Dog Treats from Sunshine Mills Join Pet Food Recall

WASHINGTON -- The recall of pet foods and treats contaminated with an industrial chemical has expanded once again, this time to include dog biscuits sold by Wal-Mart under the Ol'Roy brand, as well as other major retailers' private label brands.

The Food and Drug Administration said yesterday that Sunshine Mills, Inc. of Red Bay, Ala., was recalling dog biscuits made with imported Chinese wheat gluten. Testing had revealed the wheat gluten, a protein source, was contaminated with melamine, used to make plastics and other industrial products.

Meanwhile, Menu Foods expanded its original recall yesterday to include a broader range of dates and varieties. Menu Foods was the first of at least six companies to recall the now more than 100 brands of pet foods and treats made with the contaminated ingredient.

Menu Foods said its recall now covers "cuts and gravy"-style products made between Nov. 8 and March 6. Previously, it only applied to products made from Dec. 3 to March 6. In addition, Menu Foods said it was expanding the recall to include more varieties, but no new brands.

Sunshine's recall includes some products made for sale under five private labels, including Ol'Roy biscuits, sold by Wal-Mart Stores Inc., and Stater Bros. large biscuits, sold by Stater Bros. Markets. It also covered a portion of Sunshine's own Nurture, Lassie, and Pet Life dog biscuit brands.

Previously, Menu Foods had recalled wet-style dog foods it made for sale under the Stater Bros. and Ol'Roy brands.

Sunshine said there had been no reports of dog illnesses or deaths in connection with the recalled dog biscuits. The manufacturer said it would post a complete list of the recalled dog biscuits on its Web site.

The current spate of recalls constitutes one of the largest pet food recalls in history, the FDA said. The agency said it has received more than 12,000 complaints, but has confirmed only about 15 pet deaths.

In related news, this morning Reuters reported that the Chinese company at the center of the wheat gluten contamination scare said it had never exported wheat gluten to the Unites States.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said wheat gluten from China's Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development Company Ltd. contained an industrial chemical called melamine, which was suspected of causing the deaths of 16 cats and dogs.

However, Chinese quarantine authorities claimed that China had never exported wheat or wheat gluten to the United States, or to Canada, where Menu Foods is based.
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