Futian Biology Technology Ltd. had the total gall to ship them rice gluten in a bag with a different colour and the word "melamine" plainly stenciled on it. Don't waste the bags I guess. While the company's testing found no melamine in the other bags in the shipment samples sent to the FDA who do more sensitive testing came back positive for melamine. The company is keeping the names of the customers who purchased rice gluten from them secret, but they are urging said companies to come forward and issue their own recalls. Since the date of this press release no company other than Natural Balance has come forward. One wonders about the delay. As a side note the people over at the Itchmo Blog have launched a project to identify all pet foods that may contain rice gluten. Go there to find out more.
A couple of other companies, Nestle Purina and Hills, have issued press releases on this matter. The Hills Company receives rice protein concentrate from two suppliers, neither of which is affected by the most recent recall. They presently manufacture 4 products containing rice gluten, and they have tested all of these and found no melamine. Also according to a recent article in USA today Proctor and Gamble has promised to exercise more "control" (some control???-Molly) over Menu Foods, the manufacturer of their Iams and Eukanuba brands. Molly also wants to direct readers to the most recent (April 18th) statement by the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association where they provide a list of suspect deaths in their state as well as further up to date news items on the general subject of this recall.
The death toll on the Pet Connection unofficial date base now stands at 4,294, 2,214 cats and 2,080 dogs. The total number of food related illnesses reported is 13,158.