Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Today the reported number of suspicious deaths reported to the Pet Connection site stands at 4,474. Since Molly last blogged on this matter there have been some new pet foods added to the recall list. Live Smart has initiated a recall of their LiveSmart Weight Management Chicken and Brown Rice Dog Food. The company was one of the recipients of the contaminated rice protein concentrate from Wilbur-Ellis. Now 4 out of five of Wilbur-Ellis' customers have voluntarily identified themselves, but a final one remains anonymous though known to both Wilbur-Ellis and the FDA. also the Drs Foster & Smith Pet Foods Products have initiated, who also received tainted rice protein from Wilbur-Ellis have initiated a recall of their Adult Lite Dry Dog Food and Adult Lite Dry Cat Food. See this press release from the company for full details. Molly wishes to remind her readers that the present stage of the food recall is far beyond being a "Menu Foods recall". The American Veterinary Medical Association maintains a comprehensive list of all foods affected by the recall, though it may be a day or two behind. For daily news on new products being recalled go to the Pet Connection site above or to the Itchmo Blog.
The law in some Canadian provinces differs from that in most American states as it is possible to sue for "emotional damage" due to the loss of a pet rather than just for financial loss. Two Canadian law firms have launched class action suits against Menu Foods, and American residents can also join in these suits. For more information see the Merchant Law Group and the
The Pet Connection site has begun a post card campaign targeting the FDA, the White House, CNN, Senator Richard Durbin and other US Senators . You can see details of this campaign at the following Pet Connection entry. Also don't forget the upcoming April 28th series of demonstrations. For more details about these go to the Itchmo Blog mentioned above or the Howl911 blog. Also at the Itchmo Blog is an interesting declaration from the blogmaster in response to Senator Durbin's request for input as to new pet food regulations. This item is entitled The Right to Good Pet Food.
Meanwhile an item from Reuters News agency has reported that Senators Durbin of Illinois and Maria Cantwell of Washington have written a letter to the FDA saying that they have heard from "industry sources" that there is a second US importer of Chinese rice protein concentrate other than Wilbur-Ellis whose product is likely contaminated by melamine. On another front the New York Times reports that the Chinese government has finally relented and agreed to visas for US FDA inspectors to enter China to investigate Chinese suppliers. Meanwhile in California the FDA has traced the contaminated hogs fed melamine laced protein concentrate to four facilities who received shipments from the quarantined Ceres farm. Not all of the hogs, however, are accounted for. An item from Reuters News Agency says that the FDA now says that "thousands" of American hogs may have been contaminated by the melamine containing rice protein. These include hogs not just in California but also in the states of North and South Carolina, New York, Utah and "possibly" Ohio. An article in USA Today reports that the FDA will (finally) begin testing on various products imported from China that go into a number of human food products such as baby formulas, bread, pasta, cereals, pizza doughs, protein shakes, energy bars and some vegetarian foods. These include not just the wheat and corn gluten and the rice protein concentrates so far implicated in the pet food recalls but ALSO corn meal, soy protein and rice bran. It seems to Molly that the alarm bells should have been going off way back in March when the pet food scandal first broke. Time will tell just how seriously the human food chain has been affected. It should also be noted that at least one poultry farm in Missouri has been identified as feeding their birds with melamine contaminated feed as reported in the Boston Globe today. The Washington Post also had an interesting article today on the state of food safety (or lack thereof) in China where food poisoning is a very common occurrence. The article examines the problems with China's dysfunctional food quality programs in depth.
As a final Molly note don't forget that the Wikipedia Online Encyclopedia has an ongoing commentary on this recall. They mention some of the American lawsuits against pet food manufacturers but omit the Canadian ones listed above.
Unfortunately more later,

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