The pet food store chain Petco announced they will stop selling pet foods with “artificial ingredients”. Is this a step forward?
In a press release dated 11/13/2018, Petco stated “In January 2019, Petco will begin removing dog and cat foods and treats with artificial ingredients, both from store shelves and ecommerce, with a commitment to complete the process by May 2019. Some of the more than 40 artificial ingredients Petco is eliminating include FD&C Red No. 3, Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), Butylated hytroxytoluene (BHT), Glycerol tributyrate, and benzaldehyde, among others.”
Petco is not necessarily dropping the brands that contain ‘artificial ingredients’ – their press release states they are “working with” manufacturers. “We’re inviting pet food companies to join us on this journey, even working hand-in-hand with some to pursue potential ingredient changes to meet our new stringent ingredient standards,” said Nick Konat, Co-Chief Merchandising Officer for Petco. “In cases where an existing brand is unable to update some or all of their products to meet our criteria by May of 2019, we will not carry either specific products or the brand entirely – and we’ll help pet parents affected by such a change to safely transition to a new food or brand that we believe is healthier for their pet.”
As example the dye ingredients that Petco considers artificial and example of how Petco is ‘working with’ manufacturers, we find this on the Petco website…
“Artificial Color – any dye, pigment, or other substance that can impart color to a food that is not derived from a natural source.
- Labels that says “Artificial Colors”
- FD&C Blue No. 1
- FD&C Blue No. 2
- FD&C Green No. 3
- Orange B
- Citrus Red No. 2
- FD&C Red No. 3
- FD&C Red No. 40
- FD&C Yellow No. 5
- FD&C Yellow No. 6
- Titanium dioxide*
*We will remove titanium dioxide from most products by May 2019, with the exception of Pro Plan and Science Diet Urinary formulas for cats, as there is not yet a suitable artificial-free formula to address this common health issue faced by 1 in 10 cats.”
So…it appears they are removing products with the above “artificial colors” UNLESS the pet food company doesn’t have another option for Petco to sell.
In a quick scan of brands sold by Petco that contain “artificial ingredients”, the brands found that will need to alter their formula or be removed from Petco shelves come from…
- Purina Dog Chow
- Fancy Feast
Opinion again: Little as it might be, this is a step forward. Other chain stores might take a further step to one-up Petco. We’ll have to wait and see. What Petco is doing, many independent pet food stores did decades ago or they have NEVER allowed an artificial dye or preservative in their store at all. Many independent pet food stores validate every single claim on a pet food label and will only sell products with human edible ingredients.
Your thoughts? Will this move by Petco be beneficial to pet owners? Do you think other large retailers will try to one-up Petco? Will pet food companies actually alter their formulas or will they just alter their labels to meet the new Petco standards?
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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