So, I Read This Book Today

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(Purina) Beneful Toxic Dog Food Class Action Lawsuit

Further info: I just spoke with Dr. Donna. She never could pin down exactly why Colin, a health, happy four year old, would suddenly develop liver failure and die. She believes that, given symptomology, this is what killed my beautiful baby. It’s my fault. I fed him the Purina, and I will never forgive myself for it.

Quoted from The Associated Press on MyHughesNet. There are numerous up-to-the-minute postings I located by searching “Purina Beneful Lawsuit” on Goodsearch. Another great article by Susan Scutti is at Medical Daily.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A dog owner has filed a lawsuit against a pet food company alleging that thousands of dogs have been sickened or died from eating the company’s dry dog food.
Pet owner Frank Lucido filed the suit on Feb. 5, in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California against Nestle Purina PetCare Company.
Lucido claims he fed his three dogs Beneful, and in a month, two were sick and one was dead.
The suit alleges the food contains an animal toxin used in automobile antifreeze.
In the suit, Lucido alleges that in the past four years, 3,000 consumers have complained online about dogs becoming ill or dying after eating Beneful, having shown “consistent symptoms,” including stomach and related internal bleeding, liver malfunction or failure, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, weight loss, seizures and kidney failure.
Purina’s website says it uses “an FDA-approved food additive” that is also in human foods. Purina issued a statement saying “there are no quality issues with Beneful.”
The suit asks that Purina pay Lucido and others in the class action lawsuit unspecified damages and restitution.
In recent years, Beneful has faced two class action lawsuits that were dismissed by the courts.
However, in a lawsuit settled in May, Purina and Waggin’ Train LLC agreed to create a $6.5 million fund to compensate pet owners who claimed their pets were sickened after eating China-made jerky treats.
At the time, Food and Drug Administration officials said the pet treats were linked more than 1,000 deaths in dogs and more than 4,800 complaints of animal illness. Three humans were sickened after eating the treats.
Lucidio is seeking compensation for himself and other pet owners who bought Beneful in the past four years and “incurred any out of pocket costs due to illness, injury or death of their dog resulting from the ingestion of Beneful.”
2015 Courtesy of The Associated Press
The Beneful Toxic Dog Food Class Action Lawsuit is Frank Lucido v. Nestle Purina Petcare Company, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. If you think your pet was sickened by tainted food, contact attorney James Young with the Morgan & Morgan Litigation Group at 813-275-5272.
In 2007, roughly 17,000 pets were sickened — and 4,000 dogs and cats died — from tainted commercial pet foods made with ingredients imported from China. In an article here, aimed at industry professionals, it was found that, while several companies stopped importing materials from China, Purina refused to reply to requests for information regarding where they sourced from. The only information I can find online about their current sourcing practices says that Purina foods are made in the U.S. but are sourced out of China. A search of the Purina website indicates that Purina follows the CA Transparency in Supply Chains act – but a thorough search of the site for the words “China” or “Chinese” got me articles on the Chinese Crested dog, nothing about whether they import ingredients from China. A search for “import” and “imported” brought up:
Waggin’ Train® – Purina®
Click here for information about the Dog Treat Products Settlement for chicken
jerky treats imported from China. VISIT WAGGINTRAIN.COM. Learn more about …
However, when you click on the link you get marketing for “100% natural and healthy Waggin’ Train Treats” – with very tiny type at the bottom of the page about the law suit settlement.
Now, this is important for ALL OF US dog and cat owners. Purina may have gotten “spanked” in 2007, but what do they care? They make multiple billions from pet owners every year. $6,500,000 is pocket change. I imagine the CEO has that in his wallet for a nice dinner out. Big corporations actually calculate how expensive it is to make changes as compared to what it would cost to settle lawsuits. Yes, people’s lives have a dollar value they use in their calculations. Did you know that your life is worth $129,000? Well, maybe just $50,000 – it depends…
jinxballinmouthThis whole Beneful lawsuit is particularly important to me – about a month ago, my Boxer, HiJinx, started having horrific seizures and vomiting. A couple thousand dollars in vet bills and a change of food later and she is feeling better, but it was a very close call. I nearly lost her several times, and had nearly decided to put her down just to stop her suffering, but she started feeling better after medication (she is still on) for liver and kidney issue and for the seizures. She is now off the seizure medication, but will take the meds for who knows how long? Her previous food? Beneful. She loved that stuff. Doctor Donna (Donna Valori at Table Mountain Vet – she is Supervet!) recommended I change her food as well. I put her on Bil-Jac Grain Free Adult, and, though I am sure the medication is helping her feel better the Bil-Jac can’t hurt – and now that I know about the problems with Beneful, well, I feel like a real monster for feeding it to her in the first place. I should have known better. But with the expense of my chemo, etc., well, she still was eating better than me – or at least that is what I thought as I also make her rice and veggies to go with.
I am just now switching her over from Bil-Jac to “I and Love and You” Nude Food Grain Free Poultry Palooza for a few reasons. First, it is made right here in Colorado, in Boulder, to be exact. They guarantee that their treats are not sourced in China (see my next post) – I just sent them an email to be absolutely 100% certain that they don’t source ANYTHING out of China – or any other third-world country. Then there is the fact that I can get it at my local King Soopers Market instead of having to drive all the way across town to the big box, or even further to the ‘locally’ owned small shop that isn’t really that ‘local’. I cruised the website for quite a while, and everything seems very healthy, but again, I emailed them about the source of all of their ingredients – I will let you know what I find out.
Bottom line? Peanut butter and crackers for me, very expensive dog food for HiJinx. But then again, since I started feeding higher quality food she doesn’t eat as much by as much as ¾ of a cup, her stools don’t smell anywhere near as ‘poopy’ as they used to, and they aren’t as large, so she is processing much more of the food than she was before. Cool. She is also bright-eyed again, which is a HUGE relief!
So, are any of you feeding Beneful? If so, has your pet been sick? Are you joining the lawsuit? Inquiring, pet loving Leiah wants to know!

Review: The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly

Ancient societies had anthropomorphic gods: a huge pantheon expanding into centuries of dynastic drama; fathers and sons, martyred heroes, star-crossed lovers, the deaths of kings – stories that taught us of the danger of hubris and the primacy of humility. – Tom Hiddleston

‘Cause suicide is painless
it brings on many changes
and I can take or leave it if I please.
…and you can do the same thing if you choose.
MAS*H – Johnny Mandel Lyrics

Hubris and science are incompatible. – Douglas Preston

By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. – Benjamin Franklin


Let’s face it. Matthew Reilly is the reigning King of the high-octane, over-the-top action/adventure novel. From Ice Station, my first Reilly novel, to Scarecrow and his other novels, he is the master of the “literary 400 mph bullet train” story. And here, he does it again.

The Great Zoo of China appears at first to be simply Jurassic Park on steroids. Human hubris, taken to extremes, as humans endeavor to create a monstrous (literally) exhibit to shock and awe the world. And, like so many other human endeavors, this bit of human hubris is destined to destroy the world – unless a small group can stop the insanity.

Meddle Not In The Affairs Of Dragons For You Are Crunchy
And Taste Good With Ketchup

There are many things to love about The Great Zoo of China. Reilly has, as usual, done his homework on the background and politics of the story. Utilizing the political, economic and sociological quirks and horrors of Chinese growth and development, Reilly has layered complex ideas and issues with the aforementioned political intrigue and a heavy dose of scientific development to create a story that is actually much more interesting than Jurassic Park. Todays ‘new’ China, is all about the Money, as the country utilizes near slave-wage conditions to create massive new cities, dams, basically anything they need – no matter the cost. And here, they do it again, reaching for the spectacular ‘money-is-no-object’ outcome they are reaching for . . . but Reilly makes a pinpoint observation. The Chinese have the cold, hard cash. But what they don’t have, after generations of communist control, is the ability to think and create. They can build, but their inability to create means that they also cannot think ahead, cannot foresee all possible outcomes. And what they cannot foresee is the intelligence of the creatures they consider ‘less’ – and again, that hubris, that condescension, makes the story even more fascinating than a normal Reilly tale. Yes, it is fast and furious – but it is also thoughtful, and a smart statement of today’s worldwide political and economic climate.

Besides. It has a female lead – CJ Cameron is one smart lady, one of my favorite heroines of the books I have read in the last couple of years.

Highly recommended! I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a realistic review. I really enjoyed it, and hope you do as well. Publication date January 27, 2015.

Review: White Plague by James Abel -Stunning!

White Plague by James AbelAnd I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth. – Revelations 6:8 – King James Bible

Paneloux is a man of learning, a scholar. He hasn’t come in contact with death; that’s why he can speak with such assurance of the truth-with a capital T. But every country priest who visits his parishioners and has heard a man gasping for breath on his deathbed thinks as I do. He’d try to relieve human suffering before trying to point out its goodness. -Albert Camus – The Plague Part 2

There is no act of treachery or meanness of which a political party is not capable; for in politics there is no honour. – Benjamin Disraeli
What is the point to winning a war – if all your subjects are rotting in their graves? For me, no ideological or political conviction would justify the sacrifice of a human life. For me, the value of life is absolute, with no concessions. It’s not negotiable. Edgar Ramirez

It begins, as do many things, death amongst them, with silence. The pleas for help stopped coming just after five in the morning, Washington time. The Pentagon staffers cleared for handling sensitive messages sat in horror for a moment and then tried other ways to reach the victims. Nothing worked, so they called the director, who phoned me.

And what follows horrified me, chilled me to the bone, and kept me reading four hours past when I should, by all reasonable measure, put it down and gone to bed. And horrifying the story is, for a lot of different reasons, but mainly? For the absolute, gut wrenching reality of it all. And just how true it is – how likely that something like this will happen.

Lt. Colonel Joe Rush gets the call at 1am, Anchorage time, as he pounds the streets, running from sleep, running from memories. Memories of decisions which saved lives, while taking others. Which left him with the weight of the world on his shoulders, the blackness of grief in his heart. Two weeks. Just two weeks until he retires. And now, this. A new submarine prototype has surfaced in the Arctic – and it is burning. One-hundred-fifty seven souls, trapped on the ice. And no one is near enough to reach them except the single ice breaker the US government has funded to handle the vast spaces of the Arctic waters. Colonel Rush, MD and virology specialist, must get to them as quickly as possible if they are to save the people and salvage the submarine before Chinese or Russian icebreakers claim it for their own.

Monster storms, crushing ice, bone breaking cold – all are threats which Rush, the few Marines who accompany him, and the few Coast Guard sailors handling the Icebreaker Wilmington must meet and overcome to reach their burned and stranded submariners. The sick submariners. For a sickness is burning through the crew, a sickness that no one can identify.

It becomes a race, a race to save the people, to save the submarine, and to avert a single incident that could be the linchpin starting World War III. For as global warming breaks up the ice, opening trade routes and access to unknown stores of oil, gems, metals and trade routes, the political machinations have begun. Great beasts of war are gathering, stomping their hooves, waving their swords, and foaming at the mouths for the blood of those they would call ‘enemy’.

What is the sickness? Where did it come from? And more importantly, can it be cured before the political machine does the unthinkable in a move to ascertain it’s own power? And who aboard the Wilmington is a traitor? And how high do the traitor’s contacts go – and to whom does he report?

No one becomes depraved all at once. – JUVENAL, Satires

All these questions and more make this a hair-raising, edge-of-your-seat military suspense/thriller beyond compare. With it’s roots dug deeply into current political and military policy, White Plague is, beyond a doubt, the BEST military suspense thriller I have read this year.

Highly recommended.

I received the book from Penguin’s First To Read program in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own and are not affected by this fact. For more information on First To Read, click.

An Audio Suggestion: Seven Modern Plagues: And How We are Causing Them

There is nothing quite like an Audio edition…..

From the Edition

Epidemiologists are braced for the big one: the strain of flu that rivals the pandemic of 1918-1919, which killed at least 20 million people worldwide. In recent years, we have experienced scares with a host of new influenza viruses: bird flu, swine flu, Spanish flu, Hong Kong flu, H5N1, and most recently, H5N7. While these diseases appear to emerge from thin air, in fact, human activity is driving them. And the problem is not just flu, but a series of rapidly evolving and dangerous modern plagues.
According to veterinarian and journalist Mark Walters, we are contributing to-if not overtly causing-some of the scariest epidemics of our time. Through human stories and cutting-edge science, Walters explores the origins of seven diseases: mad cow disease, HIV/AIDS, Salmonella DT104, Lyme disease, hantavirus, West Nile, and new strains of flu. He shows that they originate from manipulation of the environment, from emitting carbon and clear-cutting forests to feeding naturally herbivorous cows “recycled animal protein.”
Since Walters first drew attention to these “ecodemics” in 2003 with the publication of Six Modern Plagues, much has been learned about how they developed. In this new, fully updated edition, the author presents research that precisely pinpoints the origins of HIV, confirms the link between forest fragmentation and increased risk of Lyme disease, and expands knowledge of the ecology of West Nile virus.
He also explores developments in emerging diseases, including a new chapter on flu, examining the first influenza pandemic since the Hong Kong flu of 1968; a new tick-borne infection in the Mid-West; a second novel bird flu in China; and yet a new SARS-like virus in the Middle East.
Readers will not only learn how these diseases emerged but the conditions that make future pandemics more likely. This knowledge is critical in order to prevent the next modern plague.

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