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Warning: Pet Food Contaminated With High Levels of Fluoride

Friday, January 01, 2010 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: fluoride, pet food, health news

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(NaturalNews) A study conducted by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found high levels of fluoride contamination in eight major national brands of dog food, raising concerns that pets may be at risk of bone cancers and other consequences of fluoride exposure.

Fluoride is a naturally occurring element that may help prevent tooth decay when applied to the exterior of teeth. When ingested, whether via drinking water or food, fluoride builds up in teeth and bones and can lead to health conditions including tooth mottling (dental fluorosis), neurotoxicity, hormonal disruption, and damage to the reproductive and developmental systems. A number of studies have shown that boys who drink fluoridated tap water between the ages of six and eight are significantly more likely to develop a rare and fatal bone cancer known as osteosarcoma.

The rate of osteosarcoma in dogs is almost 10 times that in humans. It is unknown whether this is caused by a greater vulnerability or increased fluoride exposure.

Researchers tested 10 brands of dog food marketed for both adults and puppies, finding that eight of them -- all major national brands -- contained fluoride levels between 1.6 and 2.5 times as high as the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) maximum allowed level in drinking water. A dog also consuming fluoridated water would be exposed to levels 3.5 times the EPA's limit, the researchers concluded.

The primary source of the fluoride contamination seemed to be bone meal and other animal byproducts (including chicken or beef meal and chicken or poultry by-product meal) used as filler. The one vegetarian brand tested had no fluoride contamination, and neither did the brand produced by a small manufacturer.

Fluoridated tap water probably also contributed a small but significant amount of fluoride to the dog food, the researchers said.

EWG recommends that consumers seeking to protect their dogs from fluoride purchase only dog foods that do not contain bone meal or other animal byproducts.

Sources for this story include: www.ewg.org.

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