SK: Recall Update

SkunkLady2 at SkunkLady2 at
Fri Mar 30 11:20:58 PDT 2007

Feds Find Chemical in Recalled Pet Food

By Andrew Bridges

WASHINGTON (March 30) - Recalled pet foods contained a chemical used to make 
plastics, but government tests failed to confirm the presence of rat poison, 
federal officials said Friday. 

The Food and Drug Administration said it found melamine in samples of the 
Menu Foods pet food, as well as in wheat gluten used as an ingredient. Cornell 
University scientists 
also have found the chemical, also used as a fertilizer, in the urine of sick 
cats, as well 
as in the kidney of one cat that died after eating the company's wet food. 

Menu Foods recalled 60 million containers of cat and dog food earlier this 
month after animals died of kidney failure after eating the Canadian company's 
products. It is not clear how many pets may have been poisoned by the 
apparently contaminated food, although anecdotal reports suggest hundreds if not 
thousands have died. The FDA alone has received more than 8,000 complaints. 

The new finding comes a week after scientists at the New York State Food 
Laboratory identified a rat poison and cancer drug called aminopterin as the 
likely culprit. The FDA said it could not confirm that finding. 

New York officials have detected melamine as well, though it's not clear how 
that chemical would have poisoned pets. It's typically used to produce plastic 
kitchen wares, though it's apparently used as a fertilizer in Asia, said 
Stephen F. Sundlof, director of the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine. 

The recall involved nearly 100 brands of "cuts and gravy" style dog and cat 
food made by Menu Foods. The recall covered products carrying names of major 
brand-name and private-label products sold throughout North America. 

The apparently melamine-contaminated wheat gluten also was shipped to an 
unnamed company that manufactures dry pet food. The FDA is attempting to determine 
if that product, imported from China, was used to make any pet food, Sundlof 

Menu Foods used wheat gluten, a source of vegetable protein, to thicken the 
gravy of its pet foods, FDA officials have said. has a complete list of all recalled foods.

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