SHERBURNE, N.Y. (AP) _ Chenango Valley Pet Foods has begun voluntarily recalling pet foods manufactured with a certain shipment of rice protein concentrate, the company said Thursday.
The company, working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, was informed by Wilbur-Ellis that rice protein concentrate shipped to Chenango Valley Pet Foods may be contaminated with melamine. Melamine, an industrial chemical used to make plastics and fertilizers, may lead to illness or fatalities in animals if consumed.
The pet foods were sold to customers in Wisconsin, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania, who in turn sold the products to their customers through catalog mail orders or retail outlets.
The following dry pet foods are involved in the recall:
_Doctors Foster & Smith Chicken & Brown Rice Formula Adult Lite Dog Food. It was sold in containers with net weights of 5, 12.5 and 25 lbs. with code dates best used by Jan. 24, 2009, Feb. 8, 2009, Feb. 26, 2009, April 10, 2009, and April 17, 2009.
_Doctors Foster & Smith Chicken & Brown Rice Formula Adult Lite Cat Food. It was sold in containers with net weights of 3 and 7 lbs. with a code date of best used by March 13, 2009.
_Lick Your Chops Lamb Meal, Rice & Egg Cat Food in packages with a net weight of 4 lbs. and a code date best used by April 29, 2008.
_Bulk Chicken & Brown Rice Formula Adult Lite Dog Food sold to one consignee, SmartPak, in a 2,000-pound tote with a ship date of Feb. 9, 2007.
No illnesses or injuries have been reported to date. Pet owners who purchased the products should immediately discontinue using them and return them to the place of purchase for a full refund, company officials said. Pet owners also are advised to consult with a veterinarian if any health concerns with their pets arise.
Consumers with questions may contact the company at: 610-821-0608.
Overall, pet food companies have recalled more than 100 brands of cat and dog food since the first reports of animal deaths a little over a month ago.
Investigators have found melamine in at least two imported Chinese vegetable proteins used to make pet foods. The chemical may have been used to skew analyses that measured the protein content of the ingredients, wheat gluten and rice protein concentrate.
China said Thursday it has banned melamine from food products after the chemical was found in exports of vegetable protein shipped to the United States, but rejected it as the cause of dozens of pet deaths in North America.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration officials say they suspect the substance, which is a chemical found in plastics and pesticides, is to blame.
China's Foreign Ministry said in a statement there was no evidence to support the FDA's claim but that it would cooperate with the United States to find out what actually killed the animals.
The comments in a statement released by the Chinese Foreign Ministry were the first detailed response from Beijing to concerns that emerged a month ago about the country's wheat and rice gluten exports.
China has said it was investigating the issue but had not acknowledged until Thursday that Chinese companies had shipped gluten tainted with melamine to the United States.
The ministry said the contaminated vegetable protein managed to get past customs without inspection because it had not been declared for use in pet food.
``At present, there is no clear evidence showing that melamine is the direct cause of the poisoning or death of the pets,'' the statement said. ``China is willing to strengthen cooperation with the U.S. side ... to find out the real cause leading to the pet deaths in order to protect the health of the pets of the two countries.''
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