A Dog Food Recall in 2007 probably stands head and shoulders above most dog food recalls because it affected so many brands.
Hundreds of dogs died a painful death because an ingredient had been secretly "modified" with melamine, by a Chinese supplier, to improve the protein reading of their ingredient!
Apparently the FDA received some 17,000 plus reports of dogs dying or seriously ill.
It is anticipated at least 20% of those reports would have resulted in deaths. Others amongst us argue that "rule of thumb" measurement is far too conservative, given the nature of the contamination! An "unofficial website" claimed a register of well over 3,000 deaths!
UNDOUBTABLY there would have been many MORE DEATHS, because a countless number of dog owners would not have considered "registering" with the FDA, once the dog owner was aware that reports had already been made, and what the problem was.
Can it happen again? YES, IT CAN HAPPEN AGAIN!
Whilst you have "Contract Manufactures", or "co - packers", or whatever you want to call them, you will always have the risk of this happening again.
Many well known brands come out of the same, or a similar, "Contract Manufacturer," so I guess it is hardly surprising that a recall list can be so big!
A contaminated product, purchased by any such contract manufacturer, and used in the recipe of many of that manufacturers' client brands, spells disaster for our dogs!
During my "search and research" I found a number of references to dog food recalls that tend to make me think recalls are far more frequent than we realize!
You don't have to go too far back to see just how bad, and how often, there is a problem with dog food. Just take a look at these 9 since only 2005!
2005. Diamond Foods (they manufacture their own and other brands) Mouldy corn (I cannot believe corn is used in dog food as it is hard for them to digest!) contained fungal aflatoxin. Around 100 dogs died!
2006. Doane (is also another "Contract Manufacturer" and owned by MARS) recalled 50 types of dog food.
2006. Royal Canin (MARS) recalled 4 "Prescription" canned foods that had too much Vitamin D, causing calcium deficiency and kidney disease.
2007. Mainly MENU Foods. To indicate to you just how big the problem was, for the company named as the major source of the contaminated dog food (Menu Foods), I have put the listing of their recalled brands, in early 2007 (Mar. / Apr.), further down this section, purely because of it's size!! I bet you will recognize many of the 64 brands!!
2007. Is also infamous for being the year of the biggest list of dog food recalls!! Not only was there the major one caused by a CHINESE supplier, using melamine to boost protein readings, there was also a suspected Salmonella recall in June by contract manufacturer Doane.
2008.(Nov.) MARS They had a recall in November due to concerns over Salmonella
2008.(Dec.) MELAMINE - AGAIN! Just 18 months after the disaster of 2007 melamine was found in Supas Natural Chicken Breast Strips (a treat) made in CHINA and selling in Australia. Dogs would have once again suffered painful kidney damage!
2009. (Jan.) Petsmart Great Choice Dog Biscuit was recalled for Salmonella reasons.
2009. (May) Nutro Natural Choice recalled because of a problem found in a CHINESE pre-mix.
How do I protect against being a VICTIM!
Well I steer clear of product brands from Major Manufacturers like Mars, Doane (also Mars), Menu Foods, Diamond, Colgate - Palmolive, Del Monte (Heinz), Proctor and Gamble.
By steering clear of these manufacturers I know I will minimize the risk.
I look to selecting what I think of as a "dedicated" smaller manufacturer. A company whose only business is pet food. I believe that I will get a better and safer product. You just do not come across their names on a dog food recall list!
NATURA had (may still have), on their website, a factory tour video which stated, and in part showed, that ingredients, from suppliers, are tested before being unloaded. It is that sort of dedication that should keep them away from having to make dog food recalls!
Quality control, to that extent, has to have benefits for us and our dogs!
Recent dog food recalls, that have again been because of melamine contamination, frighten me!
It means that we may not have seen the last of Chinese suppliers prepared to "break the rules", despite positive punitive action from the authorities, in China, over the 2007 scandal.
Let's now look at the brands that were in the MENU FOODS dog food recall, to show just how devastating the practice of "contract manufacturing" can be!
There is another reason I want you to be familiar with these brands, which I will mention following this dog food recall list.
Americas Choice Preferred Pets ~ Authority ~ Award ~ Best Choice ~ Big Bet ~ Big Red ~ Bloom ~ Cadillac ~ Companion ~ Compliments ~ Co-op Gold ~ Demoulas Market Basket ~ Eukanuba ~ Food Lion ~ Giant Companion ~ Great Choice ~ Hannaford ~ Health Diet Gourmet Cuisine ~ Hill Country Fare ~ Hy-Vee ~ Iams ~ La Griffe ~ Laura Lynn ~ Loving Meals ~ Master Choice ~ Meijers Main Choice ~ Mighty Dog Pouch ~ Mixables ~ Natural Life ~ Nu Pet ~ Nutriplan ~ Nutro Max ~ Nutro Natural Choice ~ Nutro Ultra ~ Nutro ~ Ol'Roy Canada ~ Ol'Roy US ~ Paws ~ Performatrin Ultra ~ Pet Essentials ~ Pet Pride-Good n Meaty ~ Presidents Choice ~ Price Chopper ~ Priority Canada ~ Priority US ~ Publix ~ Roche Brothers ~ Save-A-Lot Choice Morsels ~ Schnucks ~ Shep Dog ~ Springsfield Prize ~ Sprout ~ Stater Brothers ~ Stop & Shop Companion ~ Tops Companion ~ Triumph ~ Truly ~ Wegmans Bruiser ~ Weis Total Pet ~ Western Family Canada ~ Western Family US ~ White Rose ~ Winn Dixie ~ Your Pet.
That's 64 brands all out of the same factory!! I will accept that there are some different recipes, but surely not 64?! Am I being too harsh? One thing I do know, we are unlikely ever to be told "voluntarily"!
It would be a nightmare (plus very expensive) to clean down a whole factory's processing plant, between batches, although it was not cross contamination that was the problem in the 2007 Menu Foods Dog Food Recall list above, it was a raw material ingredient.
I mentioned that I would like you to be familiar with all of the above brands for another reason.
By their association with MENU FOODS I am of the opinion that each one of those brand owners CONDONES CRUEL TREATMENT of live caged laboratory kept dogs!
Despite knowing that there was overwhelming evidence that dogs were dying a horrific, and extremely painful, death, from eating product manufactured by Menu Foods, there are references that the company undertook an unbelievable act of outright cruelty.
Menu Foods stand accused of deliberately feeding the contaminated product to some of their laboratory caged dogs to "monitor" the painful, and distraught, dying process, and eventual death, of those dogs!
WHY was such barbaric action needed? Surely the FDA had enough evidence of the source of the problem, surely ingredient analysis was all that was needed to highlight the offending ingredient within the product, surely those dogs did not have to be made to deliberately suffer in the way they did?
TO THIS DAY there are still CURRENT REPORTS being made of Menu Foods' continuing inhumane treatment, and TESTING, ON LIVE DOGS, that are kept in laboratory cages. WHY Menu Foods WHY?
OTHER dog food manufacturers SEE NO NEED for intrusive testing on live laboratory dogs, so WHY DOES MENU FOODS?
YOU CAN SHOW YOUR DISAPPROVAL, of Menu Foods operating a laboratory of caged dogs, BY REFUSING TO PURCHASE any of the above brands that were included in the Menu Foods dog food recall.
I refuse to accept that brand owners do not know what is going on.
My feeling is that those brand owners should be lobbying Menu Foods, or if possible "suspend ordering", urging Menu Foods to discontinue the operation of this distasteful laboratory.
All of us can make a difference by spreading the word - I'm doing my bit, and I would very much appreciate your help!
Let us turn the tragic consequences, that caused the dog food recall of early 2007, and which also highlighted the Menu Foods "testing", in their laboratory, into a positive outcome. WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
In LOVING MEMORY of all those dogs who perished;
WE WILL NOT BUY any brand, manufactured by MENU FOODS, UNTIL THEY CEASE to operate any form of laboratory that undertakes TESTING ON LIVE, CAGE HOUSED,"LABORATORY" DOGS.
I will remove the above request when Menu Foods do the right thing!
Being sold via vet clinics as well as retail outlets IAMS and EUKANUBA are probably the highest profile products world wide and are the "focus" of PETA, hoping the activity to "name and shame" with have a knock-on affect to other companies using Menu Foods.
Should you wish to view the PETA information you can use this following link, which will open a new window.
If you link from the PETA page to view the video you may find it disturbing - in my opinion it is horrific.
One thing to remember is that there are enough manufacturers out there that produce their own products and that have never had a problem, because of the ingredients and quality control measures in place.
They might cost a little extra but in the long run the consequences are a far better result - your dog is better protected.