This is some of the best news I could ever share …
A $5 million class action lawsuit has been filed by Sean Randall of Ventura County, California against Merrick Pet Care Inc, Pet Appeal One LLC and Nestle Purina Petcare.
Mr Randall claims these companies have been labeling dog and cat food and treats as made in the United States when they contain ingredients sourced from foreign countries, including tapioca as well as vitamin, mineral and amino acid packs.
But these companies aren’t alone …
… nearly every commercial canned or bagged pet food (and even some raw pet foods) contains these kinds of vitamins and minerals.
So why is this a problem?
Premixes: The Pet Food Wild Card
Remember the melamine pet food recalls?
In 2007, 150 major brands of pet foods were recalled after several thousand dogs and cats died. The FDA reported these recalls were the consequence of combining melamine and cyanuric acid, which reacted in the pets eating these foods, causing kidney failure.
As many as one in six animals eating these tainted foods died. And thousands more became very ill.
So what does this have to do with this lawsuit?
How Chinese Ingredients Are Hidden In Pet Foods
The companies that make pet foods usually need synthetic vitamins and minerals to make those foods pass AAFCO (The Association of American Feed Control Officials) standards. And they rely on other companies to sell them these vitamins and minerals, which are usually combined into something called a premix.
These premixes are most often manufactured in China … or India, or other countries with a less than stellar track record when it comes to food safety.
This is why enlightened pet owners choose to buy brands that are made in the US.
But here’s how pet food manufacturers can trick us into believing the ingredients our dogs are eating are sourced in the US when they’re probably not …
… if the vitamins and minerals from China are mixed together in another country, and then added to the food, the manufacturer doesn’t have to come clean on the Chinese ingredients because they weren’t added directly to the food. And if the premix was mixed up someplace other than China, the pet food manufacturer can claim there are no dangerous Chinese ingredients in the food …
… even though there are!
Here’s a statement from Evangers about the sourcing of their vitamin and mineral premix when The Truth About Pet Food’s Susan Thixton questioned them on it:
“Some of our foods are complete dinners. They are the ones that have the Vitamins and Minerals. We pay a premium to not have anything come from China. Some of the V & M can only be grown in certain parts of the world such as India, Pakistan and China. There is no way around this.”
There is no way around this …
That’s why in 2007 so many pets died after eating these foods. When the Chinese company making that premix decided to add melamine to boost the protein content, plus cyanuric acid, a perfect storm began …
… and not one of the kibble manufacturers who added that premix to their foods knew about it until dogs and cats started dying.
How Do They Get Away With It?
Marketers are smart and they know how to tell us just what we want to hear.
So while most pet food companies are still buying their premixes from China (or India, or from companies that source their ingredients from China), we’re led to believe this isn’t the case when we see “Made in the United States” on the label.
Because that only means the ingredients were mixed together in the good old USA … it doesn’t mean the country of origin for the ingredients is the USA.
Very often, if you question your pet food manufacturer about the country of origin of their vitamins and minerals, they’ll either be honest like Evangers is …
… or they’ll be evasive.
Red Moon pet foods has this to say about the country of origin of their vitamin and mineral premixes:
“A lot of the components for our vitamin and mineral premixes are US and Canada sourced. To get all the components from North America is impossible. If a pet food company ever tells you that their vitamin mineral premixes come exclusively from North America it would be a lie.”
You can read more responses in this report from The Truth About Pet Food.
Some high end pet food manufacturers do their best to source out the safest premixes possible – but as you can see, it’s nearly impossible for them to determine where the individual ingredients originated from and what quality control measures were put in place.
And in the meantime, any pet eating these foods is at risk.
How Can You Tell If There Are Chinese Ingredients In Your Dog’s Food?
If you want to avoid Chinese ingredients in your dog’s food (and you really should), you’ll be able to spot them on the label.
At this point, we have to assume any vitamins and minerals originate from China or India … because the pet food manufacturers don’t even know where they come from, and we know that most synthetic vitamins and minerals are manufactured overseas.
If you want to avoid Chinese ingredients, then you have no choice but to assume they’re from China.
So if you really want to avoid these dangerous ingredients in your dog’s food, then you only need to look at the label.
If you see anything that looks like a chemical, vitamin or mineral … it very, very likely comes from a premix!
As for the class action suit …
… I don’t know what will come of it, but I do know it will help us educate more pet owners and help them find the Chinese ingredients that are still lurking in the foods we feed our pets.
Since 2007, over 4,500 cats and dogs have reportedly died from eating the foods we feed them … and that number increases every year.
There seems to be one common denominator and the only people doing anything about it are the pet owners who try to buy foods without Chinese ingredients.
But as this lawsuit reveals, labels can be deceiving .. and we can be easily fooled when it comes to knowing whether the ingredients we feed our pets are safe or not.
Would you like to learn more about hidden dangerous ingredients in pet foods? Click here.