- FDA Blocks Nutro Pet Food Shipment from Entering U.S.
Products "appeared to contain poisonous substances and unsafe additives"
By Lisa Wade McCormick
August 28, 2007
=yes,menubar=no,scrollbars=yes,resizable=yes')> * RECALL LIST
* Consumer Complaints
* FDA Blocks Nutro Pet Food Shipment from Entering U.S.
* FDA Testing Dog Treats Pulled from Wal-Mart Shelves
* Wal-Mart Finds Melamine in Chinese-Made Dog Treats
* Melamine-Related Pet Food Recall Went Unnoticed
* Wal-Mart Pulls Dog Treats Made in China
* Cat Owner Files Legal Action Against FDA in Pet Food Deaths
* Common Flame Retardant May Be Killing House Cats
* Kentucky Breeder Blames Purina for Her Dogs' Deaths
* Expert: Global Commerce Complicates Food Safety
* Newfoundland Breeders Despair After Deaths and Deformities
* More about Pet Food Recalls
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in July blocked more than 100 Nutro
Products -- various styles and flavors of its dog and cat food
from entering the United States.
ConsumerAffairs.com learned the FDA took that action at the Port of Los
Angeles -- and listed Nutro's pet food on its Import Refusal Report
<http://www.fda.gov/ora/oasis/7/ora_oasis_i_72.html> -- because the
products appeared to contain poisonous substances and unsafe additives.
authority to block and detain any regulated products from entering the
United States if they "appear to be out of compliance with The Food, Drug,
and Cosmetic Act."
Some of Nutro's pet food on the Import Refusal List include its Adult Turkey
with Chicken Liver, Choice Adult Cat w Turkey & Duck, Choice Complete Care
Kitten Rich in Chicken with Liver, and Adult Large Breed Chicken & Rice.
News of the FDA's action alarmed Mike G. of Florida. He owns multiple cats
and feeds them Nutro products.
"What isn't clear is which 'additive' it is that is 'unsafe,' and which
'substance' it is that is poisonous," he told us. "The three Nutro canned
cat products I have in front of me all state 'Made in USA.' But they don't
say which state or which US territory."
He added: "I don't so much care where (the products came from). It's the
'which' (unsafe additives and substances) that concerns me."
Mike contacted Nutro about his concerns, but says the company ignored his
He wasn't surprised.
"From previous experience, most responses from Nutro have been
non-responsive," he said.
Mike shared with us the message he sent to Nutro, which echoes concerns
we've heard from other pet owners
"I want to know, specifically, before I feed any of these foods I have in
the house to my cats, exactly where Nutro cat foods are made, exactly where
those foods on the FDA Import Refusal Reports were made, and specifically
which 'additive' it is which is 'unsafe,' and which 'substance' it is which
is deemed 'poisonous' or 'deleterious.' " "If I do not receive a
satisfactory response I will be taking these cans back to where they were
purchased, and will never again be purchasing other Nutro products.
"In the aftermath of several thousand pet deaths," he added, "Nutro and
other companies need to demonstrate their commitment to pet
safety by answering pet owners' questions satisfactorily."
ConsumerAffairs.com also contacted Nutro about the FDA's action. It took the
company more than a week to respond to our repeated calls.
Nutro, however, didn't answer our specific questions.
The company's Consumer Services Manager, Tamara Cerven, instead e-mailed us
Nutro's official, canned response.
"It has been brought to our attention that confusion has been caused by the
Food and Drug Administration's ("FDA") Import Refusal Report," the company's
statement said. "We wish to assure our customers that this report is in no
way a cause for concern about the quality and safety of Nutro pet foods
currently on store shelves."
Nutro said the products listed the FDA's Import Refusal Report are ones
affected by Menu Food's massive recall in March of melamine-tainted dog and
"This report lists recalled product(s) that have been returned to Nutro from
overseas," according to the company's statement. "This product is not
intended for sale."
Nutro said it immediately discontinued all sales of its melamine-tainted
products and removed them from retail stores, warehouses, and distribution
centers after Menu recalled 60 million containers
contaminated pet food.
"Nutro also ordered recalled product to be shipped back to the U.S. from
overseas for proper handling," the company said in its written statement.
"Some of this product is the subject of the FDA report."
Nutro said customers with questions about the FDA's action can call its
customer service line at 1-800-833-5330 or visit its Web site at
www.nutroproducts.com <http://www.nutroproducts.com> .
Mike doubts pet owners will get any answers, though.
"They failed to respond to my mail, responding only to you," he told us
"My confidence was rattled with both Nutro and Iams
March when I learned that they both used Menu Foods. I'm one who drove
further to the 'pet-superstores' to purchase what I had believed to have
been better, safer' foods . . . only to learn they were made by the same
company using some of the same unsafe contaminated ingredients which they
also put into the 'cheaper,' 'less-quality'/ 'less-safe' foods in the
"So their failure to respond to me now, personally, is the last straw for
me. If and when products begin to flow from their own plant and I get a
thorough read-through of the label, I might then reconsider purchasing their
product. But not before."
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