This picture depress me. There is one person responsible for these poisonings. Thank God for karma. This person should be poisoned, if he/she did this intentionally, which I think he/she did. There are humans who eat dog food, sad as it may be, human fatalities may happen.
Rat poison blamed for deaths from pet food
By Martin Zimmerman and Daniel Costello, Tribune Newspapers; Los Angeles Times
Published March 24, 2007
Rat poison was identified Friday as the toxin suspected of contaminating pet food that has killed or sickened dozens of dogs and cats across the nation, although it is still unclear how the deadly substance got in the food.
Federal officials, meanwhile, reported an expanded recall of dog and cat food produced by Menu Foods of Canada. The company last weekend recalled 60 million cans and pouches of potentially contaminated products--including popular brands such as Iams and Eukanuba as well as private label brands sold by large retailers.
The expanded recall and the findings released by New York state health officials raised concerns among pet owners and some in the animal welfare community that the death toll could rise significantly.
"This is a massacre," said Valerie Marz, an elementary school teacher from Pasadena, Calif., whose 15-year-old cat Zenith died a week ago of suspected kidney failure--the cause of death linked to the contaminated food.
"I think the number of deaths here is going to turn out to be much higher than the company is admitting today," she said.
The Food and Drug Administration estimated that the contaminated food has caused 14 pet deaths in the U.S. However, the federal agency said it had received 4,400 complaints and inquires from pet owners and veterinarians.
FDA officials also said there have been no reports of human sickness in connection with the tainted products.
Health officials in New York said laboratory tests of pet food made by Menu Foods found aminopterin, a substance used abroad to kill rodents but is banned in the U.S. The tests found levels of at least 40 parts per million.
"Any amount of this product is too much in food," said New York Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker.
The pet food samples were tested by the New York State Animal Health Diagnostic Center at Cornell University and the New York State Food Laboratory, which actually identified aminopterin as the toxin. The labs are part of a nationwide network set up after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to test for contaminants in the food supply.
Menu Foods executives said Friday that they don't know how the rat poison got into their products, although they said they had stopped using an ingredient that may be responsible for the contamination. The company would not say what it is.
"We'll systematically go through every ingredient and eliminate them as a possibility," said Richard Shields, the executive vice president. "We don't believe our quality control was lax."
Because aminopterin is widely used as a rodenticide in China, where Menu Foods gets wheat gluten that is used to make pet "gravy" for some of its brands, there is some suspicion that country could be the origin of the tainted pet food ingredient.
FDA officials said they had not located the exact source of the contamination but had traced the delivery route of wheat gluten supplied to the Menu Foods plants in Kansas and New Jersey where the contaminated food was produced. The company continues to produce pet food at the two plants.
The FDA said Menu Foods had voluntarily expanded its recall to include all 95 brands of its "cuts and gravy" style food, regardless of when they were produced. Previously, the recall involved products made between Dec. 3 and March 6. Dry pet food is not included in the recall.
FDA officials said they had not ruled out sabotage as the cause of the contamination, but added they haven't found any evidence to indicate foul play. New York law-enforcement officials said they were not investigating the matter.
The crisis has clearly unnerved pet owners in the U.S., where more than 80 million households own a dog, a cat or both.
Menu Foods Chief Executive Paul Henderson said his company has fielded more than 200,000 calls from concerned pet owners since the crisis began seven days ago. Many of the callers expressed "a level of concern that only pet owners like ourselves can understand."
Even people who lost their pets months ago, sometimes for undetermined causes, are now worried it could be related to the contaminated food.
Lisa Reeder of Valencia, Calif., lost her cat and dog within six weeks of each other in October and in early December. She said her family and veterinarian were bewildered why two seemingly healthy pets died so close in time.
After hearing about the tainted pet food, "I knew our sad mystery was finally solved," Reeder said.
Menu Foods makes products for Proctor & Gamble, Purina, a subsidiary of Nestle, Colgate-Palmolive Co.'s Hills Pet Nutrition Inc. And Nutro Products Inc. All four have issued recalls.