Chinese probe tainted pet food
BEIJING – A Chinese company accused of selling chemically contaminated wheat gluten linked to pet food deaths of cats and dogs in the U.S. said Wednesday it is investigating the claims. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration last week blocked wheat gluten imports from the Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development Co. in the eastern Chinese city of Xuzhou, saying they contained melamine, a chemical found in plastics and pesticides. ChemNutra Inc., the Las Vegas-based company that imported the wheat gluten and shipped it to companies that make pet food, said Tuesday that Xuzhou Anying never reported the presence of melamine in the content analysis it provided. “We are still investigating,” Mao Lijun, the company’s general manger, said Wednesday. He refused to give any other details or say why the presence of the chemical was not mentioned in the wheat gluten, a protein source used as an ingredient in pet food. Earlier this week, another official at the Chinese maker said the gluten was not manufactured by Xuzhou Anying, but bought instead from companies in neighboring provinces. The FDA has confirmed about 15 pet deaths, and anecdotal reports suggest hundreds of cats and dogs may have died from kidney failure from the tainted food. Nearly 100 brands of cat and dog food made with wheat gluten have been recalled. The FDA still doesn’t know where all the contaminated imported wheat gluten ended up, though it appears unlikely any made it into human food. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!