The pet-food recall story continues to unfold. It has been almost a month since the original recall by Menu Foods. We've seen rat poisen and later melamine from Chinese wheat gluten as the potential root cause, and more and more brands being recalled.
OK, I just have to interject here, why are we getting pet food ingredients from China? It's one thing to import plastic trinkets, and even electronics (we've certainly done business with China at my work). But food products is another thing entirely. China is not known for their strong quality control, or aversion to cutting corners in production. That's not something to fool around when it comes to food for either humans or animals. Plus, pet food ingredients from a country that considers our pets (e.g., cats and dogs) to be dinner??
A great source of information has been Pet Connection, which includes the latest updates on recalled brands. I also like this summary from CNN, both for its being concise and the sweet but sad photo of a cat who recently became ill. Among the scarier developments were the recent recalls of one brand of dry cat food (Hill's Perscription Diet), and cat treats from Del Monte, including Pounce. All the recent recalls are products that contained wheat gluten from China. Luna's brand of dry cat food remains off the list, thankfully, and long ago we tried Pounce and Luna decided it was better as a toy than a cat treat (great for kicking around the floor). Neither her food nor her treats contain wheat gluten of any sort. But we're continuing to follow this, and encourage all our friends to as well…
Perhaps the saddest development is that the “16 or so cats and dogs that have died from poisoning” appears to be a gross underestimate.
PetConnection readers can report sick or deceased pets, and as of this writing they have 3240 deceased pets, of which 1729 are cats and 1511 are dogs. When you include both sick and deceased pets, the number they have is 9378.
Counting “sick and deceased pets” sounds really clinical in a lot of ways, kinda like casualty reports from the Iraq war, including the official undercounting. Putting a more personal face on the tragedy is a column by Christie Keith (who also contributes to PetConnection), the story “is bigger and more tragic” than many of the early official government and company reports suggest. It certainly is for those who have lost a precious member of their family.
There is going to be a nationwide (USA) day of rememberances and marches on April 28.