PET FOOD RECALL EXPANDS:
The Menu Foods pet food recall has expanded yet again. It was recently learned that a shipment of the contaminated food was sent from Menu Foods' plant in Emporia, Kansas to a Canadian plant in Streetsville, Ontario. This has led to five new items being added to the recall list available at the Menu Foods site above. These are all cat products. They include J.E. Mondou, Publix, , Your Pet and a large number of products from the Nutro corporation. Nutro has issued a press release with a detailed list of all their recalled products. These include all pouched products from their company. Nutro has promised a full refund for returned product, and they can be contacted at their website or at 1-800-833-5330.
Worst of all a MediCal product has come on to the list. This is the wet Dissolution Diet for cats. Royal Canin who own Medi-Cal have issued a press release on the matter saying that this is their only product that contains wheat gluten. The lot containing the gluten from the Kansas plant was produced on January 8th, 2007. Molly was unable to access the Royal Canin Canadian site highlighted above this evening (undoubtedly too busy), but she went to the international corporate site (Royal Canin is apparently headquartered in France) and found not a single mention of the problem with their North American lines. Interesting. anyways, Royal Canin has a toll free number for pet owners who are concerned about this matter, 1-866-494-6844.
Meanwhile, on other fronts the Pet Connection site who are the best source of up-to-date news on this matter have now logged 3,730 suspicious deaths on their reporting system. Other sources report that the veterinary hospital chain 'Banford:The Pet Hospital' who operate clinics in pet stores across the USA have extrapolated from their own incidence of 284 extra cases (above baseline) of renal failure in cats to a possible 39,000 feline cases. This source, Business Week, also quotes another source, the Veterinary Information Network, says that 5 to 10 thousand pets may have fallen ill and one to two thousand may have died. As it is the numbers are simply unknown at this time, though it is becoming apparent that cats are more susceptible than dogs. The US FDA has attempted to keep the public informed of its investigations. Their latest press release (three days ago) explains what they have done so far. Some don't think this enough. This Thursday (April 12th) the United States Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee will begin hearings that will examine not just the FDA response to the problem but also the state of the pet food industry as well as regulatory or resource shortcomings that led to the problem.
Finally, a rather disturbing report in today's Globe and Mail business section, published out of Toronto. It seems that Menu Foods' Chief Financial Officer, Mark Wiens, took the opportunity to sell 14,000 units (worth $102,900 at the time, the present market price would be $62,440) of Menu Foods stock on Feb. 26th and 27th. By this time customer complains had already been registered at Menu Foods. Menu stooped supplies of the wheat gluten on March 6th, but it wasn't until march 16th that they began their recall. Timelines !!!!! as Molly said in an earlier post.
Keep tuned here for more on the recall as it develops.