The FDA has informed J.M. Smucker that the firm’s previous action to withdraw products from the marketplace is now reclassified as a recall. But…the recall notice is NOT published on the FDA website.
After Washington D.C. television station WJLA’s investigation into pet food discovered the euthanizing drug pentobarbital in multiple cans of Gravy Train dog food, parent company J.M. Smucker issued a withdrawal of multiple brands of dog food; withdrawal dated 2/16/18. A pet food “withdrawal” is different from a recall.
A ‘Market Withdrawal’ is defined by FDA as: “Market withdrawal means a firm’s removal or correction of a distributed product which involves a minor violation that would not be subject to legal action by the FDA.”
A ‘Recall’ is defined by FDA as: “Recall means a firm’s removal or correction of a marketed product that the FDA considers to be in violation of the laws it administers and against which the agency would initiate legal action, e.g., seizure.”
(Note: the above definitions were obtained from the FDA website – under the category of “Devices”. No definitions were found within the Animal & Veterinary category. The definitions would apply to pet food as well as ‘Devices’.)
On the same date as the J.M. Smucker pet food withdrawal (2/16/18), FDA posted an “Alert” on the agency website informing consumers of the pet food withdrawal. This FDA alert notified consumers to the multiple products being ‘withdrawn’ from market by the pet food manufacturer.
On March 2, 2018 FDA added this update to the original alert…
Update: March 2, 2018
The FDA has informed J.M. Smucker that the firm’s action to remove products from the marketplace is now considered a recall. The FDA based this decision on a test by the firm confirming the presence of pentobarbital in the tallow ingredient used in the affected products.
The FDA is continuing its investigation and has collected finished product samples for testing that is currently pending. While the firm and FDA testing was pending, the FDA agreed to allow the firm to withdraw products from the marketplace because it was the quickest way to remove potentially adulterated product. However, now that the firm has verified that the products contain pentobarbital, an illegal substance in pet food at any amount, the firm has agreed to continue to remove product under the voluntarily recall process. The FDA will share more information as it becomes available.
Only the above brief “Update” was provided to the public, currently there is no recall notice published on the FDA website for the J.M. Smucker pet foods.
The full list of pet foods recalled are available here: https://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/NewsEvents/ucm597135.htm.
FoodSafetyNews.com reports that “the recall covers more than 107 million cans of dog food in several flavors sold under the Gravy Train, Kibbles ’N Bits, Skippy and Ol’ Roy brands.”
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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