Huge Growth in Natural Pet Foods, but are they really ‘Natural’?
Packaged Facts, a market research firm, says that sales of natural pet food in the United States reached $1 billion in 2007; a 50 percent growth since 2003. The dilemma for pet owners is that ‘Natural’ doesn’t always mean natural.
The 2007 pet food recall started a domino effect. Pet owners began to take careful notice of what type of food they provide to their dog or cat; furthermore, pet food manufacturers began marketing to what seems to be selling the best, natural pet foods. http://www.hometownannapolis.com/cgi-bin/read/2008/12_30-05/LIF
When you think about what ‘natural pet food’ implies, most pet owners think natural means free from dyes and chemicals, inferior risky ingredients, a pet food that is healthy and premium. Pet food manufacturers have paid close attention to what consumers believe ‘natural’ implies, and in turn have developed pet food advertising to match consumer beliefs. Sadly, few have bothered to develop pet food with ingredients that consumers would define as natural.
A trip down the pet food aisle at any grocery, Target, or Walmart will show you many (newer) varieties of pet foods from long time producers; all with ‘natural’ blazoned across the label. Even the packaging colors tend to imply ‘natural’, featuring more earthy tones.
Compliments of pet food rules and regulations, Natural on the label doesn’t have to mean there’s anything natural inside the bag or can. As an example, one popular dog food with ‘natural’ in the name contains the ingredients Animal Fat and Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex. The pet food ingredient ‘animal fat’ was determined by the FDA to be the most likely pet food ingredient to contain a diseased euthanized animal. ‘Menadione sodium Bisulfite’ is a synthetic Vitamin K linked to cancer and organ damage. Doesn’t sound too natural does it?
Another new line of cat food features ‘Natural’ and ‘Healthy’ on the label. Yet the cat food contains the ingredients By-Product Meal, and Animal Fat. The pet food ingredient ‘By product meal’ can be bits and pieces of animal carcass that are unfit for human consumption; such as chicken feet, cow intestines, and diseased animals rejected for use in human foods. Again, doesn’t sound too natural does it?
Both of these new ‘natural’ pet foods sell nationwide at every major retailer. If existing Federal laws were enforced by the FDA, both of these ‘natural’ pet foods would violate the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, would be considered adulterated, and the sale of and transport of would be prohibited and subject to penalty.
Instead, well intentioned pet owners purchase these foods every single day; believing what the pet food label tells them, that the dog food or cat food is ‘natural’ and ‘healthy’. The truth is far from that with many.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
What’s in Your Pet’s Food?
Is your dog or cat eating risk ingredients? Chinese imports? Petsumer Report tells the ‘rest of the story’ on over 2500 cat foods, dog foods, and pet treats. 30 Day Satisfaction Guarantee. www.PetsumerReport.com
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