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FDA considers pet food poisoning misdemeanor

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  • FDA considers pet food poisoning misdemeanor



    by Robert Jay Russell, Ph.D., Coton de Tulear Club of America President
    [email protected]

    "The real significance of crime is in its being a breach
    of faith with the community of mankind."
    --- Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim, 1900

    April 29th, 2007. Bush's FDA and Attorney General's Office considers the entire probe into the largest intentional mass poisoning of a food supply in history to be no more than a misdemeanor. Bin Laden, take note. You can stuff cans and bags full of toxin (to increase your profits), you can sell that to unsuspecting companies, in turn, those companies can find out and continue to sell that product to unsuspecting consumers while they dump their company stock holdings to make a profit before any potential loss upon discovery of their crimes. Not to worry: everyone involved in this poisoning for profit schema gets no more than a misdemeanor charge. Wow, Osama, you don't even have to train pilots to fly into US buildings anymore.

    The poisonings will, of course, cost the consumers of the US (and Canada and South Africa and who knows where else) billions of dollars in doctor bills and hospitalizations and discarded foods for their pets and themselves (did I mention, Mr. Bin Laden, that the poison made it into the foods eaten by men, women and children, too?).

    And grief? Incredible amounts of it. More than this observer has seen before. And he's watched grief in many places over decades. Terror? Hey, you ought to see the email coming into the CTCA's offices: people are terrified that they are feeding their pets poison. Many are equally terrified that they've poisoned their kids and themselves. Still taking notes Osma Bin Forgotten? This is terror on a grand scale utterly ignored by Bush's Department of Homeland Security. And even better: the Great Uniter and Decider has decided it doesn't even warrant a press conference comment! Terror with zip consequences. Is this a great country or what? Well, not so great for we the people, maybe, but a dream come true for CEOs and terrorists who retire undisturbed to Pakistan.

    The beauty of this scenario (for the perps, not for we the people) is that heartless criminals can breath a huge sigh of relief now that the Neocons running American have given them yet another gift: the profiteers will see no more than the most minor of charges, if any at all! Home free, guys, and you couldn't have done it without the complete complicity of the U.S. government. You know where to send those campaign contributions. And don't forget a little extra special something for the head of the federal flatfoots: Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. He's making sure those local federal attorneys don't do anything rash (like up the charges to felonies where they should be for crimes of this extent and severity, *NOTE-1)...

    Pet food recall expands as US probe continues
    Sunday, Apr 29, 2007, Page 11

    An already massive recall of dog and cat food is expanding with US federal agents searching facilities of a manufacturer and one of its suppliers as part of their investigation, the companies disclosed on Friday.

    Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials searched a pet food plant in Kansas operated by Menu Foods and the Nevada offices of ChemNutra Inc, the companies said.

    Menu Foods made many of the more than 100 brands of pet food recalled since March 16 because of contamination by the chemical melamine. ChemNutra supplied the manufacturer with wheat gluten, one of the two ingredients tainted by melamine used in the recalled pet products. Both companies said they were cooperating with the investigation.

    Menu Foods also said the US Attorney's offices in Kansas and the western district of Missouri have targeted the company as part of misdemeanor investigations into whether it violated the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act [*NOTE-2].

    The sale of adulterated food is a misdemeanor.

    The FDA also is looking at all other ingredients imported by ChemNutra, and trying to reconcile what it imported with what it supplied to customers, agency spokeswoman Julie Zawisza said.

    Import records obtained show that since last May ChemNutra also imported 199,582kg [439,080 pounds!]of the second suspect pet food ingredient, rice protein concentrate, from the same Chinese trading agent that handled exports of the tainted wheat gluten.

    It is unknown whether ChemNutra's rice protein concentrate was contaminated. Limited testing suggests it was not. However, another company's imports of that ingredient, albeit from a different source, have been found to be tainted.

    Ten of the 11 containers of rice protein concentrate imported by ChemNutra during the last year went to undisclosed pet food companies, spokesman Steve Stern said. The 11th is under quarantine and being tested. But only one of the other 10 is known to have been tested; results from those tests, done last week, showed it was not contaminated, Stern said.

    The origin within China of the wheat gluten and rice protein concentrate remains murky. For example, ChemNutra's source for the two vegetable proteins, Suzhou Textile Import and Export Co, said that food ingredients are not part of its business, but employees often take on side deals. Stern said ChemNutra dealt with the company's president.

    The FDA has blocked wheat gluten imports from a second Chinese company, Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development Co. That company has said it bought the ingredient from other undisclosed firms and then sold it to Suzhou Textile.

    Meanwhile, rice protein concentrate imported by the second company, Wilbur-Ellis Co, has tested positive for melamine. It came from a different Chinese source, Futian Biology Technology Co.

    Last week, the FDA blocked rice protein concentrates from that source. On Friday, American Nutrition Inc became the final of five pet food companies that Wilbur-Ellis supplied with the tainted ingredient to recall a variety of products. The products recalled were manufactured by American Nutrition for other independent companies, and American Nutrition brands were not part of the recall, the company said in a statement.

    Dr. Russell continues:

    The degree of pain and suffering caused by this mass poisoning goes beyond anything I've ever seen. People are actually feeding their beloved pets poison and watching them die in their arms. Can anyone imagine the depth of psychological damage this is doing to families and children who are witness to this? Any guess how many years it will take for normal trust in food and caregivers is returned to us? How long would it take you to recover after seeing your dog die looking at you after you fed him his dinner? And when will the face looking at you be that of your son or daughter?

    The fear across America -- at least the majority part of America that owns pets -- is palpable. The rest of America, of course, has been repeatedly told by the FDA that only "15 pets may have died" throughout the crisis. Not to worry America, your pork products are safe, too. Eat up!

    So I repeat and will repeat: do not trust the food supply, especially grains and processed (powdered, floured, gluten) grain products (soy, wheat, rice, corn). Do not trust whey products (most are Chinese imports). Do not trust the executive branch of the government, especially FDA and USDA pronouncements of product safety. And...

    NOTE-1: the crimes committed here go far beyond mere
    adulteration for profit. They are allegedly selling products
    known to be toxic, which of course, is the same
    felony as poisoning Tylenol capsules. And then there's
    added penalties for committing a felony for profit.

    NOTE-2: "misdemeanor: n. a lessor crime punishable by a fine and/or
    county jail time for up to one year. Misdemeanors are
    distinguished from felonies which can be punished by a
    state prison term. They are tried in the lowest local court
    such as municipal, police or justice courts. Typical
    misdemeanors include: petty theft, disturbing the peace, simple
    assault and battery, drunkeness in public, various
    traffice violations..." Gerald N. Hill & Kathleen Thompson Hill
    (2002) "The People's Law Dictionary," MJF Books, New York,
    NY, p.271.
    (c)2007 Dr. R. J. Russell & the CTCA

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