FDA finds Petag responsible in tainted infant formula

By isak, February 9, 2010

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just found Petag responsible for the tainted formula that sickened and killed infant animals. An independent lab analysis of the product showed insufficient nutrition, extreme levels of fiber and toxic levels of heavy metal copper.

January 29, 2010, the FDA finished their investigation into Petag. Petag is the number one manufacturer of kitten and puppy milk in the world as per the company’s website. Their formulas — KMR and Esbilac — sickened and killed many animals in 2009. These formulas are also used for orphaned wildlife such as cheetahs, raccoons, squirrels and opossums who also died.

Only after the FDA began their investigation did Petag publicly admit on their website that their KMR kitten formula was bad and should not be used:

Recently, a limited number of KMR powder users have experienced product producing an off odor. Normally, the product exhibits a faint “milky” smell.

It has been determined that some packaged KMR powder may have been exposed to excessive heat outside the manufacturing process.

Do not use the product if it has an off odor.

Note: They provide no geographical location or product code information about this “limited” problem. They want consumers to call them and provide that info.

This was after months of reports of kittens and other animals who got diarrhea and died. Even though the company admitted on their website that they received multiple complaints, CEO and co-owner George Gill told the FDA that they only received one complaint.

COO and company owner Darlene Frudakis admitted in a December 17, 2009 radio interview on “Where the fur flies” that their KMR formula was spoiled from heat and should not be used. Unfortunately Frudakis did not alert consumers or distributors of the problems with the product. She merely posted a small note on the company website. The tainted product is still on store shelves. The FDA does not have the power to force recalls on pet food items. The company must initiate their own recalls. Petag has not done this.

The formula does not expire until 5/2011. The company will replace any bad cans with a new one if you encounter this.

When informed about the spoiled formula from consumers, Pet Sense pet stores removed all of the product from their 31 stores nationwide. One manager of one Petco store removed the tainted product after consumer complaints. It is not known at this time if Petco or PetSmart removed all of the tainted formula from all of their stores nationwide. The tainted KMR smells rancid and appears more yellow than white. Do not use this formula.

Animal Advocates in Los Angeles, California was the organization which made the initial report to the FDA. More information about the problems is available on the Animal Advocates website.

New info about problems with KMR killing kittens and Petag admitting their KMR formula is bad and should not be used from Animal Advocates. This article and comments and this article from 2014.

Goat’s milk is a, or possibly THE, most nutritionally complete food. In fact, the American Journal of Medicine states that goat’s milk is “the most complete food known.” It does not stimulate the production of mucus (cow’s milk does) and can counteract inflammation. It also seems to have some antiviral properties that can benefit and enhance the immune system, and has a nutritional and compositional profile very similar to human mother’s milk. It is often well tolerated by infants, adult humans, and cats and dogs. One rescue group recommends that orphaned kittens should be fed goat’s milk when their own mother’s milk is unavailable.


Kitten Milk Replacement Recipes

Here are two recipes come from the Pro-Bone-O website.

Kitten Glop

1 large can evaporated milk (goat’s milk is best but cow is ok) not skim
2 tablespoonsful plain active culture yogurt (not diet)
2 tablespoonsful real mayonnaise (not diet)
1 tablespoon light Karo syrup
1 package plain Knox gelatin
1 egg yolk beaten
1 cup liquid unflavored pedialyte ( or the homemade version)

Mix milk, yogurt, mayo and syrup well. Bring 1 cup pedialyte to a boil, mix in the gelatin, set aside. Mix the egg yolk with a small amount of the milk mixture and beat well. Set aside. Add gelatin and water to milk mixture. Beat well. Add in egg yolk mixture and again beat well.

Pour the whole mess into a covered bowl and place in refrigerator. It will last 2 weeks if kept covered and cool. Warm to room temp before feeding.
Kitten Milk

12 oz. can evaporated milk
1/c cup water
1 egg yolk – no white
1 teaspoon Karo syrup
1 – 2 drops vitamins

Mix all together and serve.


  1. KayD says:

    As an AKC Rottweiler breeder I purchased Esbilac for the first time to supplement and eventually wean our 3 week old puppies. None would drink it except our biggest girl. The next morning she was throwing it up, screaming, curling up, & stiffening in extreme pain. We rushed her to the hospital and she DIED! The ONLY change in her schedule was introducing Esbilac to her diet. We are devastated and I have been crying for 2 days. I went online and read about all the puppies, kittens, tigers, etc. that this stuff has killed and am shocked they are still selling it to unsuspecting customers. Animal experts & Zoos have lost animals AND I know the pain is real. We can never get our little girl back but hopefully this will help someone who is even considering feeding this to their babies. We will NEVER use this product again. Wish I would have known. We had a Necropsy done on our little girl and will be trying to sue PetAg for her death.

    • isak says:

      I am so sorry for all that little girl went through in her short life. How sad! I’m sorry for your loss. How difficult that experience must have been for you.

  2. Bree says:

    You people are so ignorant. There is NOTHING wrong with the formula during the manufacturing process. What makes it bad is the hot trucks, this will happen with ANY formula that does not contain preservatives. I am NOT paid like one commenter said.. I’ve been using petag kmr plus for a month on an abandoned kitten I found. This is the first time I’ve ever done something like this. I’ve been through two cans so far with NO issues. Learn how to check, use and store the product. I understand that back in 2009 they should have done a recall for the overheated formula. But now, there is nothing wrong with it. Don’t be dumb, smell it, look at it, dont leave it out.

  3. Leora Scott says:


  4. Judy Bennett says:

    I have 3 kittens everyone said not to feed them cow milk. We purchased KMR formula for kittens 2 have passed and we are watching the 3rd kitten in massive pain pass.
    this formula is poison, they were all healthy and active moving around a lot before the formula.

    • isak says:

      I am so sorry for your loss. It’s so hard to lose any animal, but losing the wee ones hurts in a different part of our hearts.

      Goat’s milk is a, or possibly THE, most nutritionally complete food. In fact, the American Journal of Medicine states that goat’s milk is “the most complete food known.” It does not stimulate the production of mucus (cow’s milk does) and can counteract inflammation. It also seems to have some antiviral properties that can benefit and enhance the immune system, and has a nutritional and compositional profile very similar to human mother’s milk. It is often well tolerated by infants, adult humans, and cats and dogs. One rescue group recommends that orphaned kittens should be fed goat’s milk when their own mother’s milk is unavailable.

  5. Wendy Brown says:

    I’m guessing this is what is killing my kittens. I’ve lost 2 and 1 of them I thought was because a litter mate sat on him. Those 2 didn’t have diarrhea. I now have 4 with severe diarrhea and one of them has bloody diarrhea. I ordered a new type of formula from a different company and I’m hoping that works but won’t be here until Monday. My foster Merlin, will be going to the vet in the morning. If I lose any of these 4 because of this formula, I will be contacting a lawyer. This has gone on long enough.

  6. LaydieK says:

    It looks like PetAg is at it again. Cat/Kitten rescue organizations all over the country are reporting dead kittens after using KMR. I personally used to recommend KMR over any other milk replacer until their fiasco in 2009/10. I started using it again in 2012… Now my kittens are dying again.

    If you have had a bad experience since last summer (when they changed their lot number information yet again) please report it to the FDA.

    FDA via their site at: https://www.safetyreporting.hhs.gov

    Dr. Nickelson – PetAG Veternarian

    EMAIL jpolanowski@petag.com
    Judi Polanowski
    Pet-Ag, Inc.
    Label Coordinator/Technical Services

  7. Jon Homes says:

    The Peta Formula thing is not a hoax. I gave a perfectly healthy 8 week old puppy the Kmr replacer last night 5-8-15 and it died within 2 hours. It had just come home with us from neighbor and was playful and happy up until the first feeding. I now have a devastated 8 year old girl who had waited 2 months for this puppy.

    The comments about this being good are paid reviews. You can go on Fiverr.com and hire people for as many positive reviews as you want.



    • isak says:

      I am so sorry for your loss. I have no idea how you even begin to explain it to an 8-year old. How sad all the way around.

  8. Murphy says:

    The organization I volunteer for had also used KMR….. for over a decade with utter confidence. until this year (2012) We experienced foul smelling product and hundreds of deaths in 2009. PetAg assured us that no one else was having any problems. We stayed with KMR until this year. We lost 28 orphaned kittens that were VERY healthy when they got to our shelter…it was not until we started them on KMR that they began to decline and died.

    I am disappointed in PetAg and their lack of concern.

    We were loyal to PetAg products for 15 years….

  9. ruth hubert says:

    I’ve fostered orphaned kittens for over 20 years.On March 9, 2010 I purchased KMR from Petsmart and fed it to 3 kittens.They were mewing & crying when I got them,but died within hours of receiving the powdered KMR mix.I didn’t realize the mix was responsible until I began feeding it 3 days later to a litter of 6 kittens.Two of them died before I realized the KMR was to blame. My veterinarian advised a detoxifying formula and antibiotic,and I began feeding a Kitten Glop mix.They are alive and well 10 days later.When I contacted PetAg they were not forthright in their responsibilities,and didn’t admit the formula had experienced”extremely high temperatures” until I advised them I was about to appear on local TV.Even then,they tried to access blame to “fading kitten syndrome”,and said the internet posts were lies.My kittens died and PetAg declined to recall the spoiled KMR.They said they were removing the batch from stores,but the public needs to know not to use the stuff until PetAg cleans up it’s act.

  10. Donna Burt says:

    Kitten Glop has more phosphorus than calcium. I would advise against using it. Unless there is more calcium than phosphorus in a diet, preferable twice as much calcium, growing animals risk developing deformed bones, and many other irreversible problems.

  11. Rick says:

    The FDA investigation report about Petag is posted on //www.animaladvocates.us There is an FDA report. The FDA report states “FDA action indicated.” The result of the report is the “manufacturer” was found “responsible” for the problems with the formula. End of story. Petag is obviously not an honest company to lie about the existence of the report and to call the complain “spurious” and “meritless.” The FDA does not agree. The company itself released news that there were problems with their formula and it should not be used if it smells bad. Petag must be in desperate financial condition. They do not care about the lives of animals.

  12. isak says:

    I have read about the possibility that Petag’s replacement milk is tainted from several reliable sources including blogs and websites from rescues and vet clinics, and I have also received a couple comments that it is NOT tainted; that is all a hoax. (Same poster on both comments?)

    My take is that you should give the replacement milk a good smell before feeding your animals with it. If it doesn’t smell right, don’t use it. In the meanwhile, I will try again to contact Petag for their take on this.

    I hope this is a hoax as I have used this product for years on many rescues, but I don’t think a head’s up is so bad in light of the possibility.

    Thanks for your input.

  13. Wilson says:

    It’s truly amazing what one nefarious person can try to dismantle over the the Internet. I have, since writing the previous letter, come to understand that all of this is an attack;a false,hurtful attack to harm a reputable company and nothing more. To set things straight, PetAg™ is trying to be supportive. As I mentioned they did send me some KMR™ replacement at no cost. I have to admit I was sucked into believing they were being untruthful and deceitful. This is absolutely false and I will use KMR™ this coming season because I have complete faith that if something was/is wrong with the formula they will have it totally corrected before baby season to provide our foster animals with nothing but the best KMR™. My apologies to PetAg™ for going off the deep end. Such scare tactics benefit no one but the author of such false information, you should be ashamed of yourself.

  14. Deirdre Wilczak says:

    Please be advised this is all a hoax, the person who is spreading this message has a beef with PetAg™ and is creating many nefarious rumors about it’s milk replacers. If you go to the website mentioned you will find no FDA report – it is all bogus. Better yet…Google the ‘FDA + KMR’ and see what you find..nothing. Now go try ” to FDA + Royal Canin’ (which was recalled if one remembers in 2007) ..and you will find it clear as day to exist, on FDA letter head at FDA.gov. You will not find such material regarding KMR™. Ask Animal Advocates to send you proof, they can’t ; just a lot of double speak and scribbled notes. They can not confirm anything and become very belligerent if one seeks information from them. Fact is the person behind this is trying to sue me for being so honest about the truth. There is no recall, no FDA investigation of PetAg™ or KMR™. This is a very hurtful person at the helm of this bad, fraudulent fiasco.
    For what it’s worth I was drawn up in this horrific story in total fear of yet another recall &/or bad product. I contacted the source as well as the manufacturer and the government agency. There is no contaminated or tainted milk replacer being circulated by Pet Ag & FDA investigation. I will continue to use KMR this year as I have for well over a decade with utter confidence.

What do you think?

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