Contaminated pet food recall once again expands
Published Saturday, March 31, 2007 9:49PM EDT
The massive recall of pet food contaminated with melamine was expanded Saturday to include a new brand, though the company issuing the recall says its products on Canadian shelves are still safe.
Nestle Purina PetCare Co. recalled all sizes and varieties of its Alpo Prime Cuts in Gravy wet dog food with specific date codes. The company said that a limited amount of the product contained contaminated wheat gluten from China.
However, in a release issued Saturday Purina said products available in Canada are safe, because the recalled products are not available in Canadian stores.
The same U.S. supplier that provided the bad wheat gluten, a protein source for pets, also provided contaminated wheat gluten to Menu Foods of Mississauga, Ont.
In the past month, Menu Foods has recalled 60 million containers of wet dog and cat food it produces for sale under nearly 100 brand labels, but has refused to identify the company that provided the product.
On Friday, American officials said they now believe the contaminated wheat gluten may have spread to dry pet food, despite assurances the problem was contained.
Hill's Pet Nutrition, a division of Colgate-Palmolive Co., recalled its Prescription Diet m/d Feline dry cat food on Friday.
The food included wheat gluten from the same supplier used by Menu Foods; however, Menu Foods is not affected by the Friday recall because the company only manufactures wet pet food products.
Earlier Friday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that melamine, a product used as a fertilizer in Asia and in commercial plastic products in North America, had been identified in the wet pet food.
Click here for more information about the Purina recall.
Along with Hills's Pet Nutrition's Prescription Diet m/d Feline dry cat food, here are the lists of the recalled Menu Foods products:
The Menu Foods recall information number is 1-866-895-2708 or 1-866-463-6738
Animal advocates have called for the current recall -- which involves nearly 100 brands of "cuts and gravy'' style dog and cat food -- to expand to all dry foods.
"Some people now believe dry food is what caused their animals' deaths, so the question has to be asked, shouldn't dry foods be added to the recall list," said Bruce Friedrich, PETA's vice-president of international grass roots campaigns.
"PETA is calling for precautionary dry food recall until it can be chemically tested and its safety assured."
Friedrich said more stringent mandatory requirements must be imposed on the pet food industry.
Menu Foods said Friday the source of contamination that sickened thousands of dogs and cats in Canada and the U.S. has been identified and removed, and its products are now entirely safe.
He also said there has been no further evidence that the pet food was contaminated with aminopterin, a rat poison and cancer drug that had earlier been named as a contaminant in the product.
Officials are not yet certain melamine caused the deaths or ilnesses of any of the animals.
With files from CTV Toronto's Galit Solomon