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…
-Del Monte Foods has confirmed that the melamine-tainted wheat gluten used in several of its recalled pet food products was supplied as a “food grade” additive
-Wheat gluten is sold in both “food grade” and “feed grade” varieties. Either may be used in pet food, but only “food grade” gluten may be used in the manufacture of products meant for human consumption.
-Stephen F. Sundlof, director of the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine said the FDA is not aware of any contaminated gluten that went into human food but said he could not confirm this “with 100 percent certainty.”
-The FDA announced today that it has traced the contaminated wheat gluten to a single processor, Xuzhou Anying Biological Technology of Peixian, China, but has not released the name of the U.S. distributor who supplied the product to Del Monte, Menu Foods, Nestle Purina, and Hills Nutritional.
-Public statements have indicated that the contaminated gluten was distributed by a single U.S. company, but since the FDA refuses to name the supplier, it is not yet known if this company also supplies human food manufacturers.
Entire article at link…
Itchmo!Seattle Blog: Petition to Require Pet Food Companies to be Held Accountable for Damages
Thank you to Howl911
Copy of Senator Durbin’s press release (pdf) regarding the Menu Foods recall, dated April 1, 2007. (Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader to view.) Senator Durbin held a press conference today, revealing much greater detail of his call for an investigation. Howl911 will soon have the video posted on its website.
No Aminopterin in Tissues of Animals Killed by Recalled Pet Food (BlackCat Note: Emphasis Added)
AUBURN, Wash., March 30 /PRNewswire/ — Researchers from Syntrix Biosystems, Inc. and The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) announced today that there was no evidence of Aminopterin in the tissues of animals who had died from consuming food from Menu Foods, the manufacturer of the many brands of dog and cat food that are currently the subject of a nationwide recall.
“We became concerned when Aminopterin was implicated as the toxin in the recent pet food recall. The clinical pattern did not fit the known toxicology of Aminopterin,” said John A. Zebala, M.D., Ph.D. President and CEO of Syntrix Biosystems. “We immediately reached out and offered our expertise to other investigators in the field who had reported finding the compound in food samples.”
Using a highly specific and sensitive test for Aminopterin, investigators at UMDNJ documented that there was no evidence of Aminopterin in the tissues of affected animals. “Aminopterin persists in the liver of animals for months at levels that are readily detected,” said Barton A. Kamen, M.D., Ph.D. Professor of Pediatric Oncology at UMDNJ. “Whatever is causing the renal failure, it is not Aminopterin.” These results are completely consistent with the findings of the FDA, who announced today that they found no evidence of Aminopterin in food samples. More at link…
The Chinese supplier of the tainted wheat gluten is identified in the alert.
Eight In One Announces Nationwide Recall of All Lots of Dingo CHICK’N JERKY Treats for Dogs, Cats and Ferrets(BlackCat Note: Emphasis Added)
CINCINNATI-(Business Wire)-March 31, 2007 – Eight In One, Inc., a division of United Pet Group, Inc., is voluntarily recalling nationally all lots of Dingo(R) CHICK’N JERKY treats due to Company concerns that the jerky treats have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella, which can cause serious infections in dogs and cats, and, if there is cross contamination, in people, especially children, the aged, and people with compromised immune systems. The Food and Drug Administration is aware of this recall.
The products affected were sold at Target, PetSmart and other retailers. The products subject to this voluntary recall are Dingo CHICK’N JERKY 3.5 oz. and 8 oz. for dogs and Dingo Kitty CHICKEN JERKY 1.5 oz. for cats and Dingo Ferret CHICKEN JERKY 1.5 oz for ferrets. More at link…
In a phone call from Menu Foods, one bereaved pet parent was advised of the following:
Menu Foods has retained Crawford & Company. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Crawford & Company is the world’s largest independent provider of claims management solutions to insurance companies and self-insured entities, with a global network of more than 700 offices in 63 countries. Major service lines include:
Property and casualty claims management
Integrated claims and medical management for
Legal settlement administration, including class
action and warranty inspections
Risk management information services
Representatives of the company are placing calls to prospective claimants against Menu Foods and asking pet owners for pertinent information regarding the types of pets, foods purchased, dates, medical information and expenses incurred. The company provides the pet owner with a claim number and is notifying them to expect a claims package in the mail. It is not clear how or where Crawford and Company is obtaining the names of potential claimants.
Editor’s note: Pet parents who have joined in a class action suit or who have retained independent legal counsel are strongly advised to first consult your attorney before volunteering any information or physical materials to Crawford & Company.
ALPO Brand Prime Cuts in Gravy Canned Dog Food Voluntary Nationwide Recall(BlackCat Note: Emphasis Added)
ST. LOUIS, March 30 /PRNewswire/ — Nestle Purina PetCare Company today announced it is voluntarily recalling all sizes and varieties of its ALPO(R) Prime Cuts in Gravy wet dog food with specific date codes. The Company is taking this voluntary action after learning today that wheat gluten containing melamine, a substance not approved for use in food, was provided to Purina by the same company that also supplied Menu Foods. The contamination occurred in a limited production quantity at only one of Purina’s 17 pet food manufacturing facilities…
The recalled 13.2-ounce and 22-ounce ALPO Prime Cuts cans and 6-, 8-, 12- and 24-can ALPO Prime Cuts Variety Packs have four-digit code dates of 7037 through 7053, followed by the plant code 1159. Those codes follow a “Best Before Feb. 2009” date. This information should be checked on the bottom of the can or the top or side of the multi-pack cartons.More at link…