Canadian Pet Food Mfr. Expands Recall To Include Twenty More Varieties Back To Nov. 06, Used Wheat Gluten Imported From A Chinese Entity By A U.S. Firm
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(April 5, 2007, updated with Reuters postings) -- Canada-based Menu Foods Income Fund, manufacturer-supplier of pet foods to multiple U.S. pet food companies, today (April 5) issued a release expanding its "voluntary" recall to include twenty more varieties of "cuts and gravy" style products, all manufactured with wheat gluten supplied by a U.S. based firm that imported it from a Chinese entity, first used by Menu Foods as far back as November 8, 2006 and last used on March 6, 2007.
The U.S. FDA says it detected the chemical melanine (which isn't supposed to be in pet food) in wheat gluten imported from China.
In its April 5 release, Menu Foods identifies ChemNutra, Inc. based in Las Vegas, NV (further below) as its source of wheat gluten imported from Xuzhou Anying Biologic Development Co. of Wangdien, China. Menu Foods' release states in pertinent part:
In response to a news release - issued by ChemNutra Inc. during the evening of April 3, 2007 [text below] - Menu Foods today [April 5] voluntarily expanded its pet food recall for selected "cuts and gravy" pet food products, manufactured back to November 8, 2006.
ChemNutra Inc., a former supplier of wheat gluten to Menu Foods, announced a recall of all wheat gluten it imported from Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development Co. in Wangdien, China. As a result, Menu Foods today announced an expansion of its recall to include all products manufactured with wheat gluten purchased from ChemNutra Inc. which Menu
Foods' records show was first used on November 8, 2006 and last used on March 6, 2007.
As a result of actions previously taken by Menu Foods, the vast majority of the products affected by this expansion are already off retailers' shelves. No new brands have been added. A total of 20 varieties have been added to the recall list and the additional varieties are listed below. All Menu Foods products not made with the recalled wheat gluten are
safe to consume.
To access the April 5 Menu Foods release, which lists the additional twenty varieties added to the pet foods recall list, click April 5 Menu Foods release
[update] The Chinese firm has denied a role in the pet food deaths. Reuters: "Chinese Firm Denies Role In Pet Food Scare".
[updated] Further coverage via Reuters: Reuters: Pet Food Recall Expands, Some Dog Biscuits Pulled [end update]
On its website, ChemNutra calls itself "The China-Source Experts" and states in part:
ChemNutra imports quality ingredients from China to the U.S. for the feed, food and pharma industries. We are a professionally managed, American owned company experienced in negotiating, securing and delivering ultra-competitive pricing on high-quality chemicals and ingredients from quality-assured manufacturers in China. We bridge the business and cultural gaps -- including all regulatory, compliance, import and transportation requirements.
We specialize in Taurine, L-Cysteine, Glycine, Vital Wheat Gluten, and Glucuronolactone, and we also handle many other ingredients.
ChemNutra imports over 4,000 tons per year, and our customers include several Fortune 500 companies.
On April 3, a Beverly Hills-based PR firm issued a release on behalf of ChemNutra, stating in pertinent part:
[release text] Las Vegas, NV -- April 3, 2007 -- ChemNutra Inc., of Las Vegas, Nevada, yesterday recalled all wheat gluten it had imported from one of its three Chinese wheat gluten suppliers – Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development Co. Ltd.
The wheat gluten ChemNutra recalled was all shipped from China in 25 kg. paper bags, and distributed to customers in the same unopened bags. The bags were all labeled “Wheat Gluten Batch No.: _______ Net Weight: 25 kg Gross Weight: 25.1 kg Made in China”. The batch numbers included in the recall are 20061006, 20061027, 20061101, 20061108, 20061122, 20061126, 20061201, 20061202, 20061203, 20061204, 20061205, 20061206, 20061208, 20061221, 20070106, 20070111, 20070116, and 20070126.
Each ChemNutra shipment had the certificate of analysis information from the supplier, including batch number and the supplier’s content analysis and test results. ChemNutra shipped from its Kansas City warehouse to three pet food manufacturers and one distributor who supplies wheat gluten only to the pet food industry. ChemNutra’s shipments commenced November 9, 2006 and ended March 8, 2007.
ChemNutra did not ship to facilities that manufacture food for human consumption, and the distributor ChemNutra shipped to supplies wheat gluten only to pet food manufacturers. The total quantity of Xuzhou Anying wheat gluten shipped was 792 metric tons.
ChemNutra learned on March 8 from one pet food manufacturer that the wheat gluten it had sold them – all from the Xuzhou Anying - was among ingredients suspected as a potential cause of pet food problems. ChemNutra immediately quarantined its entire wheat gluten inventory and assisted this customer’s investigation.
After that manufacturer issued a pet food recall, the FDA immediately commenced a thorough investigation of ChemNutra’s wheat gluten, including documentation analysis, inspection, and laboratory testing. ChemNutra cooperated fully with the FDA and immediately notified its other three wheat gluten customers about the FDA’s investigation. Those customers had all purchased smaller amounts of the Xuzhou Anying wheat gluten commencing in January, 2007.
On Friday, March 30, the FDA announced they had found melamine in samples of the wheat gluten ChemNutra had imported from Xuzhou Anying. The FDA did not inform ChemNutra of any other impurities in the Xuzhou Anying wheat gluten, nor of any impurities in the wheat gluten from ChemNutra’s other two Chinese suppliers.
The toxicity of melamine is not clear. However, since melamine is not approved by the FDA for pet food, it should absolutely not have been in wheat gluten. ChemNutra is extremely concerned about the purity of all of its products. The company is particularly troubled that the certificates of analysis provided by the above-named supplier did not report the presence of melamine.
ChemNutra wants to ensure its products are safe. Consequently, in addition to its ongoing cooperation with the FDA, ChemNutra will be conducting its own independent, analytical tests of wheat gluten from all of its suppliers.
ChemNutra suggests consumers visit the FDA's website for recall information. The FDA maintains a special page for the pet food recall at U.S. FDA Pet Food recall.
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