Monthly Archives: April 2007

FDA suspects pet food tainted intentionally

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) suspects that at least two of the contaminated ingredients used in more than 100 brands of recalled cat and dog food foods may have been intentionally laced with melamine to boost their apparent protein content. Melamine has been found in wheat gluten and rice protein concentrate imported from China.

American Hog Farm in Ceres California was placed under quarantine when melamine was found in pig urine. Testing is under way to see if the chemical is present in meat produced there by the State Department of Food and Agriculture. Officials are urging people who purchased pigs from American Hog Farm since April 3 to not consume the product until further notice.

South African media is reporting that a third pet food ingredient, corn gluten was also laced with melamine, suspected of killing 30 dogs. The FDA says corn gluten has not been found in the U.S.

Stephen Sundlof, the FDA’s chief veterinarian told reporters “Melamine was found in all three of those — it would certainly lend credibility to the theory that it may be intentional. That will be one of the theories we will pursue when we get into the plants in China.”

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Beware of AT&T’s business practices

If you’re an AT&T customer, check your phone bill carefully if you’re moving and transferring your phone number to the new address. Even if you’re moving a couple of blocks away from where you were.

In April of 2007 I moved a few blocks down the street from where I was. Before I moved I received a phone bill with a due date of April 16. Payment was sent in a week before it was due.

Lo and behold, a couple of weeks after I moved I received a new phone bill from AT&T. Someone in their infinite stupidity decided to change the due date from the middle of the month to the first of the month. The bill showed that my charges were past due and there was a late charge on it.

After calling the customer service number and being told that I couldn’t talk to a representative until after the past due bill was paid I finally got to speak to a customer service rep. The customer service rep. tried to tell me that when the bill is due depends on where you live, and that one of her credit card companies did that to her too. Yeah right.

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Protecting your personal data

Just how safe is your personal information when you send in your tax forms to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)? A little over 5 years ago it was revealed that the IRS was missing more than 2300 computers. Eventually 1600 of the 2300 missing computers were located.

A recent internal audit of the IRS fount that “at least” 490 computers, which included 13 desktop computers, were lost or stolen in 387 separate incidents between January 2003 and June 2006. Of the approximately 100,000 employees, 47,000 have been issued laptop computers.

A copy of the report titled “The IRS is not adequately protecting taxpayer data on laptop computers and other portable electronic media devices” can be found on the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration web site.

Every year the IRS processes more than 220 million tax returns containing personal financial information and personally identifiable information such as Social Security Numbers.

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