AVMA Posts Melamine Study on Sheep in 1966

Melamine caused severe illness and death in sheep in this South African study. It’s safe to say that further testing is needed to determine how small amounts over time will affect pets and people alike.

With 10 g daily one sheep did not die but 2 did so after 16 and 31 days. The 2 sheep which died lost appetite and stopped urinating 3 days before death and urea and creatinine in blood then increased sharply. There were crystals in the kidneys and severe oedema of the lungs.

NOTE: South Africa’s pet food association is recommending the removal of all Chinese ingredients.

(Thanks Marilyn)

58 Responses to “AVMA Posts Melamine Study on Sheep in 1966”

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  1. Don says:

    According to this piece, the sheep tested in the article posted to the AVMA site weigh around 30 kg.

    http://jas.fass.org/cgi/conten.....72/12/3098

    The LD 50 for melamine is about 3 grams per kilogram in body weight. So, for a 30 kg sheep, you would
    expect half those fed 90 grams of melamine in a single dose to die. According to the AVMA posted
    study, sheep were given single doses of 100 grams, which killed them in about a week and a half.

    It should also be noted that every single sheep that died in this study, died as a result of total
    blockage of the kidneys. Basically, the kidneys were glued shut, the sheep were not able to eliminate
    urine, and were poisoned by their own bodily fluids.

    I have seen exactly one article, from an unknown source, claiming a pet death from complete blockage.
    Heavy drinking and matching increased urine out put are the symptoms we’ve been told over and over
    to expect in a food poisoning case. That is NOT what the sheep study shows. The sheep study indicates
    the exact opposite. What this study suggests is that as long as urine out put is normal enough to
    wash out the crystals, or the dosage is low enough not to completely block urine production,
    no long term effects are noted. That is also consistent with studies done on dogs, where the dogs
    received at least 5 times the highest amount of melamine reported to date in the pet food contamination,
    for a full year, with no ill effects.

    IMO, right now we need to be more worried about BS in our media, than melamine in our chicken. And,
    hey, speaking of South Africa, their media reported pet deaths from food contaminated with ethylene
    glycol in December, from ingredients from Europe, not China. I suppose it’s just a coincidence the
    FDA just recently added a warning about sweeteners contaminated with ethylene glycol, but, ya know,
    it’s not really a concern, ya know, it’s just something to think about, and ya know, it’s not really
    a problem, they’re just being overly cautions just in case - I mean, ya know, it’s better to be safe
    than sorry and all that.

    My guess is Menu Foods has known about the melamine for years, added some really poisonous stuff to
    food at their own plants late last year. They then let the really poisonous stuff get sold off the
    shelves to cover their backs, they gave massive doses of melamine to cats and dogs they later sent to
    labs for testing, and blamed the whole thing on melamine they knew was there all along, and while not
    good for the animals, no where near as toxic as it’s being played up to be.

  2. LorieVA says:

    Don,

    The part in the sheep study with the lack of urination fits with the symptoms my 2 cats had, neither of them were using the litter box hardly at all for any bodily functions. They also were not eating or drinking. Just gagging drooling and projectile vomiting

  3. Don says:

    Lorie,

    Thanks for the feedback. That still raises several issues though. 1. Those symptoms aren’t consistent
    with what we’ve been told to look for for 2 months. 2. The amount of melamine alleged to be in the
    food isn’t anywhere near the LD 50 level.

    Did you know that on an LD 50 basis (the single dose required to cause death in half those receiving
    the dose) melamine is slightly less toxic than table salt?

    According to the FDA, some gluten samples were as high as 6.6% melamine. The gluten content is evidently
    around 10%, so you have 10% of 6.6%, or 2/3rds of 1% total melamine in the food. In a 5.5 ounce can
    of food, you might have had as much as 1 gram on melamine in the food. The LD 50 for a 9 pound cat
    would be about 13 grams.

    This site has study information on melamine: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-.....a+Melamine

    In animal toxicity studies of melamine, dogs were given food mixed with melamine at 30,000 parts per
    million. So, one kilogram of dog food would have 30 grams of melamine. That works out to 11 grams of
    melamine in a 13 ounce can of dog food. The dogs were fed this mixture for a full year without ill
    effects. The LD 50 for a 55 pound dog would be about 75 grams. 11 grams works out to 1/14th the LD 50,
    which is comparable to the 1 gram for a 9 pound cat.

    Melamine shouldn’t be toxic at that level, and certainly nothing close to the level that would cause
    animals to drop dead in days as Menu Foods claims. As close as I can figure, that means one of three
    things, Menu was also spiking the food with non protein nitrogen substances such as melamine, there
    is at least one other toxin involved such as the aminopterin identified early on, or Menu intentionally
    loaded up the food dishes with massive quantities of melamine in order to produce the 16 touted
    melamine deaths.

    To make matters worse, pets do die of kidney disease from natural causes, and outdoor pets are exposed
    to any number of toxins and parasites. Assuming the bottom line is assigning liability to the outfit
    ultimately responsible for pet deaths, it is super important to positively identify what toxins were
    responsible. The real question is why now? If this stuff has been going into pet food for years,
    why was there a sudden spike in kidney failures over the past 5-6 months?

    We are a very long way from getting the whole truth. My view is we should avoid the melamine frenzy
    until we have some answers that rise above the level of hype intended to mislead the unwashed masses.

  4. Lorie says:

    Don,

    Not sure what was in the food that made them ill but it was definitely the food they are indoor cats and I have a cat proof house. No plants shoes off in the garage etc………………..

    FF will never tell the truth so I will never know what made my kids sick

  5. Don says:

    Lorie,

    I’d certainly agree with you that two indoor only cats suffering the same symptoms pretty well
    eliminates everything but the food. Hopefully you still have some of the food on hand and didn’t
    give in to the media and company pleas to return your evidence.

    I remain convinced the recall was not announced until after the cover up was fully in place, and the
    company was reasonably certain any toxic food that could be traced back to them had been sold out,
    consumed, or returned. It just isn’t possible to believe toxic food was on the market for over four
    months before anyone noticed something was wrong. Sheesh, Menu Foods claimed they accidently caught
    the problem in their regular quarterly taste tests at the end of February. So, what happened to the
    taste tests three months earlier when the poisoned food had already been on the market for over a
    month?

    In any case, I’m sorry for your loss. The one thing I hope this situation changes is the way our
    courts view liability for killing someone’s pet. We raise these guys from babies, play with them,
    teach them the house rules, bond with them, and come to cherish their unique personalities. If they
    are property, at the very least some consideration should be given for the time and money put into
    making them a property uniquely valuable to us, and the future loss of use of that uniquely valuable
    property. There must have been some pretty pathetic attorneys arguing past cases. Obviously pets are
    property, but they aren’t dime store toasters, they’re works of art uniquely valuable to those who
    own them. The vet bills people have racked up in this mess should prove that. If a pet was only worth
    $50, no one would ever spend thousands of dollars trying to keep one alive.

  6. ThomP says:

    Summary of my research

    My daughter might have melanine poisoning so far this is a summary of what I have found:

    — Sources of Melamine poisoning:
    + US fish farms may have been given meal laced with melamine – it does go through the food chain if the time of death was not significantly separate from intake. Eat fish and you might have gotten it.

    + Contaminated Protein powder
    eMaxHealth.com - Health Care News Articles (Guest)
    … protein concentrate supplied by Wilbur-Ellis that possibly contained melamine contamination. NIH Study Tracks Brain Development In Some 500 Children …
    www.emaxhealth.com/ - 31k -

    — What happens to melamine as it breaks down
    + the degradation pathway of melamine involves the conversion of melamine to ammeline and eventually cyanuric acid.

    — Symptoms of poisoning:
    + ACUTE to MODERATE TOXICITY VIA ORAL ROUTE.
    + MAY CAUSE REVERSIBLE OR IRREVERSIBLE CHANGES TO EXPOSED TISSUE, NOT PERMANENT INJURY OR DEATH; CAN CAUSE CONSIDERABLE DISCOMFORT.
    [Sax, N.I. Dangerous Properties of Industrial Materials. 5th ed. New York: Van Nostrand Rheinhold, 1979., p. 791]**PEER REVIEWED**

    + SIGNS OF TOXICITY FOLLOWING LETHAL DOSES TO MICE INCLUDED:
    * LACRIMATION (tearing),
    * DYSPNEA (shortness of breath/perceived difficulty breathing or pain on breathing.),
    * INTERMITTENT TREMORS, AND
    * COMA PRECEDING DEATH.
    * VASODILATION (Widening of blood vessels resulting from relaxation of the muscular wall of the vessels. ) IN TAIL AND EARS AND
    * PARALYSIS OF FOREQUARTERS WAS ALSO OBSERVED.
    [Clayton, G. D. and F. E. Clayton (eds.). Patty’s Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology: Volume 2A, 2B, 2C: Toxicology. 3rd ed. New York: John Wiley Sons, 1981-1982., p. 2771]**PEER REVIEWED**

    + Bladder stones - a hard crystalline solid was found in the urinary bladder — DIMELAMINE-MONOPHOSPHATE CRYSTALS — Bladder stones were observed in both male and female. Urinary bladder stones were not observed in treated or control female rats, but among male rats the incidence increased in a dose-related manner from the lowest-dose group (2/10) to the 12000 mg/kg level (9/9).
    + Hyperplasia (causing an organ to increase in size) of the bladder was noted in male rats …, but in none of the female rats.
    + piloerection (Erection of the hair of the skin),
    + lethargy,
    + bloody urine spots in the cage and on the pelage of animals, and + chromodacryorrhea (so-called “bloody tears”).
    + DIURESIS

    MELAMINE
    CASRN: 108-78-1
    For other data, click on the Table of Contents

    Human Health Effects:

    Evidence for Carcinogenicity:
    Evaluation: There is inadequate evidence in humans for the carcinogenicity of melamine. There is sufficient evidence in experimental animals for the carcinogenicity of melamine under conditions in which it produces bladder calculi. Overall evaluation: In making the overall evaluation, the Working Group noted that a non-DNA reactive mechanism by which melamine produced urinary bladder tumors in male rats occurred only under conditions in which calculi were produced. Melamine is not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans (Group 3).
    [IARC. Monographs on the Evaluation of the Carcinogenic Risk of Chemicals to Man. Geneva: World Health Organization, International Agency for Research on Cancer, 1972-PRESENT. (Multivolume work)., p. 73 336 (1999)]**PEER REVIEWED**

    Human Toxicity Excerpts:
    HUMAN SUBJECTS WERE GIVEN PATCH TESTS WITH MELAMINE. NO EVIDENCE OF EITHER PRIMARY IRRITATION OR SENSITIZATION WAS FOUND.
    [Clayton, G. D. and F. E. Clayton (eds.). Patty’s Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology: Volume 2A, 2B, 2C: Toxicology. 3rd ed. New York: John Wiley Sons, 1981-1982., p. 2772]**PEER REVIEWED**

    DERMATITIS HAS BEEN REPORTED FROM MFR OF MELAMINE FORMALDEHYDE RESINS & GLUES. IT IS PROBABLE THAT THESE CASES WERE CHIEFLY DUE TO FORMALDEHYDE OR INTERMEDIATE REACTION PRODUCTS OF FORMALDEHYDE & MELAMINE.
    [Clayton, G. D. and F. E. Clayton (eds.). Patty’s Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology: Volume 2A, 2B, 2C: Toxicology. 3rd ed. New York: John Wiley Sons, 1981-1982., p. 2772]**PEER REVIEWED**

    SUMMARY TOXICITY STATEMENT: ACUTE… MODERATE VIA ORAL ROUTE. MODERATE= MAY CAUSE REVERSIBLE OR IRREVERSIBLE CHANGES TO EXPOSED TISSUE, NOT PERMANENT INJURY OR DEATH; CAN CAUSE CONSIDERABLE DISCOMFORT.
    [Sax, N.I. Dangerous Properties of Industrial Materials. 5th ed. New York: Van Nostrand Rheinhold, 1979., p. 791]**PEER REVIEWED**

    Probable Routes of Human Exposure:
    MELAMINE ITSELF DOES NOT SEEM TO BE IMPORTANT INDUSTRIAL HAZARD EXCEPT IF DECOMP BY HEAT. …SKIN SHOULD BE KEPT FREE FROM UNREACTED RESINS…
    [International Labour Office. Encyclopedia of Occupational Health and Safety. Volumes I and II. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1971., p. 852]**PEER REVIEWED**

    NIOSH (NOES Survey 1981-1983) has statistically estimated that 21999 workers (2290 of these are female) are potentially exposed to melamine in the US(1). Occupational exposure may occur through dermal contact with this compound at workplaces where melamine is produced or used(SRC).
    [(1) NIOSH; National Occupational Exposure Survey (NOES) (1983)]**PEER REVIEWED**

    Emergency Medical Treatment:

    Emergency Medical Treatment:
    EMT Copyright Disclaimer:
    Portions of the POISINDEX(R) and MEDITEXT(R) database have been provided here for general reference. THE COMPLETE POISINDEX(R) DATABASE OR MEDITEXT(R) DATABASE SHOULD BE CONSULTED FOR ASSISTANCE IN THE DIAGNOSIS OR TREATMENT OF SPECIFIC CASES. The use of the POISINDEX(R) and MEDITEXT(R) databases is at your sole risk. The POISINDEX(R) and MEDITEXT(R) databases are provided “AS IS” and “as available” for use, without warranties of any kind, either expressed or implied. Micromedex makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy, reliability, timeliness, usefulness or completeness of any of the information contained in the POISINDEX(R) and MEDITEXT(R) databases. ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR USE ARE HEREBY EXCLUDED. Micromedex does not assume any responsibility or risk for your use of the POISINDEX(R) or MEDITEXT(R) databases. Copyright 1974-2007 Thomson MICROMEDEX. All Rights Reserved. Any duplication, replication, “downloading,” sale, redistribution or other use for commercial purposes is a violation of Micromedex’ rights and is strictly prohibited.
    The following Overview, *** GENERAL OR UNKNOWN CHEMICAL ***, is relevant for this HSDB record chemical.
    Life Support:
    o This overview assumes that basic life support measures have been instituted.
    Clinical Effects:

    April 30, 2007
    Melamine in big demand in China as a feed additive

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    By Niu Shuping and Lucy Hornby
    BEIJING (Reuters) - Melamine is so popular as a protein lookalike feed additive that at least one Chinese manufacturer is believed to have torn down buildings to get to leftover scraps, industry officials said on Monday.
    Melamine, used in making plastic and fertilizers, was blamed for killing pets in the United States and South America last month after it was found in wheat gluten and rice protein exported from China for use in pet food.
    More than 100 brands of pet food were recalled, triggering a round of finger-pointing among pet food suppliers in the U.S. China last week said it would ban melamine-tainted protein products from export and from domestic markets.
    Melamine scrap is believed to be commonly mixed in animal feed in China to artificially boost the protein level, especially in soymeal, tricking feedlots and farmers into paying more for feed for chickens and pigs.
    “The chemical plant next to us used the melamine scrap as waste for landfill and built houses on it. Then they tore down the buildings to get the scrap once the price rose,” said a manager with Tai’an Yongfeng Feedmill Co. Ltd in the coastal province of Shandong.
    “It is a very popular business here. I know people have been mixing this since 1991.”
    CUTTING CORNERS
    Shandong is the centre of China’s poultry industry, which is undergoing an industrial revolution as a wealthier population
    demands more meat and poultry.
    The industry has switched away from farmers raising a few chickens in backyards for sale in covered markets, to packed henhouses of thousands of birds that are slaughtered for national distribution.
    Thin margins mean the temptation to cut corners is strong, especially for middlemen selling soymeal in bulk to small feedlots.
    “For every percent of protein you gain, you can make 55 yuan. So if you can turn 38 percent protein soymeal into 43 percent meal, you can make more than 200 yuan per tonne,” said the manager.
    “Feed mills usually have poor equipment and they cannot detect the chemical through tests, not even the big mills.”
    “Fake” soymeal products were widely sold in Hebei and Shandong provinces, the manager said.
    “I never heard of this stuff. But in general, chemical products shouldn’t be put in animal feed, that’s very dangerous,” said Xie Hong, executive vice president of Sichuan Southhope Industry Co., China’s biggest feed producer and controlling stakeholder in Liuhe Group, the country’s largest poultry producer based in Shandong.
    Beijing has issued no regulations to ban the use of the chemical in feed, said a China Feed Industry Association official. He denied any knowledge of use of the additive in feed.
    But an official at the Shandong Mingshui Great Chemical Group, which produces urea for fertilizer, said all of its melamine scrap was sold to companies to boost the nitrogen content in their feed products.
    “They add very small amount of melamine scrap to the feed, which does not lead to mass deaths of animals. But a few here and there might react,” said the manager at the Shandong feedmill, who had not heard that the product had been linked to pet deaths overseas.
    “It might be another story for pets though.”


    Thomas Parkison
    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==
    “My Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history.” Abraham Lincoln

  7. ThomP says:

    Human Health Effects:

    Evidence for Carcinogenicity:
    Evaluation: There is inadequate evidence in humans for the carcinogenicity of melamine. There is sufficient evidence in experimental animals for the carcinogenicity of melamine under conditions in which it produces bladder calculi. Overall evaluation: In making the overall evaluation, the Working Group noted that a non-DNA reactive mechanism by which melamine produced urinary bladder tumors in male rats occurred only under conditions in which calculi were produced. Melamine is not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans (Group 3).
    [IARC. Monographs on the Evaluation of the Carcinogenic Risk of Chemicals to Man. Geneva: World Health Organization, International Agency for Research on Cancer, 1972-PRESENT. (Multivolume work)., p. 73 336 (1999)]**PEER REVIEWED**

    Human Toxicity Excerpts:
    HUMAN SUBJECTS WERE GIVEN PATCH TESTS WITH MELAMINE. NO EVIDENCE OF EITHER PRIMARY IRRITATION OR SENSITIZATION WAS FOUND.
    [Clayton, G. D. and F. E. Clayton (eds.). Patty’s Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology: Volume 2A, 2B, 2C: Toxicology. 3rd ed. New York: John Wiley Sons, 1981-1982., p. 2772]**PEER REVIEWED**

    DERMATITIS HAS BEEN REPORTED FROM MFR OF MELAMINE FORMALDEHYDE RESINS & GLUES. IT IS PROBABLE THAT THESE CASES WERE CHIEFLY DUE TO FORMALDEHYDE OR INTERMEDIATE REACTION PRODUCTS OF FORMALDEHYDE & MELAMINE.
    [Clayton, G. D. and F. E. Clayton (eds.). Patty’s Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology: Volume 2A, 2B, 2C: Toxicology. 3rd ed. New York: John Wiley Sons, 1981-1982., p. 2772]**PEER REVIEWED**

    SUMMARY TOXICITY STATEMENT: ACUTE… MODERATE VIA ORAL ROUTE. MODERATE= MAY CAUSE REVERSIBLE OR IRREVERSIBLE CHANGES TO EXPOSED TISSUE, NOT PERMANENT INJURY OR DEATH; CAN CAUSE CONSIDERABLE DISCOMFORT.
    [Sax, N.I. Dangerous Properties of Industrial Materials. 5th ed. New York: Van Nostrand Rheinhold, 1979., p. 791]**PEER REVIEWED**

    Probable Routes of Human Exposure:
    MELAMINE ITSELF DOES NOT SEEM TO BE IMPORTANT INDUSTRIAL HAZARD EXCEPT IF DECOMP BY HEAT. …SKIN SHOULD BE KEPT FREE FROM UNREACTED RESINS…
    [International Labour Office. Encyclopedia of Occupational Health and Safety. Volumes I and II. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1971., p. 852]**PEER REVIEWED**

    NIOSH (NOES Survey 1981-1983) has statistically estimated that 21999 workers (2290 of these are female) are potentially exposed to melamine in the US(1). Occupational exposure may occur through dermal contact with this compound at workplaces where melamine is produced or used(SRC).
    [(1) NIOSH; National Occupational Exposure Survey (NOES) (1983)]**PEER REVIEWED**

  8. melamine dish warning us says:

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