Pet Food News

J.M. Smucker To Buy Rachael Ray Dog Food Maker Ainsworth Pet Nutrition For About $1.9 Billion

JM Smucker To Buy Ainsworth Pet Nutrition www.HealthyPetPeeps.com

J. M. Smucker Co said on Wednesday it would buy Rachael Ray Dog food maker Ainsworth Pet Nutrition for about $1.9 billion in cash to strengthen its pet food portfolio, and was exploring options for its U.S. baking business, including a sale. This comes out to approximately US$1.7 billion, after an estimated tax benefit of US$200 million. The transaction, announced April 4, is expected to close early in Smucker's fiscal year beginning May 1, 2018.

The deal increases Smucker’s pet food portfolio to 15 brands.

Smucker’s deal is the latest in a string of acquisitions of pet food companies by traditional processed food makers and comes on the heels of General Mills Inc’s purchase of high-end pet food maker Blue Buffalo Pet Products Inc for about $8 billion.

Mars, Cargill and Nestle have also added pet food companies to their portfolio, fighting for a share of the fast-growing $30 billion U.S. pet food market.

U.S. retail pet food sales rose over three times as fast as the 1.2 percent growth in sales of packaged foods last year, according to research firm Euromonitor.
 
"After five generations, our family, in partnership with L Catterton, made the decision to sell Ainsworth Pet Nutrition to The J. M. Smucker Company," said Sean Lang, Executive Chairman of Ainsworth, in a press release.
 
Ainsworth's partnership with Rachael Ray brought celebrity appeal. The privately owned company, which was founded in 1933 as Dad's Pet Care, has virtually doubled sales in the last decade. Rachael Ray's Nutrish brand accounts for about two-thirds to three-quarters of the company's revenue, which is dominated by products for dogs. WalMarts brand, Pure Balance, is also produced by Ainsworth.  The acquisition of Nutrish will significantly expand the Smucker's presence in the premium dry dog food segment within the grocery and mass channels, complementing Smucker's Nature's Recipe brand.

 


FDA Alerts Pet Owners About The Presence Of Thyroid Hormones In Certain Milo’s Kitchen Pet Treats

FDA Update On Milo's Pet Treats www.HealthyPetPeeps.com

FDA.gov - March 27, 2018 (Recall from J.M. Smuckers on March 22, 2018)

The FDA is alerting pet owners and veterinary professionals about the recall of certain Milo’s Kitchen pet treats after FDA testing found thyroid hormones in products eaten by four dogs that showed symptoms of hyperthyroidism, a disease that is rare in dogs.

The FDA’s evaluation of the test results of Milo’s Kitchen treat samples indicates that the treats contain thyroid hormones in substantial amounts. Consuming these treats can trigger hyperthyroidism in dogs. Hyperthyroidism caused by pet food or treats is generally reversible if the dog stops eating the product containing thyroid hormones, but prolonged consumption may result in permanent heart damage and death.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is investigating the presence of thyroid hormones in certain Milo’s Kitchen pet treats manufactured by The J.M. Smucker Company.

Fast Facts

  • The FDA is alerting pet owners and veterinary professionals about The J.M. Smucker Company’s recall of certain Milo’s Kitchen pet treats after FDA testing found thyroid hormones in products eaten by dogs that showed symptoms of hyperthyroidism, a disease that is rare in dogs.
  • The FDA has investigated reports of three dogs with elevated thyroid levels in their blood that are not attributable to thyroid cancer, which is usually the cause of elevated thyroid hormone levels.
  • Pet food and treats that contain livestock gullets (meat from the throat region of an animal) have the potential to contain thyroid tissue and thyroid hormones. Pets that eat food or treats containing thyroid hormones may develop hyperthyroidism.
  • The FDA is monitoring for reports of any additional pet illnesses associated with products that may contain thyroid tissue and hormones. Consumers can report complaints about this and other pet food products electronically through the Safety Reporting Portal or by calling their local FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinators.

What is the Problem and What is Being Done About It?

The J.M. Smucker Company has initiated a recall of certain Milo’s Kitchen dog treats due to the presence of thyroid hormones. The FDA is issuing this notice in order to make pet owners aware of the firm’s action.

The FDA has received reports of four dogs experiencing symptoms, including excessive thirst, excessive urination, increased appetite, and restlessness. Three of the dogs were tested and had increased concentrations of thyroid hormone in their blood, also known as hyperthyroidism. The fourth dog was not tested, but was suspected to also be suffering from hyperthyroidism. After the pets’ veterinarians ruled out thyroid cancer as the cause, the FDA determined the hyperthyroidism was connected to an external source, such as a food. The FDA’s Vet-LIRN interviewed the dogs’ owners and confirmed that all of the dogs ate at least one of the recalled pet treat products from Milo’s Kitchen. Once the Milo’s Kitchen treats were removed from the dogs’ diets, the hyperthyroidism symptoms resolved.

The recalled products were distributed to retailers nationwide.

The list of recalled products the firm provided to the FDA include:

  • Milo’s Kitchen Home-Style Dog Treats Steak Grillers Recipe with Angus Steak, 18-ounce bag, UPC 0 7910051822 7, Best If Used By 11/15/2018, Lot #7413
  • Milo’s Kitchen Home-Style Dog Treats Steak Grillers Recipe with Angus Steak, 18-ounce bag, UPC 0 7910051822 7, Best If Used By 4/26/2019, Lot #7305
  • Milo’s Kitchen Home-Style Dog Treats Steak Grillers Recipe with Angus Steak, 22-ounce bag, UPC 0 7910051823 4, Best If Used By 4/26/2019, Lot #7305
  • Milo’s Kitchen Home-Style Dog Treats Steak Grillers Recipe with Angus Steak, 10-ounce bag, UPC 0 7910052776 2, Best If Used By 4/26/19, Lot #7305
  • Milo’s Kitchen Home-Style Grilled Burger Bites with Sweet Potato and Bacon, 15-ounce bag, UPC 0 7910052126 5, Best If Used by 11/19/18, Lot #7417

In previously reported cases of exogenous thyrotoxicosis (hyperthyroidism caused by an external source) in dogs, testing of the food the dogs ate revealed detectable thyroid hormones. Pet food with increased concentrations of thyroid hormones likely contains animal gullets (laryngeal tissue) obtained most often from beef and lamb slaughter establishments used in the manufacture of pet treats and pet food. If a thyroid gland is not completely removed from a gullet and that gullet is then added to pet food or treats, remnant thyroid tissue could be a source of thyroid hormones.

The FDA’s evaluation of the test results of Milo’s Kitchen treat samples indicates that the treats contain thyroid hormones in substantial amounts. Consuming these treats can trigger hyperthyroidism in dogs. Hyperthyroidism caused by pet food or treats is generally reversible if the dog stops eating the product containing thyroid hormones, but prolonged consumption may result in permanent heart damage and death. The FDA has previously issued a Letter to Industry to remind pet food manufacturers and suppliers that any products containing livestock gullet or laryngeal tissue can be a source of thyroid hormones. The FDA has also issued a Letter to Veterinary Professionals to ensure that veterinarians are on the lookout for exogenous thyrotoxicosis.

What Happens to a Pet That Eats Pet Food or Treats Containing Thyroid Hormones?

Pets that eat food containing thyroid hormones may develop hyperthyroidism, a disease that is rare in dogs and usually triggered by thyroid cancer.

Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include excessive thirst and urination, weight loss, increased appetite, restlessness, hyperactivity, aggressive behavior, elevated heart rate, rapid and/or labored breathing, vomiting, and diarrhea. Continued exposure to excess thyroid hormones can cause damage to the heart and in some cases, death.

What Do Retailers Need To Do?

Retailers should remove the recalled treats from their shelves and/or website and contact the manufacturer for further instructions. If retailers have records to identify consumers who have purchased the recalled product, the FDA encourages those retailers to contact the consumers to alert them about the product recall.

What Do Consumers Need To Do?

Consumers should not feed their pets the recalled lots of Milo’s Kitchen pet treats. Consumers who purchased these products should safely dispose of the treats in a way that children, pets and wildlife cannot access them, or contact the firm for information about returning the product.

Pet owners who think their pets may be ill from eating treats containing thyroid hormones should contact their veterinarians.

Who Should be Contacted?

People who think their pets have become ill after consuming pet food or treats containing thyroid hormones should contact their veterinarians.

The FDA encourages consumers to report complaints about this and other pet treats or food products electronically through the Safety Reporting Portal or by calling their state’s FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinators.


Lawsuit Filed For Heavy Metals And BPA Found In Orijen And Acana From Champion Pet Food

Consumers in California, Minnesota, and Florida are suing Champion Pet Food for “False Advertising”, violations of “feed law”, and numerous other charges. The lawsuit includes results of heavy metal testing and includes results that this dry dog food contains BPA – a chemical typically not associated with dry/kibble pet foods.

Orijen And Acana Lawsuit Filed www.HealthyPetPeeps.com

You can read the lawsuit here - https://www.locklaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/2018-03-01-Acana-and-Orijen-Complaint-Concerning-Heavy-Metals-and-BPA-Contaminants-Reitman-v-Champion-PetFoods-USA.pdf


Blue Buffalo Bought By General Mills

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It was bound to happen, another big conglomerate got into the pet food game. This time it's General Mills buying Blue Buffalo for approximately US$8 billion, or US$40 per share in cash.

I have never been a Blue Buffalo fan. They've been riddled with recalls for years and I still remember when they told all those mom and pop stores (who really built this food for them), they would always stay with them and not go into big box stores. Sure enough, they entered the market with PetsMart and PetCo and of course Chewy. Chewy is now owned by PetsMart...another sell out. On top of everything, Blue Buffalo recently announced they'd sell their lower foods in Walmart as a gateway to have people buy their foods and upgrade to their other foods. Blue Buffalo also just got out of a battle with Purina. 

Here's a sampling of Blue Buffalo in the news -February 28, 2017, February 13, 2017May 31, 2016, November 25, 2015November 8, 2015October 8, 2010

If you're tired of all these conglomerates gobbling up pet foods, come on over and try a real company that cares! Seriously, this company has been serving the pet community since 1999 and has NEVER had a recall...EVER! On top of it, the co-founders made it an employee owned company. They did this so that some PetSmart or worse would never have control of a company that people worked their hearts and souls to build. How's that for cool?!? Wondering who this amazing company is? Click here and purchase truly the best for your dog or cat. You won't be sorry, I can guarantee that. We started offering these products in 2003 when we owned our pet sitting business and they are amazing. A truly genuine company who cares deeply for our pets...not just the almighty dollar.

 


Gravy Train Dog Food, Made By Big Heart Pet Foods And Owned By Smucker's Under FDA Pentobarbital Investigation

Gravy Train is made by Big Heart Pet Foods and owned by Smucker's. WJLA news in Washington D.C. has found traces of a euthanasia drug in dog food. The station spoke with a family who say their five dogs had almost instantaneous reactions to eating a can of Evanger’s pet food they later learned was contaminated with pentobarbital, a lethal drug, most commonly used to euthanize dogs, cats and some horses. One of the dogs ended up dying.

WJLA decided to launch their own investigation. They partnered with Ellipse Analytics, a lab that specializes in testing for contaminants in food. They said they tested 62 samples of wet dog food from more than two dozen brands for traces of the fatal drug. One particular brand continued to come back positive, Gravy Train dog food. Testing 15 cans of Gravy Train, 9 cans came back positive for the euthanasia drug pentobarbital.

Big Heart Pet Foods is also the maker of Meow Mix, Milk Bone, Kibbles’n Bits, 9 Lives, Natural Balance, Pup-Peroni, Gravy Train, Nature’s Recipe, Canine Carry Outs, Milo’s Kitchen, Alley Cat, Jerky Treats, Meaty Bone, Pounce and Snausages.

Read the complete article from WJLA here.

Excerpt from WJLA.com -

The FDA, just a short distance from the WJLA studios, also declined repeated requests for an on-camera interview. Instead of speaking to us, and answering our questions, they suggested we contact the Pet Food Institute, which is the trade organization that represents 98 percent of the pet food industry. We asked them to reconsider that response to which they replied that it “will investigate the matter and take appropriate enforcement action.”

If you want to contact the FDA, Smucker’s or Big Heart Brands regarding this issue:

  • FDA: 888-463-6332
  • Smucker’s: 888-550-9555
  • Big Heart Brands: 415-247-3000

Dog-and-Cat-food


Can You Believe It's Been 10 Years Since The Biggest Dog And Cat Food Recall Happened?

Recall

Wow! It seems like yesterday. I remember seeing the countless recalls come through and getting calls from devastated pet parents who were looking for a healthy option for their beloved dogs and cats. It was awful. I didn't like picking up the phone because there were so many tears being shed from those affected. 

On March 15, 2007 the FDA notified Menu Foods that pets were dying. On March 16, 2007, the first recall was announced. In less than 3 weeks, the FDA had over 12,000 consumer complaints that their pets were dying and suffering permanent kidney damage. I remember opening my email each day and seeing recall after recall during the next few weeks. It was announced that more than 150 different pet foods were recalled. This recall included 5,500 specific products when you consider the different product sizes and manufacturing dates. This was HUGE and still haunts us to this day.

Thousands of pets died. So very sad.

Through the years there still is record numbers of recalls and many of the companies are repeat offenders. It pains me to see some of the "big names" that just keep pushing product. The recall is usually done on a Friday evening because that's when the internet slows down. Peeps are busy and getting ready for the weekend. By Monday the recall is barely a whisper. Just the way the big companies want it. The recall is also posted in the store, products removed and replaced with new products. By the time the consumer gets around to purchasing another bag of dog or cat food or cans of dog or cat food, the recall notice is pulled. The consumer never knows their food was recalled.

Recently we've had another slew of recalls. Names like Blue Buffalo, Wellness and Evangers. Blue Buffalo and Wellness have had recalls in the pat. Evangers did not have a recall, but did have other violations which included being accused of stealing 2 million dollars in gas and electric. Evangers recall was because they found Pentobarbital in a batch of their food. This is a euthanasia drug. 

When will it stop? We don't know. What we do know is that our dogs have never been affected by a recall. Since 2003, we have been feeding a food called Life's Abundance. Life's Abundance is a solid company that has been serving the pet community since 1999. There are a lot of "pop up pet food companies" that say they've never been recalled but they don't have a track record and longevity life Life's Abundance. We found them while we were doing research for our own furbabies and also owned a pet sitting business. Our pet sitting customers were asking us for recommendations and we needed to feel we were giving them solid products. Since we became distributors, we've never looked back. During the 2007 recalls and the countless recalls since then, we've never once been afraid. Life's Abundance genuinely cares about our pets. We've met the co-founders, CEO and staff - they are AMAZING. This team considers each and every one of you family. We urge you to visit Life's Abundance and start feeding and treating your loved one these fabulous products!

Lifes Abundance Dog And Cat Food www.HealthyPetPeeps.com