retail news in context, analysis with attitude

USA Today reports this morning that last year’s pet food contamination case, which resulted in the deaths of hundreds and maybe even thousands of dogs and cats, was actually the second time such an incident has occurred.

According to the story, “An outbreak in 2004 that also involved pet foods contaminated with industrial chemicals sickened more than 6,000 dogs and a smaller number of cats across Asia. Kidney failure in the animals was linked to Pedigree dog foods and Whiskas cat foods manufactured in Thailand by Mars Inc. Thousands of pets died, according to Asian media reports at the time.

“The Asian outbreak was little-known in the USA until it was reported last week by the blog Pet Connection. In the American public's view, the U.S. outbreak several years later appeared to be the first of its kind.”

The 2007 contamination was specifically linked to grain from China that had been spiked with the industrial chemical melamine, which was contaminated with cyanuric acid, to make it appear higher in protein and therefore able to fetch a higher price.

KC's View:
Here’s my question: When will it happen a third time?

Because nothing that has happened in the area of food safety has convinced me that the system is any better today than it was last year. And it would be my guess that a lot of US consumers probably feel the same way…not entirely trusting the food supply or the systems that are supposed to ensure its safety, but not quite sure what to do about it.

But maybe I’m just overly cynical.