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14 April 2007


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Nadine Long


Comment by DeeAnn — April 13, 2007 @ 11:22 am

These are the foods that I have questions


3/16/06 - Science Diet I/D wet, (black

flecks)1/4 can added to dinner for several days

3/30/06 - Hill’s Prescription Diet, Canine T/D

6/24/06 - Hill’s Prescription Diet, Canine W/D

6/30/06 - Eukanuba Vet. Diet, Low-Residue Adult


"An exclusive research report created for Marketing Daily by Synovate E-Nation shows that awareness of the pet-food recall is extremely high, but owners are making few changes in their pets’ diets.

The on-line survey, conducted April 9-11, found that 95% of Americans"


Christie Keith

Steve, please open up and tell us what you REALLY think.


Comment by Christie Keith — April 13, 2007 @ 8:24 pm

Marketing Daily didn't even back up their bullsh*t with the poll. They can't back this story up it's a total 100% fabrication.


1,000 respondents is 95% of America?

Thats funny, real funny.



I didn't get a survey. No one else reported taking a survey that I know of. So where was survey located and how did they get people to take it. I'm on a list for several survey takers and that question on pet food was never asked. I meant to say I get polled with online surveys.


E-Polls have zero credibility. Take my word for it.


Yeah, I know.

I'm curious who took the survey if you get my drift. Maybe some of our favorite characters, no!!!


Steve's right. E-polls have zero credibility. That's why you never see them cited in reputable media.

Minimize, minimize, minimize. With the wolves (lawyers) at your door, what else do you do?

We need someone with credentials to come out with serious #s to fight this crap. If we can't, not only will the media disregard this, judges in the resulting civil cases won't take it seriously either.

Who can we approach? Pion? Banfield? Any ideas?


Comment by Kathi — April 13, 2007 @ 8:41 pm

Well many people don't understand that people go to extraordinary lengths to skew these online polls and surveys. It's very common.



Yeah I know. I figured that out with political surveys. They still send emails but I haven't taken one in quite awhile. But the topics didn't address this issue.


As for food we're wondering about...

I have two cats on SD light hairball. One has lost a WHOLE lot more weight than she should've, given how much I've been feeding. So I tried a slow switch to SD hairball (regular). It shouldn't have been a big upset - I took it VERY slowly, and the protein contents are very similar (29% min reg., 30% min light), though the fat in the reg. formula is double.

Slow switch or not, the smaller of our two cats started throwing up violently immediately after eating some pieces of the regular SD hairball (batch 7156). This was just before the recall. The second day it happened, I pulled the new food entirely.

Was it the diet change? I don't know. I've done it many times, and I'm very careful about it. Furthermore, I've recently started a slow switchover to by Nature organic chicken (no wheat, corn, or soy.) Result? After more than a week, and now at a 25% ratio, no vomiting at all, though their coats are already better.

Does that mean the SD's bad? Probably not. But just in case, you can bet your a$$ I'm holding onto that bag (and every other bag from what they're fed)! But I think it's interesting how different the changeover experience has been between SD hairball and by Nature chicken.



You did the right thing.

I haven't paid much attention to the m/d, s/d info.

I noticed since I've been giving my kids more home cook and meat canned by Natural Balance they don't seem to want any kibble (Natural Balance)

Maybe they just want real food too instead of dry cereal - just like us.



I read Synovate E-Nation. Tom Mularz, senior vice president. "It's been a big scare, but maybe overblown. After all, fewer than 20 pets have died."

What a freaking idiot.


On a little bit of a different note, I was just reading my local paper online and noticed this headline. (This man was charged in the vehicle death of two Somali women.)

"Prosecutors fear man charged in double fatal crash has fled to China."

Just seems humorous given the whole situation with China. And then I thought that perhaps karma will kick in and he'll eat the cereal...


I've actually been switching from kibble to canned. But only after carefully researching the company and the food. This Menu Foods recall has really opened my eyes to the world of cat nutrition. And with two of my three cats being overweight, I'm hoping the good quality canned will help me to help them loose weight.

Nadine, you mention Low Residue. We have that in our house due to one of our cats having pancreatis and IBD. Also, one of our other cats had some food problems as a complication from dental work so we fed him this for a couple of weeks. We don't use it very often but both of them ate it fairly recently and we didn't have any issues. My kitty with the digestive issues doesn't usually flare up during the warm weather months for some reason - so it is kind of on the back burner for me to find a replacement for this one.



I've got a can of Nuro MaxCat I can mail to him for lunch.


Am I understanding this correctly? The wheat gluten does NOT contain aminopterin? Then there's another ingredient out there which DOES.

Two labs found aminopterin in some samples of the FOOD (finished product)...others, apparently, did not. Were all labs given the same foods to test? Same brands, same formulations, same batches/dates? If not, then finding out which foods (specifically) DID test positive would help narrow down the possible sources of aminopterin.

Thank god some of you guys have saved the recalled cans/pouches.


So what's with all this contamination?

FDA Urgently Warns Consumers about Health Risks of Potentially Contaminated Olives

April 13, 2007

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is alerting consumers to possible serious health risks from eating olives that may be contaminated with a deadly bacterium, Clostridium botulinum. C. botulinum can cause botulism, a potentially fatal illness. The olives are made by Charlie Brown di Rutigliano & Figli S.r.l, of Bari, Italy and are being recalled by the manufacturer. No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this recall.

The olives should not be eaten alone or in other foods, even if they do not appear to be spoiled. Consumers should discard these products or return them to the point of purchase. If in doubt, consumers should contact the retailer and inquire whether its olives are part of the recall.

The olives are sold under the following brands: Borrelli, Bonta di Puglia, Cento, Corrado's, Dal Raccolto, Flora, Roland and Vantia, and have codes that start with the letter "G" and are followed by 3 or 4 digits. All sizes of cans, glass jars and pouches of Cerignola, Nocerella and Castelvetrano type olives are affected.

Symptoms of botulism include general weakness, dizziness, double vision, trouble with speaking or swallowing, difficulty in breathing, weakness of other muscles, abdominal distension and constipation. People experiencing these symptoms should seek immediate medical attention. Consumers may also report illnesses associated with consumption of these olives to the nearest FDA district offices.

Charlie Brown di Rutigliano & Figli S.r.l, initiated a recall of these olives on March 27, 2007. The recalled olives had been distributed to wholesalers, who have marketed them nationally to restaurants and retail stores. FDA concluded that additional warnings are needed because, to date, the company has not contacted importers with specific instructions on the recall.

In addition to re-emphasizing its warning to consumers, FDA is making the following requests:

Importers of these olives should discontinue distribution, isolate held stocks and notify customers to take similar actions to prevent the products from reaching consumers. Importers should contact their local FDA office for assistance in implementing the recall.

Food manufacturers who have repacked the olives for sale under different names or who have used them in the production of other food should contact their local FDA office.

Restaurants, delicatessens, and other food service providers should discontinue using the olives, dispose of their opened containers and contact their suppliers for instructions on what to do with unopened containers.



Nadine Long

Comment by Jenny — April 13, 2007 @ 9:36 pm

I'm trying to find out if there were any others who fed their dogs this food last summer...it seems there are reported cases of renal failure back then, when my dog got sick.


Nadine, I have your info and have been looking into it today.

Nadine Long

Comment by DeeAnn — April 13, 2007 @ 9:52 pm

Awesome! You are a gem.


I made a difference this week, maybe you can too --


Nadine Long

Comment by Steve — April 13, 2007 @ 9:39 pm

Dr. Hodgkins, thank you for the truth!!! This should be published full page in all major newspapers, but I'm sure the media will have a field day with this anyway.

Dateline needs to interview Dr. Hodgkins.




Around noon today I read the link regarding the survey. I threw a couple numbers up on the computer and posted this response to CathyA thisafternoon at 12:44PM. [Don’t ask me which blog topic - it took me half an hour to find my response. My brain and the way the topics are laid out don’t mesh.] Anyway, here’s what I posted:

Re Comment by CathyA — April 13, 2007 @ 5:50 am

The article state that in 4 weeks of March, dog and cat food sales were:

Data in M$

Cats: 77.5 + 70.8

Dogs: 236.9

Total for 4 weeks: 385.2

I don’t know if this covers treats, but even if it does NOT, the data extrapolates over 52 weeks to $5 billion annually, which is a far cry from $16 billion. Even if I’m missing pet treats, that’s a huge difference.

Is it possible that those people that DID pay attention to the news and did NOT buy pet food of any kind since the first recall announcement on March 16th made that huge an impact?

Source: http://publications.mediapost.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=Articles.showArticleHomePage&art_aid=58672

Comment by Lynn — April 13, 2007 @ 12:44 pm

Stated more succinctly, even if people spent an equal amount each week on treats [as what they spend on dog/cat food] then four-week sales would have been* $780M. If you extrapolate this over 52 weeks then this works out to $10B, which is $5B shy of the $16B annual sales.

What this this tells me is that:

1. The $77.5, $70.8, and $236.9 reported in the “survey” are either bogus numbers, or if they ARE valid,

2. Then consumers did NOT spend near as much as they normally would have in the preceding weeks [due to the recall].

I really despise “surveys” that don’t cite credible sources. Ask professional statisticians their opinion of vague internet surveys.


Nadine and DeeAnn

One of my shepherd's kids was adopted by a vet.

The dog was only 8 yrs old. I had called the vet (she lives in the Great Lakes area - I live in NC) because my 12 yr shepherd was so ill with DM. That's when she told me about hers having a mysterious renal failure. This was back last summer. I asked her about antifreeze. She said absolutely not. I know she used to sell the Science Diet and Eukanuba stuff because when I lived up there she tried to sell it to me but my dog didn't like the stuff. I don't have her home number, but I might be able to reach her on Monday at the office.

Nadine Long

Comment by Kathi — April 13, 2007 @ 10:12 pm

I am so convinced that it was the food back then. Mysterious it was, for my big guy, too. I'm still sick over it. A horrible death.


Michelle: Good for you talking to the store!

Remember www.petfoodtracker.com has easy to read lists that you can print out and take to stores. If the store isn't as smart and nice as Michelle well the FDA numbers are on the list too.



Although my own girl, Chelsea, didn't die from renal failure, I still question her disease and the allergy complications. She had a perfect health exam in Oct 2005. By Jan 2006, she started knuckling her paws. By Jun, she could no longer walk. By Sep she was so emaciated and litterally bedridden with signs of bedsores with her hip bones sticking out. I finally had to put her to sleep.

DM usually progresses at a slower rate. Hers was extremely rapid. So much so, her Dr wasn't certain if it actually was DM. Her allergies consisted of chronic yeast infections of the ears and belly, hair loss, paw licking, scaley skin and horrible odor. We battled with it for seven years. We used different dog recipes and meds but nothing cleared her up for very long. It was heart-breaking.

Even though she smelled and flaked, I still let her sleep with me. And I still miss her every single day. In my heart I still feel it was the food, even before this recall.


I'm still wondering about the food too:

My dog had symptoms of: respiratory difficulty,upset stomach,hot nose and drank 128-256oz of water/day. She was eating dry dog food and dog biscuits. Eukanuba. My vet thought anxiety attacks. When the recall occured he suggested she be pulled off all wheat and wheat gluten product as a precaution.

Since that time,she is only eating home cooked. Water consumption the past two weeks is 42oz/day. And,none of the above symptoms since the start of home cooking.It's probably not the food - probably a fluke. But, I still wonder....

Eukanuba told me their products are safe and their dry dog food and bones contain no wheat gluten.

I have heard from another golden owner that her dog was also drinking way more water on the dry food.

If anyone comes across any information - please post.




I said in a previous to look for mis perceptions as well as people who can't be bothered with the real story in their rush to be snarky (jerky?). This is from Ken Wheaton of Adage.


Your Tax Dollars at Work

Senate Delcares [sic] It's Love for Dogs

Apparently, Congress has decided to look into the recent pet-food scare. Despite the fact that pet-food is probably more heavily regulated than people food, there's never been a problem that couldn't be solved with more legislation.

During the course of the discussion, members of Congress stood up to take the brave stance that they are pro-dog, that pets are like people and so forth and so on.

I'm a big fan of dogs and cats, myself, but I think Dana Milbank's lead gets it exactly right: "A bomb had struck the Iraqi parliament earlier in the day, but it would take more than that to bring the United States Senate to heel."

This sort of foolishness is Exhibit A in why members of Congress should a) be paid $100 a year and b) be allowed to meet for one week out of the year.

Posted by Ken Wheaton on 04.13.07 @ 11:13 AM | 0 comments


Now we all have found out just how loose the term "regulation" is to the Pet Food Industry.

If any of you wish to explain to Ken exactly what the hearing was really about and maybe ask him what he has against safe food for your pets please be my guest.

This is how the industry subtly pushes you back into your place. This is how it's done folks. This is the story that they want their customers to take away from the hearings. He gets the facts wrong, ridicules, makes an unsupportable statement that is designed to sound like he cares about the "real issues". Of coure is is HIS story that is focusing on the fluff and NOT the real issues.

Think about who the AdAge clients are. Who is his audience? Who does he want to make feel better? If any of you are in the ad business, maybe you want to talk to him ad person to ad person about your sick or dead pet.

These are the kind of posts I'd like you to engage with if you are interested.

Nadine Long

Comment by Kathi — April 13, 2007 @ 10:43 pm

With every story like yours I get so sick and angry with the pet food industry lies. I slept on the living room floor right next to my big guy every night for the last week he was alive.

Did you read the link that Steve posted above with Dr. Elizabeth Hodgkins' rebuttal to the statements made by the pet food industry? Itchmo posted it, along with a link to her blog. She is the angel we've needed. We've got to get her on Oprah or Dateline, or somewhere big.



Yeah I read it.

I agree with her statements regarding whether pets are healthier today or years ago.

None of my recent pets livrd any longer than the ones I had over 55 years ago!!! They mostly ate table scraps with a supplement of canned Vets brand on nights we had no scraps to feed. And they never had to see a vet back then.

I spent well over $12,000 on vet bills for Chelsea's allergies and DM. Does not include special orthopedic beds, special bed pads because she could no longer go outside to potty. Dozens of new sheets because some I felt had too much ooze to just launder and were thrown away for her safety and mine. A $115 ramp when she was still able to walk. A large plastic sandbox that I used to bathe her because she couldn't lift herself into the tub.

I don't care about the money. She was worth a million to me. But it makes me sick that I didn't know then what I do now.

Sandi K


I read Synovate E-Nation. Tom Mularz, senior vice president. “It’s been a big scare, but maybe overblown. After all, fewer than 20 pets have died.”

What a freaking idiot.

Comment by Kathi — April 13, 2007 @ 9:24 pm

Kathi and everyone, I have an idea! Can anyone come up with Tom Mularz's e:mail address so all of us here who have had pets either die or get ill from eating tainted food, e:mail him? That way he can learn first hand more than 20pets are affected. Come on guys, lets do this! We need to start firing back at these people.


SandiK - re your 11:38 message.

You might read my message of 10:11 PM.

I think his numbers are off re the pet food sales. Might be good to know exactly where he got them from.


“It’s been a big scare, but maybe overblown. After all, fewer than 20 pets have died,” says Tom Mularz, senior vice president at Synovate E-Nation.

Oh my freggin' Gawd.

Some quotes from their website about their company:

"The work we do at Synovate is continuously stretching the definitions of conventional research." (I wonder if that includes making inane statements founded on ZERO factual information?)

"You simply won't find the Synovate drive, enthusiasm and expertise in any other major research firm." (I'm thinking you won't find this level of incompetence in any other major research firm either.)

"Synovate is reinventing research to help our clients meet the commercial challenges of the information age."

"We're constantly creating innovative ways of gathering facts, and turning that data into strategic business insights." (FACTS? Exactly what facts were you quoting, Mr. Mularz, when you said "fewer than 20 pets have died"??)

"If there's no existing method of finding out what you need to know, we'll invent one." (You invented something alright. It's called a LIE.)

Time for Mr. Mularz to be bombarded with letters, phone calls, and emails. Contact info below. Let him know how professionally inept and uninformed he is. How DARE he spout off as an authority when he is utterly IGNORANT to the FACTS.

Mail a letter:

Thomas Mularz

222 South Riverside Plaza

Chicago, IL 60606 USA

Fax a letter: 312-526-4099

Phone: 312-526-4000

Email: http://tinyurl.com/33zxdf

Go to it blog-readers. And please cross-post this info so everyone who loves their pets can bombard this farce with a little appropriate feedback about his ignorance.


Don't forget Oregon's numbers and I think Michigan is also tracking in a more *official* manner.

I didn't save the link, but maybe someone else has the archived link of the *original* Banfield story before it was watered down twice.


If only 20 pets died then they must all have died in Wilmington, NC


I just sent the following email to Mr. Mularz:

Mr. Mularz:

You are grossly uninformed about the effects of the contaminated pet food related to the recall. Oregon ALONE has recorded at least 45 deaths related to the pet food recall. Oregon has only 1.2 percent of the US population. (http://www.oregonvma.org/news/recallcases.asp#cases) Do a quick extrapolation with those numbers...

You and your company claim one of your values is to demonstrate excellence in everything you do. You fell far short of the mark here Mr. Mularz. Frankly, you should be ashamed of yourself for your extremely ignorant statement: "It’s been a big scare, but maybe overblown. After all, fewer than 20 pets have died.”

If you value professionalism, as your company professes to, then you would do well to issue an immediate and conciliatory retraction and correction of that statement, to include the fact that SEVERAL THOUSAND pets have died, and over 10,000 pets have been affected (either sick or dead) by this contaminated pet food.

As you must know in your business, you will gain far more credibility and respect by honestly admitting and taking responsibility for your error, than you will by hoping no one will notice. Please do the right thing, starting with getting your facts straight, and following up with issuing a press release prominently retracting your previous statement, and correcting the statement to reflect the true amount of suffering that has occurred here, both by pets and by the people who love(d) them dearly.

Thank you.

Sandi K

OK my e:mail has been sent to Mr. Mularz. Thanks for providing the contact info Sarah! I'll be darned if my pet not only has to die at the hands of Menu Foods and Nutro but then doesnt even get counted in a crappy survey. My girl deserves better than that! I wonder if he is at all related to Mr Ekedahl, exec dir of PFI? Either that or they have both been smoking from the same pipe.

Sandi K

Gosh Sarah, your message to Mularz was great!


Shucks, thanks Sandi. ;-) LOL



Thanks, I just sent my long-winded message to Mr. Mularz, too.

I even included my reference:

(Your statement of fewer than 20 animals have died would imply to me that they must have all died here in Wilmington, NC.)

I wouldn't mind looking at his resume. Curious if he used to work for a rag-mag. Or worse yet the pet food industry or ChemNutra.

By the way where is the lawyer and Ms Q these days?



Maybe Gina or Christie can blog his address and we can flood his mailbox.


Since day one of recall, I started feeding my babies Natural Balance Dry dog and cat and can cat and NB Eatables. At first they really chowed down on all food. Then I started giving more of the can stuff and some home cooked and increased their meals to three times a day with smaller portions. They're not eating much of the kibble. But they sure as heck race me to the kitchen for the good stuff. Sometimes Anna May my Peke/Chi sits on my lap and eats off my plate with me. Did I say sometimes??? He- he, right, all the time. Sometimes we fight over the same piece of food. I'm thinking of adding some raw from a Green Bay, WI company. My old vet up there uses it and his Chihuahua had a litter with 5 pups. I don't recall ever hearing of that many before. And there all alive and well. My friends dogs only had one or two survive. It might be worth trying anyway.

Georgeann Heckman

My dog past away on Feb 19, 2007 prior to this whole mess. He had accute chronic kidney failure. He went down hill fast. Lost weight, drank more water, and finally didn't want to eat anymore dog food. He ate a little people food. Then nothing. His diet was IAMS MIMI CHUNKS DRY DOG FOOD. AND IAMS BOTTLE SAVORY GRAVY BEEF SAUCE ON TOP OF THE DRY. If anyone else has given their dog this food and their dog got sick please contact me. IAMS CALLED ME AND ASKED FOR MY VET'S PHONE NUMBER TO GET MY PET BILLS WITHOUT HESITATION? Yet they told me prior to this whole mess it wasn't their food? But they will contact me after they call my vet? My Airdale was a healthy 6yr old male. It would have taken poisioning of any kind to take him this way. I always suspected the food but thought NO I CAN'T BE RIGHT, THEY MAKE GOOD DOG FOOD AND IT COULDN'T BE? SO I CONTINUED TO FEED HIM THEIR FOOD NOT KNOWING THIS. IF ANYONE GAVE DRY IAMS AROUND THIS TIME OR SAVORY GRAVY SAUCE PLEASE LET ME KNOW.


E MAIL ADDRESS ([email protected]


We had a much loved cat die because of the contaminated pet food and we have adopted two (4 week old) kittens who were orphaned after their Mother died from eating the poisoned food. I can't imagine ever feeding my cats wet commercial cat food again.


Regarding Synovate:

Synovate is a reputable survey company. It's been around for a long time. Prior to the internet, the company had a different name and conducted their surveys via snail mail. I was a snail mail member first and then an online member for several years but dropped out due to lack of time.

Some surveys done by Synovate can be very helpful to manufacturers, especailly when the survey is about new product packaging, marketing ideas, or ideas for new products to find out if there is an interest before companies spend big bucks on the product.

For something like a pet food recall, there is no way Synovate numbers can be anywhere near accurate, unless they broadened the survey far beyond their membership and made it available via mass media country-wide, which I don't believe they did, since it seems to have been limited to an "online survey", which more than likely was simply a survey amongst their membership.

In order to participate in Synovate surveys, you have to register to be a member, and then they notify you when a new survey is available. Then you answer some questions to see if you qualify and if you do, you are asked more specific questions about the product or issue. More than likely participants in this survey had to have a pet, so the responses were probably limited to pet owners who are Synovate members. If this is the case, percentages quoted are not even close to being an accurate indication of the "general public".

Problem is that the media sees these numbers from a reputable survey company, and twists the story showing survey responses to be an indication of the general public. Since participation in Synovate surveys is limited to such a small percentage of the population, there is no way survey results can be considered "95% of Americans".

It is irresponsible journalism to use Synovate surveys (or any other surveys where only their membership participates), and claim the results indicate "95% of Americans". More accurate reporing would have said something like "95% of Synovate members participating in this survey..." Unless, of course, Synovate went way beyond their usual survey methods, which I highly doubt.


I am not the least bit surprised to see that idiotic Marketing Daily (Synovate E-Nation) piece.

Desperate people will do and say desperate things. This is the state of spin, lies, and deceit in Corporate America. State of the Art Bullshi*t. The art of deception raised to an art form.

And yes, they really do think people are stupid enough to buy ANYTHING.

Lets move to the next stage. Now, they (some marketing hack) will attempt to try to convince people this thing never happened. "Don't worry. Be Happy! Trust us!"

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