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  1. Bethany Cortale

    Unfortunately, a majority of our companion animals are already consuming these GMO crops because they are eating animals who were fed feed containing these GMO crops.

  2. Dave

    Excellent article! I’ve been wondering about this, but haven’t seen info pertaining to pet food. One thought though; the reference to “Monitored Crops”, I think are crops that have not yet been aproved by the federal government. So we don’t need to watch out for these crops RIGHT NOW when we do our label reading. But we should keep an eye out for aproval if and when it happens. IS this accurate?

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      The Non-GMO Project says about Monitored Crops…
      “Monitored Crops (those for which suspected or known incidents of contamination have occurred, and those crops which have genetically modified relatives in commercial production with which cross-pollination is possible;”

  3. Elaine

    Unfortunate most kibbels (animal feeds) have GMO ingredients, as they say it’s the only ingredients they can purchase-:(
    They are even hiding GMO Soy under Vitamin E?? This is why you see Vitamin E at the top of the list of ingredients?
    Furthermore they only need to list 60% of all ingredients, so you gotta wonder what the other 40% hiding ingredients will be??
    Sadly it is tough to find descent kibbels, it’s all about money not health of your loving pet-:((

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      Hi Elaine – to my knowledge, 100% of ingredients listed on a pet food label are required to be stated on the label that the pet food manufacturer uses. The exception would be processing aids or preservatives or processing aids or similar that are added by the ingredient supplier.

      1. Elaine

        Hi Susan
        I just checked the Canadian feedstock regulations, now cannot find it, lol!
        So I assume they have changed the regulations, which is a good thing for the canadian pets-:)

  4. Neil

    Both Horizon Pet Foods(Canada) and Farmina Pet Foods(Italy) are GMO FREE!
    Feed only the best to your pets.

    1. Meowster

      Took a quick look on Horizon’s website. They claim their food is “GMO, by-product, growth hormone and chemical preservative free”. They state: “All of our formulas are made with superior levels of fresh meat and fish”. But in looking at their ingredient lists, the meats are listed as chicken meal, turkey meal, salmon meal in some formulas, and turkey, chicken meal in all the Amicus formulas and chicken, chicken meal, salmon, salmon meal, etc in the Legacy formulas. Aren’t meals something we’re advised to avoid? Or are they good if they are made properly from good ingredients? Can Susan clarify whether there are “good meals” and “bad meals”? I’ve purposefully been buying tinned foods that do not use “meal”.

      1. Meowster

        I read Susan’s article, “Chicken or Chicken Meal” and Joe’s Story about rendering plants (horrifying). Susan advised people to ask the manufacturer for details about the quality of the chicken meal they use. I think I will just continue to avoid it.

  5. Laurie Matson

    Is Sweet Corn Genetically Modified yet?

    1. Anne

      OF COURSE SWEET CORN WAS THE FIRST HUMAN GRADE CROP TO USE ROUNDUP BY THE USDA!

  6. jb

    My question is:

    WHY is your cat or dog eating grains, veggies, fruit, etc?

    They can not assimilate. They do not produce the digestive enzymes to eat these foods!

    Good God People! You have the Internet. Educate Yourself!

    That is why the crap pet food industry has flourished & killed & maimed so many animals.

    IGNORANCE!

    1. Tracey A

      Domestic dogs are omnivores. They have evolved alongside humans for thousands of yers eating our diet. Members of the wild canine dog family range from wolves who eat mostly meat but supplement their diet with grass and berries in the summer (http://jn.nutrition.org/content/136/7/1923S.full) to urban coyote and fox who have up to 50% fruit/vegies in their diet in the summer. (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S161650470470107X)

      Whether Domestic dogs should be eating grain and legumes is just as debatable as whether people should be (I don’t believe they should) but supplementing the meat they get with fresh fruits and vegies is necessary to ensure they are getting the vitamins and minerals they are not able to scavenge for themselves outside. Anyone with a farm dog will tell you their dogs will eat fruit from orchards, help themselves to berries and sometimes other vegies, like tomatoes, if given free rein in the garden and eat grass. Time to for you to hit the Internet again in your continuing research…

      1. Anne

        @ Tracey “Right” wolves eat berries as do Grizzlies coyotes foxes and rabbits.

      2. Ellie

        Neither dogs nor cats eat berries or grains naturally. You will never find a feral dog or cat or wolf staking out a corn field, wheat field, or berry patch to steal food from. They want meat and that is what they hunt for. They may be starving but they are not going to the garden to find food.
        “Experts”who say they get these foods from the digestive systems of the animals they kill have apparently never seen one of these hunters eviscerate their prey, leaving the digestive system neatly set aside.
        I have seen dogs who would eat berries that they saw their humans munching on but that is a well fed animal that is accustomed to eating some of the things they see their owner eat and has nothing to do with their natural diet.
        The same goes for cooked food. Dogs and cats have never cooked their food! It is the humans that decided they needed cooked food. These kibble addicted cats and dogs can be slowly weaned off those unnatural low grade foods that ruin their teeth and gums as well as cause disease in the rest of the body.

        1. Anne

          More and more Naturalists are discovering Species eat more Greens than previously known: Wolves do eat berries and roots in the wild!

  7. angela collins

    STILL NO ONE ANSWERED ME….WHY DO WE FEED OUR PETS PET FOOD? WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE FOOD WE EAT, LIKE SALMON, CHICKEN BREAST, ETC. SINCE IT IS USUALLY ORGANIC ALSO. IS IT ONLY BECAUSE OF THE TURINE? WHY DO THEY NEED VITAMINS IF GETTING A GOOD FOOD? WE DON’T NEED VITAMINS, THEY ARE NOT NECESSARY IF EATING A VARIETY OF FOODS.

    1. judith malone

      Good question. Raw or cooked organic (means organically FED) meats are perfect for kitties. If you include secreting organs you will get taurine. But if you go exclusively fresh meat you will want to get a supplement that will include all of the micro-nutrients with which you need to be concerned. The transition will have to be very gradual to increase the liklihood of acceptance, but an excellent plan. Actually, I have two rescue fosters I have had for a year and just recently introduced raw – they loved it immediately. Might be that was their diet before being surrendered to the shelter. Certainly cheaper and easier. And no cans to wash and recycle!

      1. angela collins

        how do I get “secreting” organs to obtain taurine? Isnt taurine sold anyplace? I want my cat on organic fresh meat diiet which is what she likes, she also likes dry food but I don’t want her to have that. In order to have her eat good food, I place a few pellet of dry in it which she manages to remove quite daintily. So to give her organic chicken breast and fresh salmon that I eat, what else, specifically, does she need? I thank anyone for their input and do not understand why Ms. Thixton doesn’t reply at all.

        1. Susan Thixton Author

          Angela – I believe the comments are for readers – I want everyone to have a voice here – and I only respond if it is needed. I get to have my say in the post – comments are for readers.

          1. angela collins

            Ms. Thixton answers “as needed”. If every food I’ve every purchased for cats is no good for them (over the past 67 years!) what is? Only items out west? I have your liist – if I had a dog I would be set. That’s why we need help with cat food. I think help is needed here and you seem to be a leader in knowing about cat food processing. If so, please advise how I can do away with processed cat foods dry or in cans and use good people-happy substitutes like chicken and fish and tell us how to get other needed ingredients such as taurine. After all, you are not working for the pet industries, but for the animals, right?

          2. Susan Thixton Author

            Angela – there is no need in being rude. I work 7 days a week trying to change this industry, make things safer for pet food consumers. I don’t have much patience with rude people.

            How can you do away with processed cat foods? You prepare their own food. Taurine is found naturally in meat, fish and internal organs. There is information online about this – here is one: http://www.livestrong.com/article/157099-what-foods-contain-taurine/ There was no worry of taurine deficiency before processed pet food.

            Just like humans can achieve a balanced diet from eating a variety of foods – so can our pets. It’s how I feed my 4 cats and 2 dogs. You can as well consult a pet food cookbook.

          3. angela collins

            thanks Susan, didnt know I was being rude. Maybe because from Brooklyn and Manhattan I speak up front so my point gets across concisely. But it works, cause now I have the info I needed. So again, thank you.

          1. Susan Thixton Author

            I have made my pets food (cats and dogs) for the past 5 years (or so). I never once have added a taurine supplement. Taurine is found naturally in meat, internal organs and fish. There was no such thing as taurine deficiency before processed pet foods (high levels of processing destroys taurine). I give my pets mostly cooked meats (however lightly cooked) and this does not destroy the natural taurine.

      2. judith malone

        The supplements I mentioned are readily available commercially. Just add the proper amount to the weight of raw meat and you are good to go. You can cook the meat or just go ahead and feed it raw. Again, you will need to make the transition very gradually.

  8. Debi Cohen

    I have used Farmina, it contains alfalfa also, Canada is about the same as the U.S. only the pet food companies there have no petfood regs. at all.

  9. Jo Singer

    We have been using World’s Best Cat Litter for years! I am greatly concerned about the GMO products used in the manufacture of this product. At the same time, our cats LOVE the litter and haven’t been interested in any other litters I have tried to change over to something a lot safer- and that works so well.

    I contacted WBCL and they have informed me that there is no risk to using the litter as long as the cats don’t eat it- I have little to worry about. This said litter can stick to paws so it would be consumed.

    I am very upset about this issue and would love some advise about safer litters that might work with our cats. Switching litters can be very tricky since cats hate change. I know how to introduce them slowly, but they seem to be on strike for any other product. Thanks for any suggestions.

  10. Tina P

    GMO science remains inconclusive on all fronts, as many (both within food industry and consumer groups) advocate it is safe, effective, and economical.

    http://coalitionforsafeaffordablefood.org/

    At the end of the day, everyone must make their own choices. I equate this to the anti-vaccine movement, in that powerful emotions and opinions exist on both sides.

    For my dogs, I don’t split hairs with GMO. There’s too many other issues with which I’m more interested. Moreover, as there is no mandated standard or enforcement of what constitutes “Non-GMO”, there’s no assurance the claim is real anyway. The referenced “Non-GMO Project” holds no regulatory or enforcement authority of any kind.

    1. Carla

      Thanks Tina for injecting some reason into the discussion. A lot of people are very misinformed about GMOs. There are many more kinds of GMOs than just the “roundup ready” crops which actually require the use of fewer pesticides which seems to be a good thing.

      For some science-y information, this is a good article and also compares anti-GMO activists to anti-vaccine activists. The author may seem a bit harsh in his opinions about anti-GMO’ers so you may get offended if you have already made up your mind and are not interested in the real science behind this issue. Try to keep an open mind and always check the sources of your information. Mercola and Dr. Oz are NOT good sources!
      http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2012/09/24/bad-science-on-gmos-it-reminds-me-of-the-antivaccine-movement/

      1. Tina P

        My kids love to watch iCarly. “Freddy’s Mom” character bit is she’s the world’s most overprotective mother and micromanages every aspect of her son Freddy’s life, regardless of the insanity of her actions. Sounds a lot like some and their behavior towards animal nutrition.

        While not wishing speaking ill of many of the most vocal critics, we simply can’t control everything. Life is life, dogs eat anything, and we can’t continue to attack each other and every perceived ill as the root of all of our canine/feline health problems. Hard science can’t even agree on GMO, yet many don’t realize their GMO fear actually emboldens the “evil pet food empire.”

        Think about it: these companies are more than willing to offer you a premium, Non-GMO food at a premium price! Just as Freddy’s mom was sold a case of “cloud burn cream”, many pay for a premium non-GMO product which is probably identical to what was already being sold, other than a packaging change to claim no GMO.

        As a consumer class, we’re always ready to be whipped into a frenzy of outrage (and spending) for any real or perceived threat to safety, be it human or animal. Maybe if we didn’t always assume the worst, we could make more informed choices.

        Also, if our choices for pet nutrition don’t match those of our friends and neighbors, that’s ok. This is still America and perhaps my choices don’t match yours, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love my kids or dogs any less than you do.

  11. Ellie

    It seems we have an epidemic of greed in the corporate sector of this country. These GMO foods were not developed by or for your local farmer. They were developed for the large corporation owned farms that were created when our corrupt politicians forced many small farm owners out of business.

  12. Anne

    Natural Taurine supplements suitable for cats – Fresh or low-temperature dried seaweed, freeze-dried krill, and brewer’s yeast. Our senior cat is fed both freeze-dried krill and a seaweed/algae mix on a regular basis.

  13. Joyce Bruce

    I was wondering if anyone here knows if any testing has been done on dog food to find out the level of glysophate in the food? There are lots and lots of breeders experiencing repro problems and they are trying to figure out what might be causing it…some seem to be looking at particular ingredients but I can’t help but wonder if high amounts (of any amount) of glysophate might be found in the food if it was tested. Any thoughts on this? I know the brand I feed has alfalfa in it and I am sure it’s not organic. So, I question that as a culprit on the repro problems. But, it’s so hard to tell! It would be interesting to know if there are high levels of glysophate in the foods we are using.
    Thanks!

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      Another concern that can cause reproduction issues in animals is mycotoxins – even low levels. I am not aware of any pet food testing for glyphosates – but I agree with you it is a concern.

    2. judith malone

      Nothing on the specific level of glysophate but as almost all GMO products are “Round-Up Ready” which DOES include significant amounts of glysophate in the end product, I choose organic (and organically fed) products when possible. And I watch for the little things like cornstarch, wheat gluten and soybean oil.

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