Both Chinese and American Businesses Indicted for Deadly Pet Food

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Kansas City, MOThe top executives and their Chinese businesses, along with the owners of a United States company were indicted by a federal grand jury on February 6, 2008. The cases were separate, but related in regards to the role they played in the manufacturing and importing of an ingredient used to make pet food that was tainted. This tainted ingredient resulted in the serious deaths and illnesses of many pets in the US last year.

The FDA learned of an issue regarding pet food made by the company Menu Foods, Inc. after deaths and illnesses of dogs and cats were reported by the company itself after the animals had eaten the product. It was on March 15, 2007 that the FDA found that specific pet foods were causing severe illnesses and even death in cats and dogs after Menu Foods reported 14 pet deaths within the U.S. After this notification, there were over 14,000 consumer complaints received by the FDA in the course of a month. That is twice the complaints that are usually received within a year for every product regulated by the agency. The FDA estimates that there were approximately 2,200 dogs and 1,950 cats that died after consuming the pet food that was contaminated.

Sick DogAccording to Wednesday's indictments, the company ChemNutra contracted the purchase of wheat gluten with SSC. Wheat gluten is created from wheat flower or wheat and is a natural protein. The contract stated that SSC would provide wheat gluten to ChemNutra with protein content no less than 75%. SSC then started a different contract with a company named XAC to provide the amount of wheat gluten required to complete amount required in ChemNutra's contract. As a result, the indictments are alleging that the contaminated melamine was shipped with the product to create the illusion that the contract between SSC and ChemNutra had been fulfilled.

The indictments state that SSC used an inaccurate product code on their labels. The code that was used was for products that do not require inspection before leaving China. The Chinese government states that XAC did not list the shipped product as a raw material used for food or feed. Instead, it was declared to be a product that would not be ingested and that prevented the mandatory inspection by the General Administration of Quality Supervision.

The indictments allege that SSC provided ChemNutra with documents containing the wrong product code. The indictments also allege that ChemNutra discovered the wrong labeling and knew that it meant the product wouldn't have been subjected to the mandatory inspection before leaving China, but did not inform customers of this.

Wednesday's indictments consist of 13 felony charges that allege the companies SSC, XAC, Linzhun, and Hao had the intent to mislead and defraud customers as well as deliver food containing melamine. The melamine was meant to make the shipment of wheat gluten look complete when it was simply a substitute for the part missing in order to achieve the impression that the wheat gluten was of a greater value than what it really was. The indictments also include the fact that the labeling was false and said that the minimum protein level was 75% when it was not and that the shipments contained melamine without melamine being listed on the label.

There are 13 more indictments of misdemeanor charges that allege ChemNutra delivered food containing melamine with knowledge the pet food was not inspected due to the mislabeling.

The 13 felony charges and the 13 misdemeanor charges make for a total of 26 charges related to the contaminated pet food. It is believed that ChemNutra, in addition to another company named in the lawsuit, participated in the conspiracy by defrauding those companies that bought the wheat gluten that was manufactured by XAC

The charges within these indictments are no more than accusations and do not indicate any type of guilt.

Menu Pet Foods Legal Help

If your pet has suffered or died as a result of eating any of these pet foods, please contact a lawyer involved in a possible [Menu Pet Foods Lawsuit] to review your case at no cost or obligation.

Reader Comments

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I could not believe a well known company would do this to our beloved pets, that is cruel and in humane. Sun of a gun, the United States Government needs to do something about this. Too many innocent animals are dieing. This is horrible to do our little animals.

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