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Timeline for China Pet Food Recall

Cynthia Hodges, J.D., LL.M., M.A.

In April 2007, a story broke about pets in the United States dying from contaminated
wheat gluten imported from China.1 The Chinese manufacturer had added melamine and
cyanuric acid to fraudulently boost the protein content. The interaction of these two chemicals
formed instant kidney stones and caused a painful death. The wheat gluten had been approved
for human consumption. What follows is a timeline of the events from December 3, 2006
through May 25, 2007.

December 3, 2006 - March 6, 2007: Menu Foods produced the dog and cat foods that were later
recalled at two of its facilities. <>

February 20, 2007: Menu Foods received complaints of cats dying. <

Menu Foods receives first reports from owners of three sick cats. <

February 22 and 28, 2007: Menu received complaints regarding illness in two cats. <http://>

February 26 and 27, 2007: Menu Foods CFO sold half his shares (14,000 shares for $89,900) in
the company. <>

March 2, 2007: Menu learns from a company doing taste tests that three cats have gotten sick.

Menu Foods’ own animals started dying in taste tests.

March 5, 2007: Menu received a complaint reporting the death of a cat. <

March 6, 2006: Menu learned of two more sick cats. A company that Menu retained to perform
palatability studies reported the death of one cat and the euthanasia of two other cats in a panel of
20… Common ingredient was "wheat gluten" from ChemNutra, which imports from China.
Menu stopped using the ingredient. <>

1"China Probes Claims Of Tainted Wheat Gluten," U.S. & World News, Apr 6, 2007, http://

Menu sends food from trials to Cornell University. <

March 8, 2007: ChemNutra learns that wheat gluten it imported from China is among
ingredients suspected of causing food problems; quarantines inventory. <http://>
March 9, 2007: the [Menu Foods] study administrator reported the euthanasia of four more cats
from the first panel and two cats from the second panel. <
March 12, 2007: Menu learns that nine cats in trials have died; verifies they ate Menu's foods.
March 13, 2007: Iams contacted Menu to report customer complaints about cats developing
kidney disease after eating food that Menu manufactured for Iams. <
March 14, 2007: Iams said it intended to recall Iams cat food Menu manufactured. <http://>
March 15, 2007: A customer contacted Menu to report that one of her indoor dogs died of renal
failure and the other four became ill after eating products from the manufacturer. Menu also
learned that several dogs in a taste test became ill. <
Menu notified the FDA of its recall of most products containing "wheat gluten" from
ChemNutra. <>
FDA learned that certain pet foods were sickening and killing cats and dogs. FDA found
contaminants in vegetable proteins imported from China and used as ingredients in pet food.

A portion of the tainted pet food was used to produce farm animal and fish feed…FDA and the
U.S. Department of Agriculture discovered that some animals that ate the tainted feed had been
processed into human food. <>

March 16, 2007: Menu recalls more than 60 million cans and pouches of wet food. <http://>

Menu Foods recalled 60 million cans of dog and cat food after the deaths of 16 pets. The FDA
said the food was contaminated with melamine.

Purina recalls Mighty Dog® 5.3 Ounce Pouch Products


March 17, 2007: Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc. recalls:
• Science Diet® Kitten Savory Cuts® Ocean Fish 3 oz. and 5.5 oz.
• Science Diet® Feline Adult Savory Cuts® Beef 5.5 oz.
• Science Diet® Feline Adult Savory Cuts® Chicken 5.5 oz.
• Science Diet® Feline Adult Savory Cuts® Ocean Fish 5.5 oz.
• Science Diet® Feline Senior Savory Cuts® Chicken 5.5 oz.

March 20, 2007: FDA confirms 14 dead pets. <

Class-action lawsuit against Menu Foods filed:
• alleges that the company knew the food was tainted but waited to recall it
• seeks an injunction to keep Menu Foods from destroying contaminated food.

March 21, 2007: The Animal Medical Center tests 143 animals for renal failure; 10 were
confirmed to be diet-related cases, and one cat died. <>

PetSmart accused of still carrying food made by Menu Foods…Menu still shipping products to
Procter & Gamble. <

March 23, 2007: New York State Department of Agriculture says aminopterin was found in pet
food. <

Procter & Gamble first to identify melamine. <

March 24, 2007: Menu Foods asks all retail outlets to remove all impacted varieties of wet pet
food. <>

March 26, 2007: Cornell finds melamine, tells FDA. <

March 28, 2007: At least 471 cases of pet kidney failure reported since the recall began; 104 of
those pets have died.


March 29, 2007: Officials of Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development posted to a site
operated by, “Our company buys large quantities of melamine scrap all year around.”

March 30, 2007: Melamine identified as the contaminant rather than aminopterin. <http://>
FDA announces melamine is leading suspect; restricts wheat gluten from China's Xuzhou
Anying Biologic. Says melamine was in product. <

Menu: "We are angered that a source outside of the company has apparently adulterated the
product, causing this regrettable loss." <

Hill's Pet Nutrition, Nestlé Purina PetCare and Del Monte Pet Products announce recalls because
they also got wheat gluten from Xuzhou. <

Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc recalls Prescription Diet m/d Feline Dry Food

Nestlé Purina PetCare Company recalls Alpo® Brand Prime Cuts in Gravy Canned Dog Food

April 2, 2007: ChemNutra recalls wheat gluten from three pet-food makers and one distributor
to pet-food makers. Gluten was supplied by Xuzhou, it says, and none went to human food
production. <

The United States blocks imports of wheat gluten from Xuzhou Anying after the recall of nearly
100 brands of pet food. <

Wilbur-Ellis imported the suspect shipment of rice protein concentrate…The source is Binzhou
Futian Biological Technology in China…The shipment consisted of rice protein concentrate in
white bags, but also included one pink bag labeled "melamine." <

April 3, 2007: Class action of 200 pet owners against Menu Foods will charge fraud, in addition
to negligence and breach of warranty, saying the company knew its product was tainted weeks
before it issued a recall of 60 million containers..Lawsuit claims "…Menu Foods tested its food
on approximately 40 to 50 pets. Seven of those pets died after ingesting the food." <http://>

• fielded more than 300,000 calls from consumers
• logged 10,000 complaints.

Menu Foods has received more than 8,000 complaints. <
The contaminated [by melamine] feed was bought April 3 and 13 [by American Hog Farm in
Ceres, Calif.] as salvage pet food from Diamond Pet Foods Inc., which received contaminated
rice protein concentrate used in some recalled Natural Balance pet food. <http://>

April 5, 2007: The Chinese government:
• said wheat gluten had not been exported to the United States or Canada.
• denied Aminopterin could have entered the pet food supplies in North America from

The Chinese company, [Xuzhou Anying] Biologic Technology Development, denies shipping
wheat gluten to the United States, Canada, or the Netherlands. <

Menu Foods recalls all products manufactured with wheat gluten purchased from ChemNutra Inc

Sunshine Mills of Alabama recalls dog biscuits because of suspect gluten. <http://>

Sunshine Mills, Inc. recalls:
• Nurture Chicken & Rice Biscuit
• Nurture Lamb & Rice Biscuit
• Pet Life Large Peanut Butter Biscuit
• Pet Life Large Biscuit
• Pet Life Extra Large Biscuit
• Pet Life Large Variety Biscuit
• Pet Life Peanut Butter Large Biscuit
• Pet Life People Pleasers Dog Treat

• Pet Life People Pleasers Dog Treat
• Companion's Best Multi Flavor Biscuit
• Stater Brothers Large Biscuit
• Ol'Roy Peanut Butter Biscuit
• Ol'Roy 4 Flavor Large Biscuit
• Ol'Roy Puppy Biscuit
• Champion Breed Peanut Butter Biscuit
• Champion Breed Large Biscuit
• Perfect Pals Large Biscuit

April 6, 2007: Del Monte recalls:
• Jerky Treats Beef Flavor Dog Snacks
• Gravy Train Beef Sticks Dog Snacks
• Pounce Meaty Morsels Moist Chicken Flavor Cat Treats
• Ol' Roy Beef Flavor Jerky Strips Dog Treats
• Ol' Roy Beef Flavor Snack Sticks Dog Treats
• Ol' Roy with Beef Hearty Cuts in Gravy Dog Food
• Ol' Roy with Beef Hearty Strips in Gravy Dog Food
• Ol' Roy Country Stew Hearty Cuts in Gravy Dog Food
• Dollar General Beef Flavored Jerky Strips Dog Treats
• Dollar General Beef Flavored Beef Sticks Dog Treats
• Happy Tails Beef Flavor Jerky Strips
• Happy Tails Meaty Cuts with Beef in Gravy Dog Food
• Happy Tails Beef Flavor Beef Sticks

April 10, 2007: Menu Foods expands recall adding cans of cat food made in December or
January and sold in the USA and Canada under brands including Nutro Products, Pet Pride and
Your Pet. Royal Canin Canada recalls Medi-Cal Feline Dissolution Formula canned diet. <http://>

Menu Foods recalls additional pet food made with ChemNutra wheat gluten. Complete list:
Cat Food

Brand Look For This Variety Description Can / Size UPC
Date On The Pouch
Bottom of Can
or Back of

Americas Choice,
Preferred Pet
Jan/2/10 Flaked Tuna 3oz Can 3oz

Your Pet
Dec/19/09 Sliced Beef/Gravy 3oz Can 3oz
Nov 06 09 Sliced Variety Pack 3oz Can 3oz

Pet Pride
Dec/19/09 Sliced Beef/Gravy 3oz Can 3oz
Nov 06 09 Sliced Variety Pack 3oz Can 3oz
Dec 05 09
Dec 06 09
Jan 23 10
Jan 24 10

Laura Lynn
Jan/2/10 Flaked Tuna 3oz Can 3oz
Dec/19/09 Sliced Beef/Gravy 3oz Can 3oz

Dec/19/09 Sliced Beef/Gravy 3oz Can 3oz

Price Chopper
Dec/19/09 Sliced Beef/Gravy 3oz Can 3oz

Jan/2/10 Flaked Tuna 3oz Can 3oz

Dec/19/09 Sliced Beef/Gravy 3oz Can 3oz

Stop & Shop Companion
Jan/2/10 Flaked Tuna 3oz Can 3oz

Winn Dixie
Dec/19/09 Sliced Beef/Gravy 3oz Can 3oz

Nutro Products
All Dates Chicken Cacciatore 3oz Can 3oz
Orleans Seafood Jambalaya 79105-3520
All Dates Can 3oz
3oz 6
All Dates Beef Ragout 3oz Can 3oz
All Dates Alaskan Halibut/Rice 3oz Can 3oz
All Dates Kitten Chicken/Lamb 3oz Can 3oz
All Dates California Chicken 3oz Can 3oz
All Dates Lamb/Turkey Cutlets 3oz Can 3oz
All Dates Salmon/Whitefish 3oz Can 3oz
All Dates Beef/Egg 3oz Can 3oz
All Dates Turkey/Chicken Liver 3oz Can 3oz
All Dates Seafood/Tomato/Bisque 3oz Can 3oz
All Dates Hunters Stew with Duck 3oz Can 3oz
Hunters Stew with Venison 79105-3001
All Dates Can 3oz
3oz 9


At least 16 cats and dogs have died; 12,000 made sick. <

Some American regulators suspect deliberate mixing of melamine into the wheat gluten in China
to bolster the protein content. <

FDA found unusually high concentrations of melamine in some wheat gluten, as much as 6.6
percent. <

Xuzhou Anying says it does not manufacture or export wheat gluten and acts only as a
middleman trading in agricultural goods and chemicals…The company’s manager said he had no
idea how wheat gluten with his company’s label ended up in the United States or how melamine
was mixed into a product that was eventually shipped there. <
• acknowledges it imported the wheat gluten from Xuzhou for sale to pet food producers in
North America;
• says Xuzhou Anying provided chemical analyses that showed no impurities or
contamination in the packages of wheat gluten.

American regulators have banned all wheat gluten from China.

April 11, 2007: Scientists at Cornell University find a second contaminant in the wheat gluten.

Aminopterin ruled out as the source of the contamination. <

FDA asks the Chinese government to help investigate the tainted wheat gluten, but the response
has been slow and incomplete. Chinese officials had previously promised to cooperate with the
investigation. <>

The FDA now
• screening all wheat gluten imported from China and the Netherlands, and
• seizing all wheat gluten from Xuzhou Anying.

Menu Foods expanded the recall to some foods produced in Canada. The company had claimed
no tainted wheat gluten was shipped to its plant outside Toronto, but Menu Foods said it had
indeed used some of the contaminated product in Canada. <

April 12, 2007: Menu Foods says a clerical error led to the company using tainted ingredients in
28 varieties of pet food.

Senate panel looks into the FDA’s regulation of the pet food industry. <

Sen. Dick Durbin
• says the pet food recall is the latest example of a "broken food safety program."
• asked the FDA's top veterinarian if failing to recall tainted pet food until three weeks
after the first suspicion of contamination was too long of a wait. FDA's Sundlof responds
"I can't answer that. I don't know."
• asked if Menu Foods' "failure to report" contamination led to more illnesses and death.
Sundlof said, "Any delay would result in increased illness and death, yes." The top vet
also couldn't guarantee that all tainted pet food had been recovered.

• warned that some of the food that was contaminated may still be on store shelves. <http://>
• admitted it rarely inspects pet food plants unless there is a problem and that it is up to the
company to report the issue. Id.
• identifies the importer and initial distributor of the melamine-contaminated wheat gluten:
Chinese supplier, Xuzhou Anying. <>
• Has issued an import alert regarding the supplier from China. Id.
• Is detaining all wheat gluten imported from Xuzhou Anying. Id.
• has initiated an import sampling assignment, which requires 100 percent sampling of
import shipments of wheat gluten from China and from the Netherlands, which is known
to source some of its wheat gluten from China. Id.
• asks the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to monitor for signs of human illness
that could indicate contamination of the human food supply. Id.
• announces it is working to develop a risk-based Animal Feed Safety System that
describes how animal feed should be made, distributed, and used. Id.

Manufacturers have voluntarily recalled more than 100 brands of dog and cat food. Includes:
Menu Foods, Hill's Pet Nutrition, P&G Pet Care, Nestle Purina PetCare Company, Del Monte

Pet Products, and Sunshine Mills. The importer, ChemNutra, has also recalled wheat gluten.

April 13, 2007: It is reported that three weeks elapsed from when Menu Foods first became
aware that animals were getting sick until a recall was issued.

Reported that only about 30 percent of pet food plants are inspected every three years. <http://,1,937913.story?coll=chi-news-hed>

April 14, 2007: FDA officials conducted approximately 400 checks of retail stores and
discovered some companies have not removed all of the recalled products.

April 15, 2007: Wilbur-Ellis notified FDA about the shipment of rice protein suspected of being
contaminated with melamine. <>

April 16, 2007: FDA launched a nationwide investigation tracing 8 import entries identified as
being shipped from the Chinese firm since July 2006. FDA testing revealed melamine in both the
white and pink bags. <>

Wilbur-Ellis recalls all suspect rice protein concentrate it had imported and distributed. <http://>

April 19, 2007: California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) detected melamine in
urine from hogs at the American Hog Farm in Ceres, Calif. <

Wilbur-Ellis recalls all of the ingredients it had distributed to five U.S. pet food manufacturers,
saying the contaminated [melamine] rice protein came from Binzhou Futian Biology
Technology. <>

April 20, 2007: Researchers found cyanuric acid, amilorine and amiloride -- all by-products of
melamine. <>

Natural Balance announced a limited recall of
• Venison and Brown Rice canned and bagged dog foods,
• Venison and Brown Rice dog treats and
• Venison and Green Pea dry cat food.

Blue Buffalo recalls 5,044 bags of its Spa Select Kitten dry food. <

FDA has received more than 15,000 calls since the first recall was announced. <http://

The FDA and Agriculture Department investigate whether some pet food made by one of the five
companies supplied by Wilbur-Ellis was diverted for use as hog feed. <

In California, state agriculture officials placed a hog farm under quarantine after melamine was
found in pig urine.

California officials said they believe the melamine at the quarantined hog farm came from rice
protein concentrate imported from China by Diamond Pet Food's Lathrop facility, which
produces products under the Natural Balance brand and sold salvage pet food to the farm for pig
feed. <

Federal officials confirmed they are investigating whether pork products intended for humans are
contaminated with melamine. <

Some animals that are believed to have eaten the contaminated food were slaughtered and sold as
food before authorities learned their feed had been contaminated…The state quarantined the
farm. <>

Officials urged those who purchased pigs from American Hog Farm since April 3 to not consume
the product. <

The FDA said the contaminated wheat gluten and rice protein concentrate used in pet food in the
United States and Canada and melamine-tainted corn gluten used in recalled pet food in South
Africa have been traced to companies in China. <

No tainted corn gluten has been found in the United States. <

South Africa:
• 30 dogs died of renal failure after eating contaminated food
• dog and cat dry pet food products recalled after they were found to contain corn gluten
contaminated with melamine.
• Link between the contaminated products in the U.S. and South Africa said to be likely.
• Royal Canin recalled the products, manufactured in its Johannesburg plant between
March 8 and April 11 and sold in South Africa and Namibia
• The makers of Vets Choice and Royal Canin pet foods said that the contaminated corn
gluten was delivered to South Africa by a third party supplier and originated from China.
• Royal Canin said it will compensate pet owners for the loss of their animals.

U.S. food safety officials confirm that they suspect that Chinese-made ingredients may have been
intentionally spiked with melamine. <>

The Chinese government said that the Xuzhou Anying did not export any wheat gluten intended
to be used in food. <>

Chinese authorities have told FDA that the wheat gluten was an industrial product not meant for
pet food. <>

An official at the Chinese firm denied responsibility and said contamination may have occurred
during shipment. <>

April 23, 2007: FDA
• only had enough inspectors to check about 1 percent of the 8.9 million imported food
shipments in 2006.
• requires that overseas companies announce that a shipment is coming, which lets
inspectors target products once they arrive.
• companies do not have to prove that a shipment of ingredients is safe, and the FDA rarely
checks whether overseas processing conditions are up to par.
• That contrasts with meat imports regulated by the Department of Agriculture, which must
be processed under conditions equivalent to those here.

April 24, 2007: Rep. Bart Stupak of Michigan complains of flaws in US food safety network.

April 25, 2007:

• carrying out a nationwide inspection of wheat gluten,
• refutes allegations that Chinese companies are responsible.
• Says never sent wheat gluten abroad for use as a pet-food ingredient. That has raised the
question of whether companies that bought the gluten are guilty of misusing it.

• traces the ingredient to Xuzhou Anying. The company says it is a middleman and got the
wheat gluten from another source. <
• said they have not yet determined if contaminated meat is in the human food supply,
other than a relatively small amount in California. <
• confirms melamine-contaminated corn gluten was found in recalled pet food in South
Africa. Id.
• says melamine and cyanuric acid may have been added to ingredients intentionally. Id.

The Chinese government invited FDA officials to China. <

When those investigators got to the two factories suspected of spiking wheat flour with
melamine, the facilities had been cleaned out. <

Chinese police sealed the headquarters of Binzhou Futian Bio-Technology, which exported rice
protein concentrate to the USA. <

April 26, 2007: Menu Foods said it faces more than 50 lawsuits.

Menu Foods Midwest Corp.
• sues ChemNutra Inc. to pay costs associated with the recall and is seeking damages
"substantially in excess of $75,000."
• accuses ChemNutra of breach of contract and breach of implied warranties about the
safety of the wheat gluten and its fitness for use in pet food.
• said each shipment of wheat gluten came with a certificate saying it met Menu Foods'

• Contends Menu Foods waited several weeks to notify it about problems.
• said a Chinese supplier is responsible for its shipments of contaminated wheat gluten.
• “concerned that we may have been the victim of deliberate and mercenary
• said Menu Foods told ChemNutra there was a potential problem only eight days before
its first recall.
• said ChemNutra didn't know melamine was an issue in its wheat gluten until notified by
the FDA, two weeks after Menu Foods initiated its first recall.
FDA conducted a search of ChemNutra’s offices in Las Vegas, NV, as part of a misdemeanor
investigation into whether the Federal Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act has been violated. <http://
ChemNutra’s officers have been informed that, under “strict liability,” the company could be
held accountable because it imported the melamine-adulterated wheat gluten <http://
• said “We also now believe that our wheat gluten customer, Menu Foods, used
significantly more wheat gluten monthly than we supplied to them, so we hope that Menu
Foods will disclose its other sources to the FDA to ensure that any suspect product is
China denied that grain protein products its companies sold to the United States caused pet
deaths, but it promised to tighten controls and ban melamine from the food ingredients. <http://>
China's Foreign Ministry says [Binzhou Futian Biology Technology Co. Ltd. and Xuzhou
Anying] had not declared the exports to U.S. customs inspectors as pet food ingredients. Instead,
the shipments were declared as products that did not require inspection. <http://>

April 27, 2007: FDA officials searched an Emporia, Kan., pet food plant operated by Menu
Foods and the Las Vegas offices of ChemNutra Inc.. <

U.S. Attorney's offices in Kansas and Missouri have targeted Menu Foods as part of
misdemeanor investigations into whether it violated the federal Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act. The

sale of adulterated food is a misdemeanor. <

It is reported that, since May 2006, ChemNutra has imported 440,000 pounds of rice protein
concentrate from the same Chinese trading agent that handled exports of the tainted wheat
gluten. <>

ChemNutra's source for the two vegetable proteins, Suzhou Textile Import and Export Co., says
that food ingredients aren't part of its business, but employees often take on side deals. <http://>

The FDA blocked wheat gluten imports from Xuzhou Anying, which bought the ingredient from
other undisclosed firms and then sold it to Suzhou Textile. <

American Nutrition Inc. became the final of five pet food companies that Wilbur-Ellis supplied
with the tainted ingredient to recall a variety of products…Several of the companies said that
American Nutrition added the rice protein concentrate to their products without their knowledge
or approval. <>

Melamine and cyanuric acid were found in protein ingredients used in human foods, ranging
from bread to veggie burgers. <
FDA investigators suspect the interaction of melamine and cyanuric acid might have caused fatal
kidney problems in pets. <

Chinese authorities acknowledged that ingredients exported to make pet food contained
melamine, stepping up their probe of two Chinese companies' roles in animal-food recall. <http://>

About 6,000 hogs in eight U.S. states may have been fed pet food made from salvage products
that had the tainted rice gluten… Several hundred hogs may have entered the human food supply.
FDA said, "we believe the risks to be very low to humans." <
FDA and USDA announced that meat from 345 hogs suspected of eating the contaminated feed
had entered the U.S. food supply. Some 6,000 hogs have been quarantined. <http://>
The FDA has impounded all "vegetable protein concentrate" imported from China since April 27.
< article/2007/05/17/AR2007051702075.html>
The FDA said it had received more than 17,000 consumer complaints about the tainted pet food,
including the deaths of 1,950 cats and 2,200 dogs. <

April 29, 2007: California officials reveal about 45 California residents ate pork from hogs that
consumed animal feed laced with melamine. <
17 cats and dogs are confirmed dead, thousands have suffered kidney problems, and 57 brands of
cat food and 83 of dog food have been recalled. Roughly 6,000 hogs will be destroyed because
they ate tainted feed. <>

The rice protein was imported to the U.S. by Wilbur-Ellis. FDA says it is continuing its
investigation of the source of the adulterated pet food, including "tracing products distributed
since August 2006 by Wilbur-Ellis..." <

The FDA and USDA identified sites where contaminated pet food was received and used in feed
given to hogs: California, Kansas, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina and Utah. <http://>
April 30, 2007: Reported that melamine is commonly added to animal feed in China. <http://,2933,269198,00.html>

China's government has said it will allow officials from FDA to investigate melamine
contamination. <,2933,269198,00.html>
May 1, 2007: Owners of more than 4,000 pets have complained to FDA. <

• confirmed that rice protein and wheat gluten imported from China were contaminated
with both melamine and cyanuric acid.
• officially tallied 16 animal deaths related to the pet food recall.
• will begin to prevent the importation of vegetable protein products from China for human
food use that may contain melamine.
• collected 750 samples of wheat gluten and products made with wheat gluten and found
that 330 -- about 44 percent -- tested positive for melamine or melamine-related
• found that out of 85 samples of rice protein products, 27 were positive for melamine. All
of the positive samples were imported from China.

At least 2.5 million broiler chickens from an Indiana producer were fed pet food scraps
contaminated with melamine and sold for human consumption. <http://>

Sen. Durbin and Rep. DeLauro introduced legislation that would give the FDA the power to
order mandatory recalls of adulterated foods, establish an early warning and notification system

for tainted human or pet food, and allow fines for companies that do not promptly report
contaminated products. <

May 2, 2007: 100,000 Indiana chickens that ate the melamine-laced food have been quarantined
and will be destroyed. <

• says hundreds of other producers may have sold an unknown amount of contaminated
poultry in recent months, painting a picture of much broader consumption of
contaminated food than had previously been acknowledged. <http://>
• announces no recall is planned for any of the meat products from animals that may have
eaten melamine. Id.
• expanded the number of plant-based protein products from China on its "do not import"
list. Id.
• has received 17,000 reports of pets that owners believe were sickened or killed by
contaminated food. Id.

U.S. investigators have arrived in China, but inspections of production facilities there have been
hampered by the start of a week-long national vacation. <

China detains managers from two companies that exported contaminated wheat gluten and rice
protein. <>
May 3, 2007: Scientists at University of Guelph discover mixing melamine and cyanuric acid
forms crystals found in the kidneys of sickened animals. Scientist likens it to an instantaneous
kidney stone. <>
The Chinese government has made one arrest in the contamination case. <http://>

The Senate voted to standardize the nutrition labels on pet food and to fine pet food makers who
don't report problems right away. <

Menu Foods recalls more products due to possible cross-contamination between melamine-
tainted products and other foods made in the same period…The expansion includes cuts and
gravy pet food, as well as other products that were not made with the contaminated wheat gluten
supplied by ChemNutra, but were manufactured during the period the chemical-laced gluten was

used...The recall includes additional pet food products in the United States, Canada and Europe.

May 4, 2007: SmartPak Canine recalls for all of its LiveSmart Adult Lamb and Brown Rice
food, which it said had tested positive for melamine. <

The manager of Xuzhou Anying was detained by Chinese authorities….The company may have
avoided Chinese export inspections by labeling it a nonfood product….Xuzhou Anying was not
the original producer of the tainted wheat gluten, but may have purchased the wheat gluten from
up to 25 different suppliers. <

Federal officials placed a hold on 20 million chickens in several states because their feed was
mixed with pet food containing melamine. <

May 7, 2007: It’s reported that contaminated samples of wheat gluten contained various amounts
of melamine -- from 0.2 percent to 8 percent. <
May 8, 2007:
• announced that the ingredients containing melamine—which bore the labels "wheat
gluten" and "rice protein concentrate"—were actually wheat flour. <http://>
• found that more than 700 tons of mislabeled wheat gluten were shipped out of China
through a third-party textile company. <
• is able to inspect only 0.7 percent of all imported food products, down from 1.1 percent
in 2006. Id.
• has received about 17,000 complaints of sick pets, with about 4,000 deaths reported.
Investigations have extended to livestock feed containing tainted pet food that made its
way to some 6,000 hogs and as many as 3.1 million chickens.

State Department of Fish and Wildlife officials pulled fish feed laced with melamine, though
federal officials say it contains levels too low to pose a danger to consumers…
Workers at six fish hatcheries in Washington stopped feeding Bio-Oregon brand starter food to
juvenile fall chinook salmon, steelhead and rainbow trout, after learning hours earlier that a batch
of that feed contained wheat gluten spiked with melamine…The supposed wheat gluten was
exported directly from China to Canada in a deal brokered by a U.S. company, ChemNutra Inc.


The earliest fish will be released from the hatcheries this year, so the agency plans to monitor the
salmon and trout, but was leaning toward releasing fish as planned. <http://>

FDA said that farmed fish had been fed meal contaminated with melamine and other
contaminants but that the level was probably too low to harm anyone who ate the fish. Moreover,
the feed was mislabeled as wheat gluten, when in fact it was wheat flour spiked with melamine.

• acknowledged that two Chinese companies had illegally exported contaminated wheat
gluten and rice protein for pet food. <
• said that it had found two companies guilty of intentionally exporting pet food
ingredients containing melamine to the United States. <
• said “The two companies illegally added melamine” to wheat gluten and rice protein “in
a bid to meet the contractual demand for the amount of protein in the products.” Id.
• watchdog for quality control says officials at the two companies were also detained for
their roles in shipping tainted goods. Id.
• essentially acknowledged that the two companies had cheated pet food companies by
adding a fake protein to the feed to make pet food suppliers think that they were
purchasing higher-protein feed when in fact they were getting lower-protein feed. Id.
May 9, 2007:
• launched a food and drug safety crackdown,
• said investigators had focused on individuals at two companies blamed for the melamine
tainting, and said local police had already brought charges.
• detained managers were identified as having worked for Xuzhou Anying. and Binzhou
• statement indicated the companies broke the law only when they mislabeled the exported
products to avoid inspection.
Scientists and veterinarians in the United States and South Africa say that contaminated batches
of wheat gluten, corn protein and rice protein sold to pet food makers often contained a mixture

of melamine and cyanuric acid. <>

Three Chinese chemical makers said
• producers of animal feed often purchase or seek to purchase cyanuric acid from their
factories to blend into animal feed.
• it was common knowledge that for years cyanuric acid was used in animal and fish feed
in China because it was high in nitrogen, enabling feed producers to artificially increase
the protein reading of the feed.

Chinese animal feed producers, melamine companies and traders and other chemical makers say
that melamine and cyanuric acid are often added intentionally to animal feed to cheat buyers.

Feed producers say they believed it to be legal and nontoxic, though they acknowledge they are
cheating buyers. <>

Three chemical makers said Chinese animal feed producers often came to purchase cyanuric acid
to blend into their feed because it was cheaper and helped increase protein content…Animal feed
producers have acknowledged recently that for years they added melamine to animal feed to gain
bigger profit margins. <

In China, chemical producers say
• it is common knowledge in the chemical and agriculture industry that for years feed
producers have quietly and secretly used cyanuric acid to cheat buyers of animal feed.
• cyanuric acid is used because it is even cheaper than melamine and high in nitrogen,
enabling feed producers to artificially increase protein readings which are often measured
by nitrogen levels of the feed. The chemical makers say they also produce a chemical
which is a combination of melamine and cyanuric acid, and that feed producers have
often sought to purchase scrap material from this product.

The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine in China said an
investigation named two animal feed companies previously under suspicion: the Xuzhou Anying
and the Binzhou Futian. <

May 18, 2007: Meat from poultry fed rations supplemented with pet food scraps containing
melamine is safe for human consumption. USDA will allow approximately 80,000 birds held on
farms in Indiana to be released and approved for processing. <

Tests found no detectable melamine in the flesh of fish that ate feed adulterated with melamine at
two commercial fish farms in the United States. The fish was cleared for human consumption.
< article/2007/05/17/AR2007051702075.html>

May 23, 2007: U.S. and Chinese officials held their first high-level meeting since pets in North
America were sickened or killed by pet food contaminated with tainted wheat gluten. <http://>

China complains that the handling of the 'sensational pet food scandal was a shameful example
of a lack of professionalism.' <

Health and Human Services Secretary Leavitt said China wants “to focus on those responsible --
who will be punished. We want to talk about systemic problems." <

May 24, 2007: USA presented the Chinese with a list of "requests" to reach "goals related to
food safety." <>

• admits that thousands of Americans have claimed their animals died from the adulterated
food. <>
• said that melamine appeared in pet food samples as far back as early 2006. <http://>

May 25, 2007: Chinese says that bargain-hunting U.S. food companies share blame if
contaminated Chinese ingredients wind up in food. <

FDA is enforcing an import alert that requires inspections of all vegetable proteins from China
that are used in many popular human, as well as animal foods. <

Thousands of cats and dogs in the USA may have died from eating foods made with tainted
ingredients imported from China. <

James Harkness, president of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy in Minneapolis, faults
the FDA for ruling Chinese products such as grain and wheat gluten equivalent in quality to the
USA's. "FDA people don't go and look at the farms or processing plants in China, but take their
(Chinese) colleagues' word for it. That was hasty and profit-driven."…"Just blaming China is a
diversionary tactic," he says. "Inadequate rules, intentional weakening of food-safety regulators,

allowing food companies to self-monitor — these are our problems, not theirs." <http://>

FDA says, "We are just tying up investigations now ... we don't see where the system didn't
work ... it doesn't appear from what we've seen that anyone can be blamed in this country."

Government is already overstretched and underfunded in policing the human food chain, let
alone food for pets. <>