Pet Food Recall Causing Confusion

By Linda Goldston Mercury News

Just a few weeks ago, Pet Food Express owner Michael Levy would have probably recommended the more expensive pet food brands to his customers, but these days some of the cheapest get his endorsement.

Ever since the FDA began recalling more than 60 million cat and dog food products March 17, things have been turned upside down for pet owners, baffled over what food to buy their pets.

Pet owners are learning that brand name and cost aren't enough to protect their pets from eating food poisoned with an industrial chemical used to make plastics.

Hill's Science Diet, recommended by many veterinarians, and Iams, one of the best-known brands among pet owners, have both had some of their products recalled, yet the less expensive, Premium Edge, has not.

The targeted manufacturer, Menu Foods, makes canned foods for the cheapest brands and some of the most expensive brands on the market. The company even makes organic foods, which many pet owners have rushed to as a safe haven in recent weeks.

"It's not surprising we're all a bit skeptical, if not cynical," said Dr. Brad Smith, director of the University of California-Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital. "This is hurting all these companies big-time financially."

About 100 brands of dog and cat food have been recalled since March 17, and companies are scrambling to do damage control, while experts are recommending that pet

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