Process Management

News last update:6 Aug 2012

US Petfood contamination was deliberate

Piece by piece the truth about the petfood contamination in the US is surfacing. Menu Foods held-up for nearly a month in making public the contamination of 95 brands of wet pet food. FDA suggests that the contamination was done deliberately.

While the Veterinary Information Network issued its first major national survey of veterinarians, concluding that at least hundreds and most likely thousands of animals have died as a result of the contaminated food, now the FDA is suggesting that the contamination may have been done deliberately.

FDA Stephen Sundlof said Friday that "somebody may have added melamine to the wheat gluten in order to increase what appears to be the protein level. Wheat gluten is a high-protein substance and by trying to artificially inflate the protein level, it could command a higher price".

Delayed notification
Menu Foods has admitted delaying the announcement of the recall for a month after first receiving complaints about pet illness from the company's food in mid-February.

The company's chief executive and president said the company wanted to first confirm that the animals had eaten its product before death.

As a result, they reportedly fed their contaminated food to 40 to 50 cats and dogs in their laboratories, resulting in seven deaths before they announced the contamination.

CFO sold shares
It has now been learned that in the month between learning of the contamination and the time that Menu made it known publicly, the company's chief financial officer told nearly half of his stock in the company which had reported profits of nearly $6 million for the last quarter of 2006.

According to a published report from "The Globe and Mail", Menu's CFO Mark Wiens sold 45% of his stock or 14,000 shares three weeks before the March 16 product recall. The company first began receiving complaints in mid-February.

Wiens claims that he didn't hear about the contaminated food until after the first of March, after he had sold his stock.

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