Friday, April 20, 2007

Poisoned Pet Food & FDA Malfeasance

I'm keenly interested in news about the latest pet food recalled, but the mass media aren't providing much information. Unless you've been digging for information, you might not know that in addition to contaminated wheat gluten, the recall has widened to include rice protein. In addition contaminated corn gluten had been identified in South Africa. Although various suppliers have provided contaminated grains to numerous pet food suppliers, all contaminated grains can be traced back to Chinese suppliers (yes, more than one supplier) and the contamination might have been deliberate.

The most disturbing element, perhaps, is the fact that the FDA knows which pet food makers received contaminated grains and THEY ARE NOT TELLING US WHO THEY ARE!

Three of the five companies who received the contaminated rice protein have implemented recalls of their products. Those three are Natural Balance (Dick Van Patten's pet food which is advertised as containing only human-grade foods), Blue Buffalo and Royal Canin.

Two other pet food companies received contaminated grains and have not revealed who they are and have not recalled their pet food. If I ever find out who they are, you can be sure that I will never purchase anything from them in the future.

I suspect that the FDA's decision to not reveal who is still selling contaminated pet food is part Bush's directive to protect business interests at all cost.

Senator Dick Durbin is interested in this issue so please contact him with your concerns. The House plans a hearing on Tuesday. Please let your Congress person know that you believe the FDA should be protecting us, instead of businesses.

My favorite source for breaking information is the Petconnection blog. If you have any new information or other good sources for information, please add a comment to this blog.

For now I'm taking my cats off all kibble and am giving them freeze-dried salmon and chicken from "Steve's Real Food" based in Oregon. I called the company and they assured me that they have received no contaminated grains and that their pets are eating their food and are healthy.

I'm also feeding my cats grain-free varieties of Wellness canned food. They assured me by telephone that they haven't used any of the contaminated grains.

I would prefer to feed the cats Newman's Own organic cat food, but they gave it 4 paws down.

I'm being especially cautious, because I've learned that Natural Balance had recently added rice protein to their products without listing it on the label. Apparently pet food makers have up to 3 months to list new ingredients on their labels, so don't trust pet food labels.

If you have a pet, please share with me how you are coping under these uncertain conditions. Thank you.