Fresh Out of the Laundry: IAMS Spins Pet Food Recall Story for Damage Control

IAMS media spokespeople had a rough weekend. Their Thanksgiving holiday was rudely interrupted by a flurry of stories that some of their pet food was being recalled for elevated levels of aflatoxin. Frantically scrambling to contain the damage, their efforts were thwarted by an ill-conceived plan to attempt to convince consumers that a recall is not really a recall and it is really a pull, not a recall. Really, it’s true.munch the cat scream painting spoof

On Friday, food safety author and microbiologist Phyllis Entis unearthed the offending IAMS pet food recall notice discretely placed on an obscure website. Pet food safety expert Susan Thixton ran the story and with that pet parents and bloggers interrupted their own Thanksgiving holiday weekends to spreading the  news, much to the dismay of IAMS, across the internet. So, by the time Monday rolled around, the damage to IAMS had been thoroughly and completely done. cat scream can't take it any more

As any corporate spokesperson worth his salt will tell you maxim of weary spin doctors, “you can’t unring a bell”.  Despite having the misfortune to choose such a thoroughly unpopular profession as spokesperson, a few of the delusional ones still hold the belief they possess the ability to achieve the impossible, the skill to unring a bell.horrified cat stares mouth agape

I  don’t know whether to pity them or mock them for their failed attempt to reverse, what clearly was, a seriously damaging report. Their best effort to explain the recall of the aflatoxin contaminated pet food was to try to convince consumers it wasn’t really a recall, just an unfortunate choice of words. IAMS would prefer consumers believe a recall is not really a recall,  but a polite requests that retailers “pull” the offending merchandise off the shelves for a teensy-weensie problem with the product.kitten cat laugh joke

It seemed to have escaped their attention that practically speaking, whether it is a “recall” or a “pull”, the results are the same. Certainly, the issue that the food was tainted with aflatoxin should have been their chief concern instead of the semantics of the wording used. But, typical of professional media wordsmiths, their job is to obfuscate the issues and redirect the focus away from anything appearing remotely negative.funny-pictures-filling-in-for-the-rooster-who-has-laryngitis

I guess in the old days it was simple enough to sweep a dirty story under the carpet. In today’s media saturated environment, what once were stories limited in geographic scope now explode in the media. And that mess is just too big for any little ol’ carpet. Enter the Spin Doctor. No, he’s not the Maytag repairman or the local drug dealer, but a high-powered master of manipulation. cat scream yawn

As example by the statement released today by IAMS  spin doctor,er, spokesperson the well crafted press release:

“There has been no consumer recall and there is not a widespread aflatoxin issue with any of our foods. We have been working this situation with the FDA and we are confident consumers can feed their pets Iams. There were a small number of bags that tested outside of specification limits and we have retrieved those products. Price Chopper has also removed the information posted, as there is no consumer recall.”

Based on IAMS responses, it is safe to assume that they are handing you, not the truth, but in fact a load of horse pucky or doggie doo doo, whichever term you prefer. cat scream yawn fed up mad

Related Articles
Per Iams it was a Product Pull(, Susan Thixton)
Guest Blog: It was a Product Pull
(, Phyllis Entis)
IAMS Cat and Dog Food Recalled for Dangerous Contaminate: Aflatoxin

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Mollie Morrissette

Mollie Morrissette, the author of Poisoned Pets, is an animal food safety expert and consumer advisor. Help support her work by making a donation today.