The great pet food scandal - It's only the tip of the iceberg: this week's Maclean's



    How one supplier caused such a huge crisis, and why the business model
    that led to the poisoning isn't likely to change. Plus, why U.S.
    lawmakers won't change lax gun laws to protect their own citizens. In the
    issue of Maclean's on newsstands starting today.

    TORONTO, April 19 /CNW/ - Pet-owners are stunned, and devastated. It is
believed some 40,000 pets who ate Menu Foods products made with melamine-laced
wheat gluten have been made sick in the U.S. and Canada, and thousands have
died. The numbers only begin to describe the debacle, and its ruinous effect
on each family it touched.
    The scope of the tragedy - emotional and financial - continues to widen,
reports Maclean's. The recall has been expanded four times in the last four
weeks, with 889 separate items under 100 different brand names yanked off the
market. The company's explanations raise more questions than answers, and
there's been predictable talk of reform at the government level. In Canada,
talks between pet food makers, vets and a variety of federal agencies have
already begun, with a view to imposing rules on an unregulated industry. In
the U.S., members of the Senate's agriculture appropriations subcommittee have
held hearings into the Food and Drug administration's handling of the crisis,
while the FDA itself continues to investigate the cause of the contamination.
But the economic model that led to the poisoning shows little sign of change.
Even in the throes of a PR nightmare, the big grocery chains continue to
support Menu, a production behemoth with whom they share a mutual dependency.

    In the line of fire - gun violence in America
    The massacre of 32 staff and students, and wounding of 17 others at
Virginia Tech this week, is an epic tragedy. But sadly, it's remarkable mostly
for its scale - the worst shooting spree in American history - rather than its
aberrance. Similar, smaller acts of calculated violence are now an almost
weekly feature of American life. The intense media focus on events like the
Virginia Tech shootings, last year's slaying of five young Amish girls at a
rural Pennsylvania school, or the 1999 Columbine massacre, has created a
perception that they are happening more frequently, but the number of such
tragedies has stayed constant for close to 30 years. And while mass killings
are an international phenomenon - the Dunblane massacre in Scotland, a rampage
in Erfurt, Germany, that left 16 dead in 2002, and Canada's own Ecole
Polytechnique, Taber and Dawson College shootings among them - the U.S.
remains their unquestioned epicentre. Why won't U.S. lawmakers protect their
own citizens? In this week's Maclean's.

    About Maclean's:
    Maclean's is Canada's only national weekly current affairs magazine.
Maclean's enlightens, engages and entertains 2.9 million readers with strong
investigative reporting and exclusive stories from leading journalists in the
fields of international affairs, social issues, national politics, business
and culture. Visit www.macleans.ca.





For further information:

For further information: Jacqueline Segal, (416) 764-4125,
Jacqueline.segal@rci.rogers.com

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