What’s the difference between a pharmaceutical company knowingly manufacturing adulterated drugs and a pet food ingredient company knowingly selling adulterated pet food ingredients? $149,975,000.00 in criminal fines and $576,000,000.00 in civil penalties.
Another slap in the face to Pet Owners.
British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline “will pay $750 million to settle allegations that it knowingly manufactured and sold adulterated drugs”. “$150 million in criminal fines and $600 million in civil penalties”.
In harsh contrast, U.S. Magistrate Judge John T. Maughmer sentenced Sally Qing Miller and husband Stephen Miller, both owners of ChemNutra, Inc., to pay a $25,000 fine and three years probation. Menu Foods “agreed to create a twenty-four million dollar cash Settlement Fund” for Pet Owners.
ChemNutra, Inc. was responsible for importing melamine tainted vegetable protein ingredients that when included into pet food was ultimately responsible for the illnesses and deaths of thousands of dogs and cats (the 2007 pet food recall). The company was fined a mere $25,000 even after pleading guilty to knowingly importing adulterated poisonous vegetable proteins. GlaxoSmithKline will pay $150 million in criminal fines to settle allegations it knowingly manufactured and sold adulterated drugs. ChemNutra admitted in court to importing adulterated pet food ingredients – $25,000 fine. GlaxoSmithKline will pay $150 million to settle allegations – no public admission of guilt. $25 thousand with a public admission of guilt, resulting in the illness and death of thousands of pets. $150 million with no public admission of guilt and no result of illness or death. Guilty pet corporation and Pet death – $25 thousand criminal fine; alleged guilty human corporation and no human death – $150 million criminal fine.
Menu Foods, the pet food manufacturer for hundreds of different recalled (2007) pet foods, was responsible for the illnesses and deaths of thousands of beloved cats and dogs; they agreed to a $24 million settlement for the deaths and illnesses of thousands of pets who consumed melamine tainted pet foods. $24 million for the deaths and illnesses of thousands of dogs and cats (which by the way is still being held by the court system) versus $600 million in civil penalties to a human drug company which did NOT result in any human illness or death. Guilty pet corporation and Pet death – $24 million civil settlement; alleged guilty human corporation and no human death – $600 million civil penalty.
The scales of justice are VERY much out of balance.
In another slap in the face to Pet Owners, “Allergan Inc., the maker of wrinkle-smoothing Botox, has agreed to pay $600 million to settle a yearlong federal investigation into its marketing of the top-selling, botulin-based drug.” The company is said it will plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of “misbranding”. On the flip side, pet food is privileged with regulations that allow “an unqualified claim, directly or indirectly” on pet food labels. A direct unqualified claim (in other words a lie) is the epitome of misbranding.
Again…let’s see…one corporation is fined $600 million because of product misbranding, yet another entire industry is given permission to misbrand.
Where are the scales of justice? No where to be found in the pet food industry!
The pet product industry makes billions each year on the humanizing of pets. They spend millions on television commercials and marketing campaigns pitching foods and treats with human sounding names and phrases. Visions of personal chefs painstakingly preparing prime cuts of grilled steak and seafood are ‘sold’ to Pet Owners on a daily basis. Yet most of these highly advertised pet foods don’t even have a hint of prime steak or seafood in them. ‘They’ can sell to us using the human bond for their benefit and billions in profits, yet ‘they’ are not held to the same legal standards as human product corporations. And this is ok?
This is sickening. Angry doesn’t even come close. Our pets are the profit source of billions, yet our pets are of no value in the legal system. Is your pet of the same value to you as the couch or the kitchen table?
Write your local, state and federal law makers. Do it now. Tell them your pet is of the same value as any other member of your family and you won’t stop writing them until the laws respect that value. Tell them you are sick of billions of profits being made by corporations taking advantage of the human/pet bond yet these same corporations are not held to the same human legal responsibilities.
By the way, the whistle-blower in the GlaxoSmithKline FDA investigation will receive $96 million dollars. Pet owners, for their years of tireless whistle-blowing efforts to FDA, State Dept of Agriculture, and pet food industry gets ignored.
Sources: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-glaxo-20101026,0,1870424.story, http://www.latimes.com/health/boostershots/sns-health-allergan-settlement,0,2224243.story, http://www.veterinarypracticenews.com/vet-breaking-news/2009/06/17/chemnutra-pleads-guilty-to-two-of-27-charges-in-melamine-case.aspx, http://www.petfoodsettlement.com/, http://www.justice.gov/usao/mow/news2010/miller.sen.htm
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
What’s in Your Pet’s Food?
Is your dog or cat eating risk ingredients? Chinese imports? Petsumer Report tells the ‘rest of the story’ on over 2500 cat foods, dog foods, and pet treats. 30 Day Satisfaction Guarantee. www.PetsumerReport.com
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