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Author Topic: Where were you when you first learned of the 2007 pet food recall?  (Read 8939 times)
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Sandi K
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« on: March 15, 2009, 01:28:15 PM »

I was thinking back to the morning we learned of the recalls.  I had just gotten up and was drinking coffee and turned on the news and heard it.  I felt like I had been kicked in the gut as we had just lost KiKi 5 days before.  I remember changing channels like crazy trying to get more news and then running in and turning on the computer.  Then having to try and get ready to get to work.  Then spent all day trying to get ahold of Menu Foods.  Where were you and what were you doing? 
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Steve
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« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2009, 01:36:00 PM »

Right here on the computer. And it didn't take long as things unfolded for my outrage to overwhelm my normally patient self.
And to kick in with the attitude okay what the H_ _ _ is going on here and engage in "we're going to find out" mode.

The deception, lies, and game playing by the PFI players (you know the names) angered me even more as it all unfolded.

I'll never forget ever seeing all the people out there going through things like this for months on end . .

"can you please recommend what in god’s name i can feed my 2 little dogs. i just found out today one of the dogfoods i’ve been feeding them has been added to the recall list. help!"
« Last Edit: March 15, 2009, 02:26:46 PM by Steve » Logged
JustMe
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« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2009, 01:55:24 PM »

Home, but at this point, I don't even remember how I found out.  We had an elderly sick cat at the time and another senior who wasn't doing well.  I think it was the nightly news or it could have been yahoo news.  The last 2 years have been a recurrent nightmare that I never wake up from.  I felt like the floor had dropped from underneath me. I remember so many veterinarians being left out of the loop of what was going on when clients started calling them.  The CVM not having a system of contacting all the vets immediately.  Many vets without even internet access in this day and age.  I remember calling my vet's office first thing Monday morning about the prescription food my fur kids were on.

Does the CVM have that system in place yet to contact all veterinarians?
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Eventually they will understand,
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For I will whisper into their hearts
That I am always with them
I just am....forever and ever and ever.
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Carol
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« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2009, 01:58:04 PM »

I was watching NBC Nightly News, Campbell Brown was covering for Brian Williams, my daughter had just come back from visiting Smudge at the hospital.  My daughter was on her spring break from college and had spent many hours with Smudge that week.  Our vet allowed her full access to Smudge and she helped the vet techs with all of Smudge's needs that week.  I heard her sobbing through the floor...at that same time I heard Campbell talk of renal failure in a few cats and some store brand cat food...and I just knew...I knew it wasn't a flu...I knew it wasn't antifreeze..I knew it wasn't from Harry's chemo....I knew it wasn't something my husband had left out for the cats to get into ... I just knew...She said to wait until 6am on March 17 to read at the Menu Foods website to see the list of foods...but I already knew...there was no other explanation...I had fed the cats what had made them so terribly sick...the hardest part that night was to go downstairs and tell my daughter the news....I will never forget that night.  It was one of the worst nights of my life.  The next morning I was able to confirm my fear at about 4am...as I had not slept all night...I knew I had to let somebody know I had two of the cats in reanl failure as they had said a few isolated cases in the US and I wanted them to know I had two cats ill in a very small town in a very small state so that it might not be as isolated as they first thought...I guess we all know how that ended... Cry
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Cato
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« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2009, 02:10:59 PM »

 Cheesy  I was just writing about the March 2007 experience to a friend.  Here's what I wrote, which recounts how I found out. 

Late Friday afternoon, March 16, 2007.  As was my practice after cooking dinner, I turned on my laptop and logged into one of my on-line pet groups in Yahoo.  I noted a post about a pet food recall brought about by complaints that cats and dogs were suffering kidney failure from eating the affected brands.  The name “Menu Foods” was mentioned and I immediately googled and looked it up.  Sure enough there was the day’s press release from this pet food maker that I had never heard of before.

Menu Foods Income Fund Announces Precautionary Dog and Cat Food Recall

“Menu Foods Income Fund...  today announced the precautionary recall of a portion of the dog and cat food it manufactured between December 3, 2006 and March 6, 2007... In order to determine whether cat and dog food in their possession is subject to recall, consumers should refer to the list of brand names...”

To my horror, one of the brands of canned cat food that I was currently feeding my senior cat was on that hateful list.  I remember the desperate panic of trying to ascertain whether the particular cans in my possession were among the affected batches.  To my intense relief, they were not.  But the relief was transient because the recall kept on expanding during the following weeks and months , affecting some 150  brands since that 16th of March.  I had two more “close calls” wherein the brands of tinned cat food I had bought to replace the first one also appeared in the ever-expanding recall list.  By this time, like thousands of pet parents losing sleep finding something that was still safe to feed their cat or dog, I had signed up in several pet forums (Itchmo; thepetfoodlist.com; petconnection.com; among others).  The search for safe petfood was a nightmare.  It seemed that so soon after buying cat food that was deemed still safe, the brand would turn up in the recall list a few days later.  Through forums, I also “met” pet parents whose cats or dogs had gone into kidney failure from eating the melamine-cyanuric acid contaminated pet food.  Those pets that survived are now in chronic renal failure and have to be nursed for the rest of their shortened lives.  Some, with multiple pets had vet bills running into the ten-thousands.  In one forum post, I expressed the anxiety and stress I and many pet parents were feeling at the time:

“... Many times I have felt like I was (and am) running through a field of landmines carrying my two cats, praying desperately that I do not make a mistep.”
(Itchmo. Sept 6. Problems with Innova.  Reply #1165)



I decided to step off that field of landmines, take control of what my cats ate by preparing their food myself.  This recipe book I am writing is the result of thousands of hours of personal research into feline diet, nutrition and health conditions.
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lesliek
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« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2009, 02:29:23 PM »

I heard it on the local abc morning news. I was feeding the animals and getting ready for work and only caught the end of the report. I immediately googled pet food recall and found petconnection,the pet food list and Itchmo.  I still remember the sinking feeling in my stomach as I read that the food Lucifer had been eating was recalled. He had died in Nov 2006,blocked with crystals. From there I started checking daily and frantically looking for safe food for my own and friends and family members. Eventually I realized the same thing Cato did,the only safe food is real food you prepare yourself.
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bug
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« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2009, 02:38:16 PM »

I was just thinking about the recalls the other day. I can't believe it's been 2 years and we're still no better off.

I remember clearly, I was sitting at my desk at work and the news came over the radio (talk radio) that there was a recall of pet food going on but they didn't really know what the problem was with the food. A little later on, maybe an hour, in the next newscast, they had said that a lab had found aminopterin and that was the suspected poison. At that point, I went, "Oh God, if I'm struck down by some terminal disease, I promise to become a mercinary and rid the world of whomever did this to these poor animals."

I Googled the recall and found out that we weren't feeding any of the foods (or so we thought). They had just recalled Special Kitty and some other grocery store brands which we didn't use. My mom needed more cat food for her cats and we were off to Wal-Mart. There was an employee who was pulling Special Kitty off the shelves. He was also pulling Iams off the shelves and I said, "Hey, why are you getting rid of Iams, that's not one of the recalled brands!" He made a couple of calls and kept pulling the food. That's when I got scared because I had been feeding my cats the Iams with chunks and gravy.

My mom and I left with a few cans of Actr1um as they weren't being pulled. We had no idea of the magnitude that this recall was to become. In the meantime, I took Pip to the vet to have her kidneys tested and figured if she was OK, the others would be too. Fortunately for me, each cat only ate about a teaspoon of food twice a day and we switched flavours and brands daily. I dodged a bullet there and still have several unopened cans in my garage.

In the end, they wound up on Orijen and homemade stews until they got sick of that. Looking back, my mother was really lucky. Because one of her cats is diabetic, I insisted that she only eat foods with no mention of grain at all and that included wheat or rice anything. She fed all the cats the same food and to this day Actr1um (don't even know who makes this food) is still a safe food on the WalMart shelves.

Cato,

I will buy your recipe book and swap some recipes with you soon. I have contacted Susan Lauten, Animal Nutritionist who will be helping me develop some of the recipes I have come up with (with the guidance of the NRC book I have purchased and my knowledge as a former registered dietitian).

My cats like the food, but I want it to meet and/or exceed AAFCO and NRC standards. It'll be great when we don't need the PFI anymore. Independence is peace of mind for me.  
« Last Edit: March 15, 2009, 02:40:30 PM by bug » Logged

My little babies, you'll always be in my heart. Mom will see you later. Look after each other, ok?
catbird
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« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2009, 04:27:35 PM »

I found out about the 2007 recalls a couple of days after the initial announcements.  It was a Monday morning, I was in my office, and as is my habit, I read the local online newspaper during my morning break.  (I'd seen a few announcements of pet food recalls, mostly dog foods, in the previous few years, and cried when I read those, thinking of the poor pets and their people, what betrayals of trust had happened.)  I'd never seen a pet food recall announcement in my local daily before, just on national sites, so this got my attention.

Of that article, I remember only the name Menu Foods and the fact that there was a link to Pet Connection (God bless that local reporter!  I think he or she must have had pets.)

I vastly overextended my break  Embarrassed, following links, and I will never forget the horrible feeling of shock when I found out that the canned cat food I had fed my cats that very morning was one of the brands on the recall list!  Everything seemed to go black, and I felt that that the earth was swallowing me up.  I was so scared that I drove home on my lunch break to check the dates on the cans.  For the first day or so, since some of the dates I had were not included, I felt a little better, although I did not feed the food, but put it aside with a piece of tape wrapped around it, bearing the words "Do Not Feed!"  (A couple of days later, these dates were recalled too.  I still have the cans in a sealed container in my basement.)

I read online articles and links obsessively over the next few days, and when I read a description of the symptoms of affected animals, I remembered Phantom's "mysterious" three-day illness of the previous December, after eating a pouch food of the same brand I had cans of--also on the recall list.  And then a few days later Isis suddenly got very sick, and I rushed her to the vet.  She was not found to have any kidney symptoms, but although she'd been in perfect health at her regular vet appointment about 4 months earlier, she was found to be experiencing cardiac arrhythmia.  (To this date, I have seen very few mentions of the cardiac effects of the "MARC cocktail,"  but cardiac damage to rats fed the concoction is documented in some research studies.)

Isis' acute symptoms subsided fairly rapidly, but over the next weeks and months she had many, many vet appointments, blood and urine tests, ECGs, echocardiograms, all very traumatic to her.  There was also the expense and trauma of checking the other three cats I had at the time.  After all the other possible causes of Isis' cardiac damage were ruled out, only one possible causative mechanism remained on the list on the cardiology report:  toxins.  By that time, I knew what those toxins were. Angry
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3catkidneyfailure
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« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2009, 06:21:35 PM »

Sorry, I didn't see this thread before posting.
http://itchmoforums.com/pet-food-recall-memorial/two-years-agoand-not-forgotten-t7751.0.html;msg113431#msg113431
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Cato
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« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2009, 07:48:25 PM »

I don't think anyone of us slept those first few weeks of the recall...
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JJ
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« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2009, 12:05:53 AM »

As per my usual after getting home and saying hello to my girl Foxy Lady and letting her out I turned on my computer and proceeded to visit the sites I go to regularly for news and found ut about the recall that way. And on one of these sites Itchmo was on and I clicked the link and have never turned back. Then about  three weeks after the recalls I joined Itchmo as a member to keep abreast of all the recalls and how we were all helping each other and to offer whatever solace to those who struggled on a daily basis with their pets who were stricken by this. Also confirmed why my previous dog had her cancer (we beat it) and then the kidney problems - which I will always know came from the food that was touted as healthy and so nutritious for your pet. As we all came to find out just what their version of nutritious really meant.
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Carol
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« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2009, 02:53:47 AM »

and then..

I can remember going to find Jessica to hold her and to keep her from eating anything until we knew 100% what was safe.  She was on her way to recovering from what we thought was going to be an euthanasia vist with Dr S but he had a "sense" this was not the routine "older cat kidney trouble" so he said let's give her a chance..so we did and tried to feed her anything she would eat over the next three weeks..I still find it hard to believe she never ate her Special Kitty again,,,Thank God.(despite my doctoring it and trying to force it down her  Cry)..Dh and I put down some tuna in water for her to eat that night...we knew she could not go without eating again as she had lost so much weight so quickly three weeks before..She had been picking at Fancy Feast off and on those last weeks---Dr S had said feed her anything she will eat and if she won't eat Fancy Feast--she probably won't eat anything...It was the next morning, saturday the 17th that I started what I still do two years later to start my day---a google search....looking to make sure nothing new has happened since I last fed my entire family....not only worried about the 4 leggers now...

as the domino effect in my home continued that weekend...I had to wait until Monday morning to call Harry's oncologist to see if he needed to be checked prior to his Tuesday morning adriamycin infusion (#3 chemo)---he and Lucy were eating the leftover cat food as a "treat" that week as Jessica was not eating the Special Kitty that I had put down for her daily ... so Harry and Lucy were very excited to go behind the "no dogs allowed" gate in the kitchen to eat that special leftover food  Embarrassed....He had normal kidney functions tests but to think that here is a dog trying his best to fight cancer to live with us going through aggressive treatments for him...only to possibly lose the battle due to eating cat food...there was a kitty at NEVOG that also had acute renal failure from her food also while undergoing treatment for cancer...So many stories that we do not know about...so sad...too sad to go there some days.....

« Last Edit: March 16, 2009, 03:46:11 AM by Carol » Logged

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” — Margaret Mead

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3catkidneyfailure
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« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2009, 07:52:04 AM »

As the painful memories flood back over our changed lives this March 16, 2009, I give
thanks for all the loving hearts I have met this last two years, and rededicate my efforts
to helping change what we can for future generations of pets and people. I hope some
who have given up will rejoin the effort reading this, and those of us here will try even
harder.
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shadowmice
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« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2009, 10:07:22 AM »

I had been travelling for work when the story broke and heard about it upon my return a couple of days later.  What I was currently feeding at the time wasn't on the lists but I strongly suspected the pouches I had fed over the Christmas holidays as their special treat had been. Of course I no longer had any of the pouches to check but it could certainly explain why my little Trista had been having vomiting issues at the time. Watched the recall lists regularly. Found Itchmo, PetConnection, Pet Food List and other sites and discovered how out of touch the rest of the media really was and the power of the Internet to disseminate important information quickly. I remember well the feeling of outrage and distress the day one of the foods we had been using regularly before, and more extensively since the recalls started, appeared on the lists after rice protein concentrate reared its ugly head. Off to the vets with all three cats for bloodwork and checks now that one of their foods was directly involved. No specific signs directly related to the food but Tyler's diabetes was back. I didn't know it the time but that was the start of the downward spiral in Tyler's health until I had to have him put to sleep in August '07. How much tainted food could have contributed to his issues I'll never really know. I just knew my trust in the companies and the regulatory agencies was shattered.
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tesla
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« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2009, 11:22:35 AM »

I was racing back in forth to the vet each day with a very sick kitty.  I can't say anymore right now, it just hurts too much Cry Cry Cry
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