The following Guest Blog first appeared on Truth About Pet Food, and is reproduced here with the kind permission of its author, Susan Thixton.

Per Iams it was a Product Pull

The recall notice posted on the Price Chopper website, then promptly removed was “posted erroneously” according to a Iams Customer Service Representative. The notice that three varieties of Iams pet food tested with “elevated aflatoxin levels” wasn’t meant for public notice. It was a product pull, not a recall. Thanks to Price Chopper for doing right by petsumers or we wouldn’t have even known about this.

For those new to this website (and the truth about pet food), there is something you should be aware of. It is known in the industry as a ‘product pull’. We call it a silent recall. A product pull/silent recall is when a pet food manufacturer discovers a problem with a food – which could be serious or could be something insignificant – and in turn the pet food manufacturer alerts retail outlets to ‘pull’ the product from store shelves and return to the manufacturer.

Iams Customer Service told me this was a “product pull”. She stated “a small number of bags did not meet our specifications”. “This was not a consumer recall”. She also stated that Price Chopper “posted erroneously” the Iams notice to remove some pet foods from store shelves.

The same product pull notice “might have been sent to a couple of other stores” – but we don’t know who those other stores are.

But we do know (thanks to Price Chopper) that these three foods tested with “elevated aflatoxin levels”…
Iams Original with Chicken Cat Food
UPC 1901403915
Lot Number 12794177D3
Size 6.8 lbs.

Iams Original with Chicken Cat Food
UPC 1901410504
Lot Number 12794177I5
Size 4 lbs.

Iams Lamb Meal with Rice Dog Food
UPC 1901403735
Lot Number 12794177J4
Size 15 lbs.

Aflatoxin are “commonly found in corn, peanuts, cottonseed, milk, and tree nuts. After ingestion, aflatoxins are absorbed and carried to the liver via the circulatory system. They are then converted by the liver into toxic reactive epoxides which bind covalently to intracellular macromolecules such as DNA, RNA and protein enzymes, resulting in damage to liver cells. In addition to their hepatotoxic properties, aflatoxins are also carcinogenic. Mycotoxin contamination in pet food poses a serious health threat to pets.
From “Mycotoxins and the pet food industry: Toxicological evidence and risk assessment” by Herman J. Boermans and Maxwell C.K. Leung.

Thank you to Price Choppers for doing the right thing and posting the notice that these pet foods contained elevated aflatoxin levels! You bothered to warn consumers that had already purchased these pet foods. That shows real concern and integrity in my book.

Iams, I would love to hear from you (I’m sure my readers would too) on just exactly what the ‘elevated levels of aflatoxin’ were. I will be glad to share your side of the story with everyone.

Two years ago, thousands of pet owners wrote and called their pet food companies asking to put an end to Silent Recalls. We asked all pet food manufacturers to participate in a program called Pet Food Recall First Alert; which meant the pet food manufacturer would agree to notify customers of any product pull or concern with a pet food. The following companies agreed…

  • Nature’s Logic Pet Food
  • Mulligan Stew Pet Food
  • The Honest Kitchen Pet Food
  • Wysong Pet Food
  • Complete Natural Nutrition
  • Solid Gold Pet Food
  • Dogswell Pet Food
  • Dr. Harvey’s Pet Food
  • Fromm Family Pet Foods
  • Redbarn Premium Pet Products
  • Canine Caviar
  • Kumpi Pet Foods
  • Raw Health Pet Food
  • Champion Pet Foods (Acana and Orijen)

Thank you to the above companies. Petsumers deserve to know if a pet food tests for elevated aflatoxin levels and any other possible health risk.

Silent recalls or product pulls are NOT good for anyone. Please – all pet food manufacturers – just stop for a moment and think about the pets and the families of those pets that might already be eating foods that you quietly remove from store shelves. Don’t those pets and those families deserve to know what is going on?

About the author: Susan Thixton is the publisher of TruthaboutPetFood.com. Dubbed The Caped Crusader for Safe Pet Food, she reports to a world of pet lovers the ‘truth’ behind the pet food label.

And in a final footnote to this story, I queried Price Chopper about the Iams “recall”, and received the following response earlier today:

Thank you for your recent email.

For the most up to date information on the Iams recall, we would suggest you contact the manufacturer directly at 1-800-675-3849 or through their website at http://www.iams.com.”

If anyone has purchased one of the above Iams pet foods – same lot numbers, same UPC codes – please email Susan or post a comment below.