Melamine Death Toll Passes 8,000 Pets

FDA says health risk for humans unlikely

By Sarah Levy,  Newser User

Posted May 4, 2007 12:17 PM CDT

(Newser) – More than 8,000 deaths of cats and dogs that may be linked to melamine-tainted food have been reported to the FDA in the two months since the pet food recall. The statistics come as the FDA tries to assure Americans that the tainted protein concentrates, also fed to hogs and chickens, aren't a human health threat.

Newly appointed food-safety czar David Acheson declared it "very unlikely that there is a human health effect here.” Despite an expanded recall and an investigation in full force,  officials predict the death reports will continue to flow in as the FDA catches up with a backlog of calls on its hotline.

Pebbles, the Yorkshire terrier that became a symbol of the national pet food scare is shown in this, March 21, 2007 file photo, at Collett Veterinary Clinic in Los Angeles. Pebbles died Thursday while being treated for kidney failure that developed after she ate some of the suspect food. (AP...
Pebbles, the Yorkshire terrier that became a symbol of the national pet food scare is shown in this, March 21, 2007 file photo, at Collett Veterinary Clinic in Los Angeles. Pebbles died Thursday while...   (Associated Press)
FDA Warns Of Contaminated Pet Food Still Being Sold
FDA Warns Of Contaminated Pet Food Still Being Sold   (Getty Images (by Event))
A woman looks at pet food in a store in Beijing Friday April 6, 2007.  China has denied responsibility for a slew of pet deaths in the United States that U.S. authorities blame on a batch of chemically contaminated wheat gluten from China, state media reported. (AP Photo/Greg Baker)
A woman looks at pet food in a store in Beijing Friday April 6, 2007. China has denied responsibility for a slew of pet deaths in the United States that U.S. authorities blame on a batch of chemically...   (Associated Press)
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