FDA revisits pet-food recall

FDA revisits pet-food recall

Agency details how it uncovered and investigated melamine contamination
Jan 01, 2011

ROCKVILLE, MD. — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently offered a retrospective on how it responded to the pet-food recall in 2007.

During a November webinar, FDA reports that veterinary pathologists began unraveling the melamine mystery by noting the presence of "unusual crystals" in kidneys, but not enough to cause kidney failure. Pathologists forwarded their slides to FDA and from there the agency developed methods to detect melamine in feeds and animal tissues. The agency found that melamine was being added to watered-down milk products in pet food, livestock feed and infant formula, resulting the the largest recall in FDA history—topping 18,700 calls in 11 weeks.

The pet-food recall reached its peak in 2007 with infant formula following the next year as 300,000 infants were affected. On the animal side, thousands of dogs and cats suffered from kidney failure.

Featured speaker Renate Reimschuessel, VMD, PhD, a research biologist from the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine's Division of Animal Research discusses more about the investigation in FDA's webinar, "Melamine: The Cause of the Pet Food and Infant Formula Recalls" at http://fda.org/animalveterinary.