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FDA's Update on Tainted Pet Food

A surprising weekend update from the Feds. Note that some of the tainted rice
protein was shiopped beginning in July of last year.

Also, today's  Post Chronicle article has a timeline of events and product
recalls for pet food and the contamination of hogs raised for human food.

      April 22, 2007
     Media Inquiries:
      Consumer Inquiries:

FDA's Update on Tainted Pet Food
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is investigating an imported
shipment of rice protein concentrate which has been found to contain melamine.
The rice protein concentrate may have been used as an ingredient in some pet
foods. FDA's investigation of the rice protein is being carried out by
specialists in FDA headquarters and in eight FDA district offices.  Thus far,
the following has been established:

  a.. The suspect shipment of rice protein concentrate was imported and
offloaded during the week of April 2, 2007 by Wilbur-Ellis, an importer and
distributor of agricultural products, including rice protein concentrate, with
headquarters in San Francisco, CA.  The source of the product is identified as
Binzhou Futian Biological Technology in China.
  b.. The shipment consisted primarily of rice protein concentrate in white
bags, but also included one pink bag that was labeled, in part, with the word
  c.. On April 15, Wilbur-Ellis notified FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine
about the suspect shipment. On April 16, FDA launched a nationwide
investigation tracing eight import entries identified as being shipped from
the Chinese firm since July 2006.  FDA testing revealed melamine in both the
white and pink bags.
  d.. Wilbur-Ellis has initiated a recall of all suspect rice protein
concentrate it had imported and distributed; see
FDA investigators have obtained records showing distribution to five pet food
manufacturers in seven locations.  Investigators are currently inspecting all
five manufacturers and collecting additional samples, as appropriate.

  a.. FDA initiated inspections at Royal Canin USA and C.J. Foods and, as a
result, both companies have voluntarily recalled certain products; see
http://www.fda.gov/oc/po/firmrecalls/royalcanin04_07.html and
  b.. FDA also has confirmed the presence of melamine in finished pet food
products containing rice protein concentrate.  Those products, and others
within the same product line, are currently under recall by Natural Balance
Pet Foods and are labeled as: Venison and Brown Rice canned and bagged dog
foods; Venison and Brown Rice dog treats; and Venison and Green Pea dry cat
food; see http://www.fda.gov/oc/po/firmrecalls/naturalbalance04_07.html.
If FDA's investigation determines that additional pet food products have been
manufactured from the suspect rice protein concentrate, FDA will expect
manufacturers to initiate voluntary actions to remove these products from the
marketplace. FDA will continue to communicate its findings promptly.

In a related development, the California Department of Food and Agriculture
(CDFA) issued a press release on April 19, 2007, stating that CDFA laboratory
testing had detected melamine in urine from hogs at the American Hog Farm in
Ceres, CA.  For further information, see:
Due to the involvement of animal feed, FDA is working with CDFA on this

FDA continues to work comprehensively to protect the nation's pet food as well
as to conduct a full investigation to determine any impact on the human food
supply.  The agency is now sampling all rice protein concentrate from China
and continues to sample all wheat gluten imported from China, and it is ready
to increase its surveillance of other products, if necessary.

To search for the latest list of recalled products, which will be updated when
new information is received, please see:


FDA's Recalls, Market Withdrawals and Safety Alerts Page:


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