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Iams Update: Cruelty Charges, Lawsuit, What to Do

Written by PETA | March 21, 2007

We’re getting tons of calls from people who are concerned about the Iams recall, and PETA’s been a flurry of Iams-related activity this morning, so I figured I’d fill you in on all the new information. Just on the offchance that you haven’t heard this story yet, here’s a quick recap: After an unknown number of cats and dogs died of kidney failure from eating tainted pet food, Menu Foods, a contract manufacturer for Proctor & Gamble’s Iams and Eukanuba brands, has recalled 60 million cans of pet food from stores nationwide. If you’re worried about your own animals, click here for the full information about the recall on Menu Foods’ site, or you can call them at 1-866-463-6738 and 1-866-895-2708. Not to cause too much alarm and despondency here, but if you do suspect that your animal has become seriously ill, the best thing to do (as always in such cases) is gently carry them to the car and rush to the nearest veterinarian.

There have been some murmurings about class action suits being filed against the company, and CBS has reported on someone in Chicago who is suing. We’ve also written a letter to Proctor & Gamble about this issue, which you can read here, and we’re calling on prosecutors to investigate whether cruelty charges should be filed against Menu Canada, Menu Foods, and Iams for alleged failure to warn consumers about the tainted food as soon as they had the information and—just as disturbingly—apparently feeding the tainted food to cats and dogs in order to test it.

As our letter to Iams points out, this isn’t the first time Proctor & Gamble have been responsible for dog deaths: Our investigation into the company a few years ago caught them cutting out huge chunks of muscle from their test subjects’ legs and leaving them to suffer for days. I’ve posted footage of that investigation below, and you can find a list of pet-food companies that don’t test on animals here.

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This incident should serve as a wake-up call to Iams that it’s time to abandon all laboratory testing on animals. Click here to let Iams know that you won’t buy while animals die, and click here to contact Menu Foods to demand answers and an end to all their laboratory tests on animals.

Commenting is closed.
  • Alan says:

    The initial report is saying the rat poison was on wheat imported from China. They said animals got sick when they changed to a new supplier. Wonder why they decided to switch to a Chinese supplier. I would guess it was cheaper and they could make another penny a can profit. I guess that plan blew up in their faces.

  • Maya says:

    I posted this in a different area but I feed Wellness to my pets and they told me through email that they have a human food testing company check the safety of their pet food. Can they catch a problem like this? Wellness uses Menu foods. Unfortunately my cat is allergic to fish PLUS as a vet tech I learned that fish may contribute to feline hyperthyroidism plus fish contains thiaminase so I cannot find any company on the humane list that has EVEN ONE wet food that is free of fish. Its so frustrating. I have seen my cats thrive on Wellness for years. I would like more opinoins on this. Is a company that uses Menu foods at all now automatically out? Wellness food has no wheat gluten or corn btw. Thanks guys

  • Jerry says:

    This is INEXCUSABLE.I think we ALL ought to get together somehow and sue class action PG Hillspet Nestle’ and Menufoods over this. I don’t care whos fault it is I think they BOTH should be liable. Fact is they are not regulated and they are going to be hard up to “prove” where the source came from.

  • kelly says:

    Update!! Look like it is RAT POISON that was in the food Noticed that the State Attorney General for NY said he was not aware of any criminal investigation. Well we the people need to demand this from our state attorneys general.

  • Michele says:

    I just read this in my local newspaper but it came from the Associated Press “Rodent poison found in recalled pet food blamed for animal deaths Mark Johnson AP Published Friday March 23 2007 ALBANY N.Y. Rat poison has been found in pet food blamed for the deaths of at least 16 cats and dogs a spokeswoman for the State Department of Agriculture and Markets said Friday. Spokeswoman Jessica Chittenden would not identify the chemical or its source beyond saying it was a rodent poison. The Food and Drug Administration has said the investigation was focusing on wheat gluten in the food. Wheat gluten itself would not cause kidney failure but the common ingredient could have been contaminated by heavy metals or mold toxins the FDA said. State agriculture officials scheduled a news conference Friday afternoon to release laboratory findings from tests on the pet food conducted this week. The deaths led to a recall of 60 million cans and pouches of pet food produced by Menu Foods and sold throughout North America under 95 brand names. There have been several reports of kidney failure in pets that ate the recalled brands and the company has confirmed the deaths of 15 cats and one dog. Menu Foods last week recalled cuts and gravy style dog and cat food. The recall sparked concern among pet owners across North America. It includes food sold under store brands carried by WalMart Kroger Safeway and other large retailers as well as private labels such as Iams Nutro and Eukanuba. Menu Foods is majority owned by Menu Foods Income Fund of Streetsville. The company also makes foods for zoo cats but those products are unaffected by the recall. The companys chief executive and president said Menu Foods delayed announcing the recall until it could confirm that the animals had eaten its product before dying. Two earlier complaints from consumers whose cats had died involved animals that lived outside or had access to a garage which left open the possibility they had been poisoned by something other than contaminated food he said. A spokesman for New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said he was not aware of any criminal investigation involving the tainted food.” This is absolutely despicable!!

  • cara says:

    this is a sign from God to me! these are the brands we have been fighting against forever now and look at what happens. Almost all of these brands tests on animals and now people will look more into it and think more carefully when buying because their dog’s and cat’s lives are the ones who could be in danger now. I look at this as a gift it’s just terrible that companion’s lives had to be taken to make people wake up and see the truth!

  • Aura says:

    I am completely shocked to hear that Iams and Eukanuba test their products on animals and in such inhumane and terrifying ways. I will not be purchasing anything for my cat and dog that is manufactured andor sponsored by that company. I will also share that with all of my pet owner friends. I hope all of you will too. Let’s take a stand for our pets!!!

  • Julie says:

    I feed my dog Iams pouch food. Thank GOD that I could’t find it on the shelf recently and bought Pedigree instead different mfg. I’m going start feeding my dogs 90 ground beef to entice them to eat their dry food from now on. I may even go to making my own food all together. The FDA needs to start regulating pet food like they do human food. When a problem occurs Death or serious injury it should be pulled IMMEDIATELY and the recall should be reported promptly. These animals are like family to some of us lets treat them that way!

  • Marilu Gomez says:

    yo pienso q devemos protejer a todos los animales no importa de donde vengan ni q tal peligrosos sean todos los animales tienen tambien sentimientos al igual lew duele cundo los maltratan. Ala persono q maltrate un animal yo pienso q deveria ir a la carsel pues es un ser vivo y tambien no deven ser usados para experimentarlos se muy vien q por medio de ellos emos savido muchas cosas pero no me gusta ver sufrir a los animales pue no lo meresen.Y si lo hacen q lo agan cuando ellos ya agan muerto no en vida that make me sad

  • Jerry says:

    I just got through reading I’m totally repulsed at what they put in commercial dog food. Now I know why the last 2 dogs that I’ve owned have died prematurely from rare illnesess cancer of liver and the other one Kushing’s disease. I raised them on Science Diet which I find is no different than the other garbage even though it is at a premium price. From now on I’m going holistic or cooking my own food for them. I hope they get sued over this.

  • Samantha says:

    Everyone needs to take the Iams Cruelty stickers available from PETA and put them everywhere they can. If you can’t order them you can make your own really cheap. I try to leave them behind everywhere I go and put one on every piece of mail that I send hoping that every person who handles that letter from AB will see the sticker and visit the Iams cruelty website. The only thing that will stop Iams is a $$$$ impact from consumers not buying their product obviously they have proven time and again that they don’t give a rip about animals so don’t expect them to do it out of love and compassion. I ask every pet owner that I know not to buy Iams and explain why. Thanks to all my fellow PETA buddies out there everyday working to make the lives of animals better.

  • Andrew Wilson says:

    Just rememberTo the people that do animal testingif you were being tested on you would like it.The animal testers better hope there is no reincarnation!So I say stop testing on animals and using them like objects.They have feelings just like we do.

  • JoAnne Smith says:

    We need flyers to distribute in all the grocery stores to stop people from buying IAMS while IAMS is torturing animals to test their foods. People need to see these photos and see first had exactally what IAMS is doing behind closed doors. This is horriffic. These people need to be STOPPED. NOW11 THIS IS OBSCENE BRUTAL INHUMANE AND SOMEONE NEEDS TO BE PUNISHED FOR THIS SIN AGAINST HELPLESS ANIMALS.

  • Claudia says:

    This is so horrible. How can they be so cruel? Please make them stop now.

  • Peter Wu - San Francisco, CA, USA says:

    To IAMS Corporation and all its Associates. It is a disgrace to know that this company makes its profits by portraying itself to be of good nature while in reality all it does is inflict PAIN and SUFFERING to innocent and defenseless breathing and living creatures especially Dogs and Cats. Hopefully those that are involved in such atrocities pays with their SOULS in HELL for Eternity. Even if I have to sell my own SOUL to SATAN for this to come true then so be it. It is totally wrong and injustice to these those innoncent living and breathing creaturs to have to suffer at the hands of such a corporation.

  • Kasia Malicka says:

    I can’t accept any cruel method of treating animals.I’m from Poland i regret that Peta doeesn’t work here and I can’t be activist of that orgasnisation.Anyway I’m sending all the time links with petitions to all I know to let people know.It’s horrible to see such a cruel wideo.I regret that I am a human

  • Melanie Andersen says:

    To whom it may concern I am absolutely appolled that this has happened! I am extremly heartbroken because many innocent beautiful animals suffered horrible deaths because of this negligent! Our beloved cat Millie die after eating the tainted cat food It was so sad to see her die! We had her test and determined it was her kidneys that were failing due to unknown reasons we even had the vet give her liquid nutrients and then she died a few days later by dissapearing into a corner so that we no longer had to see her suffer. I have love animals all of my life so much so that I have been a vegetarian for 20 years of my 35 years and a vegan for 1 year. I am outraged and so saddened by this and I will try to do whatever I can to prevent this from happening again. I hope others will help me in this fight for the animals and help me help others realize we all need compassion and need to do much more to protect these innocent creatures that depend on us so greatly to love and protect them! Please help me fight for the right of the animals by having strict FDA regulations regaring animal foods!!!!! Thank you Melanie Andersen

  • Susan Rummel says:

    I sent IAMS an email and here is a copy of it The question you asked me “What brand of food are you feeding your pet?” is a great question. Notice that my answer is “other.” It used to be yours but never again! I read about IAMS on the website and SHAME ON YOU!! I have many pets and they will not be eating IAMS or any other pet food that you produce. Stop animal testing and you MIGHT regain me as a customer. As for “How may we contact you?” My answer please don’t. If you had a defense you would have gone after PETA for slamming you. Your silence speaks volumes!

  • Kelly says:

    I was appalled when I heard that dogs and cats were used to test this contaminated pet food and died as a result. We already knew that the food was the culprit because so many people’s pets had died after eating it. Using animals as laboratory tools is cruel and heartless! I will never support this practice whether it’s for product testing medical research or education. It’s the 21st century and there are other ways of doing this without using animals.

  • Julie Clarke says:

    The fact that the tainted food was still being fed to animals by Iams is disgusting and nobody should EVER buy from them again! If you do you are supporting animal cruelty pure and simple.

  • Joanna says:

    I can’t believe there are ppl that can do stuff like this to animals. When I was reading it i felt SICK!! I don’t know what kinda food or products that I eat and use on daily basis doesn’t involve these poor lilttle animals suffer… I don’t know how those people can sleep at night without thinking the dogcat that they have tortured at the lab… lets do whatever we can to help them… they need us!!

  • jill says:

    i can’t believe the story that i just read it’s not right.

  • Anonymous says:

    Someone should do some research on the laboratory that tests the food for Menu Foods Midwest Laboratories in Omaha NE. There was a news report on tv about the laboratory and they said they could not confirm that Menu Foods was a client and said they do not solicit for business of this recall. They don’t have to. They’ve been testing this food before it even went on the shelves for years. I should know I’m an employee of the laboratory.

  • peabody's mom says:

    Does anyone have any suggestions for a homecooked diet in the mean time?

  • Marsha says:

    This is a dreadful and tragic situation and my heart and sympathies go out to anyone affected. Although the media reports only a handful of cases looking thru various online discussion groups shows case after case of pet death from kidney failure after eating one of the listed foods. Personally I can’t trust any commercial product until things settle down and more is known. For the time being I am feeding my 2 feline companions a ground mix of free range chicken a little cooked white rice in a ratio of 31 and a dash of finely ground raw vegetables which I gather is the best mix and I supplement with a vitaminmineral veterinary liquid. As a veterinary student I wanted to note however that those advocating a vegan diet for dogs and cats are sadly misguided. These animals are carnivores by millions of years of nature and evolution. A few thousand years of domestication has not changed their nutritional needs and digestive systems. Their systems are not adaptable to derive all their protein from plant sources. Although animal protein may be offensive for you to consume human nutrition is far more adaptable than that of dogs and cats. Soy protien is difficut for them to digest and will not meet their nutritional needs causes painful gas and changes in elimination if fed in quantity. As admirable as your personal human vegan reasons may be please do not impose an ethical burden on an animal that as a carnivore receives its best nutrition from meat sources. At least consider inclusion of freerange organic egg yolk goats milk not cow and cheese products your dog or cat companion will thank you with a longer lifespan and greater quality of life.

  • amber chasteen says:

    We have been hit by the tragic loss of our Boston Terrior Tuesday night due to kidney and liver failure from toxic poison she ate some of the recalled food and they tell me that our pets are considered property and not a member of my family

  • Patricia A. says:

    This is really the last straw. I have never been a fan of iams and avoided feeding it to my pets at all costs but one of my best friends wasnt so lucky and her 1and 12 year old cat just died from kidney failure leaving her devestated. Iams needs to not only recall their food but send a personal appologie to everyone who has been affected by their terrible judgement.

  • Bonnie Baker says:

    On Tuesday night I put my much loved 14 year old cat Buddy down…Acute renal failure. His favorite treat…Iams select in the foil pouch. Four weeks ago I had a healthy active cat. I didn’t recognize the signs at the time but in retrospect he was going into renal failure. Because he shares his water bowl with two others and I have dry heat I thought the water was evaporating faster than normal. I change the water of course every day. I brushed his teeth and drew blood only later to find out his mouth had alcerated due to renal failure. He ate his last pack of Iams three weeks ago as a treat. I normaly fed him dry food only. If only I had stayed with that. Now Buddy is gone and I am mad as Hell. It cost me over $400.00 only to have him put down the same day I brought him in. Iams and the rest of pet food suppliers need to make good for all of us who spent thousands of dollars on vet bills and all for nothing. It was too late for my beloved cat and as I have read so many others. They owe us!

  • David DeMello says:

    We had switched from Eukanuba to Nutro’s Ultra a few years back when I learned from PETA what a despicable company IamsP G is. Now we learn the hard way that we’re paying a premium to Nutro for the same poison that Walmart sells! In addition to suits by people who have lost pets or incurred veterinary bills it’s time someone brings suit against Nutro for the deceptive trade practice of promoting Ultra as a premium product and then subcontracting its production to a filthy charnel house like Menu Foods Income Food. Hello plaintiffs’ bar I’d be happy to be a plaintiff in any such law suit!

  • Allyson Sylvia says:

    I’ll never buy IAMS I have heard too many bad things about this company. I want my cat Moonlight to live!!!

  • Joanne says:

    This absolutely sickens me to see the suffering of these poor helpless animals. Why can’t something be done to close these labs? It just seems like nothing is done to help these dogs cats rabbits etc. People like me feel helpless and want to help them. I am so angry and upset to see the torture these dogs and cats are going through every day. Thank you PETA for all you do for the animals in the crazy world but more have to be done to save them.

  • jennifer says:

    hey i am all down for animal rights. what they are doin is not right we need to stop it. no one should buy any animal tested produces. i may only be young bbut anyone in the right mind should agree that it’s not right to do what these people are doing. its cruel.

  • Gwen says:

    Just a headsup.. the company didn’t intentionally feed their animals the tainted foodstuffs to see if they were toxic. The test in question had absolutely nothing to do with the recall rather it was a completely unrelated taste test. Menu was feeding the animals a new product to see if they found it palatable. When deaths began to occur Menu realized something was amiss. While I’m not particularly pleased with the company’s handling of this recall thus far I still think it’s important to note that none of the test subjects were knowingly fed bad food.

  • Arlene says:

    How can I knowingly feed this food to my dogs being other dogs are being abused or dying because of it. I can’t. Used Iams for many years and that will come to a squeeching hault. This research is totally inhumane and morally wrong.

  • Brian D Jeffers says:

    I have a cat that ate this crappy special kitty and the upc codes and dates matched i took her to the vet cause she was weak and not eating and consuming large amounts of water. vet said she had some kidney failure she gave her an iv and steroids and antibiotics and i took her home she is doing alot better but the vet said not to get our hopes up. what can i do to protest this company menu foods or can we all file a petition email me if yall have any ideas

  • *Monique* says:

    Go vegetarian. I’m not trying to scare anyone at all but if food companies aren’t monitoring what goes into pet foods chances are there isn’t too much monitoring going on in regards to our food.

  • kristin says:

    Sue em’ shut them down! All of em’! a baby ate this food and died accidentally they use diseased dead dog meat for some of their brands! I am outraged I can’t believe these evil money makers! They withheld many animals deaths through the years my dog had all the symptoms last year in the Summer we had to put him to sleep! He died on my bday vomiting and lethargic symptoms we didn’t know it was the food till now! ‘m heartbroken i have 3 cats !

  • kristin says:

    Sue em’ shut their asses down! All of em’! baby ate this food and died accidentally they use diseased dead dog meat for some of their brands! I am outraged I can’t believe these evil money makers! They withheld many animals deaths through the years my dog had all the symptoms last year in the Summer we had to put him to sleep! He died on my bday vomiting and lethargic symptoms we didn’t know it was the food till now! ‘m heartbroken i have 3 cats !

  • Diana Barrowcliff says:

    when in the world are people going to wise up and understand that animals are not to be f’d around with. They are are buddies our companions our friends. The world better wise up because we are not going to take it anymore.

  • Aran Mathai says:

    I think this also affect some branded pet foods i.e. ones that are made by PG and sold under other companies names

  • TinaBlythe says:

    People should know about the cruelty that is going on with the pet food. The law should step in and stop these experiments. As they are unnecessary and not reguired and it’s just plan animal abuse pure and simple. And they should QUITE.

  • Mary says:

    As long as pointless and vile tests are conducted on helpless animals we can NEVER claim to live in a civilized society. Thank God for PETA and for the wonderful work you all do. These s must be sued and prosecuted.

  • Rachel says:

    Thank you for addressing this issue. Not only did their products kill family pets they then proceeded to kill more by testing…aren’t there some other tests that could have been done?? I hope this is a wakeup call to all of those people that love their animals but feed them crap food.

  • Craig Petersen says:

    Gayle Loee said ‘It’s time for Peta to step up a notch all pet owners are in need of the law being changed to reflect that pets are more than property they are our family members. Peta help us change the law.’ If you really feel this way start by not referring to people as ‘pet owners’. We do not own our pets anymore than you would say ‘own’ your children. People need to look at themselves as ‘guardians’. Recognizing guardianship is one of the first steps in achieving this. The pet food industry needs to be held liable just like anyone else. I would very much like to see the pet food industry take the lead and make every effort to develop a safe and nutritious food that isn’t made from the remains of ground up animals. Fortunately there is some vegan food available for your pets. You can find several places on line here. httpwww.allcreatures.orgarticlespetfoodcomm.html

  • Joanna & Rose Colon says:

    Damn it! This is so cruel!! What the hell is this people thinking? We must do something now they don’t have voice they can’t do anything so lets do it for these animals lets help them. God created us to live in peace with eache creature and we’re failing. This is so shameful

  • tracy says:

    More should be done to make people aware of the cruelty that is going on in the name of ‘pet food’ the law should step in and stop these experiments as they are unnecessary and not required and it’s just plain animal abuse pure and simple. It must be stopped!


    This is the year 2007 when is this going to stop? There is no need for animal testing. I am also shocked at how the reseachers are so callous in the way they treat these animals….they are truely insensitive humans. I hope they don’t own an amimal.

  • Kim says:

    The more I read on the PETA website and with this recall. It makes me search for recipes to make my own vegetarian food for my beloved dogs. I am so appauled by them forcing to eat food they know may kill them. Just heartbreaking…

  • gayle loee says:

    It’s time for Peta to step up a notch all pet owners are in need of the law being changed to reflect that pets are more than property they are our family members. Peta help us change the law.

  • allison farr says:

    Animal testing is unnecessary and very cruel. It is torture and I will not buy anything tested on animals.