27 May 2008


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I wish I could say I'm shocked.


That familiarity, Acheson said, reduces the possibility that importing companies "lab shop" until they get positive test results. In those instances, he said, "Our guys would probably smell a rat."

Bernard J. (Bernie) Starzewski

Yes, just what we need. More privatization!

No doubt these labs can do it much cheaper than an FDA employee...

Cheaper for whom?

I say again, the only way to protect yourself is to feed your friend as you would yourself.

Never mind that worn out PR about how table scraps are "bad" for your dog... Can someone please define "bad". I'm very fuzzy on the whole good-bad thing lately.

Just like the "farm raised" salmon that turn out to be much more poisonous than anything taken from nature because the crap they feed these fish comes from some of the most poluted water ways on the planet, what turns out to be "good" is largely a matter of perception.

Im increasingly on the side of the local food movement. Just exactly why do we need to haul out of season vegetables up from South America anyway? If you just wait a bit, strawberries will be in season here, will taste better and be fresher and save the world a considerable amount of fuel. (fill your gas tank lately?)

Scout doesnt even like those little pellets of meat flabored corn. I doubt your dog does either, he's just too hungry to argue.

No house with a dog need ever throw any (well almost any) food away. We dont. And Scout and Brandy, and Monte, and Brownie, and Blackie, and Muffin, and Ready, and Tuffy, and Moochie, and Ceasar and all of the others Im ashamed to say I didnt remember here - have done just fine on them!

To hell with them and their bloody merchandizing. DONT BUY ANY OF IT!

FYI: McDonald's double cheese burgers. Still only a buck and Scout's personal favorite lunch at the farm! I always leave a piece for Brandy in her bowl too. I wish I had bought her that instead of Sprout Beef Cuts and Gravy with 25% melamine by weight. I wish it again and again.

Ann H

Menusux posted about the USA Today article on the quality fading and the loophole:


Right, that was November 2007. Julie Schmit:


And more:



Outwitting Third-party Testers

In the wake of quality problems, many are looking to third-party testing as a solution. In theory, testing works well. Prior to exporting a product, the supplier takes a sample and sends it off to a reputable and international testing laboratory, which then checks to make sure the product is safe. Unfortunately, testing doesn't work well when a supplier sets out to circumvent the system.

I recently worked with one supplier that was encountering difficulties making a quality liquid soap for export to the U.S. To get around problems the supplier was having with laboratory results, the supplier created 10 random samples and sent them to the same lab for testing. Nine of these samples failed, but one passed. The supplier took the one test result marked "passed" and sent it off to the customer. The U.S. company never knew about the failed results, and a purchase order was promptly issued.

End Quote



One observer has described the problem with such a dynamic as “quality fade.” This occurs when the first few shipments of a product meet quality standards, but then manufacturers, cutting corners to reduce cost, progressively reduce quality in subsequent orders. Evidence of this pattern can be seen in the rising number of recalled Chinese imports; in 2003 these products made up 36 percent of all recalled items in the United States, but today they account for 60 percent. Clearly, quality fade cannot be perpetuated for long periods of time because it eventually undermines both the long-term interests of individual firms and China’s overall export strategy.

The United States and China both share culpability for this problem, and both have incentives to correct it. Rather than threatening unilateral retaliation, the United States should cooperate with China to establish a lasting solution. It also should insist on promulgated quality standards for the entire multilateral trading system within the framework of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

End Quote

Carol V

Wonder why it too so long for Congress to look into this---thanks to Menusux many of us knew about this at least 6 months ago...better late than never I guess--if something positive will come out of it... I remember it so well as it was about a month after I could not get the FDA to pay attention to some very interesting lab results on my very "special" cat food--as the lab was not AAVLD accredited--I am still looking for the whole truth 1 year 2 months and 12 days later....


Let them eat cake!

er... something.

Nadine L.

Tomorrow the Phoenix Mars lander will dig into Mars soil with it's 8 foot arm to reach ice buried up to a foot deep to determine whether the Mars site could have supported primitive life ...

... and at the same time, the United States government can't determine or deliver safe food on earth? C'mon.

Only speculation, but maybe humans and dogs did live on Mars once, but they all ate poison food that had passed FDA inspection; as a result, a large cloud formed over Mars causing a layer of ice to grow over all the evidence.

Seriously, food safely issues just cannot be ignored, and it's encouraging to see Congress not giving up or letting the "ice grow over."

Working in my "victory garden" today ...


Comment by Nadine L. — May 28, 2008 @ 12:43 pm

"Only speculation, but maybe humans and dogs did live on Mars once, but they all ate poison food that had passed FDA inspection; as a result, a large cloud formed over Mars causing a layer of ice to grow over all the evidence."

You have GOT to read Sheri S. Tepper's "The Companions"!



It's all about money. Gee whiz, big surprise, huh?

I might have been shocked last year, but not now. I wouldn't put anything past anyone.

And the plot thickens...

Nadine L.

You have GOT to read Sheri S. Tepper’s “The Companions”!

lol ... I wasn't so far off! "Mossens?" Love it. Will order book!


Why does the government have to make it so complicated? Require all imported food to enter at designated ports. Set up government funded labs at those ports. Test everything. If we can fund a Mars mission, we can fund this. We already know what we have to look for. Salmonella in the cantaloupe, filth and antibiotics in the seafood, chemicals in the glutens. It's all in the Oasis reports. It's not like we don't know what to look for.

I ran out of jam this week. Resisted the urge to buy more and made some this morning.

Nadine L.

C.L.H., I'm with you on all points. Even the jam! Decided this year to not cut back our "invasive" berry bushes, but instead will allow them to grow -- we look forward to an abundance of homemade organic jam! Hmmm. I wonder how one makes blackberry wine ...


Comment by C.L.H. — May 28, 2008 @ 2:03 pm

I think if the FDA did that (which I think is a great idea btw!), they would find that probably something like 99% of imports wouldn't pass. This would create an international trade scandal and some governments we owe money to, or rely on for oil, or use of military bases, etc would get mad at us. Then we'd be in a pickle. The FDA would get told (in some DC hotel room by men in black) that they'd better start passing these food imports. So then we'd have hazardous food being let in the country (which is where we are now) but we the taxpayer would be footing the bill to have it phonycertified (which is worse than we have it now). Currently, the FDA's "Don't ask-Don't tell" policy on imports is probably what the government considers the "safest" method. Not for the consumers purchasing the tainted products, but for the bureaucracies of the world to keep grinding the mill.


I'm holding out for an Elliott Ness of the food safety world. There's got to be someone out there who's untouchable. Are all the crusaders gone?


Well after they're out of government, lots of people seem willing to stand up for what's right/sell books. It would be great to find someone still IN government who wants to do the right thing.

Lou Dobbs talked (again) about the safety of imports tonight. Said the FDA is trying to get China to inspect and pass their own exports using FDA protocols since the FDA doesn't have the manpower/funding. What a plan. He ended the segment with something like "American consumers: you're on your own."

Christie Keith

Are all the crusaders gone?

There's no one here but us pet writers.


And no one in their right mind who's actually qualified will work in government. Now that we're required to release our medical records and denounce our church affiliations to get into office, why would any sane person want the job??

Gina Spadafori

It is pretty amazing to me how little the mainstream media is interested in food safety.

I've said before, we're going to have some widespread disaster with people dying from tainted imports ... and then we're going to look back at the pet-food recall and go, "duh."

I read that people care most about:

1)The economy

2)The Iraq war


With regards to the presidential campaign. Me, I don't understand why SAFE FOOD SUPPLY isn't up there, and we're not screaming for food imports to be screened.

Carol V

I have been screaming since March 2007 that after 9-11 this pet food disaster is a BIG deal for all the food supply with only a few select listening---I'm sure I've been coined a "nutjob" by those I email and write---but my conscience tells me to keep doing it-so I will...


Unfortunately, the worse the economy gets, the more folks will be choosing to eat crap. This just in from NPR - SPAM sales up 14% so far this year!

If I were a tad more paranoid, I would almost think our government is happy that people are increasingly scared. Hey, keep 'em scared about their jobs, keeping their homes, feeding their families, and they won't see who's pockets are being lined at their expense.

...or maybe I'm not paranoid enough!


Who's buying all the SPAM?

Exxon execs?

No, that can't be right.

The Bush administration?

No, I don't think so.

I got it: The working poor!

*ding ding ding*

I saw a PBS documentary on poverty in America a little while back and they went grocery shopping with a Mom and asked her about her food choices. She said she'd prefer to get food that she knows is "good" but she has no choice but to buy the cheapest foods available to try and keep her kids fed. So for her, and those like her, food safety is not the foremost issue in their minds, even though they are at risk because they are buying mainly cheap, imported, unscreened food products.

Colorado Transplant

When the food poisoning of humans starts (from uninspected, unhealthy imports), the government will say there is only 30 deaths attributable to the poisoning--the rest of the deceased stopped functioning in this world, literally, from other causes.

In my mind, first we have the disaster and then government may or may not act, depending if they absolutely have to.



Went to Publix today to get 'Frozen Whiting fillet' (which I 'add-on'-feed to my two Pet Poison survivors) only to learn that it seems to have been recalled.

No info on the FDA site (geeeeee - who'd have thought?) and no reply from Publix.

Anyone knows more?


Something occurred to me today while reading about some recently recalled beef. In that and all the other meat/seafood/grain and similar type recalls I looked up, the information includes instructions from the FDA/USDA for destruction of the recalled product.

In all the ones I read, they allowed for three types of destruction: the recalled product may be taken to a landfill, incinerated or sent for inedible rendering. Those are the options.

What’s scary about that to me is the “inedible rendering”…..so much of what is in pet food comes from inedible rendering facilities: certain meat and grain wastes, meat and grain by-products, meat & bone meal, animal fat, tallow, etc.

Does that mean that when beef is recalled to protect human foods from BSE or seafood is recalled for contamination or grain waste for toxins….that it can be legally disposed of by sending it to rendering facilities making raw ingredients for pet food?


I love how the FDA wants the CONSUMER to do the detective work and figure out where on earth the tomatoes on the store shelves came from. Can't the manufacturers put that info on the label or, if bulk produce, can't the store put the info on the sign?

Gina Spadafori

Oh now don't be silly. You act as if the FDA works for us, not for industry.


And MORE food to worry about . . . . . . http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06/10/AR2008061001459.html


I'm shocked too... It is a very dangerous situation.... What i really afraid is the long term effect. We may not be sicked at this moment because of eating unsafe product but the effect of it maybe occur when are old....


Well how much is the FDA going to pay me per hour to do this detective work? Wait - let me guess: my "payment" is I get to (hopefully) avoid eating Salmonella tomatoes.


Companies have been getting around these sorts of issues for decades by hiring an attorney, having him submit the samples to the laboratory under privilege, keeping the results they want to hide in confidential attorney-client privilege files (or discarding them) and then forwarding the passing results on to public files and/or regulatory agencies.

I'm not sure how that sort of practice can be stopped -- but it should be.


I saw on the news that protesters in Seoul clashed w/police over the government's decision to allow US beef to be imported again. I wonder what it would take, food safety wise, to get protesters to take to the streets in the US.

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