Friday, April 20, 2007

Tons of new information has come in during the past day regarding the contaminated pet food scandal.
NEW RECALLS: A second company(out of five mentioned as customers of Wilbur-Ellis) has finally come forward and withdrawn their product that contains the rice protein implicated in the more recent withdrawals. Blue Buffalo has pulled one of its products Spa Select Kitten Dry Food (product code best before Mar. 07 08 B) because the rice protein concentrate that they obtained from Wilbur-Ellis tested positive for melamine.
Meanwhile several reports( 1, 2, 3, ) from South Africa implicate yet another source of melamine in pet foods - corn gluten imported from China. Royal Canin of South Africa has announced that it is recalling selected batches of all (NB Molly) of its dry dog and cat foods manufactured under its own name or that of its subsidiary Vets Choice. This follows on the heels of a previous South African recall in February of the Woolworths brands of pet food when food made with a premix from Belgium (!- Molly) was found to be contaminated with ethylene glycol (anti-freeze).
Back in the USA Royal Canin has announced a recall still more of their products that contain rice protein concentrate imported from China Perhaps they are item #3 out of the 5 mentioned by Wilbur-Ellis, but their press release is unclear on this point. The products withdrawn include:
Royal Canin Sensible Choice:
-Chicken Meal &Rice Formula Senior
-Lamb Meal & Rice Formula Puppy
-Lamb Meal &Rice Formula Adult
-Lamb Meal & Rice Formula Senior
-Rice &catfish Meal Formula Adult.
Veterinary Prescription Diets included in the recall include
-Canine Early Cardiac EC 22
-Canine Skin Support SS21
-Feline Hypoallergenic HP23
The Royal Canin company promises to "no longer use any Chinese suppliers for any of our vegetable proteins". Well and good, but in the light of this latest recall and the previous South African recall perhaps Royal Canin would be well advised to cease employing people who prowl the internet asking posters to "clarify" that "no American products are involved" (see previous posts on this blog). Yeah...but don't forget phrases like "so far" or "as of this hour".
SAFETY OF PRODUCTS OTHER THAN FOODS: There has been some online discussion regarding the safety of some other veterinary products other than foods. S&M Nutec (What an unfortunate name-Molly) brands, manufacturers of the Greenies, Feline Greenies and Pill Pockets have released a public statement saying that their wheat gluten is from American sources and that their suppliers are not "currently under investigation by the FDA" (dated April 5th- Molly). Also Merial has written a note today to the Pet Connection site saying that Heartguard, the heartworm preventative manufactured by Merial , "does not contain wheat gluten". In light of the implication of rice protein concentrate and corn gluten, along with the suspicion thrown now on other imports from China (see entry later today of this blog) this is less than fully reassuring.
Anyways, Molly is running late. Look to later today for more news including identification of other toxic chemicals other than melamine in the foods and the possibility that the contaminated rice protein concentrate has entered the human food chain via hogs. Also any further news that comes in in the next few hours.

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