From: email@example.com (Mark Brader)
Subject: More details on the "cat food sold as tuna" story
There was some discussion not too long ago about an entry in the FAQ
list that was something like "woman removes tuna label from can, finds
cat food label underneath".
While the general circumstances were made clear in that discussion,
the business about the label was not. However, it turns out to be True;
it happened in July 1991. While looking at something else in the Toronto
Star of March 24, 1992, I came across a story by John Deverell under the
headline "Tainted tuna sold for humans 7 years later". For copyright
reasons I won't post the whole thing, but here are some excerpts...
Canada's most famous cat food, the tainted Star-Kist tuna, is still
being eaten by people. Yesterday, U.S. federal agents seized [in
Teterboro, N.J.] 38,640 cans of "decomposed fish product" that had
been relabelled as tuna for human consumption. ... All canned foods
are sterilized during processing so the tuna wasn't dangerous, the
agency said. ...
[The] cans were part of the original 20 million recalled to the
Star-Kist cannery in St. Andrews, N.B., in 1985. [It closed down
the same year, reopened in 1988, and closed again in 1990.] The tuna
had been rejected by inspectors from Canada's Department of Fisheries
and Oceans ...
David Bevan, director of Canada's fish plant inspection branch, said
last night that "no Canadian and no Canadian cat has to worry about
that stuff. There's none in the country." Several million cans of
the substandard tuna were exported to the 7th Heaven pet food company
in Houston, Texas, on condition that it not come back to Canada in
[But someone relabelled some of the cans.] Some tuna labels were
pasted on top of cat food labels. A recall ordered after consumers
in Minnesota and Wisconsin complained in July wasn't effective so
the FBI decided to seize the cans ...
One complaint came from Darlene La Musga of St. Paul, Minn., who opened
a can, took a bite, then prepared to make tuna salad. "I went to pull off
the label and I saw there was another label underneath," she said last
July. "It said... 7th Heaven cat food. It gagged me and I threw up in
I therefore suggest the FAQ list entry be revised as follows:
T. Woman removes label from "tuna" can, finds cat food label underneath
T. The cat food actually was tuna canned 6 years earlier in Canada, declared
unfit for human consumption, allowed to be exported as pet food, and then
illegally relabeled as tuna again. (Toronto Star, March 24, 1992)