What’s in The Food? It really is anyone’s guess. I have previously written about how pet food labels lie about what’s inside the bag both here and here. (It took 2 posts to list it all). A recent study shows an even more flagrant deception on many pet food labels.
Researchers at Chapman University tested commercial dog and cat diets and published their study in the journal, Food Control. The study involved DNA testing of the pet foods to see what kinds of meat were really in them. Of the 52 foods tested, up to 20 had been mislabeled. That’s a whopping 40%!
In the study, DNA was isolated from the foods and tested for the presence of 8 different meats: beef, chicken, goat, lamb, pork, turkey, horse, and goose (Really? Goose???). The study revealed that 13 dog foods and 7 cat foods had unexpected DNA results given what was listed on the label.
Sixteen of the 20 mislabeled foods contained at least one meat that was not on the label. Interestingly, Pork was the most common unlisted meat. In three other foods, one or two meats were substituted for the labeled meat ingredient. That means there was none of the listed meat and something else instead. SURPRISE!!!
The final mislabeled food contained a meat that could not be identified. Note that the researchers did not test for dog or cat DNA. If they had they may have been able to identify this mystery meat. You just have to watch this video to see why I would say such a thing. According to the former president of AAFCO, it truly is a dog-eat-dog world.
The scientists were inspired to do this study by the scandal regarding horse meat being substituted for beef in Europe last year. Amusingly, they found no horse DNA in any of the foods.
This research is especially important to those who have pets with food allergies. If you can’t trust the pet food label to tell you what kind of meat it contains then there is no hope for keeping your pet safe from a reaction.
Do you have a pet with a food allergy?