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‘With’ Very Little Meat

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  1. Hope

    And that’s assuming these manufacturers are following regulations and being honest rather than, “I’m sure we won’t get caught putting no chicken in the bag just chicken flavoring and if we do get caught, well, no big deal since we’ve already made a billion dollars off of cheaper than cheap crap in a bag.”. Thanks Susan, a good post to repost and educate. You’re amazing!

  2. T Allen

    Once again you’ve outdone yourself! Hope people are starting to catch on!

  3. Stephanie

    I’m shocked. Thank you for the eye-opening, depressing information. It seems impossible to determine which can foods actually contan more meat than the formulations you defined.

  4. jan

    As always, we are so GRATEFUL for your hard work and efforts! Bless you abundantly, Susan.

  5. Deep Search

    The Blue Buffalo Wilderness adult cat kibble with chicken also contains menhaden fish meal and dried egg along with the deboned chicken and chicken meal. So it undoubtedly has more animal protein than some other kibble, but that’s not saying a whole lot. It is still 31% carb and contains pea protein, which isn’t appropriate for cats. The carbohydrate content is way too high in most grain-free and grain-filled dry cat foods and some canned diets. Grocery store brands of dry cat food and vet prescription brands are usually about 35%-50% carb.

    Pet foods should be required to give the carb content, then it would be easier to determine just how much animal-based protein is actually in the food/diet.

  6. Batzion

    I wonder what percentage is roadkill. Thank you, Susan. Looking forward to the next list of examples.

  7. Matthew O'Leary

    With Blue Buffalo, it actually says “with Chicken and LifeSource bits”, which technically means the 3-9% is the two combined together, not just the chicken alone – a great marketing ploy to put even less of the product in the bag.

    1. jennifer hahn

      where is the beef??? Makes me so angry and now ith soy gmo etc amd the selective FDA enforcement it feels hopeless….we muct get the word out there and demand that this changes.

  8. Roksanna Stephens

    I have tears in my eyes, my heart is aching for the animals who have to eat these …thank you once again for your wonderful research.

  9. Paul

    Hi Susan –
    There is a lot of misleading information in this post. You claim that to use a “with” claim, AAFCO states that the ingredient must be between 3-9% of the formulation, by weight. You are correct in that there needs to be at least 3%, however the maximum of this would be 24.9%, after which the pet food manufacturer would need to use a “recipe” or “dinner” claim.
    The Beneful product you use as an example, this has “Chicken” as the #1 ingredient. It’s a little absurd to believe that this only has 9% (maximum) with this being listed the first ingredient. It is listed number one because it is the majority of this product, not because of water weight, but because it IS the #1 ingredient. Purina is not trying to be misleading here.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      Per the 2018 AAFCO Official Publication – excluding water for processing – 3% is the minimum for a “with” pet food and 9% (or if you want to be technical 9.99%) would be the maximum. Excluding water for processing, 10% would be in the next category and would require a different descriptor such as dinner, formula or recipe. The 24.9% you mention is including water for processing. You can’t compare the percentages properly when one number excludes water for processing and the other includes. My numbers were accurate and were both consistent for excluding water for processing.

  10. Cannoliamo

    I asked FDA how I can be sure of the nutritional value of specific ingredients on pet food labels and if I could trust the manufacturers to exclude ingredients from specific protein sources that triggered allergies in my cats and to help clarify the differences between pet food, animal food and animal feed requirements for me.

    In the interest of sharing, this is the response I just received ….

    The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) FSMA Technical Assistance Network (TAN) has prepared a response for casenumber 00169596.

    Response: The Preventive Controls for Animal Food (PCAF) rule applies to all facilities that are required to register with FDA under section 415 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) because they manufacture, process, pack, or hold animal food for consumption in the US. Pet food fits the definition of animal food as defined in the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) and the PCAF rule. See full definitions below:
    FD&C Act, section 201(f): The term “food” means (1) articles used for food or drink for man or other animals, (2) chewing gum, and (3) articles used for components of any such article.
    Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations, section 507.3 (21 CFR 507.3): Food means food as defined in section 201(f) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and includes raw materials and ingredients.
    Animal food means food for animals other than man and includes pet food, animal feed, and raw materials and ingredients. A processor manufacturing/processing pet food for consumption in the US is likely required to register with FDA. If so, the facility’s manufacturing/processing of the pet food is subject to the requirements of the PCAF rule, unless an exemption applies. Exemptions to the PCAF rule can be found in 21 CFR 507.5.

    You expressed concern regarding the safety of pet food. Under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C), a food is deemed to be adulterated if it bears or contains any poisonous or deleterious substance which may render it injurious to health. FDA’s approach to contaminants in food is to handle instances of contamination on a case-by-case basis. If a contaminant is detected in a food, FDA will review relevant information, such as levels of the contaminant in the food, amount of food consumed, and toxicological information for the contaminant, to determine whether the level of the contaminant found in the food poses a health hazard, such that the food is deemed to be adulterated and subject to enforcement action (e.g., seizure of domestic foods in interstate commerce, detention or refusal of entry for imported foods) under the FD&C Act.

    You expressed concern regarding the nutrition in pet food. For animal food, nutrient deficiencies or toxicities are considered a chemical hazard because animals often consume one animal food type as their sole source of nutrition. Animal food distributed as a sole source of nutrition should be formulated to meet the minimum nutrient requirements established by the National Research Council (NRC) when available for the intended species (including life-stage and production class). Information in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, including NRC publications, also may be used to identify the maximum inclusion rate of certain nutrients. Another helpful resource for formulating a nutritionally adequate pet food is the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) dog and cat food nutrient profiles.

    You expressed concern regarding allergens and ingredients. The PCAF rule requirements, found in Title 21 Code of Federal Regulations part 507 (21 CFR part 507), do not include requirements regarding food allergens in animal food (which includes pet food), and thus animal food facilities are not required to have an allergen program in place. The PCAF rule does not include allergens because FDA is not aware of evidence indicating that foodborne allergens pose a significant health risk to animals. Animals with actual food allergies typically have digestive disorders or dermatologic conditions, not the anaphylactic reaction that humans have to the major food allergens as defined by § 201(qq) of the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic act (FD&C Act). We discuss this in comment and response 259 in the preamble of the final PCAF rule, found on page 56244 of volume 81 of the Federal Register, which can be accessed at the link below: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-09-17/pdf/2015-21921.pdf.

    Thank you for contacting FDA’s FSMA TAN.

    1. Cheryl Bond

      As per their response….
      “Animals with actual food allergies typically have digestive disorders or dermatologic conditions, not the anaphylactic reaction that humans have to the major food allergens as defined by § 201(qq) of the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic act (FD&C Act). ‘

      They act like these allergies are not debilitating, nor cause pain or suffering to the animal experiencing them! Just because they might not go into anaphylactic reaction, doesn’t mean that it’s not of serious concern!

      The whole “big petfood industry” simply cares nothing really for the animals!

      On another note, besides what food your cats are having reactions to, vaccinations can & do cause immune dysregulation that can cause many kinds of symptoms, one being allergic reactions to foods because of gut disbyossis.

  11. Cannoliamo

    Thanks for the response. “Mr. Chubbers” thanks you too.

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