Dog food recall, are you concerned

Back in March of 2007, Menu Foods issued a dog food recall. Well over 150 brands of pet food have been voluntarily recalled by pet food companies since this time.

It was found that melamine was the main culprit in this recall. Melamine is an industrial chemical that has been found to cause kidney failure. As a side note, Menu foods tests their food on animals, thus 9 cats died during their routine taste trials as reported by Menu foods . Melamine is not approved for use as an ingredient for animal or human food. It is commonly used as a polymer in cooking utensils and plates. It has also been used as fertilizer in many parts of the world.

The dog food recall scared most of this country into actually thinking about the ingredients in our pets food. Melamine alone is not known to be the full cause of the deaths of these animals. It is the mixture of melamine with cyanuric acid. When these two substances mix, they form crystals. These crystals end up forming in the urine and kidneys of the animals that eat it.

How did the melamine make it into the pet food? Through wheat gluten, rice protein concentrate and corn gluten (isolated to South Africa). Two facilities in China put wheat gluten and rice protein concentrate in their products to increase the protein content. These products were then imported to the U.S. and used to manufacture pet food.

You will probably be surprised to know that the FDA does not inspect facilities that import to the U.S. The only thing the FDA is able to do at this point is to issue an alert. They stop all shipments of vegetable based proteins into the U.S. until the importer supplies the FDA with results from an independent laboratory stating the shipment contains no melamine or related products.

The dog food recall is pretty scary stuff. I don’t know if any of you know about the conditions in China, but I do. My husband was there twice on business in the last 3 years. The conditions which the average Chinese citizen lives is deplorable. There usually is no running water, no working lavatories, just a hole in the ground. Animals roam free, and are usually caught and eaten. (doesn’t really matter what kind of animal it is.) Factories in China are usually built by hand. Yes, by hand. You know how we use a back hoe to dig holes for our foundations? (Houses and commercial buildings) They do it by hand. It is just a whole different world. This is where most of the ingredients are being made in our pets food.