Melamine has been added to pet food for years

According to the New York Times. My first cat Idgie died of renal failure. Now I’m upset that maybe it didn’t have to happen.
UPDATE: Scientists are figuring out how the melamine contaminate reacts with other ingredients to kill pets.

Dr. Perry Martos and colleagues from the Agriculture and Food Laboratory at Guelph’s Laboratory Services announced Friday they have discovered a dangerous reaction when melamine and cyanuric acid – the two contaminants found in the imported wheat gluten used in the pet food — are combined.
The two chemicals react to form crystals that could block kidney function.
The crystal-like substances found in the urine and kidneys of affected animals matched the crystals produced when the chemicals were combined at the University’s Animal Health Laboratory.
Researchers believe this is a possible link between the compounds and the deaths of animals exposed to the contaminated pet food.

That’s exactly why Idgie died – she had crystal-like stones in her kidneys.
And, now that we’re figuring all this out – The Chicago Tribune reports:

About 45 [California] state residents ate pork from hogs that consumed animal feed laced with melamine from China.
What last month was a limited recall of canned pet food is on the verge of becoming a full-fledged public health scare.
The FDA’s real detective work may be just beginning. Having found many sources of contamination, investigators must now determine exactly how widespread the problem is and how it began.

So over the years, how many people have eaten this stuff?

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