…Pet food consumers should not be afraid of chicken by-products. The reason Royal Canin seems to be promoting by-products, their formulas are changing; the pet food manufacturer is replacing chicken meal with chicken by-product meal in their pet foods. Here is what Mars Petcare Royal Canin Pet Food is telling pet food consumers about the ingredient chicken by product…
From a Royal Canin Pet Food flyer…(Click Here to view)
“You might have heard rumblings that Royal Canin is adding “by-products” in its formulas. Let’s make this clear: this is not a rumour, and this change will affect all our new formulas and upcoming launches. I must admit, I am still amazed of the reaction those two little words can create. Why is that? I guess maybe people associate “by product” to “inedible parts of an organism”, while this is not necessarily the case. Indeed, there are plenty of things that can be considered as by products. Despite what one might think, they are not all bad. So yes, there will be a change in the formulation of our products. But there is definitely nothing to worry about. Let’s try to understand why…”
“Secondary products produced in addition to the principal product.” (AAFCO, 2012) What do we learn from this definition? That in fact, if we consider chicken meat as the primary product, anything else remaining can be considered as a by-product… and as you can picture it, there are plenty of things left (internal organs, wings, necks, bones,…), obviously including very nutritious parts of the organism.”
Let’s stop right here. Read this part of the Royal Canin promotion of by-products again…
“Let’s try to understand why…
“Secondary products produced in addition to the principal product.” (AAFCO, 2012) What do we learn from this definition?”
What do you feel Royal Canin is trying to say here? Is it that “Secondary products produced in addition to the principal product” is the definition of the pet food ingredient by-product?
If that is what Royal Canin is trying to say, that’s not quite accurate. The ‘definition’ provided by Royal Canin is the definition of the “feed term” – not the pet food ingredient. Feed terms are descriptors and/or language used in pet food regulations. The actual definition of chicken or poultry by-product is quite different than the explanation of a feed term.
|AAFCO Feed Term of By Product||AAFCO Pet Food Ingredient Definition Chicken/Poultry By-Product||AAFCO Pet Food Ingredient Definition Chicken/Poultry By-Product Meal|
|“Secondary products produced in addition to the principal product.”||“Poultry By-Products must consist of non-rendered clean parts of carcasses of slaughtered poultry such as heads, feet, vicera, free from fecal content and foreign matter except in such trace amounts as might occur unavoidably in good factory practice.”||“Poultry By-Product Meal consists of the ground, rendered, clean parts of the carcass of slaughtered poultry, such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs, and intestines, exclusive of feathers, except in such amounts as might occur unavoidably in good processing practices.”|
The Royal Canin document promoting the company change from chicken meal to chicken by-product meal goes on to say the composition is “nearly the same!” for chicken meal and chicken by-product meal. Including nice little pie charts showing that moisture, protein, fat, and minerals are almost identical for the two ingredients.
To be accurate, let’s look at the AAFCO official definitions of these two pet food ingredients – Chicken Meal and Chicken By-product Meal…
|AAFCO definition Chicken/Poultry Meal||AAFCO definition Chicken/Poultry By-Product Meal|
|“Poultry Meal is the dry rendered product from a combination of clean flesh and skin with or without accompanying bone, derived from the parts of whole carcasses of poultry or a combination thereof, exclusive of feathers, heads, feet, and entrails.”||“Poultry By-Product Meal consists of the ground, rendered, clean parts of the carcass of slaughtered poultry, such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs, and intestines, exclusive of feathers, except in such amounts as might occur unavoidably in good processing practices.”|
Do those ingredient definitions look “nearly the same” to you?
The Yuck Factor.
Let’s not forget the following little detail – a difference between chicken meal and chicken by-product meal…
|Chicken/Poultry Meal||Chicken/Poultry By-Product Meal|
|Does not include chicken intestines and/or chicken feces.||Can include chicken intestines and/or chicken feces.|
Per the 2012 (and 2013) AAFCO Official Publication, the definition of chicken/poultry by-product meal CAN include intestines and feces. Yes, we are told rendered ingredients are cooked to kill harmful bacteria…but, do you really want your pet food to contain chicken feces? Cooked chicken feces? Really?
May I suggest to Royal Canin and all pet food manufacturers…
#1. Stop trying to sell us with misleading information fed to us through marketing or via paid-for veterinarians. This is no longer is effective; in fact, it causes much more harm than good.
#2. If you really want to be honest and transparent, provide your Pledge to Quality and Origin. If you have nothing to hide, why wouldn’t you Pledge?
Thanks goes out to ‘You know who you are’ for sharing this information with us!
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
What’s in Your Pet’s Food?
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