Home | Cover | America | World

ChemNutra, Steve Miller, Chinese Connection

No nice guys among robber barons in pet food industry

By Judi McLeod

Thursday, May 3, 2007

The robber barons of the $15-billion-a-year pet food industry are not nice guys.

They're not the guy next door who happened to go into the right business; not like Joe the Barber where you can go get your money back for a bumbled buzz cut or Uncle Charlie in the chocolate factory.

It's thanks to the allusive robber barons of the multi-billion dollar pet industry and their unbridled greed that melamine-tainted pet food has now made its way into poultry at 38 Indiana farms.

poisoned pet foodThey speak through high priced PR agents; arrive with lawyers in tow all to make a five-minute address at Senate subcommittees in Washington, D. C.

They use front men, and in an atmosphere where they well know that government is not doing its job in protecting the public from contaminated food imported from Communist countries, they literally get away with murder.

Thousands of pets fell ill and an estimated 20 percent of them died from acute renal failure caused by poisoned pet food, attractively packaged and luring busy consumers from supermarket shelves.

"Much of the adulterated feed was eaten in early February by broiler chickens that have since been sold and consumed nationally, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a joint statement issued late Monday." www.Forbes.com, May 1, 2007. "The melamine-contaminated feed was used at 30 broiler poultry farms and eight breeder poultry farms across Indiana; all of the broiler chickens have seen been sold to outlets nationwide. The breeder chicken have been quarantined and may be euthanized, the FDA and USDA said. The agencies also warned "as the investigation continues, additional farms will likely be identified that received contaminated feed."

That means that someone in the pet food industry is still turning profits from food already determined melamine laced.

The FDA claims that farm animals exposed to contaminated pet food pose little risk to human health. Let us hope that the agency's contention that animals are more vulnerable to melamine-laced food than humans are is based on fact. There is no doubt at all that the FDA says there have been only 16 dead animals as a result of the contaminated pet food scare when of the thousands of animals who fell ill, 20 percent of them died from acute renal failure.

The announcement of quarantined chickens comes on the heels of similar discoveries at hog farms across the United States.

What kind of people would sell contaminated pet food to farmers?

Well-heeled investors and operators of a thriving pet food industry that only show the front man as its public face to a worried market.

The swath of broken hearts left behind by the latter day pet food industry continues.

The bald lies of some of the industry's players would keep the best investigative reporters working 24-7.

While he had always claimed his melamine had come from Xuhou Anying Biologic Technology Development, one of two Chinese companies he used, ChemNutra CEO Stephen S. Miller at this stage in the game introduces a Chinese textile company.

"Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development, one of two Chinese companies... had shipped more than 700 tons of wheat gluten labeled as "nonfood" products earlier this year through a third party, a Chinese textile company.

But wait a minute. When he was before last week's House subcommittee, Miller (Steve to the politicians) didn't mention a third party, let alone that it was a "Chinese textile company".

And Miller told the House subcommittee the wheat gluten ChemNutra imported was "human food grade".

"ChemNutra, the Las Vegas pet food supplier that bought the wheat gluten from Xuzhou and resold it to pet food makers in the United States, also said it was led to believe Xuzhou was the manufacturer of the product. But ChemNutra officials also say that they received the shipments of wheat gluten through a third party, a company called Suzhou Textiles Silk Light & Industrial Products.A spokesman for Suzhou Textiles denied that the company exported wheat gluten to the United States.

Perhaps all the consumer ever sees of the main players in the pet food industry is the front men they send to Senate subcommittees.

"The pet food market has been dominated in the last few years by the acquisition of big companies by even bigger companies." www.api4animals.org. "With $15 billion a year at stake in the U.S. and rapidly expanding foreign markets, it's no wonder that some are greedy for a larger piece of the pie.

"What most consumers don't know is that the pet food industry is an extension of the human food and agriculture industries. Pet food provides a convenient way for slaughterhouse offal, grains considered "unfit for human consumption," and similar waste products to be turned into profit. This waste includes intestines, udders, heads, hooves, and possibly diseased and cancerous animal parts."

Until the current outbreak, most consumers did not know that Menu Foods, which recalled over 100 brands in March, is in reality an income trust fund.

Menu is not the only one.Doane Pet Care Co. of Brentwood, Tenn. announced in October of 2005 that all of its outstanding stock would be acquired by Teachers' Private Capital, the investment arm of the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, for total cash consideration of $840 million. As part of the transaction, the company will complete a recapitalization, which will allow the company to retire all of its outstanding preferred stock and reduce the amount of funded debt on its balance sheet. www.allbusiness.com.

In 1999, Doane Pet Care recalled more than a million bags of corn-based dry dog food contaminated with aflatoxin. Products included Ol' Roy (Wal-Mart's brand) and 53 other brands. That time, the toxin killed 25 dogs.

Aflatoxins were still in the picture in late 2005, when a recall by Diamond Foods was announced; this time moldy corn contained a particularly nasty fungal product called aflatoxin; 100 dogs died.

The Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, one of Canada's largest institutional investors, agreed to buy two marine container terminals in the New York area and two in British Columbia from Orient Overseas (International) for $2.4 billion in November, 2006.

Talk about vertical integration!

Canada Free Press founding editor Most recent by Judi McLeod is an award-winning journalist with 30 years experience in the print media. Her work has appeared on Newsmax.com, Drudge Report, Foxnews.com, Glenn Beck. Judi can be reached at: [email protected]


Most recent by Judi McLeod
Previous articles by Judi McLeod