Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter

Monday, April 23, 2007

It's devastating. I can't even imagine what the survivors went through... or what the families and close friends are still going through. All I know is that 32 of the most hopeful, talented, caring, giving souls are now gone. A bright future for each of them, gone. A satisfying career, gone. Artistic endeavors, all of it gone.
And that breaks my heart. To be honest with you, I haven't watched this much news coverage since Katrina demolished much of New Orleans; before that, 9-11. Only I'm not watching from some morbid interest, I'm watching to see what's being done to prevent any more of this craziness from happening.
I admit, I've watched the reports voraciously... because I can then find out how the system is flawed. What procedures are in place that no longer work (if they ever worked to begin with.)
The fact that this monster who terrorized the Virginia Tech campus was able to fill out paperwork, pass a background check, make his purchase and walk out of a Roanoke, VA gun shop within an hour is outrageous. What a shocking learning experience this has been. I was mistakenly under the impression that there was a mandatory 14-day waiting period for any gun purchase, regardless of whether an applicant passes a background check. To find out the process was entirely within legal boundaries left me totally stunned. Truth is, the system needs a complete overhaul. Petitions need to be drawn up, polished and put on the books. That would be the first step. The second step is, forget about patient confidentiality when the patient is deemed by a court to be a danger to others. Way before this event ever took place, a judge did in fact state this in a 2005 document. Why was that ignored? Good question. Like I said, there needs to be broad change for there to be any sort of prevention.
I heard it discussed early on about allowing students permits to carry concealed weapons on campus because, apparently, "security can't be everywhere." Really. I'd like to know what idiot came up with this brilliant idea, beacuse if I did, I'd tell him he's just inviting a throw-back to wild west days where stressed-out, sleep-deprived (and possibly drunk) gunslingers would have shootouts on the pavillion, putting even more innocent people at risk. Thank God they seem to have abandoned that idea for the moment.
And this brings me to the issue of gun control. Yeah, I've heard it all before: This country was founded on the right to keep and bear arms. That it would be unconstitutional to change that even a little bit. Give me a large break, because believe it or not, these are different times. I don't believe for one second that the writers of the Constitution of these United States ever could have imagined what they drafted into law could result in the way these whacked-out individuals are going into public places and picking off innocent people like flies. Plus, the intent was for militia to begin with, not the general public. So who misinterpreted the intent over the years? Quite possibly the NRA. I'm sorry, but the NRA can kiss my big toe. They can scream and rant and wave their stacks of documents and legislation all they want, it still won't change this opinion.
(more opinion coming soon)

Monday, April 02, 2007

More recalls

With all these recalls, I'm personally going to recommend that for the time being you don't give your pets any commercial food or snacks whatsoever. Instead give them a diet of cooked chicken, rice, potatoes, etc. Basically, healthy table scraps. By that I mean no fast food, burgers or fries. Veterinarians might not recommend table scraps, but at least by giving them what you eat yourself, you'll ensure that they won't be poisoned by some chemical additive toxin.

Here is the latest expansion of recalls:

Del Monte Pet Products Voluntarily Withdraws Specific Product Codes of Pet Treats and Wet Dog Food Products
SAN FRANCISCO, March 31, 2007—As a precautionary measure, Del Monte Pet Products is voluntarily recalling select product codes of its pet treat products sold under the Jerky Treats®, Gravy Train® Beef Sticks and Pounce Meaty Morsels® brands as well as select dog snack and wet dog food products sold under private label brands. A complete list of affected brands and products is below.

The Company took this voluntary recall action immediately after learning this morning from the FDA that wheat gluten supplied to Del Monte Pet Products from a specific manufacturing facility in China contained melamine. Melamine is a substance not approved for use in food. The FDA made this finding as part of its ongoing investigation into the recent pet food recall.

The adulteration occurred in a limited production quantity on select product codes of the brands below. This recall removes all Del Monte pet products with wheat gluten procured from this manufacturing facility from retail shelves.

No other Del Monte Pet Products treats, biscuits or wet dog food products are impacted by this recall, and no Del Monte dry cat food, dry dog food, wet cat food or pouched pet foods are subject to this voluntary recall. The affected products comprise less than one-tenth of one percent of Del Monte Pet Products' annual pet food and pet treat production.

Del Monte Pet Products has proactively engaged and fully cooperated with the FDA since the start of its investigation. The adulterated ingredients were used in limited production over the last three months for those items identified by specific product codes. Del Monte Pet Products has not used wheat gluten from this manufacturing facility in China in any other pet products except those described below.

Consumers should discontinue feeding the products with the Product Codes detailed below to their pets.

Del Monte Pet Products are 100% guaranteed and all voluntarily recalled products will be refunded.

Del Monte Pet Products customers can contact our Consumer Hotline at (800) 949-3799 for further information about the recall and for instructions on obtaining a product refund. If consumers visit our website, they can click on the "Contact Us" button and submit the Contact Us form, including UPC number, product name, Best By Date, and manufacturing code information (located under the Best By date). Consumers may also write to us at:
Del Monte
P.O. Box 80
Pittsburgh PA 15230-0080.

BRANDED Production Code/Best By Date
Jerky Treats Beef Flavor Dog Snacks Code:
Best By: TP7C05
Aug 05 08 TP7B07
Aug 07 08 TP7B08
Aug 08 08 TP7B09
Aug 09 08 TP6B10
Aug 10 08
Best By: TP7B15
Aug 15 08 TP7C05
Sep 02 08 TP7C06
Sep 03 08
Gravy Train Beef Sticks Dog Snacks Code:
Best By: TP7B19
Aug 19 08 TP7B20
Aug 20 08 TP7B21
Aug 21 08
Pounce Meaty Morsels Moist Chicken Flavor Cat Treats Code:
Best By: TP7C07
Sep 04 08 TP7C12
Sep 09 08

PRIVATE LABEL Production Code/Best By Date
Ol' Roy Beef Flavor Jerky Strips Dog Treats Code:
Best By: TP7B06
Aug 06 08 TP7B07
Aug 07 08 TP7C05
Sep 02 08 TP7C06
Sep 03 08 TP7C07
Sep 04 08
Best By: TP7C08
Sep 05 08
Ol' Roy Beef Flavor Snack Sticks Dog Treats Code:
Best By: TP7B19
Aug 19 08 TP7B20
Aug 20 08 TP7B21
Aug 21 08 TP7C08
Sep 05 08 TP7C09
Sep 06 08
Ol' Roy Bark'n Bac'n Beef & Bacon Flavor Dog Treats Code:
Best By: TP7C14
Sep 11 08
Ol' Roy with Beef Hearty Cuts in Gravy Dog Food Code:
Best By: BC6M21
Dec 21 09
Ol' Roy with Beef Hearty Strips in Gravy Dog Food Code:
Best By: BC7A19
Jan 19 10
Ol' Roy Country Stew Hearty Cuts in Gravy Dog Food Code:
Best By: BC6M15
Dec 15 09
Dollar General Beef Flavored Jerky Strips Dog Treats Code:
Best By: TP7C06
Sep 03 08
Dollar General Beef Flavored Beef Sticks Dog Treats Code:
Best By: TP7B20
Aug 20 08 TP7B21
Aug 21 08
Happy Tails Beef Flavor Jerky Strips Code:
Best By: TPY7B08
Aug 08 08 TP7B09
Aug 09 08
Happy Tails Meaty Cuts with Beef in Gravy Dog Food Code:
Best By: BC7A29
Jan 29 10

Sunday, April 01, 2007

This ain't no joke

Another update in the ongoing pet food recall concern.


No Dry Purina Products Involved

March 31, 2007

On March 30, 2007, NestlĂ© Purina PetCare Company announced it is voluntarily recalling all sizes and varieties of its ALPO® Prime Cuts in Gravy wet dog food with specific date codes. The Company is taking this voluntary action after learning that wheat gluten containing melamine, a substance not approved for use in food, was provided to Purina by the same company that also supplied Menu Foods. The contamination occurred in a limited production quantity at only one of Purina's 17 pet food manufacturing facilities.

Consumers should immediately stop feeding their dogs ALPO Prime Cuts products with the date codes listed below and consult with a veterinarian if they have any health concerns with their pet.

The recalled 13.2-ounce and 22-ounce ALPO Prime Cuts cans and 6-, 8-, 12- and 24-can ALPO Prime Cuts Variety Packs have four-digit code dates of 7037 through 7053, followed by the plant code 1159. Those codes follow a "Best Before Feb. 2009" date. This information should be checked on the bottom of the can or the top or side of the multi-pack cartons.

Importantly, no Purina brand dry pet foods are affected by the recall – including ALPO Prime Cuts dry. In addition, no other Purina dog food products, no Purina cat food products, Purina treat products or Purina Veterinary Diet products are included in this recall, nor have been impacted by the contaminated wheat gluten supply.

At Purina, nothing is more important to us than the health and well-being of the pets whose nutrition has been entrusted to us by their owners, and we deeply regret this unfortunate situation. We will continue to take any and all actions necessary to ensure the quality and safety of our products.

Please see our March 30 press release for more information and click here for an updated list of Frequently Asked Questions. If you have more questions or concerns, please contact our Office of Consumer Affairs at 1-800-218-5898.