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URGENTfor those feeding Diamond products

db7
December 20th, 2005, 08:22 PM
http://www.diamondpet.com/DiamondPet/news.php?data=9

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 20, 2005


Media Contact:
Mark Brinkman, Diamond Pet Food
573/229-4203


Diamond Pet Food has discovered aflatoxin in a product manufactured at our facility in Gaston, South Carolina. Aflatoxin is a naturally occurring toxic chemical by-product from the growth of the fungus Aspergillus flavus, on corn and other crops.

Out of an abundance of caution, we have notified our distributors and recommended they hold the sale of all Diamond Pet Food products formulated with corn that were produced out of our Gaston facility (see complete list below). Please note that products manufactured at our facilities in Meta, Missouri and Lathrop, California are not affected. The Gaston facility date codes are unique from other Diamond facility codes in that either the eleventh or twelfth character in the date code will be a capital “G” (in reference to Gaston). The range of date codes being reviewed are “Best By 01-March-07” through Best By “11-June-07”. Diamond’s quantitative analysis records substantiate that Diamond’s corn shipments were definitively clear of aflatoxin after December 10. As such, “Best By 11-June-07” date codes or later are not affected by this notice.

States serviced by our Gaston facility include Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky (eastern), Main, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, Vermont, and Virginia.

We are rapidly analyzing retained samples of all products produced in Gaston so we can isolate specific lot numbers impacted and provide this information to our distributors, retailers and customers as quickly as possible.

Meanwhile, if your pet is showing any symptoms of illness, including sluggishness or lethargy combined with a reluctance to eat, yellowish tint to the eyes and/or gums, and severe or bloody diarrhea, please consult your veterinarian immediately.

Product quality and customer satisfaction are important to us. We pledge to keep you updated as new developments occur.

Prin
December 21st, 2005, 12:06 AM
I don't know where Costco gets its diamond food from... (i.e. the kirkland brand)

shannonRN
January 9th, 2006, 01:26 PM
I don't know if people are just getting really paranoid, or what...I read this on another forum, but when I trace it back to animalhelp.com I find no such posting or news item. I don't know if the non-corn containing foods could be picking up aflatoxin from being processed on the same equipment, or what--I hate to buy into hysteria, but just to be safe, I've stopped feeding our animals Chicken Soup until I hear definitively that everything is okay.

Diamond Pet Food Recall
1/4/06 11:53am ET - Update From AnimalHelp:

Despite claims that the brands below are the only brands affected, we have
received feedback from pet owners who have recently fed both Cosco
"Kirkland" brand pet foods and Chicken Soup Brand Dog Food, whose pets have
exhibited the same symptoms as noted with Diamond Brands and the aflatoxin
contamination.

**Please be aware that while these animals had all the same symptoms of
aflatoxin illness the test results have not been completed yet and it will
be a short time before we know for sure whether their deaths were caused by
the food. There are other illnesses and diseases that cause liver failure
and may be to blame. But because the foods these animals were eating are all
made by Diamond, and the symptoms are the same, we want to warn you to be on
the lookout for similar illness in your animals until we know for sure.

Sadly, a 2 year old Skye Terrier died Monday January 2nd, 2006. He was
eating Chicken Soup brand food and displayed the symptoms of aflatoxin
illness before he died. The other dogs in this household are also sick.
Liver profiles, toxicology screenings and pathology results are pending.

Also, a cat death has occurred on Tuesday January 3rd, 2006 in upstate SC.
This cat was eating Cosco brand cat food and displayed the symptoms of
aflatoxin illness. Pathology results are pending on this cat. We know of one
other cat who almost died from the same symptoms of aflatoxin illness and
also was being fed Cosco brand cat food.

Cosco's Kirkland Brand pet foods are made by Schell & Kampeter, who also
make the Diamond Products. Chicken Soup is considered one of their super
premium food, and they also make Nutra Nuggets. Cosco Kirkland is made at
one or more of the Diamond plants.

If you feed your pet Cosco brands - or ANY other pet food brands (it is
possible that other store brands are made at Diamond plants) - and see
illness and symptoms as mentioned here, we urge you to get your pet to your
veterinarian immediately for a liver profile.

We expect the Chicken Soup brands and the Cosco brands will be added to the
official recall very soon if the test results from these two recent deaths
provide proof that cause of death resulted from ingestion of aflatoxin in
the food. We will keep you up to date if any changes are announced.

Because of testing conducted by officials in North Carolina, Diamond Pet
Foods has added Diamond Professional for Adult Dogs to the list of recalled
products manufactured in our Gaston, S.C. facility and distributed in the
eastern U.S.

technodoll
January 9th, 2006, 01:39 PM
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10771943/

Contaminated pet food kills dozens of dogs
Diamond Pet Foods recalled 19 varieties containing toxic chemical

MSNBC News Services
Updated: 11:35 a.m. ET Jan. 9, 2006
COLUMBIA, S.C. - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration reports that at least 76 dogs nationwide are believed to have died as a result of eating contaminated Diamond Pet Foods.

The company has recalled 19 varieties of dog and cat food because tests showed high levels of aflatoxin, a naturally occurring toxic chemical that comes from a fungus found on corn and other grains that causes severe liver damage in animals.

The company recalled products manufactured at its Gaston, S.C., plant from around September to November 2005. Based on sample testing, Diamond has narrowed down the exposure to food produced on Oct. 11, Brinkmann said Thursday.

The FDA and the South Carolina Department of Agriculture have launched investigations.

Customers who have purchased the recalled Diamond Pet Food manufactured in the South Carolina plant should immediately stop using it and return any remaining product to their retailer, according to the FDA.

The range of date codes being reviewed are "Best By 01-March-07" through Best By " 11-June-07".

FDA also has discovered that some of the recalled product was exported to at least 29 countries, including countries within the European Union. These countries have been notified.

Diamond officials say they are doing what they can to help affected pet owners.

“It’s going to take some time to take care of all these customers, and we’re going to do it,” said the company’s chief operating officer, Mark Brinkmann.

Diamond has promised to reimburse pet owners for vet bills and other costs associated with the aflatoxin poisoning, which officials now believe may include pets in Europe and other areas outside the country where the food is distributed.

The company set up a call center staffed with veterinarians. The call volume peaked at about 2,000 calls a day last week, Brinkmann said.

Shanika Stewart has been caring for her ailing 9-year-old chow, force-feeding the animal with a syringe six times a day since suffering permanent liver damage after eating contaminated dog food.

“I haven’t had any time to do anything but take care of her,” said Stewart, a 19-year-old nursing student at the University of South Carolina. “She’s the No. 1 priority. ... I get maybe four hours of sleep before she wakes me up.”

Through relocations from Army bases in Georgia, Oklahoma, Washington and now South Carolina, Cocoa has been a constant companion for Stewart, whose father is serving in Iraq.

When her own daughter died last year, Stewart said Cocoa helped her through her grief. “It was like she understood,” Stewart said. “She was my best friend.”

Severe liver damage
Stewart’s other dog, a 2-year-old pit bull named Chulo, died last month just hours after being diagnosed with liver failure. It was only then that the family learned of the recall.

Stewart initially thought Cocoa had refused to eat because she was depressed about losing Chulo. After the recall, the family vet confirmed aflatoxin poisoning in Cocoa, Stewart said.

Steve Shrum, president of the South Carolina Association of Veterinarians, said vets around the state were confused when puppies began showing signs of liver problems usually seen in older dogs.

“It takes such a small amount, and there’s pretty much nothing you can do with the process that will inactivate that toxin once it gets in the food supply,” he said.

Stewart says she has not spoken with anyone at the company despite several calls. The family has filled out an online form explaining their situation.

“You don’t get anybody to talk to and tell your story,” she said. “It’s like they’re not concerned. To me, it’s like they’re saying, ’Oh well, we’ll get to it when we get to it.”’

Brinkmann was sympathetic.

“We’re going as fast as we can,” he said. “I grieve with her, and I’m going to do everything I can to make sure we can do right by her.”

JDG
January 9th, 2006, 02:59 PM
http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/01/09/toxic.pet.food.ap/index.html

Nursing student's dog sickened by toxic pet food
Contaminated food has affected 76 dogs

COLUMBIA, South Carolina (AP) -- Caring for her ailing 9-year-old chow has taken over Shanika Stewart's life.

Cocoa must be force-fed with a syringe six times a day since suffering permanent liver damage after eating contaminated dog food.

"I haven't had any time to do anything but take care of her," said Stewart, a 19-year-old nursing student at the University of South Carolina.

"She's the No. 1 priority ... I get maybe four hours of sleep before she wakes me up."

Through relocations from Army bases in Georgia, Oklahoma, Washington and now South Carolina, Cocoa has been a constant companion for Stewart, whose father is serving in Iraq.

When her own daughter died last year, Stewart said Cocoa helped her through her grief. "It was like she understood," Stewart said. "She was my best friend."

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration reports that at least 76 dogs nationwide are believed to have died as a result of eating contaminated Diamond Pet Foods.

Diamond officials say they are doing what they can to help affected pet owners.

"It's going to take some time to take care of all these customers, and we're going to do it," said the company's chief operating officer, Mark Brinkmann.

The company has recalled 19 varieties of dog and cat food because tests showed high levels of aflatoxin, a naturally occurring toxic chemical that comes from a fungus found on corn and other grains that causes severe liver damage in animals.

The company recalled products manufactured at its Gaston, South Carolina, plant from around September to November 2005. Based on sample testing, Diamond has narrowed down the exposure to food produced on October 11, Brinkmann said Thursday.

The FDA and the South Carolina Department of Agriculture have launched investigations.

Stewart's other dog, a 2-year-old pit bull named Chulo, died last month just hours after being diagnosed with liver failure. It was only then that the family learned of the recall.

Stewart initially thought Cocoa had refused to eat because she was depressed about losing Chulo. After the recall, the family vet confirmed aflatoxin poisoning in Cocoa, Stewart said.

Initial confusion
Steve Shrum, president of the South Carolina Association of Veterinarians, said vets around the state were confused when puppies began showing signs of liver problems usually seen in older dogs.

"It takes such a small amount, and there's pretty much nothing you can do with the process that will inactivate that toxin once it gets in the food supply," he said.

Diamond has promised to reimburse pet owners for vet bills and other costs associated with the aflatoxin poisoning, which officials now believe may include pets in Europe and other areas outside the country where the food is distributed.

The company set up a call center staffed with veterinarians. The call volume peaked at about 2,000 calls a day last week, Brinkmann said.

Stewart says she has not spoken with anyone at the company despite several calls. The family has filled out an online form explaining their situation.

"You don't get anybody to talk to and tell your story," she said. "It's like they're not concerned. To me, it's like they're saying, 'Oh well, we'll get to it when we get to it.'"

Brinkmann was sympathetic.

"We're going as fast as we can," he said. "I grieve with her, and I'm going to do everything I can to make sure we can do right by her."

lezzpezz
January 10th, 2006, 01:35 PM
On today's CNN website: http://www.cnn.com/

Click on story "Teen fights to save dog that ate bad pet food".

Diamond foods is named directly.

Good for the girl that is really trying here!