Menu Foods: Killing your Pet with Kindness

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Chicago, ILPerhaps, if pet food makers such as Menu Foods realized that to pet owners, pets are practically people and not just animals, they might take better care to ensure the quality and safety of the products they manufacture.

So far, ten pet deaths have been documented in the Menu Foods pet food debacle, and the lawsuits have already begun to roll in.

sick dog menu foodsA class-action lawsuit against Menu Foods Inc, its' U.S. and Canadian subsidiaries, Del Monte Foods and Wal-Mart has been filed on behalf of pet owners in Cassville, Wisconsin whose pets allegedly died, or became ill after ingesting the tainted food.

Richard Schwinger is the lead plaintiff in the suit, which seeks U.S. $5 million. His dog Sandy required euthanasia as an alleged consequence of consuming 'Ol' Roy Pet Food, manufactured by Menu Foods, and Canine Carry-out Bacon Bite, manufactured by Del Monte and purchased through Wal-Mart.

In documents filed, the plaintiffs noted that Menu Foods notified the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about the problem on February 20th, and that the company believed that the contamination originated with tainted wheat gluten sourced in China, a common ingredient in the food. Subsequent tests on February 27th showed that one out of every six animals that consumed the product, died.

The suit alleges that Wal-Mart and Menu Foods failed to respond appropriately, once concern over the product was revealed.

Another lawsuit, based out of Miami, cites Proctor and Gamble, the makers of Iams and Eukanuba wet pet foods. Menu Foods was also named in that lawsuit as a third-party manufacturer.

Lawsuits have also been filed in Hawaii, and more are expected.

The incredible scope of the recall, and the tainted pet food debacle speaks to the wide reach Menu Foods has on the pet food industry. As a third-party manufacturer, it manufacturers outright, or is involved in some capacity of the manufacturing process for upwards of 100 brands of dry, and wet pet food sold under a host of brands in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

The voluntary recall by the FDA involves so-called cuts-and-gravy foods sold in cans and pouches, and affects numerous label names such as Iams, Eukanuba, Nutro, Ol'Roy US, Publix and Winn Dixie for dogs. For cats, label names include Iams, Eukanuba, Best Choice and Winn Dixie. The private-label foods were manufactured between December 3rd 2006 and March 6, 2007.

The situation will no doubt have lingering effects in the pet food industry for years to come. At issue, for example, is the real difference between high-end, and discount foods, if it turns out many of these foods are made by the same third-party manufacturer. And if that's the case, regardless of the label you are buying, what is really in that can, or pouch, or bag?

It suggests a pause to consider issues of content, label trust, and overall value.

The situation has left many pet owners feeling like they have no other choice than to prepare their own pet foods - a practise supported by some top dog trainers, but debated by veterinarians and resisted by owners due to cost, and time constraints.

Regardless, it brings the issue back to the manufacturers who, in this global economy, need to ensure the quality of ingredients that go into the foods they make.

An important part of the bond between pets and their owners is the responsibility to provide adequate care. Any suggestion that you've let the poor animal down can be devastating, especially for children.

For the diminutive owners of Rocky, the adorable Chihuahua puppy from Chicago that died from easting Eukanuba puppy food, life will never be the same.

It appears life won't be the same for the pet food industry, either.

Menu Food Pet Death Lawyer

If your pet has eaten tainted food and subsequently died, you may contact a [Tainted Pet Food Lawyer] who will evaluate your claim at no cost or obligation.

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