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Friday, June 19, 2009

CHEMNUTRA OWNERS PLEAD GUILTY TO DISTRIBUTING TAINTED PET FOOD

JUNE 16, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Matt J. Whitworth, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Nevada company and its owners pleaded guilty in federal court today to distributing a tainted ingredient used to make pet food, which resulted in a nationwide recall of pet food and the death and serious illness of countless pets across the United States in 2007.

“Millions of pet owners were impacted by the pet food recall in 2007,” Whitworth said. “The conduct of these defendants in violating federal health and safety standards caused the deaths and illness of thousands of family pets, as well as anxiety among dog and cat owners across the country and economic harm to many pet food manufacturers.”

Sally Qing Miller, 43, a Chinese national, and her husband, Stephen S. Miller, 56, both of Las Vegas, Nev., along with their company, Chemnutra, Inc., pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge John Maughmer this afternoon to some of the charges contained in a Feb. 6, 2008, federal indictment, and agreed that the conduct charged against them in the remaining counts could be considered by the court as relevant conduct and used against them at the time of sentencing.

“The FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations acted aggressively in 2007 to investigate Chemnutra,” said Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D., Commissioner of Food and Drugs. “Today’s announcement reflects our continued commitment to investigate and prosecute companies and individuals that violate the law and endanger the public’s health through illegal conduct.”

Chemnutra is a company that buys food and food components in China and imports those items into the United States to sell to companies in the food industry. Sally Miller is the controlling owner and president of Chemnutra; Stephen Miller is an owner and chief executive officer of Chemnutra. Each of the three co-defendants pleaded guilty to one count of selling adulterated food and one count of selling misbranded food.

United States Attorney

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