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Discussion Starter #1
From Itchmo

Itchmo has confirmed with Natural Balance that their recall has expanded and now covers the following items for all dates:

Venison and Brown Rice Treats for Dogs (New today)
Venison and Brown Rice Canned Formula for Dogs (New today)
Venison and Brown Rice Dry Food for Dogs (Reported Sunday)
Venison and Green Pea Dry Food for Cats (Reported Sunday)

The problem stems from melamine found in the rice protein concentrate (described by the company as rice gluten) used by Natural Balance. They confirmed that FDA testing has found melamine in the rice protein concentrate. The ingredient was produced by a US vendor, according to Natural Balance. Natural Balance recommends avoiding all rice protein in their products.

They have also confirmed that customers are reporting “a few cases” of kidney failures, which their original announcement described as “kidney problems”.[/b]
Source
 

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According to USA Today, the rice gluten is also imported from China, but distributed by an American company.

And vaguely related - a few weeks ago, when this first broke, I read a somewhat complicated discussion about how urea is used to produce melamine - and that urea is also used in some cattle feeds in America (sometimes with disastrous results for the cattle - apparently they can overdose on it pretty quickly).

Isn't urea or uric acid in the human body responsible for some forms of kidney stones and for gout? I also remember reading that the examiners had found crystal like formations in the kidneys of affected critters. ?. Any possible relationship, do you think?

Um, edited to add: I just found this from The American College of Veterinary Medicine re pets affected by the recalls:

Crystalluria is being found in many of these cases and veterinarians should request a urine review for crystal morphology from their diagnostic laboratory. These crystals have been described as round and yellow with radiant striations and appear similar to uric acid or urate crystals.[/b]
? Is it morphing into a related but separate form? Or ... ?
 

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I'm getting more than a little concerned. At first I thought food recall was one batch of a contaminated ingredient (wheat gluten). Now, it seems to be in rice (?). If I understand what's going on correctly, all of it is from China, or at least not produced in the US. I'm seriously thinking about changing foods to supplier who only uses US ingredients. I understand Black Diamond is one, but they have hardly any distributors in California. What other choices are there? I hardly cook for the humans in this house--in the past, the doggies have lost weight on my homemade chow....
(Moderators--please move this if it is in the wrong place...).
 

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Discussion Starter #4
If you figure out which manufacturers you can believe about all-US sourcing, let us know. :unsure: At this point, I'm not sure I believe anyone's claims about anything that sounds too good to be true.
 

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Black Gold,Biscuit called and spoke to Mr. Allen himself.He is the owner of the company with his brother. he told her they use all USA products. http://www.blackgolddogfood.com/blends.htm call him and ask for yourself if you don't beleive me. they are a lot bigger of a company than you think and i have never had a problem with anything that i got from them.
 

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Natural balance recalls MORE food.

Breaking Voluntary Recall News: Thursday, April 26th, 2007
Our canned food manufacturer, American Nutrition, from Ogden Utah, just informed us that they are recalling all canned products made in their plant that contain rice protein concentrate. American Nutrition continued by telling us that they added this ingredient  to four of our canned products without our knowledge or consent.  The four products involved are:
Chicken Formula Canned Dog Food 13 oz
Lamb Formula Canned Dog Food 13 oz
Beef Formula Canned Dog Food 13 oz
Ocean Fish Formula Canned Cat Food 3 oz & 6 oz
There have been no illnesses reported related to feeding these formulas, however, to comply with the American Nutrition recall of the four products, we are pulling all dates and batches of these four formulas.  We also ask that our customers return unused product for a full credit to their store.
To make sure that this does not happen in the future, we are demanding from each of our co-manufacturers daily production record of all of our formulas before they are shipped to us and written certification of NO rice protein or any deviation of our formulas. We have reviewed all of our other products and determined that they are free of rice protein concentrate and that all of our other product labels are accurate.  
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Tainted Chinese Imports Common
Dried apples preserved with a cancer-causing chemical.

Frozen catfish laden with banned antibiotics

Scallops and sardines coated with putrefying bacteria.

Mushrooms laced with illegal pesticides.

These were among the 107 food imports from China that the Food and Drug Administration detained at U.S. ports just last month, agency documents reveal, along with more than 1,000 shipments of tainted Chinese dietary supplements, toxic Chinese cosmetics and counterfeit Chinese medicines.

For years, U.S. inspection records show, China has flooded the United States with foods unfit for human consumption. And for years, FDA inspectors have simply returned to Chinese importers the small portion of those products they caught -- many of which turned up at U.S. borders again, making a second or third attempt at entry.

Now the confluence of two events -- the highly publicized contamination of U.S. chicken, pork and fish with tainted Chinese pet food ingredients and this week's resumption of high-level economic and trade talks with China -- has activists and members of Congress demanding that the United States tell China it is fed up.

Dead pets and melamine-tainted food notwithstanding, change will prove difficult, policy experts say, in large part because U.S. companies have become so dependent on the Chinese economy that tighter rules on imports stand to harm the U.S. economy, too.[/b]
Ugh.
I'll be boycotting Chinese products for the foreseeable future. And chicken, and fish...
 

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From the same article:
Despite those violations, the Chinese government is on track to get permission to legally export its chickens to the United States -- a prospect that has raised concern not only because of fears of bacteria such as salmonella but also because Chinese chickens, if not properly processed, could be a source of avian flu, which public-health authorities fear may be poised to trigger a human pandemic. :angry: (emphasis added)[/b]
Now here's something that should send absolute chills down everyone's spine!

Too bad there isn't an easy way to determine exactly where our food comes from nowadays. Consumers refusing to buy foodstuffs that have been anywhere near China (and several other countries) would really be an economic statement!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I was mentally reviewing protein sources I thought I might sort-of-safely consume for the time being, until the melamine-chicken, -pork, and -fish works it way through the system...it's looking like eggs, cheese, and maybe peanut butter (until the next Salmonella outbreak, that is). And beef, if I'm willing to play Mad Cow Roullette. <_<
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Now that I think about it, I wonder if anyone has checked to see whether melamine concentrates in eggs?
 

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How do you feel about Purina Dog Chow :lol:
 

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:lol: :lol: :lol: It's not on anyone's list yet, is it? :lol: :lol: :lol:
 

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Nope. . .well, not yet anyway
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I'll probably switch to the beef based formula, as the melamine chicken will, no doubt, find its way back into the pet food chain.

Recall updates:

Nutra Nuggets Lamb Meal and Rice Dry Formula for Dogs, manufactured by Diamond (Itchmo)
Itchmo readers and PetsitUSA found out that the contaminated Nutra Nuggets were sold at Costco locations in CA, WA, OR, AZ, and NV.[/b]
Recall Expansion: Menu Adds Two More to Canadian List (Itchmo)
Recalled brands list, updated 5/22 (Itchmo)

See also:

Food Safety Bill Dying (Itchmo, Pet Connection)
and
Melamine Found in Catfish (Pet Connection)
Testing on fish imported from China for human consumption found melamine — but not antibiotic residues. And as far as I can tell, no one is acting like it’s that big of a deal, even though it’s my understanding based on the FDA/USDA media briefings I’ve been at since this all began that no meat or fish has previously tested positive for melamine.[/b]
If anyone is interested in viewing gross and microscopic photos, along with spectrographs, of these crystals, here's a good compilation from the University of Guelph.
 
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