Menu Foods previously claimed that only its plants in New Jersey and Kansas and taken delivery of the imported wheat gluten that the FDA and Cornell University had shown to be contaminated with a compound used in plastic production called melamine. However, Menu Foods discovered Monday that some of the tainted wheat gluten had made it to Canada. The FDA had told the company that tests had detected the chemical in pet foods made at its Streetsville, Ontario, plant.
Menu spokesman Sam Bornstein said the amount accounted for just 1 percent of the adulterated Chinese wheat gluten purchased by Menu Foods. It was used in pet foods made in December and January. Menu Foods was the first of at least six companies to recall pet food and treats made with the tainted Chinese wheat gluten. It alone has recalled 100 brands of pet foods, sold throughout North America under its private and major labels. Meanwhile, the FDA has blocked wheat gluten imports from a Chinese company while it investigates how melamine could have contaminated the vegetable protein.
This week Banfield ("The Pet Hospital"), a nation-wide veterinary hospital chain says it recorded a 30 percent increase in kidney failure among cats during the three months that pet food contaminated with melamine was sold. These results were recorded from more than 600 clinics. The results suggest that out of every 10,000 cats seen in Banfield clinics, three instead of between two and three, cats developed kidney failure during the time the contaminated pet food was on sale.