Trying to solve the mystery

A race to solve pet food mystery
Fears for humans – Scientists find substances but not the mechanism sickening cats and dogs
By Richard Read and Lynne Terry, The Oregonian

Ebel and other scientists from New York to California asked how melamine — a substance made from ammonia and used in glues and laminate flooring — could cause acute renal failure, when chunks of it fed to dogs in one study merely made them urinate a lot.It’s a question that still confounds U.S. Food and Drug Administration officials as they ask farmers to euthanize 6,000 hogs on farms that received tainted pet food.

It’s now a puzzle vexing scientists studying cyanuric acid. That substance has been found in stricken pets and by FDA investigators in rice protein concentrate at the same North Plains warehouse where melamine from China showed up.

Each day, members of the Cornell team, in Ithaca, N.Y., have discussed these questions with an expanding number of scientists across North America. They’ve searched for hundreds of potential culprits, helping rule out a rat poison, aminopterin, fingered by another New York lab. They still don’t know what led publicity-shy Procter & Gamble scientists to melamine.

The Cornell group has been impressed by the collaboration among high-octane experts from government, industry and universities. Together the scientists have scrambled to contain whatever, in Oregon alone, may have killed 46 dogs and cats and sickened 78 more.

There is much more . . . .

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