Monday, March 19, 2007

Menu Foods: We Knew About this for a Month

The scumbags at Menu Foods continue to show us why there's a special place reserved in hell for them. Today, the AP reported (via Toronto Star):

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.

8 comments: said...

Avram, you have me mad all over again. This is superb reporting and writing and I'm going to link to it in tomorrow's blog update, and probably in my FAQ also.


pj0908 said...

This company is sickening in what they have done especially to the animals. They are evil and should have similar things done to them.
I thik they knew before February. I rescued 10 kittens from a dangerous situation and 5 of them died at Christmas. I bought Special Kitty because I was trapping a colony of about 35 so I could get them fixed. The colony? All but 5 are dead.
I am sick over all of this.

Lou said...

Thank you for your report. Unfortunately, unless it is something that affects children or humans, this country doesn't give a hoot. In my community, the news briefly mentioned the toxic food and it was not reported with any importance. I had difficulty finding any info on this news and finally found a report buried in the bowls of under the MONEY section. This saddens me.

Lou said...

P.S. I also read this morning that Hills Pet Nutrition issued a voluntary recall of their Prescription Diet m/d feline dry food which they indicate is their only product containing what gluten. You know, my furry gang of 9 may just have to forced to eat homemade cat food if this continues....

Anonymous said...

I think there must be more to this poisning than we know about. Our government needs to step in and make sure this never happens again. We also need to boycott any company that will not prove to us that this will never happen again.

claire said...

Is there no way that we as ppet owners can teach menu foods a lesson???? can we put them out of business??? Boycott there food or pick one brand they manufacture and boycott that brand You know what they say "Money talks and &^$*(* walks" The only things these companies understand is the bottom line.

Anonymous said...

What exactly don't you agree with about PETA (besides their report on Menu Foods)? I am just curious, because they work to improve the lives of all animals. Pet owners, visit for a full report on Menu Foods, as well as footage on Iams, another pet food company to stay away from.

mommabear said...

Due to severe itching and skin problems I now give my Golden Retriever a 'grain free' Wellness Core brand dog food. After two months I see no improvement at all. Also I started my overweight cat on Wellness Healthy Weight for cats at this time too.. I thought I did my homework and much of it for my Golden was from The Whole Dog Journal and their findings. But none of this was mentioned and you bet tomorrow morning I will be at the Pet Super Store where I purchase these premiuim foods, to return them. I will not support animal cruelty, or experiments of any kind on animals!!! I hope one day these torturers of animals get a good dose of their own evil doing. They are sick sick individuals who can bound and torture and inflict pain on helpless animals, no better than the Vick dude in jail is !! I cannot believe the videos I saw online, they will haunt me forever. My pets and I will tell old mother hubbard and Menu foods to go to hell and burn eternally. How can our government and the FDA let this happen. Our animals feel pain and fear just as we do, and I think these sick people enjoy what they do. They would get arrested if they went home and treated their families like this, so they take their frustations out on poor defenseless animals. They even curse at them and abuse them while performing these cruel tests. I'm sick over this...................