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Texas lab finds acetaminophen in pet food

June 5, 2007 2:09 pm

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."

Full story here: http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/s_510984.html


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