Companies must pay $7M over misbranded pet food ingredients

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ST. LOUIS (AP) A federal judge in St. Louis has ordered companies from Missouri and California to pay a combined $7 million for shipping ingredients containing poultry feathers and other misbranded items to pet food manufacturers.

Wilbur-Ellis Feed LLC of San Francisco pleaded guilty in April. Diversified Ingredients Inc. of Ballwin, Missouri, pleaded guilty in July. Charges against both companies were misdemeanors. Both were sentenced Thursday.

Federal authorities say Wilbur-Ellis substituted lower cost ingredients for chicken and turkey meal in shipments from a Texas plant to pet food manufacturers in 2013 and 2014. Some shipments included ground-up feathers.

Diversified a commodities broker, merchandiser and distributor had pet food companies among its customers. Its clients received the adulterated ingredients.

Federal prosecutors say the ingredients posed no health threat to animals that ate the pet food.

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