Texas Lab Finds Acetaminophen In Pet Food

Pets

ExperTox, a Texas lab, found acetaminophen (a fifth possible contaminant) in at least five samples of pet food that were submitted by pet owners and pet manufacturers. The medication was mostly found with cyanuric acid, and hundreds of other samples that were sent in tested positive for melamine. The contaminants were found in pet foods that have not been recalled.

ExperTox said that the highest level of acetaminophen was found in a dog food sample submitted by a pet food manufacturer, but the lab is not identifying the company. The FDA is now investigating the findings from the lab and a FDA spokesperson says that: “what’s significant is these things are there. They don’t belong there.”

The article also mentions Don Earl and how he tested his cat’s food and found acetaminophen and cyanuric acid in it. His cat, Chuckles, was eating Pet Pride cat food and died in January. Many Itchmo readers may already be familiar with Don’s story and his website.

(Thanks Maureen and many other readers)

150 Responses to “Texas Lab Finds Acetaminophen In Pet Food”

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  1. Monika says:

    No wonder more cats died - acetaminophen is deadly to cats.

  2. Susan says:

    Why haven’t these foods been recalled? Do these companies care so much about their dollars now that they’ll risk going out of business later? I’m so relieved I found a source of fresh, local chicken. They’re giving me the chicken hearts for free because of what I’m trying to do.

  3. Sue says:

    Are we sure yet that acetaminophen is the fith contaminant?? Not only am I mega worried about the cats and other animals but if this is the “sensitive” mystery contaminant,it’s maybe in the human food chain too? My human partner has a significant allergy to acetaminophen…Sue

  4. Monika says:

    Can we somehow put pressure on the Texas lab to release the dog food brand affected? Doesn’t the article state the company was notified by the lab a month ago?!?!? This is insanity (all. over. again.)

  5. Trudy Jackson says:

    I wonder how long before they will be recalled? Soon, I hope. Like NOW!

  6. Steve says:

    As if this isn’t bad enough

    http://mmxuxu1984.diytrade.com.....35161.html

  7. Debbie4747 says:

    Are those pictures of pets that have died from bad food? I feel like crying looking at them….so unecessary. Why can’t the lab or FDA release the name(s) of the manufacturer(s)? Like someone else posted, you could “almost” see the use of melamine, but acetaminophen is just plain criminal.

  8. Debbie4747 says:

    Aw geez Steve….how will they know when to stop eating?

  9. Amy says:

    Well, Steve, they just want to make sure your pets get their daily dose of melamine in every meal! Now you just need to crush up a tylenol and they’ll be good and dead. Unbelievable! WHAT is acetaminophen doing in food? I’m so disgusted I don’t know if I should throw up or scream.

  10. pam says:

    well, we know it’s both dog and cat food. chuckles was a cat and expertox mentioned dog food…both products unrecalled although chuckles was eating pet pride. i swear the only way to hurt these companies is to buy their stock and get them from the inside. i know it’s distasteful, but even one share gives you your say at the annual stockholder’s meeting if you don’t sign over your proxy. i am so damn tempted.

  11. 4lgdfriend says:

    This hardly seems “sensitive” enough to have been redacted, in the post 9/11 sense.

    And the fact that it was in unrecalled foods plural makes everything suspect all over again.

    Where is the verification that this was not present in the original findings?
    Looks like we’re on another treasure hunt for old unopened bags —- and how convenient for the FDA’s industrial sponsors that it is now unlikely those are available.

  12. Susan says:

    That website that Menusux posts a lot from: Alibaba.com? I looked up acetaminophen there and found a lot of the places make food additives, too, like taurine, stearic acid, citric acid, vitamins, etc. - all that junk that is added to pet (and human) food. Could it be cross-contamination, do they not clean their plants, is acetaminophen cheaper than some of the other products?

  13. 4lgdfriend says:

    Also, Don’s dogfood was a dry food - which lends additional credence to those who posted problems w dry foods never recalled (YET).

  14. 4lgdfriend says:

    Susan: Could it be cross-contamination, do they not clean their plants, is acetaminophen cheaper than some of the other products?

    Not cross contamination in those amounts. And can’t say until across the board testing is done. Why would acetaminophen not have been included in early testing?

  15. Susan says:

    4lgdfriend, Why would they not test for it when Menu Food’s animal testing killed 9 cats and 1 dog?

  16. 4lgdfriend says:

    Don’s cat died in January - right at beginning of the problems.

    This is a substance that could not possibly have been added for any legitimate reason (unlike the convenient scapegoat, melamine).

  17. LorieVA says:

    4lgdfriend says

    Why would acetaminophen not have been included in early testing?

    Just a shot in the dark here but why would they test for pain killer ingredients and go above and beyond their scope of work which was waste chemicals for industrial plants.

    No way were they going to think outside the box for other toxins.

    To be honest I am shocked myself that their is a Pharm drug in the food, I tought it was all industrial too.

  18. 4lgdfriend says:

    Susan: Why would they not test for it when Menu Food’s animal testing killed 9 cats and 1 dog?

    Exactly. or did they??

  19. Steve says:

    China corners vitamin market

    Chinese pharmaceutical companies also have taken over much of … acetaminophen (often sold under the brand name Tylenol), as well as the bulk of vitamins … C and E.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.c.....ins03.html

  20. Susan says:

    Reports of kidney failure? You’d think they’d be testing for antifreeze and acetaminophen right away.

  21. Maureen says:

    Sue Says:
    June 5th, 2007 at 2:17 pm

    “Are we sure yet that acetaminophen is the fith contaminant??”

    See my posting re: 5th ingredient at:

    http://www.petconnection.com/b.....taminants/

    Maureen, June 5th at 10:22 a.m.

    Too lengthy to repost here. It’s based on the FDA press conf. where 5th ingredient is discussed and the 2 FDA documents that contain this info.

  22. Susan says:

    The FDA with their use of word redacted (us old-timers remember it from the Cold War), made it sound like it was plutonium.

  23. LorieVA says:

    I thought acetaminophen caused liver issues we have seen a lot of blogs of dogs with liver enzyme issues post here. What foods were those people eating maybe we have the answer right here in our blogs.

  24. Susan says:

    Acetaminophen can cause both liver and kidney issues. And you’re right LorieVA, we’ve heard reports of both.
    http://www.aspca.org/site/DocS.....erest=1101

  25. Maureen says:

    From Itchmo’s text at the beginning of this thread: Steve’s story re testing: “For $144 they agreed to test for the suspected pet food toxins (Melamine, Cyanuric Acid, Aminopterin, etc.) as well as other common toxins to pets.”

    Acetaminophen must have been one of those common toxins. It would be good to know what toxins are in this group that would be commonly tested for.

    And why would the FDA narrow their test protocol to melamine-cyanuric acid? Here’s the link to the protocol they sent around to their employees for testing wheat gluten, RCP, etc: http://www.fda.gov/cvm/GCMSscreen.htm

    Rhetorical question — obviously that’s all they wish to report to the public. It’s melamine, the Chinese did it. Rat poison, pharmaceuticals, etc. would scare people silly and affect eating habits and corp. profits. People would eat whole foods as much as possible.

    And they must be mortified that 2 American companies manufactured and sold melamine-spiked products. Wait until we hear where this stuff was exported to? China, do you suppose?

  26. pat says:

    what do you suppose the body count will have to be before this is taken seriously? also, has the TX lab reported the name of the pet food company whose tests came back positive to fda? if so, and they sat on it, i’m going to be even angrier than i have been these past weeks and months… something i did not think possible.

  27. LorieVA says:

    heres a link to a blog page where all the people are talking about liver failure in their pets not being taken seriously as pet food recall issuses:

    http://internetducttape.com/20.....od-recall/

    Surprise one othe people mentions PURINA

  28. mittens says:

    susan is right-with the symptoms that were reported antifreeze and actaminophen are what any vet would recognize as common sources of such pet poisonings. they even knew that melamine wasnt capable of killing so quickly…

    sickening cover up. this is so beyond criminal i am rendered speechless one again. the fda big wigs need to be brought up on charges of corruption and criminal complicty and negligience. congress which holds the fda purse strings needs to snap them right off at the top and clean house. arent they claiming to be ‘the most ethical congress ever’? well get busy…

  29. Helen says:

    It took until JUNE to find freaking TYLENOL in the PET FOOD???!!!!????
    I wish we had firing squads. We need them. BAD.

  30. Pit Bull Lover says:

    Apparently, only a feed’s listed ingredients (contaminants, toxins, “binders”) are routinely subject to analysis. If animal feed and pet food products are regulated similarly, it’s no wonder this stuff isn’t detected until after animals are sickened or die.

    From the Columbus Dispatch: “Feed inspectors typically analyze the ingredients listed on the product’s label, but melamine isn’t usually listed. Sometimes it’s only detected during testing and analysis of the finished product.”

    http://tinyurl.com/2nxj33

  31. LorieVA says:

    here are some comments from the URL above.

    Yes! My dog got very sick after eating the food and I took her in the vet, not having a clue as to what was wrong with her. She was extremely lethargic and vomiting/diareah. Her tests also did not show crystals in the urine, but her liver readings were very high. I know this also has something to do with the food. I submitted my claim to Nutro’s insurance company,

    I had to put my precious beagle, Shiley, to sleep last Monday because of liver failure. My vet assured me that it was not related to the pet food recall because her kidneys were fine.

    I think the fact that the pet food companies are downplaying the fact that LIVER FAILURE not just kidney failure is a part of this mess is just criminal. There are quite a few of us that are trying to manage with animals in Liver Failure due to eating the same bad pet food.

  32. LorieVA says:

    Would acetaminophen explain why some of the pets bled out?????????????? Doesn’t thin the blood???

    back in the day many moons ago I knew someone who tried to OD on Exederine and they chickenout and vomited it up. The were told it would of eventually thinned their blood and they would of bled out.

    maybe it was this all along and not the rat poison either.

  33. Susan says:

    LorieVA, I agree with you. Ribble, my cat, was in kidney failure and is recovering. Her liver enzymes went way up and the vet said it was from rapid weight loss. Hepatic lipidosis can happen to cats. However, she didn’t lose THAT much weight. So I’m not sure.
    I am so sorry about your dog. I’m so sure it’s this damn food!

  34. Ruth says:

    I too have commented that my little dog died from eating dry dog food. And the Vet said she had severe immune problem that her red blood cells stop producing and later liver failure. She had problems getting blood from her for testing. She died in 2 1/2 days. The Vet wanted to know if she had gotten into rat posion. (Which she didn’t)

    I got connected to Pet.Place.com after goolging Acetaminophen in dogs. And came up on an article that listed the toxicity of Acetaminophen and it had ALL the symptoms and how many hours from one symptom to the next. MY PET had all these in a row. I don’t know how the VET could have missed this. And as a result my little dog died. Believe me I am so angry right, I could scream.

  35. Susan says:

    I took my cats in before the Royal Canin recall. My vet firmly believed they had gotten into antifreeze, no matter what I said to him. I don’t keep antifreeze in the house. How many ways can you say that? I finally paid for them to be tested. NO ANTIFREEZE! Finally, Royal Canin got recalled. I dropped that vet like a rock. When recalls are happening every week, how could he ignore food as a possible cause? I feel for you, Ruth. I get so angry and so sad for people’s losses.

  36. menusux says:

    Susan Says:

    June 5th, 2007 at 2:43 pm
    That website that Menusux posts a lot from: Alibaba.com? I looked up acetaminophen there and found a lot of the places make food additives, too, like taurine, stearic acid, citric acid, vitamins, etc. - all that junk that is added to pet (and human) food. Could it be cross-contamination, do they not clean their plants, is acetaminophen cheaper than some of the other products?

    Susan,

    You’re right–that’s one of the larger ones for trade. And now I’m wondering out loud if acetaminophen, which in bulk seems to not be very expensive, wasn’t added as a “filler” to “stretch” more expensive food additives. No one would be looking for it, so there’d be no test screening for acetaminophen, any more than there was for melamine earlier. The exporters may have added it to the food additives for more profit, thinking that their customers (PF/food industry)would never know.

  37. Pit Bull Lover says:

    More poison. More secrets. This voluntary disclosure thing is bull%#&!!!

    I need to know which foods were privately tested and flagged. Anyone have a link to more info, or contact info for someone in the know?

  38. menusux says:

    Susan Says:

    June 5th, 2007 at 4:10 pm
    I took my cats in before the Royal Canin recall. My vet firmly believed they had gotten into antifreeze, no matter what I said to him. I don’t keep antifreeze in the house. How many ways can you say that? I finally paid for them to be tested. NO ANTIFREEZE! Finally, Royal Canin got recalled. I dropped that vet like a rock. When recalls are happening every week, how could he ignore food as a possible cause? I feel for you, Ruth. I get so angry and so sad for people’s losses.

    Having another thought here–Googling Royal Canin Glycerin turns up quite a few of their products which contain it (glycerin). Putting that together with what we know about the phony glycerin–diethylene glycol (DEG)–

    http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/.....01646.html

    “DEG is used in antifreeze and as a solvent.”

    Could the phony glycerin have been making the rounds in this and other places, in between the time the tainted toothpaste was reported and October, 2006, in Panama?

  39. Susan says:

    Menusux–I can’t tell you how much that scares me. We as customers (not consumers, not clients) have no control over the food supply. I feel the need to (verbally) smack around a few Senators and Representatives.
    Do you remember after 9/11 HHS said they would hire 600 more food inspectors in case terrorists wanted to poison our food? Where are they?

  40. Mamma of furries says:

    Why is the FDA protecting all of these companies that are poisoning our animals and I am sure even us humans? The FDA is so incompetent at protecting anyone that they should be removed and start with a clean slate of people not totally tied to the politicians. This is relly creeping me out. Everyday it’s one thing or another. Pet food, hogs and chicken feed, toothpaste. It seems like the Chinese are determined to put an end to Americans one way or another. Why are we not banning Chines imports? Aren’t we the breadbasket of the world?

  41. 4lgdfriend says:

    Whatever happened to the end-of-business JUNE 1 DEADLINE for the FDA to produce all answers IN UNREDACTED FORM???

    Where are the subpeonas?

  42. 4lgdfriend says:

    I’ve always thought melamine was chosen as a scapegoat. As mentioned, if it is so harmless, it would not have produced such quick and violent symptoms leading to death.

  43. 4lgdfriend says:

    In short: nothing on the labels can be considered truthful.

  44. Cougar says:

    Does anyone where you take the pet foods to have them tested? It seems there are a few people having the foods tested on their own, and I wonder where they have take them. I’m tired of waiting around.

  45. Helen says:

    Acetaminophen would absolutely explain liver involvement in pets. Any dose over the standard on the bottle is toxic to HUMAN liver. Never take extra acetaminophen, or you will be damaging your own liver. WHAT IS THIS DOING IN PET FOOD???

  46. Susan says:

    Cougar
    In another thread Debbie4747 Says:

    June 5th, 2007 at 4:21 pm

    I believe some are using Accutrace

    http://www.accutracetesting.com/poison_testing.php

  47. Susan says:

    Sorry, Cougar, I have another one.
    http://www.expertox.com/ is the lab mentioned in the above article.

  48. Christine says:

    The combination of not identifying the company or the
    foods and turning important work over to the FDA is
    L E T H A L.

    Christine

  49. menusux says:

    Susan,

    I’d read somewhere that they DID add food inspectors after 9/11, but little by little they were “nipped”out–the victims of cutting the budget because they didn’t seem to be necessary. We need both COOL AND the food budget raised–not cut as they seem bent on doing now, believe it or not.

  50. Susan says:

    Some state governments have passed their own version of COOL, so I am badgering on both the state and federal level to implement the program. And I love the FDA’s budget. Out of a $105 million increase, $10.6 million added for food safety.

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