Lab Finds Toxin In Unopened, Unrecalled Pet Food

Postby cheekymunkee » June 12th, 2007, 3:14 pm ... d_20070612

The same Texas lab that has reported acetaminophen in pet food, has reported finding cyanuric acid after receiving an unopened container of Hills Science Diet Light Adult canned dog formula. This is the first report we have received that was tested from an unopened container. The picture above shows 2 more cans from the same batch.

Science Diet Light Adult formula has not been recalled by the manufacturer.

The lab report from Expertox obtained by Itchmo states that the tested product had a best before date of 01 2009 and had the lot number T0520917 7048. Cyanuric acid was reportedly found in concentrations of more than 400 ug/g — that’s micrograms/gram.

Hill’s representatives declined to be interviewed over the phone and emailed questions were not returned in time for this deadline.

An Itchmo reader tested the food based on veterinary tests on a dog. The reader’s email is after the jump. It has been edited to remove personal information.

Reader’s email:

I received today the test results on the canned food from the case lot my 4-year old Shih Tzu was eating from when her blood work indicated that she was in kidney failure. We did IV for 4 days, antibiotics for one month, and now fluid therapy once a week. She is still alive, eating home cooked food, has a good appetite, but I don’t know where her kidney levels are at present. Her BUN was 160 before the IV therapy. The BUN came down following 4 days on IV, but was still high when I brought her home.

The reader also said that another dog that did not eat the canned food had normal blood tests.
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Postby cheekymunkee » June 12th, 2007, 3:17 pm

In the news Pittsburgh Tribune journalist Karen Roebuck reports on acetaminophen findings.

The purpose of this section of the site is to collect and document lab analysis results contracted by private parties. As a result of the virtual FDA stand down on conducting a meaningful, scientific investigation, many pet owners are hiring lab reports on suspect pet food at their own expense. Of special interest in this section is tests done on food related to a pet's illness or death between November and January. If you have verifiable test information to contribute to this section, please use the contact link above to discuss adding your information here.


Test results conducted by ExperTox, a fully accredited lab, confirmed the presence of acetamionphen and cyanuric acid in a mixture of Pet Pride "Turkey and Giblets Dinner" lot number APR 24 09, and Pet Pride "Mixed Grill" lot number SEP07 09. Additional tests have been requested to determine which variety, or if both, are adulterated with the substances. It is significant that melamine was not detected in the samples, as melamine is the marker for the Chinese grain products. The obvious conclusion is pet deaths were caused by Menu Foods illegally adding cyanuric acid which was adulterated with acetamionphen, rather than Chinese gluten which was adulterated with melamine.

June 11, 2007 Update:

In the "Turkey and Giblets Dinner" lot listed above, Expertox found acetaminophen at .2 ug. per gram. In a 5.5 ounce can of cat food, or 154 grams, Chuckles received at least a 30 microgram dose of acetaminophen, courtesy of the pet murdering criminals at Menu Foods, with each can of food until she became too sick to eat.

In the "Mixed Grill" lot listed about, Expertox found cyanuric acid at 90.72 ug. per gram. This number works out to 14 milligrams of cyanuric acid per can of food.

Once again, neither of these samples tested positive for melamine and no gluten is listed as an ingredient in either variety. As noted in the misc. section on the home page, nitrogen rich substances, such as cyanuric acid, are believed to have a substantial affect on the toxicity of a wide variety of bio toxins.

In separate samples of "Mixed Grill", of the above lot number, sent to UC Davis, UC Davis was unable to duplicate the cyanuric acid results certified by Expertox. As UCD tested at 10 ppm for cyanuric acid and 1 ppm for acetaminophen, they would not be able to detect acetaminophen at the above levels, although they should have been able to detect cyanuric acid. Additionally, both acetaminophen and cyanuric acid are nearly insoluble in water, making it difficult to get a completely consistent mixture of the substances throughout the sample being tested. Some notes on my experience in working with various labs over the past several months have been added to the bottom of this section.


This sample is believed to have come from a bag of Hill's Science Diet dry cat food. The test results show acetaminophen, the generic version of Tylanol, was found in the food. The substance is fantastically deadly to cats, very dangerous to dogs, and will destroy a human's kidneys if taken often for extended periods of time. It is my understanding the folks at Hill's would prefer this information not be made public. Hopefully the folks at Hill's understand we would prefer pet food companies not murder our four footed family members.


This sample is believed to have come from a bag of Hill's Science Diet Light Adult. The test results show both acetaminophen and cyanuric acid was found in the food.

At this point it might be worth making a note that none of the products listed so far have been recalled. As trendy as it is these days for pet food companies to admit using melamine from China, none of which was found in the above samples, there doesn't seem to be much conversation on acetaminophen.


As many of us know, the FDA’s response to this mess has been to withhold as much information as possible from the American people, in order to protect its corporate sponsors. We may never know how many families lost their four footed friends as a result of the clandestine treatment of mission critical information by this tax payer funded, $2 billion a year agency, the sole purpose of which is to prevent this sort of thing from happening.

The FDA’s initial announcement declared a clueless state as to the identity of the toxins involved. Upon receiving a return call from the FDA, some days after leaving a message on the FDA hotline, I all but begged the person I spoke with to accept samples I had in my possession for testing. To my dismay, the offer was refused. It was at that point I knew no answers would be forthcoming except as a result of my own efforts to find those answers. I began making calls in an effort to find an independent lab able to test the food. I found several labs with facilities to test food, the kicker being it was up to me to specify the substances for which I wished the food to be tested. What would be a rather tall order for a degreed specialist, was a nearly impossible request to make of a layman. Never the less, thanks to the Internet, at the end of a week I had a list of substances known to cause kidney damage, which I submitted to a lab along with several cans of cat food. At that, the lab did not have protocols for half a dozen items on my list, including melamine and aminopterin. On this first effort, the results were negative or within expected limits.

I continued looking for labs with facilities to do more in depth testing, with the result being either they did not have protocols for all the items on my list, or they would not do business with private parties.

Eventually I stumbled across a reference to AccuTrace, the primary contractor for ExperTox, on an Internet message board. Not only did they have protocols for everything on my list, they also offered a scan for unknown substances as part of the package.

One might reasonably raise the question as to why ExperTox is the only lab in the country finding acetaminophen in pet food. The short answer is ExperTox is quite possibly the only lab in the country possessing both the technical expertise to positively identify unknown substances, and the willingness to offer that expertise to the general public.

I have also sent samples to UC Davis for testing as part of an effort to see the ExperTox results duplicated. The contrast in approach between the two facilities has been rather stark. As amazing as it may seem, the folks at UC Davis told me there couldn’t be any acetaminophen in the food, BEFORE I put the samples in the mail. The story of the hick who adamantly proclaimed, "Thar ain't no such critter!", upon seeing a giraffe at the zoo comes to mind. There are times one can’t help but wonder if our public universities have become a repository for those who are unemployable in the private sector.

Isn't the essence of scientific research to assume nothing, question everything, and base findings on an open minded examination of the evidence? It's a safe bet the Wright Brothers did not consult the folks at UC Davis on their flying machine.

One final comment I would make is the confidentiality requirement of independent laboratories such as ExperTox. Their role is much like that of physicians, with a professional and ethical duty to protect privileged client information. In many instances, these labs are in fact dealing with confidential medical information. I believe some confusion has arisen in recent media reports on this point. While the FDA is an investigative body, in theory serving the public trust, with a duty to warn the public of a clear and present danger, private labs do not, and can not, function in that capacity. They are not at liberty to disclose one client’s information to the benefit or detriment of another’s, regardless of the circumstances. In the course of having samples tested, the genuine concern shown by the folks on the cutting edge of the acetaminophen findings is beyond doubt. That they have made it possible for private citizens to test the same food the pet food companies are testing is to their credit. Without the professionalism and integrity of these people, the hard evidence in this section of the site would not be possible.
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