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Pet Food Recalls

  1. Why were the pet foods recalled?
  2. Are dog and cat foods the only pet foods involved in the recall?
  3. What is wrong with the pet foods?
  4. What is melamine? And what are melamine-related compounds?
  5. If my dog or cat ate some of the recalled food, how soon would I see any symptoms?
  6. In light of the recall, what should I feed my pets?

  1. Why were the pet foods recalled?

    On March 15, 2007, pet food manufacturer Menu Foods alerted FDA to 14 animal deaths in the United States: 4 cats and 1 dog reported by consumers, and 9 cats that died during routine taste trials conducted by the company. The animals were reported to have developed kidney failure after eating certain "cuts and gravy" style dog and cat food produced at Menu Foods' facilities in Emporia, Kans., between Dec. 3, 2006, and March 6, 2007.

    In the following months, consumers and veterinarians reported many more illnesses and deaths potentially associated with a wide variety of pet foods made by Menu Foods and other manufacturers.



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  2. Are dog and cat foods the only pet foods involved in the recall?
    In addition to dog and cat food, one brand of dry ferret food is recalled: Ultra-Blend Advanced Nutrition (Net Wt. 20 lbs, UPC 26851 00413, Code C7072), manufactured by Chenango Valley Pet Food.

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  3. What is wrong with the pet foods?

    FDA laboratories found melamine and melamine-related compounds in samples of pet food. Melamine, an industrial chemical, and its related compounds have no approved use as an ingredient in animal or human food in the United States.

    FDA traced the melamine to products labeled as wheat gluten and rice protein concentrate imported from China and used as ingredients in pet foods. Cornell University scientists also found melamine in the urine and kidneys of deceased cats that were part of a taste-testing study conducted for pet food manufacturer, Menu Foods.

    FDA's further testing showed that the vegetable protein products imported from China were mislabeled as "wheat gluten" and "rice protein concentrate." This information does not change the recalls or the findings of melamine and melamine-related compounds in pet food.



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  4. What is melamine? And what are melamine-related compounds?

    Melamine is a small, nitrogen-containing molecule that has a number of industrial uses, including as an industrial binding agent, flame retardant, and as part of a polymer in the manufacture of cooking utensils and plates. Melamine also has been used as a fertilizer in some parts of the world. It is not registered for use as a fertilizer in the United States.

    Melamine-related compounds are in the same family of chemicals as melamine and include cyanuric acid, ammeline, and ammelide. Melamine and its related compounds have no approved use as an ingredient in animal or human food in the United States.



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  5. If my dog or cat ate some of the recalled food, how soon would I see any symptoms?
    It's difficult to say for sure, but usually within a couple of days. The important thing is to monitor your pet closely for signs of lack of energy, loss of appetite, and vomiting. If your pet shows any of these signs, please consult your veterinarian.

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  6. In light of the recall, what should I feed my pets?
    FDA encourages pet owners to consult with their veterinarian about their pet's health and nutrition requirements. The recalled products represent less than 1% of all pet foods, according to the Pet Food Institute. Many safe pet foods and treats not on the recall list are still available and will enable you to continue to provide safe, wholesome nutrition for your pets. Please see www.fda.gov/oc/opacom/hottopics/petfood.html for a list of recalled products that should not be fed to pets.

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