Beginning in March , there was a wide recall of many brands of cat and dog foods due to contamination with melamine and cyanuric acid. The recalls in North America, Europe, and South Africa came in response to reports of renal failure in pets. Initially, the recalls were associated with the consumption of mostly wet pet foods made with wheat gluten from a single Chinese company. After more than three weeks of complaints from consumers, the recall began voluntarily with the Canadian company Menu Foods on 16 March , when a company test showed sickness and death in some of the test animals. Soon after, there were numerous media reports of animal deaths as a result of kidney failure.
The chemicals include cyanuric acida chemical ooultry in chlorinated pools. If the pet food isn't cooked, the bacteria can survive the manufacturing process and make it into the final products. More importantly, our customers have told us that this food was consumed by their pets long ago, with no medical issues reported. ABC News. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
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Melamine is an industrial ppultry that has no approved use as an ingredient in animal or human food in the United States. Watch the latest videos on YouTube. Food poultry tainted pet the worse case scenario, the agency said, the maximum exposure an taibted could receive when he consumed in an entire day solid food tainted with melamine at poultrj levels found in animals fed contaminated feed. Pet owners who choose to feed raw pet food should be aware of the risks associated with these products," the federal agency said. You will never know what is in them. Q: Has any of the melamine been found in other species' food besides dogs and peh Both hogs and chickens known to have been fed contaminated feed appear to be healthy. Q: Is melamine the cause of the reported illnesses in cats and dogs? Please let us know as soon Food poultry tainted pet you can. In addition, melamine is excreted in animal urine. More than credit cards available at uscards. Such a level of melamine in the person would be about times lower Teen shana the dose considered safe. The combination of melamine and cyanuric acid appears to be more toxic than either compound alone. Q: Has contaminated corn gluten been found in pet food?
The announcement came after an investigation of chicken farms in Indiana found that 38 of the facilities had given contaminated feed to poultry raised for human consumption, and that 2.
- The announcement came after an investigation of chicken farms in Indiana found that 38 of the facilities had given contaminated feed to poultry raised for human consumption, and that 2.
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Beginning in March , there was a wide recall of many brands of cat and dog foods due to contamination with melamine and cyanuric acid. The recalls in North America, Europe, and South Africa came in response to reports of renal failure in pets. Initially, the recalls were associated with the consumption of mostly wet pet foods made with wheat gluten from a single Chinese company.
After more than three weeks of complaints from consumers, the recall began voluntarily with the Canadian company Menu Foods on 16 March , when a company test showed sickness and death in some of the test animals. Soon after, there were numerous media reports of animal deaths as a result of kidney failure. In the following weeks, several other companies who received the contaminated wheat gluten also voluntarily recalled dozens of pet food brands.
One month after the initial recall, contaminated rice protein from a different source in China was also identified as being associated with kidney failure in pets in the United States, while contaminated corn gluten was associated with kidney failure with pets in South Africa. As a result of investigating the pet food recalls, a broader Chinese protein export contamination investigation unfolded, raising concerns about the safety of the human food supply.
By the end of March, veterinary organizations reported more than pet deaths among nearly cases of kidney failure,  with one online database self-reporting as many as 3, deaths as of 11 April.
Food and Drug Administration has received reports of several thousand cats and dogs who have died after eating contaminated food, but have only confirmed 14 cases, in part because there is no centralized government database of animal sickness or death in the United States, as there are with humans such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Overall, several major companies have recalled more than pet food products, with most of the recalls coming from Menu Foods. The Chinese company behind the contaminated wheat gluten has initially denied any involvement in the contamination, but is cooperating with Chinese and American investigators. In the United States, there has been extensive media coverage of the recall. There has been widespread public outrage and calls for government regulation of pet foods, which had previously been self-regulated by pet food manufacturers.
The United States Senate held an oversight hearing on the matter by 12 April. Reports of widespread and possibly intentional adulteration of Chinese animal feed with melamine have raised the issue of melamine contamination in the human food supply , both in China and abroad. FDA subjected all vegetable proteins imported from China, intended for human or animal consumption, to detention without physical examination, including: wheat gluten, rice gluten, rice protein, rice protein concentrate, corn gluten, corn gluten meal, corn byproducts, soy protein, soy gluten, proteins includes amino acids and protein hydrosylates , and mung bean protein.
Department of Agriculture said between 2. Current research has focused on the combination of melamine and cyanuric acid in causing renal failure. Reports that cyanuric acid may be an independently and potentially widely used adulterant in China have heightened concerns for both pet and human health.
As of 7 May, United States food safety officials stated: "There is very low risk to human health from consuming meat from hogs and chickens known to have been fed animal feed supplemented with pet food scraps that contained melamine and melamine-related compounds" .
The first recalls were announced by Menu Foods late on Friday, 16 March , for cat and dog food products in the United States. In the ensuing months, many additional recalls were announced by Menu and other companies as the recall expanded throughout North America and to Europe and South Africa.
Menu Foods acknowledged receiving the first complaints of sick pets on 20 February , and initiated the recall following unexpected deaths after a regularly scheduled internal "taste test". The recalls are related to contaminated vegetable proteins, imported from China in and early , used as pet food ingredients. The process of identifying and accounting for the source of the contamination and how the contaminant causes sickness is ongoing.
The majority of recalled foods have come from a single company, Menu Foods of Streetsville, Ontario. Menu Foods' recalled products alone represent nearly brands of cat and dog food, and as of 11 April, are the only brands known to have caused sickness in animals. Below is an overview of affected brands, as provided by the FDA and the companies:.
By the end of March, veterinary organizations reported more than pet deaths amongst nearly cases of kidney failure,  and experts expected the death toll to number in the thousands, with one online database already self-reporting as many as 3, deaths as of 11 April. Food and Drug Administration has received reports of approximately animal deaths, including at least cats and dogs who have died after eating contaminated food, but have only confirmed 14 cases, in part because there is no centralized government database of animal sickness or death in the United States as there are with humans such as the Centers for Disease Control.
The cases involved cats and dogs, with 61 percent of the cats and 74 percent of the dogs having died. She also said the mortality rate is not likely to be representative of all cases, because survey respondents had more information to submit for animals that had died.
A number of dogs were also reported affected in Australia, with four in Melbourne and a few more in Sydney. No legal action or repercussions have as yet occurred regarding these cases. In order to be counted in our survey, you had to meet certain criteria We had to have confirmed exposure to the recalled pet food, proof of toxicity, and clinical signs of renal failure.
So this is only a percentage of the deaths that are out there. In a potentially related incident in China, on 22 February , Xinhua reported at least 38 cats dying shortly after being fed with Xiduoyu, a brand of a "Tianjin-based cat food manufacturer". A veterinarian referred to in the story said "test results from Beijing Animal Hospital showed the dead cats had suffered from kidney exhaustion and that the sick ones have kidney damage.
Pet owners were advised to monitor their animals for the following signs of possible kidney failure that may be associated with the unknown toxicant : loss of appetite , lethargy , depression , vomiting , diarrhea , sudden changes in water consumption, and changes in the frequency or amount of urination. It was advised that pets exhibiting these symptoms should be taken for veterinary care as soon as possible, even if the animal did not eat any of the recalled pet food, as these signs may be indicative of other illnesses.
One of the largest veterinary hospital chains in the U. Banfield's veterinarians treat an estimated 6 percent of the nation's cats and dogs, and their findings provide "the most authoritative picture of the harm done by the tainted cat and dog food," according to the FDA. Based on analysis of data collected by more than hospitals and clinics in 43 states, out of every 10, cats and dogs seen in Banfield clinics, three developed kidney failure during the time pet food contaminated with melamine was on the market.
They reported more cases of kidney failure in cats than the expected "background rate," corresponding to a 30 percent increase. During that period, the Banfield vets saw , cats. According to Hugh Lewis, who analyzed the results for Banfield, extrapolating to the United States cat population may mean "several hundred cats a week across the country" were affected. No similar statistically significant increase was seen among dogs, suggesting the contamination was more toxic to cats.
As of 4 May, the FDA advised: "If your pet food is not listed [as recalled on its website], the pet food is not affected by the recall and you can continue to feed it to your pets; however, if your pet exhibits a sudden onset of symptoms including loss of appetite, lethargy, vomiting, stop feeding the pet food and contact your veterinarian.
The growing number of recalls has motivated at least one well-known animal protection organization, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals ASPCA to recommend "until this crisis is resolved Many nonprofit pet shelters rely on donated foods to feed the animals and remain financially stable, but due to the wide use of wheat gluten and other contaminated ingredients in many wet pet foods and the large portion of foods represented in the recall, many pet shelters have had to discard foods despite the financial burden of doing so.
Unable to locate the source of the renal failure exhibited by test subjects that consumed some of their wet food products, Menu Foods sent food samples to Cornell University between 13 March and 15 March for chemical analysis. They too, were not immediately able to pinpoint the cause of the sicknesses, so they sent samples to the New York State Food Laboratory, a part of the federally funded Food Emergency Response Network. Sometime in mid-March, an "unnamed pet food company" reported to Cornell they had discovered an industrial chemical used in plastics manufacture, melamine , in internal testing of wheat gluten samples.
By 21 March, it became clear the common factor was in the wheat gluten used to thicken the gravy in the "cuts and gravy" style wet foods. By 27 March, Cornell had confirmed the presence of melamine in the originally recalled pet foods, the wheat gluten used in their manufacture, the cells of the dead pets, and in the urine samples from dead and sick pets. You could see crystals in the wheat gluten. In addition to wheat gluten, products containing rice protein have also been contaminated with melamine.
Natural Balance Pet Foods recalled two products on 16 April due to kidney damage associated with melamine contamination despite the products not containing wheat gluten. Despite the presence of the industrial chemical in both the food and in the animals, the FDA has made it clear they are still in the middle of an extensive investigation, and "not yet fully certain that melamine is the causative agent.
Prior animal studies have shown ingestion of melamine may lead to kidney stones , cancer or reproductive damage. The chemical is known to have a very low toxicity in rodents. The U. FDA knows of no studies of melamine involving felines and, if melamine is responsible, the increased sensitivity of cats is a mystery to officials.
One hypothesis is the poisoned cat foods might have higher concentrations of melamine than the dog foods. Stephen Sundlof, director of the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine, says " Melamine is not very toxic as a chemical, so we're wondering why we are seeing the kinds of serious conditions, especially the kidney failure, that we're seeing in cats and dogs We are focusing on the melamine right now because we believe that, even if melamine is not the causative agent, it is somehow associated with the causative agent, so it serves as a marker".
According to the FDA, "the association between melamine in the kidneys and urine of cats that died and melamine in the food they consumed is undeniable. Additionally, melamine is an ingredient that should not be in pet food at any level. Researchers have focused on the role of melamine and related compounds in causing renal failure.
Beginning on 19 April, researchers reportedly had ruled out aminopterin contamination and had found a "spoke-like crystal" in contaminated wheat gluten and rice protein concentrate and the tissues and urine of affected animals. It was previously known that melamine and cyanuric acid can form networks of hydrogen bonds , creating a tile-like planar structure through molecular self-assembly.
While some researchers have theorized the three latter chemicals might have been formed as the animals metabolized the melamine, or as byproducts of bacterial metabolism cyanuric acid is a known intermediate byproduct of bacterial metabolism of melamine , their presence in the crystals found in contaminated protein itself, combined with media reports of widespread adulteration with both melamine and cyanuric acid in China, has focused research efforts on their combined effects in animals.
Neither melamine nor cyanuric acid, a chemical commonly used in pool chlorination, have been thought to be particularly toxic by themselves.
The current hypothesis is, although these contaminants are not very toxic individually, their potency appears to be increased when they are present together.
On 27 April, researchers from the University of Guelph , in Ontario announced they had created crystals chemically similar to the ones found in contaminated animals by combining melamine and cyanuric acid in the laboratory under pH conditions similar to those in animal kidneys. In light of these findings, on 1 May, the American Veterinary Medical Association noted in a press release the "extremely insoluble" crystals formed in animal kidneys are suspected of blocking kidney function.
Because you wouldn't see so much necrosis cell death and inflammation. On 8 May , the International Herald Tribune reported three Chinese chemical makers have said animal feed producers often purchase, or seek to purchase, the chemical, cyanuric acid, from their factories to blend into animal feed to give the false appearance of a higher level of protein , suggesting another potentially dangerous way that melamine and cyanuric acid might combine in protein products.
A toxicology study conducted at the University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine after the recalls concluded the combination of melamine and cyanuric acid in diet does lead to acute renal failure in cats. They go away slowly, if at all, so there is the potential for chronic toxicity. Some pet owners have become concerned over the safety of all processed pet foods, and have chosen to forgo store-bought prepared pet foods in favor of preparing food from ingredients at home.
The popularity of books on home preparation of pet foods has rocketed on Amazon. Some veterinarians have pointed out that animal diets are difficult to maintain in terms of nutritional appropriateness and safety, and are best served by store-bought preparations, an assertion disputed by some practitioners of home-made animal foods.
Many owners of pets stricken after consuming Menu Foods' product have considered filing lawsuits against the company, but are encountering difficulties with the valuation of the deceased pets.
While many pet owners consider their pets to be a "part of the family," lost pets have traditionally been treated as property, with the potential liability limited to the retail value of the animal. Some states define the monetary value of a pet for litigation or insurance purposes. Other states have allowed suits for punitive damages and emotional distress suffered in the loss of a pet.
After word of the recall and reports of animal deaths began to spread, Menu Foods was served with several individual lawsuits over the deaths of affected pets. On 20 March, after the death of her cat, a woman in Chicago , Illinois sued Menu Foods for negligence in delaying the recall. As individual lawsuits were filed across the nation, an Ontario, Oregon family filed a class-action lawsuit against Menu Foods, citing emotional damage and economic loss.
The lawyers filing the federal lawsuit noted Washington state , which has jurisdiction , had a history of favorable consumer protection precedents in prior pet-related lawsuits, but finding a set value for the lost pets may be difficult.
On 23 March, Menu Foods said they will reimburse pet owners who can trace their pets' illnesses to the company's products. By 5 April, the 20 March Chicago lawsuit expanded to federal class-action status, with over plaintiffs seeking punitive damages for emotional distress. The plaintiffs have specifically accused Menu Foods of fraud , claiming the company may have known of a problem as early as December. Menu Foods faces 90 class-action lawsuits as a result of the contamination.
District Court Judge Hillman has ordered Menu Foods to have no contact with plaintiffs unless their attorneys are involved in the discussion, after lawyers from six firms representing pet owners claimed the company illegally attempted to contact their clients directly. Hillman has said "It seems to me that Menu Foods is out to do whatever Menu Foods wants to do in a way that could adversely impact the rights" of the plaintiffs.
The portion of tainted pet food used in the feed of swine and poultry was smaller. Call your veterinarian immediately if your pet shows signs of illness such as loss of appetite, weakness or lack of energy, or vomiting. Seattle Washington. This is all their is:. If the pet food isn't cooked, the bacteria can survive the manufacturing process and make it into the final products. Scientists conclude that for individuals who consume large amounts of the specified foods, the level of consumption is 18, - 30, times lower than the level considered safe. There was no indication of kidney damage in farm animals.
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But officials notified state authorities, according to the FDA, that swine fed adulterated products will not be approved to enter the food supply chain for human consumption. The chances are very low that people become ill after eating pork from swine fed the adulterated product.
Melamine is used to produce melamine resin found in end products including countertops, fabrics, glues and flame retardants. It is also used to make fertilizers and Pigment Yellow , a colorant used in inks and plastics.
The chemical is not supposed to show up wheat gluten or rice protein. Melamine-tainted pet food can cause kidney failure and has already killed probably thousands of dogs and cats and led to many recalls by Menu Foods, Inc.
The recalls do not seem to have come to an end. Just on May 3, SmartPak Canine, a company based out of Plymouth, Massachusetts voluntarily issued a recall on all lots of LiveSmart Adult Lamb and Brown Rice food after the product tested positive for melamine in a test received earlier in the day.
According to the company, no ill effects have been reported so far from consuming the tainted product. Today, the FDA reaffirmed that "There is very low risk to human health from consuming meat from hogs and chicken known to have been fed animal feed supplemented with pet food scraps that were tainted with melamine and melamine related chemicals," citing an assessment by scientists from five federal agencies.
In the worse case scenario, the agency said, the maximum exposure an individual could receive when he consumed in an entire day solid food tainted with melamine at the levels found in animals fed contaminated feed. Such a level of melamine in the person would be about times lower than the dose considered safe.
According to the FDA, scraps of contaminated pet food used to produce feed for pigs and chickens contained low levels of melamine and they were distributed to farms only in a limited number of states and added to the feed consumed by swine and poultry. The portion of tainted pet food used in the feed of swine and poultry was smaller. Thus, the ration of the tainted was actually substantially diluted by other rations. And so far no evidence has shown that the affected animals suffered from kidney damage which would occur when animals ingested high amounts of melamine.
At high doses of melamine, crystals are formed in kidneys causing damages to the system, which was observed in dogs and cats. Both hogs and chickens fed the contaminated feed appeared to be healthy, the FDA said. At this time, swine and poultry on affected farms are being held under state quarantine or voluntarily by owners. In cases in which feed samples have tested negative for melamine and related compounds, the USDA concluded that these animals no longer need to be quarantined or withheld from processing.
In other cases in which feed samples have tested positive for melamine and related compounds, or no feed samples have not been tested for whatever reasons, the animals continue to be withheld from processing until it is confirmed that no feed samples contain detectable levels of melamine. The final assessment will be done within one week, according to the FDA. The FDA and United States Department of Agriculture continue the investigation and they are identifying experts to form a panel to assess the risk of the tainted pet food in animals.
As a measure to prevent the nightmare of the same kind from occurring in the future, the FDA keeps current its import alert for the wheat and corn gluten and rice protein concentrate and isolates from China and other countries and the U.
Customs and Border Protection continue lab testing of the concerned products as they enter the U. But again, no evidence suggests that products bound for human consumption are contaminated and the FDA suggests that consumers should feel free to continue using pork and poultry.
The FDA provided the following information on the assessment as published May 7, on its web site:. There is very low risk to humans from eating pork, chicken and eggs from animals fed animal feed supplemented with pet food scraps that contained melamine and related compounds, according to an assessment by federal scientists. Melamine analogues include cyanuric acid, ammelide and ammeline, which are commonly referred to as melamine compounds.
It is based on available data and certain scientific assumptions in the absence of data. These scientists estimated the human exposure to melamine and related compounds from the consumption of contaminated pork, poultry, and eggs as well as from foods containing pork and poultry as ingredients, and compared this exposure to levels calculated to be safe to consume.
Scientists conclude that for individuals who consume large amounts of the specified foods, the level of consumption is 18, - 30, times lower than the level considered safe. Member Center: Sign In Register. FDA: Melamine-tainted poultry, fish safe for humans. Next story in Health. Seattle Washington.
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Probe expanded to China A team of FDA investigators returned from China last week, after investigating where the tainted material originated. Thousands of pet owners have claimed their pets died after consuming the tainted products. Languages Arabic Japanese Korean Turkish. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved. Terms under which this service is provided to you.
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Timeline of the pet food recalls - Wikipedia
The U. If you purchased this dog food brand, check the barcode on the back of packages and look for :. More importantly, our customers have told us that this food was consumed by their pets long ago, with no medical issues reported. The facts show that there is no safety risk here. The FDA said in an earlier statement that it began investigating the food after receiving a complaint from a consumer.
Tashjian said there also is a conflict between FDA and U. Department of Agriculture regulations regarding salmonella. Salmonella is inherent in raw poultry products, Tashjian said, and is unlikely to pose danger when properly handled.
The USDA, which regulates meat and poultry for human consumption, allows for some presence of salmonella in raw poultry, but the FDA, which regulates pet food, has a zero-tolerance policy. The FDA is telling pet owners to throw away the tainted food in a secure container to prevent it from being eaten by other animals.
You also should clean refrigerators and freezers where the food was stored, as well as disinfect all bowls, utensils, food prep surfaces, pet bedding, toys, floors and any other surfaces that the food or pet may have had contact with. Pet feces in yards or parks where people or other animals could become exposed should also be cleaned up.
The FDA also says consumers should thoroughly wash their hands after handling the suspect product or cleaning up potentially contaminated items and surfaces. Tashjian said the FDA demanded the company turn over its customer records and when it refused, the agency issued the alert. The FDA also said it was concerned because the salmonella outbreak could potentially sicken both pets and humans.
Although the food was manufactured late last year, it is stored and sold frozen, leading to worries that people could still have packages in their refrigerators and freezers. Salmonella can be fatal in the very young, the very old, people with compromised immune systems and pets.
Symptoms of salmonella poisoning in humans are diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps. Most people recover without treatment, but in some people, the diarrhea may be so severe they need to be hospitalized. In certain patients, the infection can spread from the intestines to the blood stream and then to other body sites.
Pets do not always display symptoms, but signs can include vomiting, diarrhea which could be bloody , fever, loss of appetite and a decreased activity level. If your pet has these symptoms, consult a veterinarian immediately. You should also be aware that infected pets can shed the bacteria in their feces without showing signs of being sick, and that feces can infect others. The FDA also cautioned pet owners who choose a raw food diet for their dogs and cats that refrigeration or freezing does not kill the bacteria, and pet owners who choose to use raw pet food should be aware of the risks.
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