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« Pet food recall: News and open thread | Main | Liveblogging FDA press conference »

26 April 2007


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Welcome to the hotel california

Such a lovely place

Such a lovely face

They livin’ it up at the hotel california

What a nice surprise, bring your alibis


LOL Steve...

Christie Keith

You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.


Regarding McChesney - Every search I did says he's a PhD...nothing about DVM, not even on FDA's family tree seen here:

Christie Keith

Thanks, Barb.


Daniel McChesney is listed on the FDA website CVM org chart(4/13/07) as PhD (no listing for dvm) - there are three others listed as PhD/DVM.


Hey Christie, is this press conference going to be televised? I've had CNN on all morning and haven't heard a word about it.


My guess is that whoever put this together saw the Dr. and assume he was a vet, not realizing it implied PhD. He uses 'Dr'' quite often.

Shari Mann

Daniel McChesney, Ph.D:

CVM, Office of Surveillance and ComplianceDirectorDaniel McChesney, Ph.D


Christie - CHECK YOUR EMAIL for one from Therese!

steve a

USDA will pay for food supply pigs, but not a penny for the other citizens impacted by this?

Shouldn't it be the feed companies that resold poisened food be the ones picking up the bills here?


someone on another thread posted of a chicken soup pet lover food recall?! is there a way to check this? My daughters agility champion dogs are on that food. . . I'm sorta panicked. . . those dogs are her LIFE.


At first China said We did not export wheat gluten to the United States, much less melamine tainted wheat gluten. Now it's China confirms exports to U.S. contained melamine

But that doesn't beat the epitomy of idiocy from the PFI Pet Food Industry Urges Federal Officials to Press Chinese Companies on Melamine-Tainted Exports or in other words please help us preserve our source of cheap raw materials from China.


Christie are you still watching this press conference? If so where?



Be sure to keep up with the Pet Food List.

It will tell you what's been recalled, and what hasn't.

There's a link to it in Gina's post above.


The Chicken Soup website still claims they are not involved in the recall.

"Wheat, wheat gluten, corn gluten meal, or rice protein concentrate is not used in any of our dry, canned or treat products."


"Jim (?) WDI-TV In Detroit: Total number of pets killed or sustaining some sort of injury from pet food contamination?

McChesney: Confirmed 17-18. (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) We’re not working on that."

Say WHAT?!!!

Words fail me.

*resumes head banging on desk*



If I'm not mistaken, I don't think that any of Chicken Soup's products have been recalled...

but they did sell the rice protein concentrate to the hog farm in California.

Somebody correct me, if I'm wrong.

It's a lot to keep up with!!!


(I just posted on the Costco Thread - beware of milk formula for kittens and puppies many have been recalled - they contain the tainted gluten and protein - the codes a listed on the Costco pulls thread - the companies are trying to hide this)


is there a url for this?


Marcy, you are correct they have not been recalled. I was posting that info. for BJ, I believe it was that asked about the Chicken Soup. I feed it to my dogs, so I am trying to keep up with them, too! :) sigh!

E. Hamilton

We have two days to make our pets count.

Now or never.

Put up or shut up.

Yadda yadda, rah rah,

The list we put up is the list we are doing,

no discussion, it is a done deal.

Got a hot idea for the next list, get to itchmo forums AFTER you do some work on this blitz.

Let the FDA muddle on as they will, just get the blitz info out there.


Issy, can you give me some more info about the milk formula? I need to know: someone I know is using milk formula for kittens. Links, sites, anything. Thanks


I "hear" you Sheila...

I bought a bag of the Chicken Soup for my kitties...and haven't opened it yet. Afraid to.

I am feeding Drs. Foster and Smith dry (the regular adult formula), and just dodged the "bullet" yesterday.

My babies seem fine on it, so I'm really nervous about changing to anything else right now. When this situation gets more stable, I may change or add something else though.

Until then, I figure it's 'stick with what you're doing.'

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Sigh...


CN and OK? Connecticut and Oklahoma? Those are new!


They keep talking about 'pure' melamine, but remember way back when the first China company was being 'investigated' and someone found that they had been placing ads in some trade site that they will buy 'all scrap melamine'? This implies, to my mind, that pure melamine is not even close to what was added to the gluten. The scrap could have come from anywhere from the production of anything... so why keep talking about 'pure' melamine? It's just as unbelievable as '16 pets'.


"They" knew the risks.


Thank you once again, Christie, for an amazing job keeping everyone in the loop on this. You truly do rock.


"Reporter is asking about some swine where feed tested negative but urine tested positive. Does this mean this has been going on for a long time?

Elder: Contamination in food not homogeneous. He feels dates are clear. Can’t speculate on “what you perceive as an inconsistency.”

Daniel Goldstein, Bloomberg: Elaborate on Missouri feedmill. Any chance chemical got into chicken and cattle feed as well?

Answer: Not prepared to talk about that.

Goldstein: Can’t rule out chicken and cattle feed?

McChesney: Can’t rule out chicken, but BSE regulations would prevent this from going into cattle feed."

Not prepared to talk about chicken??!!

E. Hamilton

The danger to humans is low the FDA says?

And they have it all under control?

No more recalls expected, where have I heard that before?

I believe only one thing about that press conference.

They are not working on the pet deaths.

THAT I believe.


nice find Steve. So why why why why are American food related companies begging for mass poisonings by buying so many ingredients from China??? I would say that we should be testing all shipments from China but how do you test for every conceivable way of poisoning food? Not possible. Do what Japan did and cut China off from agricultural shipments. Kool Aid anyone?


It sounds as if the FDA is not particularly concerned about the numbers (no surprise there!). That being the case, does it *have* to be the FDA that collects that information and tracks the numbers? Maybe it isn't so important that the FDA do it, but that some reputable organization do it. I know there has been talk about establishing a new organization within the veterinary community for this purpose, but that will take time and most likely won't happen soon enough to deal with the crisis we have right now. Why can't an existing organization start collecting the data and track the results? Like, maybe the AVMA? Any other possiblities?

Sandi K

Thank you so much Christie, you are our hero!



I confirmed recall on the phone. They are not announcing it publically and they do not have the recall listed on their website. I posted about my conversation on the Costco thread.

Carol PW

About the possibility cyanuric acid was added separately:

It’s an old paper, but it could easily be how melamine is being made in China today. Cyanuric acid, ammelide and ammeline are all intermediate products in the synthesis of melamine from urea, and it would be no surprise to find them a bad batch (not useful for plastic forks) of melamine.


McChesney: "Confirmed 17-18. We’re not working on that.”

Is he referring to the 17-18 animals Menu Foods killed in their lab testing the food they thought was a problem back in February and tried to cover up?

Wasn't that how it went?


JOINT NEWS RELEASE: FDA and USDA Determine Swine Fed Adulterated Product

USDA to Compensate for Depopulation

WASHINGTON, April 26, 2007 -- The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today notified State authorities that swine fed adulterated product will not be approved to enter the food supply. Based on information currently available, FDA and USDA believe the likelihood of illness after eating pork from swine fed the adulterated product would be very low; however, the agencies believe it is prudent to take this measure.

FDA determined that a shipment of rice protein imported from China was contaminated with melamine and melamine-related compounds. The product was imported during the week of April 2, 2007 by Wilbur-Ellis, an importer and distributor of agricultural products. The rice protein was used in the production of pet food and a byproduct was used to produce animal feed.

The contaminants in question include melamine and melamine-related compounds, including cyanuric acid, the combination of which is a potential source of concern in relation to human and animal health. Scientific research indicates that melamine alone, at detected levels, is not a human health concern. However, no scientific data exist to ascertain the effects of combining melamine and melamine-related compounds. Therefore, a determination has not yet been made regarding the safety of the product.

Because the animal feed in question was adulterated, USDA cannot rule out the possibility that food produced from animals fed this product could also be adulterated. Therefore, USDA cannot place the mark of inspection on food produced from these animals.

USDA is offering to compensate producers who euthanize swine that were fed the adulterated product. USDA is authorized to use Section 32 funds to restore farmers' purchasing power. USDA is also offering the expertise and assistance of Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) personnel in carrying out depopulation activities, to ensure animals are euthanized and disposed of in accordance with Federal and State laws.

FDA and FSIS are coordinating with State authorities in eight states where the adulterated feed is known to have been purchased. Eight pork producers in the states of California, Kansas, North Carolina, New York, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Utah are known to have purchased the feed. These combined operations involve approximately 6,000 hogs. All of the animals are currently being held under state quarantines in CA, NC, NY and SC. In KS, OK and UT producers agreed to hold the animals until further notice. Authorities are also in contact with a feed mill in Missouri that might have received adulterated feed.

Pork and pork products derived from animals that were fed the adulterated product will also be destroyed. In CA and UT, pork from federally inspected plants is being held under FSIS direction. In SC, a state inspected plant is voluntarily holding swine that were fed the adulterated product. FSIS, FDA and state authorities are in the process of determining whether any meat from animals that were fed the adulterated product has entered commerce. If that has occurred, FSIS will work with states and industry to take the appropriate action.

FDA and FSIS are continuing the effort to trace the adulterated feed. If additional producers are identified who fed the adulterated product to animals, they will also be offered compensation by USDA for depopulation and disposal.


Marilyn has a good point. has been collecting data regarding impacted pets - why is this data not being considered? Has it been shared with anyone? There are two major points I don't understand in this situation - 1) why is there no system for immediate notification to all vets regarding a crisis of this nature and 2) it cannot be that difficult to have some type of reporting system set up, even on an immediate, crisis basis. I would think state vet associations have contact info for most vets in the state. I worked for a Fortune 500 corporation during a major recall - you may not have a staff waiting to handle something like this, but it does not take long to put something together and take action.


Comment by Eva — April 26, 2007 @ 2:54 pm

Well how you like that the USDA is going to help the bigger businesses and let us Pet Owners fend for ourselves.

Is the Pet Food Industry going to Compensate Pet Owners for Depopulation?

Does the FDA remember what this is all about?


Comment by Steve,



Check out this catch Katiekat hauled in.

Nadine Long

"I believe only one thing about that press conference.They are not working on the pet deaths.THAT I believe."---Comment by E. Hamilton — April 26, 2007 @ 2:39 pm

It's the FDA giving the update, not the ASPCA. Where is there a federal agency that protects pets? It's time.


I have a feeling this has been going on for some time and just came to a head as so many animals got sick. I sold a puppy to a couple about 12 years ago, and they called me recently to say she inexplicably developed acute renal failure, almost OCTOBER 2006! This breed is very healthy..I have NEVER heard of a dog this age developing renal failure for no known reason. I know all the dogs in her bloodline and litter mates and still stay in touch. Her grandfather lived to 17 and mother to 15. She is the only sick dog. Eating Sensible Choice, I believe. Who knows what has been added to our food supply in the past and we just accepted that our animals somehow became ill. This is just the tip of the iceberg and not the first time, I am certain.


Thanks for liveblogging again Christie! You must have the fastest fingers west of the Missippi!


Ally, E. Hamilton, et al,

Just saw this on Consumer Affairs:

My Pet Counts! Postcard Blitz

Meanwhile, pet owners who've lost a dog or cat because of the contaminated foods are encouraged to voice their concerns in the nationwide "My Pet Counts! Postcard Blitz."

Pet owners are asked to make a post card with a picture of their deceased dog or cat -- and a brief message about their loss -- and mail it this Saturday (April 28) to the following governmental and media representatives:

Marcia K. Larkins, D.V.M

FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine


7519 Standish Place HFV-7

Rockville, MD 20855

Senator Richard Durbin

309 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, DC 20510

Your state's U.S. Senators (

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20500

Organizers say they want the event to "demonstrate the full scope of this pet food recall disaster.

"The FDA continues to publicize only '16 confirmed deaths,'" organizers say. "Reliable sources report that the number of pet deaths are and will be much higher -- most likely in the thousands. By sticking to the 'only 16 confirmed deaths' wording, this disaster is being grossly minimized. The word must get out."

National March

The postcard blitz coincides with Saturday's national march by the group Pets Need A Voice Too.

Founder Jen Hoeflein of Bastrop, Texas, organized Saturday's "Keep Our Pets Safe" march to memorialize pets that have died in the wake of the recall and draw attention to what she calls "an outrageous situation."

"The march is a direct response from people all over the country and Canada who felt an overwhelming need to speak in outrage over the lack of safety standards in regard to pet food and the corporate negligence in allowing the food to remain on the shelves prior to the recall," Hoeflein told ConsumerAffairs.Com.

The march is planned for 10 a.m. this Saturday in several cities across the country, including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas and San Diego.

Hoeflein founded the group after losing her three-year-old cat, Timber last November to liver failure.


If a dog developed renal failure months ago, would the melamine still be in the tissue or urine? To be tested? She is still alive but being hydrated twice daily to keep her alive.


I would like to offer my SINCERE THANKS to Christie, Gina, Dr. Becker, and everyone at Petconnection for this wonderful website. This site is a wealth of information and is the best place I have found to keep informed and up-to-date regarding the tragic pet food recall. Thanks again for all of your tireless hard work over the past 6 weeks, I really appreciate it.

Nadine Long

Comment by Sandra — April 26, 2007 @ 3:11 pm

I am in total agreement with you. My hope is that as the news of the toxic pet food really penetrates the population, it will ring a bell and more will come forward with their complaints of earlier cases of unexplained renal failure.

Nadine Long

Comment by Sandra — April 26, 2007 @ 3:16 pm

Have the vet contact UC Davis.



I saw in several stories that UC Davis is working on testing tissues for melamine (related to the pork issue) but you could call and see if they could extend the testing to pets as well.

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