The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in July blocked more than 100 Nutro Products -- various styles and flavors of its dog and cat food -- from entering the United States.
ConsumerAffairs.com learned the FDA took that action at the Port of Los Angeles -- and listed Nutros pet food on its Import Refusal Report -- because the products appeared to contain poisonous substances and unsafe additives.
The FDA has authority to block and detain any regulated products from entering the United States if they appear to be out of compliance with The Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
Some of Nutros pet food on the Import Refusal List include its Adult Turkey with Chicken Liver, Choice Adult Cat w Turkey & Duck, Choice Complete Care Kitten Rich in Chicken with Liver, and Adult Large Breed Chicken & Rice.
News of the FDAs action alarmed Mike G. of Florida. He owns multiple cats and feeds them Nutro products.
What isnt clear is which additive it is that is unsafe, and which substance it is that is poisonous, he told us. The three Nutro canned cat products I have in front of me all state Made in USA. But they don't say which state or which US territory.
He added: I dont so much care where (the products came from). Its the 'which' (unsafe additives and substances) that concerns me.
Mike contacted Nutro about his concerns, but says the company ignored his inquires.
He wasnt surprised.
From previous experience, most responses from Nutro have been non-responsive, he said.
Mike shared with us the message he sent to Nutro, which echoes concerns weve heard from other pet owners:
I want to know, specifically, before I feed any of these foods I have in the house to my cats, exactly where Nutro cat foods are made, exactly where those foods on the FDA Import Refusal Reports were made, and specifically which additive it is which is unsafe, and which substance it is which is deemed poisonous or 'deleterious. If I do not receive a satisfactory response I will be taking these cans back to where they were purchased, and will never again be purchasing other Nutro products.
In the aftermath of several thousand pet deaths, he added, Nutro and other companies need to demonstrate their commitment to pet safety by answering pet owners' questions satisfactorily.
ConsumerAffairs.com also contacted Nutro about the FDAs action. It took the company more than a week to respond to our repeated calls.
Nutro, however, didnt answer our specific questions.
The companys Consumer Services Manager, Tamara Cerven, instead e-mailed us Nutros official, canned response.
It has been brought to our attention that confusion has been caused by the Food and Drug Administrations (FDA) Import Refusal Report, the companys statement said. We wish to assure our customers that this report is in no way a cause for concern about the quality and safety of Nutro pet foods currently on store shelves.
Nutro said the products listed the FDAs Import Refusal Report are ones affected by Menu Foods massive recall in March of melamine-tainted dog and cat food.
This report lists recalled product(s) that have been returned to Nutro from overseas, according to the companys statement. This product is not intended for sale.
Nutro said it immediately discontinued all sales of its melamine-tainted products and removed them from retail stores, warehouses, and distribution centers after Menu recalled 60 million containers of contaminated pet food.
Nutro also ordered recalled product to be shipped back to the U.S. from overseas for proper handling, the company said in its written statement. Some of this product is the subject of the FDA report.
Nutro said customers with questions about the FDAs action can call its customer service line at 1-800-833-5330 or visit its Web site at www.nutroproducts.com.
Mike doubts pet owners will get any answers, though.
They failed to respond to my mail, responding only to you, he told us today.
My confidence was rattled with both Nutro and Iams in March when I learned that they both used Menu Foods. I'm one who drove further to the pet-superstores to purchase what I had believed to have been better, safer' foods . . . only to learn they were made by the same company using some of the same unsafe contaminated ingredients which they also put into the cheaper, less-quality/ less-safe foods in the supermarkets.
So their failure to respond to me now, personally, is the last straw for me. If and when products begin to flow from their own plant and I get a thorough read-through of the label, I might then reconsider purchasing their product. But not before.