Menu Foods: "A Puzzling and Troubling Experience"

WASHINGTON (AP) - The head of the company at the center of a massive pet food recall says the firm can't explain why some cats and dogs have developed acute kidney failure and died.

At least 16 animal deaths -- 15 cats and one dog -- led to the recall of 60 million cans and pouches of pet food sold throughout North America under 95 brand names. Menu Foods president Paul Henderson calls the deaths "a puzzling and troubling experience." He says the food shows no sign of contamination.

Henderson tells The Associated Press that his company is looking at a single ingredient, but wouldn't identify it.

The Food and Drug Administration has said the investigation is focusing on wheat gluten, a source of protein and a thickener. The F-D-A says wheat gluten itself would not cause kidney failure, but could have been contaminated by heavy metals or mold toxins.

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