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Diamond Cat Food Recall Now Includes Twenty-six States

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Cat Food Recall 2013

For many pet owners, treatment of their animals has a tendency to go above the norm. Some owners will buy clothes and dress-up their cat or dog when going outside while others spoil their pets by spending lots of money on toys and beds for them to sleep on. While non-pet owners, as well as some pet owners, might think this extra treatment is unnecessary, those that treat their pets as if they were children do think of them as such.

Depending on the situation, some pets are considered more like a member of the family than an actual member of the family. Whatever your view is, those that care about their pets want them to be and stay healthy. Diamond Pet Foods also wants the same thing and that is why they are voluntarily recalling limited production codes of their cat foods. Though the recall was limited to local stores in Florida, the recall has now expanded to twenty-five states. The reason for the recall is that the company is concerned that certain products might contain thiamine, Vitamin B1, but at low levels.

The foods that have come into question are 4health All Life Stages Cat Formula dry cat food, Premium Edge Finicky Adult Cat Formula dry cat food, Diamond Naturals Kitten Formula dry cat food, Premium Edge Senior Cat Hairball Management Formula dry cat food and Premium Edge Kitten Formula dry cat food.

Michelle Evans, Ph.D., Diamond Pet Foods Executive Director of Food Safety and Quality Assurance, commented about their process of continuously testing their products. She said, “At Diamond Pet Foods, we have a process where we continuously test our products, and this process allowed us to find the undesired levels of thiamine in some of our cat formulas. Our food safety protocols are designed to provide safe food on a daily basis. In the event an error occurs, we have the data to quickly alert pet owners, giving them the confidence they demand of a pet food manufacturer.”

So far, no complaints have been made regarding the levels in thiamine as well as any other health issues in relation to these products. Besides the voluntary recall, the company has looked into and tested all Diamond brands to check for deficiency in thiamine levels as to ensure the cat food it manufactures are safe.

As far as the voluntary recall is concerned, no other product is involved that is manufactured by Diamond Pet Foods. Since online sales may have caused distribution of these affected production codes to have occurred, it is best to be safe and check the production code to make sure it has not been recalled.

Cats that have been fed products on the recall list for several weeks are in danger of developing a thiamine deficiency. For cats, thiamine is essential in order to maintain a normal nervous system function. Those that are affected with thiamine deficiency can display symptoms that are neurological or gastrointestinal in nature.

Cats that exhibit early signs of thiamine deficiency may include weight loss, decreased appetite, vomiting and salivation. Neurological signs can develop in advanced cases which include seizures, ventriflexion (bending towards the floor) of the neck, circling, wobbly walking and falling.

If a cat is showing any of the signs mentioned, pet owners are advised to contact their veterinarian immediately.

Thiamine deficiency generally is reversible if treated promptly. Those that are unsure if the product they bought is part of the recall, looking to replace the product or get a refund, can reach the Pet Food Information Center at www.petfoodinformationcenter.com. They can also be reached at 1-888-965-6131, Sunday through Saturday from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. EST.

The following information contains the products, size, production codes, and best by dates and states involved in the recall:

Product Size Production Codes Best By States
Premium Edge Finicky Adult Cat Formula 18 lb. bags NGF0703 10-Jul-2013 Massachusetts
Premium Edge Finicky Adult Cat Formula 6 lb. bags NGF0802 15-Aug-2013,
16-Aug-2013
Florida, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia
Premium Edge Senior Cat Hairball Management Formula 6 lb. and
18 lb. bags
NGS0101 03-Jan-2014,
04-Jan-2014
Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma
Premium Edge Senior Cat Hairball Management Formula 6 lb. and
18 lb. bags
NGS0702 10-Jul-2013 Florida, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia
Premium Edge Kitten Formula 6 oz. samples,
6 lb. and 18 lb. bags
MKT0901 26-Sept-2013
29-Sept-2013
30-Sept-2013
02-Oct-2013
Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia
Diamond Naturals Kitten Formula 6 oz. samples and 6 lb. bags MKT0901 30-Sept-2013 Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina
4health All Life Stages Cat Formula 5 lb. and
18 lb. bags
NGF0802 14-Aug-2013,
18-Aug-2013
Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia

Cat food recall 2013

Cat food recall involving batches of 3 brands manufactured by Diamond Pet Foods affects owners in 26 states.

Environmentalist. Consumer Tech Journalist. Science Explorer. And, a dreamer. I've been contributing informative news content since 2010. Follow me on all socials!

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  1. Danielle

    March 20, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    I am surprised to see that this article states that there havent been any complaints due this recall yet, as my best friend has been trying to contact Diamond every day for the past month. Today she lost the last of her three cats, all poisoned by Diamond Pet food. The animals died one by one so this has been happening for several weeks. I want to know why this food remained on the shelf and customers and stores were not alerted of the recall. I’d also love to know why the company hasnt reached out to my friend in response to her inquiries. Many people see their pets as family members, so the way WE see it is that Diamond killed these 3 members of her family… and she heard NOTHING from Diamond… no feedback, no apology.

    I am disgusted. I wonder how many other former customers are trying to contact Diamond and receiving no response.

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Animals

Microplastic Found In Philippine Mussels—Risks Ocean Biodiversity

Study shows that Mussels in the Philippines contain microplastic. Moreover, another study shows that microplastic consumption could affect mussels survivability. Click To Tweet

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Green mussels or locally known as “tahong” or green mussels shells in the Philippines were tested 100% positive for microplastics. The recent findings follow with information gathered across different countries relating to global marine pollution.

The Philippine study was conducted on three samples across three different locations—two of which were tested positive for microplastics while the third set tested positive for “suspected microplastics.”

The study was conducted by Dr. Jose Isagani Janairo from the De La Salle University in coordination with the Philippine Department of Science and Technology (DOST). Furthermore, the researchers conducted the experiment using Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR).

“This is the first time we encounter analyzing samples with possible contamination of microplastic in the tahong or green mussels shells using FTIR,” said Dr. Araceli Monsada, director of the DOST-Advanced Materials Testing Laboratory.

Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy or FTIR is a widely used technology in detecting microplastics since fragments are too small that they are invisible to the naked eye. Other countries, such as the UK and China, also conducted studies regarding the matter.

The microplastic identified in the study were Polyethylene or PET. Janairo describes this type of plastic as a resource commonly used in making plastic bottles, textiles, and fabrics.

The discovery raises attention towards possible health risks from consuming mussels with microplastics in its system. Janairo says that it is likely that humans will digest microplastics while eating mussels.

From a different perspective, a study conducted last October 2018 where researchers gathered data on microplastics in mussels from coastal waters and supermarkets in the United Kingdom, discovered that coastal mussels sampled all contain microplastics.

Moreover, supermarket bought mussels for human consumption also all contain microplastics where 43% or 57% of debris items from coastal/supermarket mussels were microplastics. The researchers predicted consumers ingested 70 microplastic items in 100 g processed mussels.

Fortunately, the Philippine Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources claim that the findings do not pose a threat to human health and remain to be safe for public consumption.

Roy Ortega chief of the BFAR Aquaculture Division urges that the recent findings on green mussels harvested in the Philippines are not something to be worried about unless there is a red tide alert.

However, microplastic levels found in mussels may not affect human health — it affects the health and survivability of the aquatic animal.

Microplastic is an emerging pollutant in marine environments. The continued human pollution in the ocean has led the filter-feeding organisms to consume plastic through tiny amounts. The problem could result in devastating impacts on ocean ecosystems, as well as a worldwide industry worth between 3 to 4 billion US dollars per year.

An article published in Science Daily tells that continued microplastic consumption by mussels affect their ability to attach themselves to their surroundings such as rocks.

The recent research, published in the journal Environmental Pollution, was led by Dr. Dannielle Green of Anglia Ruskin University and was carried out at the Portaferry Marine Laboratory in Northern Ireland.

The study found that increased microplastic consumption by mussels led to the aquatic animal to produce lesser byssal threads, which are thin fibers that help mussels attach themselves to rocks and ropes. This enables the mussels to defend itself against strong waves and tides.

Moreover, the study also noted that byssal threads functioned more than just enabling mussels to have a firm grip unto rocks. The byssal threads also help in creating extensive reefs that provide habitats for other marine animals.

Dr. Green, a senior lecturer in Biology at Anglia Ruskin University, said: “Tenacity is vital for mussels to form and maintain reefs without being dislodged by hydrodynamic forces. Our study showed that the presence of non-biodegradable microplastics reduced the number of byssal threads produced by the mussels, which likely accounts for the 50% reduction in their attachment strength.

“Byssal threads help mussels to form aggregations, increasing fertilisation success and making mussels more resistant to predation. A reduction in these byssal threads in the wild could lead to cascading impacts on biodiversity as well as reducing yields from aquaculture, as mussels are more likely to be washed away by waves or strong tides.”

“Our research also shows that even biodegradable microplastics can affect the health of mussels. Both biodegradable and non-biodegradable plastic are used in making single-use packaging, which if it becomes litter can break down into microplastics. Better recycling and an overall reduction of these materials can play an important role in helping to safeguard our marine environment.”

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Seahorses Decline Due To Rampant Export

Due to its use in traditional Chinese medicine, smuggling of seahorses became rampant— leading to massive decline.

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Photo by Blake Frutiger on Unsplash

Despite the government’s efforts to implement trade bans, some countries still participate in vast illegal international trade of seahorses.

The United Nations Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is an international agreement among governments to regulate international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants — CITES ensures that these practices do not threaten their survival.

Seahorses were the first marine fishes to be under such regulation; one of the aims of CITES is to prevent exports of seahorses and ensure its sustainability. Exporting seahorses are allowed if they have been sourced sustainably and legally — and necessary paperwork is required to prove it.

Co-author of the paper, Dr. Ting-Chun Kuo, said that “we found that 95% of dried seahorses in Hong Kong’s large market were reported as being imported from source countries that had export bans being in place, including Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, and Vietnam.”

“This is a remarkable discovery given the high proportion of global seahorse trade that goes through Hong Kong,” said Dr. Sarah Foster, who is the lead author. “Such illegal shipments lacked the required CITES records and permits. This means that many seahorse populations continue to be under heavy pressure without CITES oversight of sources and sustainability of the trade.”

Hong Kong is known as the world’s largest trading hub for dried seahorse. Foster added that analysis of global trade data from 2004 to 2017 revealed that Hong Kong was responsible for about two-thirds of all seahorse imports.

In a research project in Hong Kong earlier this year, investigators interrogated 220 traders about the origin of their seahorse stocks during 2016 and 2017. It was found that about 95% were imported from countries with export bans and that Thailand is the number one supplier — despite the country’s export ban status which started last January 2016.

Sheung Wan, which is located on the western side of Hong Kong Island, is the center of the trade in traditional Chinese medicine. In this ancient system that uses dried plants and animals for treatment of various illnesses, seahorses are popularly believed to have Viagra-like effects. In the district, seahorses are placed in boxes and glass jars and are sold in stores that line their streets. The retail price of each seahorse can be sold up to 40 Hong Kong dollars ($5).

Despite the lack of scientific studies or clinical trials, the consumption of seahorses is widespread in traditional Chinese medicine. Lixing Lao from the School of Chinese Medicine at the University of Hong Kong said that “according to Chinese medicine theory, the seahorse is nourishing … and gives the body more energy.” Dried seahorses are usually prepared as a tea and are commonly used to treat asthma, male sexual dysfunction, nocturnal enuresis, and pain, as well as labor induction.

The Chinese medicine shops in Sheung Wan are not breaking the law in selling seahorses. A spokesperson for the Hong Kong government’s Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) said that CITES are designed to control import and export. However, the country’s law does not ban trade within its territory.

The AFCD has been taking measures to prevent illegal imports. Due to its size and appearance, these dried animals are easily smuggled across borders by camouflaging them with other dried seafood. In 2018, Hong Kong authorities seized 45 shipments of dried seahorses weighing a total of 470 kilograms — equivalent to about 175,000 seahorses.

Marine biologists and other experts say many species are under threat. The number of seahorses is decreasing every year since about 37 million seahorses are caught in the wild every year, and approximately 15-20 million are traded around the world. The rate of decline is exacerbated by the rampant smuggling of these dried animals due to its high demand. According to Project Seahorse, research carried out around the world shows that populations of at least 11 species have dropped by between 30% and 50% over the past 15 years.

The popular demand for seahorses can be linked to its importance in traditional Chinese medicine. But, even without the trade, methods of fishing alone could greatly affect the number of seahorses.

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Newly Sequenced Spider Glue Pave Way For Biomaterials

Scientists successfully sequenced spider glue genes that could show potential towards mass production of biomaterials Click To Tweet

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Recently, a University of Maryland, Baltimore County postdoctoral fellow Sarah Stellwagen and her co-author Rebecca Renberg at the Army Research Lab have successfully published the complete sequences of genes that enable spiders to produce glue.

Spider glue is made of sticky silk and used by spiders to form webs for catching their prey. There are about 45,000 known species of spiders with each producing at least one type of silk. It is water soluble when it is still inside the spider’s body, then becomes insoluble to water after it has been produced outside the body. The unique characteristics of this material have piqued the interest of scientists.

Furthermore, the silk is also touted as the next breakthrough in making biomaterials due to its elasticity — making it flexible and able to absorb higher impact as well as it’s unusual tensile.

Because of the inimitable characteristic of silk being able to transform to a solid state from its liquid form inside the spider’s body, scientists find it challenging to reproduce. Scientists can recreate the liquid produced, but “we can’t replicate the process of going from liquid to solid on a large industrial scale,” Stellwagen says.

On the other hand, spider glue appears as a liquid, whether it is inside the spider’s body or outside—this may make it easier for scientists to produce spider glue in the laboratory compared to spider silk.

Throughout the years, researchers have been trying to unravel the secrets behind the spiders’ glue. Aside from being biodegradable and water-soluble, spider glue also remains sticky even after a long period and over many rounds of attachment and release.

Many species of spiders live in areas with humid conditions, yet surprisingly, spider glue still sticks firmly to wet surfaces. One goal of sequencing genes is for scientists to be able to create a synthetic version. These genes could be incorporated into the genes of other organisms such as bacteria and yeast to make the same glue.

Stellwagen sees a huge potential for spider glue to be used as organic pest control as it was, in the first place, produced to “capture insect prey.” Because it is an organic product, it could be applied without worrying about polluting the waterways compared to inorganic pesticides. It could be used on barn walls to protect livestock and sprayed on crops to prevent infestations. Also, it could be applied in areas where mosquito-borne illnesses are endemic.     

Maximizing its features, scientists believe that there is a wide array of potentials for spider glue. It may lead to the development of bio-based adhesives and glues, referred to as “green glues,” which could replace petroleum-based products. Aside from organic pest control, it could be utilized as washable filters and mouse traps, among others.

Before this finding, the longest silk gene sequenced was approximately 20,000 base pairs. It took the researchers two years to completely sequence the genes. As what Stellwagen has said, “It ended up being this behemoth of a gene that’s more than twice as large as the previous largest silk gene.”

Aside from being remarkably long, the spider glue gene contained a lot of repetitive sequences in the middle, similar to the genes of spider silk. The numerous repetitive sequences posed a challenge to the researchers because of certain limitations in the methods they used. According to them, “It’s challenging. You’re picking a needle from a haystack.” Luckily, after two years of trying, they finally got the results that they needed to complete the sequence.

For many years, scientists have tried to sequence silk and glue genes. However, the task is challenging because of the length and repetitive structure of their sequences. “I’m super excited that I was able to finally figure out the puzzle because it was just so hard,” Stellwagen says. “Ultimately, we learned a lot, and I am happy to put that out there for the next person who is trying to solve some ridiculous gene.”

Currently, there are only about 20 complete genes that have been successfully sequenced, but there are a lot more genes out there that are still waiting to be sequenced. Thus, this recent finding has become a huge step in the sequencing or more silk and glue genes that could lead us to discover better and more efficient biomaterials.

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