Just as most pet owners, I have been frantically checking the ingredients list in my dogs’ (I have three) food and have been relieved to find no wheat gluten in their kibble.
However, I have also been disgusted to learn about the deadly actions of not only Menu Foods but also to discover that many so-called premium brands do not make their own food. As usual, one only needs to follow the money trail to find out who is responsible for any atrocity and this trail even takes us into the halls of Congress!
Both the New York State Food Laboratory and the New York State Animal Health Diagnostic Center at Cornell University tested various cat food samples listed in the Menu Foods recall. Consequently, both labs found aminopterin present in the cat food. The toxin causes kidney failure in dogs and cats. Aminopterin is a rat poison which is commonly sprayed on crops in Asia, though it is illegal to use the chemical on U.S. crops.
Melamine has also reportedly been found in the recalled pet food. Melamine is used in China as a fertilizer
The ingredient which Menu Foods now admits was the culprit in the poisonous pet foods was wheat gluten. The wheat gluten they were using had been imported from China. Why did Menu import wheat gluten from China instead of buying it from a home-based American manufacturer?....Because Chinese wheat gluten is cheaper of course!
The price for U.S. wheat gluten is 65-70 cents per pound. The price for Chinese wheat gluten is 55-60 cents per pound. So for 10 cents, hundreds of dogs and cats have suffered excruciating deaths and undoubtedly thousands more are now fighting for their lives.
The U.S. uses 500 million pounds annually, about half of that is imported. Wheat gluten is used in everything from pet food to candy bars, the vast majority of the stuff is used in foods manufactured for human consumption. The FDA just announced that none of the tainted gluten is believed to have been used in human food. However, we have very little reason to trust the FDA. This is the same agency which does not allow Americans to know which of their foods have been genetically altered!
In December of 2006, China auctioned off 833,000 tons of wheat reserves. China held several such auctions last fall. Considering corporate America’s love affair with cheap Chinese goods of corporate and the politicians who tend to enable them, I have decided to do my best to stay clear of any product containing wheat. The American food industry currently imports 13 percent of all wheat gluten from China.
Most Americans would be somewhat reluctant to purchase food products either for themselves or their pets, if they knew that ingredients in the product were imported from China or any other Third World nation. A label which identified the nation where the product was grown or produced would be helpful to consumers. However, you will not see this move while Bush is in the White House.
Country of origin food labeling was mandated by the 2002 Farm Bill. However, President Bush and the globalist Republican Congress gave into pressure from lobby groups such as the American Meat Institute and twice postponed mandatory food labeling. It still amazes me that you can convince a U.S. Congressman to place the public at risk for the price of a round of golf!
There is a great deal of evidence which suggests that Menu Foods knew about the poisoning for months before the recall. Even as late as March 20 (four days after the recall was announced), they were conducting live animal tests in which 10 more died. Many people have been complaining that Menu Foods will not return phone calls placed to their 1-800 number.
This episode has brought to light another cover-up. The premium brand pet foods have been perpetuating the lie that their foods are made under only the most stringent guidelines and conditions. We are told that the nutritional formulas and manufacturing processes used in these foods are unique to their particular brands. Consumers pay hefty prices for the assurance that they are giving their pets the best food available. However, now we find out that premium brands such as Iams, Eukanuba, Nutro, and even at least one prescription food from Hill’s Science Diet are made by Menu Foods.
Iams still has the audacity to display this slogan on their official website: “All the stages of their lives are precious. Feed them well.”...Give me a break!
Protect your pets and yourselves, no one else will do it for you!