Back to   Index Page



Is Melamine just a different rat POISON?

According to the article in the Tribune-Review,

Aminopterin, (chemotherapy drug & rat poison)

was NOT found in the FDA's testing of the recalled menu's pet food ...



Sat Mar 31, 2007 1:01 pm

"What I would Like to say as a Scientist

I do hope all the pet food companies, and Menu, especially, is reading this.

I implore all of you to listen closely to the FDA, Cornell, the ASPCA and others who are not tied into this by profit. I know many of you distrust everyone, and I understand. All I ask is that you discriminate, and distrust the Pet Food Industry MORE than the FDA and the Vet community.

Right now, what we know as FACT is:

Melamine was found in sick and dead animals. It was also found in food that was implicated in the recall. It has also been found in wheat gluten that was obtained by a middle man (as of yet undisclosed) from China.

We do NOT know:

It has NOT been yet proven that this is the cause of the main illness, all illness to do with pet food, or even ANY illness. The FDA clearly stated that the cause and effect has not been proven. Only Menu, and maybe others are stating that as if it has been scientifically proven. It may be true - but it may not be. Menu has no scientific basis for claiming that their newly manufactured food is safe, all that they can say is that it does not contain the suspected ingredient.

We do NOT know that all of the wheat gluten used from the same batch has been removed from the marketplace. We do know that other companies, not related to Menu received the same wheat gluten and are STILL coming forward.

The FDA has not yet said that all the suspect wheat gluten has been traced, and recalled. Worse, they still have not yet even learned if it was used in HUMAN food.

Until the FDA, the AVMA, the ASPCA etc issues an all clear, it is reasonable to fear ALL pet foods. We do not know to a scientific certainty what the cause of illness is, and until we do know this for certain, no one can guarantee that any item is safe.

I do think the link to the one batch of wheat gluten will be proven, or another toxin other than melamine and aminopterin in the same wheat gluten will come to light, again proving a link to that specific lot of wheat gluten. But just because I believe that to be the case, does not mean I am comfortable using any commercial food until the case is proven. I am also concerned, since some companies may not have recalled yet, and those that have recently (notably Hills and Purina) have been abhorrently slow to do so.

Unfortunately, the amount of information that we know is much less than the information we do not know. And Henderson (the CEO of Menu) is trying very hard to make us believe that we KNOW more than we do.

permission to cross post, WIDELY."



Menu Pet Foods Recall Information


  1. Menu Foods Recall
    March 16, 2007

[Pet Food] Product Information

  1. Recalled Cat Product Information
    March 16, 2007

  2. Recalled Dog Product Information
    March 16, 2007

[Menu Foods] Press Release

Enhanced Website and Call Center for Precautionary Recall of Dog and Cat Food by Menu Foods Income Fund

 TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - March 19, 2007) -

Attention Business/Financial Editors:


In order to better respond to the needs of its customers, Menu Foods Income Fund (the "Fund") (TSX:MEW.UN) has enhanced the accuracy, comprehensiveness and user-friendliness of its website focused on its recent recall of dog and cat food. The Fund is encouraging consumers to check back with the website regularly, to get the most up-to-date information available. Furthermore, the Fund has enhanced its call center capabilities to better respond to consumers.

The Fund announced on [FRIDAY]
 March 16 the precautionary recall of a portion of the dog and cat food it manufactured between December 3, 2006 and March 6, 2007. The recall is limited to "cuts and gravy" style pet food in cans and pouches manufactured at two of the Fund's United States facilities. These products are both manufactured and sold under private-label and are contract-manufactured for some national brands.

Consumers can find the latest information at The website contains detailed information on the products subject to recall, together with updated dates of production and links to related recalls.





Menu Foods Must Reimburse Pet Owners



As you probably know, there's MANY different brands of dog & cat food recalled due to reports of pets becoming ill and dying. Kidney / problems failure has been diagnosed.

To follow is an article excerpt & some links -- be sure to check your dog / cat if you have been feeding any of the recalled pet food -- let your friends & family know, too.


"Pet-food recall: More numbers … and some help

We now have more than 1,000 pets reported as deceased"



This is a very informative Web Site for feline renal issues:

Tanya's Feline Chronic Renal Failure Information Centre



There are two kinds of kidney failure,

Acute Renal Failure (renal means kidney-related), abbreviated  here as ARF;

and Chronic Renal Failure, abbreviated as CRF.


March 18, 2007

Kidney problems in animals spark pet-food recall


Copyright 2007 Houston Chronicle


"Houston veterinarians are advising people to check their pets' food and observe their behavior closely after several major pet-food companies issued a massive recall of "wet" or "chunky-style" food in cans or foil pouches. ... ... Symptoms of kidney failure in dogs and cats include vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite and lethargy. Dehydration can be a sign that an animal is very sick, ..."We told them to go on the FDA Web site and to throw away anything in question," Powell said. "The main thing is to stay updated and to throw away any food you are even questioning.


"Obviously, if a pet has vomiting or diarrhea, or seems sick to you, get the pet to a veterinarian as quickly as possible," Powell said. "A vet can do a blood test to determine whether the kidneys have been harmed."

A key symptom of kidney disease is dehydration , ..."Some cats and dogs with kidney disease will drink a lot, but if they get sick enough, they might stop drinking," Powell said. One way to determine whether an animal has become dehydrated is to check their gums. "If the gums don't look normal, if they are not wet and glossy, that's not a good sign,"...


Dr. Robert Vaughan of the Bingle Road Veterinary Clinic said, "What I always tell my clients is, the worst thing to do is not get concerned.If there's something going on with your pet a change in their eating or drinking patterns, lethargy get the pet to a veterinarian."


"This didn't affect just one brand; Menu Foods makes a lot of different brands. It's a contract manufacturer," Iverson said. "In both Iams and Eukanuba foods, the recall affects just certain foods in cans and pouches."


* * * Check for updated info at the FDA alerts Web Page.





What to do IF A Dog/Cat Ate RECALLED Pet Food - Have Vet TEST (in-house)

The following message is from Dr. Jean Dodds about what to do IF your cat or dog has eaten the Menu Foods RECALLED pet food


* * * * *

"Dear Helen:

" ... IF dogs have eaten any of these foods, one should check the kidney profile and urinalysis. An in-house test for both would also be fine. ... Jean"

* * * * *

From my Internet Group's Archives:

To test your dog or cat for Early Renal Disease (kidney problems), use a very clean soup ladle and a very clean glass jar:

" ... the urine sample must be first urine in the morning, mid-stream.

No food after 7pm the night before and [females] must not be in season."

UPC (Urine Protein /Creatinine ratio)


"NEW ... Urine P:C Ratio-The first fully quantitative measure of urinary protein loss.

... Detect urine protein loss; diagnose early renal disease ... The VetTest Chemistry Analyzer is the only in-house chemistry analyzer capable of evaluating urine samples..."


"Urine P:C Ratio-Frequently Asked Questions"


Dr. Jean Dodds:

"... [the Urine P:C Ratio test] works in any species.

[The test results] should be less than 0.1, BUT is invalid if the animal has a urinary tract infection because there will be high protein levels from the white blood cells etc., in urine at that time.

An even more sensitive test (perhaps too sensitive) is the newly marketed ERD test Heska Corp... for microalbuminuria ...

Urine Testing - Client Information

A pdf brochure:

"... A Simple Urine Test Offers Early Detection of Kidney Damage ...

"Finds kidney damage earlier and more accurately than ever before ..."


"The kidneys can act as a window to an animal's internal health."

" the E.R.D.-HealthScreenR Urine Tests detect small amounts of albumin in the urine ("microalbuminuria"). Microalbuminuria (MA) has been clinically defined as levels of albumin in the urine greater than normal (1 mg/dL) and less than overt proteinuria (30 mg/dL) at a standardized specific gravity of 1.010.

"Conventional urine tests (urine specific gravity, BUN, creatinine) don't detect kidney damage until ~70% of kidney function is lost."



Dr. Dodds:

"We are doing the research on this test at present in healthy dogs on raw food diets to see if they have falsely elevated ERD tests because of the raw meat they eat."


More info about Dr. Jean Dodds is here:




Hello Friends,


I was profoundly saddened to read the many tragic stories of beloved dogs and cats becoming ill and dying from the tainted pet food.


Please accept my sincere sympathy and know that my heart and prayers go out to all of you as you go through this difficult time of grief.


My fellow Internet Group Members have requested information about support groups and helpful information for those who have recently lost an animal companion.


To follow are some web pages which I have created to bring comfort to those who are grieving their loss.

"If tears could build a stairway and heartache make a lane,

I'd walk the path to Heaven and bring you back again."

                                                                            ---- Author Unknown

Flower Essences for those who are Dealing with the Loss of a Loved One

Other Links for those Dealing with the Loss of a Beloved Companion




OTHER RESOURCES for Support in Bereavement:


Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement "The APLB is a compassionate nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people during this very special kind of bereavement. We are constantly improving all our services, and making them freely available on the Internet. The APLB is unique, and the only organization in the world doing all this."


Animals In Our Hearts

"Those of us fortunate enough to love and be loved by animals know the exquisite joy and quiet fulfillment that comes from animals living in our hearts. We know there is no turning back from loving animals intensely once we experience this bond.


Animals and their love stay in our souls, once we've let them in. And we are better for it, more complete, more whole, more compassionate, and often transformed.

Loving this much, we also know the searing pain of losing them. And we know the frustration, overwhelm and compassion fatigue inherent in rescue and sheltering work, and from the awareness of the devastation of wildlife by human ignorance. In loving so much, we open ourselves to profound intimacy, and also to more pain ...."



Internet Discussion Groups for Support in Bereavement:


Rainbow Bridge

Membership required

"Pet loss, discussion of Rainbow Bridge and grief support are offered here."


Pet Loss

Membership does not require approval

"This is a support group for those who are grieving the heartbreaking loss of their beloved pet. Please visit the links section for supportive websites that may help. Or post a photo of your beloved pet in our photo section as a lasting memorial. Feel free to share your grief or your wonderful stories about your companion. We are here to listen and share at this very difficult time. This list not owned by any one person but is owned by all of us here who share in your loss.


With every tear shed we taste the sweetest gift of all... the neverending memories of a love so unconditional that it will rest in our souls forever.    Warmest (((hug))) from all of us at Pet_Loss.


"Grief is like the ocean; it comes on waves, ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm and sometimes it is overwhelming.  All we can do is learn how to swim."  -Vicki Harrison


Pet Bereavement

Membership does not require approval

"This group is a forum and resource for those who have ever loved and lost a companion animal. No matter what your friends and family might think or say, you know that the sorrow you feel about your pet's death is very real and very painful. This group was launched by Dr. Lorri Greene, a licensed psychologist with 20 years of experience as a companion animal bereavement specialist. With Jacquelyn Landis, Dr. Greene has just published "Saying Good-Bye to the Pet You Love" (New Harbinger Publications, 2002)."



Pet Grieve

Membership required

"To many of us the loss of a pet is as painful and devastating as the loss of a person. We love our animals deeply, and have an extrordinary bond with them. Many people, although sympathetic, really just can't understand. If you tell them your pet has died their well-meaning response is along the lines of "Oh, how sad. I'm so sorry. Thank God it was 'only' a dog/cat." So, we have no one to share our pain with, no one to talk to, to help us carry on and not feel like we're going crazy. Mabe we can be of some support to each other."






For those who are dealing with their animal's renal (kidney) problems, there are some Yahoo Groups available for helpful information and support:





"Mission Statement - K9KIDNEYS: The K9KIDNEYS list is a high volume (sometimes exceeding 60 messages per day) list for owners of dogs suffering from one or more forms of kidney disorders. The structural emphasis will revolve around current veterinary therapy models, feeding models and other necessary “tips and tricks” in the management of the renal dog. It is designed to be a comforting and supportive environment. It is expected that while differences of opinion will occur, list members will treat each other with the utmost of respect and dignity. No question is too basic..."





"The original email list about Chronic Renal Failure in cats, started in February 1997. This is a caring, supportive, safe place to share your feelings, get information, and exchange ideas. You'll find people in all stages of the disease here from the worried newcomers, to the seasoned "old hands", to the grief-stricken who have recently lost a beloved companion, to those whose CRF kitties have passed on and stay here to lend a hand."



"A place for friendly discussion, information exchange and support for people who have cats diagnosed with Feline Chronic Renal Failure (CRF). Both conventional and alternative methods of treatment are discussed and supported here, making for a true "holistic" framework. This is a low-volume but high quality list - join us!"



Information which may prove useful regarding pet food recall, and NECROPSY OPTIONS

"Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine useful guide of what to look for pet owners and vets." (pdf)


PLEASE NOTE, it may not be necessary to pay $350 for a NECROPSY (post mortem examination) :


In NC we have 7 Diagnostic Laboratories under the NC Dept. of Agriculture & Consumer Services The necropsy fee for a companion animal is $30 and the procedure is done by Veterinary Pathologists, see:

List of AAVLD - Accredited Laboratories [The American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians (AAVLD) ]


To locate the individual Web Sites of your State's Diagnostic Labs with detailed info, search online your State's Department of Agriculture:

(Your state) Department of Agriculture Veterinary Division




Stay Informed About the Updated Information

There are Blogs & other Web Sites to keep up with the latest on this awful situation, and it is disturbing to read the numbers of reports and that the pet food manufacturer knew about this for quite some time, and instead of doing laboratory chemical analysis on the pet food, they fed the tainted food INTENTIONALLY to animals -- causing suffering and death!


Here are some Links you may want to refer to as updated information becomes available.


"FDA HAS RECEIVED "OVER A THOUSAND REPORTS": While anecdotal, this information is the first number we've heard from either the FDA or Menu Foods. This information comes from a forum posting by a dog parent whose dog died eating the recalled food."


MENU FOODS FAILED TO ACT FOR THREE MONTHS Began receiving customer complaints as far back as December 2006"


"... I do, however, expect Hill’s (makers of Science Diet and Hill’s prescription diets), Iams, Purina, and Royal Canin to make more of an effort than I’ve seen. As Dr. Khuly at Dolittler notes, “They certainly know how to get to us when it comes to selling their food.” (They also sponsor veterinary research, conferences, and professional associations. They want to be associated with us.) Yet when cans and pouches encompassing over ninety (now ninety-five) brands of pet food are recalled, we hear nothing. No phone calls from our local sales reps. No faxes. Not even an e-mail. In the case of Hill’s, Purina, and Royal Caninall companies that rely on veterinarians to market their prescription diets and (often) to recommend their maintenance dietsthis is just insulting ..."


"The minute a problem was suspected and testing begun, a cautionary warning should have been issued so that the feeding of these products could be stopped until the testing was completed. Just another example of big business looking out for their profit margin instead of the welfare of their customers' pets. This has been a real wake up call for me. I know realize how stupid I have been to believe the advertising hype of these companies. I had no idea that Eukanuba had outsourced the production of the their foods."


"Death Toll Continues to Rise from Recalled Pet Food. On February 20, 2007, Menu Foods began receiving complaints of kidney failure and death in pets. Several days later, the company began testing the food in question on some 40 dogs and cats. Seven of the animals tested, died. ... On March 16, Menu Foods announced a recall of its "cuts and gravy" style pet food in cans and pouches. ...


According to the FDA, the affected food was produced at a plant in Emporia Kansas. Menu Foods also recalled food produced at a New Jersey factory as a precaution. The recalled food was manufactured at these plants between December 3, 2006 and March 6, 2007...."


"Pet-food recall: Has your pet been affected? Click here to report a sick pet

Update: As of 6 p.m. Tuesday [3-20-07], nearly 250 pets have been reported as dead to our PetConnection database.  At PetConnection, we are tracking the number of sick pets, and we're asking for your help. We're also keeping on top of the situation on our Web log. ..."


"The question on many people’s minds is “why did Menu Food wait almost 3 months to start testing their product?” ,,, It turns out that of the 10 pet deaths reported in the initial recall, 7 or more pets were in the test group, and Menu Foods waited 14 days to issue the recall after having conclusive evidence, not the 10 days we originally thought."


"The financial situation for Menu Foods (and its parent company) is spelled out in this article . In a nutshell (all dollars Canadian): The trust scraped out a profit of $6.4 million for all of 2006 on sales of $356.2 million, after a 2005 loss of $54.7 million.


The recall came as the trust, which has not paid distributions to investors since December 2005, was showing signs of health after being hit hard by rising costs and the strong Canadian dollar.

The median estimate for the cost of the recall (USD $30 million) would have been roughly six times their 2006 profits (USD $5.4 million)."


"... The agency is also requesting that people with sick or deceased pets who believe their pet might have consumed one of the implicated products contact a state complaint coordinator. A list of coordinators can be found at the FDA Web site"


"The FDA and the Humane Society advise consumers who have any of these products to stop feeding them to their pets. Menu Foods has a consumer recall hotline at 1-866-895-2708. The company has announced that it will compensate the owners of pets that died."


Helen's comments:

There's been lawsuits filed already -- for much more info, do a search for pet food recall - in the NEWS section of google -- the numerous articles illustrate the magnitude of the problem -- for example:


"Chicago Woman Claims Pet Food Manufacturer Delayed Recall of Contaminated Products ... A Chicago woman sued Menu Foods on Tuesday, alleging the pet food manufacturer delayed announcing a recall of 60 million containers of dog and cat food despite knowing its products were contaminated and potentially deadly...."



An Internet Group for those whose dogs or cats have suffered and/or died as a result of the recalled Menu pet food.


Keep in mind that the tainted food was on the market from December 2006 until March 2007. So, if you or people you know have had a dog or cat eating the recalled pet food, and exhibited symptoms of renal (kidney) problems/disease/failure, such as dehydration (check gums- should be wet and glossy), vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite and lethargy etc. -- for more on that see this Web Site.  The Internet Group is:

Menu Foods Class Action

"This group is for pet owners that have lost a pet due to renal failure from eating Menu Foods cat or dog food.


Check the [Menu Foods] website to see if you have fed some bad food to your pet.


If your pet has died, try to do the following:

- Save the food package

- Save your receipt from where you purchased the food

- Save any vet bills

- Save any burial bills

- Find a picture from when your pet was alive

- Take a picture of your deceased pet

- Journal the loss of your pet (pain & suffering)

I know that some of the requests above are odd. But we need to hold Menu Foods accountable for their actions.


*Note: I am not an attorney. I am doing this because my best friends cat passed away due to renal failure from eating tainted food. This group will eventually be turned over to a class action attorney once there is enough people coming forward."


Sample Diets for Dogs and Cats

"API also suggests you obtain one or more of the following books, so that you have a more complete understanding of canine and/or feline nutritional needs. (API does not sell these books.) It is essential that you follow any diet’s recommendations closely, including all ingredients and supplements. Failure to do so may result in serious health consequences for your animal companion."





Get The Facts:

What’s Really in Pet Food

Would you like to learn more and share your knowledge with others about caring 'more naturally' for your companion animals?


Consider joining Helen's Internet Discussion Group, Yahoo provides this service free of charge. The Management Team of this Group does NOT sell supplements and is not financially affiliated with any supplement company.



Our Mottos are:

"Make Informed Decisions"


“There is Usually More Than One Way

of Doing Something Right.”


Discussion is on all aspects of caring for our companion animals, and the focus is on health, including:

Feeding (raw/BARF, home-made cooked food) Supplements, Grooming, Exercise, Training, etc. Complementary Alternative Veterinary Medicine (CAVM) as well as Conventional Vet Med -- AKA Integrative Veterinary Medicine. Holistic Healing Modalities:

Acupuncture, Acupressure, Chiropractic, Homeopathy, Massage, Traditional Herbal Medicine (THM), Flower Essences, Essential Oils, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), Reiki, Ayurvedic, Kinesiology, etc.

Nutrition is said to be the 'Foundation of Health', and is the most popular topic. Some dogs & cats are unable to tolerate a raw food diet, and this is a good forum to discuss home-made food. We are *all* learning - even the experts, the scientists and researchers who advise everyone about the BEST diets for staying healthy.

Here's something to think about:

"Because nutritional biochemistry is constantly evolving, some have questioned whether a manufactured diet can ever contain 'complete' nutrition. One example can be found in the fatal consequences of dietary taurine deficiency that occurred in cats being fed, interestingly, a high-quality premium diet (Pion and others, 1987). ... scientists cannot know everything necessary about animal nutritional requirements."
 ------ excerpt from: Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Medicine, Principles and Practice, edited by Allen M. Schoen, DVM, MS, and Susan G. Wynn, DVM

"If a diet is unnatural, disease will keep company with those subjected to it."
--- Juliette de Bairacli Levy, Author of The Complete Herbal Handbook for the Dog and Cat, first published in 1955

On occasion, we have a professional in Complementary / Alternative fields as our Special Guest -- answering Members' questions. We invite you to join us, our Veterinarians & other Special Guests!!

Click here to join CompanionAnimalCare-Naturally
Click to join CompanionAnimalCare-Naturally




Another good Yahoo Group -- to 'speak your mind':

Animals C.L.U.B. - Freedom



ă Copyright 1995-2008 Helen L. McKinnon All Rights Reserved

Your comments, questions, suggestions are welcomed:

Back to   Index Page