Nestle Purina PetCare Company is now recalling all sizes and varieties of its Alpo Prime Cuts in Gravy wet dog food with specific date codes. Purina says a limited amount of the food contains a wheat gluten from China that was found to be contaminated with a chemical found in plastics and pesticides.
Late Friday, a dry cat food was added to the list of recalled items for the first time. Hill’s Pet Nutrition said its Prescription Diet m/d Feline dry food also included the tainted wheat gluten. Both companies used the same supplier that provided wheat gluten to Menu Foods. The Canadian company has recalled 60 million containers of wet dog and cat food sold under nearly 100 brand labels. Investigators are still trying to determine how many pets have been affected, and exactly what is causing it.
With the FDA now confirming that consumers suspect dry pet food may have sickened or killed their companion animals, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals called on the FDA to immediately expand the pet food recall to include all dry varieties subject to complaints until they are chemically tested for safety.
PETA will also ask the FDA to investigate Iams in order to find out if the company knew about the contaminated food before calling for a recall. According to PETA, Pennsylvania resident Yvette Faulkner, whose cat Sassafras suffered kidney failure and had to be euthanized, states that Sassafras ate only Iams’ dry food.
Reports indicate that Menu Foods, Iams’ manufacturer, may have known about the contaminated food as early as February 20. The recall did not go into effect until March 16.
“Nearly a month elapsed between the first reports of illness and death from contaminated products and the recall-time during which countless cats and dogs may have been sickened and died,” says PETA Vice President Bruce Friedrich. “We’re calling on Iams and other companies not to gamble with animals’ lives and to recall all dry food products that are the subject of complaints immediately.” The Food and Drug Administration however, says it has no plans to suggest a wider recall and veterinarians say they’ve seen no trend of dogs and cats getting sick from eating dry food.