In a surprising move, the June 2019 FDA update names brands of pet foods linked to DCM in dogs. (Perhaps that’s why they told industry first – giving them time to prepare.)
In a full year of FDA investigation into an increase of pet food/feed related dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) cases in dogs, the Agency appears to be no closer to providing pet owners any answers. FDA did provide pet owners with a massive amount of data in their June 2019 update, most significantly the FDA released the brand names associated with the more than 500 case reports they have received.
The FDA compiled all brands that were reported more than 10 times:
If we rearrange the same data as above into categories of manufacturer, the numbers look a bit different. As example, Acana and Orijen pet foods are both manufactured by Champion Pet Food. Nutro and California Natural are both manufactured by Mars Petcare. Taste of the Wild is a Diamond Pet Food brand, and though it can only be confirmed by the brand (who often claims it is proprietary information) – it is believed that Nature’s Domain and 4Health is also manufactured by Diamond. Rearranging the FDA data by manufacturer looks like this:
Pet owners have – previous to this June 2019 FDA update – been told far too many times that the cases of DCM were directly linked to boutique brands of pet food. Thanks to this FDA update we know that information wasn’t very accurate. The U.S. leaders in pet food sales are Mars, Purina, General Mills, Smuckers and Diamond; all listed with high numbers of FDA DCM reports.
Pet owners have also been repeatedly told – previous to this June 2019 FDA update – that exotic protein ingredients were directly linked to cases of DCM. This update proves that information wasn’t very accurate either. The FDA provides this information on protein types linked to DCM cases:
What would have been a proper investigation by FDA (but hasn’t been discussed thus far), is determination of the quality of the Chicken, Lamb, Salmon and so on ingredients of each pet food.
Example: when “Chicken” is listed on a pet food label ingredient panel – the ingredient can be USDA inspected and passed chicken, USDA inspected and condemned chicken, whole chicken, chicken bones (no meat), chicken skin (no meat) and/or a slew of other types of chicken.
Also, the FDA did not clarify if in the above chart “Chicken” or “Lamb” is chicken or chicken meal or lamb or lamb meal which have quality variations as well.
It would be very telling information for pet owners to learn the quality of the animal protein ingredients used in the pet foods reported to FDA. (FDA did not allow us – Association for Truth in Pet Food – to participate in their investigation as they did Pet Food Institute. We certainly would have asked for that investigation if they would have allowed us.)
The FDA also released data of common ingredients used in the pet foods linked to DCM reported to the Agency.
Another interesting perspective that FDA failed to determine (or at least failed to provide pet owners) would have been to determine what percentage of each of these diets were peas or lentils or potatoes (or the combination). Such as, were some of the reported brands using 30% peas and lentils, 40%, 50%? This again would be very telling information that would benefit pet owners (though clearly it would not be beneficial to manufacturers for pet owners to know).
FDA also provided an update to the types of pet foods involved.
Dry/kibble pet foods remain the leading style of pet foods linked to DCM.
FDA mentioned in numerous places of their update how they continue to work with industry. As reminder, we have been provided evidence that the FDA was working with industry long before they even notified pet owners of their investigation.
While the June 2019 update is information and is of value, it remains fact that more than 1 year into this investigation pet owners are left with little assistance to protect their pets. While we wait for answers, FDA continues to allow pet food to violate federal law, continues to allow waste to be disposed of into pet food with no warning or disclosure to pet owners, continues to facilitate a means for AAFCO to own the legal definitions and regulations of pet food keeping pet owners in the dark about their pet food purchases.
Click Here to read the June 27, 2019 FDA update.
Click Here to read the case reports.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
Become a member of our pet food consumer Association. Association for Truth in Pet Food is a a stakeholder organization representing the voice of pet food consumers at AAFCO and with FDA. Your membership helps representatives attend meetings and voice consumer concerns with regulatory authorities. Click Here to learn more.
Find Healthy Pet Foods in Your Area Click Here
What’s in Your Pet’s Food?
Is your dog or cat eating risk ingredients? Chinese imports? Petsumer Report tells the ‘rest of the story’ on over 5,000 cat foods, dog foods, and pet treats. 30 Day Satisfaction Guarantee. www.PetsumerReport.com
The 2019 List
Susan’s List of trusted pet foods. Click Here to learn more.