23 Dog Deaths from Contaminated Dog Food
- 23 dog deaths linked to contaminated food
Diamond brand dog food recalled after toxin detected in 23 states
The Associated Press
Updated: 8:53 p.m. ET Dec. 30, 2005
WASHINGTON - Contaminated dog food which was sold in 23 states killed
nearly two dozen dogs and sickened 18 more, the Food and Drug
Administration said Friday.
The deaths and illnesses sparked an FDA investigation into the pet
food made by the Diamond Pet Food Company at its Gaston, S.C.,
manufacturing plant. The FDA said so far 23 animal deaths have been
linked to the pet food.
The company, based in Meta, Mo., issued a recall of 19 varieties of
dog and cat food on Dec. 21 because some of the pet food made at the
Gaston facility was discovered to contain aflatoxin.
Aflatoxin, a naturally occurring chemical that comes from a fungus
sometimes found on corn and other crops, can cause severe liver
damage. Aflatoxin poisoning can cause sluggishness, a lack of appetite
and in severe cases severe vomiting, fever and jaundice.
The recalled pet food was sold in 23 states under the brand names
Diamond, Country Value and Professional, and bears the date codes of
March 1, 2007, through June 11, 2007. Consumers are asked to
immediately stop using the product.
Last week, Tony Caver, the state veterinarian in South Carolina, said
that state has five presumed cases linked to aflatoxin, including
Seven dogs from the Rochester, N.Y., area were being treated at
Cornell University Hospital for Animals for liver disease and failure
after eating contaminated food, said university spokeswoman Sabina
Lee. An area veterinarian discovered the link after three dogs died in
the area, she said.
Corn-based food recalled
In a Dec. 20 press release, the company said it had notified
distributors to hold up the further sale of Diamond pet food that had
used corn. The next day it ordered the recall.
"To ensure we got all the affected product or potential to be
affected, we cast a very wide net with the recall," Diamond spokesman
Jim Fallon said Friday. He said the company is conducting tests and
has set up a consumer information center, open seven days a week, to
handle consumer questions.
"We are working with customers and their vets to confirm a link
between the pet food and the pet's illnesses," he said. "Our whole
focus is saving pets' lives and doing the right thing."
The company said it was analyzing retained samples of all of the
affected pet food products in Gaston in an attempt to isolate specific
lot numbers that were impacted and provide the information to
distributors, retailers and customers.
According to the company, the pet food was distributed to stores in
Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine,
Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Michigan, New Hampshire, New
Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island,
South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, Vermont, and Virginia.
The FDA said some of the recalled product had been exported to at
least 29 countries, including several in the European Union. Those
countries have been notified, the agency said.
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