If you are anywhere close to my generation, you are very familiar with the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. For many years I like so many consumers associated the GH ‘Seal’ with quality. When a savvy shopper brought the newly GH approved pet products to my attention, years of respect for this long standing magazine went flying out the window.
Though I’ve never closely read the fine print about the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, this latest pet product approval sent me directly to the fine print on the GH website. The ‘Seal’, like so many other ‘awards’ is linked to advertising in the magazine. In fact, no ‘Seal’ is awarded without advertising dollars; advertising revenue is required for consideration. GH tries to minimize the connection of the ‘Seal’ being bought by stating “it was developed as a service for consumers and only products that pass our strict evaluations can earn our Seal.”
According to GH, that ‘strict evaluation’ involves the following: “the scientists and engineers at the Good Housekeeping Research Institute (GHRI) review the product to make sure that it delivers on all claims that appear in its advertising, packaging and other informational materials. If the product does not perform as promised or does not meet established standards for quality, it cannot earn the Seal.”
With the choice of Iams/Eukanuba pet foods and Frontline flea and tick treatment for this year’s GH Seal, it makes me wonder what those “scientists and engineers at the Good Housekeeping Research Institute” were looking at when selecting these products.
Almost all of Iams and Eukanuba Pet Foods contain the pet food ingredient ‘Chicken by-product meal’ and many contain the ingredient ‘Animal Fat’. The official definition of ‘chicken by-product meal’ is “ground, rendered, clean parts of the carcass of slaughtered poultry, such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs, and intestines.” In other words, chicken by-product meal consists of any part of a chicken not used for human food; the left-overs, the garbage. The pet food ingredient ‘animal fat’ is one of several common pet food ingredients FDA testing proved to be likely to contain pentobarbital (lethal drug used to euthanize animals) thus ‘animal fat’ would be likely to contain the remains of a euthanized animal.
Wow…I wonder what the scientists and engineers at Good Housekeeping Research Institute think about those ingredients? Did they even look at the pet food ingredients? Or did they just cash Iams/Eukanuba’s check and stamp their seal of approval?
And let’s not forget Frontline. Mere weeks ago the EPA released its findings of the huge increase of pet death and serious illness from spot-on flea and tick treatments including Frontline. Do the Good Housekeeping Research Institute scientists and engineers live under a rock?
It is sad to say that the GH Seal of Approval will influence pet owners. It is even sadder to realize that the majority of big industry looks at our pets – our family – as nothing more than a dollar sign. They plot and plan various ways to make more money out of our pets with no regard to the damage that can be done.
Shame on you Good Housekeeping. By endorsing and recommending inferior products and or risky products, you’ve clearly told pet owners what motivates you. Should your scientists and engineers want to really learn about pet food and flea and tick treatments, I suggest you have a ‘sit down’ with a pet owner whose pet was killed by the products you just sold your approval to.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
What’s in Your Pet’s Food?
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