Human illness has been confirmed linked to the illegal pet food ingredients allowed by FDA into pet food – but the FDA or the CDC isn’t warning anyone.
Multiple cases of human illness have been confirmed – directly linked to bacterial contamination of pet food ingredients, but it’s not a bacteria you’ve heard much about. It’s much more dangerous.
This deadly bacteria is Francisella tularensis, better known as Tularemia. To current day (9/6/2019) multiple individuals have been diagnosed (confirmed through blood testing) with tularemia that either worked for, delivered to, or is a family member (of someone who worked for or delivered to) the closed Mars Petcare pet food plant located in Joplin, MO (closed in July 2013).
It is significant to note – the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Kansas Health Department confirmed to multiple individuals they were exposed to the deadly bacteria at the pet food plant. The CDC also provided information to several individuals the bacteria source has been traced back to the pet food ingredient supplier.
The most recent diagnosis was in August 2019.
Why hasn’t FDA or CDC issued a public warning?
Tularemia is a bacteria, similar to other bacteria that FDA and CDC commonly issues warnings about (such as Salmonella). But tularemia is VERY different from Salmonella in that it is a bacteria classified by U.S. Homeland Security as a “Potential Bioterror Threat Category A” – the highest risk category, the same risk category as Ebola and Anthrax. Tularemia bacteria spreads easily in dust. As few as 5 to 10 bacteria inhaled in dust can infect a person (as compared to more than 1,000 Salmonella bacteria consumed to cause illness).
Tularemia can be spread by sick animals, ticks, mosquito’s – and as it has turned out, pet food ingredients contaminated with tularemia through the diseased animals FDA openly allows to be processed into pet food (“diseased animals and animals that have died otherwise than by slaughter“). Rendered, powdered/dusty pet food ingredients sourced from diseased animals…the perfect storm for tularemia bacteria.
It is unknown why the FDA refuses to acknowledge the facts of human tularemia illnesses confirmed to be linked to the illegal pet food ingredients the agency allows. It is assumed the agency doesn’t want to accept responsibility for confirmed human illnesses. But what is even more concerning, is why the CDC has not notified the 100+ former employees of this Mars Petcare pet food plant AND the employees of the ingredient supplier.
Tularemia – diagnosed and treated promptly – is not a serious health concern. But the same cannot be said for the bacteria that is undiagnosed/untreated for any length of time. Left untreated, infected individuals can suffer a long list of health problems including heart attack and stroke. Thus the serious concern for anyone unknowingly exposed to this bacteria.
Who has been warned they were exposed to tularemia bacteria?
Unfortunately, only a small handful of people have been alerted. And those were contacted by a group of individuals (myself included) across the U.S. that have been working behind the scenes to uncover this deadly bacteria cover-up. Our work to alert people has NOT been a simple or safe task.
Listening devices have been found in homes, 2 dogs have been poisoned, 2 cats have been killed, someone’s windshield was shot out while driving – the bullet grazed the hood, front doors of homes have been shot through, tires slashed, security cameras stolen, some are followed/tailed everywhere they go. One year ago my adult daughter’s life was threatened – ‘they’ called her by name. Do you know my daughter’s name? You probably don’t…but someone that doesn’t want us talking about tularemia does. A few weeks ago, a similar threat was received in graphic detail (so graphic the person who received the phone call wouldn’t share exactly what was said) – this time it was for me and another. Six days ago, another was sharing with me special moments about their cat – how special this once feral cat was to them. Two days later (9/2/2019) the cat was gruesomely decapitated in their backyard. We have repeatedly gone to the proper officials for help, with repeated lack of action.
And we have repeatedly shared everything we learn, positive tularemia diagnosis results with the proper pet food authorities. Missouri Department of Agriculture (state authority the pet food plant was located in), and FDA. We even have provided full details to the Senate Committee for Homeland Security and Government Accountability. But not one government authority has lifted a finger to warn the former employees of the pet food plant, their families, or residents in the area.
Multiple former employees of the Mars Petcare pet food plant in Joplin, MO have been diagnosed with tularemia – confirmed to them by the CDC and/or the Kansas Health Department their exposure was from rendered pet food ingredients (meat and bone meal).
There are more than 100 other former employees that have not been notified they were exposed to tularemia at the plant. An unknown number of delivery drivers, family members, local residents have not been notified of their potential exposure. If they are sick with tularemia, left untreated they will die because of the bacteria.
Tularemia can survive for decades in soil and water. It is unknown if the soil around the former pet food plant or water in the area is contaminated. Because all authorities have remained silent – done NOTHING – many more people (and their pets) could be exposed right now.
The FDA’s allowed use of “diseased animals and animals that have died otherwise than by slaughter” in pet food IS the foundation of the confirmed human illnesses and potentially many human illnesses.
What you can do to help.
Below is a map of the area, the red marker in the center is the location of the former Mars Petcare pet food plant.
If you know any former employee of this pet food plant, please notify them they were exposed to the bacteria tularemia. If you know anyone that lives in this area, please notify them to the potential of being exposed to tularemia. If they have any of the following symptoms (or any long lasting, unexplained illness), it should be reported to the local Health Department and they should seek immediate medical attention from an infectious disease specialist.
Symptoms include: unexplained and repeating fever, small lumps/bumps/lesions on arms, legs or back, or large lumps around or on lymph nodes, ongoing flu-like symptoms, unexplained high white blood cell count. Left untreated for several years tularemia can lead to heart attack and stroke.
Any help pet owners can provide to notify individuals of the pet food plant and/or living in this area is greatly appreciated. You could just save someone’s life.
We cannot say more people are sick, we can only assume there are more based on confirmed exposure to the pet food ingredient dust at and around the former Mars Petcare plant. We do not know exactly how dangerous this situation is for people in the Joplin, MO area. We assume, based on the ongoing and increased threats and attacks – it is extremely serious. We also do not know with certainty if a similar risk exists to people working for/living around other pet food plants or the rendering facilities that produce ingredients sourced from diseased animals (allowed by FDA). Again, based on the ongoing and increased threats and attacks, we assume the risk exists.
We will continue to investigate and will share everything we learn with pet owners and with authorities.
By the way, pets can get tularemia too and it will likely go undiagnosed. Before this current situation, it was believed cats and dogs only contracted tularemia through exposure of a sick or dead infected animal. It is currently unknown (not previously studied) if a pet can contract tularemia from an infected pet food, we safely assume the risk exists. Click Here for a 2017 post from Dr. Jean Dodds on the risk of tularemia in our pets (written prior to knowledge of this pet food ingredient exposure).
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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