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Re: Pet Food Recall


Cyndi,

I've been thinking that I should go back to making all of the critters food myself. I'm not sure I'm up to it anymore, though. This bit from one of our local vets (not mine, but an acquaintance in the animal rescue field):

Begin forwarded message:


In light of all the recent pet food recall and scare, I wanted to share some of the information I provide my clients regarding choosing pet foods. I suggest anyone interested in learning about pet nutrition get hold of the book listed at the end, "Foods Pets Die For".
 Tracy Land, DVM










 Pet Foods


I've recently done extensive research into commercial pet foods. I have been shocked and appalled by the results. The bottom line - the vast majority of commercially available pet foods are anything but wholesome. "Junk" would be a very polite, drastic understatement.


 To summarize, the few good foods out there have the following qualities:

 v      Human grade ingredients

 v      No rendered proteins

v No meat "meals" or meat "by products". The ingredient list should say "chicken", not "chicken by products; or "lamb", not "lamb meal".

 v      No artificial or chemical preservatives or dyes


This information is rarely on the labels, and often requires research and contacting individual companies. Very few foods will meet all these requirements. The few that we've found locally available:


 v      Wellness. and Old Mother Hubbard.

 v      Canidae. & Felidae.

 v      Natural Balance.,

 v      Merrick.,

 v      Solid Gold.,

                         v      Blue Buffalo.
Be aware that these quality foods are going to be at the high end of the price range, as they use much better and more expensive ingredients. Also, the lack of chemical preservatives shortens their shelf life, making them more expensive for manufacturers and retailers to carry.

  (*Note-check expiration dates on all pet foods!)


Interesting Point: The following terms have no official definition, are unregulated, and may appear on pet food labels with no guarantee of quality or lack of potentially harmful chemicals what-so-ever!


 v      Premium or Super Premium

 v      Gourmet

 v      Natural

 v      Holistic

 v      Organic


 For more detailed explanations, read on - but be prepared to be disturbed.



1) Preservatives: Commonly used preservatives in dry pet food include propylene glycol, ethoxyquin, BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole), and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene. Ethoxyquin has been linked to cancer of the stomach, kidneys, bladder, and colon. The Department of Agriculture lists ethoxyquin as a pesticide. BHA & BHT have been linked to cancers of the stomach, bladder, and thyroid gland.


Natural preservatives, such as tocopherols (a source of Vitamin E) can be used in place of the artificial, chemical preservatives above. They are not as efficient, and lead to a shorter shelf life, and contribute to the higher costs associated with high quality foods.


 Canned foods are preserved by the canning process.


2) Splitting: This is a marketing ploy that alloys pet food manufacturers to distort the ingredients listed on pet foods. The most prevalent ingredient must be listed first on the labels. But - the rules allow for "splitting". This means that a food that lists meat as the first ingredient may also contain corn, ground yellow corn, and corn meal, all in equal parts, so that in reality, there may be three times more corn than meat. Sounds like cheating to me!


3) Meat By-Products & Meat Meal: May contain chicken feet, heads, beaks and feathers; animal hooves, horns, hides, and fur; stomach & intestinal contents; manure; blood; carcasses or portions of carcasses removed from the human food chain for suspicion of disease or spoilage; essentially any animal part discarded or scraped from the slaughter house floor and considered unfit for human consumption. And most are rendered (see#4).


4) Rendered Proteins: The source of most meat by-products and almost all meal. This process may involve chemicals not allowed in human foods. May also include the bodies of dogs and cats euthanized by pounds and animal shelters, including fur, flea collars, plastic bags, and most disturbing - the barbiturates used to euthanize those animals. Low levels of these drugs have been found in many major name brand commercial pet foods. Law requires that food animals, (cows, pigs, chickens), not be slaughtered for food for a long enough period of time that such drugs are cleared from the animals system before it enters the food chain. Because dogs and cats are not normally considered food animals, a loop hole exists that allows the drugs used to intentionally kill dogs and cats back into their food.


5) Research: Most companies that produce major name brand pet foods engage in research involving dogs and cats that any decent human being would find cruel and inhumane.

Further Reading - "Foods Pets Die For", is a must read for anyone interested in pet nutrition. By Martin & Messonier, available at www.amazon.com. Contains many good recipes for home made pet diets, which is the ideal alternative if you have the time.


Note: Please never feed raw meat or bones - a current fad diet prevalent on the internet. We regularly treat pets who are seriously ill from this dangerous practice, and numerous deaths have been reported. You shouldn't feed your pets raw meat, any more than you would feed it to your children!





----- Original Message ----- From: "Johnson Cyndi D Civ 95 CG/SCSRT" <cyndi.johnson@edwards.af.mil>
To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
Sent: Thursday, March 22, 2007 10:36 AM
Subject: RE: [CHAT] Pet Food Recall


It looks like everything affected was wet food, we don't feed any of
that to our cats & dogs. But I was very surprised to see the brand names
on the recall list. Eukanuba and Iams, I thought those were supposed to
be "premium" brands - do they really just slap a different label on the
cans or do they make different formulas that just all happened to have
that poison in it?
I'm starting to get to the point where I don't want to eat anything I
didn't grow myself, and maybe my animals should start that too. Too
scary.

Cyndi

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