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Update on Natural Balance

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  • Update on Natural Balance

    Premium pet food company recalls dry foods

    By Julie Schmit, USA TODAY
    Natural Balance Pet Foods said Tuesday it found melamine in two of its pet food products, which the company has recalled.
    Melamine is the chemical suspected of causing pet deaths and illnesses related to the Menu Foods recall, covering more than 60 million cans and pouches of wet dog and cat food from dozens of brands the past four weeks.

    But Natural Balance doesn't use wheat gluten, the ingredient contaminated with melamine in the Menu recall. Instead, it suspects that melamine was in a rice protein concentrate, a new ingredient used in the dry foods, said Natural Balance president Joey Herrick. "That was the only change in the product," he says.

    The concentrate is now being tested, he added. Melamine was detected in samples of the food. The recalled foods are: Venison & Brown Rice Dry Dog Food and Venison & Green Pea Dry Cat Foods.

    Whether other pet food makers got the same rice protein concentrate is unclear at this time. Herrick says the food was made for Natural Balance by Diamond Pet Foods.

    Diamond Pet Food makes no other food that includes rice protein concentrate, spokesman Jim Fallon says.

    Herrick also said Diamond got the rice protein concentrate from an American company, which he wouldn't name. The melamine in the Menu Foods recall was in wheat gluten imported from China.

    The company has recalled all dates of the two products, although Herrick says it has only received complaints for food made March 28.

    Herrick says Natural Balance, a premium pet food maker based in California, started getting calls Thursday from consumers reporting that dogs were vomiting. By Friday, the company had received calls from seven households regarding 11 dogs, Herrick said. The company also says it has received reports of animals suffering kidney problems, which has also occurred in the Menu recall.

    The consumer calls set off alarms because "we don't get that," Herrick said.

    The company has also received reports involving three or four cats, he said.

    Natural sent out the food Friday to be tested for the usual things that would cause animals to vomit, such as pesticides and heavy metals, Herrick says.

    No animals had yet died but that the company had reports that some were hospitalized, he said.

    Melamine is not allowed in human or pet food. It is an industrial chemical used in plastics making in the USA and as a fertilizer in Asia, the Food and Drug Administration says. While melamine is not highly toxic, the FDA is investigating whether it, or something related to it, is responsible for pet deaths in the Menu recall.

  • #2
    See all latest news, recalls, entertainment, and local info.
    « Recall Update: TuesdayWho Supplied the Rice Protein Concentrate? »BREAKING NEWS: Natural Balance Recall Expands to Canned Food and Treats
    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”.

    The items recalled are packaged (but not manufactured) by Diamond Pet Foods. The problem was discovered Friday and the FDA is testing all other ingredients and formulas. In the packaging process, the final food is run through Diamond Pet Foods machinery, but are overseen by Natural Balance quality assurance staff.

    Natural Balance says it will reimburse the pet parents for medical expenses related to the melamine toxin.

    NOTE: The recall expansion has not made it out to the mainstream media, but we expect it to do so shortly.

    UPDATE: Natural Balance is not yet releasing the name of the US supplier. We’ll let you know as soon as we know.

    UPDATE at 7:37pm Eastern: Natural Balance updates their site. Full release after the jump.

    Natural Balance Pet Foods,® Inc. Issues A Voluntary Nationwide Recall on Specific Venison Dog & Cat Food Products



    • #3
      Thanks for posting this Plexi. Here's a link to Natural Balance's website with recall info too:

      And on that note - MELAMINE? AGAIN?! How did it get into both wheat gluten AND rice protein? This is maddening.


      • #4
        So it's really a Gluten again

        RIce Gluten, called rice protein. They say it is from the U.S. but now I wonder if one of the background companies didn't buy a lower priced product from out of the country and not make that known. A question I would have is there something about Melamine that could have any benefits for Gluten, such as a dangerous but super preservative? Uses as a great rodent/bug pesticide on the growing or shafted grain? What is the motive for it? Or is it possibly a terrorist plan, getting to America's real loves, our pets?
        Money will buy you a pretty good dog but it won't buy the wag of it's tail.


        • #5
          Man, this is getting scary...and annoying. I just never know if the food I am feeding mine is going to be affected! I really hope that they can get to the end of this soon, so that things can go back to normal. I'm tired of holding my breath everytime I read about another recall to make sure that it isn't what I am feeding.
          Scratch a dog and you'll find a permanent job. ~Franklin P. Jones


          • #6
            I just wanted to say thank you to Plexi for this post. This was the 1st place that I read this . So thanks Plexi