More Dry Pet Food Products Recalled

Sunshine Mills recalls treats, and Menu Foods expands list of affected brands.

Posted: April 5, 2007, 6:15 p.m. EST

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Alabama-based pet food company Sunshine Mills is recalling some of its dog treats and biscuits as part of the continuing pet food recall stemming from contaminated wheat gluten, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced April 5.

Additionally, Menu Foods is extending its recall of 95 cat and dog food brands with additional manufacture dates, the FDA said. For a list of the most current cat foods being recalled, visit the FDA's website. More information also is available at Menu Food's website.

The FDA has finished tracing all routes of the melamine-tainted wheat gluten supplied by a company in China, Stephen Sundlof, DVM, director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine said this morning. It does not expect additional pet food recalls but cannot guarantee it because the investigation is ongoing, he said.

Last week, the FDA issued an import alert blocking all wheat gluten imports from Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development Co., Ltd. According to news reports, however, the company said it did not manufacture the wheat but bought it from other sources. Days later, ChemNutra Inc. of Las Vegas, recalled wheat gluten it had imported from Xuzhou that it distributed to three pet food manufacturers and one distributor that supplies wheat gluten to the pet food industry.

The United States "reached out” to the Chinese Embassy regarding the problem, said Michael Rogers, director of the FDA’s Division of Field Investigations and Office of Regulatory Affairs. "We fully expect the Chinese government will cooperate,” he said.
One hundred percent of all Chinese wheat gluten imports are being tested at this time, Sundlof said, and the contaminated product does not appear to have entered the human food supply.

The FDA said it continues to look for additional toxins in the recalled pet food, but melamine, a synthetic plastic not approved for pet or human consumption, shows a strong likelihood of responsibility for the pet illnesses and deaths.

The initial pet food recall announced March 16 by Menu Foods involved only wet-style dog and cat foods, but since the likely contaminant was found, the recall has spread to other manufacturers including Del Monte Pet Products and dry food, such as Hill’s Prescription Diet m/d Feline.

To date, 12,000 people have called into the FDA’s recall hotline in relation to the pet food recall, Sundlof said. That’s more calls than the agency typically receives in two years, he said.

Although the FDA can confirm only 16 animal deaths directly related to the pet food recall at this time, it expects that number to grow once it investigates all calls and information sent by veterinarians and animal hospitals. The agency’s priority at this time, however, is to remove all contaminated products from store shelves and ensure the recall’s effectiveness, Sundlof said.

For more CatChannel articles on the pet food recall, click here.

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Reader Comments

Elizabeth    Marshall, MN

4/6/2007 10:41:29 AM

I'm glad the FDA is taking further measures. Yet, for the dogs and cats that died, it will never be enough. The best we can do is to take every possible action to prevent such tragedy in the future.

kathie    phoenix, AZ

4/5/2007 6:26:35 PM

thank you for the update.

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