A new study on pet food found that dogs consuming a canned food lined with BPA – for just two weeks – absorbed the hormone altering drug into their system at alarming levels. One of the two foods tested, lied to the researchers and to TruthaboutPetFood.com.
A recently published pet food BPA study from multiple researchers at the University of Missouri found BPA – a commonly used chemical in the plastic lining of canned foods (human and pet) – in the blood and fecal samples of dogs after consuming one of two canned pet foods for only two weeks. “Two-week feeding of either canned dog food brand increased BPA levels in dogs.”
BPA is an “endocrine disruptor chemical”. From the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, an ‘endocrine disruptor chemical’ is: “Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that may interfere with the body’s endocrine system and produce adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects.”
The University of Missouri study collected blood and fecal samples of each dog prior to the study and after the two week period. Their results…
Pre-samples = 0.7 ng/mL
Post-samples = 2.2 ng/mL
In just two weeks, the dogs levels of “circulating BPA” increased three times that of levels prior to the study.
Dogs in the study were pets, in homes. Each family that participated agreed to using no plastic serving utensils and bowls (that could contain BPA) and agreed to limit or eliminate treats that were packaged in plastic. All of the dogs previous to the study consumed a kibble diet.
What two dog foods were used in this study? As common with scientific studies, we don’t know. But…we have clues with this one. The University of Missouri study stated pet food number one was chosen because the manufacturer openly admitted to researchers that BPA is included in the can lining (assuming it was an anonymous inquiry). Pet food number two was chosen because the manufacturer told researchers and TruthaboutPetFood.com their can did not include BPA in the lining. The study included a link to a 2010 post on this website ‘Which Pet Foods have BPA free cans?’
From that 2010 TAPF post we have the following list of pet food manufacturers that claimed their pet food cans are BPA free…
So…we don’t know who pet food number one was (the pet food that admitted to BPA in the can lining), but we can assume that researchers chose pet food number two from the list above.
What did the study find?
The study found all dogs contained high levels of BPA after just two weeks of consuming either food.
Analysis of the can linings showed both pet foods contained BPA and levels were “not significantly different”. In other words, the pet food that admitted to having BPA in the can lining tested to contain about the same level of BPA as the pet food that claimed their cans did not contain BPA.
Analysis of the actual pet food (within the can) of both dog foods also showed no significant difference; pet food number one and pet food number two contained about the same level of BPA in the actual food.
And because analysis found similar levels in the BPA concentrations in the can lining and foods of pet food one and pet food two, the researchers also found all dogs involved contained “similar internal concentrations of BPA … on Diets A and B”.
So we are left with…a pet food company that directly lied to researchers at University of Missouri, directly lied to TAPF, and more than likely has lied to thousands of consumers about a very serious issue – BPA.
What can consumers do?
There is no easy answer to this question. When pet food manufacturers learn what consumers do not want in their pet food (in this case BPA in the can lining), some of these companies will lie. There is little we can do about it, unless there is sound evidence of a lie (sound evidence would be test results).
If someone out there wins the lottery, they could start a pet food testing fund (and a legal defense fund because certainly those that are caught lying will fight back). But until this happens, we are left with having to trust our pet food manufacturer is telling us the truth.
Pet food manufacturers should be held accountable for their claims of BPA free, and regulatory authorities should enforce those claims just as they do other claims…such as human grade or Salmonella free raw pet food. Consumers certainly deserve some back-up from regulatory on the BPA issue…and yes, I will be asking them for that at the upcoming AAFCO meeting.
To read the abstract of the University of Missouri study, click here. To purchase the full report, same link.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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