By MARK JOHNSON
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Rodent poison has been found in pet food blamed for the deaths of at least 16 cats and dogs, a spokeswoman for the State Department of Agriculture and Markets said Friday.
Spokeswoman Jessica Chittenden would not identify the chemical or its source beyond saying it was a rodent poison. State agriculture officials scheduled a news conference Friday afternoon to release laboratory findings from tests on the pet food conducted this week.
The deaths led to a recall of 60 million cans and pouches of pet food produced by Menu Foods and sold throughout North America under 95 brand names. There have been reports of kidney failure, some fatal, in pets that ate the recalled brands. The company has confirmed the deaths of 15 cats and one dog.
Menu Foods last week recalled "cuts and gravy" style dog and cat food. The recall sparked concern among pet owners across North America. It includes food sold under store brands carried by Wal-Mart, Kroger, Safeway and other large retailers, as well as private labels such as Iams, Nutro and Eukanuba.
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