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27 March 2007


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This dog says, "Woof."

Translation: Amen.


Thanks for keeping at it. Some of us out here really appreciate it.

Laura Bennett

You and Gina are two of the few who have anything sensible to say about this awful event. Whatever support you need, I'd be happy to help.



Spot on,with the same good journalistic questions your thoughtful readers have.

We trust you to get and report some answers.

We trust you not to let this little announced-on-a-Friday story of thus far under-reported pet deaths die.

We hope you will encourage veterinarians to question and remedy their seeming inability to gather statistics as a profession, their reliance for information on press releases.

We'd be lost without you, without Gina, without PetCon. Keep it up!



Christie, I read your piece yesterday, then while I was listening to NPR this AM, mentally filtering everything else out but "Pet" I heard someone saying, "We just want to know what they knew and when they knew it." Of course they were talking about the attorney general "scandal", not the pet food issue. Same questions though.
Cripes, these people's lives do not extend beyond the Beltway, and personally I think their thinking apparatus has slipped considerably below the beltway if they do not understand the implications of this event.
Thanks for all your hard work.


Oh, I just have to post this.

Note to Readers: The following column is intended as satire.
Almost News
by Larry Elder
This just in . . .

As family pets continue to die as a result of tainted pet food, congressional Democrats demand a federal investigation. In the meantime, they have requested that all new pet food be first tasted -- by Vice President Dick Cheney.

......sounds like a good idea to me!


I am provoked to add this comment after reading Christie Keith's comments about investigative journalism. Where is a ferocious terrier of a journalist when we need one?

It is hard not to come to negative hypotheses about the FDA's refusal to name the American corporate source of the contaminated wheat gluten. At the very least, the FDA should explain why it is refusing, at this point, to name the source. Absent that information, it is tempting to hypothesize worst cases -- including possible FDA fears that there is widespread use of this wheat gluten in the human food supply, and lack of knowledge about the effect of the contaminent on human health.

The longer it takes the FDA to name the source, the worse the outrage will be if it turns out there is contamination of the human food supply. This is Risk Communication 101.

See the case study of the Belgian animal feed dioxin contamination cover up:

Lok C, Powell D. The Belgian dioxin crisis of the summer of 1999: a case study in crisis communications and management. Food Safety Network, Technical Report #13, 2000 (http://tinyurl.com/yq5bqv)

Abstract: http://tinyurl.com/29mkkr

Quote about candor and transparency, from the World Health Organization Outbreak Communication Guidelines:

"Total candour should be the operational goal consistent with generally
accepted individual rights, such as patient privacy. The key is to balance
the rights of the individual against information directly pertinent to the
public good and the public's need and desire for reliable information.
Announcing the limits of transparency publicly, and explaining why those
limits are being set, is usually well tolerated provided the limits are
justified. But if limits to transparency become excuses for unnecessary
secretiveness, the likely result will be a loss of public trust."

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