Did you know that the ‘Made in the USA’ claim on a pet food or pet treat requires that food or treat to be made with 100% US ingredients? Apparently many pet food regulatory authorities don’t know this. Why else would so many pet foods be making that Made in the USA statement on their labels when all ingredients are not of US origin?
Easily, the Made in the USA claim on a pet food or pet treat label has the power to influence a potential buyer. Since the 2007 pet food recall that killed thousands of pets due to Chinese imported ingredients and in light of seven years of dying pets linked to Chinese imported jerky treats, pet food consumers in the United States are no longer putting their trust in foods or treats sourced outside the US.
Perhaps that consumer lack of trust of Chinese sourced ingredients are why we are seeing so many pet food and pet treat labels with the words Made in the USA on them, some even including the American flag on their label. Existing regulations, found very easily on the AAFCO website, require that the “Made in the USA” label claim be held to some very strict requirements.
The rule states that: “all or virtually all means” that all significant parts and processing that go into the product must be of US origin. That is, the product should contain no – or negligible – foreign content. So just putting together ingredients inside the US is not enough. Additionally, just getting ingredients from a broker within the US is not enough. If ingredients are imported, then it is very difficult to justify the use of the phrase “Made in the USA.”
If existing regulations were enforced, this should mean a consumer could purchase this product trusting that all ingredients in this pet food or treat are sourced from the United States. But, is this regulation enforced?
Below are just a few example of labels that I found with the Made in the USA statement or a variety thereof…
Blue Buffalo would only tell me they try to source most ingredients from the US, and when they couldn’t find that ingredient in the US they would source outside. They would not disclose what those other countries might be.
Authority is a Petsmart brand. The company spokesperson told me “to my knowledge everything in the dry foods are sourced from the US.” I asked what about the country of origin of all vitamins and minerals? Again was told “to my knowledge the country of origin of all ingredients including vitamins and minerals are sourced from the US.”
BilJac stated all ingredients originate from the US with the exception of one vitamin from Europe.
Castor & Pollus stated most ingredients originate from the US with the exception of some vitamins/minerals from Germany and Japan.
Previous information Dogswell provided for Petsumer Report stated ingredients are sourced “Mainly U.S. and Canada; sometimes sourced from Phillippines, India, Italy, New Zealand, Morocco, Germany, France, Switzerland, Indonesia, Egypt, and/or the Netherlands. Some vitamins and minerals sourced from China.”
It is a little difficult to tell in the Natura picture, but their claim reads a bit different than others. It states “Made by Natura in our Freemont Nebraska plant.” Per the Natura website – tomatoes used in pet foods are sourced from Israel, sunflower oil sourced from Argentina, vitamins sourced from Canada, France, Germany, India, Netherlands, Scotland, and Switzerland.
Previous contact with Nutrish pet food stated ingredients sourced from US with the exception of Lamb from New Zealand & Australia, Olive Oil from Spain, Alfalfa from France, some Flaxseed from Canada, Tomato powder from Israel & Germany, Iron oxide from Germany, B vitamins from China.
Nutro told me they try to source locally, but some ingredients are sourced overseas.
Science Diet states things a little differently; “Made in our USA Facilities with Natural Ingredients from North America & Europe” (at least disclosing some country of origin information).
A Wellness representative wasn’t available for immediate questions, but from previous contact the company stated “95% of all ingredients are US or Canadian ingredients, 4% (lamb) from New Zealand, and less than 2% ingredients are purchased internationally.”
If the label says “Made in the USA” the ingredients inside that bag or can should be held to the regulations behind that statement. When will pet food consumers be protected by regulatory authorities?
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
What’s in Your Pet’s Food?
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