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« Pet food recall: USA Today takes a look at the timeline | Main | Liveblogging the pet food recall hearings »

12 April 2007


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Just saw this on Yahoo News. The pet food disaster is shedding light on all foods from China.



It’s six months and the dog can’t lose more than 15 lbs.

I do believe that experts advise owners to switch dog foods so as to provide better long term nutition.

Linda MS.

Thanks Linda for the additional information. That's some tight testing the industry is doing. That's a "will it kill them fairly quickly standard", not a longevity standard. It is laughable to me. By the way I had dogs over a 15 year period and none of my vets ever suggested that I change what I was feeding my dogs unless they were absolutely eating the wrong stuff (like still eating puppy food when they were an adult, or needing to eat a different formula because they had coat issues). Still glad the cookbook is in the mail! I am learning so much with this incident; and so much of it possible because of the internet.


Comment by Gina

When referring to mainland China, I'm afraid it's the case. There is an insignificant animal rights movement, but cats and dogs used for fur and food is tolerated by Chinese society. Do the research if you can stomach it. That doesn't mean the West holds higher virtue. India frowns upon our passion for eating what they consider sacred even though there is an insignificant vegetarian movement here.

In context of the pet food scandal, I believe self regulated companies allowed to source from countries with lower or non existent standards is the problem, regardless of origin. I dare not think of what it means for human food.


Glutens are bad. Why are they in dog and cat food. Bad, bad, bad......wheat too and corn.

Don't buy it. And spread the word and hopefully the makers will change their ingredients.

Linda MS



I worry about it too - especially if substutions are made - but our leaders will need to address these problems. For the individual I think it best to avoid buying anything from China, at least until big improvements are made.

Ask your meat department and vegetable dept. where their products come from.

Linda MS.


Linda: touching assurances from that letter writer but what was left out was SOURCING of ingredients. They get the ingredients from others. what those suppliers do does not go on the label.



Oh, I get it. I really do. But what the solution is I do not know. I have found my own peace and the rest seems beyond my control.

Linda MS


Menu foods declined the invitation to appear at the hearing saying that they would be represented by the PFI. Gutless cowards they are. They were represented by an obviously brainless man who claimed not to know the facts about the delay in recall. I read the facts once three weeks ago and know the facts by heart. How could he not know the facts. Are we supposed to be that stupid as to believe him. Just like they think we are too moronic to make home prepared. Oh my you would have to go to a nutrition store to get supplies. That is a vitamin shop, plain and simple. Are we not capable of reading a recipe and going to a vitamin shop. I really think they think we are all really stupid. They will pay for underestimating our intelligence, wherewithal and power to put them out of business.

What goes around comes around. It always does eventually. All those involved in this will meet again in the end in a fiery place where they will be served the recalled food every day for eternity.


Linda, what i meant was that P&G and those big co's that are so "worried" about their public image they would NEVER use substandard ingred (just to save .005 cents) will source out ingredients. They "know nothing" about what the source does - don't have to put that ugly stuff on the label and so of course, they are going to say the worst stuff (roadkill etc.) isn't in there. UNTIL AN EXPOSE LIKE THIS FORCES THEM TO ADMIT THE TRUTH BY LAW.


thanks everyone. a good day for pets. hurrah for Durbin. Hurrah for all the blogs and bloggers.


Though this article on MSNBC is a few days old now, it would seem to indicate that some veterinarians, apparently, don't understand AAFCO (at least according to what today's hearings suggested) and what it DOESN'T guarantee -- like food safety. And yet they're advising their clients that any pet foods in stores now are "perfectly safe." Geez -- will it never end?



I also do not buy from stores that are selling these questionable fur items from China. It is very sad. We need to stop putting fur or fake fur anything on our clothes and on any item and that will help lessen the suffering of animals in other countries. We are the problem. It is us. We buy the products, we eat the products, we wear the products. We need to stop - all of us. It is a U.S. of A. consumer, over consumption issue - buy until we puke problem.

I am not an idealist. I am being very practical about it. They will produce and send what we are so ignorant to buy. Maybe it isn't right and maybe we'd like our government to do more - but the problem is in our hearts - our priorities. Don't slam me about this. China is a large country and people are starving with little food and protein and they will take advantage of every avenue to survive - including sending toxic junk to the U.S.

Linda MS.


All I know is to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart. My pets thank you too. Without this forum and itchmo and the others, I would be one of the people who sees no evil, hears no evil. My God how my pets would suffer if I were to be so stupid. So thank you, thank you for all the hard work and the countless hours all of you have and are still spending to bring the truth out.


I just wanted to thank Pet Connection and other bloggers for keeping this active and in the forefront. I heard about the recall through a pet sitting list I'm on so thought I'd post it on my blog...little did I know that was the beginning of this very bizarre 'nearly one month' crazy trip we've all been on. I was THRILLED when the fact that the blogging community, on a variety of levels) was mentioned as being responsible for getting information out to the public in a MUCH timelier fashion than the government has been. Yes, I understand the need to make sure facts are correct before sending out notices that could cause false alarm, BUT there ARE cases when you NEED to sound the alarm, facts in hand or not! Such was the case with this recall and I thank Sen. Durbin for doing such a great job today really calling some of those folks to the carpet, especially that PR-spewing PFI guy, Duane Ekedahl. Ugh.

Anyway, the main reason for this posting over here is just to thank not only Pet Connection, but all the folks who are blogging, commenting, and making sure that this story does NOT get swept under the carpet. It's the least we can do for our beloved pets.

Take care. :)



According to a University of Tennessee newsletter, in October and November 2006, as principal or co-principal investigator, Claudia Kirk received grants totaling $108,954. All can be traced back to the pet food industry.

October 2006

$14,952 Waltham Foundation ( Whiskas, Pedigree)

Claudia Kirk; Jo Smith, Joseph Bartges, Susan Lauten, Sherry Cox

November 2006

$18,974 Morris Animal Foundation (Hill’s Pet Nutrition)

Joseph Bartges; Claudia Kirk

(Note: Joseph Bartges gets another $52,092 from Nestle Purina)

$34,969 Hill’s Pet Nutrition

Claudia Kirk

$27,099 Morris Animal Foundation (Hill’s Pet Nutrition)

Claudia Kirk; Joseph Bartges

$12,960 AKC Canine Health (Purina)

Beth Johnson; Karen Tobias, Amy Holford, Joseph Bartges, Claudia Kirk


Even better news...

1. Marketplace (Public Radio) - first story tonight was the hearings and the Menu CFO stock selloff

2. Half an hour later, I come home to turn on local news (NC) and they're covering the hearings AND the concerns about the human food supply! (And it wasn't even the GOOD news station!)

So maybe it isn't groundbreaking, but I choose to see it as encouraging - even if the hearing didn't produce the drastic results we were hoping for, at least it got some media attention.


For those who don't know, Claudia Kirk was on the Senate Hearing panel today.


CBS Evening News just did some good coverage of the hearing! People food and some of Sen Durbin's best soundbites. Including the 3-week delay. YAY!!


I just did a Google news search and there's an article in the KC Star saying Menu made another recall of cat food today. Maybe you all already know this --


More on DR. CLAUDIA KIRK who testified before the Senate hearing today. According to this site, lethadose.worpress. com, Dr. Kirk is in with the pet food industry.


Claudia A. Kirk, DVM.

Associate Professor at The University of Tennessee (UT) College of Veterinary Medicine

Member of something called an “equivalent of an academic faculty of clinical nutrition” at the Mark Morris Institute (MMI) which is a front for Hill’s pet food used to funnel money to universities and professors, and most importantly to indoctrinate future vets.

Worked at Hill’s Science and Technology Center for 9 years

Kirk’s Assignment from Pet Food Industry:

Use any tactic to convince people that homemade pet food is dangerous

Say anything to deflect blame away from the pet food industry

Kirk’s comments in JAVMA on March 30, 2007, are particularly nauseating. It’s a disgusting collection of excuses and misrepresentations supporting the pet food industry without disclosing Kirk’s current relationship with MMI.

Unless a clinical nutritionist has been involved in developing a home-cooked food plan for a pet, Dr. Kirk believes the possible harm of not providing a balanced diet outweighs the potential for encountering further contamination.

By “clinical nutritionist” she means people like herself that developed the expensive food sold at by vets that made our pets fat, diabetic, arthritic, with bladder stones, hyperthyroidism, and chronic renal failure. Food that made our pets so sick, those same clinical nutritionist had to develop new foods to “treat” the effects of the old food. Now our pets just die instantly.

In Pfizer’s recent press release, touting the benefits of their new drug for the “effective management of canine obesity” Kirk admits 40% of US dogs are fat. She blames it all on two “habits” of pet owners: failing to “ensure their pets get adequate exercise” and giving dogs “too much food” because owners “often equate food with love.” Yup, the Associate Professor of Medicine and Nutrition/Amateur Psychologist is saying canine obesity has nothing to do with the ingredients in dog food. This is typical of the Kirk. She’ll use misinformation from any discipline to deflect attention away from the pet food industry.

Academic Un-Excellence: Kirk is listed as the contact for the article Avian Influenza and pet food safety posted on the UT College of Veterinary Medicine Nutritional Services web page. The article asserts:

… there is no danger to dogs and cats from eating commercial pet food containing any poultry ingredients.

Kirk’s article is taken verbatim from a “free to copy” article published anonymously and without references in the pseudo-trade journal Pet food Industry - with one exception. Kirk added this little gem to the bottom:

On the other hand, people preparing pet foods using uncooked poultry (i.e. pet food workers, ingredient suppliers, pet owners feeding home-prepared and raw poultry diets) theoretically will increase their exposure and risk of contracting the disease if Avian Influenza becomes prevalent within the U.S. poultry population.

That’s right. A vet that worked for Hill’s pet food and then got a job at UT, but still gets money from Hill’s without disclosing it, used the academic authority of The University of Tennessee, College of Veterinary Medicine to declare commercial pet food safe and to insinuate that you could die if you make pet food at home.

Screen captures of all of the referenced pages available upon request.



Lynette said,

April 9, 2007 @ 4:09 pm

Great - and Dr. Kirk will be testifying in front of the Senate April 12 regarding the recent pet food recalls…. gee, wonder what she’ll say? (dripping with sarcasm…)

Susanne Scott said,

April 9, 2007 @ 4:51 pm

This just stinks to high heaven…well, basically, this is a set-up. “like-minded” politicians appear to get to the bottom of things (appeasing their constituents), interview people (academics) sleeping with the pet food industry, and then “assuring” the public that after extensive investigations, the committee could find no wrong-doing and its business as usual. The industry is done as far as I’m concerned. I will never buy commercial pet food again and I will never trust vets again.


I went to the Mark Morris Institute (MMI) site and clicked on the "contact us" links. Both links have "hillspet" as the last part of the email address.


Additionally, the Food and Drug Administration today said a random check of 400 retail outlets across the U.S. that sell pet food found some were still stocking previously recalled dog and cat food.


Just taking a few moments to toss a sincere thanks to Gina, Christie and the cast of thousands...y'all are creating citizen journalism of the kind the world hasn't seen since the days of Ben Franklin .....Keep it up!


Comment by Gina Spadafori — April 12, 2007 @ 3:13 pm

I have to agree with Frank on this one. I don't think bashing China's animal welfare standards equates to racism. This is the government whose answer to a rabies epidemic was (and still is, apparently) to haul non-rabid dogs in affected areas out into the street and club them to death in front of their owners. That's well-reported and well-documented fact.

I understand your concern that the entire population is being tarred with the same brush - I know there are many, MANY devoted pet lovers in China. But its government is clearly a different story, and I think it's fair to consider that. Especially when we're talking about pet food ingredients coming out of that country under the auspices of its official grain export agency. Is it realistic to think they'd exercise the same careful inspection we'd expect from a more pet-friendly country?


Can you believe this one?

WASHINGTON, April 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Pet Food Institute

(PFI), which represents pet food manufacturers, today announced the

formation of the National Pet Food Commission, composed of

nationally-recognized veterinarians, toxicologists, state and federal

regulators and nutritionists, to further strengthen industry procedures and

safeguards in light of recent pet food recalls.


Frank ,

i read your message. your right about china selling anything it can to the U.S. , but it's worse than that? the Goverment is communist

dedicated to destroying capitalism.. it's not changed, the ideology reamins unchanged..

it's a very corrupt system. and if we don't

watch we'l be eatting the toxins next. (look

at the number of nations sold toxic drugs and

even the number of poisonings in china?).

we , even if the bozo bush admistration refuses

to see the light ,have to make sure we do NOT

use chinese products?? i swear to you , eventually it'l happen.. and those that haven't

wised up will be sorry..

Ann Martin

I've researched/investigated the pet food industry for over 16 years now and written books, Food Pets Die For: and Protect Your Pet:, on what transpires within this industry. The ingredients used should be sent to landfill not fed to our pets. It is garbage, total garbage and we will never see this industry regulated. They are self-regulated, despite the claims of the PFI, and this won't change. The only changes will be made by the consumers who refuse to buy these foods and either cook for their pets or purchase foods from that smaller companies that use only human grade ingredients. This industry has got away with the blatant murder of our pets.


Comment by Steve: Can you believe this one?

What was truly unbelievable was the PFI hack shamelessly holding up a full page ad in USA Today announcing it during the Senate hearing! The audacity to use a hearing on sickened and dead pets as a publicity stunt is the slimiest thing to hit corporate America in history.


How Close Was Tainted Wheat To Human Food?

CBS News Has Learned Nothing But Luck Kept Suspect Wheat Gluten Out Of Food Supply


Hooray for Senator Durbin!

I too want to thank Pet Connection and all the bloggers out there. Without you all I don't think the hearing would have taken place. Hopefully this is the begining -

By the way, we are into our third week of home cooking. My dog now has a glossy coat, and hair so soft,her nails weren't brittle when cut today,she's happy,her demeanor is so calm. I will never go back to supporting those companies with my dollars. All her symptoms disappeared when I no longer fed her that c_ _ _ _ !

I sure did enjoy seeing Mr. Ekedahl being on the hot seat. And the fellow from AAFCO having to tell what AAFCO really meant.

Also glad to see, at the end of the hearing the website was posted at the bottom of the screen. More people will now know where to come for information.

Again, Thank you all -



Thank you all so very much for your persistance! WAY TO GO! Kudos to all of many people and pets thank you! Hopefully the light at the end of the tunnel is near...


Comment by Ann Martin

Thank you Ann...Your work remains a milestone for many of us.

Mary Smith

Linda MS,

Comment by Linda ? April 12, 2007 @ 4:14 pm

I do not sell these products, but a friend of mine told me about them.

This is a very "natural" friendly company. I think that they even sell feverfew.

You might want to check it out.


Ann Martin,

Just looked in and saw your message. Really great to have you online. Any suggestions on good brands to look for? People are desperate for guidance right now, as you might imagine.


Gracie - thanks for the link. Refreshing to hear a major news organization do a good story.


perhaps someone has already mentioned this, but I recently switched cat food -- Merrick (for soft food - they dont have dry for cats yet) and Innova for dry cat food. My kitties look so great! They looked good before, but since switching, I can still see a difference! Plus they seem to be happier & have even more energy, which I didn't think could happen :) (can order online - free shipping) (for Innova)

Margaret Bridge

Here are a few links to some media reports on the senate hearing.


some great food that I recently switched my 4 kitties to is Merrick & Innova. (Innova)


CSPAN2 showing replay of hearing!

Not sure if someone posted this already or not, but I Just saw on C-SPAN’s site that they will be showing the Pet Food Regulation hearing on C-SPAN2 tonight at 10:24 PM EST, and 2:50 AM EST.


Regarding the CBS link:

"CBS News has learned that the tainted wheat gluten used in pet food was human grade — meaning nothing but luck kept it from being used in the food people eat, too, CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson reports."

Where have they been for the last month?!


I also want to jump in here & thank Pet Connection & all the hard-working people who have kept all of us up to date. Very little on the news or in the newspaper. I believe this would've gotten shoved under a rug somewhere had it not been for a lot of these people.

Thanks also to the bloggers. I have learned a lot just from hopping around & reading the posts. My eyes are blurry from reading but my dog is alive & well so it's well worth it.

I threw out a ton of treats in the past few weeks. I went through my cupboard & started to read labels.....very scary. Dog biscuits with wheat gluten MADE IN CHINA....I couldn't believe all the crap I had been feeding my dog & had no clue I could've killed her with this stuff.

I am now reading labels on everything....only all natural & organic ingredients will find their way into this house & my doggy's belly. This is one of the most horrible things I have ever seen big business do to their customers & I will never forget it either. An apology & any word at all on what they are now doing to prevent this from ever happening again would also be nice.

I made copies of the recall lists & the names of the companies...they are off my list for life, no matter how much they improve what goes into dog food. Only the organic, human grade ingredients for my pooch.

I hope & pray that all the outraged pet owners boycott these sleazy companies & their crappy food. You can write letters & make phone calls but nothing will get their attention more than them losing money.....& their CEOs losing their gazillion dollar bonuses each year. That's how we can get our message across that we're MAD AS HELL & AREN'T GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE!!!!!!


Me again.....Mandy, I just noticed you talking about some great foods you just switched to. I may be wrong but I thought I read somewhere that Innova's wet food is made by Menu Foods. Maybe I have them mixed up with someone else but you might want to check that out.


Thank you Mary Smith.

Linda ms


This is a quote from the Kansas City Star article Steve linked earlier in this thread: "On Thursday, Menu broadened its recall to include more private and branded types of canned cat food, including products made for supermarket chain Price Chopper and for branded labels, including Nutro." That article was published today. I can't find anything anywhere else about more recalls today. Does anyone know if this is just erroneous reporting, or have more products been added to the list today?


If you go to the list, the Science Diet for cats was updated today. It sends you directly to Hills website but says the information is not new? Sounds like Hill's is starting to sweat about something and not making any sense. Could there be something coming? It's Friday tomorrow and I'm worried. Hill's is getting a lot of blogs about their dry lately.


I wanted to add that I think mentioning what China does as their state sanctioned policy towards animals and the environment, their citizens etc. is not racism.

They received so much world-wide criticism over their culling of dogs to stop rabies that they are reconsidering their policies. There's nothing wrong with us not liking such state sanctioned actions in China or speaking the truth of what is happening in China, maybe you just don't want it on this blog - maybe some of it sounds too harsh.

I do not hate Chinese people. But I do not agree with their official policies on many important issues. And that is why I do not buy China - to the best of my ability.

Linda MS.



....It is an unfortunate fact that most Univ. research is funded by companies. There is not much govt money for doing basic research on anything and certainly there's no basic research on dog nutrition - it's all done by pet food companies.


Comment by CathyA — April 12, 2007 @ 7:50 pm

Re: "It is an unfortunate fact that most Univ. research is funded by companies. There is not much govt money for doing basic research on anything and certainly there’s no basic research on dog nutrition - it’s all done by pet food companies."

Unfortunately, this is true to a startling degree regarding cancer and related research in humans.

I think we need to re-examine what we expect of government.


More government regulation is not the answer. Regulatory agencies have shown us over and over again that they are ill equipped to protect the public on a broad scale. Simply take a look at how Katrina was mishandled.

Yesterday’s message was very clear. No taxpayer-funded regulatory agency, congressional hearing, corporate or private industry, trade association, oversight commission, etc., will ever provide a 100% guarantee against a contaminated food supply – for pets or humans!

Food supplies are tested for previously known toxins ONLY- ones that have already been associated with unintentional or intentional contaminations. It would be impossible and impractical to expect that all food products could be tested for all of the earth’s known toxins regardless of what continent they come from.

I have no doubt that the pet food recall will highlight the glaring lapses in what has been an inherently weak system comprised of incestuous subsidies between the food manufacturer’s and their vendors. But that isn’t the problem. The problem is that the consumer is expecting the impossible and those in charge, industry and government, do not have the fortitude to tell them the truth. There CAN BE NO 100% GUARANTEE!

laura S

EVERYONE.....GREAT NEW WEBSITE: has many up-to-date tools, a nation-wide map tracker of animals who have died from the poisoned foods, etc .


funded research

about Funded Research

Rent-a-Researcher, by Jennifer Washburn is a great article detailing how Procter & Gamble (parent company of Iams pet food) tried to manipulate researchers investigating their osteoporosis drug. One noble researcher, Aubrey Blumsohn, stood up against this scientific misconduct.

I don't know anything about Mr. Blumsohn other than what I've read in Jennifer's article, but he is my new personal hero. If you are disheartened by the all the shysters in this pet food scandal, Mr. Blumsohn's story will remind you that there are good people out there doing the right thing.

The article explains how P&G perverts and manipulates the methods used in a "blind" study. The same sort of intentional perversion of the scientific process occurs in veterinary research.

For example, a pet food company will fund a study comparing two diets. The pet food company provides the researcher with all the food to be used in the study. Since the researcher doesn't know which food is which,supposedly his bias won't influence the outcome.

The problem: the researcher never actually finds out what was in the food. He takes the word of the pet food company that supplied it.

(sorry, no time to finish or proofread. I'm about to lose electricity.)

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