A White Paper was recently published by a pet food manufacturer brings up some very interesting points. One of the biggest points discussed, are most commercial pet foods the same?

First…the pet food company who published the white paper will not be named here, but you can see who the company is by reading the document yourself. Click Here for that document. By quoting from this White Paper, it should not be considered an endorsement of this pet food by TruthaboutPetFood.com or myself (Susan Thixton).

Some numbers to begin with…(Note: with a ‘b’)…

Mars Petcare, Inc. $16.7 billion in revenue 2012.
Nestle Purina Petcare $16.2 billion in revenue 2012.

As we know, the leaders of pet food production are…
Mars Petcare Inc.®
Nestle Purina Petcare®
Procter and Gamble® (recently acquired by Mars Petcare Inc.)
Colgate Palmolive®
Del Monte® (now Big Heart Pet Brands)

Here is an interesting perspective from the white paper. Quoting…

Despite the various name brands and illusion of variety, the above five companies supply the overwhelming majority of the commercial pet feed (kibbles and canned) sold in the USA. In addition, most of these companies share a few suppliers and therefore almost all the kibble and cans made in the USA are made from essentially the same feed ingredients, as was evident in the global recall of 2007.

The notion that all commercial kibbled and canned diets are essentially the same seems to be supported by a recent high profile lawsuit (and similar complaints) filed against a smaller but very popular player in the industry, Blue®.4 The lawsuit is the most recent in a series of similar complaints against Blue by other commercial pet feed manufacturers.5 Most of them are claiming false or misleading advertising, pointing to the fact that Blue attempts to differentiate its kibble and cans as superior in quality and production when in fact, the complaints claim, they formulate their diets similarly to the rest of the industry, using processed feed ingredients sourced from similar suppliers that incorporate rendered byproducts and by-product meals.

And some interesting perspectives were taken on mycotoxin (deadly molds) contamination of some pet foods…

The FDA establishes “action levels,” which are recommendations on maximum allowable toxin
contamination for food and feed.3  Action levels do not ensure compliance; instead they “represent limits at or above which FDA will take legal action to remove products from the market.” Many of the action levels established are intended to protect people in the human food chain and pets are ill defined, existing in this grey area, as they are neither food production animals or people.

As part of the research for this report, two of the largest manufacturers were contacted and were asked
to provide the details of the mycotoxin assay used for testing and the levels deemed allowable in their plants. Various representatives of both companies responded similarly: the details are “proprietary.”

Pet food companies are trusted to control these toxins and to keep them below sub-lethal levels but there are few legally defined processes to ensure they are meeting these expectations and virtually no government enforcement. Mycotoxins (or their exclusion) may be one of the reasons behind the anecdotal benefits reported in Grain Free pet foods.

If you’d like to read the full white paper, click here.


Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,

Susan Thixton
Pet Food Safety Advocate
Author Buyer Beware, Co-Author Dinner PAWsible
Association for Truth in Pet Food

What’s in Your Pet’s Food?
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