WASHINGTON (AP) - The same industrial chemical that led to a massive pet food recall was used in animal feed ingredients made by a Toledo, Ohio, company, health officials said Wednesday.
The announcement by the Food and Drug Administration was the first indication that a U.S. company had used melamine as an animal feed ingredient. Agency officials said that melamine and related compounds were used to bind feed for cattle, sheep and goats, or fish and shrimp.
Previously, the problem of melamine in animal feed was thought to be contained to China, where manufacturers had added it to wheat gluten.
Melamine is not approved as an additive for the feed. It has a number of industrial uses, including as a binding agent and flame retardant. It's also used as fertilizer in some parts of the world, but not in the U.S.
U.S. officials said the use of melamine in animal feed posed no threat to human health. In China, they said, the chemical was probably added to show greater levels of protein.
The FDA alerted feed manufacturers that ingredients containing melamine and related compounds were found in products made by Tembec BTLSR Inc. of Toledo, Ohio, and used by Uniscope Inc. of Johnstown, Colo.
Tembec makes two products, AquaBond and Aqua-Tec II, which it distributes for Uniscope. The products are used in fish feed.
Uniscope also makes a product for livestock feed called Xtra-Bond, and it uses ingredients produced by Tembec. The FDA advised feed manufacturers and others not to use the products and to contact the two manufacturers.
The agency also advised manufacturers to recall feed made from AquaBond or AquaTech II. Official did not make the same recommendation for feed made from Xtra-Bond, based on the low levels of melamine and related compounds.
Officials said they had no idea how much feed contains the ingredients in question.