Thursday, April 05, 2007

When and Where is Dick Durbin's Pet Food Recall Press Conference?

Thursday, April 5, 2007
2:30 PM Central Time
Wicker Park
(north of field house)
1425 N. Damen
Chicago, IL

Senator Durbin (D-IL)*
will discuss the Menu Foods recall, the FDA's regulation of the pet food industry and the impact on pets and their owners across the nation. He will announce plans to work with Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI) *to hold a Congressional hearing on the recall when the Senate reconvenes.
Pet owners are encouraged to attend the news conference with their pets (dogs and cats are welcome).
For more information, please contact
Senator Durbin’s office at 312-353-4952.

Update 4/4, 5:46 a.m.. PT: 3,168 pets have been reported as deceased to the PetConnection database. (link)

* Spocko note: I would like to point out that it has been Democrats that have been pushing to protect your pet's food supply.

Keeping an eye on the food supply is one of the things that government can do better than individuals. And those of you who think all government is bad, should note that who heads an agency makes a difference, especially when political loyalty and cronyism trump science or competence (see Fema, Katrina flooding). When the top FDA official left at the end of 2005 because politics from the Bush admin trumped science you have to wonder what kind of corporate pressure or White House pressure the FDA was getting to hold back information.

The White House loves to use Fear when it serves their purpose. But when it effects a corporation's bottom line it's profits first, poodles last.

  • The FDA didn't reveal the identity of the manufacturers of the wheat gluten until a blogger at Pet Connection found it. Why?

  • The FDA didn't reveal the name of the US distributor of the gluten until the AP got it from another source. Why?

  • The FDA hasn't required the US distributor of the wheat gluten to reveal to the public everyone they sold it to. Why not?

  • The Chinese company the FDA identified as the sole source of the tainted wheat gluten, Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology said they sold it to other companies. Who are they? Who did they sell it to?

  • There is disagreement between university labs and FDA labs on the nature of the contaminate. What is that about?

This is classic "The Public has a right to know" information. Do I know for a fact that the FDA is getting pressure to drag their feet and not reveal info? No. But I do know that the critical information about this story has been dug out by concerned pet owner/bloggers and the good journalists like Andrew Bridges at the AP.

3,168 dead pets. This is NOT "Nothing to see here, move along."
Pay attention folks. Follow the money. Pay attention to the players.

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Paul said...

Hey Spocko,

I really like how you're focusing on the regulatory environment surrounding the food supply. If we're serious about Homeland Security, protecting our food should be at the top of our priorities list.

The danger here isn't new. I recall that the food supply (particularly grain elevators) was one thing mentioned in the papers as a potential vulnerability (to terrorists or otherwise) a year or two back.

The threat is growing in scale, too. As food production becomes more centralized and is done on a larger scale, a single incident can affect hundreds or even thousands of people (or pets).

This particular weakness is not something that should have gone unnoticed, either. Over the past few months, there have been a number of highly-publicized food scares including the e. coli spinach, the salmonella peanut butter, and the Taco Bell whatever-it-was. These incidents may be only the tip of the iceberg. Are they the result of a system-wide weakening of safeguards on the food supply?

9:04 PM  
Rich said...


Your definition of security might not be correct -- if you plan on getting into the "Meet John Doe" club. The Right version of security is whatever makes the most money for our brave billionaires who are leading the fight for freedom!

It was the Great Communicator who in 1980 campaigned saying that trees caused more pollution than cars. It's just as true today. Criticizing the "free" market, massive deficit spending, globalization, and the ultimate victory of the chosen race is just giving aid and comfort to an enemy of evil.

Like "300" America can stand up to the world intent on bullying us with their frightening array of weapons of mass destruction and military bases stretched across the planet awaiting orders from the antichrists of this world.

Whatever you do, avoid that Frank Capra movie! Or else you job at the "We Say So" Corporation will be outsourced.

Have a nice day!

4:41 AM  
John said...

I'd like to see your source on that 3000+ dead pets, the most I've seen on "reputable" websites is ~250, that's a whole order of magnitude off from your numbers. I think the companies should come clean, but I also don't think anyone should be inflating numbers just to get a response.

9:44 AM  
Lisa said...

Wanted to let you know that I nominated your blog over at the Blogger's Choice Awards ( for Best political blog.

1:04 PM  
Matt said...

I urge everyone to send Senator Dick Durbin a dog biscuit as a sign of appreciation for his role as "top dog" in the pet food fiasco. And while you're at it, remind him that you still remember the disparaging remarks he made about American troops.
Operation Give the Dog a Bone

4:24 PM  

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