More obsessive reading on the pet food recall

Some news bites to share:

If you want to read a REALLY GOOD article on all this — not just the AP feed — check this:

You may then want to go kick the wall, or rant for a while.
Seems like man's best friend doesn't really even appear on the radar of food safety.
And if I see that "15 confirmed deaths" at the top of another news story, I may scream.
(Very funny Rosie, now go fuck off.)

Also, the latest on the saga of the wheat gluten:

(from SF Chronicle – April 6)
The FDA still doesn't know
where all the contaminated imported wheat gluten ended up, though it
appears unlikely any made it into human food.

"At this time, we can say that there is no evidence to
suggest that any of the imported, suspect wheat gluten formed positive
lots that made it into the human food supply," said Michael Rogers, who
oversees field investigations for the FDA's office of regulatory

The imported product was only minimally labeled but
apparently went only to pet food producers. The FDA considers the
contamination an aberration since wheat gluten generally is not
considered a product at risk for contamination.

"This should not be viewed as suddenly our food supply is
unsafe, because I don't believe that to be the case. In fact, the
opposite is true," agency chief Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach said.

FDA officials said its nationwide investigation could turn up
more pet food manufacturers that used the tainted ingredient, prompting
even more products to be recalled.

"It is impossible for us to say at this time that there won't
be additional recalls. We're continuing to follow the trail," said
David Elder, who oversees enforcement in the FDA's office of regulatory
affairs. Menu Foods, a major manufacturer of nearly 100 store- and
major-brand pet foods, announced the first recall March 16. Hill's Pet
Nutrition Inc., Del Monte Pet Products and Nestle Purina PetCare Co.
all have since recalled some of their products as well.

The FDA's import alert, disclosed Monday but posted on its
Web site Friday, notifies its field offices to detain any wheat gluten
offered for import from the Chinese company.

The order also recommends inspectors screen all wheat gluten
from China as well as from the Netherlands, a country through which
transshipping of Chinese products can occur.

The FDA could not immediately say how much wheat gluten was
exported to the U.S. by Xuzhou Anying. The FDA also was working to
determine whether it shipped any other food products to the U.S., said
Ellen Morrison, director of FDA's office of crisis management.

The FDA has received in recent weeks more than 9,400 pet
food-related complaints from consumers — nearly twice what the agency
receives in a full year for all the products it regulates, von
Eschenbach said.

That's 9,400 people who figured out to call the FDA.
Can you say, tip of the ice burg?

And it's unlikely to be in human food supply?
Oh sure, like you guys would know.
It is soooooo time to start buying locally, buying fresh, for people and pets alike.

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7 responses to this post.

  1. I couldn't imagine something happening to Gully, Tater, Millie, or Lolo. i would soend the rest of my life stalking any miserable bastard responsible for it until my death. Can you even believe what we face every day? Any one of us could eat a twinkie or a spoon of Pepto Bismo and end up dead. I think you are onto something with the local/fresh. We have always done that to a degree but will think about it more as a lifestyle.


  2. This raises a good point about the safety of domestic v imports: Food raised domestically goes under far more scrutiny than imported goods. When activist groups want to shut down food production facilities (example: livestock) here, the food will still come from somewhere. Somewhere that doesn't have the burden of US laws and regulations.
    As long as we keep increasing our interest and demand for safe and humanely raised food, we can be that much farther along in security for our health.


  3. amen to all of you. I've been ranting on the topic over at Michelle's blog. and amy is quite right: food has to come from somewhere, and with all its shortcomings, food production in the US is more regulated than, say, hopeful sign is the growth of farmer markets and CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture). I have joined one, and at least during the late Spring to early Fall (May to November), I get a basket of locally grown, mostly organic produce. I am very pleased with it and can't wait for the season to get started (asparagus! baby garlic! teeny tiny strawberries!)


  4. For my pets,I switched to Spot's Stew. I am tempted to go ahead and make my cat and dog food. There is a recipe page on the spot's stew site. Mostly i have just been hyper paranoid about the ingredients list. For us, well i have been a bit more lax. There are so many farmers markets locally. I think i should start hitting them. I am also considering going in on a half a cow and perhaps part of a pig. I have made my own sausage before and it turns out well. At least that way i know what is in it.


  5. I've always been a proponent of buying locally, but understand that realistically it's not always possible. I look at this as a serious reminder of just how easy it can be to become complacent; I'd never even considered the source of my pet food before! How odd, considering I filter their water, huh? (Of course, it's easy for me to be thankful for the reminder since I haven't lost a beloved pet. Had this killed any of my animals, I'm certain my outlook would be far less prosaic.)Anyway, I have a vet friend in the UK who sent me a recipe for homemade dog food and was thinking of making my own, but all I've heard is that it will lead to eventual malnutrition. I'm told this even when I make it clear a veterinarian gave me the recipe.


  6. The only good that can come out of this is that the public is finally made aware of the gross leniency the pet food industry has taken with its ingredients. I've also heard–prepare yourself–that the "meat-by-products" industry has stock in pet crematoria. You know what I'm saying…too awful to think about.


  7. Yeah, no by-products at all.(No. I'm not thinking about it.)


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