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Friday, April 20, 2007

This is what happens when the food industry runs amok
Posted by Jill | 7:05 AM
Now the pet food recalls have extended to rice protein, which has also been contaminated with melamine:

April 19, 2007

Dear Royal Canin USA Customer,

It is with sincere regret that I inform you of a new and unfortunate development with some of our pet food products.

Although we have no confirmed cases of illness in pets, we have decided to voluntarily remove the following dry pet food products that contain rice protein concentrate due to the presence of a melamine derivative.

ROYAL CANIN SENSIBLE CHOICE® (available in pet specialty stores nationwide)

Dry Dog Food
- 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

ROYAL CANIN VETERINARY DIET™ (available only in veterinary clinics)

Dry Dog Food
- Canine Early Cardiac EC 22™
- Canine Skin Support SS21™

Dry Cat Food
- Feline Hypoallergenic HP23™

We are taking this proactive stance to voluntarily recall these products to avoid any confusion for our customers about which Royal Canin USA products are safe and which products may be affected.

Pet owners should immediately stop feeding their pets the Royal Canin USA dry pet food products listed above. Pet owners should consult with a veterinarian if they are concerned about the health of their pet. No other Royal Canin diets are affected by this recall and CONTINUE TO BE safe for pets to eat.

In addition, Royal Canin USA will no longer use any Chinese suppliers for any of our vegetable proteins.

This decision to recall some of our dry pet food products is driven by our philosophy that the “Pet Comes First”. The safety and nutritional quality of our pet food is Royal Canin USA’s top priority. Pet owners who have questions about this recall and other Royal Canin USA products should call 1-800-592-6687.

On behalf of the entire Royal Canin family, our hearts go out to the pet owners and everyone in the pet community who have been affected by all of the recent recalls. We are as passionate about the health and happiness of our customers’ pets as we are of our own, so we are committed to taking the steps necessary to ensure this never happens again.


Olivier Amice
President and CEO
Royal Canin USA

The Royal Canin recall follows on the heels of the recent Natural Balance recall as a result of possibly contaminated rice protein concentrate.

The AVMA weighs in:

Natural Balance Pet Foods has announced a recall of all its Venison & Brown Rice Dry Dog Food and Venison & Green Pea Dry Cat Food in response to consumer complaints that animals were vomiting and experiencing kidney problems. The California-based pet food company has stated that testing has shown that these recalled foods contain melamine, the same chemical suspected in previous pet food recalls, but from a new source—rice protein concentrate imported from China by San Francisco-based Wilbur-Ellis. Previous recalls were associated with melamine-contaminated wheat gluten also imported from China but by ChemNutra Inc., which is based in Las Vegas.

Dr. Roger Mahr, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), said pet owners should continue to use the AVMA Web site as a source of information during these ongoing pet food recalls.

"It's clear from this new information that all pet owners should remain vigilant regarding the ongoing pet food recalls and continue to check the AVMA recall list," Dr. Mahr said. "Information is power, and keeping current will help pet owners protect their pets from contaminated food."

There has been no U.S. recall by the third entry in the Holy Trinity of Pet Food Fillers, corn gluten, this product has sickened pets in South Africa. While I'm sure people like Debbie Schlussel will try to look for an Islamic terrorism connection, it's starting to look like the presence of melamine in these grain-based protein products is deliberate -- a way of bumping up the protein content of glutens and other derivatives on the cheap. This particular adulteration is being done in a country with little oversight over its food industry. The San Jose Mercury-News reports on the kind of crap that China is sending over here for human consumption:

Consider this list of Chinese products detained by the FDA just in the past month: frozen catfish tainted with illegal veterinary drugs, fresh ginger polluted with pesticides, melon seeds contaminated with a cancer-causing toxin and filthy dried dates.

It hardly takes a leap of faith to figure that pet food manufacturers are buying cheap grain proteins from China which are cheap largely because they are adulterated with toxic chemicals.

These are trying times for pet owners. It's easy for those who are not pet owners to shrug this off, saying "It's just animals." But forgetting for a moment about the relative worth of companion animals, are we sure that the glutens we find in the products we eat; products like breads, sauces, gravies, etc. aren't similarly tainted? Do you like sausage or bacon with your breakfast? Federal officials are investigating whether pork products are contaminated with melamine. How did this happen? Feeding pork hogs on the cheap:

The Trib learned yesterday that melamine-contaminated feed was fed to hogs.The FDA, U.S. Department of Agriculture and the California Department of Food and Agriculture are investigating.

Some animals that are believed to have eaten the contaminated food were slaughtered and sold as food before authorities learned their feed had been contaminated, said Nancy Lungren, spokeswoman for the California agriculture department.

The state quarantined the farm Wednesday, she said.

Yesterday, the urine of some pigs at the 1,500-animal American Hog Farm in Ceres, Calif., tested positive for melamine, although all appeared healthy, Lungren said. About half a dozen pigs were put down and researchers at the University of California-Davis are testing their kidneys, tissues, blood and other body parts for melamine contamination, she said.

The contaminated feed was bought April 3 and 13 as salvage pet food from Diamond Pet Foods Inc., which received contaminated rice protein concentrate used in some recalled Natural Balance pet food, Lungren said.

"Salvage pet food"? What the hell is "salvage pet food"? What are they putting into the animals that then become the shrink-wrapped packages in our supermarkets?

Americans have sold their liberty to George W. Bush so that they can "feel safer." The college administrators at Virginia Tech are being criticized for not locking down the campus when the first shots were fired on Monday. Talking heads everywhere are wondering what will make campuses safe. Parents are outfitting their kids in body armor before putting them on a bicycle. Kids have to be in car booster seats practically until they're sporting nose rings and goth T-shirts. But Americans seem curiously oblivious to the kind of swill being dished out to them in America's supermarkets in the name of bigger profits for the food industry.

American pets are just the canaries in the coal mine on this, folks. If we don't demand an end to the FDA protecting the food industry's profits instead of the American people, if we don't demand to know where the components of our food are coming from, soon it'll be American children hooked up to tubes and wires in hospitals, victim to organ failures for what seems to be no reason at all.

UPDATE: More at Shakesville, including -- yup -- a Bush family connection at ChemNutra.

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