I contacted Nutro with my concerns and I was visited by their sales manager assuring me that there is nothing to worry about. Nutro sent me this letter explaining things:
Re: NUTRO™ Product Quality Claims Made By ConsumerAffairs.com
June 23, 2008
For Discussion Purposes Only
Over the past several months, ConsumerAffairs.com, a self-described “independent Web-based consumer news and resource center,” not affiliated with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission or Consumer Reports, has been selectively posting consumer complaints and authoring its own statements that draw false links between isolated instances of illness and death among pets, and the consumption of NUTRO™ pet food products.
We want to assure our consumers, associates, retailers, and all those who feed NUTRO™ products to their pets that our products are safe and conform to the standards set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S Department of Agriculture and the Association of American Feed Control Officials. All NUTRO™ products undergo rigorous quality assurance testing beginning with raw ingredients and ending with testing all finished products. This includes testing to confirm that no melamine, mold toxins, or pathogenic bacteria are detected in any NUTRO™ pet foods.
A June 23 posting on ConsumerAffairs.com falsely claims that NUTRO™ pet foods may have been the cause of pet health issues in a number of specific cases. It should be noted that in some of these cases outside sources have provided clear verification that NUTRO™’s products were NOT the cause of any pet health issues. In others, NUTRO™ has taken active steps to address pet owners' concerns and determine the cause of pet health issues. While we continue in our efforts to contact owners there is nothing that indicates that these pet health issues were caused by NUTRO™ pet foods. Every NUTRO™ product that was analyzed in relation to the June 23 posting on ConsumerAffairs.com has been shown to be safe.
While consumer concerns about NUTRO™ product quality are rare, we take every complaint seriously. When we learn of an issue, we work with consumers to obtain information and request that samples of any product in question be submitted for testing at an independent facility. An in-depth review is performed to determine if an issue does exist. Consumers with questions or concerns about NUTRO™ products are encouraged to contact our Consumer Services Department at 1-800-833-5330.
There have also been some questions raised about the availability of some of our products. At a time of worldwide shortages of ingredients across the human and pet food industries, NUTRO™ has experienced various supply issues in efforts to secure enough volume of key ingredients used in select products. We have secured additional sources of high-quality supply for most raw materials, with the exception of adequate supplies of high-quality lamb meal. While the availability of lamb meal remains very tight, we are continuing to work with suppliers in New Zealand and in the U.S. to increase availability to NUTRO™. As a result, there are certain key Natural Choice® Lamb and Rice products for dogs that remain off the shelf. We are manufacturing and shipping
Natural Choice® Lamb Meal and Rice for adult dogs and Natural Choice® Small Bites Lamb Meal and Rice for adult dogs, which meet the nutritional requirements for dogs of all sizes and all ages. Natural Choice® Lite Rice and Lamb Meal is available for adult dogs.
It is important to understand that these availability issues are operational in nature and are not quality-related. We have refused to compromise our ingredient and product design standards, and while that has created some difficulty regarding availability we feel that it is critical that we maintain our standards for product quality and performance.
Our consumers are confident in NUTRO™ products. Over 250 million pounds of finished product have been purchased since Jan 1, 2008. Pet professionals across the country continue to choose NUTRO™ for their pets. Our Natural Choice brand dog food was recently chosen as the official pet food for the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation, and many champion dogs are fed NUTRO™ products.
NUTRO™ Products, Inc. remains committed to the quality, safety and performance of all our pet food brands. As we have for over 80 years, we strive to deliver the finest natural products to our customers and their pets.