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Mon, Apr 23, 2007 - Page 10 News List

Third US pet food company announces product recall

AP AND BLOOMBERG , WASHINGTON, JOHANNESBURG AND TORONTO

A third US company recalled pet foods made with an imported Chinese ingredient only recently found to have been contaminated by an industrial chemical.

The pet food ingredient, rice protein concentrate, is the second found in the US to be contaminated by melamine. Previously, testing revealed that wheat gluten also had been contaminated.

Royal Canin USA, the producer of Vets Choice and Royal Canin pet food brands, said on Friday that it was recalling some of its dry dog and cat foods made with tainted rice protein concentrate.

Also on Friday, the French company's South African unit indicated that its food has been linked to the death of 30 pets, Johannesburg-based Royal Canin South Africa's managing director, Gregory Watine, said in an interview.

The company said tests showed some of its products contained corn gluten contaminated with melamine and the pet food made in South Africa from Mar. 8 to April 11.

The contaminated food led to kidney failure in dogs and was recalled this week. Royal Canin South Africa said it will take full responsibility for costs incurred by owners whose dogs fell ill or died.

In Canada, Mars Inc's Royal Canin Canadian unit said it's recalling more pet food because they may contain rice gluten contaminated the melamine, which has been linked to the deaths of 16 dogs and cats, according to a release issued Friday from the Guelph, Ontario-based unit.

Wilbur-Ellis Co, a US importer of the tainted rice protein, has recalled all the ingredient it had distributed to five US pet food manufacturers. The San Francisco company in turn urged its customers to recall any products that may be on store shelves.

Last week, the Connecticut-based Blue Buffalo recalled one brand -- Spa Select Kitten dry food.

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