Menu Foods Responds To Lab Reports Of Acetaminophen In Special Kitty Cat Food

Earlier this month, Expertox, a Texas lab, reported that various, original and unopened pouches of Special Kitty cat food tested positive for both melamine and acetaminophen.

Carol, an Itchmo reader, had saved the pouches from the pre-pet food recall announcement period and had them tested.

Menu Foods has responded to these positive reports on their website and has said they will conduct their own testing on the specific products.

This is their statement on their site:

We are aware that a laboratory recently produced a report that a Menu Foods product or products tested positive for acetaminophen. We are accumulating samples of the products we understand were used in that test to conduct our own testing as soon as possible. Based on the information available, we understand that the product or products in this recent test were part of the recall of melamine-contaminated products earlier this year.

Following a claim by that same laboratory earlier this year that non-recalled pet food produced by Menu Foods tested positive for acetaminophen, Menu Foods had tests performed by the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory at the University of California Davis (“UCD”). UCD did not find acetaminophen present in the Menu-produced pet food it tested. We understand that the FDA undertook similar tests with similar results, and decided that there was no need to do any further testing.

Menu Foods added this statement on their website on October 19. Most likely this statement is in response to a Consumer Affairs article on October 18 that reported about Expertox’s results.

(Thanks Carol and Menusux)

39 Responses to “Menu Foods Responds To Lab Reports Of Acetaminophen In Special Kitty Cat Food”

  1. Pukanuba says:

    “We understand that the FDA undertook similar tests with similar results, and decided that there was no need to do any further testing.”

    Why don’t they say…..”the FDA undertook similar tests on DIFFERENT products & decided that there was no need to do any further testing” instead of making it sound like they tested the exact same products.

    I want to scream every time I read that……

  2. Carol says:

    I hope that MenuFoods is as open about their testing as I have been. I wish that the testing is from an independent lab with state of the art technology. We need to compare apples to apples as they say! I still have unopened food-same type I sent for testing -waiting for testing in my freezer-I guess nobody wants it still!

  3. pat says:

    You know, I’m beginning to think that the only way to get corroborative results for Expertox’ finding would be to send a sample to a cutting edge lab in Europe. I don’t trust UCD because of their connection to the pet food industry, and FDA… well we all know about FDA, don’t we?

    As for Menu Foods, I spit in their general direction.

  4. Don Earl says:

    There’s a huge difference between “none found” and “none present”.

    The stuff isn’t evenly mixed in the can, let alone the batches.

    A Senator recently coined the phrase, “premeditated ignorance”. It used to be referred to as, “plausable deniability”. There isn’t a real scientist in the world who would look at the ExperTox results and not immediately use or develop a custom protocol capable of a negative proof if they were going to make the slightest pretense of independently confirming the ExperTox results.

    UC Davis is a joke, even aside from being deep in the hip pockets of pet food companies. I forget the guy’s name, it was something like Dr. Poppycock. When I talked to him about getting samples tested, he told me there was no acetaminophen in the pet food. Keep in mind this was Dr. Poppycock’s position without ever testing a single pet food sample for acetaminophen, and before any samples were sent to the lab. It’s hard saying if UCD even knows how to run such tests as this is apparently the only time they even tried it.

    In any case, the cover is coming off the cover up with every wedge driven into the soft spots in the melamine hoax.

    I just uploaded the text of the amended complaint in Earl v. Menu Foods to my site, which Menu’s attorneys coincidentally received on October 17th. Paragraphs 20 through 31 show just how foolish the melamine hoax looks when facts are involved instead of irresponsible media hype.

  5. Catlady says:

    I do hope that some other lab is eventually able to confirm Expertox’s results finding the acetaminophen. Until then, I think there is a shadow of doubt as to the reason why this result has not been replicated. Even given the fact that it is difficult to find and may not be evenly mixed in the food, you have to wonder why, despite this, Expertox is the only lab finding it. I agree with Pat that it might be a good idea to send samples to a completely independent lab that has absolutely no stake in the outcome, even if that lab is outside the U.S.

  6. Don Earl says:

    PS. Kudos to Carol and to Lisa McCormick for a job well done.

    As Tom Paine said, “These are the times that try men’s souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”.

  7. Don Earl says:

    RE: “you have to wonder why Expertox is the only lab finding it”

    There’s no mystery.

    ExperTox is the only lab looking for it.

  8. Catlady says:

    I thought UCDavis and the FDA did tests specifically to check Expertox’s result. Does that not mean that were “looking for it” since they knew the substance they were trying to find?

  9. Lesliek says:

    Catlady- Not all the labs are using updated equipment. Also a lot of the labs can’t test for low amounts of anything. The FDA continues to shoot themselves in the foot by condemning Expertox. Guess who the US & Canadian gov’t’s use for court cases ? They are either credible or not. Can’t really be both.By the way I had 4 different pf co’s tell me they didn’t need to test for it;it would show up in a CA test. But even UC Davis & Midwest[who work for the pf co’s] said it wouldn’t.

  10. chris says:

    I agree with you Leslie.

    Lab’s cant find acetaminophen in a bottle of Tylenol if they dont have the standards available to test for it.

    If some dont believe the findings then take a bite of the food in question (when you have a headache) and see if the headache goes away. If it does dont feed it to your pets.

    Not trying to be funny. What you feed your pets and what you feed yourself is up to you. If you have doubt dont feed it. If you dispute the findings then by all means eat it yourself.

  11. Don Earl says:


    The FDA has never tested any sample known to be acetaminophen positive. No one even knows what samples the FDA did test, or what methods were used, because the FDA isn’t talking about it. All the FDA has said is they didn’t find it. For all we know, they rubbed cat food on their faces and checked themselves out in the mirror to see if they could spot any acetaminophen.

    I’ll whip out some quick numbers for you. Toxicologists measure the toxicity of substance using a measure known as “LD 50″. Briefly, it’s a dosage of a substance in miligrams that will be lethal to 50% of the subjects exposed to the substance, based on the subject’s body weight in kilograms.

    For example, let’s say the LD 50 of a substance in rats was 100 mg/kg bw. If you gave 100 miligrams of the substance to two rats that each weighed 1 kilogram (yes, I know, that would be a BIG rat), one rat would die. The higher the number, the less toxic the substance.

    So, with that in mind, the LD 50 for several substances are as follows:

    Cyanuric acid, LD 50= 7,800 mg/kg bw

    Melamine, LD 50= 3,200 mg/kg bw

    Common table salt, LD 50= 3,000 mg/kg bw

    Cyanuric acid + melamine, LD 50= 2,500 mg/kg bw

    Acetaminophen in cats, LD 50= 50 mg/kg bw

    If you want to ask good questions, the one to ask is why a mass poisoning has been blamed on substances, known to be virtually nontoxic, while ignoring all the evidence that truly toxic substances are involved.

    If you fed your pet a TV dinner with a tenth teaspoon of salt in it, and your pet dropped dead, you would hardly send out headlines about how toxic salt is, but would test the food for real toxins.

  12. Cathy says:

    The real question is - why hasn’t this been researched more by our govt agencies? Why all of the denials? If this wasn’t an issue, definitive testing would end all of the controversy. The FDA, PFI, etc. obviously know there’s an issue, without wanting to admit to it. What does this trace back to ? Isn’t that where a real panic would be? If this has, and is, happening in pet food, it would seem likely that human grade food would also be contaminated. Uh-oh….

    I feel like I sound like some kind of ‘conspirator theorist’ saying this, which is waaaay not me, but all of this is very unsettling. Thanks, Don, for your persistence in all of this.

  13. Don Earl says:


    The most absurd conspiracy theory I’ve ever heard is the one where people are willing to believe criminals don’t conspire.

  14. Offy says:

    In June my state agriculture dept picked up pet food samples to test for melamine, cyanuric acid and acetaminophen.

    They didn’t test for acetaminophen.

    The lab quality assurance person communicated with Mr Jordre of the FDA and ” was told that no FDA lab had been able to detect any acetaminophen in pet foods tested.” (I was told that July 9th 2007)

  15. Carol says:

    I was directed to my state dept of ag from the lab in NY that “discovered” aminopterin. I had wanted my food tested there as I thought that contaminant made more sense (although I am no scientist–I just saw what the food did) but they were only testing NY residents. Unfortunately RI was not equiped to test pet food I was told. One of the things I hope comes out of this is a more central “complaint” department. Sort of like the CDC we hmans have (maybe like Itchmo!). Where if there was a spike in a new medical condition, each state would have a phone bank and testing facilities to contact–for earlier detection- Although this still would be later than we would like for our pets, I think it would be sooner than relying on the PFI to let us know. I hope my big mouth can make a difference in this way. We can change the laws and fines all we wwant but if the earliest detectors do no know who or where to call-the new laws make no difference!

  16. Carol says:

    wow, my typing is lousy this early-sorry

  17. 5CatMom says:

    During the March recalls, a food would be “recalled” and the FDA would say the remaining food is safe. Then there would be another “recall”, and the FDA would say the remaining food is safe. Etc., etc.

    In news articles and committee hearings, we hear FDA representatives chant the mantra: “the food supply is safe”.

    When the NY State Lab and the U. of Guelph found toxins, the FDA announced that the findings were unreliable.

    So it’s obvious the FDA is BIASED toward announcing that the food supply is safe without performing adequate testing, and without explaining WHY credible labs have found toxins.

    Just think for a moment. What would happen if the FDA concluded that there ARE toxins in food? After the mass panic subsided, the FDA would have to actually SOLVE THE PROBLEM.

    Much better for the FDA to deny the toxins, discredit positive findings by independent labs, and continue to collect huge bonuses ($8 million) for the swell job they’re doing in keeping the food supply safe.

    The FDA acts in their own best interest, and finding toxins is not in their best interest.

  18. Carol says:

    Did the millions of dollars in bonuses go to the underfunded FDA or did it go to the employees? Just wondering…………….

  19. Nell Liquorman says:

    You don’t have to actually be a scientist to determine that pets die after eating poisonous food. I think that we all know that there was something bad in the pet food! If it exists in pet food, could it be in the people food supply as well? And don’t forget that the recall of prepared people foods at Castleberry’s included pet food, and yes it was made by Castleberry’s for the pet food company.

    Take a look at the size of publicity firms that often field inquiries about the bad food. Often they are some of the largest in the world. Does this tell you how much companies have to spend to protect their good name and their products?

    One thing is certain, consumers must demand safe, untainted pet food and people food as well. Since Communist China was the source, maybe we must avoid everything that comes from there. Even rice plants irrigated with lead contaminated water could be a factor in health problems that are now surfacing. Look at labels and find USA products or at least ones from safer places than China. Make BUYER BEWARE the first item on your shopping list!

  20. 5CatMom says:

    Article: FDA’s Retention Bonuses Rise to the Top
    By John Solomon and Marc Kaufman
    Washington Post Staff Writers
    Thursday, August 2, 2007

    “Lawmakers say that at the FDA, many of the bonuses went to the highest-paid officials rather than the scientists, inspectors and doctors most at risk of jumping to the private sector. To critics, the payments bore little relationship to the agency’s performance and reputation or to the likelihood that someone might depart.”

  21. Sandi says:

    Hey Don, I also noticed their statement says they will conduct tests “as soon as possible”. Its my understanding those tests dont take that long so Im rather curious as to whats taking Menu so long. You would think if the results are good, they would have been all over here and their website, etc, with that news. And if they havent tested yet, once again, it shows they havent learned a thing from this except how to circle wagons……and if they have tested and the findings have been confirmed, they must once again be having meetings to figure out how to cover this up as it would certainly mean their demise.

  22. Carol says:

    Another day goes by and no one has contacted me about obtaining my food for further testing! Just an FYI for all of you watching this too!

  23. Carol says:

    And I wonder where they are getting their products to test???

  24. Sandi says:

    Well Carol, the answer to that is easy! Im sure they are busy making new “clean” food to test, hence the reason its taking so long.

    Im sure Menu and other pet food companies just hate those pet owners that didnt return the food to them as they had requested. P.S. Im one of them, with 12 cases on hand just in case, you never know when it may come in handy.

  25. Rocky says:

    I have some unopened Menu food from February.

    Waiting to see what Menu finds, or doesn’t find, then plan to have my food tested.

  26. Anonymous says:

    looks like melamine was a convenient scapegoat just as i thought.

    looks like acetaminophen was the 5th toxin REDACTED by the FDA and
    kept secret from the public to protect the FDA’s industrial owners

  27. thomas says:

    I live in NYS. My dogs were ill so I called the Ag & Mkts. They sent an inspector to my house . He picked up 5 samples of dry doof and treats at my house. My tests from the lab came back positive for solanine and chaconine, potato toxins. The lab sent copies of their findings to the company and the ag. & mkts in the state where the company offices are.I have not heard from the company since I called them and found out they received the info from my tests. I do not think they can test any retaining samples on one of their products as my bag doesn’t have any product codes on it. The other samples I am sure they will claim to test retained samples.

  28. Carol says:

    I always thought my “big mouth” would come in handy some day. I’m old (mature-LOL) enough and mad enough to stick with this!!! I anxiouly await the findings! has posted an update to their first story so people not affected hopefully will pay close attention too!

  29. 5CatMom says:


    Hope your dogs have recovered.

    Can you please give us some additional info?

    When did this happen? Do you have a copy of the lab report? What is the name of the company whose dry food and treats were tested?

  30. thomas says:

    5Cat This happened recently. My pets are better , what are the long term effects? I have copies of the lab reports.

  31. Carol says:

    thomas–can you go to the Forums here and contact 5cat–go to members and select send private message so shwe can contact you–

  32. 5CatMom says:


    Go to the forums, and we’ll try to help.

    There’s a thread in the forums called “What’s Killing Our Pets”.

    Here’s a link:

  33. Don Earl says:


    It does take a bit of time to get results back from labs, and it could take more if they order custom work done, which is what this situation really calls for anyhow.

    Another PR bandage of the, “We sent something to Midwest labs and they didn’t find anything.” variety, is the sort of thing I think most of us are disgusted with at this late date.

    In the mean time, they’ve had copies of the tests for a week, and are still thinking about getting samples out. They don’t seem to be in much of a rush as far as getting samples out the door. On the other hand, if they’re doing it right, they’ll be sending samples of the ingredients that went into those lots, along with the finished product samples.

    Of course, and as you point out, they have the means and oppurtunity, and possibly a motive, to put bogus lot numbers on anything they send out.

    If Menu is honest, I’d expect to see an announcement in about two weeks identifying the source of acetaminophen contamination. Considering Menu has known its products were contaminated with acetaminophen for at least six months, well, I won’t hold my breath.

  34. Ruth says:

    Anonymous says:

    October 24th, 2007 at 12:43 pm
    looks like melamine was a convenient scapegoat just as i thought.

    looks like acetaminophen was the 5th toxin REDACTED by the FDA and
    kept secret from the public to protect the FDA’s industrial owners

    Thats what I have kept asking too. What was the fifth ingredient that the FDA redacted? Questions, Questions, but no answers.

  35. Jenny Bark says:

    You know where I stand, 100% with you all. We can never trust the pfi or FDA to protect us. Imo it is only a matter of time before we get hit again & again. Sorry to say that but it is what I believe.

  36. Spooky Mulder says:

    Hey, has anyone heard about problems with Purina ONE Senior Protection Formula, or Purina Dog Chow Little Bites? My Peke had been throwing up and pooping weird on the latter, so we switched him to one particular Purina ONE formula with yogurt, and the problem stopped. However, they ran out of that formula at the store the last time I had to buy dog food, and I ended up with a different ONE formula. He’s got the exact same symptoms again. I know you guys are probably going to preach to me on making homemade food for the pets, and taking him to the vet asap, but we just can’t afford it right now. (We might’ve been able to do it last year, but the rug got pulled out from under my family last year.) Please, can anyone give me any insight? I apologize in advance for my frustrated comments on the homemade food advocates, etc…I totally agree with them, but I can’t do it now.

  37. louisa says:

    How does Acetaminophen get into pet food? I realize that I’m jumping in very late, but it is truly puzzling. Sabotage? ls El Qada (sp?) making good on its promise that the food supply will be next?

  38. Carol says:

    Spooky— If you go to the Forums here and you will find ALOT of info for everyone homecookers and commercial feeders!!!

    Too much good info not to try it and info related to other stuff as well!

  39. Carol says:

    louisa—great question–I’m waiting for an answer too!

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