Pet Food Recall: Second Tainted Ingredient Found, Recall Expanded Again

A second tainted ingredient has been found and the never ending pet food recall has been expanded again. The recall now include products made by at least seven companies and sold under more than 100 brands. From the AP:

“This has exposed that the safety standards for pet foods are not in place in any significant way and the kind of drumbeat, day after day, of recalls has shaken consumers’ confidence in the pet food industry’s adherence to food safety standards,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and chief executive officer of the Humane Society of the United States.

The chemical, melamine, is believed to have contaminated rice protein concentrate used to make a variety of Natural Balance Pet Foods products for both dogs and cats, the Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday.

Both ingredients were imported from China, but from different manufacturers. To see if there is anything left to feed your pet, check out the FDA recall page. This website doesn’t seem up to date, however, because it does not include “Natural Balance,” Fun. Does anyone else think these labels are creepy?—MEGHANN MARCO

Second Tainted Ingredient Found In Pet Food [Yahoo!]
(Photo: Chasqui)


Edit Your Comment

  1. up2late says:

    seriously creepy. The guy pictured on those cans is the spittin’ image of Dick van Patten, the guy who played the dad on “Eight is Enough” in the 70’s. It might really BE him, last I saw he was busy shillin’ on a sleeezy late-nite infomercial.

  2. faust1200 says:

    It says Dick Van Patten right on the label. What’s so creepy about Dick Van Patten selling chili made of hobos? He’s making the homeless fun for us again! What a Dick!

    RIAA, Walmart, and Comcast don’t want you clicking

  3. mopar_man says:

    Maybe all Chinese ingredients will be tainted and they can get back to using domestic produce. There’s enough Chinese goods in this country, food of any kind really shouldn’t be one of them. I’m almost tempted to give everything else that I buy that happens to come from China a good rub down in Lysol just in case.

  4. up2late says:

    silly me, I missed that. I also like his “ah-so me vewy-vewy Chinese” portrait to the left. Somebody please start photoshopping!

  5. B says:

    So is Hobo Chili made from dogs, or is it made from dead hobos? Either way, I’m not surprised they have trouble with contamination.

  6. mopar_man says:

    I just read through that Yahoo! article. We REALLY need to stop importing stuff from China:

    A lawmaker said Wednesday the Chinese have refused to grant visas to FDA inspectors seeking to visit the plants where the ingredients were made. An FDA spokesman later said the visas were not refused but that the agency had not received the necessary invitation letter to get visas.

    “It troubles me greatly the Chinese are making it more difficult to understand what led to this pet food crisis,” Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., told The Associated Press after meeting with the FDA commissioner, Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach.

  7. Twitch says:

    WHY THE HELL are we IMPORTING FOOD from china? Don’t we produce more food than any other country on earth? Don’t we EXPORT more food than any other country on earth?

    How sad is it that it’s cheaper to send grain to china, have them process it, then ship it back to us than it is for us to simply process the food ourselves?

    This country is doomed.

  8. Falconfire says:

    9 lives cat food is completely unaffected for those cat people scared to feed them. (I thank god we stopped shopping around for the best price and just stuck with one brand)

    As for why the hell we are importing certain things, its very simple. We are a corn based agricultural nation. Everything is based around corn because the biggest subsidies and money is to be made from corn. Thus only smaller non-corporately owned farms really do anything else, which makes it cost more.

    I mean when your government and scientists INVENT things to turn corn into (HFCS) just because of subsidies, you know there is a MAJOR problem.

  9. rugger_can says:

    Eatables! sheesh you know when marketing for these kinds of products is sad when they have to make up words to try to convince you this crap is edible. Im just worried that these shrill bastards are going to try to start marketing “won’t kill your beloved family petables” after this fiasco.

    In the wake of all these Pet food recalls alot of people have started making food for thier fluffies. If you plan on doing that It would be wise to contact your local vet before doing so. I did and she suggested a bunch of great recipes that would be ideal for my Pet given his age and breed. If your going to consider that I suggest contacting (The American Veterinary Medical Association) to find a proper Vet in your area to consult first. Pets have very complex dietary needs. Just a friendly tip

    Sorry if I sound preachy I would just hate to see any more harm come to the little critters.

  10. rbb says:

    Ever look at where a lot of the novelty candies are made? Stuff like novelty gummi candies (spongebob crabby patties, candy liquids, Easter candy)? You guessed it – China.

    As much as my kids like some of those things (personally, I find their gummis inferior to the German or US made stuff), they are off my list from now on…

  11. not_seth_brundle says:

    This is a total rip-off of Paul Newman’s label, only Newman’s aren’t creepy.

  12. getjustin says:

    Hobo chili? How are hobos going to make chili? Everyone knows hobos have a lust for sardines.

  13. LAGirl says:

    #1. why does that ‘hobo’ look like Dick Van Patten? oh. it IS Dick Van Patten.

    #2. Dick Van Patten dressed as a ‘Chinaman’ on the label of a can of dog food contaminated by ingredients imported from China? irony or contextual advertising?

  14. How you gonna a dog food flavor named “Hobo Chili?” It seems vaguely unappetizing. I’m also pretty sure hobo isn’t a word you’re supposed to use anymore — at least not ex corporate cathedra.

  15. kjherron says:

    Dang, now I have a craving for chili.

  16. Dick van Patten has never recovered from his daughter’s running off with Prince Lone Star. And the label has a typo: it’s supposed to read “Eatables for Mogs”.

  17. madktdisease says:

    Is this made from real hobos?

  18. John Stracke says:

    @madktdisease: No, they couldn’t afford it, so they switched to imitation hobos. Four out of five cannibals can’t tell the difference!

  19. not_seth_brundle says:


  20. ObtuseGoose says:

    I’m disturbed by the flavors of Dick’s dog food: Hobo Chili, Chinese Take-out with Sauce, Irish Stew, Southern Style Dumplin’s with Gravy. It’s a dog, not a human. Stop personifying animals, Dick! Although my two dogs can hardly wait for Spaghetti with Beef in Meat Sauce. Coming soon!

  21. slapstick says:

    My cat has a blood infection (he is now on antibiotics and seems to be doing much better) and it could possibly be a kidney problem. I checked the pet food recall list to make sure the cheap-o cat food I buy isn’t on it, but guess what is as of this update…

    The pricey Science Diet the vet claimed was the best for cats! She sent us home with samples, and I gave my cats the canned food as a reward for being good at the vet less than a week ago. Now I’m seriously worried! I’m going to give them a call and make sure they know – I just hope this doesn’t make him sick again.

  22. not_seth_brundle says:

    @ObtuseGoose: Actually, I think one of DVP’s marketing gimmicks is that the food is safe for/appealing to humans. I seem to remember seeing him actually eating some of it on one talk show or other when the food had just been introduced.

  23. rugger_can says:

    @John Stracke:

    I wonder if the whole “Hobo Chili” thing would work if instead you used other anti-poverty slurs from the 30’s like street urchin chowder or guttersnipe stew.

  24. gundark says:

    I wish the hobos in Denver looked as well kept up as Dick Van Patten. Not one of them wears a derby hat! Bunch of lazy bums!

  25. Nickelking says:

    This is actually quite upsetting to me, you see, wheat protein isn’t listed as an ingredient in any of the recalled brands. Natural Balance, which used to be one of the more top notch pet foods out there, recently changed their recipe to include more filler including wheat protein. Legally however they have 6 months to change the labeling for it, so even as of yesterday if you go to their website it wasn’t listed as an ingredient.

    On top of that I’ve come across reports on the web of CSRs being flip towards people who called in to complain. And some PetCo employees are describing them as dismissive when they called in to inform them of customer concerns last week.

    I’m just glad I was running short on time and got my cats some friskies instead of making the trek to get them the “good stuff” last week.

  26. Nickelking says:

    sorry, I meant rice protein

  27. infinitysnake says:

    Natural balance is mentioned on the FDA page, just a feww links down the list…

  28. Addison says:

    Nope, my cat’s food still hasn’t been recalled. Yay for Wellness Cat Food.

  29. kellkell says:

    Natural Balance is more of a bridge premium food, it is certainly better than Alpo but it’s not on par with foods like Innova, Solid Gold and Canidae.
    What I have found out is that melamine ups the protein count (and ups kidney failure along with it since its basically rat poison) so it looks like these brands were hoping to up their protein count with a non meat protein. What they weren’t counting on is the Chinese supplier spiking the ingredients with melamine to get those desired counts.
    I think to be safe we should all check the ingredients and make sure the foods we’re feeding out pets don’t include any non whole grains. Corn gluten is suspect now too in the deaths of pets in South Africa. So if you see Rice Gluten, Rice Protein, Wheat Gluten, Wheat Protein, Corn Gluten, Corn Protein or any other grain based gluten or protein it might be prudent to avoid it.

    As for the cheap brands, like friskies and kalkan there are other long term issues, there is a reason it’s cheap. People should take the time to educate themselves now that the worms are out of the can about pet food. I’m sure you don’t buy your human family the absolute cheapest food on the market, you know the off brand raviolis that they sell at some dollar stores for 10 for a $1.00 so you shouldn’t be doing that for your pets either. This whole thing is really sad and upsetting and I hope that the good that comes of this is that people educate themselves so they take better care of their furry family members.

  30. Nickelking says:

    I agree, after doing some poking around I’m going to grab a bag of Innova this evening. (made by the same folks that make Wellness)

  31. Trai_Dep says:

    So now we’re training dogs to enjoy the taste of hobos? Won’t that be a problem when the carnivorous beasts want a snack mid-walk and see some “free range” hobos walking about?

    Diet tip for your dog: hobos are tough chewing – street urchins are scrumptious!

  32. OwenJKatz says:

    Wellness products ( are great! All our critters eat Wellness, and love it. Made from certified organic, human-grade ingredients, too. Just yesterday I phoned the company to inquire about the rice protein. Within an hour a rep had called me back to assure me that they did not source any ingredients from China, and their food was safe. Yay!

  33. TinaB says:

    Oh guys. It’s obviously chili made FOR hobos.

  34. rugger_can says:


    Actually Hobo Chili is a derivative of the dish “Hobo Potato’s” a popular “camp” food made of Potato’s, Bacon, and traditional Mirepoix cooked in a pouch of foil with butter over an open fire. However for Hobo Chili you remove the potato’s and replace with (usually) kidney beans and the bacon for beef. As well the seasoning is changed from salt and pepper to chili powder. Sufficed to say.. its pretty much no different then chili other then having the Mirepoix combo in it which most chili recipes don’t have.

    (*Mirepoix is generally the term used in french cooking for a sweated mixture of Carrots, Celery, and Onions.)

  35. CumaeanSibyl says:

    I have never been so glad to spend the extra money for grain-free cat food in my life.

  36. Mad_Science says:

    Crap. Last time I checked Natural Balance wasn’t on the list.

    It’s the only stuff I’ve found that doesn’t give my dog the runs.

    This bag of DVP Vennison and Brown Rice just ran out…Innova or Candidae, here I come.

  37. ngwoo says:

    At this rate, it would be safer to just feed your pets that tin of rat poison sitting in your basement.

  38. krazykirk says:

    The moral of the story?

    Buy actually branded pet food, like pedegree or whiskas! Not the generic stuff that needs to be recalled!

  39. aujahlisa says:

    I don’t have details (nor do I remember the station – either Chicago Public Radio or WBBM-AM news) but last night on the radio someone was saying that the melamine contamination might have been deliberate. The bit went on to say that melamine (?will/can?) artificially inflate the protein content in tests.

  40. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @krazykirk: “Actually branded pet food” like Iams, Science Diet, and Eukanuba, all of which have multiple products on the recall list? Yep, sounds safe to me. Clearly, the moral of the story is to blindly trust “name-brands” over “generics” even if they’re the exact same thing in different packaging.

  41. Jamez1957 says:

    Dear People:
    After reading about the contaminated pet food and
    the tragic stories told by pet owners I did some
    research and I would like to tell you what I found.
    Everyone at one time or another has been bitten
    by a dog or cat. Last week, my sister`s little dog gave
    me a nip and I jumped(she laughed). It’s
    no big deal where we live. But, if you live in China,
    get bitten by a dog, you could become one of the 200
    people that die every month from rabies.
    It seems the Chinese have been breeding dogs and cats for a
    long time for their skins. I guess they make fur hats
    or something that they sell and export and the dog
    population is out of control like a 150 million dogs.
    And so rabies has proliferated to the point where 80%
    of all world human rabies cases occurs in China.
    Last summer the authorities started a campaign to
    kill all dogs, usually by clubbing them to death even
    in front of their owners.
    Now maybe someone got a little tired of swinging clubs
    and opted for a more efficient approach to the culling
    of the dogs. Maybe poison bait.
    The pet food poison.
    I hear a lot about melamine, but after reading the MSDS
    sheet on melamine it looks like it is not anything more
    than an irritant and carcinogen. It certainly does not
    block an enzyme necessary for protein synthesis upon
    which kidney function depends but Aminopterin(the rat
    poison) sure does.(It used to be used as a chemo
    drug but was discontinued because it was too toxic.)
    The 2008 Summer Olympics will be held in Bejing China.
    If people find out about the rabies epidemic they
    might think twice about attending, investors might think
    twice about investing in a would-be profittable venue.
    I`m not aware of how Menu Foods got the poisoned wheat
    gluten – maybe it was thought to be a very economic
    purchase or the supplier was having a going-out-of-business
    sale or you got our gluten we got yours by mistake.
    My heart goes out to the owners of the pets that
    are sick and dying. The only thing sicker is that
    when the slime and destruction is finally scraped away,
    there`s the dollar.