Menu Foods: Tainted Pet Food Raises a Bigger Concern

- by

Miami, FLThe recent discovery, and reclamation of contaminated pet food in the Menu Foods recall, has generated concern about the quality of food exports coming from China.

It is believed that the source of contaminated wheat gluten, which lay at the heart of the contaminated pet food scare, originated in that country.

Now comes news on Friday that officials in Canada have intercepted a shipment of corn gluten contaminated with melamine and cyanuric acid. Melamine, a chemical used in the manufacture of plastics and fertilizers, was found in more than 100 brands of pet food recalled in both Canada and the United States in the spring.

One day earlier, on May 24th, U.S. health officials began testing shipments of toothpaste imported from China, after reports began to surface that toothpaste products originating in China were being withdrawn from the market. Two days before that, on May 22nd, health authorities in the Dominican Republic issued a recall of the Chinese-manufactured toothpastes 'Mr. Cool' and 'Excel' after they were found to contain diethylene glycol, a chemical used in the making of anti-freeze and brake fluid.

In the wake of all of these concerns, U.S. authorities late last week made formal requests to a Chinese delegation, recommending an immediate tightening of food export regulations. The recommendations included the creation of a registry of Chinese firms authorized to export products, and the inclusion of U.S. inspectors on Chinese soil.

All this has surfaced after one of the largest recalls of pet food in history, when Menu Foods triggered a voluntary recall of many brands of contaminated pet food, after reports began flooding in of pets sickened, or killed by tainted food.

That initial recall list has now expanded to include over 100 brands, which suggests the tremendous reach that Menu Foods, a third-party manufacturer, has in the pet food industry. Pet food is sold as a brand, with the actual manufacturer often not known and certainly not marketed. Many well-known brands, including Iams, were adversely affected.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has fielded 17,000 calls about contaminated pet foods, and other related pet illnesses, since March. Among them, countless reports of previously robust pets, suddenly felled by the simple act of eating dinner.

Given the close bond between pets and their owners, many adults and children have been traumatized by the illness, or the death, of a treasured pet.

The entire ordeal brings into question what really is IN your pet food? A lawsuit recently filed in Federal court in Miami alleges that even dead dogs and cats, ground up by rendering plants, find their way into pet food. Traces of pentobarbital, which is used in the euthanasia of diseased or unwanted pets, have been known to show up in pet food. Surprisingly, according to an attorney leading the lawsuit on behalf of three pet owners in Miami, the FDA has not outlawed the practice and maintains it is fairly common.

And Menu Foods doesn't seem to be an isolated case. In mid-May, after four previously healthy dogs suddenly went into renal failure and died, the dog food they had eaten tested positive for traces of melamine. A pet food manufacturer in Missouri made the dry food.

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, who has been lobbying for beefed-up regulations in the pet food industry, had this to say: "Well, we love our cats and dogs and other pets - they give us uncompromising love and loyalty. But we owe them loving care in return."

Menu Foods has been named in several lawsuits, and is included in the Miami litigation. It may turn out to be an irony that any cost-savings achieved through cheap imports or unsavoury ingredient harvesting, may wind up costing the manufacturers in court.

Menu Foods Legal Help

If your pet has suffered or died as a result of eating any of these pet foods, please contact a [Menu Foods Lawyer] who will review your case at no cost or obligation.

Add Your Comment on This Story

Please read our comment guidelines before posting.

Note: Your name will be published with your comment.

Your email will only be used if a response is needed.

Request Legal Help