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 Heavy Metal contamination in pet food?

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Huskyluv
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PostSubject: Heavy Metal contamination in pet food?   Wed Jan 26, 2011 5:15 pm

This is rather disturbing but definitely something to consider and read through. This study includes cheap and expensive pet foods so I wouldn't consider myself safe just because you feed a "premium" brand.

Link:
Heavy Metal Pet Food Testing Paper Published

This is just one of the reasons my dogs eat food that is safe for human consumption (THK) and raw.

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Koda
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PostSubject: Re: Heavy Metal contamination in pet food?   Wed Jan 26, 2011 5:59 pm

All I'm going to say is that I am skeptical of the article's intentions. Although I don't deny the likelihood there are toxic things in our pets' foods (because there are just as many in human foods), I don't like the way the article is presented. Too much of it feels like a scare tactic for a political agenda.

Notice that the article mentions that a 50 lb dog must eat 5 cups of dry food a day to get to those levels. Koda is a 60 lb dog and barely gets 2 cups a day of dry food....

EVERYTHING is bad for you if not consumed in moderation. Tuna will give you mercury poisoning if you eat if every day. That's why we are moving more towards a rotation diet to alleviate some of that concern.

I also don't agree with them not publishing the names of the foods they used. Not releasing them during the study, sure, I get that. But there is NO REASON not to publish them after if they are truly concerned about the welfare of the animals. If the study was legitimate and scientific, there is no legal reason that they need to withhold that information. Unless they are worried about defamation of character because the study wasn't conducted properly. Notice too how often it says "finally a scientific study PROVING this...." Sounds more like political propaganda to me.

I don't know.... I appreciate reading it for sure, but I really hesitate to support it or really even believe it. Too much of it is fishy for me.

Anyway, just my $.02

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Huskyluv
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PostSubject: Re: Heavy Metal contamination in pet food?   Wed Jan 26, 2011 8:54 pm

I agree with you to a degree and part of the reason I posted this was to open up discussion on both sides of the aisle. I was hesitant to share it purely because of the website's obvious agenda but at the same time if in fact there are dangerous levels in pet food then we need to know and the more exposure there is on it the better. While I am slightly skeptical I am more concerned than anything.

I know Koda doesn't eat 5 cups of food because he's on a higher quality kibble but if you were feeding a grocery store brand then you could easily be feeding him 4-5 cups. Wink

And you are right, this does open us up to the topic of rotation and how it is important in this aspect as well. But then again, rotating between multiple foods that all might contain heavy metels, etc doesn't really put you in a better position either. There is speculation that the brands will be released with the second article and as things come to light but again that is all speculation. I really do hope we see some follow up on this and hopefully get some named brands. If nothing else, maybe someone else will come along and do another study and reveal more info than this one did to put this issue to rest. I do agree with you though, there really is no reason the brands should not have been revealed but maybe it is because what was published is part 1 of 2 articles to be published.

The thing that makes me not want to discount the info is that it's not "The Truth About Pet Food"s article. TTAPF didn't do the study, they didn't write the article, all they did was spread the word about the article which was published in Spectroscopy Magazine. If you read the article in the magazine, NOT just what is on TTAPF's website it really is quite interested and a good read. I just hope the only reason you're more likely to discount it is because of TTAPF. Would it have made even a slight difference in your opinion if I had posted this link instead?

http://digital.findanalytichem.com/nxtbooks/advanstar/spectroscopy0111_v2/index.php#/48

Not arguing with you just so you know, just fostering some healthy debate. Smile

Interesting little note I made, no one complained that none of the tuna, sardine, or chicken brands were listed. Razz

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Koda
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PostSubject: Re: Heavy Metal contamination in pet food?   Wed Jan 26, 2011 10:17 pm

I did notice that the study came from a more scholarly source and for that reason I don't discount it entirely. I'm on the fence about the issue for a few reasons.

1. Yes, animals have suffered from the lack of complete care companies make in creating food sources, but the number is SO few. I wonder how many animals are dying of toxicity poisoning and how many are actually suffering from lack of care by owners, diabetes from obesity, or other things. There are CLEARLY cases of responsible conscientious owners who have the unfortunate situation where their pets have suffered, but in reality, how many is that? I understand one death is too many, but if so many are doing fine and some even thriving, how bad can it be?

2. A lot of these studies discuss the hazardous effects of certain chemicals to people or animals, but these effects only happen at very high levels. Yes, my dogs could easily be eating 4-5 cups a day on a lower quality food, but then, what is really the issue? The lower quality food or the more dangerous additives? If dogs on a higher quality kibble don't get as much exposure, then are the levels really that dangerous?

3. Why are these chemicals/metals added to begin with? Companies aren't going to add them for fun because adding anything costs money... so what is the reason that these chemicals/metals are in the food and how are they getting there? What is the other side of the story here, because there is always two...

Perhaps I just often operate under the innocent until proven guilty.... or maybe I'm just incredibly naive.... but I'm just that: skeptical. And I'm not discounting the study (because I also admit that I didn't have time to read all of it, these are just my initial reactions) nor am I discounting your opinions.... I just operate with a LOT of skepticism on this issue, that's all Smile

And no worries Smile I welcome the friendly discussion as well!

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Huskyluv
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PostSubject: Re: Heavy Metal contamination in pet food?   Thu Jan 27, 2011 7:05 am

@Koda wrote:
I'm on the fence about the issue for a few reasons.

1. Yes, animals have suffered from the lack of complete care companies make in creating food sources, but the number is SO few. I wonder how many animals are dying of toxicity poisoning and how many are actually suffering from lack of care by owners, diabetes from obesity, or other things. There are CLEARLY cases of responsible conscientious owners who have the unfortunate situation where their pets have suffered, but in reality, how many is that? I understand one death is too many, but if so many are doing fine and some even thriving, how bad can it be?

That's a hard one because the number is really relative and combine that with lack of data on the subject and we don't really know. I can see your point but without adequate data on either side of the issue it's hard to use it as a reason to either credit or discredit either point. But I'm more on the "better safe than sorry" side than the "how bad can it be?" side. That's just me personally, I'd rather take extra precautions and know I'm feeding my dogs better than say that there's not enough evidence and go with the flow...but that's what pet food manufacturers want people to do or they wouldn't sell their food. Smile And no, I'm not implying that you or any other kibble feeder don't care or are not doing the best they can for their dogs within their means, just saying that some people (me included) are more "overly cautious" than others I guess. Just don't want my comments to be misconstrued as putting down or attacking kibble feeders. Quite the contrary, I've got a bag of kibble I'm mixing into my chi girls' food at the moment.

@Koda wrote:
2. A lot of these studies discuss the hazardous effects of certain chemicals to people or animals, but these effects only happen at very high levels. Yes, my dogs could easily be eating 4-5 cups a day on a lower quality food, but then, what is really the issue? The lower quality food or the more dangerous additives? If dogs on a higher quality kibble don't get as much exposure, then are the levels really that dangerous?

One reason I don't discount negative chemicals and additives even in small amounts is that they can build up in the animals system over time. It's like you mentioned before, eating tuna once won't poison you but eating it every day could lead to mercury poisoning. Why? Did the tuna you ate on day 10 contain more mercury than the tuna you ate on day 1 or day 2 or 3? Or did the mercury levels build up in your body over time? Small amounts of contaminants in a kibble fed every day for weeks and/or months can really build up regardless of the quality of the kibble. Think about ethoxyquin, BHA and BHT for example. When present in dog foods they are generally in relatively small amounts compared to the rest of the ingredients yet they can have negative consequences and I know you were all over the ethoxyquin in TOTW not too long ago. So why get rid of ethoxyquin, BHA, or BHT in pet food altogether? Why not just lower the levels so that pets get less of it, and if no dog death is directly related then everything is fine and we don't need to worry about or change a thing? Plus, how many dog deaths were documented as being directly related to ethoxyquin, BHA or BHT really? Yet so many people were and still are up in arms over it.

@Koda wrote:
3. Why are these chemicals/metals added to begin with? Companies aren't going to add them for fun because adding anything costs money... so what is the reason that these chemicals/metals are in the food and how are they getting there?

The companies are not purposely adding the alleged chemicals and trace metals. The article seems to indicate that these things are making it into the food via ingredients and their sources (trace metals are naturally occurring but can be in higher concentrations in certain ingredients based in a number of factors), groundwater, airborne contamination at processing plants, the extra minerals added to the food by the manufacturer, and from the machinery used to process the food as well as food storage containers. Can you argue that each of these may or may not contribute either insignificantly or not at all? Absolutely, in fact it's unlikely that any one of the listed contributors really adds a significant amount of contaminants but when you add them up and take into account ingredient sourcing then you might see some numbers start rising so I could see how it would be very possible to have a build up of unwanted chemicals and trace metals. Trace metals can be a good thing but like they say, too much of a good thing is a bad thing. Look at the average human multivitamins, they are "good" for you when taken as directed but too much can lead to poisoning. I know you could argue that multivitamins are not good for you but that's a whole separate topic. lol

@Koda wrote:
What is the other side of the story here, because there is always two...

That's the million dollar question, isn't it? Smile For sure, I'd like to see more and am interested in reading part 2 of the article. Not only that but I'd like to see more independent studies of the same nature done to offer further evidence on this topic one way or another but with named foods/brands included next time. If nothing else comes of this study, I hope that at least it shines a spotlight on the pet food industry which will hopefully prompt more studies and encourage pet food manufacturers to test and report these levels to the public and hopefully make pet food better and safer across the board. One can hope, right?

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PostSubject: Re: Heavy Metal contamination in pet food?   Thu Jan 27, 2011 9:56 am

@Huskyluv wrote:
That's the million dollar question, isn't it? Smile For sure, I'd like to see more and am interested in reading part 2 of the article. Not only that but I'd like to see more independent studies of the same nature done to offer further evidence on this topic one way or another but with named foods/brands included next time. If nothing else comes of this study, I hope that at least it shines a spotlight on the pet food industry which will hopefully prompt more studies and encourage pet food manufacturers to test and report these levels to the public and hopefully make pet food better and safer across the board. One can hope, right?
That is something that I definitely agree with Smile You bring up some really good points. At the very least I am thinking about it, but I also come from the standpoint of raw feeding not particularly fitting into our lifestyle at the moment. We've had some conversation privately about that transition for us though, so we're getting there. Smile Baby steps Smile (And yes, I know you weren't saying this to comment on my feeding or anything of the sort, but if anything the article has solidified my decision more to start rotating our dogs' kibbles). Very Happy

I'd love to hear others' opinions too Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Heavy Metal contamination in pet food?   Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:42 am

I haven't read the whole article yet (I'm a bit short on time at the moment), but it feels rather biased. I can't get the second link to load for me right now, and a quick look around google didn't find any documentation from the original study. There are a few statements in there that really bother me, but I'm going to wait till I have more time to read more before I make a formal opinion on this article.

@Huskyluv wrote:
If nothing else comes of this study, I hope that at least it shines a spotlight on the pet food industry which will hopefully prompt more studies and encourage pet food manufacturers to test and report these levels to the public and hopefully make pet food better and safer across the board. One can hope, right?

Personally I hope this puts some pressure on AAFCO, as it stands they just seem like a big joke. It bothers me a lot to see their seal of approval on pet foods like Ol'Roy. If it were up to me, AAFCO or some other organization should be acting as a sort of FDA for pet food. Just my $.02
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PostSubject: Re: Heavy Metal contamination in pet food?   Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:01 am

@Koda wrote:
I'd love to hear others' opinions too Smile


Way over my head. It kinda makes me wonder if coffee is good for me today or tomorrow...
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PostSubject: Re: Heavy Metal contamination in pet food?   Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:24 am

@harrise wrote:
@Koda wrote:
I'd love to hear others' opinions too Smile


Way over my head. It kinda makes me wonder if coffee is good for me today or tomorrow...

Ill Have to Agree There I feel Like bangin My Head off the Wall !~ I Feel Liek im Failing my babies !~ Grrrrrrrrrrrrr
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Huskyluv
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PostSubject: Re: Heavy Metal contamination in pet food?   Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:58 am

@Rhet wrote:
I haven't read the whole article yet (I'm a bit short on time at the moment), but it feels rather biased. I can't get the second link to load for me right now, and a quick look around google didn't find any documentation from the original study.

Pay more attention to the second link, that is what the topic is really about. The first link is really just summarizing and sharing the info in the study and what was published in the Spectroscopy Magazine.



Should I remove the first link since it's more of a "messenger" for the published article since it seems to be source of confusion?

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PostSubject: Re: Heavy Metal contamination in pet food?   Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:45 pm

@Huskyluv wrote:
Pay more attention to the second link, that is what the topic is really about. The first link is really just summarizing and sharing the info in the study and what was published in the Spectroscopy Magazine.



Should I remove the first link since it's more of a "messenger" for the published article since it seems to be source of confusion?

I don't think that's necessary, I'm just having problems with the second link, still doesn't want to load for me.... I think it might be chrome, but I couldn't pull it up in IE either... Why don't I have firefox on this computer...
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PostSubject: Re: Heavy Metal contamination in pet food?   Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:10 pm

@Rhet wrote:
I don't think that's necessary, I'm just having problems with the second link, still doesn't want to load for me.... I think it might be chrome, but I couldn't pull it up in IE either... Why don't I have firefox on this computer...

Hmm, it works for me in both IE and Firefox. Is anyone else having problems viewing it?

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PostSubject: Re: Heavy Metal contamination in pet food?   Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:25 pm

I didn't when I clicked on it before Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Heavy Metal contamination in pet food?   Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:53 am

I got it working today, I think something was wrong with flash.

I'm still not really ready to make an opinion about this, I'd like to wait for part 2 of the article. I can't say that I'm surprised by some of the findings, but then again, things like trace amounts of radioactive materials being found... That needs some explanation, not from the scientists, but from the producer(s), those particular substances aren't common, at all.

I have to admit, I wasn't aware of the FDA regulations on pet food, however, they seem rather lax. This article says they don't require pre-market approval/testing, and as long as it's "safe to eat, and contains no harmful substances" they require no rigorous quality control on the products. So, how do they determine that it has no harmful ingredients or that it's safe then? Sounds like they just kinda take the companies word for it... (Ok, this last part might be a little over-critical and maybe a little unfounded...maybe...)

Just some open questions the article left me with, they imply in the article that they believe some of the trace substances are introduced in the manufacturing process of the pet food, and that similar processes are used for certain human foods (they give the example breakfast cereals), also that they believe the substances have a higher chance of occurring when a large variety of ingredients are used. So why not test some human food with those qualities for comparison? It would seem like the logical thing to do, at least to me... Less important, but why would they choose to release the article in two parts? What is the purpose of withholding certain information such as the brands and the estimated toxicity to our pets (pressure from some company, or trying to build extra interest, or...)? Lastly, you can contact the authors at crmsales@spexcsp.com, I honestly don't know what to think of that, could be nothing, could be coincidence, just seems odd and caught my attention....
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PostSubject: Re: Heavy Metal contamination in pet food?   Sat May 07, 2011 6:13 am

Cheap plastic toys are also toxic for dogs because recently they found out that cheap toys contain lead that is potent enough to kill dogs and especially babies. That's why some countries are taking steps to eliminate these toys.
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PostSubject: Re: Heavy Metal contamination in pet food?   Sat May 07, 2011 5:02 pm

@SiberianHuskySibhee wrote:
Cheap plastic toys are also toxic for dogs because recently they found out that cheap toys contain lead that is potent enough to kill dogs and especially babies. That's why some countries are taking steps to eliminate these toys.

Oh it goes WAY beyond food and plastic toys!

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