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Cornell Scientists identify melamine in recalled pet food and in samples from affected cats

crystals ITHACA, N.Y. - Concurrent with the announcement made by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today, Cornell researchers at the Animal Health Diagnostic Center have confirmed that they also have identified melamine as a contaminant in multiple pet food samples. Cornell had shared its lab results on melamine early this week with the FDA.

Melamine was also found in multiple urine and tissue samples from affected cats, however, Cornell researchers are not yet able to adequately relate the presence of melamine to the clinical and pathologic signs reported in affected cats and dogs.

Regarding the presence of aminopterin identified by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets on March 23, Cornell researchers have not yet corroborated the presence of this compound, as the diagnostic testing on the samples continues.

"This is a very complex and challenging investigation, and we shall continue to pursue all toxicologic, clinical and pathologic avenues until we are fully confident that all relevant questions have been answered," said Donald Smith, the Austin O. Hooey Dean of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell. "Pets are very important to all of us, and our hearts go out to the many families involved in this sad situation." For more information, contact the Cornell Press Relations Office at (607) 255-3024 or SSL37@cornell.edu.

By Sabina Lee