Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Natural Balance Dry Now Recalled

Is no brand trustworthy? I sang the praises of Natural Balance food just a few posts ago, and now it turns out their food is contaminated too.

It's a good thing I bought California Natural dry food this weekend, rather than Natural Balance, which I almost bought. Let's hope California Natural is not next. Funny thing is that I very nearly bought Natural Balance Venison and Green Pea dry cat food on Saturday.

Ironically, the reason I found the venison and green pea formula attractive is this statement on Natural Balance's site:

No Artificial Preservatives, Flavors, Colors, or Bleached Ingredients. Does not contain Corn, Soy, Wheat, Rice, Eggs, Dairy Products or Sunflower Oil.


I must be an idiot because I thought that no soy, wheat, or rice meant just that. However, Natural Balance's recall press release states:
We believe the source of the melamine is a rice protein concentrate.


How can something which claims to have "no rice," contain a rice protein concentrate? Does that sound wrong to anyone?

The boys took to the California Natural dry food right away. My Orijen is coming in the mail on Thursday, and I pray that it's everything it's cracked up to be.

15 comments:

faycat said...

Silly me, I assumed "No Grains" meant no rice. Last I checked, rice was a grain, but apparently NB doesn't agree, because the recall is due to contaminated rice protein concentrate, an ingredient NOT listed on their website for teh Venison & Green Pea cat food just a couple of days ago, but magically appearing on the ingredient list today. Had I seen any grain or direvative of a grain on the ingredient list when I bought it 2 weeks ago, I wouldn't have bought it. My cat seems to be fine, but I am wondering if I need to take another shot at a raw food diet for her. She hated it when I tried it a few weeks ago. I don't blame her, it was kind of gross...

Jerad said...

Natural Balance apparently switched their formula recently and began using a lot more filler. Also the people at my local PetCo said they seemed unconcerned when they called Natural Balance to let them know of complaints from customers. After hearing that I'm looking into California Natural and Innova... leaning towards Innova.

Tara said...

Yep, Mom is pretty furious too. I've been loving Natural Balance Ultra. Mom bought some Evo before she heard about the recall, and I love it even more. So, Mom is taking the unopened bag of Natural Balance back, and I'm sticking with Evo.
Tara

M said...

I think the pet food industry is trying to get protein into the food without using meat for some reason. I am almost ready to call it a day and make my own. I am cooking for the small dog already because she congestive heart failure.

I am hoping that nothing else comes up with the PHD because I will feed them that until either I get some like Orijen or start cooking for them. Ugh.

Riley & Tiki said...

It's getting to the point where we don't trust any of the pet food makers. I'd make their food, but I haven't found any good recipes yet. The last book I got from the library had onion in everything. I'm hoping the other ones I reserved offer something better. The vet specifically told me not to feed Riley raw food because he has a compromised immune system, and it seems that most recipes are either raw or inappropriate for cats.

RTM

The Infamous Jeanne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Infamous Jeanne said...

Sorry you guys!! I accidentally deleted my comment -- Anyway, what I said was this -- If anyone is interested in switching their kitties to a raw diet there's a great yahoo list called RawCat. They have been incredibly helpful with the switch at my house and my kitties are loving it.

Gillian said...

Avram, Thanks again for keeping us up to date on the latest recalls.  And I appreciate your concern about putting all your eggs in the Orijen handbasket - not too many options left, are there?  I wrote to Orijen to seek further clarification on their ingredient list, and I've provided their responses in italics.  I promise you I am not affiliated with the company in any way (aka anonymous poster). I just think they are the best dry food option out there currently, and want to spread the word...hopefully, you and your readers find this information useful.

Thank you for confirming (previous email) that there is no ethoxyquin in the 6 Fish formula - is this also the case for all your other dog & cat formulas? All ORIJEN products are ethoxyquin free.

I noticed that your ingredient list is broken-up by fresh regional ingredients, tonic herbs and botanicals, organic minerals, and premium vitamins.  Is it possible for there to be additional chemicals/substances/ preservatives in your food, that aren't listed on the ingredient list since they don't fall into one of the 4 categories?  If so, what are they and why are they for? We've broken up the list to make it easy for consumers to get the full picture of each category instead of combing through the ingredient panel. There are NO chemical preservatives in ORIJEN. ORIJEN is naturally preserved with rosemary. In a follow-up email, Orijen confirmed that there are no ingredients in addition to those listed under each of the 4 categories...what you see is what you get.

As a result of the recent Natural Balance food recall, is rice protein concentrate (or anything similar to it) added to your food?  If you were to include it, would you still be able to claim that your food is grain-free?  Natural Balance did  ORIJEN is grain free and rice, rice gluten is considered grain. There is no rice gluten in our products. We claim gluten free and grain free on the package. We are true to our labelling and can guarantee this. In a follow-up email, Orijen further confirmed that there is no rice protein concentrate in their food.

Do you have plans to modify your formula?  In the event that you do make modifications, will you label the bags accordingly and update your website with respect to the nature of the change?We are a forward thinking company, so I can imagine we will make some enhancements down the road. I would imagine that we may add to the botanical line up. If we make these changes, you will see if on the package.

Avram said...

Thanks Gillian. As you can imagine, I am eagerly awaiting my shipment of Orijen which, according to Fedex, should arrive tomorrow.

Of course, I could love it and the boys may hate it. Maybe they like rice and other fillers! I hope not, but it's possible. Remember, us human beings don't always like food that is nutritionally best for us.

Fritzamus Maximus said...

Thanks to the link to Ernest's blog! We have linked back.

Like you, I could not believe it when I heard about the Natural Balance recall. As far as I can tell, the Felidae and Merrick we feed Fritz and Ernest is still okay, but I'm worried anyway.

Anonymous said...

We use California Natural Lamb & Rice, so there is clearly rice in there, but I was told it is all human grade food, natural, etc. Just for the sake of it I was thinking of switching to their Herring & Sweet Potato variety (no rice). Anyone else hear anything bad, or good, about California Natural? Also, any info on organic raw patties? Or easy make your own BARF for dogs? Thanks in advance. Ingrid

Janet said...

The list of brands that seem trustworthy is getting shorter and shorter. We'll likely stick to Wellness and we also use Eagle Pack. But I'm seriously considering making the food myself.

Kim said...

I have been feeding my cats raw food using Feline Future (www.felinefuture.com) for three years now with great success. I take them in for yearly checkups, and the vet says they are in great health (he actually seems really happy to see us). We have had absolutely no problems, and even my friends keep commenting on how healthy my girls are. I am not surprised that the labeling on Natural Balance said no grains, when in fact it did. In her book "Food Pets Die For", Ann Martin says that the laws concerning pet food labeling are all but non-existent. You have to have a lot of faith in the pet food makers you decide to trust. Faycat: it can take some patience to switch to raw. One of my cats was a dedicated kibble junkie, and boy was that a battle of the wills! But now she won't have anything else, and gobbles down the raw like it's the best thing since canned tuna. I thought it was gross too, at first. But now I find canned and processed foods extremely gross...

Kim said...

ps: I am not affiliated with Feline Future or any other raw food group or anything like that. Just a very grateful customer, with two very grateful cats!

Amy said...

I heard that the Naural Balance food was not supposed to have the rice protein in it, which is why it was not on the label but was by some mistake put into the wrong food, that could obviously be the manufacturor covering themselves though.

My cat died about three months ago while eating natural balance weight control. This food has still not made it onto a recall list. I suspect that the food killed him however, when i approached a vet about his death they asked for $500 for a necropsy, which I can't afford being a college student. I spoke to my regular vet about the food and he offered to send it to the FDA to test it, however the FDA didn't think my cat was worth their time. Needless to say, I will not be buying natural balance ever again.