Today’s Update on the Pet Food Recall—5/24/2007

Diamond Pet Food has recalled some lots of Nutra Lamb Meal and Rice Formula dry dog food over concerns of cross-contamination:

META, Mo., May 23 /PRNewswire/ — Diamond Pet Foods announced that it has recalled a limited quantity of Nutra Nuggets Lamb Meal and Rice Formula dry dog food in 40 lb. bags because of melamine cross contamination. To date, no animal deaths have been reported.

This action is limited to Nutra Nuggets Lamb Meal and Rice Formula dry dog food in 40 lb. bags with production codes of NLR0404A2SL or NLR0404B2SL, “Best Before” Oct. 9, 2008. The recalled product was manufactured at the company’s Lathrop, Calif. facility and sold through retailers in Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia, Canada. No other Nutra Nuggets products are affected.

The recalled product was manufactured at the same facility following production of other products that contained rice protein concentrate later found to be tainted with melamine, which is not an approved food substance. Pets who may have consumed the affected product should be monitored closely. Affected pets will usually drink a lot of water and will vomit within 24 hours after eating the food. Affected pets may exhibit the following symptoms, including but not limited to loss of appetite, lethargy and vomiting. Consult your local veterinarian if your pet is exhibiting these symptoms.

Steve Chapman’s column in Chicago Tribune is on how inadequate government is to stop problems like food contamination and that more power won’t make it more adequate. There’s a kernel of truth in what he’s saying and that’s why I’ve been urging the passage, implementation, and enforcement of labelling laws.

There’s a role for government inspections—deterrence—but that only works if the government agencies don’t see themselves as P/R organs for the companies whose products they’re inspecting.

And China is a very special case. It doesn’t have a highly developed social or legal infrastructure for consumer product safety. When offending companies simply close up shop and disappear into the crowd, what’s the deterrent? They’ll go across town, open up shop again doing the same things as before, and, unless detected here, hurt somebody else.

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