PetConnection.com has a great post that combines info from a couple of articles. Rather than re-create the wheel, here it is in full. (Italics in parentheses are my comments)
Toxicologists have been saying for some time now that they didn’t think melamine alone could be causing the symptoms being seen in cats and dogs eating recalled foods, and suggested it might be a marker or co-contaminant. Tonight, Karen Roebuck of the Pittsburgh Times-Review (in an article titled "Humans at risk from tained pet food?") reported that researchers have:
…identified three other contaminants in the urine and kidneys of animals sickened or killed after eating the recalled foods, including cyanuric acid, a chemical commonly used in pool chlorination, three researchers told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Cyanuric acid is what most likely sickened pets, one researcher said.
Researchers isolated a spoke-like crystal in pet food, wheat gluten and in the urine, kidneys and tissues of infected animals. That crystal serves as a marker for determining what animals were sickened in the outbreak. About 30 percent of those crystals are made up of melamine, one investigator said, and researchers spent several weeks trying to identify what is in the remainder.
Researchers in at least three labs found cyanuric acid, amilorine and amiloride — all by-products of melamine — in the crystals of animals’ urine, tissues and kidneys, according to Dr. Brent Hoff, a veterinarian and clinical toxicologist and pathologist, at the University of Guelph, in Ontario, Canada; Richard Goldstein, associate professor of medicine at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and a kidney specialist, and Dr. Thomas Mullaney, acting director of Michigan State University’s Center for Population and Animal Health.
Michigan State’s lab so far has found only the amilorine and amiloride, but Mullaney said he was aware of at least three other labs finding the cyanuric acid in the animals. The FDA asked labs involved in the pet food recall to test for the three chemicals.
Finding cyanuric acid is the more significant finding, Hoff, Goldstein and Mullaney said, although they are not yet certain how toxic it is to animals.
She also has quite a bit on the possible contamination of hog feed, and its implications for human health. Full story here.
More from the article:
They know that the melamine-contaminated feed was fed to hogs.The FDA, U.S. Department of Agriculture and the California Department of Food and Agriculture are investigating.
Some animals that are believed to have eaten the contaminated food were slaughtered and sold as food before authorities learned their feed had been contaminated, said Nancy Lungren, spokeswoman for the California agriculture department.
...The contaminated feed was bought April 3 and 13 as salvage pet food from Diamond Pet Foods Inc., which received contaminated rice protein concentrate used in some recalled Natural Balance pet food, Lungren said.
And now, the Hog Farm is quarantined. http://www.news10.net/display_story.aspx?storyid=26836
State agriculture officials have placed a Stanislaus County hog farm under quarantine after an industrial chemical that's tainted more than 100 brands of dog and cat food
was found in pig urine there.
Additional testing is under way to determine if the chemical, melamine, was present in the meat produced by American Hog Farm since April third.
Officials say so far evidence suggests that there is minimal health risk to people who have eaten pork produced at the farm.
State officials believe the melamine came from rice protein concentrate imported from China by Diamond Pet Food. The company's Lathrop facility produces products under the Natural Balance brand
and sold salvage pet food to the farm for pig feed.
Officials say American Hog Farm generally does ot supply meat to commercial outlets. They say the 15-hundred-animal farm sells to customers looking to purchase whole pigs.
Back to the PetConnection Post:
Update: Also, Carrie Peyton Dahlberg reports tonight in the Sacramento Bee that the FDA, in light of the possible contamination of hog feed as well as additional pet food recalls due to contaminated rice protein concentrate, “wants to learn how widely melamine has spread and which other products it might have contaminated.” She writes:
That question became more urgent Thursday with reports from South Africa that corn gluten in Royal Canin pet foods there was contaminated with melamine, killing about 30 pets. The Web site for Royal Canin U.S. announced an eight-product recall late Thursday.
The South Africa report brings to three the number of Chinese products with melamine contamination — wheat gluten, rice protein concentrate and corn gluten.
Veterinarians and nutritionists said that other potential targets for tampering could include whey protein isolate, soy protein isolate, soy protein concentrate, soy grits and soy lecithin.
All are pet food ingredients valued for the protein punch that they pack.
The melamine at the quarantined hog farm apparently came from salvage pet food sold as pig feed by Diamond Pet Food’s Lathrop plant, the state said. Diamond had gotten rice protein imported from China by a San Francisco distributor who recalled it on Wednesday because of melamine content.