Date: March 7, 2008
The Hartz Mountain Corporation Recalls Vitamin Care for Cats Because of Possible Health Risk
Mr. John Mullane
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — March 7, 2008 — The Hartz Mountain Corporation is voluntarily recalling a second specific lot of Hartz Vitamin Care for Cats due to concerns that bottles within the lot may have been potentially contaminated with Salmonella. Hartz is fully cooperating with the US Food and Drug Administration in this voluntary recall. Hartz recalled a specific lot code of Hartz Vitamin Care for Cats last November due to similar concerns. Both lot codes were manufactured for Hartz by UFAC (USA) Inc. in 2007, and were removed from distribution last November. However, bottles from the second lot had been shipped to customers prior to their having been removed from distribution.
Salmonella is an organism which can cause serious infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems, all of whom are at particular risk from exposure and should avoid handling these products.
Salmonella symptoms may include fever, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and nausea in both cats and humans. Anyone experiencing the symptoms of Salmonella infection should seek immediate medical attention. Owners of cats exhibiting these symptoms should also seek veterinary assistance.
The product involved is 739 bottles of Hartz Vitamin Care for Cats, lot code SZ 22771, UPC number 32700-97701. While normal testing conducted by Hartz and UFAC has not revealed the presence of Salmonella in any Hartz products, recent sampling conducted by the FDA did detect the presence of Salmonella.
Although the company has not received any reports of animals or humans becoming ill as a result of coming into contact with this product, Hartz is taking immediate steps to recover this product from consumers. Cat owners should check the lot code on their bottles, and, if the code is not visible, or if the bottle has lot code SZ 22771 or lot code SZ-16371 imprinted thereon, they should immediately discontinue use of the product and discard it in a proper manner.
Consumers can contact Hartz at 1-800-275-1414 with any questions they may have and to obtain reimbursement for purchased product.
September 20, 2007
Pet Toy Industry Rocked by Reports that Chinese-made Pet Toys Contain Poisons
Two Chinese-made pet toys sold at Wal-Mart stores contain elevated levels of lead, chromium and cadmium. The testing was done through ExperTox Analytical Laboratory in Texas. The company was hired by ConsumerAffairs.com to conduct tests on four pet toys purchased at a Wal-Mart store in Kansas City, Missouri. All the toys had a tag attached that read, “Marketed by Wal-Mart stores and Made in China.”
Two toys of the four toys (one a latex dog toy, the other a cloth catnip toy) tested positive for elevated levels of lead, chromium, and cadmium. According to ConsumerAffairs.com, “Two veterinarians told ConsumerAffairs.com the levels of heavy metals found in the toys do not, in their opinion, pose a threat to dogs or cats. Whether they are a hazard to children and adults who handle the chew toys is unclear.”
However, a physician stated quite clearly, “Poison is poison.” Dr. Rashid Buttar is head of the Center for Advanced Clinical Research in Huntsville, North Carolina. He emphatically stated that, “I’m a dog lover and, no, I don’t want my dog to be chewing on a dog toy that has lead.”
Since both dogs and cats are smaller than humans it stands to reason that high levels of any poison would affect them more. Toxic substances build up in the body and put undue strain on the liver and kidneys. As caretakers of our animal friends we need to aware of the dangers certain toys may present to our pets. Please read the labels carefully and if a pet toy is manufactured in China it would be best to avoid purchasing it.
The result of the story posted at ConsumerAffairs.com is that companies who import dog and cat toys from China are now triple-checking their products for toxins. However, I would be skeptical about this. I am not saying that they are telling an untruth, I am just stating that self-regulating strategies rarely work out. As for me and my pets, I’m avoiding anything manufactured in China.