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Mars Petcare statement on recalled Optima® dog food

Posted Jan 22 2009 6:35pm

I just got off the phone with a Doane representative, who gave me the official Mars Petcare statement regarding the Optima® pet food that’s killing dogs in China.

“Mars is aware of the recent reports that dogs in the People’s Republic of China have died as a result of consuming what appeared to be Optima® brand pet food. However, Mars does not sell Optima® branded products in China. We are investigating this situation and our initial findings suggest that the affected pet food was not manufactured by, nor under the authority of, Mars or any of it’s affiliated companies.

Mars only sells Optima® brand products in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Japan but stopped distributing product to the latter two markets nine months ago. Mars does not sell Optima® brand product in any other market around the world.

Consumers can continue to feel confident in the quality of the entire Mars Petcare family of products. As part of our commitment to our loyal consumers and their pets we strive to be at the forefront of product quality and innovation and will continue our investigation into this matter including working closely with FDA and other regulatory authorities who are investigating this situation.”

This certainly does raise some questions. If it wasn’t manufactured by Mars, or any of it’s affiliated companies, one would presume it’s counterfeit. Where did it come from though? CNN Asia is reporting

Natural Pet Corporation, which is the distributor for Optima dog food from Australia, has ordered a recall, according to Zhang Haobin, the company’s general manager in Shanghai.

Is this counterfeit dog food, or is it indeed Optima® that made its way to the People’s Republic of China in a roundabout (and less than legal) way? Regardless of where it came from, it makes me wonder how many other counterfeit foods are out there. We’ve seen it with toothpaste, medications, and our foods…so why not pet food?

Technorati Tags: Optima® recall pet food, Mars Petcare, aflatoxin

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