Lethal Zinc Levels Found in NUTRO Cat Food
On May 21st, NUTRO announced a "voluntary recall of select varieties of NUTRO NATURAL CHOICE COMPLETE CARE Dry Cat Foods and NUTRO MAX Cat Dry Foods, saying, "This recall is due to incorrect levels of zinc and potassium in our finished product resulting from a production error." What they failed to mention was that the levels of zinc in the recalled food were sufficiently lethal to kill a 9-lb cat in two days.
The Pet Food Product Safety Alliance recently submitted an unopened bag of the recalled NUTRO food for testing. Here is their report:
June 16, 2009: The test results are back from an unopened bag of Nutro Max Cat Adult Roasted Chicken Flavor, Best by: 07 JUN 2010 07:17 2AD6 "A". Zinc, as fed, came in at a deadly 2,100 parts per million. Using this food by Nutro recommended feeding guidelines, a pet eating this food would receive over 38 times the amount of zinc recommended by the National Research Council, or 175 mg. zinc a day. Using the most frequently cited median lethal dose for zinc of 100 mg. per kilogram of body weight, a 4 kilogram cat (9 pounds) would be exposed to the median lethal dose of zinc in slightly over 2 days. It is highly unlikely a pet exposed to this food would survive after being exposed to it for more than a few days to a week. Clinical symptoms consistent with pancreatitis would be the most likely outward signs of exposure to this food, with possible liver and kidney damage.
A receipt provided with the food we tested showed this bag was purchased a day after the recall was announced. It is our understanding the store had not been informed there was a problem with the food. Pfpsa.org is more than willing to cooperate in any way possible with any law firm willing to pursue a class action against Nutro. Click here for more information.
Even if your cats weren't affected by the NUTRO recall, the food you're feeding your cat may contain toxic levels of zinc.
For more information on the zinc issue--which goes beyond the recall--read Susan Thixton's article, "Are Pets Being Legally Overdosed?" at TruthaboutPetFood.com.
Zinc toxicity symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, red urine, icterus (yellow mucous membranes) liver failure, kidney failure, and anemia, according to VeterinaryPartner.com.