Nutro Products, Inc.
445 Wilson Way
City of Industry, CA 91744
Customer Service & Product Information: 800.833.5330
Nutro Products, Inc.
445 Wilson Way
City of Industry, CA 91744
Customer Service & Product Information: 800.833.5330
Nutro Products Announces Voluntary Recall of Limited Range of Dry Cat Food Products
Franklin, Tennessee (May 21, 2009) — Today, Nutro Products announced a voluntary recall of select varieties of NUTRO® NATURAL CHOICE® COMPLETE CARE® Dry Cat Foods and NUTRO® MAX® Cat Dry Foods with “Best If Used By Dates” between May 12, 2010 and August 22, 2010. The cat food is being voluntarily recalled in the United States and ten additional countries. This recall is due to incorrect levels of zinc and potassium in our finished product resulting from a production error by a US-based premix supplier.
Two mineral premixes were affected. One premix contained excessive levels of zinc and under-supplemented potassium. The second premix under-supplemented potassium. Both zinc and potassium are essential nutrients for cats and are added as nutritional supplements to NUTRO® dry cat food.
This issue was identified during an audit of our documentation from the supplier. An extensive review confirmed that only these two premixes were affected. This recall does not affect any NUTRO® dog food products, wet dog or cat food, or dog and cat treats.
Affected product was distributed to retail customers in all 50 states, as well as to customers in Canada, Mexico, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, New Zealand, and Israel. We are working with all of our distributors and retail customers, in both the US and internationally, to ensure that the recalled products are not on store shelves. These products should not be sold or distributed further.
Consumers who have purchased affected product should immediately discontinue feeding the product to their cats, and switch to another product with a balanced nutritional profile. While we have received no consumer complaints related to this issue, cat owners should monitor their cat for symptoms, including a reduction in appetite or refusal of food, weight loss, vomiting or diarrhea. If your cat is experiencing health issues or is pregnant, please contact your veterinarian.
Consumers who have purchased product affected by this voluntary recall should return it to their retailer for a full refund or exchange for another NUTRO® dry cat food product. Cat owners who have more questions about the recall should call 1-800-833-5330 between the hours 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM CST
Toxic pet food blamed for cat’s death; Are your pets safe?
Comments 7 | Recommend 11
July 12, 2009 – 6:55 PM
A Saratoga County woman blames a pet food manufacturer for the death of her cat, and claims the store where she purchased the food failed to warn her about a voluntary recall.
Karen Beshara, of Moreau, said her one-and-a-half year-old Siamese named Simona first became sick in early July. The animal’s decreased appetite, lethargy, and swollen abdomen led to veterinary hospitalization. The night before scheduled surgery, Simona died.
“I loved spending time with her,” said Katiya Beshara, 9. “ [After she died], I’d look around and I’d look for her, but I’d forget that she’s not here.”
A few days later, Karen Beshara stopped at PetSmart to purchase more food for her surviving cats. She found the Nutro Max Cat shelf bare, with a sign notifying customers of a voluntary recall due to incorrect potassium and zinc levels.
Beshara said she believes the Nutro caused the toxicity which resulted in Simona’s death. Further, she said another of her cats — Sly — recently tested positive for a dangerously high zinc level.
Doing her own investigative work, Beshara stumbled upon ConsumerAffairs.com — an advocacy website that reports more than 900 complaints related to death or illness resulting from Nutro products. The website cites an anonymous source as claiming the Food and Drug Administration is investigating the company.
However, on Nutro’s own website, the company claims it has received no consumer complaints.
NUTRO® Pet Food Quality Facts
Q: I’ve heard reports that Nutro products contain potentially harmful levels of copper and zinc. Is this true?
A: NUTRO® products are safe and conform to the standards set by the FDA, USDA and AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials). The claims regarding the safety of Nutro pet food in a recent report posted on the Pet Food Product Safety Alliance website are unfounded.
In order for a food to provide all the essential nutrition for a pet, it must exceed the minimum requirements for all essential nutrients. AAFCO has established Nutrient Profiles which identify these minimum dietary levels for all essential nutrients in canine pet food products.
Specifically, these guidelines indicate that pet foods formulated to meet the nutrient requirements of dogs contain no less than 120 mg/kg dry matter and no more than 1,000 mg/kg dry matter of zinc in order to ensure that the requirements for zinc in dogs are met. Based on these guidelines, the 260- 400 mg/kg diet levels of Zinc found in NUTRO® Natural Choice Chicken, Meal, Rice and Oatmeal Formula (which converts to approximately 288-444 mg/kg dry matter) are well within AAFCO recommended levels. Like zinc, levels of copper in Nutro are necessarily above the minimum AAFCO requirements and do not exceed maximum requirements; they are well within recommended levels.
The report is correct in stating that there is a small minority of dogs that are sensitive to copper. These dogs are relatively few and need to be carefully managed with the assistance of a Veterinarian. This would be the same as with any dog that has special, specific needs which make it unique from the general canine population. Furthermore, copper is a critical factor in a dog’s antioxidant defense system and so it would not be prudent to restrict copper in the general population, as that would mean that a large group of dogs would not receive their required levels.
In addition to meeting a dog’s nutritional requirements, many NUTRO® products incorporate the scientific knowledge of the WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition which has researched the role of key nutrients in delivering optimal skin and coat health and consequently have levels of zinc, copper and other nutrients that are higher than industry minimums. These nutrients serve as key drivers in maintaining skin and coat health and help to make NUTRO® products nutritionally sound.
Our products are safe and conform to the standards set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). NUTRO® products undergo rigorous quality assurance testing beginning with raw ingredients and ending with testing finished products. This includes testing to confirm that no melamine, mold toxins, or pathogenic bacteria are detected in any NUTRO® pet foods.
Q: I read a posting on ConsumerAffairs.com which provided specific examples of dogs that experienced health issues from eating NUTRO® products. Is this true?
A: ConsumerAffairs.com is a self-described “independent Web-based consumer news and resource center,” not affiliated with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission or Consumer Reports.
ConsumerAffairs.com has posted an August 6 update to their June 23 posting regarding NUTRO® pet foods. The most notable information in the posting, and the subject of its title, “Expert Finds Unexplained Pet Deaths ‘Not Consistent,’” are the findings of Dr. Steven Hansen, a veterinary toxicologist at the ASPCA. Dr. Hansen conducted an in-depth review of the complaints against Nutro and concluded that the complaints appear to be random, non-pet food related health issues.
Every NUTRO® product that was analyzed in relation to the June 23 posting on ConsumerAffairs.com has been shown to be safe. It should be noted that in some of these cases outside sources have provided clear verification that NUTRO® products were NOT the cause of any pet health issues. In others, NUTRO® has taken active steps to address pet owners’ concerns and determine the cause of pet health issues. We’ve either spoken with or left multiple messages for all of the consumers cited in the June 23 posting. Our findings agree with Dr. Hansen’s; there is nothing that indicates that these pet health issues were caused by NUTRO® pet foods.
There are other elements to the August 6, 2008 Consumer Affairs post which, as with previous postings on the site, attempt to raise doubt concerning the safety of NUTRO® products. While consumer concerns about NUTRO® product quality are rare, we take every complaint seriously. When we learn of an issue we work with consumers to obtain information and request that samples of any product in question be submitted for testing at an independent facility. An in-depth review is performed to determine if an issue does exist. Consumers with questions or concerns about NUTRO® products are encouraged to contact our Consumer Services Department at 1-800-833-5330.
All of our products are safe and conform to the standards set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). NUTRO® products undergo rigorous quality assurance testing beginning with raw ingredients and ending with testing finished products. This includes testing to confirm that no melamine, mold toxins, or pathogenic bacteria are detected in any NUTRO® pet foods.
Q: Are NUTRO® products safe?
A: Yes. All NUTRO® products are safe and conform to the standards set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).
Q: Why is the quality and safety of NUTRO® products being addressed?
A: We have received recent isolated reports of inaccurate information posted online regarding the quality and safety of NUTRO® pet foods products. Many blogs and internet sites can be a repository for misinformation and hearsay regarding many topics.
Q: What measures does NUTRO® undertake to ensure the safety of its products?
A: NUTRO® products undergo rigorous quality assurance testing beginning with raw ingredients and ending with testing finished products. This includes testing to confirm that no melamine, mold toxins, or pathogenic bacteria are detected in any NUTRO® pet foods.
While consumer concerns about NUTRO® product quality are rare, we take every complaint seriously. When we learn of an issue, we work with consumers to obtain information and request that samples of any product in question be submitted for testing at an independent facility. An in-depth review is performed to determine if an issue does exist.
Q: Why are some NUTRO® products unavailable?
A: Our ongoing commitment to high standards for product quality has created some temporary difficulty regarding availability of key ingredients. However, we feel that it is critical that we maintain our standards for product quality and performance. The temporary availability issues that NUTRO® has experienced with certain products are operational in nature, not-quality related.
We are continuing to work with suppliers in New Zealand and in the U.S. to increase availability of key ingredients to NUTRO®. We have already secured additional, high-quality supply sources of most raw materials, and are currently working with suppliers in New Zealand and in the U.S. to establish an additional supply of lamb meal.
We are manufacturing and shipping Natural Choice® Lamb Meal and Rice for adult dogs and Natural Choice® Small Bites Lamb Meal and Rice for adult dogs, which meet the nutritional requirements for dogs of all sizes and all ages. Natural Choice® Lite Lamb Meal and Rice is available for adult dogs as well. Natural Choice® Venison Meal and Brown Rice, and Natural Choice® Herring Meal, Rice and Potato are also available and are great alternatives for dogs that may be sensitive to certain ingredients in their diet. We also recommend our Natural Choice® Large Breed Adult and Natural Choice® Large Breed Puppy made with Chicken Meal for pet owners who want the best in Large Breed specific nutrition that were previously feeding their pets our Lamb and Rice large breed products.
Consumers can feed NUTRO® products to their pets with full confidence. We thank our customers and consumers for their patience as we work through these issues and offer our apologies for any inconvenience to you and your pet.
Q: Are NUTRO® products unavailable because of problems with quality?
A: No. Our ongoing commitment to high standards for product quality has created some temporary difficulty regarding availability of key ingredients. However, we feel that it is critical that we maintain our standards for product quality and performance. The temporary availability issues that NUTRO® has experienced with certain products are operational in nature, not-quality related. Consumers can feed NUTRO® products to their pets with full confidence.
Q: Have your plants closed? Is that why there are shortages?
A: No. Our plants have not closed. The temporary availability issues are due to the issues outlined above, which we are in the process of resolving.
Q: Have MAX® Dog and MAX® Cat food formulas changed
A: MAX® Dog and MAX® Cat foods have been improved with the addition of more chicken and/or salmon. MAX® Cat’s new smaller kibble greatly increases the palatability in comparison to the previous larger kibble. NUTRO® always strives to produce the best pet foods for your pets. We have found that dogs and cats prefer the enhanced products, and NUTRO® has maintained the performance characteristics that MAX® pet owners are accustomed to. As always, MAX® products do not utilize chicken heads, feet, or intestines which may be found in products that use chicken by-product meal.
Q: MAX® Large Breed Puppy and MAX® Large Breed Adult used to be beef based. I understand they are now made with chicken. Why the change?
A: MAX® Large Breed Puppy and MAX® Large Breed Adult are now being made with chicken meal rather than beef meal because preference testing has shown that dogs prefer the taste of the chicken product.
However, we have heard from many loyal NUTRO® consumers that their dogs loved the beef meal based products. As such, by popular demand, we will be re-introducing MAX® Large Breed Puppy and MAX® Large Breed Adult in their former beef meal based formulations in late June 2008.
Q: What happens when a consumer contacts NUTRO® about a product concern?
A: The safety and quality of our products is our top priority. While consumer concerns about NUTRO® product quality are rare, we take every complaint seriously. When we learn of an issue, we work with consumers to obtain information and request that samples of any product in question be submitted for testing at an independent facility. An in-depth review is performed to determine if an issue does exist.
NUTRO® products undergo rigorous quality assurance testing beginning with raw ingredients and ending with testing finished products. This includes testing to confirm that no melamine, mold toxins, or pathogenic bacteria are detected in any NUTRO® pet foods.
Q: Who can I contact if I have further questions or concerns regarding NUTRO® products?
A: Consumers with questions or concerns about NUTRO® products are encouraged to contact our Consumer Services Department at 1-800-833-5330.
NUTRO® Products, Inc. remains committed to the quality, safety and performance of all our pet food brands. As we have for over 80 years, we strive to deliver the finest natural products to our customers and their pets.
For more information on our quality assurance process follow this link Quality. Safety. Performance.
For more information on NUTRO’s quality assurance process follow this link Quality. Safety. Performance.
April 20, 2009
FDA Confirms Probe of NUTRO Pet Food Deaths, Illnesses
Menu Foods earlier revealed it was the target of a federal probe
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has confirmed that the agency is investigating NUTRO pet food, following a series of unexplained illnesses and deaths. Consumers have been complaining for more than two years that their pets have become ill after eating NUTRO products; many have recovered when they were switched to other foods. The company has steadfastly denied that its food is to blame.
Until now, the FDA has been mum about whether it was actively investigating the company. Today, the FDA’s Division of Freedom of Information confirmed the agency has an ongoing investigation into NUTRO — and said that investigation could be criminal or civil in nature. The office did not elaborate on the nature or focus of that investigation.
The investigation came to light when the FDA denied a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by ConsumerAffairs.com seeking a list of complaints and lab results the agency has collected regarding NUTRO pet food. The agency denied the request and said that releasing the information could hamper “prospective or ongoing” action by law enforcement.
“The document(s) constitute record(s) compiled for law enforcement purposes, the disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings,” wrote the FDA’s George A. Strait, Jr., assistant commissioner for public affairs.
Another pet food company, Menu Foods, said in a recent financial filing that the FDA had commenced a criminal investigation to determine whether Menu violated the Food, Drug, & Cosmetic Act. The company noted that “additional actions or investigations may arise in the future.” It did not mention any other pet food companies. Menu last year settled a $24 million lawsuit that grew from the largest pet food recall in U.S. history.
NUTRO, which has extensive international operations, was acquired in 2007 by Mars, Inc., the privately-held Virginia-based food products company. Mars was fined a record €4.5 million (about US$5.8 million) last year by the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) for not observing the required waiting period before closing the transaction. Mars had been by far the leading provider of cat and dog food in Germany prior to the merger.
Under pressure from the German regulators, Mars divested NUTRO’s Austrian and German businesses.
ConsumerAffairs.com filed its Freedom of Information request for NUTRO records last year after we uncovered a worrisome trend among dogs and cats across the country. An analysis of our complaints revealed that scores of pets from California to South Carolina had experienced sudden and recurring bouts of diarrhea, vomiting, and other digestive problems.
The only common denominator among those dogs and cats was NUTRO pet food. In nearly every case, we also learned the pets’ conditions improved once their owners stopped feeding them NUTRO pet food.
ConsumerAffairs.com continues to receive complaints about NUTRO from dog and cat owners nationwide. In the past year, we’ve received nearly 500 complaints from pet owners who say their dogs or cats suddenly became ill after eat NUTRO. The problems these pets have experienced are similar: vomiting, diarrhea, and other digestive issues.
Most of the complaints mirror one received last week from Linda P. of New Baltimore, Michigan.
“For three years, I have been feeding my dog NUTRO Natural Choice Lamb Meal & Rice Formula Small Bites Dry Dog Food,” she said. “The last bag I bought, I notice the food color was lighter than in the past. Me being who I am, I believed there was a changed in formula for the better. My Dachshund/Lab became ill, vomiting food chunks and yellow bile as well. We took him to the vet and I have been feeding him homemade chicken and rice and antibiotics and he is on the mend.”
She adds: “How can so many dogs get sick and nothing be done? Today I will start mixing his homemade food with a different brand of dry food. I never want anyone else to go through, what appears to be many, the same situation as our dogs. It will be a week or two before I’m sure my dog is okay.”
NUTRO denies it
NUTRO defends its products and insists its food is safe. Many NUTRO customers also tout the food, saying their pets have had no problems. And veterinarians say several factors can cause gastrointestinal problems in dogs and cats, including changes in diet, newly developed sensitivities to pet foods, and viral infections.
But pet owners who contact us on a nearly daily basis are convinced something is wrong with NUTRO’s food. And they say it’s no coincidence that so many dogs and cats have become sick — with the same symptoms — after eating various flavors of that pet food.
“NUTRO makes dogs sick,” says Erin of Encino, California. “It is a fact and I’m outraged that nobody is taking it off the shelf.”
Erin says her three-year-old Puggle was a healthy active dog until she started eating NUTRO Natural Choice Lamb Meal & Rice Formula and NUTRO Max Beef & Rice Dinner Chunks in Gravy: “After about two weeks of this food, she became sick. (She was) constipated for a few days, then had diarrhea, and finally vomiting and was always extremely thirsty. The last straw was her laying lethargic on the couch with white gums.”
That’s when Erin rushed her dog to the vet.
“The vet said she had allergies, prescribed an antibiotic and cortisone and gave me a bag of Science Diet. I feed her the Science Diet in place of NUTRO because it was free, and she was fine within a week.”
Erin, however, says she made the mistake of switching her dog back to NUTRO after the Science Diet was gone.
“She again had constipation, followed by horrible diarrhea, and finally vomiting yellow bile and white gums,” Erin told us. “There is no way that all these stories are just coincidences … (not) if my dog is fine when she isn’t eating NUTRO and when she is eating it, she’s horribly sick. I have switched her back to Science Diet and all her symptoms are gone and her appetite has returned to normal.”
Another California pet owner says her dog also became ill after eating NUTRO pet food.
“My husband and I purchased NUTRO chicken and rice small bites for our two Chihuahuas,” says Jessica of Larkspur. “After about five days, our six-year-old male Chihuahua became lethargic, groaned a lot, developed a fever, was not excited to go on walks, and lost excitement for anything that used to bring him joy.
“My husband began to suspect it was the new food as he had only developed these symptoms after eating NUTRO. He has always been a healthy and active Chihuahua.”
The couple took the dog to their vet, who ran tests but couldn’t pinpoint the problem. “He was given antibiotics and we are crossing our fingers they work. Our Chihuahua can barely walk, he is groaning in pain, and is extremely depressed.”
Across the country, a longtime NUTRO pet owner in Pennsylvania told us her dog suddenly became ill after eating the food.
“I had been feeding my dog NUTRO for years,” says Amy D. of Webster, Pennsylvania. “I started feeding her NUTRO for sensitive stomachs about 6 months ago. At first everything seemed fine. Then my dog, who never urinated in my house, started having accidents (frequently). She needed to go out constantly and would squat repeatedly, come in, and ask to go right back out. I took her to the vet and began treatment for bladder infection. Upon finishing treatment it started all over again.”
Amy’s vet discovered crystals in the dog’s urine, which also had a high PH balance. The vet put the dog on another medication.
“In the meantime other than the restless pacing to go outside, she seemed disinterested and lethargic,” Amy says. “Then she began having extremely loose bowel movements (an awful bright yellow) in the house.”
Amy launched her own investigation and discovered the scores of complaints about NUTRO on ConsumerAffairs.com.
“I couldn’t believe my eyes. Could it really be the dog food I had trusted so much making my beloved pet ill? I immediately threw away all my NUTRO dog food.”
Amy is now feeding her dog another brand of pet food. “And I’m thrilled to say she is her old self again. She no longer has to take any medicines and has no more accidents or uncontrollable urges. Thanks to this Web site and everyone who took the time to file a complaint, I have my healthy happy dog back.”
Not a fluke?
A pet owner in New York told us his puppy had the same experience as Amy’s dog after eating NUTRO. And he’s convinced it’s not a fluke.
“We got our dog two weeks ago and our puppy was healthy when we got her,” says Manny of Fresh Meadows, New York. “She started eating NUTRO Natural Choice for puppies, since it was recommended by a friend of ours. A week later, she started squatting to urinate, but only small drops or none at all came out. When she can urinate, it is frequent, in small amounts, and contains blood.”
Manny took his puppy to the vet, who prescribed amoxicillin.
“She received a sonogram, culture test, and urinalysis test. The results showed that she may have a stone in her bladder. The blood in her urine is caused by the stone scraping the bladder walls. The urinalysis test showed that she had a high PH balance. I don’t think it is a coincidence that I have the same exact problem as Amy,” adds Manny. “I wonder if something is wrong NUTRO pet food again. Our puppy is still sick.”
Our investigation into the complaints we’ve received about NUTRO pet food has also revealed:
• Six dogs unexpectedly died — or were euthanized — in 2008 after eating NUTRO pet food. Those dogs include two Italian Greyhounds in Indiana, a Beagle/Whippet mix in Pennsylvania, two German Shepherd puppies in North Carolina, and a Doberman Pinscher in Texas;
• The FDA investigated the April 2008 deaths of two Italian Greyhounds dogs in Indiana. The FDA tested samples of the NUTRO food those dogs ate, but did not find any toxins. An autopsy indicated the dogs died from antifreeze poisoning. The dogs’ owner doesn’t believe those results, saying there is no antifreeze around her home. No one has tested the NUTRO food the other dogs ate before they died;
• Two Italian Greyhounds at a military base in Italy became sick after eating NUTRO food. The dog’s owner told us she hopes the FDA is investigating NUTRO and urged the agency to move quickly. “It is hard to tell how many people at overseas military bases are feeding this (food) to their dogs and possibly killing them,” says Michelle M. who bought her dogs’ NUTRO food at the base’s commissary.
• A pet nutrition specialist for NUTRO told us she’s heard complaints about the company’s food making dogs and cats sick. She reported those concerns to her supervisor, but said they were ignored. She later resigned.
Some pet owners, however, tell us NUTRO is the only brand of food their dogs and cats can eat.
“My Shar-peis are the most sensitive dogs I have ever owned,” says Allison R. of Nampa, Indiana. “On the wrong food their hair falls out, their eyes weep and their ears get nasty. It takes me a good 3 months of only NUTRO dog food in order to reverse the affects of the other food. I have found that the senior diet is what works best, not sure why, but it seems to keep my Shar-Peis looking healthy.”
A Tennessee pet owner also defends NUTRO pet food — and warns consumers not to jump to conclusions based on Internet complaints.
“I feed all of my dogs and cats Nutro products and they are just as healthy as they have ever been,” says Brenda of Springfield, Tennessee. “They have healthy shiny coats and their stools are firm.”
Brenda also had some advice to pet owners switching brands of food.
“Do a gradual transition from the old food,” she said. “If you don’t, your dog will likely experience these issues. Not every bout of diarrhea, constipation, bladder infection, liver and kidney failure and loss of excitement to go on walks should be attributed to food. Your first responsibility as a pet owner should be to take your dog to the vet before you blame anyone. Do your research and don’t let any Web site diagnose your pet.”
NUTRO has repeatedly insisted its food is “100 percent safe” and meets all standards set by FDA, the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). A spokeswoman said all NUTRO products are tested for melamine, molds, toxins and other bacteria. And she called the complaints we’ve received “isolated reports of inaccurate information posted online.”
The company, however, set up a special a section on its Web site in response to the issues and concerns raised in our stories. NUTRO said it takes all customer complaints seriously and encouraged pet owners with concerns about the food to contact the company at 1-800-833-5330.
During our investigation, we’ve also contacted veterinarians about the problems pet owners say their dogs and cats have experienced after eating NUTRO. They’ve said it’s not uncommon for pets to have sudden bouts of vomiting, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal problems. They also said a number of factors — pet food, stress, or a viral infection — could be the culprit.
We also asked Dr. Steven Hansen, a veterinary toxicologist with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), to review some of our NUTRO complaints, in an effort to find out why so many pets have become sick — or even died — after eating NUTRO food.
“Unfortunately the cases are not consistent and appear to be anecdotal with no real definitive diagnostic findings,” Dr. Hansen told us. “Without any consistent trends in findings we can not do anything any further. This does appear to us to be a situation where bad things happen, but they are not likely food-related.”
Hansen, however, said consumers who suspect NUTRO’s food is a factor in their pets’ illnesses should have their animals examined by a veterinarian and document the problems.
“I would also recommend that if they suspect the food is the problem, they should take a freezer bag full of it — along with the label information that has the product’s name and lot numbers — to their vet,” he told us. “If the vet suspects the food is the cause, the vet should then contact the company and FDA. If there’s a problem, we need to document it and get supporting lab results.”
The arguments back and forth don’t mean much to anxious pet owners, who say it’s about time some federal agency investigated NUTRO and its products.
“After so many complaints, how can this dog food still be on the market for consumers to purchase and feed to their dogs?” Andrea G. of Sicklerville, New Jersey asked us. “I have been feeding my Dachshund NUTRO Ultra dry dog food for many months. Suddenly, 10 days ago, he started vomiting yellow bile 1- 2 times daily.
“It makes me sick to think that I might be the one responsible for my dog’s vomiting by feeding him this food. I can only hope that something is done, very soon, to prevent other pets from becoming ill.”
Just a Note. ~ AS AS SIDE NOTE: I located this, (Below) after I had already sent the alert out and posted this! It can be found on the consumers site also, on a different page, half way down the middle under the heading Menu foods~~
Menu Foods, another large pet food manufacturer, was forced to issue a series of recalls in 2007, after scores of dogs became sick, some experiencing kidney failure. At least 10 deaths were reported. The Pet Food Products Safety Alliance (“PFPSA”) tested a batch of Nutro pet food in August 2008, and found alarming levels of copper and zinc.
Indeed, PFPSA noted that the copper levels were two to three times higher than recommended by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (“AAFCO”). <snip>
date: Mon, Jun 2, 2008 at 7:11 PM
subject:RE: Nutro: Product Concern
Dear Ms. Myers,
Thank you for contacting Nutro Products. We appreciate you taking the time to share your concern in our products.
We have received recent isolated reports of inaccurate information posted online regarding the quality and safety of NUTRO(tm) pet foods products. Many blogs and internet sites can be a repository for misinformation and hearsay regarding many topics-we are working to clarify the issue.
All NUTRO(tm) products are 100% safe and conform to the standards set by the FDA, USDA and AAFCO. NUTRO(tm) pet foods undergo rigorous quality assurance testing beginning with raw ingredients and ending with testing all finished products. This includes testing to confirm that no melamine, mold toxins, or pathogenic bacteria are detected in any NUTRO(tm) pet foods.
The safety and quality of our products is our top priority. We take any complaint regarding the quality and safety of our NUTRO(tm) products very seriously. In the rare instance when a consumer does have a concern with any of our products, an in-depth review of the consumer-provided samples is performed to determine if an issue does exist.
Nutro Products, Inc. remains committed to the quality, safety and performance of all our pet food brands. As we have for over 80 years, we strive to deliver the finest natural products to our customers and their pets.
We thank you most sincerely for your loyalty to Nutro Products pet food and for allowing us the opportunity to address your concern and clarify the issue.
In weeks past, suppliers of key ingredients used in select products have suddenly and without warning run into production issues and have been unable to meet Nutro’s needs. We have secured additional high quality supply sources and while availability will vary by marketplace, we can now say that supply issues are being resolved. We project that by mid to late June all of our products will again be scheduled for production
and shortly thereafter be available at retail stores.
It is important to note that availability issues are operational and are not quality related, and that you can feed Nutro’s products with full confidence! We have refused to compromise the ingredient and product design standards, and while that has created some difficulty regarding availability we feel that it is critical that we maintain our standards for product quality and performance.
We thank you for your patience as we work through these issues and offer our apologies for any inconvenience to you and your pet. We thank you most sincerely for your loyalty to Nutro Products pet food and for allowing us the opportunity to address your concerns.
We thank you for contacting Nutro Products. Should you require further assistance, please contact our Consumer Services Department at (800) 833-5330, Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Pacific Standard Time or visit our website at www.nutroproducts.com.
Consumer Services Representative
Nutro Products Inc.
Sent: Thursday, May 29, 2008 11:48 AM
To: WebSite Response
Subject: Nutro: Product Concern
New Nutro Contact
First Name: Pamela
Last Name: Myers
Address: 147 Homecrest Blvd
Best Time of Day to Call: AM
Topic: Product Concern
I am inquiring about all the Consumer complaints (over 127 so far) and only 24 are from 2007. All the rest are in 2008 as currant as May ~
Of all these complaints there is only a small handful of those who say their pets are OK with Nutro products. *Many* are saying that Nutro keeps telling them that they have not heard about anything wrong with the food. There is certainly something wrong here! Why is your company not addressing these issues, but instead, you keep quoting the wonderfulness of your *quality control* ! This has gone way past ,
*where there is smoke* It is now a fire that keeps growing…..
Customer after customer (some were loyal customers) have left you due claiming issues with your have caused their pets death and yet, you remain silent and claim there is nothing wrong. Even some of the shelves are bare from your product in various places. When are you going to tell us what is really going on !
ADMIN NOTE: You may notice, if you go to the blog this is posted (TWICE). The first post had the incorrect date of 2007. I mentioned it to the writer and waited for a response before posting this here, and the writer acknowledged his mistake and corrected the post with the right date! This happened this year!!!! 2008. So, the issues/complaints with Nutro keep coming and yet the company denies any accountability.
And for those who feed continue to choose to feed Nutro, say *my pets are fine*, all I can say to you is that, remember that during the 2007 recalls there were pets dropping like flies and yet there were those that continued to feed the various foods and had no bad results too! So, many times it is appears to be lottery game, or a game of Russian roulette, I guess! *which bags is the bad stuff in*! When you draw the right/wrong one, your time is up, or in this case, a pets time could be up!
THE WRITER WANTS TO KNOW….. Is anyone else from Houston,Tx area or close by who may have has similar experience with Nutro ?
SOURCE: THE PET CONNECTION
POSTED IN ITS ENTIRETY, WITH PERMISSION FROM POSTER……………
SUNDAY,MAY 4TH, 2008
3.00 P.M.Discussed first concern with Nutro product –Christa/ Manager- Petsmart HoustonShe was also part of information relayed by Nutro onsite rep and heard his description and some of my conversation with him.
Less than a week ago my healthy dog passed away from what emergency vet called ‘sudden death’. At this moment, confirmation of what caused death is not clear but vet may suspect dry food was bad and I am going to have tested. (Vomit was all dry food given to my dog which was NUTRO PRODUCT. Hoping that I did not kill my dog by giving him what I thought was good food, I stopped in to Petsmart today to calm my nerves and be assured that the food in question is fine. What I found was the shelves that contained Nutro Natural Choice were almost bare. (That never has happened)
At the aisle with Nutro food they had a Nutro rep stationed here. When I questioned him about why no food was here, he stated that no ‘recall’ is in effect and Nutro just happened to shut down a few plants who were producing what he termed as ,not as tasty food’ and the ‘quality’ was not up to par.Common sense says that the only way a dog can relay that something is not ‘tasty’ is through death or sickness. Seeing that a dog can’t talk, I asked him how they would know it was not ‘tasty’? It seems far more plausible that a company whose main product is dog food would not shut down 2 plants and have no product unless some very extreme situations were coming to light. He stated that the food plant being shut and my dog dying were coincidence.
Furthermore, the 800 number he gave me is not being answered now.( I GOT DIFFERENT ONE FROM PETSMART) I have a meeting with Petsmart tomorrow to discuss. I do not blame them right now for the death of my dog, but I stated to the manager I had a BIG issue with them allowing a Nutro rep to tell prospect clients some very vague, questionable, and misleading information, on the status of Nutro food. As noted, the 1-800 number just kept ringing.
Additionally, I checked their web site-www.nutroproducts.com and found NO information regarding any plants being shut down. To me, that would be very significant information to relay to all consumers especially if supposed steps were being taken in the best interest of the dog because the food was not as ‘tasty’.
Also, letting consumers know info on lack of product and when to expect more would seem to be the obvious steps for anybody not hiding something.I am wanting to save even one person the heartbreak and guilt I am going through and holding those parties accountable. I will not let this be swept under the rug and hopefully will get confirmation I am looking for with testing of Pet food I still have.
Is anyone else from Houston,Tx area or close by who may have has similar experience with Nutro ?
Comment by Pete B — May 5, 2008 @ 4:33 pm
CLICK HERE TO GO THERE AND READ ALL THE COMMENTS
FROM THE FDA SITE: AS OF APRIL 18th, 2008 LIST OF RECALLS OF NUTRO
PLEASE CHECK THESE AGAINST THE WEBSITE IN CASE OF TYPO’S ——
3U-104 Adult 12×12.5oz
Can 12.5oz – Best Used By 12/10/09 – 12/11/09
Product Code: 079105373104
3U-204 Puppy 12×12.5oz
Can 12.5oz- Best Used By 12/10/09 – 12/11/09
Product Code: 079105373111
3U-304 Wght Managmnt 12×12.5oz
Can 12.5oz – Best Used By 12/10/09 – 12/11/09
Product Code: 079105373128
3U-404 Senior 12×12.5oz
Can 12.5oz – Best Used By 12/10/09 – 12/11/09
Product Code: 079105373135
3U-504LB AD C/S/L/Gvy12x12.5oz
Can 12.5oz -Best Used By 12/10/09 – 12/11/09
3U-604 LB Pup C/S/L 12×12.5oz
Can 12.5oz – Best Used By 12/10/09
Product Code: 079105362115
ADMIN NOTE: This is an updated post on the Consumer Affairs website. This has a photo on the site of a piece of Nutro with something that looks like a suture to me, sticking out of the piece of food. What this all is credible to me is that some of these people have used Nutro for years and years and have loved it and say their dogs are doing well on it and now, al of a sudden they are having issues. I find it hard to believe that these people are all making this up! And, how can NUTRO *keep saying* that they are surprised! How long can they be surprised at hearing this, when it has been all over the internet now for months. Yet, when people call and/or talk to them, they keep saying they are *surprised*! HUH? Lets see: Time line track record here here~
2007-04-09 Nutro Max Cat Gourmet Classics, tested positive for melamine (A Nutro spokesman could not be reached for comment Monday.)
2007-08-28 FDA Blocks Nutro Pet Food Shipment into US (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.
2008-02-00 Consumers claiming sick & dying pets from Nutro (this was the first report on CF) customers saying the following:
The company refuses to acknowledge there is a problem, canned responses as much as 17 days after consumers with sick pets contacted them, and then they sent a Canned response, Pet Store emplyeee says, “We’ve averaged 20 customers a week with this food issue for the last 5 months or so. I’m rather surprised it’s continuing and that nothing is being done about it.” and on and non it goes~
2008-03-17 NUTRO ALERT- UPDATE-CONSUMER AFFAIRS ( INFO UPDATED) Pets still sick and dying- Nothing *formal* from Nutro on their site either, other than the usual quaility control pdf downloads.
2008-04-18 NUTRO ISSUES UPDATED-Company Responds. (More pretending to be surprised and claims their food is fine)
Aside from anything else they may have or may not have said, am I the only one who feels it is odd that they never express any compassion in any of their limited responses ? Not so much as one,……… we are so sorry to hear your baby is ill………. not even on their website!
SOURCE: CONSUMER AFFAIRS
April 18, 2008
A spokeswoman for NUTRO told us the company’s products are 100 percent safe and meet all standards set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other federal regulators.
“NUTRO pet foods undergo rigorous quality assurance testing beginning with raw ingredients and ending with testing all finished products,” said company spokeswoman Alice Nathanson. “This includes testing to confirm that no melamine, mold toxins, or pathogenic bacteria are detected in any NUTRO pet foods.”
Nathanson said her company is aware of the complaints posted on the Internet about NUTRO’s food.
“Some things can get posted and they are not verified,” she said. “I’m not aware of any issues with the products. My dogs eat NUTRO and they have never had any problems.” Nathanson encouraged worried pet owners to contact the company directly with their concerns.
“We absolutely want to hear from customers,” she said. “The safety and quality of our products is our top priority. When a consumer does have a concern with any of our products, an in-depth review of the consumer-provided samples is performed to determine if an issue does exist.”
What about the complaints we heard regarding NUTRO’s customer service department?
“I’m surprised to hear those comments,” Nathanson said. “We take any complaint seriously and we will conduct an in-depth review if a consumer provides us with samples.”
The best way to contact NUTRO, she said, is through the company’s Web site: www.nutroproducts.com. Pet owners can also call NUTRO at 8800-833-5330. <SNIP>