"U.S. Marshals seized millions of dollars worth of ingredients on May 7 2009 from American Mercantile Corporation, based in Memphis Tennessee. During an inspection of the company in March, FDA investigators discovered evidence of extensive rodent and insect infestation throughout the company's warehouse, which the company failed to correct."
"American Mercantile stores and processes food ingredients, which are sold or used in the dietary supplements, food, tea and pet food manufacturing industries. The seized articles include food products such as sarsaparilla, spearmint leaves, cornstarch, sweet orange peels powder, licorice powder, sassafras, and salt."
"American Mercantile apparently also has links to pet and equine foods. According to a story on herbs4horses.com, American Mercantile is a parent company of Herbs for Horses, an herbal product company for the equine and pet market. American Mercantile's ability to source ingredients for equine and pet foods is what attracted Don Silver, Manager of Equine Science to sell his company to American Mercantile in 2006. In a 2006 interview with Equine Journal, Silver said, "American Mercantile has a solid 20-year history in the import business, offering herbs from all over the world, ranging from soothing aloe to bitter, pungent zedoary root and hundreds of others in between. With American Mercantile as our parent company, we have continuing access to a large supply of fresh, high-quality herbs from all over the world."
No one at Ingredients Corporation of America or Herbs for Horses was available for comment at the time of publication, but the ownership affiliation between these two companies and American Mercantile gives rise to the question about whether contaminated ingredients are in finished foods and pet products." http://www.npicenter.com/anm/templates/newsATemp.aspx?articleid=23973&zoneid=2http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/2009/NEW02012.html