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FDA issues Warning Letter to Evanger’s Pet Food

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  1. Michelle

    Wow all of this correspondence from Evangers just further proves their lack of care in providing “safe” food to our pets! Awful! They should not be allowed to be in the “food” business of any kind ever again, along with the suppliers.

  2. Jane

    Does the FDA have the authority to require that adulterated (and dangerous) products be destroyed? I was surprised that the warning letter just “recommends” it.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      That is a good question. I’ll ask.

  3. Jane

    The warning letter links them to two other (unnamed) pet food facilities. I’m assuming one is NutriPack – any idea what the other facility could be?

    1. Jan

      I wonder if it could be Party Animal if that is what you’re asking.
      As a side note, it is unbelievable that Evangers would even consider donating the recalled items to a food shelter no less. It is so unbelievable that it makes me shake my head with disbelief.

      1. Jane

        Thanks, Jan – I’ll bet that’s it. The letter says they’re “involved in the operation of two other firms” which I took to mean manufacturing facilities, but could just as easily be the companies themselves (and so maybe Party Animal and Against the Grain).
        I hope shelters nationwide know to beware of any Evanger’s donations!

      2. B Dawson

        They wanted the tax deduction for the donation!

        1. Reader

          I would check the books to see if Evangers has ever made a donation in their business career.

          What they really want, is the “good will” of the community! So that Shelter executives and volunteers will be character witnesses, if it comes to a public court case. For the purpose of a donation, what they could’ve done is batch test a sample from every pallet being donated to ensure it’s safety. I’m not saying it’s the “right” thing to do. Just that they’re being counselled on how to salvage their public image. Going forward, most people will only remember whether or not they’re found guilty. And because of Evanger’s lawsuit against the supplier, they’re preparing to lay blame in that direction. And if the supplier is found guilty, that will always be their excuse.

          For any business to have survived as many wrongdoings as they’re accused of, they’re surely being advised on how to play this.

  4. Lori S.

    Is there a way to find out which foods are made in their facility?

    1. Stephanie

      Thans for posting this, I was going to do the same thing. The fact Evangers even proposed donating food they know without a doubt is absolutely detrimental to animals’ health–an astounding, horrendous proposal in the first place, is further testament they have no regard for animals.

      I’m disgusted and deeply disturbed by their actions.

    2. DanW

      Donate the recalled pet food to shelters? This shows what a bunch of immoral, heartless, soulless people they are….still willing to poison pet shelter animals so they can claim a tax break.

  5. judith zimbalist

    Susan..great work. What, if anything, has happened with the Wild Calling situation. Haven’t heard anything since the state was supposed to test the products for possible contaminants that sickened the cats. Thank you…

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      The Wild Calling pet food tested negative for pentobarbital – per the pet owner, State Department of Agriculture informed her. Her and her veterinarian are looking at what other possible issues in the pet food that could have caused her cats illness. No news from that thus far.

  6. DB Mogan

    Not to mention the fact Evangers wanted to donate said dog food to animal shelters. OMG!

  7. Eileen Crosby

    This FDA letter is a huge win for Susan and for our pets!!! Thank you Susan for working so hard to save our furry ones. I bet your visit to Washington, DC prompted this letter. Wish they had issued it for all of the brands on the market so consumers would finally be alerted to what they are really feeding their animals.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      I give FDA the credit on this one. But I do think FDA is starting to understand a little more what consumers face on a daily basis – they are listening to us.

      1. Peter

        It seems to me also that the FDA responded to the absurd deflection of responsibility in the attack on the agency that the Sher’s pursued when the situation first became public. That must rank at the top of all-time foolish public relations decisions in memory.

        Heaven only knows how many families have been affected by the Shers through this particular incident: that is, standing apart from the excesses that these people have wrought on consumers over the past several years. We have no idea how far it really spread, or how long it had continued undiscovered… it is only through the effort of a consumer–not the companies involved or regulatory officials charged with ensuring for consumer safety– that it emerged at all. It is so very sad to contemplate the suffering that we are not aware of.

        We must all engage to contemplate and hold these families in our thoughts.

        Nonetheless, the Shers remain steadfast in their defense of their products and manufacturing processes. The Shers have willingly inflicted misery on these families… and remain ready and committed to continuing to do that.

        What I really want to come of this debacle is for the public to get a better understanding of the metrics of modern/globalized pet food manufacture, and most particularly, about the realities of “co-packing” and the corresponding lack of regulatory oversight the industry operates under.

        1. Reader

          I’m not sure I understand your first sentence. Maybe you can make the statement a different way.

          However “Lili” is correct on this one. The FDA is feeling the heat. This is just one of countless continuing issues (and because of Evanger’s prior violations) that got away from the FDA, ending in a tragedy! They are well aware (now) of what happens in the failure to oversee and enforce regulations. That’s the reason why Susan has gained some traction this time. We’re no longer talking theory, but reality.

          As for the “public” …. if they haven’t held the Legislators accountable for reform after 2007, and are still buying products from overseas, and think Beneful is “happy” Pet Food, then Evanger’s is going to wash over their heads as well. And if you asked 5 consumers the meaning of co-packing, they’d hardly have a clue.

          I think our best strategy going forward, is to regulate (and hold accountable) the distinction between Pet Food and Feed. Let the uninformed continue to buy their “happy” products. And those of us who’ve spent years supporting Susan, benefit from the assurances that Pet “Food” will bring us.

          1. Peter

            No, I can’t agree that this situation is all that different. Neither can I agree that the FDA is unaware of or overly concerned with public pressure, since, to respond to that would affect the methodologies for their review processes: which are seemingly absurdly onerous and further defiantly slow. This, we must all accept, is part of the metrics for ensuring consumer safety (think about how drugs would/may enter the marketplace absent FDA “regulation”). Sadly, part of what the FDA must in fact do is resist pressure from drug manufacturers, legislators, and as well, the public itself.

            There is no “theory” that pet foods have destroyed families. That is and continues to be reality that is not new at all.

            My point (my first sentence) is that in their attempts to deflect responsibility, the Shers took the bizarre tack of laying blame on the FDA, casting themselves as heroic warriors (“…We have taken it upon ourselves to lead the campaign…”) who would defend the public to challenge a faulty US regulatory system that, directly through FDA, had allowed animals contaminated with illegal drug residue to enter the food chain: the Shers 21 February statement complained that Evangers/Nutripack LLC had “relied upon regulators” and that there “should have been a zero tolerance policy” regarding the euthanizing drug. They attempted to re-define the agency’s role and reputation in the public consciousness, in order to mute the damage from a so-called “voluntary” recall that wasn’t voluntary at all, but prompted pursuant to request by the FDA: subsequent to its own testing carried out in the agency’s Forensic Chemistry Center and Veterinary Laboratory Investigation and Response Network (Vet-LIRN) labs.

            In their attack, the Shers attempt to cement public confusion by tossing in mis-information about the responsibilities/function of the FDA,
            the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service, and the US Federal Trade Commission.

            It would be hard to come up with a more reckless public relations plan. In its rebuke, the FDA noted: “It is the responsibility of the animal protein ingredient suppliers to implement practices at their facilities to ensure that euthanized animals are either not accepted at the facility, or to determine how they died and ensure euthanized animals are segregated from animal protein going for animal food use. Further, it is the responsibility of the pet food manufacturer to ensure that the food they produce is safe for consumption and properly labeled. One way that a manufacturer can do this is by taking steps to verify the identity and safety of the ingredients they receive from their suppliers.”

            My hope that the issue of co-packing may better enter the public consciousness through media coverage of the various lawsuits.

        2. Reader

          Thank you very much for clarifying the meaning of your statement. I totally agree. And now can see these various groups passing on accepting individual responsibility and ethical behavior. Number one priority, among all of them, should be safety, period.

          I have no faith in the FDA anyway. No sooner is a drug like “Pradaxa” being promoted on TV, than the lawyer spokespeople following up with, “if you or your family have been harmed by this drug, you may seek compensation ….” etc., etc. is just crazy. They are virtually testing these drugs in an open marketplace.

          But back to Pet Food, regulation either exists or not. I hold the FDA responsible for overlooking Evanger’s history of unethical behavior, which led to the ultimate tragedy.

          Yes, we will have to continue to educate the Public.

          Thank you for taking the time to further the discussion. I respect your point of view, and agree.

  8. toni

    Any one can send a letter to anyone else. I’m waiting to hear what happened after the warning letter.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      Toni – a Warning Letter issued by FDA is not just a letter. It is regulatory procedure and is a serious thing. I think we all are waiting to see what happens after the Warning Letter.

  9. Nina

    Over the years Evangers has received many complaints about not only their food, but their business practices, seems to be an ongoing thing with them. Some complaints included wiring their electricity to someone else’s power, and employment practices, etc…

    How have they managed to stay in business for so long? They should be shut down permanently and fined big time for what they have done and will continue doing. Killing our fur babies…. dissectible company.

    1. Pacific Sun

      They’ve never killed a dog before (that we know of).

      Let’s not forget to give credit to “Nikki” who did everything correctly (through all of her anguish … how many would even have that presence of mind?). Because without her effort (through Susan’s guidance) she saved a lot of lives! And forced Evanger’s into a publicity nightmare.

  10. soozyb2013

    Maybe now they will question other companies practices and get involved in mandatory checks, surprise visits usually work the best. I know “staffing” is always an issue and also the cost involved in checking all these companies, but something has to be done and quickly. When I go to the store now and look at those lovely labels, and read all the wonderful things that are inside this can, I quickly go to the fact that not all things are listed. Is very sad that our beloved pets are paying the price for the companies greed and they are getting away with it, always blaming something else knowing full well they are using diseased and euthanized animals as well. Shame shame shame. Makes me so angry.
    Anyway good on the FDA for finally taking action against at least one! Now lets hope others will follow suit.

  11. Rob Capel

    Susan
    BRAVO!!!!
    Years of blood, sweat and toil have finally begun to pay off. Thank god for you and your obsessive mission about the health of our furry family members. KEEP IT UP!! You can now do things the ordinary person can’t – but, we’re all behind you.
    I wish, in one respect, that I lived in the US. but, maybe someday, someone in Canada will wake up.
    Thanks Again
    Rob

  12. Teresa

    God bless you Susan! Finally we are seeing the FRA cracking down on this horrible company to make them a accountable! All because of your years of relentless efforts! Am sure that your recent visit to see them and the Senators is adding weight to that as well.
    Hope and pray Evangers are.forced to close immesiately. Hope they will NEVER do business again. Am horrified that they wanted to “donate” the adulterated food to the shelter. Just because a poor animal is in a shelter.doesnt mean they’re any less worthy. It just is so horrible to know they have no morals whatsoever. How awful and shame on them!

  13. Lili

    Keep up the good work Susan. I would bet the FDA is feeling the heat and starting to respond.

  14. Elizabeth

    Evanger’s should have to disclose who else they copack for. Consumers deserve to know what other brands are being made by them.

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