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Nutro finally speaks up about blocked pet food

by Therese on August 29, 2007

in Cats, Dogs, Pet Food Recall, Pets

dry-adult.jpgIn July, the FDA blocked a number of Nutro pet foods from coming into the US. After a number of attempts at getting an answer out of Nutro, Consumer Reports has finally received a response.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in July blocked more than 100 Nutro Products — various styles and flavors of its dog and cat food — from entering the United States.

ConsumerAffairs.com learned the FDA took that action at the Port of Los Angeles — and listed Nutro’s pet food on its Import Refusal Report — because the products appeared to contain poisonous substances and unsafe additives.

The FDA has authority to block and detain any regulated products from entering the United States if they “appear to be out of compliance with The Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.”

Some of Nutro’s pet food on the Import Refusal List include its Adult Turkey with Chicken Liver, Choice Adult Cat w Turkey & Duck, Choice Complete Care Kitten Rich in Chicken with Liver, and Adult Large Breed Chicken & Rice.

News of the FDA’s action alarmed Mike G. of Florida. He owns multiple cats and feeds them Nutro products.

“What isn’t clear is which ‘additive’ it is that is ‘unsafe,’ and which ‘substance’ it is that is poisonous,” he told us. “The three Nutro canned cat products I have in front of me all state ‘Made in USA.’ But they don’t say which state or which US territory.”

He added: “I don’t so much care where (the products came from). It’s the ‘which’ (unsafe additives and substances) that concerns me.”

Mike contacted Nutro about his concerns, but says the company ignored his inquires.


ConsumerAffairs.com also contacted Nutro about the FDA’s action. It took the company more than a week to respond to our repeated calls.

Nutro, however, didn’t answer our specific questions.

The company’s Consumer Services Manager, Tamara Cerven, instead e-mailed us Nutro’s official, canned response.

“It has been brought to our attention that confusion has been caused by the Food and Drug Administration’s (“FDA”) Import Refusal Report,” the company’s statement said. “We wish to assure our customers that this report is in no way a cause for concern about the quality and safety of Nutro pet foods currently on store shelves.”

Nutro said the products listed the FDA’s Import Refusal Report are ones affected by Menu Food’s massive recall in March of melamine-tainted dog and cat food.

“This report lists recalled product(s) that have been returned to Nutro from overseas,” according to the company’s statement. “This product is not intended for sale.”

Nutro said it immediately discontinued all sales of its melamine-tainted products and removed them from retail stores, warehouses, and distribution centers after Menu recalled 60 million containers of contaminated pet food.

“Nutro also ordered recalled product to be shipped back to the U.S. from overseas for proper handling,” the company said in its written statement. “Some of this product is the subject of the FDA report.”

Nutro said customers with questions about the FDA’s action can call its customer service line at 1-800-833-5330 or visit its Web site.

Consumer Reports has more.

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