Pet Food Recall Expanded, Tainted Rice Protein from China, Chinese Government Actively Impeding Investigation

 |  Apr 19th 2007  |   16 Contributions


So now we know the rice protein came from China AND the Chinese government is ACTIVELY preventing US FDA inspectors from investigating this deadly travesty. Can we just say NO MORE FOOD PRODUCTS FROM CHINA UNTIL THEY CLEAN UP THEIR ACT AND THEIR FOOD?!!?!?! (Sorry for caplocking that but I am just as frustrated and angry as everybody else!)

What does the Chinese government have to do to get punished? Let's start enumerating their transgressions
-- Killed thousands of innocent dogs to gain more control over their humans
-- Currently skinning alive thousands of dogs every day for their fur which the humans will then lie about to import into North America as faux fur or labeled as rabbit
-- Knowingly allows tainted food products to be sold (And don't even try to tell me that none of the tainted stuff has made it into the human food! NO ONE, including the FDA, can honestly make that claim!)

What do they have to do for us to finally say "STOP!" ?

This is NOT to say that all Chinese are bad. There are MANY caring and lovely Dogsters and Catsters in China. How terrible it must be for them to live in this situation! Let's keep them in our thoughts and efforts!

Something else to notice in this article. There are a number of other pet food manufacturers who apparently got food materials via the importer with the tainted food. Diamond Pet Foods, which had a large recall all by itself last year and several others that the importer refuses to name. That's fine for his customers but what about our pets who may still be exposed to tainted food. Durbin and teh FDA should DEMAND those names. As for Diamond, I would be nervous about feeding any of their food until they have independant certification that they have not been affected.

Here's what they say on their home page:
Wheat gluten or rice protein are not used in any of our dry, canned or treat products.

I would assume that's the products carrying their brand name. But what about the other brands they make like Costco, Wal-Mart, and Chicken Soup for the Doglovers' Soul? The article makes it clear the tainted food material went to Diamond. I doubt that Diamond has a completely separate facility to make those other brands. That means unless the machinery is cleaned more than thoroughly after every production run that used the tainted materials the Diamond brands are tainted too. Do you want to take that risk? I sure don't and I used to use Chicken Soup for the Doglover's Soul and other Diamond brands.

Thanks to Daphne for barking in this article from Yahoo News. As she says:

Is China still shipping that stuff out?!?! Where will it show up next?

"The company said it had told the FDA on Sunday that a single bag in a recent shipment of rice protein concentrate from its Chinese supplier, Binzhou Futian Biology Technology Co. Ltd., had tested positive for melamine"

I'm with you, Daphne. I can't believe we are still allowing this Chinese offal masquerading as food to enter North America!

Pet food recall expanded
By ANDREW BRIDGES, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - An industrial chemical that led to the nationwide recall of more than 100 brands of cat and dog food has turned up in a second pet food ingredient imported from China.

The discovery expands the monthlong cascade of recalls to include more brands and varieties of pet foods and treats tainted by the chemical.

"This has exposed that the safety standards for pet foods are not in place in any significant way and the kind of drumbeat, day after day, of recalls has shaken consumers' confidence in the pet food industry's adherence to food safety standards," said Wayne Pacelle, president and chief executive officer of the Humane Society of the United States.


The chemical, melamine, is believed to have contaminated rice protein concentrate used to make a variety of Natural Balance Pet Foods products for both dogs and cats, the Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday.

The FDA has there is no evidence so far to suggest any of the rice protein went to companies that make human food, said Michael Rogers (news, bio, voting record), director of the agency's division of field investigations. But the FDA has not accounted for all the imported ingredient.

Previously, the chemical was found to contaminate wheat gluten used by at least six other pet food and treat manufacturers.

Both ingredients were imported from China, though by different companies and from different manufacturers.

The FDA on Wednesday began reviewing and sampling all rice protein concentrate imported from China, much as the agency has been doing for wheat gluten, Rogers said.

A lawmaker said Wednesday the Chinese have refused to grant visas to FDA inspectors seeking to visit the plants where the ingredients were made. An FDA spokesman later said the visas were not refused but that the agency had not received the necessary invitation letter to get visas.

"It troubles me greatly the Chinese are making it more difficult to understand what led to this pet food crisis," Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., told The Associated Press after meeting with the FDA commissioner, Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach.

A message left Wednesday with the Chinese Embassy in Washington was not immediately returned.

Natural Balance said it was recalling all its Venison and Brown Rice canned and bagged dog foods, its Venison and Brown Rice dog treats and its Venison and Green Pea dry cat food. The supplier of the tainted rice protein said early Thursday it was recalling all the ingredient it had distributed to U.S. manufacturers and in turn urged them to recall any products that may be on store shelves.

The recalls now include products made by at least seven companies and sold under more than 100 brands.

The Pacoima, Calif., company said recent laboratory tests showed its recalled products contain melamine. Natural Balance believes the source of the contaminant was rice protein concentrate, which the company recently added to the dry venison formulas.

A San Francisco company, Wilbur-Ellis Co., began importing the ingredient in July from a Chinese company, Futian Biology Technology Co. Ltd., according to Wilbur-Ellis president and chief executive John Thacher.

It resold the ingredient to five pet food manufacturers, including Diamond Pet Foods Inc. of Meta, Mo. Diamond manufactured the dry dog and cat foods recalled by Natural Balance, Diamond Pet Foods spokesman Jim Fallon said.

Thacher declined to identify his company's other four customers, except to say two tested the ingredient and found no melamine. Wilbur-Ellis has not heard from the other two, both of whom received limited amounts of the ingredient, Thacher said.

The FDA's tests detected melamine in a rice protein sample; the agency would not disclose the sample's origin.

The source of the melamine remains unclear. It may have contaminated the rice protein through the reuse of dirty bags used to ship the products.

Thacher said an April 4 delivery from Futian Biology included 146 1-ton bags of rice protein concentrate. All were white except for a single pink bag, which was stenciled "melamine."

Wilbur-Ellis isolated the entire shipment at a Portland, Ore. warehouse and sent out samples for testing. The pink bag's contents tested positive for melamine while the two white bags tested were negative, Thacher said.

Futian Biology later told Wilbur-Ellis that a damaged bag was replaced with a clean one, Thacher said. The company then "certified the product was all fine," he added.

The Las Vegas importer of the contaminated Chinese wheat gluten, ChemNutra Inc., that led to the original pet food recall has suggested that spiking a product with melamine can make it to appear to be richer in protein during tests, thus increasing its value.

ChemNutra also imported rice protein concentrate from China, though from another source. Spokesman Steve Stern said the company is testing those shipments.

The recalls began March 16 when Menu Foods recalled 60 million cans of dog and cat food after the deaths of 16 pets, mostly cats, that had eaten its products. The FDA said tests indicated the food was contaminated with melamine, which is used in making plastics and other industrial processes.

Five other companies later recalled pet products also made with wheat gluten tainted by the chemical. The FDA has since blocked Chinese imports of wheat gluten.

Menu Foods continues to add more varieties to its recall list. Menu Foods spokesman Sam Bornstein did not know if the Streetsville, Ontario-based company also used rice protein concentrate as an ingredient in its pet foods, sold under more than 100 different major and store brands.

A House committee is holding a food safety hearing Tuesday and is expected to discuss the pet food recall.

Follow this link for more information.

Contributions

Tip: Creating a profile and avatar takes just a minute and is a great way to participate in Dogster's community of people who are passionate about dogs.

blog comments powered by Disqus