My Blog

Pentobarbital Dog Food Contamination

Pentobarbital Dog Food Contamination

Certain Evanger’s  products – Hunk of Beef and Against the Grain products were found to be contaminated with pentobarbital.  The picture above shows a pug named Talula.  Her owner Nikki Mael took the pic of her beloved dog who died from eating Evanger’s contaminated food.  Her three other dogs became very ill, but they survived.  


So…  What the heck is pentobarbital?  It is used for euthanizing animals.  Holy cow!!!  Wait a second…  Pentobarbital is used for euthanizing cats, dogs, and horses.  


I spoke to Joel Sher, the vice president of Evanger’s on February 28th 2017 at approximately 12:00 noon.  I asked him a few questions.  I wanted to know who the supplier was and if their product was rendered or adulterated.  He was belligerent, extremely defensive, and very disparaging.  He raised his voice and told me that he knows who I am and about my “little group.”  He told me that I didn’t know what I was talking about.  I told him that he is correct about that (to appease him) and explained that it’s the very reason why I am asking him questions.  Usually when people behave as he did it’s an indication that they are hiding something.  He told me that his supplier was IMP.  It is to my understanding that IMP stands for Institutional Meat Purchase.  Not only is IMP not their supplier, but it is not a supplier period!


On the same day I received an email from Brett Sher (their corporate secretary) stating that the FDA was provided information about their supplier and that the investigation is in progress.  That’s another indication that Joel was lying with regard to the supplier.  The investigation was taking place so that information couldn’t yet be exposed.  


It appears that something is not right about the supplier that Evanger’s uses.  Maybe that is the reason why Sher lied.  I still don’t understand something.  Evangers’ supplier assured that they separated the euthanized animals from the non-euthanized animals.  Wait!!!  Why would euthanized animals be at the same facility as the “quality beef” that Evanger’s uses?  There would not be euthanized animals in a plant where there is high quality beef.  Evanger’s claims that they use USDA inspected meats and that there are no harmful additives or artificial ingredients in their products, but isn’t pentobarbital harmful and artificial?  

At the time this article was published, Evanger’s claimed that their meat is USDA inspected on their “About Our Products” page on their website.  Their claim states:

“Evanger’s utilizes USDA inspected meats to make highly palatable and nutritious foods that will satisfy even the most finicky eater. With no soy, corn, wheat, artificial ingredients, harmful additives, preservatives or by-products, Evanger’s canned meals make an excellent mixer to our dry foods. Not only do they offer your pet a variety in taste, our gourmet dinners offer the additional nutritional benefits your pet needs. Natural Vitamins and minerals are blended with the all-natural meats for ultimate nutrition that are completely balanced meals for all life stages, ages, and breeds.”


That’s not what the FDA discovered:
FDA published a warning statement to consumers not to feed the contaminated products. The following excerpt will shock you:

“Evanger’s Dog & Cat Food Company, Inc. stated that the beef for its Hunk of Beef product came from a ‘USDA approved’ supplier. However, the FDA reviewed a bill of lading from Evanger’s supplier of ‘Inedible Hand Deboned Beef – For Pet Food Use Only. Not Fit For Human Consumption’ and determined that the supplier’s facility does not have a grant of inspection from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service. The meat products from this supplier do not bear the USDA inspection mark and would not be considered human grade.”

Being that Evanger’s is passing the blame to the supplier for the contamination, it’s not a long shot to imagine that they might use the same supplier.  Evanger’s manufactures private label products as well as their own label.

The scariest thing is that Evanger’s is blaming the supplier for the contamination.  It is likely that other manufacturers use the same supplier.  After all, Against the Grain had pentobarbital contamination.  It is not a long shot to imagine that they might use the same supplier.

Private-label products are typically those manufactured or provided by company.  That product is sold to another company which puts its own label on it (like when you see store brands for example).If you view the following video and proceed to 2:00 in the time bar you will hear the Evanger’s family admit that samples of product with pentobarbital contained horse DNA.his would never have come out if the pentobarbital tragedy didn’t occur.  Dogs would be eating horse meet on cans marked as “beef.”


Evanger’s (not so clean) History
Hey, this is not the first problem with Evanger’s.  A warning letter to Evanger’s from the FDA dated May 5, 2011 addressed some other  serious issues. Evanger’s was investigated from December 2, 2010 through February 10, 2011.  Product samples were collected and analyzed.  Testing indicated that Lamb and Rice Dog Food contained no lamb in the product whatsoever.  In the same letter, other issues were discussed.  December 14th 2010 Evanger’s Grain-free Duck Pet Food was tested.  It was determined that the amount of duck was not sufficient enough for the manufacturer to indicate “duck” in the product’s name.  The testing indicated that the food was adulterated and the ingredients on the label were deceptive.  These are federal violations!  


I highly recommend checking out Susan Thixton’s website Truth About Pet Food and signing up for newsletter.  She is a top notch source of information about what’s going on with the pet food industry and she stays on top of things.


Where’s the beef???
In the past “Where’s the duck?” and “Where’s the lamb?” were the questions.  This time it is the absence of beef in their recalled products.  If you view the following video and proceed to 2:00 in the time bar you will hear the Evanger’s family admit that samples of product with pentobarbital contained horse DNA.his would never have come out if the pentobarbital tragedy didn’t occur. Dogs would be eating horse meet on cans marked as “beef.”The FDA also stated that Evanger’s did not provide records that were requested in 2009.  WAIT!!!  The letter was dated May 5th 2011.  It was a warning letter and addressing issues back from 2009!  If this were for human food, the response would have been addressed immediately.



Here are more issues including criminal investigations in Evanger’s history:

Evanger’s had been sued in the past by Wheeling which is a village in Illinois in 2006 and 2010 because of severe odor coming from the factory.  This odor was so extreme that it affected quality of life for the people living and working in Wheeling.

The Truth about Pet Food is one of my favorite sites.  You will find more juicy news about Evanger’s in their article As Evanger’s Scandal Unfolds, a Look Back at Their Troubled History and No Enforcement of Law is Why the Evangers Recall Occured.  Another great article to read is FDA Statement on Evangers Pet Food.  You can read about even MORE legal issues that Evanger’s from past.  The FDA also stated that there were “numerous significant concerns with conditions” with regard to Evanger’s manufacturing facility.  

Evanger’s refuses to accept responsibility and it has become callous and cruel; they deny any wrongdoing.  On their “Voluntary Recall” page they take out the big guns as they include images of invoices dating back to June 2016 (one of which isn’t even dated or signed).  I wouldn’t be surprised if they doctored is up after I mentioned this.  Evanger’s  pointed out that the invoices are evidence that their meat products are edible.  If they order bones, wouldn’t it be assumed that they would be edible?  In other words, would anyone specify that they wanted to order bones, but NOT the edible ones.  Anybody can doctor up invoices; it does not take a web designer to do it.

Another concern is that Evanger’s blacked out the US Government Inspected EST number.  That is a way that  Evanger’s can prevent consumers from cross-referencing numbers.   


Another issue is that they blacked out the name of the supplier.  There is no way to verify the authenticity of these invoices.  Evanger’s claims that they had a third party examine the samples.  They won’t disclose the name of the third party so I suppose they expect us to go by the honor system.  Also, in the invoice images, notice that the USDA Establishment (EST) number is no clear.

To read more about this check out Enough Denial… Surrender.  The FDA is continually scolding the manufacturer, but Evanger’s refuses to comply.  Check out Susan Thixton’s article – FDA issues Warning Letter to Evanger’s Pet Food.  I highly recommend signing up for her newsletter.  She is a top notch source of information about what’s going on with the pet food industry.

I refuse to give my dogs commercial dog food.  I provide a biologically appropriate raw diet.  To read more about the food that I recommend you can read The BEST Dog Food for Beginners and The BEST Dog Food for the Advanced.

 

Sources:

Center For Veterinary Medicine. “CVM Updates – FDA Cautions Pet Owners and Caretakers Not to Feed Certain Evanger’s or Against the Grain Canned Pet Foods Due to Adulteration with Pentobarbital.” U S Food and Drug Administration Home Page. Center for Veterinary Medicine, 17 Feb. 2017. Web. 23 Feb. 2017. <https://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/NewsEvents/CVMUpdates/ucm542265.htm>.


Nikki Mael’s dog dying from contaminated dog food, Veterinary ICU in Washington. Personal photograph by author. 2017.


“Discussion with Joel Sher.” Telephone interview. 28 Feb. 2017.


Entis, Phyllis. “FDA inspection report labels Evanger’s pet food adulterated.” Food Safety News. Food Safety News, 19 Feb. 2017. Web. 23 Feb. 2017. <http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2017/02/fda-inspection-report-labels-evangers-products-adulterated/#.WK8KUhjMzBJ>.


MacIntire, Scott J. “Warning Letters – Evanger’s Dog & Cat Food Company, Inc. 5/5/11. U S Food and Drug Administration Home Page. US FDA, 05 May 2011. Web. 23 Feb. 2017. <http://wayback.archive-it.org/7993/20161023101144/http://www.fda.gov/ICECI/EnforcementActions/WarningLetters/2011/ucm255000.htm>. 


Center For Veterinary Medicine. “CVM Updates – FDA Cautions Pet Owners and Caretakers Not to Feed Certain Evanger’s or Against the Grain Canned Pet Foods Due to Adulteration with Pentobarbital.” U S Food and Drug Administration Home Page. Center for Veterinary Medicine, 17 Feb. 2017. Web. 23 Feb. 2017. <https://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/NewsEvents/CVMUpdates/ucm542265.htm>.


The Village of Wheeling vs. Evanger’s Dog and Cat Food Company Co. Inc. Appellate Court of Illinois. 28 Nov. 2012. N.p., n.d. Web. <http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/R23_Orders/AppellateCourt/2012/1stDistrict/1113100_R23.pdf>.

Tagged: , ,

0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *