Toxic Pet Food Ingredients – Update

Dog lovers please note that yet another food recall has occurred due to high levels of D supplement in the formulation that is poisoning dogs. Three Sunshine brand products (Evolve, Sportsman and Triumph formulations) were recalled on November 28th.  For more information, go the Food Safety Network.

Earlier post…

In October of 2018, the United States District Court in St. Louis sentenced two companies—Wilbur-Ellis Co. and Diversified Ingredients—to pay combined fines of $7 million for shipping adulterated and misbranded pet food ingredients to pet food manufacturers.

In connection with the guilty pleas, the court was advised that pet food ingredients shipped from a Wilbur-Ellis facility in Rosser, Texas—specifically, chicken meal and turkey meal—were adulterated and misbranded through the use of cheaper substitute ingredients, such as feather meal and feed grade chicken bone byproduct meal, and adulterated and misbranded by omitting premium ingredients, such as turkey meal, from products identified as turkey meal. This practice, fortunately, is against the law.

Wilbur-Ellis Company was sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to pay $4,549,682 in restitution, criminal forfeiture in the form of a money judgment in the amount of $964,442 and a fine of $1,000. Diversified Ingredients was sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to pay $1.5 million in restitution, criminal forfeiture in the form of a money judgment in an amount of $75,000, and a fine of $2,000. Apparently, this censure was long overdue as this statement from Blue Buffalo in 2014 suggests.

“Blue Buffalo has recently learned from Wilbur-Ellis, a major U.S. Company that supplies ingredients to us and many other well-known brands of pet foods, that a Texas pet food ingredient processing plant they own had mislabeled some of the ingredients they shipped to their customers. So while their customers were ordering and paying for 100% chicken meal, at times they were receiving shipments that contained poultry by-product meal.”

“Since this Wilbur-Ellis plant was the source of some of our chicken meal, we may have received some of these mislabeled shipments, and there likely are numerous other pet food companies who also received these mislabeled ingredients. The FDA has been informed of this situation, and you may rest assured that this mislabeling poses no health, safety or nutrition issue. And while this is comforting, since the health and well-being of our dogs and cats comes before anything else, the fact that any Blue Buffalo food could include a mislabeled ingredient is totally unacceptable. As a result, we have stopped doing business with this plant.”

The adulterated pet food ingredients did not pose a threat to the health or safety of any animal, according to federal prosecutors.  In an age of bad news concerning consumer protection, it’s nice to know that big business doesn’t always get its way.

Please note that when you purchase any animal product through this blog, 100% of the commission is dedicated to an animal rescue. For more information on this rescue go to RACEB.

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