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Cat Illness - Remembering the Pet Food Scare of 2007

Updated on April 23, 2014

Cat illness was rampant several years ago, mainly because we as owners were unknowingly poisoning our animals without knowing it.

Remember the months in 2007 when our beloved cats were getting seriously ill… and many were dying… owing to the melamine scandal? I recall worrying about what brand of cat food to buy – carefully scanning labels – and constantly wondering if it was safe, or potentially deadly, for my feline friends.

An estimated 1,950 cats and 2,200 dogs died from eating tainted pet food owing to melamine tainted wheat gluten imported from China between November 2006 and February 2007.

On Tuesday, June 16, 2009, the Millers (owners) and their company, Chemnutra Inc., plead guilty for their role in the 2007 pet food recall. They have plead guilty to one count of selling adulterated food and one count of selling misbranded food, both misdemeanors.

What saddens me is that this type of product adulteration could be considered a misdemeanor. In my humble opinion, food safety – particularly when it comes to animal food – is an oxymoron. More on that in another article…

Back to the subject of this article, Sally Qing Miller and her husband, Stephen S. Miller, of Las Vegas, along with their company, Chemnutra Inc., were indicted back in 2008.

Through Chemnutra, the Millers imported more than 13 shipments, totaling 800 metric tons, of wheat gluten tainted with melamine. From there, the tainted wheat gluten was then used to make a wide range of pet food brands – more than 150 brands of which were later recalled. Cat illness and dog illness and death were the result of this deadly mixture.

The Millers now face up to 2 years in Federal prison without parole and a fine of up to $200,000.

Their company, Chemnutra, is subject to a $400,000 fine and restitution.

Not nearly enough, in my opinion… but then, I truly love my cats.

Originally, the couple "were charged with 13 counts of introduction of adulterated food into interstate commerce, 13 counts of introduction of misbranded food into interstate commerce and one felony count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud."

Chances are high, however, that the Millers will get off with just a fine and probation.

At least some justice will come out of this. More importantly, let’s hope safety has also improved so we never have to relive this type of pet food scare again.

Our cats and we as owners, have enough to worry about with fleas, ticks, viruses, bacteria and fungus. cat illness need not be initiated by greed and corruption.


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      Jake @ Cat Illnesses HQ 7 years ago

      Great hub hglick. I remember the melamine outbreak all too well. One of my cats got sick, but thankfully recovered. I hope nothing like this ever happens again.

    • hglick profile image

      hglick 8 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY

      thanks treysome

    • Treysome profile image

      Treysome 8 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Great article! Your two cats are really cute.

      I plan on writing about pet food safety too since my mom (human) thinks I'm a cat and is feeding me cat food. I'm really concerned about my health and staying healthy for many years.