FDA sends warning letter to pet food company that could be linked to 130 animal deaths and 220 illnesses

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The United States Food and Drug Administration is warning dog owners of a possible link between certain brands of dog food and a severe form of canine heart disease.

CHICKASHA, OK (KFOR) – The Food and Drug Administration is warning a pet food company that may be linked to the death or illness of hundreds of pets that it needs to make changes.

Earlier this month, the FDA sent a warning letter to Midwestern Pet Food, Inc., citing several areas of concern after several inspections and recalls.

Authorities say the conditions “likely contributed to the illness or death of hundreds of dogs.”

It all started after the FDA received a report of a dog that fell ill after eating SPORTMIX, which was manufactured in Chickasha, Oklahoma.

During this inspection, the FDA found that SPORTMIX contained levels of aflatoxin as high as 558 parts per billion. The FDA considers pet foods to be adulterated if they contain more than 20 parts per billion aflatoxins.

“FDA considers aflatoxin levels in dog and cat foods above 20 ppb to support adulteration charge under Section 402 (a) (1) of FD&C Act [21 U.S.C. 342(a)(1)] because of the reasonable possibility that a regular diet of these foods will be fatal or detrimental to the health of the animal. Therefore, these pet foods made in your OK factory are adulterated in that they carry or contain a toxic or deleterious substance which makes them harmful to health, ”the warning letter said, citing the findings of the company. inspection which took place between December 31, 2020 and February 5, 2021.

As of August 9, the FDA said it was aware of more than 130 pet deaths and more than 220 pet illnesses that could be linked to the consumption of brands of pet food. company manufactured by Midwestern.

“The FDA is committed to taking all possible steps to help pet owners be confident that the food they buy for their pets is safe and healthy. We are issuing this warning letter company-wide 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 disease. or the death of hundreds of pets that ate the company’s food. dry dog ​​food. Dog food samples have been found to contain high levels of aflatoxin. It is imperative that manufacturers and distributors of pet food understand their responsibility to comply with all requirements of federal law and FDA regulations and, where applicable, to implement a sound analysis of the pet food. hazards and a risk-based preventive control program. We will continue to hold companies accountable and protect animal health as a central part of the FDA’s public health mission. “

Steven M. Solomon, MPH, DVM, Director of the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine

Now, the FDA has asked the company for a written response within 15 business days outlining the specific actions it will take to correct any violations.

“Failure to adequately address any violation quickly can result in legal action, including product seizure and / or an injunction,” the FDA said.

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