In the 10 days since Canada-based Menu Foods began recalling dog and cat food, over 471 cases of pet kidney failure have been officially reported, and 104 of those pets have died. (Internet reporting has the tally at nearly 2,000). The most recent list of recalled foods (dated 3/26) has 53 brands on it but does not include Science Diet, which is also reported to have been affected. None of the vegan dog foods I wrote about are on the list, nor are any vegan cat foods. According to Menu, as of yesterday, all of the recalled foods are “cuts and gravy” style products (not kibble or loaf-style), and customers should return them to the retailer for a refund. Customers should keep all receipts, including vet bills for any illness traced to a Menu food. Menu will “take responsibility,” and has enlisted a “professional firm” to manage the situation.
The offending substance is a poison that has been found in the wheat gluten that acts as a thickener for the gravy in “cuts and gravy” foods. Menu has recently switched to a supplier in China for its wheat gluten. According to PETA, Menu had reports of illness related to its food as early as February 20, and immediately began toxicity tests on healthy dogs and cats (read: forced them to eat the tainted food), despite the existence of humane alternatives. Presumably, the results of the toxicity tests (read: ill or dead dogs and cats) demonstrated the need for a recall.
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