Monday, March 19, 2007

Industrial food and pet poisoning - lessons?

A year ago it was aflatoxin contamination killing dogs (Diamond pet food is still in business btw, the web site proclaims their lack of connection to this episode). Now it's some poison still to be named...
Pet Food Is Recalled After Link to Animal Deaths - New York Times

More than 60 million cans and pouches of dog and cat food sold under dozens of brand names were recalled on Saturday after being linked to the deaths of 10 animals.

The food was manufactured by Menu Foods, of Streetsville, Ontario, which makes wet food sold as store brands for companies like Wal-Mart, Kroger and Safeway.

The company also makes food on behalf of many brand-name pet food makers. Menu Foods said it had recalled some food made for the Iams unit of Procter & Gamble. Two other pet food companies — NestlĂ© Purina PetCare and Hills Pet Nutrition, the unit of Colgate-Palmolive that makes the Science Diet brand — recalled some of their products that were made by Menu Foods.

Menu Foods is recalling only certain gravy-style pet food in cans and pouches it made from Dec. 3 to March 6.

The company said in a statement that tests of its food had “failed to identify any issues with the products in question.” But it did associate the timing of the reported deaths with its use of a new supplier for wheat gluten, a source of protein. Sarah Tuite, a spokeswoman for Menu Foods, declined to name the supplier.

The reported deaths of cats and dogs have been from kidney disease, Ms. Tuite said. Symptoms vary but can include lethargy, jaundice and vomiting, she said...
The recall list on their web site is very long (there's another list for cats):
1. Americas Choice, Preferred Pets
2. Authority
3. Award
4. Best Choice
5. Big Bet
6. Big Red
7. Bloom
8. Wegmans Bruiser
9. Cadillac
10. Companion
11. Demoulas Market Basket
12. Eukanuba (ouch, that hit us)
13. Food Lion
14. Giant Companion
15. Great Choice
16. Hannaford
17. Hill Country Fare
18. Hy-Vee
19. Iams
20. Laura Lynn
21. Loving Meals
22. Meijers Main Choice
23. Mighty Dog Pouch
24. Mixables
25. Nutriplan
26. Nutro Max
27. Nutro Natural Choice
28. Nutro Ultra
29. Nutro
30. Ol'Roy Canada
31. Ol'Roy US
32. Paws
33. Pet Essentials
34. Pet Pride - Good n Meaty
35. Presidents Choice
36. Price Chopper
37. Priority Canada
38. Priority US
39. Publix
40. Roche Brothers
41. Save-A-Lot
42. Schnucks
43. Shep Dog
44. Springsfield Prize
45. Sprout
46. Stater Brothers
47. Weis Total Pet
48. Western Family US
49. White Rose
50. Winn Dixie
51. Your Pet
The pet care world is fundamentally Libertarian. So is there a lesson here about the limits of Libertarianism? Or is there a lesson about the risks of industrial food? It seems one plant fed a large portion of North American dogs and cats, so a major problem there will have a huge impact.

These episodes have further lowered my opinions of both Libertarian marketplaces and industrial food. Our family may need to look at the ridiculously expensive "organic" pet food market.

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