This info came out on Friday, 3/30/07; I had fallen a bit behind on updates due to my own ordeal with one of my cats.
Chemical Used in Plastics Found in Recalled Pet Food (BlackCat Note: Emphasis Added)
U.S. Food and Drug Administration testing found a chemical commonly used in plastics, but no rat poison, in the recalled pet food that has killed and sickened cats and dogs nationwide, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review learned Thursday.
Testing by the FDA and at least one lab independent of the agency found melamine, a chemical used in plastics and household textiles, in samples of the recalled pet food and in one of its ingredients — wheat gluten — said an FDA official and another source close to the investigation. Neither wanted to be identified prior to the FDA’s formal announcement this morning.
Whether melamine is the source of the animal illness is unclear, they said. The National Toxicology Program of the Department of Health and Human Services reports on its Web site, however, that melamine in rats caused loss of weight, marked reduction of food consumption and high mortality — the same symptoms pet owners have witnessed in cats and dogs that ate the recalled food.
Because of a lack of scientific data, it is unclear what level of melamine would be harmful to cats and dogs, the sources said. An unknown number of cats and dogs nationwide have died or become ill with kidney failure. More at link…
WASHINGTON (AP) – A greater sensitivity of cats to a chemical found in plastics and pesticides could explain why they’ve died in larger numbers than have dogs after eating contaminated pet food, experts said Saturday.
The small number of confirmed reports of pet deaths bolstered by a far larger number of unconfirmed anecdotal reports suggests cats were more susceptible to poisoning by the chemical melamine that tainted the now recalled pet food, officials with the Food and Drug Administration and American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said Saturday.
“I am concerned we have a situation where we have a sensitive species and it is the cat,” said Steven Hansen, a veterinary toxicologist and director of the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control center in Urbana, Ill.
Testing by the FDA and Cornell University has found melamine in samples of recalled pet food as well as in crystal form in the urine and kidney tissue of dead cats. They’ve also found the chemical, in apparently raw form in concentrations as high as 6.6 percent, in wheat gluten used as ingredient of the recalled cat and dog foods, said Stephen Sundlof, the FDA’s chief veterinarian.
“There was a sizable amount of melamine. You could see crystals in the wheat gluten,” Sundlof told The Associated Press. More at link…