ASPCA Believes Fear Of Acetaminophen In Pet Food To Be Unfounded

Pet Food

APSCA is now saying that pet parents can rest easy about the safety of our pet food based on the fact that UC Davis has tested three cans of cat food and they all have tested negative for acetaminophen.

ASPCA experts have kept close contact with veterinary toxicologists at the University of California (Davis), who conducted independent tests on cat foods to analyze for this contaminant. Based on their negative findings―which support those of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as reported in the press―we believe that fears of widespread acetaminophen contamination are unfounded.

“A few weeks ago, we received three cans of cat food supplied for testing by an individual pet owner,” says Dr. Robert H. Poppenga, a board-certified veterinary toxicologist running the Toxicology Section of the California Animal Health and Food Safety System at UC Davis’ School of Veterinary Medicine. “We were told that this was the same food that had tested positive for acetaminophen and cyanuric acid at a private laboratory in Texas. We immediately began conducting our own rigorous tests on these foods, and all the samples came back negative for this type of contamination.”

More on ASPCA’s findings after the jump.


Adds the ASPCA’s Dr. Steven Hansen, a board-certified veterinary toxicologist and Senior Vice President, ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, “The bottom line is that neither did the FDA’s tests confirm the presence of acetaminophen, nor did those conducted by UC-Davis—nor has the APCC managed any clinical cases to date. As a result, we want to reassure the public that, based on this information, we believe any fear of acetaminophen contamination in pet food is unfounded, and pet parents should rest easy on that account.”

We will continue to monitor developments in the Menu Foods recall situation and related information, and will provide regular updates and advice for pet parents at our Pet Food Recall Resource Center.

(Thanks Joyce)

41 Responses to “ASPCA Believes Fear Of Acetaminophen In Pet Food To Be Unfounded”

  1. Sky Eyes Woman says:

    Ooooh…THREE whole cans! I feel safer already! How about you?

  2. Ann H says:

    ..About as effective as the 1% PR speil spewed by Menu Foods and the PFI.. and which was so comforting and made Menu’s stocks so stable & secure..

  3. 3Catmom says:

    And the FDA didn’t find rat poision which the lab in New York STILL maintains was found.

  4. Ruth says:

    Why would one believe only what one university test results say. Considering that many colleges around the country are or have been funded by pet food companies.

    Makes me wonder if UC Davis has anything to do with any pet food company?

    Here’s an interesting article I found.

  5. pat says:

    at this point, with so much lying, so many confidentiality agreements, and a complete lack of regulatory consequences for those responsible for the mass poisoning of our pets, i will never believe any official announcement by any of the players in these disgraceful incidents again.

  6. Elaine says:

    A story about pigs entering the U.S. from Canada that were ill with 2 different virusus, the virus is not considered harmful to humans, so they SLAUGHTERED them while they were still SICK, and they entered OUR FOOD SUPPLY!

    What are they THINKING?

    Oh, I know! They are thinking “these pigs are owned by big agribusiness, and we don’t want to impact THEIR bottom line, or we are in deep pig doo doo!”

  7. HomeGrown says:

    A conflict of interest?

  8. Katie says:

    Three cans, one lab. If the day ever comes, where samples are checked by three or more qualified labs (like the NY federal home security lab) all using the same testing procedure, and results are posted along with the QC; only then I might believe the FDA, etc.

    I still think they are covering up the real reason that pets died and became sick, some still recovering. There must be excessive pressure from agribusiness, government and multi national corporations. Heaven forbid the truth came out and the export business suffered. Me thinks sadly, our agribusiness has been pulling the wool over our eyes for a long time.

    Re: hogs
    Sounds typical of FDA and USDA, etc. Money is more impt. than worrying about contaminating non-infected herds or the American public. There’s probably an antibiotic out there or soon to be released that will make us all well.

    Glad they mentioned Hormel: won’t worry about buying that brand for a long time. Thanks for the info. Elaine.


  9. Donna says:

    They have certainly put an end to this story very quickly. It’s definitely a lumpy carpet as so much has been swept underneath it.

    It is truly difficult for me to understand why someone (government agency, pet food company, journalist, etc) will not show even a slight interest in researching this issue to determine exactly what toxins are in pet food. Instead the pet owners are leading the research and footing the bill for analyses.

    The FDA has not fulfilled their very mission to protect the food supply for animals or humans. Pet food companies are claiming no knowledge that pets are being made sick as a result of eating their food (including brands not currently on the recall list).

    The one thing more important than the fact there is “something” toxic in pet food is the fact that “something” is being covered up.

  10. Trudy Jackson says:

    I don’t believe anyone anymore. I’m sure what Dons’ tested for was right.
    Is this old news? I just watched TV news and whole warehouse was filled with Melamine? In China? Has that been on before? Or do have more to look forward to?

  11. Trudy Jackson says:

    Thanks Ruth, I guess Iams was doing a lot more gross testing on animals than I thought.

  12. anon says:

    A question about the woman in the photo looking over pet food. Is that a magnifying glass she is using or do I need one?

  13. Ruth says:

    ” Dr. Steven Hansen, Senior Vice President of the ASPCA Midwest Office, is a member of the Iams International Animal Care Advisory Board. As a member of the Board, Dr. Hansen has unlimited access to the research protocols and programs that the Iams Research and Development Department is undertaking. This type of access is unprecedented.”

    This was stated on the ASPCA’s website, the ASPCA supposedly does unannounced site inspections of IAM’s research facilities.

    Why do they feel that ExperTox is not creditable in its test results?

  14. Leslie k says:

    Shopping gets easier & easier. It takes 3 times as long & I don’t get 3/4 of whats on my list.The list of co’s I won’t buy from keeps growing.

  15. petslave says:

    well of course they say that, since all the companies went through & did a silent recall everywhere.

  16. chris says:

    UC Davis wouldnt find acetaminophen in a bag full of Tylenol if it had the right name on it.

  17. chris says:

    It appers to me that Expertox is fully capable and is certified & accrediated.


    1-Dept Health & Human Services
    2-FDEA (Federal Drug Enforcement
    3- College of American Pathologist
    (CAP- Laboratory Accreditation

    Dr Ernest Lykissa, Forensic Toxicologist with over 25 years of medical, laboratory and research experience directs all laboratory testing at ExperTox.

    I dont see them asking for donations like UC Davis does on their web site.

  18. jean s says:

    Just watched Bill Moyer’s Journal on PBS. One of the segments was on the expansion of NAFTA/CAFTA to another 5 countries, including China. This bill comes up for vote in July! Look at for details.

    If this trade bill passes, it will not only ship more jobs overseas (it actually provides incentives for such outsourcing), and further depress American wages, but PREVENT a US gov agency from refusing foreign imports as long as they claim to meet our standards!

    Grab your congressional reps at parades this 4th of July!

  19. Boutique Owner says:

    Of course the ASPCA has confidence in UC Davis. The ASPCA has a major connection with Proctor & Gamble and UC Davis has a connection with Hills Science Diet. The two big guys stand together and say it’s so. Then we all sit back and watch the story go away. Welcome to America.

  20. Steve says:

    Oh let me guess the PFI will complain and yap. . . . “we’re getting squeezed to death, regulated to death!”

  21. Steve M. says:

    My two healthy cats go from living their happy cat lives to one being dead from acute renal failure and the other being debilitated from renal failure and anemia within 10 days of opening a bag of Hills Science Diet Sensitive Stomach. Expertox tests the food and finds acetaminophen.

    I feel so much better now ASPCA. Thanks for your diligence. I guess it was just a mere coincidence that my cats got sick and that I decided to have their food tested by such an incompetent lab, that they would find a contaminent that wasn’t actually in the food. Wow my luck really stinks. Or I guess there is the possibility that you and the FDA and PFI are a BUNCH OF F_ _ _ ING LIARS.

  22. HighNote says:

    Since the Texas lab tested possitive I would think they would look into more then only three cans. So.. they are saying all of these cans were done in the same run so they only have to test three of them. That is a lot of crap!
    I do not understand why they would not take the Texas lab word for their test! One tests possitive and one test negative so we can rest easy. Are they totally out of their minds! Any possitive test is dangerous and says that it was in some of the food. Maybe doses are larger in some portions then others. This sure makes since to me. I would think it would take more then three little cans since there was a possitive test on it. It should not make any difference who did it. really sick.. it just gets worse and worse. Just looks like they were bought off to be lie about it all.

  23. menusux says:

    Trudy Jackson says:
    June 29th, 2007 at 5:32 pm

    “I don’t believe anyone anymore. I’m sure what Dons’ tested for was right.
    Is this old news? I just watched TV news and whole warehouse was filled with Melamine? In China? Has that been on before? Or do have more to look forward to?”


    This is the only warehouse full of melamine contaminated “wheat gluten” (really wheat flour) I’m aware of:

    “The wheat gluten being held in an Allegheny County warehouse was destined for Pittsburgh-based Company, but that company never bought or received any of that shipment, Gardine said.

    “Company previously recalled some dog food and cat and dog treats that had been made with some of the contaminated ingredients.”

    “The Company took this voluntary recall action immediately after learning this morning from the FDA that wheat gluten supplied from a specific manufacturing facility in China contained melamine. The adulteration occurred in a limited production quantity on select product codes of the brands below.”

    This was dated March 31 and says this recall is for products produced at a facility of this company–not a contract supplier.

    “shipped from its Kansas City warehouse to three pet food manufacturers and one distributor who supplies wheat gluten only to the pet food industry….notified its other three wheat gluten customers about the FDA’s investigation. Those customers had all purchased smaller amounts of the Xuzhou Anying wheat gluten commencing in January, 2007.”

    Guess who!

    “He rents space in five warehouses around the country and provides a variety of pet food ingredients to manufacturers and pet food ingredient distributors….MF is the ONLY customer lost, leaving 17 others.”

    This one had 2 recalls, one of the food produced for them by MF and one for non-MF produced food. Keep remembering that the melamine was found March 30–

    “products that were produced by MF from December 3, 2006 through March 14, 2007″

    Made by MF and recalled March 16.

    “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 by the same company that also supplied MF…The contamination occurred in a limited production quantity at only one of this company’s 17 pet food manufacturing facilities.”

    Recalled March 30–date FDA issues findings re: melamine. Says this recall was for product produced at a facility of this company, not a contract manufacturer.

    And if the Las Vegas news story was correct, these companies are still customers. Another was MF, who cancelled–that brings us to a total of 3 PF companies, as above:

    “shipped from its Kansas City warehouse to three pet food manufacturers and one distributor who supplies wheat gluten only to the pet food industry.”

  24. HighNote says:

    Why do they ship swine from Canada anyway? We raise plenty of swine in the U.S. I donot understand all of this foreign shippments of things. Where do all of our swine go? overseas? I suppose we are eating cattle and pigs from Mexico and Canada and the U.S. is making a profit else where. WEll I guess they will enjoy all the melamine meat then.

  25. Sharon says:

    yes highnote, the hogs raised in Iowa go to Japan. Of course they are expensive because they are not treated like a commodity that can have anything done to it to make a buck. Other countries demand safety in food that we export. That is one of the reason the trade deficit is what it is. We make quality products (agricultural and otherwise) for shipment overseas and import crap from China to feed the unintelligent masses in the US who love shopping at Walmart.

  26. HighNote says:

    Thanks Sharon. So.. I am from Kansas and I suppose all of our hogs go overseas somewhere too. All this time I thought I was eating meats from the U.S. I would really like to know where my meat comes from and not the name of the company that only packages it. That is pretty sad that the only thing on the label has to be the packager. Who cares about him? We should know where all of our food supply orginates.
    I thought most of our beef in Kansas came out of Emporia and of course was from cattle and pigs in our area.. But guess this is not so. I shopped at Dillons and it used to say out of Emporia and now it say out of Colorado. I stopped buying that beef after that and before the recall. Now I find out that maybe none of the meats we eat may be even from the U.S. at all. So now I do not know what may be in any of it. I really do not eat much meat myself, but my family likes it. I could be a vegetarian so very easily, especially now!

  27. Trudy Jackson says:

    Menusux, Thanks for all the links. I read them all.
    what i saw on TV yesterday, was a bunch of chinese standing around a bunch of bags, a lot of them, that said Melamine. Could this have been old news? I just saw it. didn’t catch the very begining. Scared the heck out of Me. There might more bags in china? I don’t know what to think?

  28. 'reader Mike' says:

    All of us blogs regulars and comment writers and readers agree FDA has been less than honest and open over the entire history of this event. On numerous times FDA has declined to identify companies and/or suppliers. We all remember during one of the phone tele-conferences when Christie Keith asked about a particular recall which was just then breaking during the conference. They talked about it after she asked, in the Q & A phase, but not up front, and they HAD to have known beforehand because companies are required by law to inform FDA when they’re doing a recall. That’s just one instance.
    The media largely feel the investigative phase of the story is over.
    There is ONE place where this is still ‘not over’ — its Congress. The SECOND “Diminished Capacity: Can the FDA Protect the Food Supply” hearing of the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations is scheduled to come up soon. Some in Congress are already as disgusted with FDA officials as we are: Remember Dingell and Stupak had to threaten subpoenas to get info, DeLauro threatened to zero out FDA top dogs salaries, Durbin and Cantwell wrote a letter and tried to embarrass FDA by sharing with the media, asking FDA to identify the unnamed second importer of RPC. If there’s one thing Sens and Reps don’t take well it’s Fedl agency people dis-ing their authority. This is where we all have to go with this folks, BEFORE the second hearing takes place, we need to demand of the House subcom that they take a more complete look at the FDA’s dragging their feet and lack of openness throughout all this. The media feels this is over, the House is still open for business.
    I’m asking everyone here to join me and write House Committee Chair Rep John Dingell, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and demand that they conduct a more in depth review of FDA actions in this. Rep Rosa DeLauro also because she’s already on record with discontent. And also you own Rep if he or she is on either Dingell’s committee or Stupak’s subcom, Dem or Repub doesn’t matter. The more of them we can enlist the better. Point out for them correctly every instance where FDA has withheld info…. go back through the ‘live-blogs’ and transcripts. Remind them that Dingell and Stupak had to make theats to get questions answered. (I have concerns about Corn-Gluten and Cyanuric Acid still, and I notice one common ingredient among the foods that have tested positive for C/A is C-G, and I believe FDA may woke up to this too late, so now just doesn’t want to persue it any further).
    Mail you concerns to all of the above. It’s not over in the House. This hearing is supposed to take place soon, and regular mail with security concerns may not make it in time, so its better in addition to regular mail to FAX it also. Thanks, mike

  29. Trudy Jackson says:

    Mike, that’s what I was going to ask. who do we get in touch with Now? and get everyone to send a letter. Deluge them with it so they get the point. thanks.

  30. Captn'Carl says:

    “We’re from the government and we’re here to help”. Help who FDA?
    None of the conclusions reached by the “venerable” FDA coincide with reality.

    Are you really surprised?

  31. Captn'Carl says:

    Now then: The ASPCA. A very respected group. Where do you suppose most of the donated pet food used by this organization comes from?

    You don’t really expect them to “Bite the hand that feeds them” no do you?

  32. MarySmith says:

    RE: Captn’Carl says: June 30th, 2007 at 3:09 pm

    Don’t you think that the ASPCA wants *safe* donated pet food??

    Why are they lying through their teeth, then???

    I’m just putting these questions out there for anyone to answer.

  33. menusux says:

    Trudy Jackson says:
    June 30th, 2007 at 12:53 pm

    “what i saw on TV yesterday, was a bunch of chinese standing around a bunch of bags, a lot of them, that said Melamine. Could this have been old news? I just saw it. didn’t catch the very begining. Scared the heck out of Me. There might more bags in china? I don’t know what to think?”

    What you might have seen is the TV station using what’s called stock footage–in this case it may have been a clip from 2-3 months ago. The reason they may have been using this is because yesterday some types of fish and shrimp imported from China are no longer being allowed to enter the US. This is because they’ve constantly been detaining shipments like these for illegal antibiotics/drugs and various toxins which aren’t allowed here. The TV station might have been trying to make a point re: all the rubbish products which have been sent here from China in the last few months.

  34. menusux says:

    Folks, this is somewhat OT, but think this qualifies as a stay safe alert. The counterfeit Colgate toothpaste is again in the news in more states and areas; they’ve also found harmful bacteria in it. Some of the fake Colgate has DEG in it, and some has bacteria in it:

    Bogus toothpaste now found in 6 states including Mich. and Canada
    Detroit Free Press/AP June 30, 2007

    “Counterfeit Colgate toothpaste has now turned up in Canada, where testing has found dangerous bacteria but not the poisonous chemical previously detected in four states, a health official said Saturday.

    “In addition, store owners and police say they have discovered that the bogus Colgate was sold in Michigan and Virginia.

    “The FDA warned earlier in June that fake Colgate distributed in Maryland, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania may contain a poisonous chemical called diethylene glycol, or DEG, that typically is used in antifreeze. That toothpaste was the subject of a June 13 recall by a New Jersey distributor.

    “It was not immediately clear if the counterfeit products in Pinconning, Mich. and Arlington, Va. had been tested for DEG.

    Tom Hornacek, who co-owns Pinny Food Center in Pinconning, told The Bay City Times that he issued a recall after learning about the problem on television. The toothpaste was purchased from a dollar store supplier.

    “This is the only item we bought from a dollar store supplier,” Hornacek said. “We had quite a few cases.”

    “In Canada, testing did not find the chemical but did show high levels of harmful bacteria, said Paul Duchesne, a spokesman for Health Canada.

    A Food and Drug Administration spokeswoman said Saturday she was checking into reports of the wider distribution beyond the first four states.

    “The bacteria pose a significant health risk, especially to children and anyone with a weakened immune system, Health Canada said. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police is investigating.

    “In all cases, the toothpaste was labeled as made in South Africa. Both the FDA and New York-based Colgate-Palmolive Co. have said the products are fake, citing in part misspellings — “SOUTH AFRLCA” is one — on the packaging. Its true origin is unknown, according to the FDA.

    “A review of FDA import refusal records show that over the last year the agency has stopped shipments of Colgate toothpaste from eight countries: Australia, China, Britain, Indonesia, India, Mexico, the Philippines and South Africa.

    “Health Canada said it has identified 21 Chinese-made toothpastes that contain up to 13.7 percent DEG — a far higher level than anything found in U.S. testing. Canada too is stopping all imports of Chinese toothpaste until they can be proven safe.”

  35. Trudy Jackson says:

    If you can check out the New your Times, there are some articles about china.
    One i looked up on the web- Put this down=
    China 29 accused of smuggling fake goods into us. The other was about food. will it ever end? no.

  36. Trudy Jackson says:

    The one about food, go to -
    Food safty crackdown in china.
    It tells about closing 180 plants. So, how safe are We going to be in the future? Not very, I’m afraid.

  37. thomas says:

    Not only should we be concerned about nafta , we should still make sure we call our federal senators and reppresenitives and tell them we do not want farm ct2007 passed. You can view the act at We should really be concerned about title one sect. 123 . If this section passes we will not have the right to know about GE’s and GMO’s grown in our area and state and local governments will not be able to pass laws that are supersede the federal law. This is on same as above at
    It seems the farm groups and agri businesses want to take away our freedom and right to know.

  38. thomas says:

    I’ll try again

  39. Ruth says:

    To MarySmith: “Don’t you think that the ASPCA wants *safe* donated pet food??
    Why are they lying through their teeth, then???”

    Yes, thats a good question. I would think that they want *safe* donated pet food. But on the other hand big companies and money talks.

    Just look at what the pet food companies did to the hog farmers selling them pet food that was toxic. They knew since last Dec. 06 that something was wrong with the pet food and they chose to ignore it. Maybe they could keep it their dirty little secret but couldn’t since too many pets started to die.

  40. Captn' Carl says:

    Back to the ASPCA. Has anyone bothered to check the names of their board of directors and benefactors?

    As with most mega-philanthropic organizations, they are usually chaired, directed by and funded by large the heads of other corporations as charitable tax write offs.

    Who might those Large Corporations possibly be?

    Who would have the most to gain by associating with an organization like the ASPCA?

    Based on their immediate and unquestioning support of the imaginary findings of the FDA, in the best interest of the greedy corporations who are now under the gun for the pet food recall travesty—is there any question as to the most probable identities of the philanthropists who are now busily calling in their “markers”?

    Think it over. Think it just couldn’t possibly be so? Where there’s Smoke – there’s Fire!

  41. Acetaminophen » Blog Archive » Propoxyphene And Acetaminophen says:

    […] APSCA is now saying that pet parents can rest easy about the safety of our pet food based on the fact that UC Davis has tested three cans of cat food and they all have tested negative for acetaminophen. … …more […]

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