Menu Foods Says There Is Progress in Finding Cause of Pet Illnesses
Poisoned pet food recall update
Menu Foods Income Fund (the "Fund") (TSX:MEW.UN) has provided an update on its March 16 pet food recall, which represents an important step forward on identifying the issue's cause.
On March 23, the New York State Agriculture Commissioner and Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine announced that scientists at the New York State Food Laboratory identified Aminopterin as a toxin present in recalled pet food samples supplied by the Fund.
The Food Laboratory received the pet food samples from a toxicologist at the New York State Animal Health Diagnostic Center at Cornell University, where testing has been underway to try to determine the cause of renal failure in dogs and cats.
At Cornell's request, the Food Laboratory tested the samples for poisons and toxins, and identified Aminopterin in the pet food samples.
"We are happy and relieved that the experts from the New York State Department of Agriculture and from Cornell University have discovered the root of the issue that has harmed North American cats and dogs" said Paul K. Henderson, President and CEO, Menu Foods. "This important discovery caps an unprecedented search by top experts. Dedicated and knowledgeable researchers at universities, independent laboratories, and our own veterinary consultants worked tirelessly to defend and protect our cats and dogs."
On March 16, 2007, Menu Foods announced the precautionary recall of a portion of the dog and cat food it manufactured between December 3, 2006 and March 6, 2007. The recall was limited to "cuts and gravy" style pet food in cans and pouches manufactured at two of the Fund's United States facilities. These products are both manufactured and sold under private-label and are contract-manufactured for some national brands.
"Our immediate next steps will be to begin testing of all suspect raw materials with the goal of quickly identifying the means through which this substance entered our supply chain," Henderson told a news conference Friday.
"We have a strong, sustainable business, and we're confident about the future," Henderson added. "Our customers and partners have been understanding, supportive and loyal."
Menu Foods is the leading North American private-label/contract manufacturer of wet pet food products sold by supermarket retailers, mass merchandisers, pet specialty retailers and other retail and wholesale outlets. In 2006, the Fund produced more than one billion containers.