Sunday, April 22, 2007
POISONED PET FOOD: THE LATEST RECALLS, MORE NEWS AND A COMMENTARY:
The Royal Canin company has recalled two additional products from the Canadian market as of this weekend. These are, in addition to the previous recalls listed on this board, Feline Sensitivity RD and Canine Sensitivity RC. Molly challenges the anonymous commentator from St. Louis, presumably from the Royal Canin USA head office, to babble on as he did before about how "these products are only recalled in Canada". The US market awaits the latest news. Hopefully it won't be as bad as the South African situation. Meanwhile the American FDA is getting more serious about this matter and has released a press release on a Sunday concerning the latest recall information. For the latest list of recalled products on the FDA list go to http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/petfoodrecall .
Meanwhile an article in the Boston Globe tells more about the hogs who ate contaminated pet food from Wilbur-Ellis in California. The FDA has said that criminal charges could be laid over this matter according to an article in the Washington Post,especially as the final destination of some of the hogs from this finishing outfit/slaughter house has yet to accounted for.
Meanwhile the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association has posted a guideline for veterinarians dealing with suspect cases of possible renal failure from the foods implicated. It should also be noted that Ontario NDP MP Olivia Chow is part of a Canadian campaign in support of her private members bill for mandatory regulations and inspections to ensure the safety and quality of pet food sold in Canada. There is no government regulation of the pet food industry in Canada today. She has initiated a petition campaign for this which can be downloaded in a pdf format at http://www.oliviachow.ndp.ca/ndp-drupal/files/oliviachow/Petition%20-%20Pet%Food%20Regulation.pdf .
Molly would also like to note a couple of articles that say something about China's general laxity in terms of food safety and what it means in a world where we increasingly import many Chinese goods, some of which are agricultural products. The first, by Frank Ching appeared in the Globe and Mail on April 18th in their Comments section. I have been unable to access this on the internet. Its title is 'China's Hazardous Food', and the title says it all. Mr Ching is a Hong Kong based commentator, and he presented a litany of China's problems with food safety in the recent past. You can be assured that what he presented is the mere "tip of the iceberg". He comments on how the inefficient hangovers from Communist rule make China's transition to a new economy particularly difficult in a situation of world trade. China yearly records tens of thousands of cases of food poisoning, and the problem is more acute for the Chinese than it is for their foreign customers. There's also a report on the Associated Press about the same matter, this time accessible on the internet.
Finally one thing that has come up over and over in Molly's discussions with people about this event: What could have prevented this ? The answer is very simple. All food, pet food included, should be produced locally as much as is possible. this is not a magical solution that would eliminate all such problems as have occurred recently but what it would guarantee is that any problems that would develop would be localized rather than spanning continents. One of the guiding principles of anarchism as a political philosophy is that local communities should be as independent as possible. Political independence depends upon economic independence. Anarchists are in total support of initiatives such as those proposed by the 'Local Food Movement' (see also Eat Local for resources in the USA). Molly has previously reported on the "local foods" movement on this blog (see under 'Other Interesting Links': 'The Slow Food Movement' and 'The Institute for Local Self Reliance' as well as doing a search on this blog). She wishes to reemphasize that the desire to "eat locally" has little or nothing to do with the increasingly corporate dominated superstition about "natural" or "organic" foods. Local food feeds into a political program that favours local small scale producers while the "organic superstition" myth feeds into increasing corporate control of our food system. "Organic" is the banner of the transnationals while "local" is the banner of democracy. Anyways, enough rhetoric. Here are a couple more resources for those who want to explore the "eat local" options: 1)Local Harvest , an American resource- Molly will hopefully find an equivalent Canadian one later and 2) New American Dream, another American resource. In Canada there are usually provincial federations of local producers. Molly will report more on these later.