- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 20, 2007

ASSOCIATED PRESS

A Chicago woman sued Menu Foods yesterday, claiming the pet food manufacturer delayed announcing a recall of 60 million containers of dog and cat food despite knowing its products were contaminated and potentially deadly.

Dawn Majerczyk, 43, said her orange tabby, Phoenix, fell sick last week just two days after he ate a single package of Special Kitty. It is one of 95 cat and dog food brands recalled by Menu Foods of Canada. Friday’s recall came two weeks after nine cats died during routine company taste tests of its products, the Food and Drug Administration said.

Mrs. Majerczyk said she took her 9-year-old cat to its first veterinarian visit the day of the recall. The cat had lost 6 pounds in four days and was lethargic, dehydrated and nearly blind. She returned over the weekend to have him put down after his organs began to fail. Her suit, filed by Chicago attorney Jay Edelson, seeks class-action status.

“I want my vet bills and I want some compensation for what they did to my kids — and for the company’s neglect,” said Mrs. Majerczyk, a medical assistant in a dermatology office.

The company said it had not seen the suit and had no comment. The FDA had no comment on the company’s delay in announcing the recall.

The FDA so far has confirmed the deaths of 13 cats and one dog that had reportedly eaten the company’s “cuts and gravy” style pet food. The wet food was sold throughout North America under store brands carried by major retailers, as well as private labels such as Iams, Nutro and Eukanuba.

The FDA has sent inspectors to company plants in New Jersey and Kansas.

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