Chemical From Plastic Found In Pet Food

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by optimusprime42, Mar 30, 2007.

  1. optimusprime42

    optimusprime42 Autobot Leader

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    RICHMOND, Va. -- Government testing found a chemical used to make plastics in recalled pet food linked to the deaths of dogs and cats, officials said Friday.

    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 a chemical, also used as a fertilizer, in the urine of sick cats, as well as in the kidney of one cat that died after eating the company's wet food.

    Menu Foods recalled 60 million containers of cat and dog food earlier this month after animals died of kidney failure after eating the Canadian company's products. It is not clear how many pets may have been poisoned by the apparently contaminated food, although anecdotal reports suggest hundreds if not thousands have died. The FDA alone has received more than 8,000 complaints. The new finding comes a week after scientists at the New York State Food Laboratory identified a rat poison and cancer drug called aminopterin as the likely culprit.

    The recall involved nearly 100 brands of "cuts and gravy" style dog and cat food made by Menu Foods. The recall covered products carrying names of major brand-name and private-label products sold throughout North America.

    Company officials Friday would not provide updated numbers of pets sickened or killed by its contaminated product, though they said they've received more than 300,000 calls from consumers. Henderson said pet owners would be compensated for veterinary bills and the deaths of any dogs and cats linked to his company's products.

    PETA Wants Bigger Recall

    Meanwhile, animal rights advocates called on federal food safety regulators and pet food companies to expand the recall to include dry varieties, claiming it makes pets sick.

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Thursday it had no plans to suggest a wider recall to pet food companies, and veterinarians said they have not seen a trend of animals becoming ill after eating dry pet food.

    The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals plans to make the appeal Friday in Washington after it said it received complaints from pet owners who claim their animals suffered kidney failure after eating dry pet food.

    Norfolk, Va.-based PETA wants the FDA and the companies to extend the recall to foods that have received complaints, chemically test it and perform necropsies on the animals involved. It also wants companies prosecuted if the FDA's probe turns up wrongdoing.

    FDA spokeswoman Julie Zawisza said she did not know how many of the complaints the agency has received have concerned dry pet food.

    Officials at Ontario, Canada-based Menu Foods, which made the recalled pet food, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

    Veterinarians aren't seeing a trend of pets getting sick off dry food, said Paul Pion, founder of the Veterinarian Information Network. He said since so many people use dry food, you would expect to see many more ill pets if the food was tainted.

    "I wouldn't put much credence in it, but it's not out of the realm of possibility," Pion said.

    The Veterinary Information Network reported Tuesday that at least 471 cases of pet kidney failure have been reported since the recall, and more than 100 pets have died. Menu Foods has confirmed 16 pet deaths.
     
  2. Foster

    Foster Super Mod

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    Those poor animals. :( 
     
  3. optimusprime42

    optimusprime42 Autobot Leader

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    this is my neck of the woods

    CINCINNATI - Debra Tarter's two-year-old boxer, Patchez, is just like a member of the family. That's why the national recall of the dog food Patchez had been eating for two years prompted Tarter to switch to brands that cost twice as much, but contain organic and natural ingredients"My children are grown, and Patchez is our baby," said Tarter, 55, of Cincinnati. "We would pay anything to keep her safe."

    And pay she does. Tarter, who has taken Patchez for tests to make sure her kidneys weren't damaged by the recalled food, had been paying 84 cents a can for the recalled wet food she mixed with a dry food costing about $20 per 16-pound bag. Now she pays $1.69 a can and $40 a bag for a brand with more-natural ingredients.

    Concerned pet owners such as Tarter are helping to increase already booming sales of organic and natural pet food, according to industry officials and store owners. An executive at Wild Oats Markets Inc., the specialty food chain that caters to health-minded consumers, says that it's still a little early to measure the recall's impact on the natural and organic food segment for pets that's been growing at 15 to 25 percent a year.

    "People are extending their food ethic to their whole family, including the pets," said Rickard Werner, director of dry grocery for Wild Oats, based in Boulder, Colo.

    Daryl Meyerrenke, owner of Anderson Township Family Pet Center in suburban Cincinnati, will be stocking an extra brand of organic pet food this week, spurred by increased customer demand for organic and natural products since the recall.

    "The demand for healthier pet food has been skyrocketing over the past few years, but since this recall, I've had a lot more people coming in asking for organic products," said Meyerrenke. "Sometimes it's not even organic they want — just a higher quality food with more natural ingredients."

    Before the recall, Meyerrenke had carried only one brand of organic dog food costing about $15 for a 5-pound bag. He has added a second organic brands.

    Grocery stores charge as low as around $2 for a 5-pound bag of non-organic brands.

    But Meyerrenke stocks more than 30 dog-food brands, many of which include ingredients such as carrots, rice, broccoli and even cottage cheese and often are geared specifically for dogs with sensitive stomachs or allergies.

    As far as taste goes, Meyerrenke said, "dogs don't turn their noses up at much. They'll usually eat what's there. It's the owners that sometimes decide what they think looks tastier or more appealing."

    Menu Foods Inc., which makes pet food for most of North America's top retailers, last week recalled 95 brands of products believed to be responsible for the deaths of cats and dogs around the country. A veterinarians information service said Tuesday that it had reports of 104 animal deaths. The maker of the recalled pet food has confirmed the deaths of only 16 pets.

    Scientists identified the rodent poison aminopterin as the likely cause. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has said the investigation was focused on the ingredient wheat gluten, that they maker said was purchased in China. Scientists have not offered any theories on how aminopterin got into the products.

    Shelley Gunton, co-owner of Clackamas, Ore.-based Castor & Pollux Pet Works, reported an uptick in orders from stores. She also reported that she has received 10 times the number of usual hits to the pet product company's Web site.

    "This is going to reinforce to pet parents that there are choices," said Gunton, whose company makes organic and natural pet foods.

    Proponents of natural and organic pet foods and treats say those products can help prevent disease in dogs and cats. Some products avoid chemical preservatives, fats, fillers, salt and sugar. Others are free of ingredients exposed to pesticides, herbicides or insecticides that also may harm pets.

    Dog and cat food sales in the United States reached over $14.3 billion in 2005, according to the Pet Food Institute that represents manufacturers of commercial pet food. Surveys by the Organic Trade Association indicated sales of organic pet food increased from $14 million in 2003 to $30 million for 2005.

    The fast growth of the organic pet food industry and disagreement about what qualifies as organic food led to the creation of an Organic Pet Food Task Force. The task force has proposed labeling standards that organic manufacturers would have to meet in addition to existing requirements that apply to all pet foods. A committee of the USDA's National Organic Standards Board is reviewing the standards that could go into effect by 2008.

    "Hopefully, it will clear up a lot of confusion and let consumers know more what they are getting when they buy pet food," said task force member Rochelle Lavens, president of Heidi's Homemade Inc., an organic dog and cat bakery in Columbus.

    Meyerrenke, who has been in the pet store business for 34 years, said pet owners have become much more selective.

    "People have increasingly elevated pets to family member status," Meyerrenke said. "And that means doing what you can to keep them healthy."
     
  4. GigatronSama

    GigatronSama Mr. Insomnia Veteran

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    I'd really rather PETA stay out of legitimate matters like this. They're already bringing their personal politics into it.

    On the part of MENU this is incompetent and irresponsible and someone or several someones should be held criminally accountable.

    at this point though I'm glad my pet is a rabbit, so there's no real scare here.

    The spinach scare a while back was cause for worry though since she regularly gets that as a treat.
     
  5. optimusprime42

    optimusprime42 Autobot Leader

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    they should
     
  6. funkatron101

    funkatron101 TFW2005 Supporter

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    PETA is for total animal liberation, meaning they are against people having pets. So it's not in the best interest of pet owners to contact PETA regarding this, or other matters concerning their pets.
     
  7. optimusprime42

    optimusprime42 Autobot Leader

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    that's wrong if someone wants a dog or cat let them
     
  8. GigatronSama

    GigatronSama Mr. Insomnia Veteran

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    Never mind that domesticated animals can't survive without humans anyway. Peta is an organization that frequently resorts to extortion, fabricating evidence, outright lying and committing acts of animal cruelty in the process themselves.

    However back on topic.

    How the HELL does a deadly poison even get involved in this? Why in the nine hells would deadly poison even be remotely near any sort of food?

    It doesn't seem like something probably or even possible without the intent to do so.
     
  9. Chaos Muffin

    Chaos Muffin Misadventure Veteran

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    Peta=hypocrite

    Set all pets free while we throw our animals in the dumpster. yeah
     
  10. Ktulu

    Ktulu Whoosh TFW2005 Supporter

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    Just found out Purina and Del Monte did a recall today, and my dog has been eating stuff made by them :(  I hope he's gonna be ok

    I feel so bad for all the animals suffering from all this stuff all of a sudden, and the families that care about them.
     
  11. ILoveDinobot

    ILoveDinobot Arise Rodimus Prime

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    NO NOT PURINA!! thats what I give my little kitty :( 
     
  12. Eric

    Eric Per sempre marciamo.

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    The worst that might happen is if the cat food I give to my cat Bootsy gets recalled. ScienceDiet hasn't been recalled...has it? This has been happening in some dry foods also, right?
     
  13. BMGFX

    BMGFX Awesome Spooner Veteran

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    Could it possibly be a packaging material problem?
     
  14. Lord Bacon

    Lord Bacon BACON DUKE

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    TINFOILHAT] i heard that its genetically modified wheat in the food. or nanotech gone wrong. or morgellon's. [/TINFOILHAT
     
  15. Frognal

    Frognal Prodigal Son Returned

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    I wouldn't put it past PETA being the cause of this.
     
  16. BMGFX

    BMGFX Awesome Spooner Veteran

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    It's scary because it's definitely in the realm of possibility.
     

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