Manufacturer Food Withdrawls, Product Pulls, Summaries of “Class I” FDA Recalls
Safety Warnings & State Agriculture Dept. Consumer Advisories
Riley & Oscar: underdressed... (no superhero capes!)
What are Aflatoxins?
Aflatoxins are carcinogenic (cancer causing) and acutely toxicogenic compounds (they generate toxic products or poisons) which are naturally occurring by-products (secondary metabolites) from the growth of Aspergillus flavus(a mold common in stored grains).
Aflatoxins function to:
•1) support proliferation of the fungi; and
•2) protect against predators (storage mites)
that feed on them.
Aflatoxins (a type of mycotoxin, produced by a fungus) can be harmful (or deadly) if consumed in significant quantities. High does result in severe hepatocellular necrosis (tissue death: most commonly liver failure in dogs). Prolonged low dosages (such as daily consumption of grain-based pet foods) suppress the canine immune system, supporting development of a myriad of lifetime health issues including: cancers, disturbed metabolism and cardiovascular issues, reduced growth rate, and liver enlargement. Dogs that exhibit immediate symptoms of illness including: sluggishness or lethargy combined with a reluctance to eat, vomiting, yellowish tint to the eyes or gums, or diarrhea should be seen by a veterinarian.
Iccarus: semaphore for "I love the beach!"
Why are there molds in pet foods?
Grains (corn, wheat, rice) are a common foundation for pet foods because they represent a cheap binding agent to combine ingredients and form dry foods into shapes that appeal to consumers; or, as a low-cost source of protein or carbohydrates (part of industry “least cost mix”protocols).
In modern agribusiness, grains are designated for use according to a matrix that assigns their sale by profit. Low profit pet food-grade grains are the “by-products” from flour mills. Most dry dog food contains mill run flour, coming from the bottom of the storage elevator, and comprised of broken kernels and fines (grains that break and crush). The fines separate and settle during processing, and accumulate in high-concentration pockets within the screened storage apparatus. Designated as the lowest-profit grain, it accordingly receives the lowest priority for handling. This extended “set time” allows molds (fungi: parasitic plants) to grow (to feed) in the pockets of fines—which stay warmer and wetter in storage—because these carbohydrates are a preferred nutrient source of many fungi.
Consequently, the fines become an attractive food source and subsequent breeding environment for insects (Red flour beetles, granary weevils, rice weevils, meal worms, flat grain beetles, indian meal moths, and saw-tooth grain beetles), particularly those species which lack mouth parts for boring into whole grain kernels. Being such, storage mites (Acaridae) consume the molds/fungi that feed on low quality grain carbohydrates, and with a consistent food source, ultimately run their entire life cyle (and die) in the silo. Foodstuffs with these molds, insects (and their dead carcasses:
population growth of 500 times per month can occur) are classified as “unfit for human consumption.” Studies estimate that 15% of the canine population suffers from atopic dermatitis (skin allergies), probably resulting from consumption of carcasses and waste of storage mites in
high-grain content dog foods.
To survive (and reproduce), fungi adapt to produce a wide range of toxins that protect them from bacteria, viruses, or predators. When under stress (being eaten by predators: such as storage mites), they secrete deadly mycotoxins. To combat these issues, recipies for grain-based pet foods generally include both pesticides and mold inhibitiors: poisons which essentially, become part of the dog's daily diet. For more information, see our pages The Nutrition Connection, and How to Read Dog Food Labels (Parts 1 and 2).
Boxter: the little sherriff
Virbac Expands “Silent Recall” for Iverhart™ Plus® Flavored Chewables
Update; 22 August 2013: Virbac Animal Health (Fort Worth, TX) has expanded its earlier recalls from 26 March and 17 April 2013 of of Iverhart Plus® Flavored Chewables (inivermectin / pyrantel pamoate / praziquantel) ) due to efficacy concerns (see: postings below). PetMD reports that the company distributed a letter to veterinarians stating 14 lots of the heartworm preventative medication were Ivermectin potency levels prior to their expiration. A further 17 lots are being recalled. Affected products include: Small dogs (up to 25 pounds), Lots 120092, 120397, 120398, & 120798; Medium dogs (26-50 pounds), Lots 120090, 120301, 120378, 120450, & 121282; Large dogs (51-100 pounds), Lots 120091, 120127, 120195, 120207, 120256, 120289, 120300, 120305, 120306, 120377, 120379, 120434, 120440, 120464, 120651, 120658, 120678, 120831, 121110, 121150, 121283, & 121386. No press release has been issued by the Company: (the action was publicly disclosed by petMD and subsequently disseminated by newswire services); as such, this is defined as a “Silent Recall.” Virbac Technical Services: 800-338-3659, ext. 3052.
•Product Pull/“Silent Recall”: Virbac Withdraws Iverhart™ MAX® Plus Flavored Chewables
17 April 2013: Virbac Animal Health (Fort Worth, TX) has recalled certain lots of Iverhart™ Plus/MAX® Flavored Chewables heartworm preventative (ivermectin / pyrantel pamoate / praziquantel) due to efficacy concerns: the product may not remain stable during its specified storage life. A potential consequence of this failure is that the product may not fully protect dogs in the upper third of each weight range against heartworms. Affected products include: Lot 120076 (Large 51-100 pounds); Lot 120086 (Large 51-100 pounds); Lot 120856 (Large 51-100 pounds); Lot 120202 (Medium 26-50 pounds); Lot 120196 (Small up to 25 pounds); and Lot 120844 (Small up to 25 pounds). The lot number is stamped on the side lid/flap of the box in a white text field and on the blister foil of the individual doses. Veterinary distributors have been instructed to cease distribution and to advise veterinary clinics of the recall; (Virbac Technical Services: 800-338-3659). As no press release was issued by the Company: (the action was publicly disclosed by petMD and subsequenty disseminated); this is defined as a “Silent Recall.” August 2013 Update:The Company has since updated its website to reflect the term: “Press Release.”
(Additional Background: on 26 March 2012 Virbac Animal Health recalled certain Iverhart™ MAX® heartworm preventative (ivermectin / pyrantel pamoate / praziquantel) products due to efficacy concerns/ failure to meet stability requirements. As such, some dogs may not be protected against heartworm as expected. Affected products include: Iverhart™ MAX® Chewable Tablets, Lot #110482 [Large, 50.1 - 100 lbs.]; click here for information).
Chase: uncharacteristically still...
Petco® Recalls Certain Stainless Steel
30 June 2012: Pet supply superstore Petco® has recalled 3 Petco® stainless steel dog bowls because the products have the potential to emit low level radiation. Affected products include: Petco® 3.75C Deep Two-Tone NOTIP, 9.25” diameter; 3.75 cup capacity (SKU 1047493); Petco® 3.5C NO-TIP Stainless Steel Hammered Bowl, 9” diameter; 3.5 cup capacity (SKU 1386956); and Petco® 7C Two-Tone NonTip Stainless Steel Bowl, 9” diameter; 7 cup capacity, (SKU 1047477); SKU numbers can be found on labels inside and on the
bottom of the bowls.
In a press release, the Company states it determined that one of its foreign suppliers used stainless steel (likely “scrap metal”) mistakenly containing small quantities of Cobalt-60 (60CO) when fabricating certain orders of Petco® brand stainless steel bowls. There is no natural 60CO in existence: it is a synthetic radioactive isotope of cobalt with a half-life of 5.27 years. After entering a living mammal (such as a dog or human being), some of the 60Co is excreted in feces. The remainder is metabolized and taken up by tissues, including the liver, kidneys, and bones, where the prolonged exposure to gamma radiation can cause cancer. Over time, the absorbed cobalt is eliminated in urine. Among its uses, Cobalt-60 is a radioactive material commonly used in industrial gauging equipment. In the US it is now being produced in a boiling water nuclear reactor (BWR) at Hope Creek Nuclear Generating Station (NJ).
Although below general State and Federal regulatory limits the affected products were found to emit low levels of radiation. The issue was discovered by Customs and Border Protection agents during a routine import screening of containers destined for Petco®’s distribution network in May/June of 2012. Certain products reached store shelves; the Company subsequently withdrew all products from the supplier and notified the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission and relevant state agencies. The Company states that it tested other stainless steel pet products in their product mix from other suppliers but found no similar issues, while the supplier that produced the affected products has instituted new screening procedures, which the Company will review. Retailers will execute refunds upon return of products;
(company info line: 877-738-6742).
Milo: "Catch Me... if You Can!"
United Pet Group Expands Recall of Nutritional Supplements to Include Additional Tablet and Powdered-Form Products
02 July 2010; Update: United Pet Group, Cincinnati, Ohio is voluntarily expanding its recent recall of its Pro-Pet Adult Daily Vitamin Supplement Tablets for Dogs, to include additional pet nutritional supplement products for dogs and cats due to possible Salmonella contamination. (See: 22 June 2010 posting, immediately below).
United Pet Group Voluntarily Recalls Pro-Pet Adult Daily Vitamin Supplement for Dogs
22 June 2010: United Pet Group (Cincinnati, OH) is recalling all unexpired lots of its PRO-PET Adult Daily Vitamin Supplement tablets for Dogs due to possible Salmonella contamination. Affected products include: 100-count, UPC 26851-01800; expiration date(s) on or before “06/2013”; (imprinted vertically on the right side of the product label). The vitamins were distributed throughout the US. Consumers should immediately stop giving the supplements to their pets.
Salmonellosis in Dogs:Salmonella can affect dogs eating the product, and repeated feeding of contaminated food can lead to infection, with the dog exhibiting decreased appetite, fever, and abdominal pain. Initial symptoms of Salmonella poisoning include: fever, shock, lethargy, diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss or anorexia, dehydration, mucus in stool, increased heart rate, swollen lymph nodes, abnormal vaginal discharge, and spontaneous abortion. Untreated, symptoms may progress to pronounced lethargy, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, or gastroenteritis (“stomach flu”: bloody vomit or diarrhea). Salmonella infection can become chronic, and is then regarded as a disease, leading to pronounced fever, weight loss, blood loss, non-intestinal infections, and repeated unpredictable/ spontaneous diarrhea lasting for weeks. The infection can progress to septicemia (bacterial infection of the blood), which can be fatal. Contacting your veterinarian may be critical. The bacterial disease is also zoonotic (transmittable to humans).
You can brighten the long, lonely day of a needy dog:consider volunteering at a shelter. Your used but servicable linens, towels, bathmats, or cushions can provide comfort while he waits. Need help affording veterinary care? click HERE • Find low-cost spay neuter services: click HERE
Food & Safety Recalls/FDA Advisories for Dog Foods: click HERE
To think about: American taxpayers spend more than $1 billion annually to fund municipal animal shelters.
In those facilities, 14,000 animals are killed each day, often brutally: even in archaic gas chambers...
many within merely hours of their arrival: why are they called shelters?