Wednesday, March 21, 2007

opaw likes her cat food poison-free, thanks

I think some people who have heard me ranting about this pet food recall the last few days don't really get why I am so upset and furious. Of course part of it was overwhelming concern and anxiety for my kitty, and even though I feel like enough time has passed that Opaw would already be sick if she had gotten tainted food, I can't help but realize that she is really really lucky. Had I bought her last case of food even 1 week later than I did, it would likely have been a tainted batch...

But even though I am beginning to calm down about my own cat's health, seeing the horrifying aftermath for the dozens of pets who were not so lucky is still upsetting me a great deal. The worst of it is that every day more and more information regarding the gross negligence of both the manufacturing company and the FDA begins to leak out and pet owners everywhere are coming to the horrible realization that most of these deaths could easily have been prevented.

I understand that accidents can happen. An e. coli outbreak due to spinach or scallions can be tragic, it happens. But when a manufacturer is made aware of deaths potentially due to their products, then takes their sweet time to conduct tests to determine if this is true, then, upon discovering that it is indeed true takes close to one month to report the problem and initiate a product recall, it goes beyond a tragic mistake and becomes criminal. In my mind, it's as simple as that.

And now, where once there were dozens, perhaps hundreds, of healthy, happy dogs and cats, there is only grief and questions. Why did they wait a week to start testing their foods after receiving complaints about sick and dead animals? Why, when 1 out of every 6 lab animals died from eating this food did they say nothing to the public or the FDA? Why was there no recall until March 16 when the first reports of deaths were back on February 20? Why despite adding brand names and batch numbers continuously to this recall list, has the public not been made aware that the recall is ever-expanding? Why, to this day, does the FDA still not know which wheat gluten manufacturer Menu Foods is blaming? Why are the major news outlets barely reporting on this? Why are official reports only listing 14 deaths - including the 7 lab animals - when an independent pet website has amassed a list of at least 241 dead and hundreds more sick? Why is the Menu Foods plant still open and producing pet food when they have yet to identify the cause?

For those of you with pets out there, please please please continually check the recall list. Brands, batch numbers, and types of food are being added to this list every day. Although they are still claiming that only wet foods are dangerous, there have been accounts of dogs getting sick from dry foods. Go to Howl911 for the best round up of current recall information.

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