Sweet blog special: Durbin to hold tainted pet food hearing Thursday in Chicago.

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WASHINGTON--The Senate wants answers about the federal probe into tainted pet food.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), the Senate Whip, has long been working on food purity and food safety issues. And he is a member of the Senate Ag Appropriations subcommittee.

Durbin announced on Monday that a hearing on the pet food recall will take placeThursday afternoon, in Chicago. Witnesses will include Food and Drug Administration officials and outside specialists.

this from Durbin....

April 9, 2007


[CHICAGO, IL] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today confirmed that the U.S. Senate will hold an oversight hearing on the ongoing investigation and the regulatory mechanisms that govern the pet food industry as the widespread recall of contaminated pet food continues. Durbin, a member of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, has worked with Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI), the Chairman of the Subcommittee, to schedule the hearing which will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 12, 2007 in Room 192 Dirksen Senate Office Building.

Witnesses (see below for full list) will include FDA officials who will be questioned on the timeline of the investigation, the source of the contamination, and the agency’s regulatory and inspection responsibilities. The hearing will also include outside experts who will discuss the current state of the pet food industry, as well as regulatory or resource shortfalls that led to the widespread recall of tainted pet food.


United States Senate



The Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies will meet in open session at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 12, 2007 in Room 192 Dirksen Senate Office Building.

The program includes: Hearing to examine the current pet food recall.


Panel 1:

Dr. Stephen F. Sundlof, D.V.M, Ph.D., Director, Center for Veterinary Medicine, Food and Drug Administration

Panel 2:

Mr. Duane Ekedahl, Executive Director, Pet Food Institute

Mr. Eric Nelson, President, American Association of Feed Control Officers

Dr. Elizabeth Hodgkins, Veterinarian

Dr. Claudia A. Kirk, Associate Professor of Medicine and Nutrition, University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine


This is getting really scary for pet owners! I wanted to bring to your attention that there is a website, http://www.precious-pets-paradise.com that is actually giving away free samples of a pet food by Life's Abundance. They only use organically fed animals and no wheat or wheat by-products. My pets love it and I cant image going out and taking a chance with anything else.
Just thought you might want to know!
Thanks - Robert

Questions that Need to Be Raised

>>What about the rat poison (Aminopterin) that had been confirmed by two New York State Labs on March 23 ?

These two labs are New York State Animal Health Diagnostic Center at Connell, and the New York State Food Laboratory. They are not ordinary labs, but “part of a network created after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks to keep the nation's animals and food supply safe.” (Bucks County Courier Times, Levittown, PA, March 24, 2007).

After a relatively extensive research, I found out that FDA and its officials have never repudiated,since March 23,the New York State Labs’ findings. There are NO statements, and NO reports on FDA site to that effect. Nor can anyone find them on any publications.

So, facing the current China-blaming surge in the American media, we need to ask ourselves this question: Are We Going to Be Mislead to Ignore the Findings------ the Very Existence of Rat poison, Aminopterin in Our Pet Food? It is this substance that has caused the death and the kidney failures in our pets. And it is the same reason that 60 million cans had been recalled in the first place! Is it not?

>>When the finding is out and done, is it not the next logic step for a further investigation into how and why as the rat poison, Aminopterin, got into the pet foods?

On March 23, Menu Foods declared that its next “goal” as “quickly identifying the means through which this substance entered our supply chain.” (Press Release: Menu Foods Press Conference Opening Statement, March 23, 2007, Author: Menu Foods, http://www.menufoods.com/recall/PressConferenceOpening03232007.htm )
But now ten days later, why does Menu Foods suddenly drop its declared goal? Instead, it is now switching our attention in pursuit of Melamine “contamination”.

>>Should FDA Recall All Pet’s Eating Bowls? Melamine in It!
But any chemist or scientist in toxicology can point it to you that Melamine does not and could not harm humans IN SMALL AMOUNT. As a matter of fact, EPA(Environment Protection Agency) had removed it from the tolerance list. Melamine is manufactured in the USA in large quantity. Actually, it is in our daily life, and even indispensable for a pet life-------------Melamine can be found in a dog’s or a cat’s eating bowls! That is right, it is an essential ingredient that makes yours, mine and everyone’s pet eating bowl !

>>Why Does Menu Foods Shut Down Its Emporia Plant in Kansas ?
Here may come a smoking gun: at the conference on March 23, 2007, Paul Henderson, President and CEO of Menu Foods, asserted unequivocally that Menu Foods’ plant at Emporia, KS, is keeping its usual operations. But my investigation found it quite otherwise:

On Friday, March 23, 2007, at 10:24 a.m., an ABC local news station: KTKA 49 ABC reported: Menu plans brief shutdown of Emporia Plant. This TV story was reported by Scott Rochat. He reads: “Menu Foods, dealing with the after-effects of a massive recall of pet food, said Wednesday that it would shut down its Emporia plant for a few days but that no layoffs would be involved.”
On March 26, the same TV station, by Lisa Coble-Krings, at 11:00, reported that Menu planned to shut it down for another week.

But in its March 16, 2007 press release, Menus Foods declared it had changed to a new supplier source after March 6, 2007. This means that the Chinese company’s material was longer in use at Emporia plant after said date. Furthermore, Menu Foods has asserted repeatedly, on its first and subsequent press releases, that it had kept vigorous tests on both supplies and the products; and the tests’ results had found no issues since March 6-------the ending date on the recall list. (Press Release: Menu Foods Income Fund Announces Precautionary Dog and Cat Food Recall, March 16, 2007, Author: Menu Foods, http://www.menufoods.com/recall/Press_Recall_03162007.htm)

Now here are the questions to Menu Foods: why did Menu Foods shut that plant down? And for more than one week?
Inside that plant, is there any operational process or any proceedings throughout the production course, that had been tainted by the found substance: Aminopterin?

>>Would Menu Foods make an unequivocal statement in that regard for the North American pet owners?

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Lynn Sweet

<Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on April 9, 2007 3:06 PM.

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