by Marion Nestle

Currently browsing posts about: Pet food

May 16 2009

Weekend fun: dog food vs. pâté (and the winner is?)

I’ll bet that a study published by the American Association of Wine Economists will be a top candidate for this year’s IgNobel Prize (the prize given for “research that makes you laugh and then think”).  Investigators somehow convinced a bunch of volunteers to undergo a blind taste test of liver pâtés and dog food.  Participants knew that one of the samples was dog food, but not which one.  They gave the dog food the lowest marks on taste, but only 17% identified it as dog food.  Everyone else thought it was just bad pâté.  This must say something about the average American palate, alas.  To address that question, Stephen Colbert  did his own taste trial on camera.  Too salty, he says.  Indeed.

Apr 13 2009

Busy weekend: the Obama’s First Puppy and Fixing the FDA

In case you were wondering about my thoughts on what the Obamas should be feeding their new First Puppy, I did an interview with Obama Foodorama on that very topic: “The Obamas get a new puppy and policy issues get unleashed.”

And for my latest column in the San Francisco Chronicle, “Full plate for Obama’s new FDA administrator,” I deal with the question of what the new FDA Commissioner, Dr. Margaret Hamburg, needs to do to fix the agency’s problems. She will need all the support we can give her.

Feb 9 2009

Pet food recall settlement: at last?

The courts have finally approved the settlement agreement for the class action lawsuit against pet food makers selling products contaminated with melamine.  This means that the payouts will begin sometime this year, maybe.   Legal wheels grind slowly, it seems (or maybe this isn’t slow?).

Jan 26 2009

Peanut butter and pet foods

One more thing about the peanut butter recalls; they affect pet foods.  I can’t help saying it, but I did say that pet foods matter (and thanks to OrangeCloud for reminding me).  One of the points of Pet Food Politics was to demonstrate that the food supplies for pets, farm animals, and people are one and the same and cannot be separated.  If a safety problem affects pet foods, you can be sure that the same kind of problem will affect people food.  Examples: melamine in Chinese infant formula, and now peanut butter.

Lots of pet foods, especially treats, contain peanut butter and guess where that peanut butter comes from?  It comes from the same plant in Georgia that sends peanut butter everywhere else. Here are the recalled pet foods, so far:

Avanza Supermarket
Econofoods (Excluding Wisconsin stores in Sturgeon Bay, Clintonville, Marquette, Holton and Iron Mou
Family Fresh Market
Family Thrift Center
Food Bonanza
Grreat Choice
Pick’n Save (Ohio stores in Van Wert and Ironton only)
Prairie Market
SunMart Foods
Wholesale Food Outlet

Recalled pet food ingredients: Peanut Corporation of America or Parnell’s Pride

Jan 11 2009

Pet food settlement: indefinitely delayed

Two unnamed parties have filed appeals to the $24 million settlement of the Menu Food pet food recall claims for compensation for pet illnesses and deaths.  These appeals will delay payments to pet owners who filed claims, perhaps, according to the judge, by months or even years.  Details about who is filing the appeals and why are not available, but one source says they have to do with labeling and fairness issues.  Woe.

And more woe.  Mars continues to expand its recalls of pet foods made at its now closed Allentown, PA plant.

Update January 15: here’s one of the objecting lawyers.  He thinks owners of pets affected by melamine-contaminated pet food deserve more than the $24 million settlement.

Jan 8 2009

Pet Connection Interview: Unedited!

My interview with Christie Keith about Pet Food Politics has just been posted on the Pet Connection blog site.  Pet Connection is the pet care and everything else website that played such an important role in tracking the events of the 2007 pet food recalls.  Christie Keith writes regularly for Pet Connection but I first came across her work as the exceptionally thoughtful pet columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle.  This is a first for me: the interview is a verbatim transcript of a long telephone conversation.  The conversation was a lot of fun, but also instructive; it changed my thinking about some issues regarding pet food labeling.  Enjoy!

Nov 28 2008

At last! Final settlement of pet food class action

People whose pets got sick or died as a result of melamine adulteration of pet foods in 2007 are entitled to compensation.  The U.S. courts approved the $24 million settlement on November 17. Now, the Canadian courts also have approved the settlement. The $24 million is in addition to the $8 million already paid out.   Pet owners who have not yet filed claims can still do so by writing to: In re Pet Food Products Liability Litigation, Claims Administrator, c/o Heffler, Radetich & Saitta LLP, P.O. Box 890, Philadelphia, PA 19105-0890.  Tel: 1-800-392-7785.  Website: www.petfoodsettlement.com.

Happy Thanksgiving holiday!


		
Nov 13 2008

FDA stops imports of Chinese milk products

I’m told that FDA laboratories are still finding melamine in milk-containing food products imported from China.  In response, the FDA has issued a countrywide  import alert, meaning that FDA officials can detain the products without having to examine and test them.  The list of detainable products is long and includes not only milk but also yogurt, desserts, cakes and cookies, candies, chocolate, beverages, and- shades of 2007 – dog and cat food.

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