Why It Took So Long to Find The Menu Foods Toxin

Cornell UniversityWhy did it take more than 8 days for Cornell and The New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets (NYSDAM) to find the toxin? Scientific American suggests that Cornell — one of the first labs in testing pet foods against accidents and terrorism* — was ill-prepared in testing pet foods since it had limited access of comparison toxins and NYSDAM had problems loading the wet food into the machines for testing.

Cornell’s initial tests were inconclusive, so the university sent samples to the NYDASM food safety lab, which has an expanded set of contaminants to compare with the food. This lab detected aminopterin after switching to a UV-light detector to help them visualize the poison; it was initially difficult to pinpoint because of the food’s gummy consistency, which makes it hard to load into their machines and then to isolate out components. Goldstein says that Cornell is now trying to replicate NYDASM’s results in an attempt to prove definitively that aminopterin is the culprit.

Also, the article states that the lab received food samples and bodies before the recall. If Menu Foods was so worried about the food, why did it wait to announce it? The article tells us the process in finding toxins in wet pet food (Geek alert!):

[Cornell] received samples of both food products and animal remains from Menu Foods a day or two before the recall. Using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (a process that separates complex mixtures and analyzes ingredients by measuring a weight-to-charge ratio), researchers compared the constituent chemicals in the food to standards for common molds, heavy metals and ethylene glycol (or antifreeze, which Goldstein says is the number one cause of kidney failure). All test results were negative.

* = “The two labs are part of a network created after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks to keep the nation’s animals and food supply safe.” - AP

6 Responses to “Why It Took So Long to Find The Menu Foods Toxin”

  1. elderta says:

    Cornell got the animals BEFORE the recall? And Menu Foods didn’t announce a recall until after they sent dead animals and their food to Cornell? Does this company have any SAFETY and announcement protocols in affect? Any??? Incredible. Just incredible

  2. 4lgdfriend says:

    THE SCI.AM.COM ARTICLE ALSO REVEALS: “The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports that the lethal concentration of the chemical is three parts per million (ppm) for rats; the amount found in the contaminated food samples was 40 ppm.”
    AND:
    product numbers on his packages of Iams wet food fell just outside of the range of recalled products. The date codes on his packages were 6256 and 6293; the recall range extends from 6339 to 7073. Nevertheless, Valentine believes that his cat was a victim of food poisoning, raising the question of whether the recall was wide enough.

  3. 4lgdfriend says:

    Something that I have not seen mentioned is: any cat with residual kidney damage or immune issues resulting from exposure to this toxin(s), whether from wet or dry food, is going to have to watch CRF issues (chronic renal failure) and other immune-related problems/diseases in cats VERY CAREFULLY FROM NOW ON for who knows how long. This is not just an issue until you find another food!! Start getting info now so you are not left without the facts. If your vet wasn’t omniscient enough to warn you about the dangers of the petfood industry, don’t expect him/her/them to google into the future effects on your pet either!! This is up to you if you want to protect your pets health.
    Feline health links: http://www.mindspring.com/~kerspin/

  4. 4lgdfriend says:

    For pets with immune systems compromised by the effects of this toxin (see VIN for info on that) please be aware that vaccinations should NOT be given to pets that are already ill.

    It’s not only the petfood industry that panders to vets for profit - big pharmaceuticals also do this. For a look at what one forward looking DVM with PHD in immunology has to say about this see: http://www.drpitcairn.com/talk.....cines.html

  5. Krista says:

    HELP! My cat is DYING. The vet says it is, more than likely, some kind of toxin that was ingested. The vet says “Big Red” is showing signs of his own immune system attacking his body and perhaps liver problems. Big Red is only 4 yrs old. The symptoms came on fast and progressed quickly. His abdomen is bloated, but the rest of his body is skin and bones. He won’t eat or drink. He is drooling, has discharge from eyes and nose, and is wobbley on his feet. He is so congested he can barely breathe. He is hemmorrhaging (sp?) under his skin. It’s breaking my daughter’s heart. She is 14 and Big Red is her baby.
    I have been giving him antibiotics for the congestion and putting him in the bathroom with the steam on to help him breathe. I even tried “puffing” him with asthma medication. I am giving him Prednisolone (steroid) to try to help the immune thing. He is getting worse.
    I have spent hundreds of dollars and am out of money. The vet won’t do anything else unless I can pay more. How is THAT for compassion? I have considered euthanizing him, but don’t want to give up hope too soon…but don’t want Big Red to suffer either. Plus, the vet wants $85 for that.
    Does anyone have any suggestions???? Treatments?? CURES?? HELP!!!

    Krista

  6. Krista says:

    Krista Says:

    May 31st, 2007 at 12:51 pm
    HELP! My cat is DYING. The vet says it is, more than likely, some kind of toxin that was ingested. The vet says “Big Red” is showing signs of his own immune system attacking his body and perhaps liver problems. Big Red is only 4 yrs old. The symptoms came on fast and progressed quickly. His abdomen is bloated, but the rest of his body is skin and bones. He won’t eat or drink. He is drooling, has discharge from eyes and nose, and is wobbley on his feet. He is so congested he can barely breathe. He is hemmorrhaging (sp?) under his skin. It’s breaking my daughter’s heart. She is 14 and Big Red is her baby.
    I have been giving him antibiotics for the congestion and putting him in the bathroom with the steam on to help him breathe. I even tried “puffing” him with asthma medication. I am giving him Prednisolone (steroid) to try to help the immune thing. He is getting worse.
    I have spent hundreds of dollars and am out of money. The vet won’t do anything else unless I can pay more. How is THAT for compassion? I have considered euthanizing him, but don’t want to give up hope too soon…but don’t want Big Red to suffer either. Plus, the vet wants $85 for that.
    Does anyone have any suggestions???? Treatments?? CURES?? HELP!!!

    Krista


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