Rat poison in the pet food

  • #1
Ivan Seeking
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ALBANY, New York (AP) -- Rat poison has been found in pet food blamed for the deaths of at least 16 cats and dogs, a spokeswoman for the State Department of Agriculture and Markets said Friday.

The toxin was identified as aminopterin, state Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker said in a statement. Aminopterin is used to kill rats in some countries but is not registered for that use in the United States, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

The officials did not say how they believed it got into the pet food. [continued]
http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/03/23/pet.food.recall.ap/index.html?eref=rss_topstories [Broken]
 
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  • #2
Evo
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Sounds like it might be a disgruntled employee getting revenge on the company.
 
  • #3
Math Is Hard
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Thanks for posting that, Ivan.
 
  • #4
Ivan Seeking
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You bet.

We have bought some Priorety brand for little buddy a few times, and the other cats probably ate some, so we've been watching our cats very closely. They all seem to be okay.
 
  • #5
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Its a small world

A source close to the investigation tells ABC News that the rodenticide, which the source says is illegal to use in the United States, was on wheat that was imported from China and used by Menu Foods in nearly 100 brands of dog and cat food," the network says on its website.
http://blogs.usatoday.com/ondeadline/2007/03/abc_news_rat_po.html [Broken]

Kinda makes me wonder where else that wheat ended up.

I don't think people will be get any satisfaction by filing law suits. I could be wrong but as far as I know pets are considered to be property. People could only recover the cost of the pet.::mad:
 
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  • #6
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It was Cornell, not the Department of Agriculture that discoverd the toxin.

The toxin, identified in samples of pet food tested at Cornell University, is aminopterin, a derivative of folic acid, the department said. The substance is not approved for use in the United States.
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/23/us/23cnd-petfood.html?hp

I am also thinking that the pet food industry is unregulated.

Edit: It is unregulated. This article from 2003 doesn't paint a rosy picture of the pet food industry.

http://www.nexusmagazine.com/articles/petfood2.html
 
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  • #7
JasonRox
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  • #8
Moonbear
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Its a small world



http://blogs.usatoday.com/ondeadline/2007/03/abc_news_rat_po.html [Broken]
Thanks...that answered the question I had after reading the article Ivan posted, which was whether the wheat gluten was from a domestic or imported source if the poison is not supposed to be used in the U.S.

Kinda makes me wonder where else that wheat ended up.
Yes, I'm also wondering this. Did they only use it for animal foods, or did it also make it into the human supply chain? Wheat gluten is such a commonly used product that I'd suspect they don't only sell it for pet foods.

At least now they've traced the source and the contaminant, so that will make it easier to trace where else it has been distributed and guarantee that everything that might be contaminated is pulled from the supply chain.

I don't think people will be get any satisfaction by filing law suits. I could be wrong but as far as I know pets are considered to be property. People could only recover the cost of the pet.
They can also potentially recover the cost of any veterinary care required as a result of eating the contaminated food. Monetary settlements only help pay the bills acquired, but never make up for the emotional loss. I don't know how international law works, and if Menu Foods can do anything to sue the supplier for all their business losses and the damage to the brand's reputation, but I hope they can. And maybe they'll learn to stick to domestic sources for food products, or at least not use foreign sources when they don't have to follow the same safety requirements we do domestically! :grumpy:
 
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  • #9
Moonbear
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  • #10
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The industry is regulated, by the FDA (primary agency charged with oversight for pet food safety), USDA, and FTC.
Well it appears they are not doing a good job.

And what about the US customs, are they doing any testing on food imports from china? They are half paranoid when a traveler brings a thing like an apple into the US from China, but it seems that rat poison in food is not tested.

And animal testing ought to be exposed, people at least should know what scientists are doing to animals in the name of science.
 
  • #11
radou
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And animal testing ought to be exposed, people at least should know what scientists are doing to animals in the name of science.
No, they shouldn't know what happens to animals, since they would only get frustrated because there is nothing to do about it.
 
  • #12
Moonbear
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Well it appears they are not doing a good job.
Why not? They have recalled all the food in question and found the source and the reason for the problem. They have done just as good of a job for pets as they have for all the other human foods recalled this year and late last year. In fact, it seems a better job has been done, because only about a week after the recall, we have an answer, unlike the months it took for anyone to find out why people were getting sick from spinach.

And what about the US customs, are they doing any testing on food imports from china? They are half paranoid when a traveler brings a thing like an apple into the US from China, but it seems that rat poison in food is not tested.
I can't speak for what Customs is doing.

And animal testing ought to be exposed, people at least should know what scientists are doing to animals in the name of science.
Yes, but do they know enough about the science to even understand what they are being told? Do you want to know what animal testing at a pet food company consists of? It consists of feeding the animals. If you want the real story, ask us scientists, because we will gladly explain because we have nothing to hide. If you want lies and fear, ask the sort of people who create the site that was originally linked, because that's what it provides.
 
  • #13
Evo
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Moonbear, you can probably shed some light on this.

"ABC News first reported that the rodenticide may have been present in the wheat that was imported from China and used by Menu Foods, according to a source close to the investigation.

Some Vets Remain Skeptical

Some veterinary experts say they are still skeptical as to whether the chemical is responsible for the kidney damage the pets endured.

"With the information that we have, none of us feel that this product fits the lesions we are seeing, but there may be information we don't know yet," said Lawrence McGill, a veterinary pathologist in Salt Lake City. "The feeling is that there are more questions than answers with this product."

"Renal failure is not the expected response to these drugs," said Susan Weinstein, executive director of the Massachusetts Veterinary Medical Association. She added that most rodent poisons work as severe anticoagulants — meaning they cause the rats that ingest them to bleed to death.

"Whether this particular toxin in this case can create renal failure depends on how this drug works in the body, which may be an entirely different pathway than the anticoagulants," Weinstein said. "Because we aren't yet familiar with this toxin, we can't be confident of the causation link."

http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=2975912
 
  • #14
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No, they shouldn't know what happens to animals, since they would only get frustrated because there is nothing to do about it.
So you are advocating censorship?

Moonbear said:
If you want the real story, ask us scientists, because we will gladly explain because we have nothing to hide.
So what are you saying that the are no scientists who perform tests that harm animals?
 
  • #15
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My best friend found her cat laying on its back, with its tongue hanging out. She didn't want the kids to see it, so she got a black plastic bag, and started putting the cat in it.
She said the cat started hissing and biteing her. This also alarmed her! So she put it in the cat carrier and dashed off to the vet. She told the vet all that had happened, and asked if it was a sign of renal failure.
The vet said....no, it was a sign of putting a sleeping cat into a black plastic bag.:rofl:
 
  • #16
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That site is flat out lying to promote an anti-animal testing agenda. The industry is regulated, by the FDA (primary agency charged with oversight for pet food safety), USDA, and FTC.

http://www.fda.gov/cvm/petfoodflier.html [Broken]

http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?cls=2&cat=1661&articleid=2645
I can't seem to find any links that outright recommend the safety of the pet food industry. Canada seems to be totally unregulated.

III. The Current Regulatory Structure

Several different groups at various levels of authority regulate pet food. Pet food is regulated by the FDA at the federal level under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. More specifically, within the FDA, the Center for Veterinary Medicine regulates “animal drugs, animal feeds, food additives and ingredients.” A non-governmental organization, the Association of American Feed Control Officials, sets nutritional standards, label requirements, and feeding trial protocols for pet foods. Additionally, each state may have its own animal feed regulatory agency which regulate pet foods sold or manufactured within their state.[25] The Pet Food Institute, a trade group representing 97% of the U.S. pet food manufacturers, serves as the “voice” of the industry to Congress, state and federal agencies.[26] With so many different groups regulating what goes into your animal’s mouth, one would assume that commercial foods are safe. How ironic then, that this over-regulation often results in misinformed owners with malnourished pets.
http://leda.law.harvard.edu/leda/data/784/Patrick06.html [Broken]

This tends to indicate self regulation more than anything. This is not unusual with Federal and state agencies. The EPA allows voluntary "self reporting" of toxic levels of beryllium at a local Tucson facility.
 
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  • #17
Evo
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My best friend found her cat laying on its back, with its tongue hanging out. She didn't want the kids to see it, so she got a black plastic bag, and started putting the cat in it.
She said the cat started hissing and biteing her. This also alarmed her! So she put it in the cat carrier and dashed off to the vet. She told the vet all that had happened, and asked if it was a sign of renal failure.
The vet said....no, it was a sign of putting a sleeping cat into a black plastic bag.:rofl:
:rofl: :rofl: Glad the kitty was ok.
 
  • #18
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And animal testing ought to be exposed, people at least should know what scientists are doing to animals in the name of science.
Not saying the experiments are ok, but the public - any public- is an idiot.
 
  • #19
radou
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So you are advocating censorship?
In a way. But the thing I'm really advocating is the fact that I don't give a damn about it. Call me ignorant, but at least I'm sincere. :smile:
 
  • #20
Ivan Seeking
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My best friend found her cat laying on its back, with its tongue hanging out. She didn't want the kids to see it, so she got a black plastic bag, and started putting the cat in it.
She said the cat started hissing and biteing her. This also alarmed her! So she put it in the cat carrier and dashed off to the vet. She told the vet all that had happened, and asked if it was a sign of renal failure.
The vet said....no, it was a sign of putting a sleeping cat into a black plastic bag.:rofl:
:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: That one gets added to my store of favorite quotes and stories. That's funny!!! And if I were her husband, I would be sleeping with one eye open. :biggrin:
 
  • #21
Math Is Hard
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In a way. But the thing I'm really advocating is the fact that I don't give a damn about it. Call me ignorant, but at least I'm sincere. :smile:
I care very much, and I do want to know. Especially if my tax dollars are paying for it.
I'm not a militant animal rights person, but I do want to know that those who oversee animal research practices are enforcing the set standards.
 
  • #22
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I care about where all of that blasted Chinese wheat gluten came from and went to.:surprised Noodles anyone?

BTW if anyone needs any Chinese wheat gluten here is where to go. As you can see it has only 10 PPM heavy metals.:rolleyes:

Wheat Gluten (3/19/2007)
we offer food and feed grade wheat gluten as: protein 75% ash 2% 3% water 8% 9% heavy metals 10ppm.

See All Leads (42), Catalogs from Qingdao Terio Corp. [China]
http://www.ecplaza.net/ecmarket/list.asp?cmd=search&keywords=wheat+gluten [Broken]

Bizarre just totally bizarre.
 
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  • #23
Ivan Seeking
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The recall may be expanded to include Iams dry cat food. Also, Tsu thought that she heard that Hill's Science Diet is included, but I haven't seen that reported. If anyone does please post right away.

The focus has changed to melamine contamination

RICHMOND, Va. -- Government testing of recalled pet food linked to dog and cat deaths has found a chemical used to make plastics.

The Food and Drug Administration said it found melamine in samples of the Menu Foods pet food, as well as in wheat gluten used as an ingredient.

...Cornell University scientists also have found the chemical, also used as a fertilizer, in the urine and kidney of a sick cat.[continued with videos of latest]
http://www.wjactv.com/mostpopular/11454230/detail.html [Broken]
 
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  • #24
Ivan Seeking
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CNN reports that Hill's Prescription Diet, M/D, is included in the recall.
 
  • #25
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I work in a vet lab, running about 6-700 samples per day. Volume is up easily 30% over the last couple weeks. It seems ever other sample says "was fed tainted food, owner concerned, no clinical signs"

I dont think we've had any actual sick animals from this.
 

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