About China & Melamine in Pet Food
The FDA has guidelines to protect consumers, but are they really serving any purpose? Are they really keeping us safe?
I don’t trust the FDA and I don’t trust the large commercial dog food manufacturers for the most part. The way those commercial dog food companies over-process and manufacture their food is shameful. Kibble is a particularly troublesome issue. Kibble tends to have more vitamin premix in their formulas. What is our government doing to make dog food products safer? To read about what is in dog food and how it’s made, read the article What’s Really in Dog Food. There are some brands that are better than others, but I feed my dogs raw. The issue is NOT salmonella contamination. My article, Salmonella: What’s the Truth explains the facts about salmonella. I have friends who cook for their dogs, but cooking defeats the whole purpose. I wrote an article called, What I Feed My Own Dogs. Our friends at the FDA has lead us to believe that salmonella is making our dogs ill and killing them. As you read this article, I am confident that you will understand what the truth is about dog food contamination.
If you think your food doesn’t contain ingredients from China, think again. Take a look at the list of information that the FDA requires for pet food labels. If you are looking for the requirement for disclosure of origin of ingredients, you won’t find it any day soon. Just because a product is manufactured in the USA, it doesn’t mean that the ingredients are sourced in the USA.
Here are the FDA product label guidelines for pet food manufacturers. The information that must be included on pet food or pet treat labels is minimal. The list of information that the FDA requires manufactures to disclose on labels of food goods is very short. I personally feel that the purpose of the FDA is to protect us and to be transparent in their efforts and their operations.
1. Ingredients must be listed in order of their predominance in weight
2. Ingredients must be listed by common name. Maize is listed as “corn” so that consumers may better understand the wording
3. The label must indicate what product is (i.e., treats, food…)
4. Quantity of product must be indicated on the label (i.e., 10 bones or 8oz.)
5. The name and address of the manufacturer or distributor must appear on the label
What do you think of that list?
That long extensive list of vitamins and minerals on the label is questionable. Decent dog food products that are made without a long grocery list of vitamins and minerals has retained the nutrients naturally . Sometimes three or four supplements might be necessary, but more than that is unacceptable. You see, after pet food has been processed, it contains as much nutrition as a piece of cardboard. In order for the food to have any nutritional value, a huge array of vitamins and minerals must be added. The tons of vitamins and minerals in most dog food are prepared in batches and referred to as vitamin “premix.” Check out the list on the left. That is an example of what a vitamin premix consists of. India and China are the main producers of premix. Actually, China produces far more premix than India. Therefore, if you think that “made in the USA” means that it is all-American, you are wrong.
In 2007, it was discovered that factories in China added wheat gluten that had been adulterated with melamine and cyanuric acid into dog food and treat products. For years dogs and cats were dying and it wasn’t until Dr. Renate Reimschuessel, V.M.D., PhD. from the Center for Veterinary Medicine at the FDA did research on the melamine issue. Something just didn’t sit right with her when she reviewed previous studies. The testing for melamine requires testing on a cadaver that has NOT been preserved. Manufacturers don’t test every shipment and obtaining a relatively fresh cadaver that has ingested contaminated food is unlikely to be an easy task. The cadaver would have needed to ingest new shipments of food and then killed. By the time the amount of contamination builds up, the shipments would probably already be sent off. She appeared in a video called, “The Melamine Story“ which was made by the FDA. I can’t help thinking that this same problem with China continues to exist. I know that the video is long, but Dr. Reimschuessel explains things as thoroughly as possible. One thing about the video really pissed me off. Dr. Reimschuessel made no mention of the rice protein contamination that FDA discovered in 2008. Hey, we’re not all perfect. I suppose it must have slipped her mind.
The melamine in the dog food was causing stones and crystals in the urinary tract and in the tissues of the kidneys. The reason why the studies didn’t indicate the presence of melamine is because when tests were performed on the kidneys, the formaldehyde that preserved them actually broke up the melamine! This is another idiotic study that the FDA messed up on that taxpayers are burdened with. If the FDA would perform their studies with more care, we would have been informed sooner. Until very recently, China has withheld visas for the FDA to inspect facilities until lately.
Melamine has been linked to kidney failure and the issues continue to this day. Although there haven’t been melamine reports, kidney failure is rampant. How do we know that the same manufacturing practices are being implemented today? I wouldn’t be surprised if melamine was still in the products.
I really have issues with our government. Am I the only one? I stay clear of dog products that are likely to be contaminated by Chinese ingredients. If you are curious about what I explore what I personally feed to my dogs, What I Feed My Own Dogs. An excellent article that I enjoyed about this subject is on the Poisoned Pets website.
Essentiallydogs.com is an educational resource, and all information herein is strictly for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure disease, nor is it meant to replace the (prescribed) veterinary treatment. Always inform your veterinarian or healthcare provider of any products that your pet is taking, including herbal remedies and supplements. Please do plenty of research so that you may equip yourself with the knowledge necessary to be an effective advocate for your dog’s well-being.