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What is the FDA Doing to Investigate the Pet Food Contamination?

By: FDA Press Release

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Pet food manufacturers have voluntarily recalled more than 100 brands of dog and cat food across the nation since March 16, 2007. The recall was prompted by reported cases of cats and dogs in the United States that developed kidney failure after eating the affected products.

If you're a pet owner wondering what to feed your pets, keep in mind the following: Although many different types of pet food are affected by the recall, the recalled products represent only about one percent of the total pet food available for purchase, according to the Pet Food Institute, the trade association for pet food manufacturers.

"There remains an ample supply of safe cat and dog food available at stores throughout the United States," says Stephen F. Sundlof, D.V.M., Ph.D., Director of the Food and Drug Administration's Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM). "We encourage the public to continue to use pet food that is not subject to the recall."

FDA, through CVM, regulates the manufacture and distribution of feed ingredients and complete feeds, including pet food, as well as animal drugs. Since March 15, 2007, when FDA first learned that cats and dogs were becoming sick and dying from certain pet foods, the agency has:

  • Dedicated personnel in each of its 20 district offices to take consumer calls and conduct inspections and investigations

  • Mobilized more than 400 employees to collect pet food samples, monitor the effectiveness of the recall, and prepare consumer complaint reports

  • Conducted numerous inspections of manufacturing facilities and warehouses to trace all of the contaminated product

  • Analyzed more than 250 pet food and ingredient samples in six FDA field laboratories and FDA's Forensic Chemistry Center

  • Issued press releases, conducted media interviews, and developed a Web site to provide current information that consumers, veterinarians, and regulatory counterparts need to support animal health

  • Worked with its regulatory partners in all 50 state agriculture and health agencies to share information and collaborate on investigative and analytical efforts

  • Activated its Emergency Operations Center, available on a 24-hour basis, to manage the incoming information from pet owners, veterinarians, and others, making sure it gets to FDA's scientists and inspection teams

  • Testified before the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee at its April 12, 2007, "Pet Food Safety" hearing.

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