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Related Categories: U.S. | Animal Liberation
Petco, PetSmart sell rancid Petag formula
by Jonathon McGinnis
Monday Mar 15th, 2010 11:43 AM
January 2010 the FDA found Petag responsible for manufacturing rancid baby formula. The formula killed cats, dogs, raccoons, squirrels, skunks, bobcats and cheetahs. Petco and PetSmart were notified of the FDA findings. The manufacturer Petag responded by falsely stating that the FDA found their products to be "fine." Petco and PetSmart just took Petag's word for it and continue to sell the rancid formula that is killing babies.
kittenpuppy.jpg
Last summer animal rescuers noticed that their newborn animals fed Petag formulas Esbilac and KMR were getting diarrhea and dying. One rescuer Animal Advocates sent a sterile sample to a lab for analysis. The results showed that the product contained less protein and fat than the label stated. It also contained massive amounts of fiber and the heavy metal copper. Animal Advocates made a complaint to the FDA September 2009.

The FDA finished their investigation January 2010 and found the manufacturer Petag was responsible for the problems with the formula that killed babies. The FDA report is posted in the Animal Advocates website along with lab results and other findings. http://www.animaladvocates.us/petagesbilac.htm

The COO of Petag Darlene Frudakis responded by lying. She stated that a "fringe animal activist" group had filed a "spurious" FDA complaint. She stated that the FDA investigation found the formulas to be "fine." Petco and PetSmart just took Darlene at her word and asked for no verification. They continue to sell the product even though they carry other lines of puppy and kitten formula such as Just Born and Nutri-Vet. The Petag formulas Esbilac and KMR continue to kill babies.

When the problems with the formula surfaced last year the company posted a brief note on their website admitting there was a problem with their formula.

"Recently, a limited number of KMR powder users have experienced product producing an off odor. Normally, the product exhibits a faint "milky" smell. It has been determined that some packaged KMR powder may have been exposed to excessive heat outside the manufacturing process. Do not use the product if it has an off odor."

After a few days Petag removed that notice and put up a new notice at petag.com. The new notice states that the consumer must inspect the formula before they use it. If the color is off or if it smells rancid, it should not be used. The company states that the formula is fine but it may get overheated in transit and become rancid because it has no preservatives. The product is vacuum sealed. The bacteria is of course in the can before it leaves the factory.

Some rescuers have bought ten cans in a row and every can was rancid. One rescuer opened every can in a Petco store and they were all rancid. Even though the company finally admitted that all lots are affected, they refuse to recall their product. The rancid formula is still on store shelves.

Mary Cummins of Animal Advocates stated "I'm shocked that Petag is just flat out lying about their products and the FDA report. The report clearly states the manufacturer was found responsible for the problems with the formula. I spoke with the FDA and they told me they can't force any company to recall their products, even if it causes death. Petag is shamefully unethical. I will never buy any of their products ever again."

Meanwhile Darlene Frudakis was interviewed about the KMR problems. In one online interview she admitted that the formula was bad. She said "the formula will just give kittens diarrhea." The interviewer Sunny Aris of 575 Magazine replied "but diarrhea can kill a kitten." Sunny Aris asked Darlene how will she tell consumers about the problems with the product. Darlene replied with "I'll get back to you on that" but never did. The full interview can be heard here.

http://www.575magazine.com/animals/1209/kmrsmellitfirst.html

A few days ago 13Wham did an article about KMR killing kittens in New York. Petag admitted that the rancid KMR is still on pet store shelves.

http://www.13wham.com/news/local/story/Rancid-Kitten-Formula-Found/Amf_5cwjbUypJuM9YaD1Cg.cspx

A spokesperson from the company said "You kind of use common sense, I think, if it's something that you know is not right. You return it and get something new. It's kind of common sense,” the spokesperson says. Petag is now blaming the consumer for not testing the formula before using it. Most people do not realize they must smell the formula. There is no mention of testing the formula on the package.

Other groups have been investigating the formula including eWildAgain. http://www.ewildagain.org/Nutrition/Esbilac%20Manufacturing%20Changes.htm The company responded by stating only a "handful of wildlife rehabbers" complained about the formula. They said all of the rehabbers that complained are just "spreading ridiculous rumors and lies on the internet." These same rehabbers had been loyally recommending Petag products for many years before the problems arose. The company went on to say that their formulas are not to be used for wildlife even though they had photos of wildlife on the label until just last year. They still have photos of endangered pandas drinking the formula on their website.

The FDA has reopened their investigation into all Petag formulas. If anyone had problems with the formula, please contact your local FDA office to file a complaint. http://www.fda.gov

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Animal Animal
Monday Mar 15th, 2010 3:28 PM
Petag threatened to sue the online news source so they removed their article. There is a copy here as pdf.

http://www.animaladvocates.us/rancidformula.pdf
by Elizabeth
Wednesday Mar 17th, 2010 10:00 AM
640_petag.jpg
January 2010 the FDA found Petag responsible for manufacturing rancid baby formula. No, they didn't. Here's an e-mail correspondence I had with FDA in February, where they CLEARLY state there was NO report or investigation against PetAg.
by Honest Person
Wednesday Mar 17th, 2010 4:04 PM
First, Elizabeth is actually COO Darlene Frudakis. Who else would deny the existence of a past and current FDA investigation. The FDA investigated Petag's Esbilac formula from 9/2009 to 1/2010. They found the problems with the product were caused by the manufacturer. Since then they started investigating KMR formula. The company already admitted that their KMR is bad. They admitted that there is rancid kitten formula on the shelves. They're trying to tell people that it's THEIR job to see if the formula is good or bad. It's not their job to make a product that won't kill kittens.
by Honest Person
Wednesday Mar 17th, 2010 4:05 PM
First, Elizabeth is actually COO Darlene Frudakis. Who else would deny the existence of a past and current FDA investigation. The FDA investigated Petag's Esbilac formula from 9/2009 to 1/2010. They found the problems with the product were caused by the manufacturer. Since then they started investigating KMR formula. The company already admitted that their KMR is bad. They admitted that there is rancid kitten formula on the shelves. They're trying to tell people that it's THEIR job to see if the formula is good or bad. It's not the company's job to make a product that won't kill kittens.
by Common Sense
Wednesday Mar 17th, 2010 4:20 PM
Ask CVM is not where you would get a copy of the FDA investigation. They only handle recalls. If you want your own copy of the report, you must send a Freedom of Information Act Request to the FDAs main office. Tell them which investigation report you want. They do not post those reports on the internet. They only post company recalls. As Petag is very unethical, they have not recalled their rancid formula. Petag is being very dishonest to say that there is no investigation by posting this email. FTR I emailed "Ask CVM" about the email. I asked them if it was real. No response.
by Elizabeth
Wednesday Mar 17th, 2010 5:56 PM
Honest Person, No, I am not Darlene. My name is Elizabeth and I am a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. As I've stated in the other post, my financial interest in PetAg is limited to about $40 worth of KMR and Esbilac that I have in my freezer. How are people supposed to believe the rest of your lies if you're lying about who I am? You're not as "honest" as you say you are. I'm just someone who thinks critically about what she reads on the internet and does the research to back up my claims (Exhibit A: the e-mail from FDA). Honest person, if you're not Mary Cummins, you should ask her about me. She Facebook messaged me a "cease and desist order" (which is laughable) for "defamation and libel" because I posted the FDA e-mail on the Animal Advocates Facebook group. She apparently finds me a big enough threat to delete my post from her FB group and ban me. Now, "Honest Person," if her claims really ARE true, then why can't she defend those claims when faced against an e-mail from the FDA stating otherwise? Why does she run in fear and threaten me with a "cease and desist" order (I don't think she understands how the internet works...) for "defamation" when the only people who have a case of defamation is PetAg against her? (Which I've heard they're pursuing, thank God.) To anyone who is reading this and wondering what to believe, I encourage you to search the internet for real, unbiased websites that state the FDA has done an investigation and found the milk to be tainted. You will not find any. You will find Animal Advocates (ie, Mary Cummins), a news article that does NOT mention FDA, and a bunch of online forums where this rumor has spread. As for this website - do you know what it takes to become an "author" on this website? Absolutely nothing - no credentials, no editors, no fact-checkers... NOTHING. Hell, if you want, you can publish your own story on this website by clicking on this link! http://www.indybay.org/publish.php?page_id=12 What kind of a REAL, UNBIASED NEWS website allows ANYONE to publish an article? (Spoiler alert: Not a very legitimate one.) Don't believe the crap you read on here. Anyone (really, ANYONE - even you, dear reader!) can write a "news" article on here. It's pure crap.