The New Jersey court has now moved on to the next step in settlement of the class action suit against pet food makers involved in the melamine recalls of 2007. If you think you qualify for compensation, you need to fill out a form and send it in by November 24. If you want to deal with this some other way, the same claim website explains how. This won’t bring back the lost pets, but it may help a little. Go for it.
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A couple of informative posts, one on ConsumerAffairs.com and another on InjuryBoard.com discuss details of the $24 million pet food recall settlement. The New Jersey judge has given preliminary approval but further approval is needed and the next hearing is not until October 14. In the meantime, if you have or had a pet caught up in the recall, here are the people to contact:
In re Pet Food Products Liability Litigation, Claims Administrator
c/o Heffler, Radetich & Saitta LLP,
P.O. Box 890,
Philadelphia, PA 19105-0890
The class action lawsuits filed as a result of the pet food recalls last year are inching toward settlement. A judge in New Jersey consolidated 120 cases and awarded the plaintiffs $24 million to cover documented expenses related to the illness, death, or burial of their dogs and cats. But what about for emotional damages? The answer is uncertain and probably won’t be known until the settlement wends its way through the U.S. and Canadian courts, which still have to approve the whole thing.
I’m happy that the announcement came when it did because my book on the recall goes to press next week and I got to squeeze in a last entry to my timeline of the events: “May 22: Menu Foods settles class-action lawsuits for $24 million.”
University of California Press has just put up the web page for my forthcoming book, Pet Food Politics: The Chihuahua in the Coal Mine. It’s official publication date is September 15 but UC Press says it expects to start shipping copies out in mid-July. The page went up on Amazon last week. I’m expect the page proofs with revised figures next week, so it’s really on its way. And I only have one thing to add since the last revision: the announcement of the April 1 settlement of the class action suit against Menu Foods and the other companies involved in the recalls last year. Stay tuned!
The cover of my forthcoming book, Pet Food Politics: The Chihuahua in the Coal Mine has just been posted on Amazon.com. Its publisher is University of California Press, which also published two of my previous books, Food Politics and Safe Food (What to Eat comes from Farrar, Straus & Giroux). I’ve just sent in the last copy-edit, am expecting page proofs in mid-April, and am hoping to see advance copies in late July. It comes out in September!
As I’m sure I’ve mentioned, I’m working on a couple of books about pet food. The first, Pet Food Politics: The Chihuahua in the Coal Mine, comes out in September from University of California Press (no info there yet, but soon, hopefully). After the Pet Expo in San Diego, I was interviewed by Pet Connection about this book and the next one, What Pets Eat, which I’m doing with Malden Nesheim for Harcourt, and which won’t be out for years.
I haven’t been saying much about pet food, mainly because my forthcoming book about the recall and its aftermath, Pet Food Politics: Chihuahua in the Coal Mine, is in the works at University of California Press but won’t be out until September. Last week’s indictments of the heads of the Chinese companies that supposedly produced and shipped the contaminated wheat gluten (actually wheat flour laced with melamine), and the American company that imported it, got plenty of press. I particularly appreciated the USA Today version from Julie Schmit and Elizabeth Weise who have understood the importance of this story from the beginning, and whose article provides links to to the indictment documents. As for why this story isn’t just about pet food, check out what the U.S. Olympic teams are doing about food when they go to Beijing for the summer games.
Who would ever guess that pet food would be the subject of a New York Times magazine piece. It’s by Fred Kaufman, who has a history of food in America–“The History of the Stomach“–coming out next February. His NYT piece is notable for explaining the driving force behind the formulas for pet foods: keeping elimination products to a minimum. I think it’s a great piece, not least because it quotes me at length and accurately, at that.