Pet Food News

Interesting Pet Food White Paper Published

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 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

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July 14, 2014

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7 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Interesting Pet Food White Paper Published”

  1. Ian says:

    I am intrigued by the insight that mycotoxin tainted grain may be the true cause of supposed grain allergies. It has been my belief since switching to home-cooked food that most supposed pet food allergies were really allergies to manufactured feeds in general, not to particular ingredients in those feeds. Not an allergy to a particular protein but an allergy to a nasty food made with a super low quality version of that protein as one component of the food….

    Now this report suggests that grain allergies are really allergies to mycotoxin tainted grain. That makes a lot of sense to me since my dogs have had no bad reactions at all to any human grade grains I’ve put in their home cooked food.

    I can easily believe that any moldy grains would get shipped right off to pet food manufacturing and perhaps never even fully inspected or tested before they are dumped into the hopper.

    • Peter says:

      … or, allergic to the feces or corpses of the grain/storage insects that feed on the mold that is present in silos or areas where grains are stored before being made into pet feed/food. The molds secrete toxins (mycotoxins, aflatoxins) to protect themselves against predators (the storage mites that eat them). Attracted to these molds, these insects spend their entire life cycle (even dying) in the storage silos. Not to mention, a dog or cat could be allergic to the anti-fungal agents (to control the mold) or the insecticides that must be used to control the insect infestations. The yuk factor is pretty high, and there is lots to choose from.

  2. This isn’t new’s been around for nearly a decade as The Orijen White Paper ..I know because I have been sending to clients for that time … This is an Update of the original ..not much different …still like it very much
    I have been a raw feeder for 16 years and Origen is one of the VERY FEW commercial dry foods I will recommend, when asked.

  3. Jo says:

    Bravo, JustFoodForDogs! Now there’s a company who gets it! Makes me so proud I wanna run out and adopt a dog just so I can feed it their food!

    Thank you, Susan for alerting us to the existence of this white paper.

  4. Wolf says:

    Right, the points made are not new, but surely bear repeating. And any time credentialed people are willing to come out on the science side and speak truth and reason, it is a good thing.

    Wish this food, especially the prescription diets, could somehow be made available nationally. That would probably ruin the brand, but I’d kill to be able to recommend them to our customers who are trying to abandon Hills.

    • Laura says:

      You can always try out BIOethics, My Perfect Pet, or Rayne. The first two will formulate a custom diet on request (like Just Food for Dogs), the third only sells prescription foods and can also make special diets.

    • Laura says:

      According to their website, JustFoodForDogs DOES ship their food nationwide, even their custom and prescription diets. I think you just have to call and place your order :).

      I’ve actually purchased their DIY kits through their website–cheap shipping and the kit gives you a recipe to follow and nutrients to add. Pretty cool!

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