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Midwestern Pet Foods May be Linked to 130 Dog Deaths

Unfortunately for Midwestern Pet Foods, today is not one of those days. The Food and Drug Administration stated Tuesday that the popular pet food brand has been linked to more than 130 dog deaths and may have caused hundreds more to become ill as a result of several violations and recalls. On Aug. 9, the FDA sent a “warning letter” to Midwestern Pet Foods of Evansville, Indiana, stating that the branded dog food could be responsible for at least 220 sick dogs.

Steven Solomon, the director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, said, “The FDA is dedicated to taking all steps possible to help pet owners have confidence that the food they buy for their animal companions is safe and wholesome. We are issuing this corporate-wide warning letter because inspections of Midwestern Pet Foods, Inc.’s manufacturing plants revealed evidence of violations, which were shared across multiple plants and were associated with the illness or death of hundreds of pets who had eaten the company’s dry dog food.”

According to the research, Midwestern Pet Foods‘ Sportmix cat and dog food products “were found to contain high levels of aflatoxin,” which are toxins generated by the mould Aspergillus flavus, which grows on maize and other grains used as pet food ingredients. Sportmix dry dog food, in instance, had aflatoxin levels “as high as 558 parts per billion (ppb),” according to the FDA, which is far higher than the 20 ppb of aflatoxin considered safe for eating.

Aflatoxins can cause disease and death in pets at high levels, according to the EPA. Sluggishness, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, and vomiting are all symptoms of aflatoxin poisoning. The company issued a voluntary recall in March for dozens of dog and cat foods that were suspected of being tainted with salmonella. There were no illnesses recorded at the time, but the infected meals were being marketed all over the country.

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