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Pets Canít Lie, but Pet Food Manufacturers Legally Can

Saturday, September 20, 2008 by: Susan Thixton
Tags: pet food, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) You come home from work and notice your dog or cat peeping at you from around the corner, you immediately know something's up. Regardless whether you discover a 'present' left on the living room rug or a broken vase from the cabinet they aren't supposed to be up on, pets can't lie -- they tell us the truth every single time. Pet food manufacturers on the other hand can lie and keep a straight face about it -- every single time.

Changing the name to protect the pet food company identity, here is part of the new advertising for a pet food:

"Healthy Living... Yes, living healthy can be delicious".

And from the website of the same food company (changing some of the wording):

"Healthy Living Pet Food provides an abundance of tasty, wholesome ingredients giving your pet the perfect balance of nutrition and taste. Your pet will relish the new flavors. The same quality nutrition you enjoy can do the same thing for your pet."

Now, here is the actual ingredient list from the pet food that advertises healthy, abundance of wholesome ingredients, and implies it's the 'same quality' as your food.

Ingredients:

* Chicken by-product meal

* corn gluten meal

* ground yellow corn

* soybean meal

* ground wheat

* animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E)

* salmon meal

* salmon

* chicken

* powdered cellulose

* brewers rice

* animal liver flavor

* soybean hulls

* malt extract

* phosphoric acid

* calcium carbonate

* salt

* choline chloride

* dried spinach

* parsley flakes

* dried cranberries

* dried carrots

* dried cheese powder

* potassium chloride

* taurine

* added color (Red 40, Yellow 6, Yellow 5, Blue 2)

* Vitamin E supplement

* zinc sulfate

* ferrous sulfate

* manganese sulfate

* niacin

* Vitamin A supplement

* calcium pantothenate

* thiamine mono nitrate

* copper sulfate

* riboflavin supplement

* Vitamin B-12 supplement

* pyridoxine hydrochloride

* folic acid

* Vitamin D-3 supplement

* calcium iodate

* biotin

* menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity)

* sodium selenite.

Every ingredient that is considered risky by many pet food experts is listed in bold. For those that are not aware, 'By-Products' and any variation such as 'chicken by-product meal' in this pet food are left-over ingredients from the processing of human foods. Bits and pieces of meat producing animals that are not considered safe or desirable as 'people food'. These bits and pieces can also come from drugged or diseased animals rejected for use in human food. 'Animal Fat' is the pet food ingredient the FDA determined to be most likely to contain a euthanized animal; and the drug used to euthanize them. 'Added color' is added to some pet foods to make it 'look' more appealing to the pet owner; color provides no nutritional value to the pet. 'Menadione sodium bisulfite complex' is a very controversial synthetic vitamin K.

Does this pet food seem "healthy", have an "abundance of wholesome ingredients", or look like it's the "same quality nutrition you enjoy"? Me either.

Even though few pet owners would agree that the advertising tactics of this pet food company and many others are fair and honest, the rules of pet food manufacturing allow this. "Unqualified claims, either directly or indirectly" are legally acceptable with existing regulations.

So let me ask you a question, if you were driving on the German Autobahn -- the recommended driving speed is 81 miles per hour -- but there is no speed limit, would you drive 81 miles per hour? Even if other cars are zooming past you? Very few would (very few do).

Now that I've got you thinking, why should a pet food manufacturer tell you their pet food contains 'an abundance of left over bits and pieces rejected for use in human food' when they don't have to? Don't misinterpret my point, I still think it's wrong. However, until pet food regulations change, and insist that every pet food producer provide accurate and honest information on their labels and in their advertising, why should they drive the recommended speed when they can drive the Autobahn?

There are over 70 million U.S. homes with pets. If each one of those pet owners sent a message to their Congressman, their Senator, and even to Barack Obama and John McCain and said they are tired of the way things are, and want changes to the regulations of all consumer products -- including pet food, things would change. Seventy million emails and/or letters would have a very loud voice. Write some emails, send some letters.

About the author

Susan Thixton has an international pet people following providing dog and cat lovers a trusted source for pet food and pet food ingredient information. She's been called courageous, perseverant, even "the Caped Crusader for Pets" for her 16 year study of pet food. Susan Thixton is the author of hundreds of pet industry articles and the 2006 released book Truth About Pet Food (currently being updated for a second edition). She developed and publishes the pet product consumer magazine Petsumer Report and is a frequent speaker and radio guest all over the U.S. and Canada with more than 70 appearances in the last 2 years.
If you are looking for straight forward pet food information that can have an almost immediate impact on your pet's health - subscribe to the free newsletter, and subscribe to Petsumer Report to see reviews of close to 700 dog and cat foods and treats (adding 40+ each month). Susan Thixton's 'truth' will help you find a safer, healthier dog or cat food that could add years to your pet's life. http://www.TruthAboutPetFood.com

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