Monday, December 03, 2007

Attention all doggies in Canada and America

Nov 30, 2007
Tainted pet food killed 200 dogs and cats: study WASHINGTON -

UNITED States health officials received thousands ofcomplaints earlier this year about pets killed by contaminated petfood, but veterinarians said they had been able to confirm just 224deaths.

A major recall was begun last March after ingredients imported fromChina were found to have contaminated some pet food.

Canadian manufacturer Menu Foods Income Fund was hardest hit, recalling 60million packages of pet food.

The US Food and Drug Administration said it received 17,000 complaintsof related pet deaths, although it had confirmed just 16. A survey posted on the Internet, and widely publicised by the AmericanVeterinary Medical Association, attracted just 500 responses and ofthose, only 348 cases of pet sickness met the criteria for kidneyfailure caused by the contamination, the team at Michigan StateUniversity found.

'It is easy to think that every death or every sickness is occurringbecause of the pet food problem,' Mr Wilson Rumbeiha, who worked on the study, said in a telephone interview on Thursday.

But when strict criteria were applied, it appears that far fewer deaths could be blamed on the pet food. The deaths from contaminated pet food may have been caused by mixing two compounds - melamine and cyanuric acid, Mr Rumbeiha said. 'Separately, those two compounds are pretty harmless,' Mr Rumbeihasaid. 'But when combined, they form crystals which can block the kidneys.And, unfortunately, these crystals don't dissolve easily. They go away slowly, if at all, so there is the potential for chronic toxicity.'

The Canadian-based Menu Foods makes pet foods sold under labels such as Iams, Eukanuba, President's Choice as well as store brands sold at Wal-Mart, major grocery chains and pet stores. Mr Rumbeiha and colleagues designed a questionnaire to determine how many animals had become ill or died from eating bad food.

They found 348 cases that met the criteria for what he called kidney disease caused by the compounds - 236 cats and 112 dogs. 'Two-thirds of the animals affected were cats, but proportionally,more dogs died from it than cats,' Mr Rumbeiha said in a statement.

Almost all the cases were in the United States, with the other 2 percent from Canada. -- REUTERS


Zenia 4:41 am  

Thanks for writing this.

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