DAYTON, Ohio - March 22 - PETA has sent an
urgent letter to The Honorable Joseph D. Deters with The Hamilton County
Prosecutor's Office, urging him to investigate Dayton-based Iams and file
appropriate charges if the company knowingly withheld information about
pet-food contamination. At least 13 cats and one dog are reported to have
died of kidney failure after eating food manufactured by Menu Foods under
several brand names, including Iams, and veterinarians across the country
are reporting daily cases of cats and dogs in renal failure because of the
PETA points out that because reports indicate that the first complaints
of tainted food surfaced as early as February 20, Iams should be held
responsible for the deaths of companion animals that occurred after that
date because the public was not notified. If Iams argues that its
manufacturer, Menu Foods, withheld the information, PETA is calling for
Iams to sever all ties with Menu Foods immediately. (PETA has also called
for an investigation and, if appropriate, cruelty charges against Menu
Foods in Canada.) Conducting cruel and lethal experiments on live animals
in Menu Foods laboratories constitutes a violation of Iams' policy against
lethal experiments on dogs and cats for dog and cat food.
This isn't the first time that cats and dogs have suffered or died in
tests associated with Iams products. During a 2002-2003 undercover
investigation of Sinclair Research Center -- a Columbia, Mo.-based animal-
testing laboratory doing contract work for Iams and Menu Foods -- a PETA
investigator documented terrified animals forced to live in cramped,
unsanitary cages in dungeon-like rooms; dogs left piled on a filthy floor
after having chunks of muscle cut from their thighs; dogs surgically
debarked; animals subjected to unregulated temperatures during extreme
weather; and other forms of cruelty. At least 27 dogs were deliberately
"People are looking on helplessly as their cats and dogs suffer and
die, when the tragedy seemingly could have been avoided had Iams
immediately issued a recall after hearing from people whose animals got
sick," said PETA Vice President Bruce Friedrich. "If it violated the law,
both the company and its manufacturers and all its involved employees must
be held accountable."
For more information, including products involved in the recall, action
steps for consumers, and PETA's letters to prosecutors, please visit
http://www.peta.org. PETA's letter to The Honorable Joseph D. Deters
March 21, 2007
The Honorable Joseph D. Deters
Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office
230 E. Ninth St., Ste. 4000
Cincinnati, OH 45202
1 page via mail and fax: 513-946-3017
Dear Mr. Deters:
On behalf of PETA and our more than 1.6 million members and supporters,
as well as the hundreds of millions of North Americans who share their
lives with one or more dogs or cats, PETA is calling on you today to launch
an investigation into whether or not Iams is in violation of the Ohio anti-
cruelty law (Ohio Rev. Code Ann. section 959.131).
The Bloomberg news service reports that 13 cats and one dog have died
as a result of eating food manufactured at Menu Foods (which includes Iams
and Eukanuba brands), although the death toll is likely to rise
dramatically ("14 Cat, Dog Deaths Linked to Menu Foods, FDA Says," 21
Mar.). Veterinarians everywhere are reporting cases of renal failure in
dogs and cats because of contaminated food.
As we see it, Iams and its agents may have violated Ohio state law.
Iams' manufacturer, Menu Foods, reportedly knew about the food
contamination issue as early as February 20, yet a product recall was not
announced until March 16-almost a full month later -- a month in which
people's animal companions were sickened and may have died. It is
reasonable to assume that Iams may have known about this food contamination
issue well before the announced product recall. If current reports from
veterinary offices around the country of dogs and cats in renal failure
resulting from contaminated food are accurate, the body count is sure to
rise. Iams, by delaying its recall announcement, should be held fully
accountable for every pertinent death, to the extent allowed by Ohio law.
I would be happy to discuss this complaint with you further and can be
reached at ShalinG@peta.org or 757-962-8325.
Shalin G. Gala (Mr.)
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, with more than one million members, is the largest animal rights organization in the world. Founded
in 1980, PETA is dedicated to establishing and protecting the rights of all animals.
PETA operates under the simple principle that animals are not ours to eat, wear,
experiment on, or use for entertainment.