Monday, October 4, 2010

Is there a dark side to your pet's food?

Before we begin lets remember that the pet food industry is a 15 billion dollars a year industry with almost no real regulation and quality control with manufacturing facilities around the world in even worse regulatory control.

    When you read the label on your pets food package do you see the word Pentobarbital? Go ahead check , I'll wait. No? No its not there, not on the label any way but it is in your pets food. What is it? It is the chemical used to euthanize cats and dogs.

In the 1990's FDA's center for veterinary medicine began receiving reports that Pentobarbital was no longer being as effective on cats and dogs they were attempting to euthanize.  The FDA launched an investigation.

     Their research concluded that the drug Pentobarbital was indeed being found in pet food.
FDA Scientists report that the levels of exposure to the Pentobarbital through the food is unlikely to cause adverse health effects in cats and dogs. But the drug is there in the packaged food and the tests run by the FDA are all short term, so we cant really rest assured that in long term over 10 to 15 years of daily consumption the drug wont have "adverse effects" on your pets health.  Pentobarbital should not even be in your pets food to begin with.

The question remains how did it get there? Well the same way the contaminant melamine and other contaminants get into your pooches pet food. Through rendering. Lets review rendering is the process of turning animal tissue other wise inedible into consumable product sold as pet food. It is the garbage disposal that churns out what sits in your pets bowl.

The FDA states that Pentabarbital seems to be able to survive the rendering process and its not the only contaminant that can as so can other chemicals and toxins. In their studies in 1998 and in 2000 this contaminant was found in the dog food researchers purchased . Sorry for the dated material but the FDA has only conducted two studies on this topic.

In their most recent study in 2002 researchers tested for dog and cat DNA and concluded that there was none present and that it was possible the contaminant was coming from rendered cattle. Yet the researchers did not test all brands and they only conducted studies on products purchased in a retail store in Laurel, MD by their facility.  In the book Food Pets Die for: Shocking Facts about Pet food Ann Martin states that researchers informed her that DNA cannot survive the heating done in the rendering process.  How conclusive can the research of the FDA be then if it is done on the end product the pet food already in the bag at the store. Long gone is the dog and cat DNA.  There are reports that veterinary offices do indeed give the bodies of euthanized companions to rendering plants and some rendering plants have also admitted that they receive bodies of euthanized companions and this ends up in the product they sell to pet food companies.

    How long can DNA specific to a species survive, can it survive the destroying of the animals body and the boiling of the remains? I would categorize the FDA study as inconclusive at best, as if it were turning a blind eye since their responsibility truly ends at finding the presence of the drug in question and releasing a statement that it is not harmful. 

    Every day in the USA more than one hundred million pounds of dead animal and animal parts are shipped to rendering plants. In these plants these animals and parts are piled together then dumped into a giant sort of blender that churns and grinds everything together. How can the pet food industry prove what goes in there when there are no regulations to control what can go in there. The pet food industry can't even stop cancerous and infected body part from entering the mix and they cant stop plastic contaminants from entering either hence the 2007 recall which found melamine in the food which is a chemical used in plastic. So can I say to you dogs and cats are in your dogs food, perhaps not with my current level of research and only because I want to have the facts which cant be disputed. Yet pet food companies cant say its NOT there either.

To understand how this is possible it is crucial to understand what the rendering process even looks like. So imagine this: bodies, body parts, garbage, plastic wrapping, ear tags and anything that could have been on or in the pile  is dumped into a machine that grinds all the contents together until creating a sort of mush, solid bodies and parts go in and unidentifiable mush comes out. This mush is then boiled the fat that rises is collected and the solid dry material is processed.

    The point is that as consumers we have taken a passive role in the choosing of quality pet food for our faithful companions.  We trust these pet food companies and truly believe what they flash across the screen in their food commercials.  This is simply not a true portrayal of what is in our pets food.  Are cats and dogs in our pets food? Does it matter? To me its not even about whether cats and dogs are being put in our pets food, its about the ability of this industry to put what ever they want in the food and get away with it.  Cannibal pet food may cause a momentary sensation but its a bigger issue than this its about all the cancer causing chemicals, the very little nutrition that is actually in it. Pet food is the most synthetic product on the market for consumption, more dangerous than we have ever thought and the proof is in all the recent recalls.  So again STOP and READ.  investigate for your self so that your ideas are your own and then you decide if you can take the chance to continue feeding Fido this food.  Read the labels and learn how to protect your loyal companion.
Food Pets Die for: Shocking facts about pet food author Ann N Martin

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