FDA Says No Pain Killer In Pet Food

The FDA says their own tests did not turn up any acetaminophen in pet food. However, the FDA did not test the same samples as ExperTox.

“My bottom line is I’m pretty confident in the FDA’s findings,” said Dr. Steven Hansen, lead veterinary toxicologist with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ animal poison control center. “Acetaminophen is not hard to find.”

The FDA found no trace of the medication in five samples of one type of cat and two dog foods it tested in the past week, said spokesman Mike Herndon.

“At this point, FDA sees no compelling need to analyze any more samples for acetaminophen,” he said.

ExperTox Inc., in Deer Park, Texas, found varying levels of acetaminophen — which is toxic to pets, especially cats — in up to a dozen samples, lab operations manager Donna Coneley said Monday. She did not return calls yesterday seeking comment on the FDA’s findings.

It is not clear, however, whether the agency tested the type of food in which ExperTox said it found the highest level of acetaminophen. That sample had been submitted by the manufacturer, according to Coneley. FDA officials did not contact ExperTox until yesterday.

Agency and lab officials are reviewing scientific data, said Julie Zawisza, assistant commissioner of public affairs for the FDA.

“We cannot validate their findings,” she said. “… If they give us something new, we’ll look into it.”

A third lab hired by a pet food company and a university lab hired by a consumer could not verify ExperTox’s findings, Zawisza said.

98 Responses to “FDA Says No Pain Killer In Pet Food”

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  1. menusux says:

    What about shirts for pets too? Ones like “Menu Foods Survivor” or “Please Don’t Feed Me Menu Foods” (and I’m sure everyone can come up with more) would probably be big sellers.

  2. Tamar says:

    Great idea E Hamilton! I’m in for a bunch of t-shirts. Ex semi-sweet old ladies rule!!!

    Maybe some of us can sell them ‘live’ locally too … ?

    Floridian, GREAT SLOGAN!!!

    I am sorely disappointed the ASPCA would back up this nonsense. Anybody have a line on why they would do that?

  3. randy says:

    Two Mad-Cow patties, Mela Sauce, E-Coli Lettuce, Pickels, Onions on a Cyanuric Seed bun.

    Say it real fast for a FREE Aceta-Slush!

  4. Elaine says:

    mittens Says:

    June 13th, 2007 at 8:58 pm
    ” menu foods killed my pet with adulterated chinese food products and all i got was this stupid t shirt (also made in china).”

    I like this one, but say “poisoned ingredients from China”

  5. Trudy Jackson says:

    The ASPCA have been very disapointing lately. not like they used to be at all.

  6. E. Hamilton says:

    I need some help to figure out how to GET the slogans and any art work into files that can be uploaded, I SUCK at tech stuff, don’t ask how bad because the last poor bastid that tried to give me tech support is STILL on prozac.

    That is how bad.

    The minute we get the graphics, I say we have them sent to Ben and he can upload and voila! he is in business. Or whatever works.
    I really do not need to know Ben’s personal info.

    Anyone know how, Kat, maybe?

  7. petslave says:

    can you find tee shirts NOT sourced from China?

  8. Debra says:

    Cafepress has a few “made in the USA” products. I’ve set up a few stores there (for my sister’s business, a rescue group, and one just for fun) - it’s not too difficult. I’m not a graphic artist, but I could probably help with the files if you want.

  9. petslave says:

    how bout an X for every pet that has died

    or an X for every pet food product recalled

    either way = one shirt covered in X’s

  10. petslave says:

    & they would need to be long-sleeved tees to fit all the X’s on them

  11. E. Hamilton says:

    Debra Says:
    June 13th, 2007 at 11:06 pm

    You are ON.
    All of us can help with what we do best.
    We can sell all the designs we can come up with, well, YOU can get into a file or graphics thingy. My attempts at trying to draw with a graphics program I found were… I think my hubby peed his pants laughing

  12. Floridian says:

    I love the x covered shirt theme, but cafepress only lets you select one graphic for the front, and one for the back.

    Hey, cafepress has canvas shopping totes. What a great thing to buy to take to the grocery/pet stores :)

    Another graphic for the front, how about a picture of a dog or cat sitting by its food bowl, an armless hand coming in from the side holding a can of dogfood or catfood opened up, poised over the food bowl and spilling out of the can, into the bowl the text ‘renal failure, ‘poison’, ‘toxic profits’, ‘death’, etc. That one would be very easy and very to the point.

  13. elliott says:

    E - wish i could help with the logo/design , but i like prozac and men who pee their pants!! LOL!!!

  14. E. Hamilton says:

    elliott Says:
    June 13th, 2007 at 11:58 pm

    I have not one but *two* digital cameras that flat kicked my butt, and then they sneer at me, they are secure in the knowledge that I simply cannot figure them OUT!
    My husband has 911 on speed dial for my attempts to do anything involving electricity. My hand to God.

  15. Krista says:

    “If only they had told me When they knew”
    My pet would still be alive

    (Black t-shirt, white lettering, printed with either cat or dog silhouette)

    “Mine died, did yours make it?”
    Pet Food Poison 2007

    “Still fighting for her life, but it’s terminal”
    Pet Food Poison 2007

  16. Floridian says:

    Krista, all 4 are perfect!

  17. YaYa says:

    Guys hold it a minute. I’ve been off line much of the day and am confused some here.

    Now we Know, that the Testing has to be done in certain ways nd with specific equipment. We just learned that in the last week. The best as I am understanding NOW is with LC/MS/MS at the Lab{s}. And AND, SET at a low detection level 0.1 ppm as opposed to let’s use MidWest Labs level of 10 ppm and found Nothing.

    Has ANYONE SEEN the FDA’s lab testing report and methods used???
    Did They Quote any such numbers?
    Did they say what Equipment/method they used?

    You know, there is a reason the Gov. has set up FERN labs I think if I remember that stands for Food Emergency Response Network {or something close to that} It’s Not the FDA.
    It for Food Security issues, bioterror, poisonings etc.

    It was a FERN Lab that got the samples sent to them and found the Aminoptrin {they did the tests 3 TIMES when fining the Aminoptrin!!! {and a Lab in Canada did too}
    Of course the All Powerful, All Knowing, Helpful and Credible FDA discredited the NY FERN Lab immediately.
    WTF is with THAT????!
    {pardon my language but!}

    The FERN Labs HAVE the Equipment and the expertise to do SUCH testing and do it properly.
    That’s WHY they are FERN!

    Miwest Can NOT find Acetaminophen as of right now. Unless they get it set up and running. I was told By Midwest last week they Can’t. I was not aware of the testing detection LEVEL to set either at that date to ask about Midwest methods.

    IHMO- Midwest can’t FIND any of what we are looking for properly, to date. Unless they Change things.
    That’s up to them.
    BUT I would Not send samples to them at all knowing what we’ve learned just recently.

    The report from FDA says nothing to me. Absolutely nothing. It offers nothing to make any intelligent conclusions!
    No How, with What, How much, what levels, what equipment. What settings etc. All missing. {I’m sure they like it that wa as well}

    Now all the “outsiders” are bad-mouthing a Respected Texas Lab in their findings. {I’d sue their asses if it was MY Lab, for this too!}

    I think Midwest should send the Bag to Texas! They did not even been tested for Acetaminophen!!
    Just the Melamine and Cyanuric Acid and at detection settings to High!
    {do you see anything wrong with This picture???!}

    This would not be an abnormal procedure, the Cornell Labs sent the samples to the FERN Lab in the Begining right?

    MidWest can’t do what we need right now.
    And Certainly the FDA can’t do even Less.

    And the samples they Tested Did come from the *Food Makers* themselves. Not off the shelves.

    Didn’t they accuse “us” of essentially: “tampering” because a bag that tested Positive was OPEN?!

    Finger Pointing goes BOTH ways Boys and Girls!

    Pervious tests too of foods that folks sent in befor The Acetaminophen ares Suspect STILL in my Opinion!

    Cause it was “just” found, in the past couple of weeks in *3 month* of Pure HELL!
    We weren’t looking for THAT or anything like it. {Midwest is not set up for Acetaminophen so who Else isn’t????????!}
    CERTAINLY NOT the Pet Food Manufacturers Either!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Out there cranking out Food la-dee-da every day!

    If it takes a More specific set up to Test for these things and Labs or manufacturers AREN’T Then what?

    I know, I’ve got more Questions than Answers BUT why the Heck Anyone would put creedence INTO the FDA is beyond me!

    I’ve called a couple more Labs and been told, No they ‘can’t’ test like we’d Need.

    I will keep searching and calling Labs.

    Independent ones.

    And if a Lab can’t do the Test properly and be compared to the previous findings, as in the Actaminophen Found by the Texas Labs; well then there is NO Contradiction to be Had! RIGHT?

    Lastly, I do not believe the FDA. I do not think that They had the Proper Equipment nor know what settings to Find this stuff either.
    {of course THEY do not What to Find it}

    Let them Present to the Public the Actually Results and ALL info about the Testing procedures.
    Including the Samples.

    They need to Stop bad-mouthing the Texas Lab. And get Samples to a Creditible 3rd Party Lab with the Proper equipment and knowledge of what needs to be done for this whole Issue.

    ALL of the parties on the “other side” need to do this. PERIOD!
    A 3rd impartial PARTY get it?!

    So where am I wrong in this thinking?

    I’m plainly LIVID right now!

    {I am All for the Tee Shirts! Sounds Good to Me!}

  18. YaYa says:

    Here’s a Tee shirt quote:

    2007 Pet Food Poisonings
    STILL on Going.
    WHEN will They STOP It?!

  19. YaYa says:


    FDA Sucks Worse than FEMA.
    Is that Possible? YES!
    Ask Me WHY!

    Or I like the part previously:

    FDA makes FEMA Look good.
    Is That Possible? YES!
    Ask Me WHY!

  20. High Note says:

    I got a letter from my state senator today. He said he was looking into our pet problem. But I sure did not feel like he was speaking the truth.
    My neighbor has two german shepard dogs and one of them was whining really bad and with the pet food being tainted and all I had to look. One of the dogs was lieing in the mud and the other one was nudging him trying to get him to get up. I thought the dog was dead! He raised his head just off the ground for second and then flopped it back down in the mud. This dog was sick! Very Sick! The other dog was whining for his friend. I went to the neighbors and told them. They thanked me and showed no emotion at all. The dogs were no longer in their yard. I wonder if they are okay or what happened to them. People that do not have the internet no nothing about any of this!

  21. Krista says:

    Ya Ya -

    I see what you are saying…What about Accutrace Lab in Arlington, Texas? Can they test at the levels we need and for the elements of acetamitaphon, aminoptrin in conjunction with melamine, cynauric acid? Have you contacted them? Maybe some of these private labs are gearing up for more sensitive testings?

  22. High Note says:

    I want to thank all of you for all the information that you have offered on itchmo. You all have been so informative and I have really had my eyes opened to our FDA and government, etc. You all are so amazing!!!! Where do you find all this information?

  23. High Note says:

    Oh yes I sent the picture of the canned science diet to my vet and have not heard a word from them yet. If I do not hear something soon then I may have to change vets!

  24. High Note says:

    I want one of those T shirts.. I will wear it to the store down the pet food isle and maybe to my vets too!

  25. petslave says:

    Hey everyone, Leslie K is having some major sounding health problems with her dogs from feeding Evangers dry food–you might want to check out her postings near the bottom of the Recall Udate: Wednesday forum:


    I don’t know if it’s OK to cross post but this seemed important

  26. DMS says:

    purringfur Says:

    June 13th, 2007 at 1:36 pm
    She added: “We are confident we found Aminopterin, and it makes sense
    with the pathology.” She also said another laboratory, Animal Health
    Laboratory at the University of Guelph in Canada, had confirmed the
    presence of Aminopterin in the samples
    I talked to a man at Guelph yesterday. I forgot his name. He said they did find aminopterin in very low quantities, ppb or pptrillion, and that those levels can be found in a lot of samples. Like DDT, it is almost everywhere in low concentrations. While I don’t find that particularly comforting, it does make one question the significance of the find. He said his lab thinks it may be just an environmental contaminant. Of course, it could be due to light degradation of the sample, or a number of things. A big problem with the spotty information we do have is that there isn’t enough of it and it is disjointed. We need more research into the problem and then to be able to logically connect the dots. Maybe the FDA has done that and they just aren’t coming clean. Maybe someone else will have to it for them. I just hope someone does it so we can get some solid answers and fix this broken food safety system.

  27. YaYa says:

    Krista, I’ve talked with AccuTrace Labs. Several times.
    The last time They called me, we were on the phone with when, P&G called them, on another Line. {in regards to the testing result that we once had actually Showing On Itchmo about a month ago}
    They said they’d call me back because they Really had to talk with P&G.
    {the test results jpg. was also removed from Itchmo’s homepage then too, remember}

    They did not call me back. So I called them the next day. And was told that their PARENT Company was now handling ALL the Pet Food issues, by the receptionist.

    We had talked about 3 times previously at Accutrace.
    {upper Lab employee}

    And it was explained to me previously that, Expertox is the Main “hub”, and they have Many Labs around the country send their specimens to Them. AccuTraceTesting IS Expertox.

    So that brings us to just 1 that I’d trust for the right type of testing, right now, Expertox.

    They are Very respected in Forensic/Toxicology and this is the type of Lab we need.

    The Acetaminophen showed up ther because THEY LOOK for such things as they are a Drug Testing Lab as well.


    I’m not sure if they do DNA/GM/NANO etc testing too.
    Didn’t ask.

    It’s hard to match them. That’s why so many places utilize Their Labs.

    I will keep pluggin’ away at it tho.

    I venture to say VERY FEW have the Ability to do what Expertox Does so Well and wth Repsect! {including FDA and Pet Food maker folks!}

  28. petslave says:

    OK, guess my cross-posting didn’t go through

    Evanger’s dry dog food problems–check out Leslie K’s posting on the Recall update: Wednesday forum, toward the bottom. Her dogs have gotten quite sick eating one of the formulas

  29. Krista says:

    Thanks Ya Ya -

    Wow, you’ve really got this figured out.. I commend you for your diligent work too!! So Expertox is the one we need.

    To everyone, you all add so much!! We would not be the “fighters” that we have become without the love and hard work of itchmo that has brought us all together.

    Thanks to all..

  30. Sandy says:

    Great ideas keep it kinda short so people have time to read whats on our shirts wherever we go

  31. YaYa says:

    Petslave I went to read up on LeslieK and posted back. I’m VERY concerned about it. Your cross post worked for me! Thank you!

  32. YaYa says:

    Krista, nuthin’ like a Bully to P_SS Me off! LOL
    That’s how I see all of this. They are Bullying us and hoping we die and go away For-Ever. NOT!

    They could care less otherwise. The Pet Food Industry in this Country has Contaminated EVERYTHING now, due to their GREED. And I Do Not Like That at All. Beside the killing and sickening of Animals here.
    Pet Foods did All of this.

    It’s not some small infraction they did. It’s Huge.

    It’s Not being handled properly and we’re here to Fix what they will not!

    Nope I won’t allow a Bully.

  33. E. Hamilton says:

    And apparently neither will Don tolerate bullies, or cowards and the FDA is BOTH! As well as liars.

    Kat just posted this at petconnection!!!


    Don, ExperTox et al have challenged the FDA!!


    Comment by Kat — June 13, 2007 @ 11:35 pm

  34. YaYa says:


  35. E. Hamilton says:

    Spread the news and get some marshmallows, the fire is lit!

  36. YaYa says:

    And may I add: “Smak Down Part 1″!

  37. Phyllis says:

    Just finished reading everyone’s postings.

    How about a personalized T-shirt with a tombstone and RIP with our pet’s name under that and the date or year?

    My date would be July 16, 2006, but Purr-Purr was sick for a long time with CRF. She was eating Trader Joe’s canned (Menu Foods) and Purina Pro-Plan (which may have not been contaminated) in the months before her death. The kitten was okay, but she sure does not have the energy she had before that — and she always took Purr-Purr’s food.

    Most recently, I went out of town on May 9th and among the foods I got for the cats was Trader Joe’s Tuna. Well, I came home to poo on a rug, dried poo in the back bedroom and a report that my cat care person cleaned up several vomit and poo spots!!!!!!!!! TJs had insisted that the tuna was not made by Menu Foods and would be fine. Humph!

    The last ingredient is Rice Flour! Of course they gave me my money back, but I still had to worry about my cats and clean the rugs!

    Yes, I still have them on common juniper, and fig tree tinctures for this. That is probably why they are still okay.

  38. E. Hamilton says:

    I like them all! All the ideas and there is nothing wrong with black humor when the occasion calls for it.
    Dead pets will darken the dickens out of a person’s humor.
    Ben will decide which designs, out of all the great idea’s, he wants to have on cafepress and there are so very many good ideas that I am glad the decision is not mine to make. LOL.

  39. Purina Puke says:

    I like the t-shirts idea. Maybe the slogans can also be put on buttons, baseball caps, book bags, etc.

  40. Christine says:

    I know this situation was scary, but to be honest, these comments are worse than a 9/11 conspiracy page. You guys really need to settle down. Why on earth would anyone think that pet food companies would knowingly poison their customers? That is nonsensical. I agree that Menu didn’t react in a timely enough fashion, and I wouldn’t trust them with anything for my cats. But, the FDA has no interest in lying about the further testing that has been done. Someone in a previous post had the nerve to accuse the pet food companies of “spreading rumors” to invalidate the testing done at the private labs. What is really going on is that you people are spreading rumors about foods that have been officially tested clean. Luckily for you, the internet is an anonymous place, and no one will be able to charge you with libel or slander.

  41. E. Hamilton says:

    It aint slander when it is TRUE.

    I venture to say that most of us would love to get sued for saying the truth, a chance to get the lying bastids under oath AND have a judge take a boxcar full of their cash away from them , perhaps handcuffs for perjury?


    Attacking the reputation of an expert, because God knows they CAN”T use the truth- they do not have that. Don DOES!

    The TRUTH is an absolute defense- it cannot be destroyed.

    And it makes a mighty handy OFFENSIVE weapon too!

    Use it!

    Spread the news on the challenge. And the story above that I linked means the word IS getting out.

  42. E. Hamilton says:

    We have a new troll, isn’t that special. I wonder which pet food company is signing the check?

  43. Sandi K says:

    Christine Says:
    June 14th, 2007 at 11:50 am
    I know this situation was scary, but to be honest, these comments are worse than a 9/11 conspiracy page. You guys really need to settle down.

    Christine, I think you need to do some research or come clean as to what pet food company or other agency you represent. The first word in your post that raises eyebrows is saying the situation WAS scary. If you have done any true research and reading, you will find this is not over and has not been over.

    My cat died in March and her food was touted to be clean by Nutro. Well it turns out that on April 10th the same food she was eating was tested at the request of another person and her vet and guess what, it came back showing the toxins. So dont come here and try to attack people without knowing the full story. Many of these people including me now have dead pets or pets that will be sick the rest of their lives. Do you have sick or dead pets from eating tainted pet food?

    The food tested at Epertox did NOT test clean but yet its the pet food company, PFI and FDA that is saying that cant duplicate those findings. So who is really spreading rumors Christine? I would say its you and the other agencies. Do you realize that they did not even ask to test samples of the food that Epertox has before issuing their public statement?

    I dont have patience left anymore for people that come here and attack without knowing what is really going on and without having pets affected. Please dont waste your time and ours.

  44. Sharon says:

    Dear Christine, the internet is not anonymous and we are not the ones that should be afraid of criminal prosecution. If you do not have a sick or dead pet kindly get off of this messageboard. We do not have any patience for people like you.

    ITCHMO ADMIN: Hey now. We’re not kicking anyone off because of a difference in opinion. This isn’t a place just for pet owners with sick or dead pets. It’s a place for all pet owners. Period.

  45. E. Hamilton says:

    Got ya Ben, I apologize.

    Maybe Christine needs some help to find the war zone here on the forums for posts like hers?

  46. Sandi K says:

    Ben, I am ashamed at my behavior. I swore when this first started I wouldnt resort to the level I went to but I will claim a moment of temporary insanity. I have to somehow differentiate the difference between someone maybe not being educated about this pet food recall and try not to feel like they are attacking my already dead kitty at the same time. Guess its just a mama’s instinct setting in which can be ferocious. Sorry and I will ignore such things in the future. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion Im just not sure I understand what purpose it serves to post something like that but I also dont have to understand everything I know. OK Im off of this subject before I get in too deep again. Back to something more positive and beneficial.

    ITCHMO ADMIN: Sandi, we can all relate. We have the benefit of being able to edit our comments. :)

  47. Sandi K says:

    Thanks for understanding Ben, I will try to be an upstanding Itchmo citizen! (-:

  48. furry herbalist says:

    As a pet food retailer who sold only one of the recalled foods (Natural Balance) I feel I must voice an opinion from the trenches. I have gone through every step of this recall with my customers, and am still going through it with them.

    I spend a great deal of time sorting thru manufacturers’ claims and I can’t tell you the number of times a sales rep has used the pitch “it’s just as good as (pick a high-end food) but your cost on it is less!” My first question is “if it’s less, then what corners did you cut to make it?” A favorite saying from my Southern Dad: “if you let someone sell you a diamond ring for 10 cents, chances are you own a ring that’s not worth a dime!”

    Before you continue to attack everybody and their brother for being greedy, liars or unethical (which by the way I am not and I resent being put into those categories by all the broad brush strokes y’all are using) you need to consider why imported ingredients are used.

    The pet food industry knows exactly how much consumers are willing to pay for pet food. They hire very expensive research firms to give them that info. Soooooo, ingredients from the US cost more - substantially more - than imported ones. It costs less to can food out of the Country. It is cheaper to put US grown grain on a barge, process it in China and then return it to the US than to process it here. Of course, you lose control over the ingredients at that point.

    The Chicken of the Sea plant in Southern CA closed during the Enron-driven energy fiasco a few years back. The company that owned it packed up & went home to Japan because the cost of electricity made their products unsaleable. That threw the canned pet food industry into a tizzy looking for anywhere to manufacture product.

    Before casting stones, ask yourself; if I pay 50 cents per pound for pet food and ground beef costs more than $2/pound, how good & healthy can the food really be? Humans may survive on junk food, but they won’t stay healthy. Neither will our pets. Poor quality food, even without contamination, will lead to disease. You can’t blame tainted food for every sick animal. I have lost cats to kidney disease who ate raw food exclusively.

    I beg some logical thinking here. As a biologist, I have a few commonsense questions to float:
    1) acetominophen has no purpose in pet food that I know of. It costs money to add it. It kills pets. Why would a company intentionally put it into food? Melamine apparently boosts protein levels without the high cost associated with meat. That’s greed. But a pain killer? That kills pets? Give me a good reason for it to be there intentionally.

    2) has any other lab found this contamination? Y’all are quick to jump my industry for being self-serving. Why wouldn’t a laboratory, knowing that concerned pet owners will want to test food, get a little free national publicity by “discovering” a new contaminant. I’m not saying this is the case, but do you have any idea how much this kind of publicity would cost? With all the suspicous minds on this post, you seem a little one-sided on this one. Has the lab shared it’s samples with an independent third party to test? It’s a simple way to counter the critisms that are being leveled at them.

    3) a single incidence of contamination doesn’t hold up to scientific measure. The food could have been contaminated after manufacture. Do you have any idea how often I have to caution my customers to not use garbage can liners to store food in? Remind them to dump out the old food in a vittle vault before putting in the fresh? Not store food under the sink or in the garage next to chemicals? Again, send out your samples/lot numbers for independent testing.

    Before you start a new Salem Witch Hunt, try to recover a little commonsense and decorum. You’ll get much closer to the truth and find more allies in your cause if you don’t show up raving and drooling like rabid dogs. Some of us ARE trying to reform the industry from within. How ’bout a little postive help instead of universal condemnation?

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