Melamine was found in the rice protein concentrate (described by the company as rice gluten) used by Natural Balance in their Venison dog and cat formulas.
Carrie Peyton Dahlberg of the Sacramento Bee is reporting Tuesday that:
Natural Balance, a Pacoima-based company, is “99.9 percent sure” that a rice protein made in Asia is responsible for the melamine detected Tuesday in some of its pet foods, company president Joey Herrick said.
“It was pretty shocking,” he said in a phone interview after the company recalled several of its venison-based foods. “I was livid.”Herrick declined to name the supplier of the rice protein or the country it came from, saying only that a large American company acquired the ingredient for Diamond Pet Foods, which makes venison products for Natural Balance.
Because both wheat gluten and rice protein enhance protein content of pet food, “It certainly is suspicious” that melamine now is associated with both, said Bob Poppenga, a UC Davis veterinary toxicology professor.” Read the entire article here
We have found a few excellent links to blogs/sites that have very current information on the recalls as they unfold. If you are interested in staying current on these issues, check in with them often:
http://www.itchmo.com/ – these folks have several updates per day and are a great source for very current info as it breaks. Also of note, there is a call to action – we can all get involved by visiting our local stores with lists in hand of recalled products to see if they have gotten them off of the shelves. We’re hearing far too many reports of foods still found on shelves that should have been pulled. There are links to good instructions on how to do this at the top of this site. I hope people all over the country take it upon themselves to print these lists and check their local stores, for the sake of the pets who might be eating them.
http://petconnection.com/blog/ is another good current blog with excellent discussion about the issue and excellent links.
In other news, on 4/17, Natural Life canned foods were also added to the Menu Foods recall list. Please check all foods for wheat gluten and avoid them, and check back here or at the blogs mentioned above for new info. There are allegedly 5 more companies being tested right now for the Chinese rice protein ingredient that was implicated in the Natural Balance recall. They are not releasing their brand names yet of course, as they have not finished with the testing.
It definitely could be a global problem – Royal Canin pulled all of its South African foods on 4/16
Did you know that the FDA’s current list of recalled items now is over 5,000 items long?? List available here.