FDA Finds Other Toxin, Possibly Also in Dry Food

The FDA announced that it’s investigation did not reveal the rat poison found by the NY lab, but instead found melamine — a fertilizer known to be fatal to rats. They also indicated that “pet food poison may be in dry food, too.” FDA said another company used the wheat gluten from China in dry food, yet the FDA is withholding that company’s name.

We reported on possible dry food contamination earlier in the week as well as what may happen if aminopterin was not the cause of deaths.

UPDATE 2: The dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University said that they were unable to find aminopterin, and that the discovery was reported to the FDA on March 26 and 27. (PetConnection) Why does the FDA continue to repeatedly wait until Friday to release the news? (A.k.a. “Take out the garbage day.“)

Howl911 has an excellent summary of the affects of melamine.

UPDATE: The ASPCA, who cautioned against the assumption of a single toxin, announced this:

“Melamine at high doses causes a pronounced diuretic affect in dogs and rats, as well as the development of crystals in their urine,” said Dr. Steven Hansen, veterinary toxicologist and senior vice president with the ASPCA, who manages the ASPCA’s Midwest Office, including its Animal Poison Control Center (APCC). “The twist in the tale is that melamine itself has a very high safety margin, especially when compared with a toxin such as aminopterin.

“Cats, however, are a very sensitive species, and can react adversely to many chemicals and drugs,” continued Dr. Hansen. “Because of their unique physiology, we suspect that they may also be more sensitive to the adverse effects of melamine.

“Further, crystals in urine have been reported by veterinary diagnosticians and clinicians in some of the pets affected by the contaminated foods. However, the direct connection between melamine and renal failure, especially in cats, is not clear and requires additional investigation.”

More from the AP story on the FDA press conference after the jump.

“Government testing found a chemical used to make plastics in recalled pet food linked to the deaths of dogs and cats, officials said Friday,” according to the Associated Press. “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.”

What is melamine? The safety sheet for this chemical says it is a white crystalline solid that has proved toxic in lab tests on rabbits and rats. AP says it is used as fertilizer in Asia.

“New York officials have detected melamine as well, though it’s not clear how that chemical would have poisoned pets,” the wire service reports.

What is melamine?

Here’s our two cents: There’s certainly an amazing amount of info still missing. What really irks me is the FDA’s attitude of “we know what’s best for you”. They’re withholding possibly life-saving data for a reason we cannot comprehend. The public’s safety is #1. BY FAR. What good is there (after hundreds or thousands of deaths) to say, “Sorry, we won’t give you the tools to make the safe decision.” What happened to serving the public and an abundance of caution?

NOTE: PETA has been calling for an investigation into dry food.

(Thanks SusanUnPC, Russ, and Kam for your contribution!)

13 Responses to “FDA Finds Other Toxin, Possibly Also in Dry Food”

  1. susanUnPC says:

    Send questions to cnnnewsroom@cnn.com — a veterinarian will be on in the noon PT newshour to answer your questions.

    ALSO, and this is big:
    “FDA says pet food poison may be in dry food, too - and didn’t rule out human food”
    – by a Pet Connections contributing editor
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/3/30/114249/411

    – This is currently the #1-recommended diary at Daily Kos, which means that hundreds of thousands of people will read this post and the comments. It’s shocking, from the comments, how many otherwise informed people do not know all the critical details of this scandal and tragic crisis.

  2. tammy says:

    My 12-1/2 year old dog had never had urinary tract problems or a urinary tract infection. In February, he started drinking and urinating a lot, and he started urinating blood. An x-ray showed crystals in his bladder. He had an ultrasound 1-1/2 weeks ago, and the crystals were gone, but he had a bladder tumor. I took him to a cancer specialist 2 days ago, and he is urinating blood, has more crystals in his bladder, and he has the tumor. Today I see that the symptoms of melamine poisoning are crystals in the urine and bladder cancer. Now I’m wondering if it was the food.

  3. Judy Boone says:

    How can pet parents ever trust the foods that are being made— it appears that there is NO quality control but there is a cover up for months while family members were being poisoned the brands included in the recall were supposed to be THE BEST foods on the market -why are the companies buying from this producer -simple I’m sure it was a cost saving move with NO thought given to quality or safty!
    You can publish this comment –it would be a lot more vitrolic if on of my fur kids had sickened or God forbid diedJudy Boone
    Fort Worth
    Tx

  4. Connie says:

    Do I have to start saving every can and every bag of food I buy? I have two dogs, each with different dietary needs…I have been trying to find a food that they can both thrive on, so there are “trials” here. I have two cats that have eaten Iams hairball and iams canned since December, but infrequently. They seem to be ok. What a horror this whole thing is. I feel like crying when I think of what people are going through with all the “too little, too late” reporting. Thanks for your prompt reporting to us.

  5. kathy talbot says:

    this is sad it brings tears to my eyes to know that we are killing our four legged children…..i think that the food comps should pay for the vet bills and the pet cemetery burial and the head stones after all it was our children that they killed………..so now what do we feed our pets…ha…………we cant trust the pet food comps my six four legged babys are ok thank god but what do i feed them in order to keep them safe,,the pet food comps are lucky that my babys are ok because if they wasent ,then there would be a war……….my heart goes out to those who wornt so lucky and lost the only beloved pet they ever knew……….

  6. jenna says:

    I find it disturbing that dry food with wheat gluton was not in the first recall;as of friday 3/30/07 hills recalled it’s prescription formula m/d feline dry cat food..in my opionion I would not feed any of my pets any food product with wheat gluton,

  7. Chris says:

    omg! my poor dog is starving !!!!! I had the can dog food that was bad..now I see the dry dog food i have is no good either!!!! what can I FEED MY DOG! I ALSO HAVE A $105.00 VET BILL I CAN’T AFFORD FROM THE POISON FOOD…….
    YEAH, THE DRY FOOD I HAVE DOES HAVE THE WHEAT GLUTON IN IT…. HELP ME PLEASE. I HAVEN’T GOTTEN ANY HELP FROM ANYONE I WRITE. PLEASE WRITE ME AND TELL ME WHAT I CAN DO.
    THANK YOU ,
    CHRIS

  8. kathy talbot says:

    hi chris i know how you feel my 3 dogs and my 3 cats are my children my husband and i cant have children of our own surgery got the best of me…. so the animals are our children………. so now i can tell you stop buying the pet foods and start looking on the web for home made pet recipes it might be alot of work but its worth saveing the life of your pet besides your pet will thank you later trust me its the only safe option we have …..so now the next time you cook chicken and rice make an extra plate for your best frend good luck and please let me know if you come across anything cause i can sure use some help to thank you ……….you and your baby are in my prayers

  9. violet chainey says:

    hi chris i know how you feel my 3 dogs and my 3 cats are my children my husband and i cant have children of our own surgery got the best of me…. so the animals are our children………. so now i can tell you stop buying the pet foods and start looking on the web for home made pet recipes it might be alot of work but its worth saveing the life of your pet besides your pet will thank you later trust me its the only safe option we have …..so now the next time you cook chicken and rice make an extra plate for your best frend good luck and please let me know if you come across anything cause i can sure use some help to thank you ……….you and your baby are in my prayers

  10. kathy talbot says:

    chris i hope that your dog isent starving still…i got good news for you and your dog and to anyone els that is reading this………….. i called my vet up today and asked them what do i feed my 3 dogs and 3 cats that is safe…they told me anything from a nutrintion pet store just make sure you read the ingredients befor you buy …………………………………………………warning……stay away from wheat and stay away from gluten if the pet food ingredients dosent have theese 2 things then it is safe…..now for my dogs i got them a bag of canidae all life stage formula it has no wheat or gluten in it…and for the cats i got a bag of chicken soup for the cat lovers soul and 7 cans of wellness again it has no wheat or gluten in it ……you can also look theese items up on the web if you want to no more.chris your problem is now salved for you and your starving dog good luck and keep in touch so i know how you maid out ……….your careing friend kathy………

  11. Bumblebee says:

    Hi!
    I wanted to share that we have 4 cats and a dog. My one cat, Periwinkle only likes dry Iams. I bought Newman’s Own organic for them, but he wouln’t eat it. I bought another small bag of Iams for him, thinking it was safe. I also made chicken and rice and the dog and 3 cats devoured it, again the Iam’s lover wouldn’t eat the homemade!

    On Easter Sunday 5am, I took him to the vet cause he was acting strange. He was in there for 4 days and I have a close to $700 vet bill. They gave him Hill’s C/d dry and wet food. He wouldn’t eat it so they sent him home thinking he would do better here. By the way, he had bloody urine there and the next day he was blocked with crystals. Good thing he was already at the vets. They put in a catheter and now there are no more crystals. His urine was clear so he came home. He wouldn’t eat the c/d and I became worried that it was bad too. I believe the dry Iams caused his blockage. His kidneys are ok, but on the high side the vet said. He began eating the dry c/d yesterday. But now, after reading all the negative comments on itchmo today with pets getting sicker or dying after eating this Hill’s c/d, I am worried sick! I am supposed to keep him on this for a week or two for now. I am worried he will end of dying! I just don’t trust it. Beside when you read the ingredients on the bag, what garbage! By products, BHA, BHT, etc. That is supposed to be good food and they charge an arm and a leg for it?

    I read on here other pets have become sick from dry Iams. I figured if the wet food was recalled, who’s to say the dry food is safe.

  12. armand says:

    to anyone who is reading this …….chicken soup for the cat lovers soul is the best safe food that you can get its all natural food without harmfull ingredients and it smells pretty good too…..you can get this only in a nutrition pet food store……my cats loves this food.and they are 10 times more hyper then they ever was …TRY IT OUT………………lassys natural dog food. is also the best safe food for your dog…again all natural food without harmfull ingredients…you can buy this in a supper market [HANNAFORD SUPPER MARKET]…..they sell 3 diffrent types—puppys////adult////senor……for more info on lassys natural food go on line…..key in LASSYS NATURAL DOG FOOD…..good luck to you all……. this food for your dog and cat will keep them healthy and most of all ALIVE.

  13. susan says:

    to anyone feeding their pets wellness pet food — this was all i was feeding my two precious kitties until a friend called while on vacation & left a msg on my phone saying that a vet her neice knows stopped feeding her dogs & cats wellness food after noticing them drinking too much water — the vet tested their urine & found melamine crystals so stopped feeding them wellness food — even though i had not noticed any problems w/ my cats & this was second hand info. i stopped feeding my cats wellness since a vet stopped using it for her pets . . .


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