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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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Great - blame some poor clerk.

It's never the managements fault when some thing goes wrong.

These people are just unbelievable. They have the entire world watching them and they still can't do something simple like tell the FDA truthfully where all the tainted gluten went.

My guess is that some people there knew but hoped no-one would notice. Sacks marked "Made in China" don't just walk from Kansas to Ontario!


Just heard this news and thought they were taking lessons from the aviation industry when a crash occurs. Blame human error, it makes for a better insurance claim.

According to Menu Foods Annual Information Form, found on, page 16:

"IT Systems

In November 2001, Menu purchased and installed the J.D. Edwards One WorldTM system in Menu’s Streetsville location. The system was subsequently installed into the Emporia and Pennsauken facilities during 2002, for a

total three-year project cost of approximately $8 million. In 2003, the system was installed in the North Sioux City facility. Management believes that this new software has been modified to incorporate the strengths of

Menu’s previous legacy software, and provides the foundation for advancement in the use of real-time management information."

The question is obviously, did they use it to check all factories independently to see what happed to the wheat gluten and where it went? Did they rely on Kansas to say they didn't ship it to Canada. That would be stupid IMO. BTW, isn't the Canadian factory in Streetsville the head office? Wouldn't they initiate their investigation from there?

This just makes me sick how the spin is put on the problem. Take the food off the shelves and start with fresh food. Unfortunately, Nutro did it too late.


I hope Sam Bornstein said more than that. MenuFoods should be issuing press releases on these issues that people can read in entirety, at least on the web. No newspaper on earth gives you the whole story, as there's not enough column inches to use vs. advertising space. Then again if they'd leave out Anna Nicole Smith and her ilk (Don Imus), perhaps there would be.

Mr. Bornstein. We know people aren't perfect. What are you going to do to fix this problem? Immediately put a better tracking system in place? Quit mixing loads? What? Why should we believe you're going to conduct business any other way that you have been in the past? Menu Foods' crisis management agency isn't earning their money if they don't get that. Keep shoveling, the hole is getting deeper.


Common sense would tell you, "Hey, we don't know what is in our food that is killing all these pets. This is our business and we're killing our customers. To be safe and to err on the side of caution instead of negligence, maybe we should take ALL our food off the shelves until we figure out what is going on."

Greed is a mighty powerful force, isn't it? Right here in full force and effect for all the world to see. We're witnessing the pathetic scramble of these big pet food corporations as they try to save face and made that one last dollar before they pull that can of food off the shelve. There is no regard to our pets. None of that food would be coming off the shelves if it weren't for websites like this and the others who are fighting back. Don't mess with our kids!!

Mark Weins, you're not fooling anybody. You're a crook and I hope you are the first in this long line of corporate murderers to go to jail. If I had it my way, you all would be brought up on charges of animal cruelty, abuse and neglect. There is just no other way to describe what is going on. There is no reason why all this food isn't off the shelves. You and your corporate buddies are knowingly poisoning our kids - maybe not intentionally, but you know that your foods are not safe and that pets are still dying.

Are visiting days still on Sundays in the "big house"


I would like to see the pet food companies proactively sending samples of their foods to a third party lab to see if they contain melamine. Then they can let us know the results. That way, if any more clerical errors are discovered, no one will have to be "shocked".


You guys are amazing. I go to bed and the next morning you have uncovered the truth and now we know Big Brother is a group of Multi-national corporations that own everything and spin the news, wouldn't surprise me if they also do away with their enemies - send them to a desert island never to be heard from again.

Guess we better look over our shoulder from now on.

Linda MS


Will this never end! Every recalled foods added to the list.

MENU FOODS should...MUST... be prosecuted, negligence, if not criminal charges.

"Someone made a mistake" in not knowing that Canada and Royal Canine was involved???

Hey, this recall has been going on for months...and Menu Foods knew about the "poisons" in our pet foods waaaay long before they

announced it to the media. YOU CAN BE SURE OF THIS!!!!!

I pray Congress makes a formal hearing into this, as promised.

Just soon before we begin hearing of human sickness from "gluten" from China. It was reported today, 4/12/07, that @ 200 ill and 1 dead in China from eating cereal. And you can be sure there is more to this story in China that we are not being told.

Stay Tuned...much more to come.

Laura Spitko

I just saw this.....Mark Weins is a real stand-up guy...yeah right.

Pet food insider sold shares before recall

CFO calls sale a 'horrible coincidence'


From Tuesday's Globe and Mail

The chief financial officer of Menu Foods Income Fund says it's a "horrible coincidence" that he sold nearly half his units in the troubled pet food maker less than three weeks before a massive recall of tainted pet food.

Insider trading reports show that Mark Wiens sold 14,000 units for $102,900 on Feb. 26 and Feb. 27. Those shares would be worth $62,440 today, based on yesterday's close of $4.46 a unit.

That represented 45 per cent of Mr. Wiens's units. After the sale, he still owned 17,193 units and options to purchase 101,812 units, according to insider trading reports.

"It's a horrible coincidence, yes . . ." Mr. Wiens said yesterday.

"I hold myself to the highest ethical and moral standards possible. I wouldn't do anything to imperil the high governance standards that I demand of myself or anybody in the company."

Mr. Wiens said the first reports of illnesses and deaths related to Menu Foods products came in to the company's toll-free customer relations line in late February.

But he said he did not hear of any possible problem with the company's products until early March.

On March 16, the Streetsville, Ont., pet food maker recalled 60 million containers of cat and dog food.

"In terms of process, during any given year, we get consumer complaints all the time and it becomes matter of course for our technical people, so it's not something that necessarily gets flagged right to the top on an ongoing basis," Mr. Wiens said.

Menu Foods president and chief executive Paul Henderson has previously said Menu Foods ended its relationship with its Chinese supplier of wheat gluten on March 6.

By that date, it was clear "something was wrong" with some of the company's products, Mr. Henderson said at a press conference on March 30. In the first week in March, animals in routine taste tests of the company's "cuts and gravy" products began showing symptoms of kidney failure.

Mr. Wiens said he has not been approached by the Ontario Securities Commission or any other regulators about the timing of his unit sales. OSC spokeswoman Wendy Dey said the company routinely reviews insider trading reports, but does not comment on individual cases.

Jay Strosberg, a Windsor, Ont., lawyer who has filed a lawsuit against Menu Foods on behalf of a woman whose six-year-old cat died of kidney failure on Feb. 22, said regulators should look into Mr. Wiens's trades to see whether the buyers bought at inflated prices.

"At this point in time, we have absolutely no information about what the company knew or when they knew it," Mr. Strosberg said. "That information would not be disclosed to us until we're further along in the class action."

Mr. Wiens said he sold his shares in late February for financial planning purposes. He was prohibited from trading until Feb. 16 because of a blackout period related to the company's fourth-quarter results, he said.

But when he learned about the trouble with the company's products, he knew his trades would raise some questions, Mr. Wiens said.

"Certainly there would be questions when you piece all the timing together. I understand that," Mr. Wiens said.

The recall affected various customers including Procter & Gamble Co., Nestlé SA and Loblaw Cos. Ltd.

After the contaminant was identified as melamine found in wheat gluten obtained from a Chinese supplier, other manufactures also recalled their pet foods.


Go to sleep? Getting to point where I'm afraid to go to sleep because when I wake up another shoe has dropped. Agree all the food should come off the shelves. But then they wouldn't get the huge bonus.


“I hold myself to the highest ethical and moral standards possible. I wouldn’t do anything to imperil the high governance standards that I demand of myself or anybody in the company.” - Mark Weins, Menu Foods CFO

That's right Mark, we beleive you. The world knows what your "high governance standards" mean: Look out for No. 1 and when the ship starts sinking, JUMP!


Nestle is buying out Gerber Baby Food.

Linda MS


Linda MS,

Great...just great. First pet population control with poisoned pet food that they refuse to take off the shelves, now human population control with Nestle buying Gerber. No telling what is going to go into baby food now...


MSNBC story today of a drug company in Atlanta (I believe)using Mob tactics and blackmail with plans to kill a FDA agent:

These companies think they can do anything - they are above the law - including these pet food manufacturers.

Linda MS


These Fools Must Think We Have Stupid Written On Our Forhead. Every Day There Is More Garbage Thrown In Our Face.


The only solution is to stop giving them your money.

I know if my baby was still on baby food, she wouldn't be eating any Gerber. No way.


I thought the hearing was today at 2pm I don't see it listed on the schedule?


I have been saying all along... if something like this happened with Gerber baby food, the media would not allow it to be swept under the rug. It's happening to our pets, who are not valued by society the way that human babies are.

I don't wish ill on anyone, but if Nestle can't get their act together, their lax practices are eventually going to be exposed through Gerber. Not soon enough to help all of the pets who have sickened and died.


“Humans are not perfect. Someone made a mistake,” spokesman Sam Bornstein said in an e-mailed response to questions. “We were shocked.”

Shocked? Really? No you weren't. Menu Foods' response to this devastating situation is nothing less than gross negligence. Pet owners are "shocked". Surprised? No. Its just another example of the irresponsibilty on the part of Menu Foods. They are in no way showing anybody that they care about anything or anybody but themselves.

The words that keep coming out of their mouths are foul and disrespectful. They may be able to throw that BS out at their peon workers, but it will not work with the angry, heartbroken pet owners.

And, not that it makes one bit of difference at this point, but has anybody ever heard one of them say "We're sorry"?



The hearing is at 2pm today. It's listed at the bottom of the page here:

C-Span 1 will also be carrying the hearing live.



The hearing will be carried live on TV cable channel CSPAN at 2 p.m. (EDT). See link for CSPAN at:

(Note that CSPAN is a different channel than CSPAN2 or CSPAN3; it's channel 70 in NY, but's on different channels in different cable media markets)


Please send an e-mail to Senator Dubin with your concerns:


They don't say they are sorry - because they can't admit wrong, legally, and besides it wouldn't mean anything, they are just sorry for the mess they created for their company, not sorry for our pets hurting and dying, if they cared about pets they wouldn't keep labs animals (cats and dogs) in cages and feed them poison.

I will never buy another thing from a company that tests on our pets. These animals need love and tender care - they have emotions and feelings.

Linda MS


Thank you! I will be watching.


what peee's me off martha stewart went to jail why is this jerk from menu foods getting off so easy. he knew the food comeing from menu foods were killing pets but he was more worried over selling his shares before telling the public. they need to close menu foods down. and put him in jail for a very long time. does menu foods and all these food co.'s think for 1 second that pet owners will ever buy another can or pouch again after this. almost 4,000 pets are dead. no way in hell will we buy "wet" food !!!!!


There needs to be a grass roots movement working towards creating an Association of some kind that represents the interests of pet parents and owners all across the country that will stand up to this Goliath known as the Pet Food Industry.

The Pet Food Industry is dysfunctional, to the point of being downright dangerous and is in need of a complete overhaul.


I am still researching the entire manufacturing process for wet pet foods and need help.

I am trying to track down viable information on how the process works. I understand the labelling requirements but need further information. Some pet food companies say they use only actual meat in their products, others list meat meal and meat byproducts and all the other poisons..oopp ingredients.

If anyone can point me to reliable articles on the process..especially whether manufacturing companies are able to use either fresh "meat" or frozen "meat" or whether the whole process entails using meat meal and the such, I would greatly appreciate this information so that I can continue my research.

I have been digging and enquiring from various pet food companies for the last few weeks and I keep getting double talk.


Everyday there is something new to beat out what I thought was absurd yesterday. This is really tiresome.

Margaret Bridge

This is the link itchmo has posted for a live broadcast of the hearing.

Margaret Bridge

This is the link itchmo has posted for a live broadcast of the hearing.

REposted to separate the link.


“Humans are not perfect. Someone made a mistake,” spokesman Sam Bornstein said in an e-mailed response to question.

Truer words have never been spoken about Menu. Mistake after mistake. And the CFO who sold his stock which just happened to be a "coincidence".

This Company is so full of it!

Bob Vernon

The CFO of MenuFoods sold stock shortly before the recall.

Not only are they murderers, they are thieves.


Comment by mal — April 12, 2007 @ 8:03 am

It would be nice if manufacturers would tell you how they interpret the AAFCO label definitions, but it might take a great class action lawsuit to uncover this dirty little secret.

This great resource has been posted several times. In the many references to "labeling" it details what the parameters are -- or, for your purposes, aren't. AAFCO-approved definitions appear to show that "the devil is in the details."

For example, under (4)Label Regulations in the Harvard paper:

"The FDA recognizes only the AAFCO ingredient definitions as the “common or usual name.” Thus, if an ingredient is not recognized by AAFCO, then it has no AAFCO ingredient definition and no common or usual name, thereby prohibiting use of the ingredient in pet food.

Such a requirement might seem logical, but consider Dr. Wysong’s account of trying to include organic ingredients in his pet food. Because AAFCO’s list of approved ingredients excludes “organic,” attempting to label a pet food product organic requires “third party confirmations, affidavits, and proofs like those needed in some kind of criminal case.”[96] Costly and time-consuming requirements such as these necessitate Dr. Wysong’s listing of his organic ingredients as simply “meat.” These organic products are then sold on the same shelf as a mass market pet food containing inferior ingredients such as chicken beaks and cow intestines, yet also labeled “meat.”[97] AAFCO allows no distinction.

Some of the most common ingredients found on commercial pet food labels, such as meat meal and animal by-product meal, reveal almost nothing of their true nature through such cryptic, yet FDA approved, “common or usual” names. Meat meal is “the rendered product from mammal tissues, exclusive of any added blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents except in such amounts as may occur unavoidably in good processing practices.”[98] Animal by-product meal is defined as “the rendered product from animal tissues, exclusive of any added hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents, except in such amounts as may occur unavoidably in good processing practices.”[99] Rendering, the melting down of animal parts, is discussed in detail below. But it is important to recognize that the AAFCO definition leaves much to be desired. Until AAFCO defines “good processing practices” in specific terms, it takes little imagination to wonder how much hair and stomach contents are included in bone meals, considering the time and cost it would take to remove such items in mass quantities."


Menu's mixing of gluten from multiple sources also surprised foodmaking consultants. "It's odd," says Peter Clark of Oak Park, Ill.

Actually, I think this statement stands out the most. It brings to light a fact that I am sure Menu did not want known. If anything, it is findings like this that will cause change.


People are going to REGRET it if this is allowed to slip under the radar and things return to business as usual.

It's going to take more then a few Congressmen expressing 'disappointment' and moving on to the next order of business.

When does the criminal investigation begin?


Again, for those who don't have the right software to listen to the webcast of the hearing on your computer, you can watch it on CSPAN live at 2 (Eastern time) if you have cable TV. That's CSPAN, not CSPAN2, or CSPAN3:


No rest for the wicked the ol' saying goes.

+0.13 (3.16%)


A clerical error? That's baloney. Sickening and disgusting is all I can say. Like I have said repeatedly, I think these guys should have a feeding tube inserted where they can "enjoy" their own products. B@st@rds!


This is an old article but very relevant to the BIG PICTURE:

As tragic as the animal deaths caused by the tainted "food" are, a small number of contaminated cans is not really the issue when it comes to pet food.

Detecting corporate media bias often requires us to discern omissions. For example, consider how the recent pet food recall was reported. Los Angeles Times staff writer Kimi Yoshino penned an article ("Recall of pet food alarms owners") on March 19, 2007 that was widely syndicated. In the piece (which was consistent with almost all corporate media accounts), readers learned what brands were in question, how many animals had been affected, and (of course) that the company's stock has plummeted. Yoshino also interviewed a handful of pet owners (sic), including Victoria Levy, who declared: "That's so disturbing. When they put food on the shelves, you trust that it's safe."

When they put food on the shelves, you trust that it's safe.

This is where the concept of "omissions" kicks in because what the Los Angeles Times and its ilk opted to ignore is this: As tragic as the animal deaths caused by the tainted "food" are, a small number of contaminated cans is not really the issue when it comes to pet food. In an industry dominated by multi-nationals like Nestlé, Heinz, Colgate-Palmolive, and Procter & Gamble, repulsiveness should come as no surprise.

"What most consumers don't know is that the pet food industry is an extension of the human food and agriculture industries," explains the Animal Protection Institute. "Pet food provides a market for slaughterhouse offal, grains considered 'unfit for human consumption,' and similar waste products to be turned into profit. This waste includes intestines, udders, esophagi, and possibly diseased and cancerous animal parts."

If you question the motives an animal "protection" group, here's what the Pet Food Institute (the trade association of pet food manufacturers) has to say: "The growth of the pet food industry not only provided pet owners with better foods for their pets, but also created profitable additional markets for American farm products and for the byproducts of the meat packing, poultry, and other food industries which prepare food for human consumption.

In a particularly ugly twist, euthanized pets are often themselves boiled and used to make cosmetics, fertilizer, gelatin, pharmaceuticals, and yes, pet food (with traces of sodium pentobarbital for added flavor). "When you read pet-food labels and it says meat or bone meal, that's what it is: cooked and converted animals, including some dogs and cats," explains Eileen Layne of the California Veterinary Medical Association.

One more time...and this time with feeling: "When they put food on the shelves, you trust that it's safe."


I have never found any credible evidence that dogs and cats are used to make pet food. The only study I found on the topic was when the FDA tested for pentobarbital in pet food and at the same time tested for canine DNA. They found no canine DNA. Does anyone know of any evidence which indicates otherwise?


I have been doing a ton of research & reading up on different products. I am switching my beloved Lab to Hund-n-Flocken....I believe she has an allergy to these crap grains anyway so I've been looking for a product without lecithin (found out this is soybean....even when a product advertises no soy.....#1 additive that animals are allergic to.....interesting, huh?). Also threw out a ton of treats.....wheat gluten everywhere & some are even made in China. Beware, pet parents, read the labels THOROUGHLY. Somewhere I read to look for BHA & BHT & to avoid those ingredients. Lots of treats with those also.

I am as angry & sick as the rest of you are but I have sworn I will never buy anything from any of these companies again (I printed out a copy of these sleaze bag companies in case I should ever forget but I doubt that). The only way we can prove our point is to boycott all their products & hit them in the only place they care about: $$$$$$. There are a lot of organic, holistic & all natural pet foods out there. Do your research & read the labels....your pet will thank you for it. The only good to come out of this is perhaps we can put some of these jackasses out of business & give our money to the companies that use wholesome ingredients.

I can only pray that these companies suffer financially big time over this. I haven't heard any of them apologize & tell us what they will not do differently to prevent this from ever happening again. Instead Menu Foods is making food like nothing ever happened. What a piss-off.

None of them will admit their dry is tainted but I know in my heart it is & they did not want to make that fact public. Maybe I don't have good logic but wouldn't the dry & wet pet foods have ingredients in common? Could we have the tainted wheat gluten in dry food but, oops, clerical error, forgot to mention that.


“Certainly there would be questions when you piece all the timing together. I understand that,” Mr. Wiens said.

Comment by Laura Spitko from quoted mtl on stock sales: "The recall affected various customers including Procter & Gamble Co., Nestlé SA and Loblaw Cos. Ltd."




fyi - wellness canned says product of canada. their reply has been 'made by menu but not at u.s. plant and no gluten'

this means it was made in the menu plant in canada that rcvd tainted gluten. another reason to avoid all menu foods connections.


In response to slt's question about cats and dogs in pet food.

There was a plant in Quebec Canada that did this.


RE: Comment by jan — April 12, 2007 @ 9:09 am

"I haven’t heard any of them apologize & tell us what they will not do differently to prevent this from ever happening again."

Yes, that's it exactly. The first words out of their mouths should be an apology and an acknowledgement that the buck stops at their desk. Those 2 things will make me at least be willing to listen the next time they talk.

Again, you are right - what are they going to do to fix problems. Honestly, in the global marketplace, I don't think there's any way to make eating 100% safe and risk free. But there are definitely things a company, our government, "we" can do to make it safer. I'm not sure boycotting anything is the answer. I think that a flood of letters from their customers (former or future) telling them what we want might be more powerful.


Sorry, I meant to say "I haven't heard them apologize & tell us what they will do differently to prevent this from ever happening again". It sounds a little confusing the way I wrote it's my adrenaline that's causing me to type faster & make know, a clerical error.....BS BS BS BS BS BS.

I still say not buying their pet foods is a way of sending them a loud & clear msg that we will not buy their crap now that we know the garbage that goes into it. It makes me sick to think I was feeding my dog that crap. Never again.

I'm going to be an informed buyer from this point on. Sadly, I wasted a ton of money throwing out a bunch of stuff but better that than sickening my dog or worse yet, losing her.

I know of people who lost pets long before this recall so we will never know the true numbers. Oh, & by the way, it was dry food that they were feeding them.


I'm just flittin' around the net looking at the US/China wheat or trade deals. This article kinda makes me wonder what "deals" they came up with:


WASHINGTON, April 22, 2004 – Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman and Li Changjiang, China’s Minister for the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, agreed to establish a consultative mechanism on food safety and animal and plant health issues.

The signing came after three days of high-level talks between U.S. and Chinese officials in Washington this week with the meeting of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade where the two nations discussed a wide range of economic and trade issues.

“China is an increasingly important market for U.S. food and agricultural products,” said Agricultural Secretary Ann M. Veneman. “The value of agricultural exports to China have nearly tripled in the past two years. China now takes nearly ten percent of total U.S. food and agricultural exports.”

The agreement is the first step in a process that will strengthen technical cooperation and exchanges in the fields of food safety and animal and plant health. The United States and China will exchange information on laws and regulations and identify issues of mutual interest and work to address them. There will also be personnel exchanges at the technical level, seminars and training, and cooperative research on common problems.

“As members of the World Trade Organization, our two countries are committed to adhering to and promoting the WTO sanitary and phytosanitary agreement,” said Veneman. “As our agricultural trade continues to grow and thrive, we must make every effort to quickly identify and address differences to maintain trade.”


We might better have kept the food right here in the U.S. and used OUR FOOD ingredients in OUR PET FOOD, not that we would have necessarily inspected it any way.

“China is an increasingly important market for U.S. food and agricultural products,” said Agricultural Secretary Ann M. Veneman. “The value of agricultural exports to China have nearly tripled in the past two years. China now takes nearly ten percent of total U.S. food and agricultural exports.”


Check this out...I found a pet food that is Organic, uses only ingredients grown in the US and they have NO wheat or wheat by-products. There is a web-site that is offering free samples so you can try it out

Billie Hopper

I've been cooking for my dog since the recall, and I'll cook for him the rest of his life.

This may be the only way to punish these evil, greedy people who put profits first and the health of our pet last! Don't buy their food!

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