Aminopterin, A Rat Poison, May Be Culprit in the Menu Foods Food Recall


For those following the Menu Foods Pet Food recall, the substance that is making so many of the pets ill has been found by scientists. The substance, aminopterin, is a rat poison that may have been in some Chinese wheat that had the aminopterin sprayed on it to kill rats.

The most common side effect is kidney failure that is affecting many pets as we have previously reported. The official death toll is 15, but a noted Vet has been tracking the cases and has found 241 deaths with more to be expected.

The good news is that by knowing what is causing the illnesses, Veterinarians will be able to treat the symptoms better for the pets who have eaten the tainted products.

A news conference is scheduled for this afternoon by experts in Albany, N.Y., where scientists at the state’s food laboratory made the discovery a week after a massive recall of 60 million cans and pouches was issued.
The chemical is called aminopterin.
What investigators can’t say so far is whether this is the only contaminant, if it is in all of the recalled food, or if it’s in enough quantity in to sicken more animals.
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. via ABC News

Posted March 23, 2007 by
Main | 15 comments

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  • Menu Foods Poisoning May Have Killed 39,000 Cats and Dogs Nationwide

  • Comments

    15 Responses to “Aminopterin, A Rat Poison, May Be Culprit in the Menu Foods Food Recall”

    1. John Staton on March 23rd, 2007 4:33 pm

      Just why is the US and Canada importing wheat from China? Should we now be looking for this rat poison in bread and other food/products for humans in the US and Canada?

    2. tuyvnsurviror on March 23rd, 2007 4:46 pm

      I wonder if vets will use vit k no matter what the platlets look like?

      My dog around two yrs ago, just before the date recalls of Diamond maintenance, which is what my dog ate all his life…wonder if mine got rat poison through the food. My good friend and vet did give my dog vit k as a hopefull antidote to whatever his problem was. My dog did die of kidney failure eventually, much the same symptoms as years before I had a dog die of rat poison given him by a mean teenager. ALways thought it took a pretty heafty dose of rat poison to kill a dog….not just a few flakes of it.

      Wonder how much people are at risk in our food supplies. Particularly with peanut products, as their are lots of rats there. A professor, back in the 90′s, taught us during a course that there is/was more rat hair allowed in the products of peanuts than in any other food. Because there are so many rats. Yikes. I have peanut butter, honey, cinnimon and toast every morning for decades.

      The professor was one of those nuts…might do our own DD.

    3. tuyvnsurviror on March 23rd, 2007 5:01 pm

      Just did a bit of dd. Allowed is 30 insect parts and one rat hair per 100 grams of peanut butter. Being an avid disk golf player, that is considerably less than half the weight of my favorite distance disk, which may only remove one insect part per landing. Lol

      Seriously, anyone or my dog looks to have major kidney issues, I will see that they are specifically tested for rat poison. This stuff gets around it would seem.

    4. Donnar2015 on March 23rd, 2007 5:03 pm

      I would really like to know if other brands are affected because I and my mother both lost our beloved cats due to kidney failure. The food they ate was not on recalled list. My cat died at the vets on aug. 26th, 2006 and my moms cat was put to sleep on sept. 7th, 2006. They both were inside kitties and in good health until they both got sick at same time.

    5. Kat_Gram on March 23rd, 2007 7:29 pm

      So what else was made with that wheat ??
      As in my daily bread ?

    6. joe bear on March 23rd, 2007 7:51 pm

      Hey Kat,ditto,my thought exactly.

    7. Donnar2015 on March 23rd, 2007 9:47 pm

      I just wanted to say to all the people that have lost their beloved cats and dogs over this poisonous pet food how sorry I am. I am such an animal lover that this crap just breaks my heart. What I do not get is why they sacraficed more animals to this food instead they should of started testing the pet food. That was heartless when they knew what could of happened did happen to ten of those animals.

    8. R-squared on March 23rd, 2007 10:35 pm

      And why are we buying wheat from China? It’s cheaper and the almighty buck rules all. The pet food producers? Profit. Profit. Profit. A few dead dogs and cats? Who cares? The almighty profit line rules above all. Sick. When are we going to wake up?

    9. Bodo on March 23rd, 2007 10:44 pm

      The time is long past due for Menu Foods and the FDA to name the supplier. I think it is mighty damned irresponsible for them to dawdle through this while there is a damned strong probability that other companies use or used that same supplier. Wheat gluten is used by a great many pet food producers and it is also in a lot of products consumed by people. Menu Foods and the FDA need to sound a clear warning, a public warning, to other companies who use that supplier for wheat gluten in their food products.

    10. LilPuma on March 24th, 2007 1:45 am

      Are there other companies producing food for US consumption that are buying from overseas? Maybe they moved their plant out of the US or Canada for cheap labor. We have enough trouble keeping our food safe even with the laws and safeguards in place here, we sure don’t need the problems of a country that eats their dogs and skins them to sell them as faux fur.

    11. Glaswegian on March 24th, 2007 4:00 am

      Just as an aside to this…when my older kitty began to develop kidney failure I put her on homemade cat food with meat and rice (developed and approved by vets for renal failure). She loved the foot and lived another 6 years. She died of cancer not renal failure. While it didn’t improve her renal function, her renal function didn’t get any worse after she started the diet and the number remained the same until she died. Since her decreased renal function was found early on a routine check she wasn’t very sick when I started it, it definitely prolonged her life, the food could be frozen after I cooked it, and it was pretty cheap!

      That being said…my two kitties now eat regular cat food and I was so worried about them, luckily their food wasn’t on any of the lists and they seem to be fine. This is so sad and unbelievable — not so much that the food was tainted, which is bad enough, but that the problem was handled so poorly which really compounded the issues and certainly caused many more deaths than there should have been.

    12. LilPuma on March 24th, 2007 12:46 pm

      #9 Bodo: YES YES YES. Why don’t we know who sold it and why haven’t we heard from them?

    13. marilyn simpson on March 27th, 2007 11:21 am

      this is in response to glaswegion’scomment on 3-24.what was or whwe=here could i get this recipe for homemade or special food for cats with renal failure ?it is or could be too late. my cat was sick on a sat.and taken to vet on mon. no kidney or liver damage at that time.went back on thur. repeat test and add more damage. this sat.will be 2 weeks. she has had i.v’s antibiotics injected,force fed. still wasting will not say it is the food. even though she ate the food from petsmart for the last 2 years. anyone out there have any home remedies to rid her body of this poison. i would appreciate anything at all. her name is woem,meow backwards. she is my buddy. it is so hard to watch her leave me.i would like to put the people that continued to put this food on the shelves ,knowing it was killing animals,put them in an animal pound for the rest of thier lives,eating this food.lets see how long they live and how much they suffer. i am sure this would be very difficult for their loved ones. somehow i think this sentence would be too easy for them. i doubt that anyone that greedy and selfish would have any loved ones that even cared. i am sorry i am spittin nails,i am very angry. i feel so badly for so many .especially the elderly folks on fixed incomes who love their pets like their own children.they have so few tyears left and to take their pets away from them like this is so cruel. i am not elderly,i just know that it must be very hard for those folks.children are so resilliant and have so much to look forward to. more comments out there regarding this would be very welcome.thanx.marilyn

    14. Donnar2015 on March 29th, 2007 7:20 pm

      #13-marilyn. Did the vet say your cats blood sugar level was high as in regards to diabetes. Your cat is going through the same as my cat and my moms cat did. Iv’s, antibiotics, and mine being force fed. The vet was treating them for Diabetes and told me my cat was savable but nothing was working and he passed away on Aug 26, 2006 at the vets. My moms cat was put to sleep Sept.7, 2006. The food they ate was not on the recall list. They got to where they did not want to eat their catfood so we went with chicken and turkey until they no longer wanted anything to eat. Let me know about your cats blood sugar level. Good Luck with your cat and I hope for the best.

    15. Frank Lurz on April 2nd, 2007 6:18 pm

      If all this doesn’t make us scared, what will? Think of it, both Canada and the United States grow wheat. So where does Menu Foods Inc. get their wheat gluten? From the environmental rectum of the planet, that’s where! Why? Because they love animals? Because they care about our pets so much? Hah! They go all the way to China, the world’s premier environmental disaster area, because they couldn’t get their hands on cheaper wheat gluten anywhere else. Face it, the only thing these people care about is MONEY, MONEY, MONEY! That’s the be all and end all of our brave, new world of “globalization.” Anyone care to guess how long it will be before the cheery, smiling folks who make the stuff we eat will be doing the same? Soylent Green? Believe it – it’s closer than we think!

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