Pet food, baby food contamination linked
Research has linked pet food contamination in North America in 2007 and the
recent adulteration of milk protein and consequent intoxication of thousands of
babies in China.
The research identified the principal contaminants as melamine and cyanuric
acid. Neither of these compounds is very toxic when administered alone; however,
in combination, they form a virtually insoluble complex.
causes tubular blockade in the kidney, obstructing urine flow and causing renal
failure. The research was done on rats, but because the toxicity depends only on
the two compounds being present in the kidney at the same time, is relevant to
other species, including humans, according to a press release of Oxford
The research also showed that the melamine-cyanuric acid
complex is soluble in acid, suggesting that acidification of the urine in the
distal tubules of the kidney may be a reasonable treatment option.
findings are scheduled for publication in the November issue of Toxicological
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