Banfield’s, the nation’s largest chain of veterinary hospitals, is suggesting that as many as 39,000 pets may have been injured by the contaminated foods that have been recalled:
WASHINGTON – Pet food contaminated with an industrial chemical may have sickened or killed 39,000 cats and dogs nationwide, based on an extrapolation from data released Monday by one of the nation’s largest chains of veterinary hospitals.
Banfield, The Pet Hospital, said an analysis of its database, compiled from records collected by its more than 615 veterinary hospitals, suggests that three out of every 10,000 cats and dogs that ate the pet food contaminated with melamine developed kidney failure. There are an estimated 60 million dogs and 70 million cats in the United States, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.
The hospital chain saw 1 million dogs and cats during the three months when the more than 100 brands of now-recalled contaminated pet food were sold. It saw 284 extra cases of kidney failure among cats during that period, or a roughly 30 percent increase, when compared with background rates.
It’s “a coincidence” that the Chief Financial Officer of Menu Foods, the company who manufactured the foods that have been recalled, sold half his shares in the company a few weeks before the recall:
The chief financial officer of Menu Foods Income Fund says it’s a “horrible coincidence” that he sold nearly half his units in the troubled pet food maker less than three weeks before a massive recall of tainted pet food.
Insider trading reports show that Mark Wiens sold 14,000 units for $102,900 on Feb. 26 and Feb. 27. Those shares would be worth $62,440 today, based on yesterday’s close of $4.46 a unit.
That represented 45 per cent of Mr. Wiens’s units. After the sale, he still owned 17,193 units and options to purchase 101,812 units, according to insider trading reports.
“It’s a horrible coincidence, yes . . .” Mr. Wiens said yesterday.
“I hold myself to the highest ethical and moral standards possible. I wouldn’t do anything to imperil the high governance standards that I demand of myself or anybody in the company.”
Mr. Wiens said the first reports of illnesses and deaths related to Menu Foods products came in to the company’s toll-free customer relations line in late February.
If you’re in Chicago, Illinois Senator Richard Durbin plans to hold hearings into the tainted pet foods:
WASHINGTON–The Senate wants answers about the federal probe into tainted pet food.Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), the Senate Whip, has long been working on food purity and food safety issues. And he is a member of the Senate Ag Appropriations subcommittee.
Durbin announced on Monday that a hearing on the pet food recall will take placeThursday afternoon, in Chicago. Witnesses will include Food and Drug Administration officials and outside specialists.
this from Durbin….
April 9, 2007
SENATE HEARING ON PET FOOD CONTAMINATION TO BE HELD THURSDAY, APRIL 12th
[CHICAGO, IL] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today confirmed that the U.S. Senate will hold an oversight hearing on the ongoing investigation and the regulatory mechanisms that govern the pet food industry as the widespread recall of contaminated pet food continues. Durbin, a member of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, has worked with Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI), the Chairman of the Subcommittee, to schedule the hearing which will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 12, 2007 in Room 192 Dirksen Senate Office Building.
Witnesses (see below for full list) will include FDA officials who will be questioned on the timeline of the investigation, the source of the contamination, and the agency’s regulatory and inspection responsibilities. The hearing will also include outside experts who will discuss the current state of the pet food industry, as well as regulatory or resource shortfalls that led to the widespread recall of tainted pet food.