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Im not sure what this is all about but wanted to make it aware to you all. After all this crap it scares me everytime I feed my dogs.

Updated:2007-03-31 07:19:16
Nestlé Purina, Hills join pet food recall
By Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY
USA Today
A recall of pet food expanded Friday to include the first dry product, which is available only through veterinarians' offices.

Meanwhile, the FDA now says the contamination in wet pet food that has injured and killed pets across the country may not have been the pesticide aminopterin but possibly a fertilizer and plastics agent called melamine.

In a news conference Friday morning, the Food and Drug Administration announced that its labs had detected melamine in samples of the pet food, in the wheat gluten used to make it and in the urine and kidneys of cats who were injured by it.

FDA investigators are not certain how melamine would sicken or kill dogs and cats; there is little scientific information available about melamine exposure in animals.

Hills Pet Nutrition announced that it is recalling its Prescription Diet Feline Dry Food, Friday evening. The company said the food contained wheat gluten provided by a company that also supplied wheat gluten to Menu Foods, the firm that initiated the earlier recall. It did not say whether any pet illnesses had been associated with the food.

Nestlé Purina PetCare also late Friday said it was recalling all sizes and varieties of its Alpo Prime Cuts in Gravy wet dog food with specific date codes.

The company said it, too, learned that it received wheat gluten from the same company that supplied Menu Foods and Hills.

Purina said the wheat gluten was used in "limited production" at only one of its 17 pet food manufacturing plants.

The company then notified the FDA and began its recall.

Purina's recalled products include: 13.2-ounce and 22-ounce ALPO Prime Cuts cans and 6-, 8-, 12- and 24-can ALPO Prime Cuts Variety Packs. They have four-digit code dates of 7037 through 7053, followed by the plant code 1159. Those codes follow a "Best Before Feb. 2009" date. This information should be checked on the bottom of the can or the top or side of the multi-pack cartons.

Purina's 5.3-ounce Mighty Dog pouch products, manufactured by Menu Foods, were previously withdrawn from the market as a precaution on March 16 as part of the Menu Foods recall.

No Purina dry pet foods were affected by either recall.

Hill's Science Diet Savory Cuts Feline canned cat foods, manufactured by Menu Foods, were previously withdrawn from the market as a precaution. Together with this earlier withdrawal, less than 1% of all Hill's products have been affected, the company said. The recall does not include Prescription Diet m/d Feline canned food, which contains no wheat gluten.

The affected products:

-- Prescription Diet-- m/d-- Feline dry food, 4 pound bag, 52742 42770(all lot numbers)

-- Prescription Diet-- m/d-- Feline dry food, ten pound bag, 52742 42790(all lot numbers)

The company advised consumers to stop using the product and return it for a refund. Hill's is reformulating the food so that it will not contain wheat gluten, the company said.

Earlier in the day, the FDA said its labs found no aminopterin in its tests. Neither did labs at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University in New York. Cornell has been involved in testing of the Menu Foods since the first indication of the problem, "We have not been able to confirm aminoptrin in the food or body samples," says Donald Smith, dean of the college.

New York State, which originally found the aminopterin in the pet food, said Friday that it stood beyind its find. It also said it had no doubt that melamine is present in the pet food, but that there was not enough data on the mammalian toxicity levels to conclude that it could cause illness in cats and dogs.

The FDA has to date received more than 8,800 calls related to the pet food, made by Menu Foods of Canada and recalled March 16 after a New York State lab announced it had discovered aminopterin, a rat poison, in some samples.

Smith says that Cornell veterinarians found melamine in the affected animals' kidneys and urine but don't have a medical explanation for how it might be causing injury. He is being very cautious "There's no evidence yet to tie (the pet injuries) into the melamine," Smith says.

Menu Foods said Friday it imported the wheat gluten from China because of tight supply. Normally it gets wheat gluten, often used as a binding agent in wet pet foods, from North America and Europe.

The China wheat gluten supplier - a new supplier for Menu - was dropped in early March after the company realized there may be a problem. Menu said no product made since then contained the contaminated wheat gluten.

"Quite simply, one supplier's product was adulterated in a manner that was not part of any known screening process for wheat gluten," Menu Foods CEO Paul Henderson said today. He declined to identify the company that provided the wheat gluten - other to say that it was a new supplier for the company - and said Menu Foods was contemplating legal action against the supplier.

Henderson said Menu Foods had a "great deal of interest" in learning why it was supplied with adulterated wheat that would pass the screening.

The FDA said Friday the agency is now testing 100% of incoming wheat gluten supplies from China.

In the USA, melamine is primarily used as to make plastics. But in Asia it is also used as a fertilizer, said Stephen Sundlof, director of FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine.

Earlier this month, more than 60,000 cans of wet pet food manufactured by Menu Foods were recalled because of reports that cats and dogs were being injured and killed by a mysterious contamination in the food, which was sold under more than 95 brand names.

Sundlof acknowledged that there is frustration on the part of the public that the cause hasn't been pinned down. He said FDA personnel have been working around the clock to determine the extent of the contamination and its cause. More than 400 employees at national headquarters and in 20 district offices are working on it, he says, as well as at least three field laboratories.

"FDA recognizes that pets are very important to the American people," Sundlof said. "As a veterinarian, my life's work has been to work with animals."

Contributing: Julie Schmit in San Francisco; Randy Lilleston and Steve Marshall in McLean, Va.

Copyright 2007 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc. All Rights Reserved.
03/31/2007 07:00
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