BREAKING: Rat Poison Found In Recalled Pet Food

A rat poison illegal in the United States was the source of the Menu Foods pet food contamination, according to ABC News:

A source close to the investigation tells ABC News that the rodenticide, which the source says is illegal to use in the United States, was on wheat that was imported from China and used by Menu Foods in nearly 100 brands of dog and cat food.

There is some good news according to the source. Knowing the chemical should aid veterinarians who are treating animals that have been sickened by the pet food.

Aminopterin is used in the United States in, of all things, a cancer drug, according to the source.

If your dog or cat is sick, tell your vet! —MEGHANN MARCO

Rat Poison to Blame for Pet Food Contamination [ABC News] (Thanks, Kevin!)

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  1. Falconfire says:

    Somehow I knew it was going to come back that the wheat they got came from another country.

  2. RST1123 says:

    I don’t see how these companies can screw up on something like that.

  3. Nicholai says:

    man, first E. coli in the spinach, now this! Do I dare say “what’s next?”

  4. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    They should scatter that dog food around NYC KFCs.

  5. mopar_man says:

    Imported wheat?! How many wheat fields are there in the US? I know it’s all about cost but still…

  6. RST1123 says:

    @AlteredBeast: cruel

  7. major disaster says:

    I don’t know why the reporter seems surprised that the identified chemical is used as a cancer drug. That’s what most cancer drugs are, essentially – poison (they’re just used at dosages that, hopefully, only kill the cancer and not the whole person). That’s why chemo makes people so sick.

  8. catnapped says:

    Menu Foods stock shot up over 20% today after the “rat poison” announcement. Guess that means this whole scare is over with…nothing more to see here…

  9. snakeuvs says:

    Is it too late to nominate Menu Foods as one of the Worst Companies?

    I second mopar_man’s emotion: why the hell are they importing wheat from China?

    You’d think with all the money they’re saving by importing wheat from China that they could implement a quality control system that didn’t rely on feeding suspect tainted food to live animals. Maybe that’s the high-tech way of testing food in China, but it doesn’t cut it here.

    This company should be driven out of business.

  10. 3drage says:

    This saddens me to no end. If there were no quality tests done by Menu foods, why were there no tests done by the pet food companies that distribute the food with their name tied to it? These are food companies that tout high end food with high end prices, yet they don’t check Menu’s production from time to time? You would expect that if these companies had their name branded to the food, that they would be pretty cautious about what food is actually being sold. Pet owners must feel pretty ripped off to have paid a premium for rat poison-infested food. Not to mention the guilt involved with being the person to feed their animal the food that made them sick.

  11. Epylar says:

    It’s not just ABC news’ source. According to this, New York state officials make the same claim:

    TORONTO (CP) – A toxic chemical used to kill rats and treat cancer has been found in pet food produced by Mississauga, Ont.-based Menu Foods that has been blamed for the mysterious deaths of family pets in the United States and Canada.

    Traces of aminopterin were found in tests of food suspected of causing kidney failure in cats and dogs, New York state officials said Friday.

  12. Franklin Comes Alive! says:

    @snakeuvs:

    In further support of Menu Foods as one of the worst companies…

    Pet Food Co. Knew Of Problem Last Month
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/03/20/national/main258

  13. mopar_man says:

    @Franklin Comes Alive!:

    Wow. That’s pretty shitty. I’m going to make sure I don’t buy any food from that company in the future. While on the subject of pet food, does anybody have a source for natural cat food that’s decently priced?

  14. Stepehn Colbert says:

    thats so terrible, i shows that these copanies really dot seem to test samples of their poducts before it goes out. If something happened to my dog because of some nonsense like this, someone would get vaporized.

  15. amb1545 says:

    The really amazing thing about this whole issue is that they make 91 brands of pet food. All of which are suspected to have the affected wheat gluten. It’s really a challenege to find pet food these fuckers don’t make.

    Sadly, they won’t be bankrupted by lawsuits because pets are considered property so you can only sue for vets fees and the street value of your pet.

  16. mopar_man says:

    the street value of your pet

    Which would be how much?

  17. major disaster says:

    @amb1545: One way to be sure, at least for now, seems to be to feed only dry food, since only wet food was made with the affected wheat gluten. Makes me thankful that’s all my cat eats.

  18. Stepehn Colbert says:

    not so amb, you can also sue for mental and physical distressnd anguish brought on by this, and that can be rather hefty.

  19. snakeuvs says:

    What do you think of a Consumerist-led campaign (like the RIAA boycott) to get the store brand pet foods (Safeway, Wegman’s etc) and the name-brand pet foods (Iams, Hill’s etc) to either stop using Menu Foods as their manufacturer or force them to improve their quality control procedures?

  20. KevinQ says:

    @mopar_man:

    the street value of your pet

    Which would be how much?

    Well, Rottweilers tend to go for around $10 an eighth, while labradoodles can be upwards of $100 an ounce.

    K

  21. @amb1545: Fortunately (?) there are laws up to change that and make you able to sue for the “wrongful death” of a pet for more than the monetary value — but as not as much as for a person.

    The ? after fortunately because it will drive vet malpractice insurance costs — and therefore vet bills — through the ROOF.

  22. notemily says:

    To those looking for an alternative pet food source, we feed our dog Wellness brand food, which (as their website emphatically states) is not affected by the Menu Foods recall. They make cat food as well.

  23. CyGuy says:

    I had fed my cat some of the food that is recalled – pouches from IAMS so I’m following the story pretty closely (he’s fine, btw) – from the IAMS/Eukanuba website it sounds like the CORNELL Univ. Vet School did the testing that found aminopterin in the food.

    I found it a bit annoying that all the companies involved aren’t doing everything they can to get as much information out to customers as fas as possible. For example – the IAMS food I have that is affected was made in Kansas – I had thought all the foods were made in Canada.

    Also, I too am pretty disappointed with IAMS that they are selling me the same food as the store brand. Yes, I understand that name brands and generics are largely made in the same plants, but this sounds like its the exact same food.

  24. Bobg says:

    I was in the Weis Supermarket in Havre de Grace, Md. and the recalled pet foods are still on the shelves. I mentioned it to store personnel and they said that they were waiting for the manufacturers rep to pull them off of the shelves and credit the store.

  25. acambras says:

    Behind the Counter’s latest blog entry has an interesting take on this:

    bbcamerican.blogspot.com

  26. Bobg says:

    I can’t understand why retailers, in these times when there are people looking for an easy lawsuit, aren’t snapping these recalled items off of the shelves.

  27. Trai_Dep says:

    Are there different rules for importing grain intended for pets, livestock and humans?

    The mind BOGGLES if this batch of grain entered the US consumer food chain… Hundreds/Thousands of humans dead or crippled b/c of a Chinese company, under the aegis of Free Trade uber alles?

    WOW the fallout would have been…pyrotechnic.

    So any experts know how feasible this scenario is?

  28. Unregistered says:

    I have a mini pincher and he has always been heathy weighing 17 lbs or more and in the last month he has lost down to maybe 7 or 8 lbs.Just letting Menu foods know that there’s no way to compensate alot of pet owners for the illness or death of their pets.Like myself their pets are family,my whole family would be devastated if something were to happen any worse to our Scrappy
    there is no excuse for using ingredients from China or any where else .,Menu foods should know what is going in their foods before marketing anything.I pray that Scrappy will be ok but it does not look good.We just started making him eat dog food and now this we made a mistake we should have kept feeding him our food he was healthier and safer.

  29. judym153 says:

    I just lost my Toy Poodle Lisa Ann this week. It took 3 days and she was gone.She was sick Tuesday night .The next day she couldn’t walk or stand with out my help she would just lay down . I took her to the vets and she died over night she was 3 1/2 years old. She didn’t play any more. I do believe it was her food . It was Pedigree Little Champions with wheat gluten in it.I gave it to her once a week. Please help these little guys.