ALBANY, New York (AP) -- Rat poison was found in pet food blamed for the deaths of at least 16 cats and dogs, but scientists said Friday they still don't know how it got there and predicted more animal deaths would be linked to it.
Also Friday, the company that produced the food expanded its recall to include all 95 brands of the "cuts and gravy" style food, regardless of when they were produced.
The substance in the food was identified as aminopterin, a cancer drug that once was used to induce abortions in the United States and is still used to kill rats in some other countries, state Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker said.
The federal government prohibits using aminopterin for killing rodents in the United States. State officials would not speculate on how the poison got into the pet food, but said no criminal investigations had been launched.
The pet deaths led to a recall of 60 million cans and pouches of dog and cat food produced by Menu Foods and sold throughout North America under 95 brand names. Some pets that ate the recalled brands suffered kidney failure, and the company has confirmed the deaths of 15 cats and one dog.
Enter your email and never miss out on receiving our best articles: