Two Chinese businesses and their top executives and a U.S. company and its owners were indicted by a federal grand jury in Kansas City on Wednesday for their alleged roles in manufacturing and importing a tainted ingredient used to make pet food, believed to have sickened and killed pets across the country.
The indictments, handed down by a federal grand jury in Kansas City, alleged the defendants were involved in bringing more than 800 metric tons of wheat gluten tainted with dangerous melamine into the United States between November 6, 2006 and February 21, 2007 for use in pet food.
The gluten was sold to pet food manufacturers and ultimately caused dogs and cats throughout the United States to suffer serious illness and death, U.S. Attorney John Wood said.
Pet food manufacturers recalled more than 150 brands of dog and cat food across the nation in 2007, following reports of thousands of cats and dogs suffering kidney failure or other illness after eating tainted products. Canadian manufacturer Menu Foods Income Fund was hardest hit, recalling 60 million packages of pet food.
A 26-count indictment named Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development Co Ltd (XAC), a Chinese processor of plant proteins that exports products to the United States; Mao Linzhun, a Chinese national who owned and managed XAC; Suzhou Textiles, Silk, Light Industrial Products, Arts and Crafts I/E Co Ltd (SSC), a Chinese export broker that was used by XAC to export products to the United States; and Chen Zhen Hao, 58, a Chinese national who was the president of SSC. All were charged in a 26-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Kansas City.
A separate 27-count indictment named Las Vegas-based Chemnutra Inc, which buys food and food components from China and imports those items into the United States to resell to food companies, and Chemnutra owners Sally Qing Miller, 41, a Chinese national, and her husband Stephen Miller, 55.