There’s isn’t much to report today. There are a couple of poorly conceived anti-Chinese op-eds which I won’t bother linking to. The problem isn’t only a problem with Chinese imports. But people are becoming more pro-active in their approaches to foods for their pets:
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is investigating a Texas laboratory’s finding of acetaminophen in dog and cat food, an agency spokesman said Monday.
“We’re very interested in being able to test these samples ourselves to determine the levels of those contaminants,” said FDA spokesman Doug Arbesfeld. “What’s significant is these things are there. They don’t belong there.”
The pain medication is the fifth contaminant found in pet foods during the past 2 1/2 months and can be toxic or lethal to pets, especially cats. It is not known if any animals became sick with acetaminophen poisoning, or died from it.
“We were looking for cyanuric acid and melamine, and the acetaminophen just popped up,” Donna Coneley, lab operations manager for ExperTox Inc. in Deer Park, Texas, told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review yesterday. “It definitely was a surprise to find that in several samples.”
At least five dog and cat food samples submitted by worried pet owners and pet food manufacturers contained varying levels of the pain reliever, she said. Only the food, not individual ingredients, were tested.
The medication was found most often with cyanuric acid, a chemical used in pool chlorination, Coneley said. Varying levels of melamine, a chemical used to make plastics, also were found among the hundreds of samples ExperTox tested, she said.
The contaminants were found in foods that are not among the more than 150 brands recalled since March 16, Coneley said. The highest level of acetaminophen was found in a dog food sample submitted by a manufacturer, she said. Coneley declined to identify the company but said its officials were given the results “well over a month ago.”
That company should have — but did not — notify the FDA, which first learned of the acetaminophen findings after pet owners posted lab reports on the Internet, Arbesfeld said.
“With any poison, it’s the amount that matters.” said Dr. Wilson Rumbeiha, a Michigan State University pathologist who is working with the FDA on the pet food contamination investigation. His lab has screened for acetaminophen but found none, he said.
I haven’t found any FDA or USDA reports on this yet. Why not? Pets typically eat much the same things day in, day out. A steady diet of liver toxins even in small quantities probably isn’t that great an idea. Acetaminophen doesn’t seem to appear as an ingredient approved for inclusion in food in any quantities whatever either under that name or as paracetamol.