Aminopterin, an ingredient used in rat poison outside the United States, has been found in the “cuts and gravy” style pet food recalled by Menu Foods Inc. last week, and might be to blame for the recent deaths of dogs and cats across the U.S. and Canada, according to a report today by the Associated Press.
Citing a N.Y. State Department of Agriculture and Markets spokesperson, the report said that state laboratory tests this week had turned up rodent poison in the food. The agency is expected to unveil its findings later today.
Nearly 100 brands of pet food, including those carried by Wal-Mart and Safeway and well-known name brands Iams and Eukanuba, were affected by the March 16 recall, which has caused at least 16 confirmed pet deaths, a number expected to climb.
A list of the recalled dog food brands is available at http://www.dogchannel.com/dog-news/recalled-dog-food-brands.aspx.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is still investigating the situation.
Earlier this week, Menu Foods chief executive and President Paul Henderson said the company hypothesizes that one ingredient, believed to be wheat gluten, represents the highest probability as to the cause if illness and death in dogs and cats.
Investigators from the FDA have been sent to Menu Foods’ Kansas manufacturing plant to look at the possibility that a mold or chemical toxin contaminated the wheat gluten.
Owners of pets sickened by the recalled pet foods who wish to file a report can do so via the Food and Drug Administration’s website, http://www.fda.gov/opacom/backgrounders/complain.html to find the FDA complaint coordinator in their state.
To read more about the dog food recall and class-action lawsuits being filed, visit http://www.dogchannel.com/dog-news/dog-illnesses-cause-unknown.aspx.