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Pet Owners Warned Of Potentially Toxic Food

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RICHMOND, VA. — State agriculture officials on Thursday warned Virginians of a potentially fatal toxin that might be in pet food sold under the names Diamond, Country Value and Professional.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said Diamond Pet Food discovered aflatoxin, a chemical byproduct from a fungal growth on corn and other crops, in a product made at its Gaston, S.C., facility.

North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services Press Release

The plant distributes dog and cat food products to Virginia stores and those in several other states, including North Carolina. Diamond is recalling the products in question, which carry "Best By" date codes from "01-March-07" to "11-June-07." The Gaston facility marking, "G," is either the 11th or 12th character of the date code.

Symptoms of aflatoxin poisoning include sluggishness or lethargy combined with a reluctance to eat, yellowish tint to the eyes or gums, and severe or bloody diarrhea.

The Gaston facility also provides products to Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia and Vermont.

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