Menu Foods told the FDA it received the first complaints of kidney failure and deaths among cats and dogs from pet owners on Feb. 20. It began new tests on Feb. 27.
During those tests, the company fed its product to 40 to 50 dogs and cats and some seven animals – the mix of species was not immediately known – died, Sundlof said. The contamination appeared more deadly to cats than to dogs, he said.
So they knew about this for a month, they took their time acting on the recall, and even better, they tested the poisonous food on dogs and cats in a laboratory, just to see how many would die! As I said yesterday, Menu Foods has a well-established reputation for animal cruelty.
Some of you may not like PETA and I don't agree with everything they do, but I believe their report on Menu Foods and its animal test labs. Apparently PETA had an undercover investigator working in the labs for 9 months. During that time, she witnessed countless acts of cruelty. I'm particularly disturbed by this graph:
A cat used in a Menu Foods study whom PETA’s investigator had befriended had a large cut on his chin. The vet techs told our investigator that this unfortunate cat was “evil,” and instead of treating the cat humanely, they put betadine in a spray bottle and tried to spray the cat in the face from outside the cage, squirting him in the mouth and causing him to salivate profusely. Later, the technicians indicated that the “problem was resolved,” yet the investigator saw that the cut looked much worse and informed the lab’s director of the cat’s condition. Although the vet techs were told to euthanize the cat immediately, he suffered for five more days before the vet techs finally got around to destroying him.
But I think this was the piece de resistance:
Shortly before our investigator quit her job at the lab, the lab director ordered the vet techs to debark all the dogs because he was being disturbed by their desperate cries for attention. A vet tech told our investigator that a researcher in Menu Foods’ New Jersey office gave permission for the dogs’ vocal chords to be cut out.
So it's great to know that their response to finding out that their food was poisoning cats and dogs was to feed the same poisonous food to the animals locked in their lab of horrors.
Why did Menu Foods wait so long to issue it's recall and why did it issue the recall on a Friday night? I think the answer is contained in its press release:
The Fund estimates that based on currently available information, this recall could cost between $30 million and $40 million, which will be financed from a combination of internally generated cash flow and bank credit facilities.
I wonder how many animal's lives that $40 million is worth to "The Fund?" I used to work for a public company where we'd always put out negative news like poor earning reports on Friday nights so that the market had time to "digest" it. Maybe Menu Foods was hoping that by throwing this information out there on a Friday night, it would have more time to reassure nervous investors before markets reopened on Monday morning. Indeed, Menu Foods' stock dropped today by 24% on Monday. How much might it have dropped if this recall was announced at the opening bell or even at 2 pm on Friday?
Nevermind, that every hour Menu Foods delayed releasing this news, someone was feeding a cat a packet of contaminated food. Stores were selling poison in a packet and nobody was the wiser. Then, after releasing the information Friday Night, Menu foods waited until 6 am on Saturday morning to post its list of recalled products. But even then, the list was incomplete. Even more brands were added later on. But of course when you secretly manufacture as many brands of food as "The Fund," it's easy to lose track of exactly where you slung your slop.