SILVER SPRING, Md. (CAP) - A rash of unexplained virtual pet deaths has led the Food and Drug Administration to announce a recall of almost all Marada and Neopian pet foods. Early indications are that upwards of 4,000 virtual pet deaths may be the result of tainted food.
"We're still in the early stages of this investigation," said FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg. "We've created accounts on both Neopets and Marapets and will be trying to ascertain the correlation between the virtual deaths and the virtual food."
Hamburg said if the FDA is able to draw such a connection, she hopes the investigation will also uncover the source of the tainted food and freeze the accounts of those reponsible.
Rumors that a rogue group of NeoPets users poisoned the food in an attempt to knock the Marapets site offline have surfaced but have not yet been confirmed.
Message boards were abuzz with the news as pet owners found themselves faced with the difficult choice between watching their pet's health decline from lack of food and taking the chance that their next meal could be their last.
Some owners were reportedly testing questionable Merifoods on their Petpets before allowing their NeoPets to eat it.
"MARAPETZ IS A WANNABE NEOPETS!!!!! LOL," wrote one message board poster. "IF tHE n00bishpeople gothacked when i had akoi and jetsam 2 than muchmore cute and NOT ugly as hell, they WILL DIE."
Government translators have been called to aid in the investigation, but so far have been unable to decipher any messages posted by anyone under 16 years of age. Site owners have been fully cooperative in the situation thus far.
While FDA investigators have not yet expanded the recall to include Petnebula, Subeta, or Webkinz, they are warning Webkinz owners to avoid feeding their pets any combination of Gunk as the resulting symptoms could be indistinguishable from those of the tainted food.
- CAP News Staff