By Rob O’Flanagan – The Guelph Mercury (Ontario)

Researchers in specialized laboratories at the University of Guelph may have, according to this story, solved part of a chemical puzzle linked to Menu Foods’ tainted pet food drama.

The story says that scientists at the university’s labs believe they have established a link between chemicals found in contaminated pet food and urinary crystals found in pets that apparently died from eating the food.

Both melamine and cyanuric acid were found in the tainted pet food. Taken alone, they are not particularly toxic, but together they may be deadly. John Melichercik, director of analytical services for the university’s Laboratory Services, was quoted as saying, “The FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) had implicated both melamine and cyanuric acid in this issue, but there was no real mechanism as to how it would happen. We knew that these crystals that were being removed from animals that had suffered renal (kidney) failure contained melamine and cyanuric acid. The question was how were these crystals forming, how would this happen within the body of an animal?”

Patricia A. Doyle DVM, PhD
Bus Admin, Tropical Agricultural Economics
Univ of West Indies