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Pet food

"Premium" pet food made in the same factories as cheap brands

Thursday, July 26, 2007 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: pet food, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) A nationwide recall of pet foods earlier this year by processor Menu Foods has made consumers aware that many premium and brand-name pet foods are processed at the same plants and made with the same ingredients as low-end brands.

Menu Foods has recalled 60 million wet dog- and cat-food products sold under 91 brands after evidence arose linking a new ingredient in those products with kidney failure in the animals that consumed them. At least 16 animals died due to the contaminated food.

"We anticipate those numbers will increase as the investigation continues," said Stephen F. Sundlof, director of the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine.

The recall is completely voluntary, although most major stores are participating; it affects about one percent of the pet food sold in the United States. Dry foods were not involved in the recall and have not been linked to the animal poisoning.

Among the brands recalled are Iams and Eukanuba (manufactured by Procter& Gamble), Science Diet (Colgate-Palmolive) and Mighty Dog (Purina), along with low-end brands produced for Wal-Mart and Food Lion. According to Burt Flickinger of the consulting firm Strategic Resource Group, this is because "premium" pet foods are really just regular pet foods repackaged and sold for higher profit.

"This whole scandal can dismantle the pricing architecture for branded products when consumers see that branded is essentially the same stuff with a higher price point," Flickinger said.

Procter & Gamble has claimed that "only a small" portion of its products are affected by the recall. Nonetheless, the company has recalled more products (68) than any other single marketer.

"In many cases you know with private labels that those products are coming off the same belts as the branded products," said Laura Ries, president of the marketing consultancy firm Ries & Ries. "In some cases, there is very little difference."

A new report by NewsTarget lists and rates the qualities of over 500 pet food ingredients. The report is available for free at http://www.newstarget.com/Report_pet_food_in... and rates pet food ingredients from one to five stars based on their source, quality and nutritional implications.

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