i'm speechless.....for the 1st time.

Rat poison found in pet food, official says

• Rat poison identified as aminopterin found in pet food
• Substance also used to treat cancer
• Class-action lawsuit filed against manufacturer
• Recall announced March 16 after cats and dogs suffer renal failure

 

ALBANY, New York (AP) -- Rat poison was found in pet food blamed for the deaths of at least 16 cats and dogs, but scientists said Friday they still don't know how it got there and predicted more animal deaths would be linked to it.

Also Friday, the company that produced the food expanded its recall to include all 95 brands of the "cuts and gravy" style food, regardless of when they were produced.

The substance in the food was identified as aminopterin, a cancer drug that once was used to induce abortions in the United States and is still used to kill rats in some other countries, state Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker said. (Watch why devastated pet owners are suing Video)

The federal government prohibits using aminopterin for killing rodents in the United States. State officials would not speculate on how the poison got into the pet food, but said no criminal investigations had been launched.

The pet deaths led to a recall of 60 million cans and pouches of dog and cat food produced by Menu Foods and sold throughout North America under 95 brand names. Some pets that ate the recalled brands suffered kidney failure, and the company has confirmed the deaths of 15 cats and one dog.

The company expanded the recall -- which initially covered only cans and pouches of food packaged from December 3 through March 6 -- after the FDA alerted it that some products remained on store shelves.

There is no risk to pet owners from handling the food, officials said.

The Food and Drug Administration has said the investigation into the pet deaths was focused on wheat gluten in the food. The gluten itself would not cause kidney failure, but it could have been contaminated, the FDA said.

Bob Rosenberg, senior vice president of government affairs for the National Pest Management Association, said it would be unusual for the wheat to be tainted.

"It would make no sense to spray a crop itself with rodenticide," Rosenberg said, adding that grain shippers typically put bait stations around the perimeter of their storage facilities.

Scientists at the New York State Animal Health Diagnostic Center at Cornell University and at the New York State Food Laboratory tested three cat food samples provided by the manufacturer and found aminopterin in two of them. The two labs are part of a network created after the September 11 terrorist attacks to keep the nation's animals and food supply safe.

"Any amount of this product is too much in food," Hooker said.

Aminopterin is highly toxic in high doses. It inhibits the growth of malignant cells and suppresses the immune system. In dogs and cats, the amount of aminopterin found -- 40 parts per million -- can cause kidney failure, according to Bruce Akey, director of Cornell's diagnostic center.

"It's there in substantial amounts," Akey said.

Donald Smith, dean of Cornell's veterinary school, said he expected the number of pet deaths to increase. "Based on what we've heard the last couple days, 16 is a low number," Smith said.

Aminopterin is no longer marketed as a cancer drug, but is still used in research, said Andre Rosowsky, a chemist with the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.

Rosowsky speculated that the substance would not show up in pet food "unless somebody put it there."

Paul Henderson, chief executive of Ontario, Canada-based Menu Foods, said the company does not believe the food was tampered with because the recalled food came from two different plants, one in Kansas, one in New Jersey. Menu continues to produce food at the two plants.

The company, already facing lawsuits, said Friday it is testing all the ingredients that go into the food.

"We have a lot of work to do, and we are eager to get back to it," Henderson said. "This is a highly unusual substance."

A complete list of the recalled products along with product codes, descriptions and production dates was posted online by Menu Foodsexternal link. The company also designated two phone numbers that pet owners could call for information: (866) 463-6738 and (866) 895-2708.

   

   

Comments

I finally got a chance to look up which dog foods have been recalled. Luckily, mine is not listed. I'm listing what I found though. Clicking on the link will give you the information, including UPC codes, so you can check your dog food.

Recalled Dog Product Information

Recall Information 1-866-895-2708

Variety or Multi-Packs:

If you are in possession of a variety or multi-pack, please be sure to check the individual can or pouch rather than relying solely on the date coding on the side of the carton.

  1. Americas Choice, Preferred Pets
  2. Authority
  3. Award
  4. Best Choice
  5. Big Bet
  6. Big Red
  7. Bloom
  8. Cadillac
  9. Companion
  10. Demoulas Market Basket
  11. Eukanuba
  12. Food Lion
  13. Giant Companion
  14. Great Choice
  15. Hannaford
  16. Hill Country Fare
  17. Hy-Vee
  18. Iams
  19. Laura Lynn
  20. Loving Meals
  21. Meijers Main Choice
  22. Mighty Dog Pouch
  23. Mixables
  24. Nutriplan
  25. Nutro Max
  26. Nutro Natural Choice
  27. Nutro Ultra
  28. Nutro
  29. Ol'Roy Canada
  30. Ol'Roy US
  31. Paws
  32. Pet Essentials
  33. Pet Pride - Good n Meaty
  34. Presidents Choice
  35. Price Chopper
  36. Priority Canada
  37. Priority US
  38. Publix
  39. Roche Brothers
  40. Save-A-Lot Choice Morsels
  41. Schnucks
  42. Shep Dog
  43. Springsfield Prize
  44. Sprout
  45. Stater Brothers
  46. Stop & Shop Companion
  47. Tops Companion
  48. Wegmans Bruiser
  49. Weis Total Pet
  50. Western Family US
  51. White Rose
  52. Winn Dixie
  53. Your Pet

 

 

If I was standing on a fish, I'd slip and fall......

I forget what I buy now, (Dick van Patten's name is on it I think) some kinda extra healthy expensive crap cause we are trying to determine if one of the dogs is allergic to something. And, we just found out the other is now diabetic, so more special food for him! And probably daily injections too!

i always used to buy Nutro, because its all natural....even the pouches i would buy for a treat.  But a year ago, i switched to purina one & im glad.  i DONOT understand why people do this sh*t.  i couldnt even read the whole article because it made me sick to my stomach.  & the pictures on cnn, give me nothing but a heart ache. i feel so bad for those people who lost their pets -i cant even begin to image their pain.....unbearably sad.  16million recalled....wow.

--. And remember, no matter where you go, there you are . --

This is the kind of crap that scares the hell out of me. I used to give my dogs Iams until a few months ago, which was one the list, but only wet food and I use dry. Iams was a better-than-usual brand that I felt could be trusted. When you look at the list, a lot of the brands are store brand or generic, so goes to show that it's really all the same stuff anyway. I would be suing until the law says I cannot sue any more...

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