EU warns carcinogen in foods, like kibble, cause cancer

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Mollie Morrissette

Mollie Morrissette, author of Poisoned Pets, is an animal food safety expert and advisor to AAFCO. Help support her work by making a donation today.

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  1. Very informative post. It worries me as this health risk is not only for human food but for our pets as well. It is ideal to resort to homemade dog food instead of those commercially available ones. This way it avoids the risk of potential harmful effects and they would be getting the required nutrients in every serving.

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  2. Your suggestion, that current FDA regulations regarding acrylamide in pet foods should be reconsidered, is urgently appropriate. Chronic, or long-term exposure to even low levels of these types of carcinogens—which happens when even well-meaning and supposedly educated pet guardians feed a single type of food across their pet’s lifetime—can lead to a myriad of extended health problems.

    As you discuss, typical pet food formulations are highly-processed cereal and potato-based “least cost mix” carbohydrate recipes. The need to maintain extraordinarily aggressive profit metrics is the framework for LCM protocols that manufacturers are bound by. I am grateful that you work to educate on the issue that, to overcome bacterial contamination that is inevitable when by-products and especially grains are part of these recipes, pet food and animal feed manufacturers consistently high heat process multiple times, and are permitted to utilize “rework.” These are the ideal conditions to create even higher levels of acrylamide.

    Long-term studies evaluating the possible consequences of feeding these common pet foods to an animal over many years of its life have never been performed. Never. Yet the industry—and its ally AAFCO—maintain that these products are safe and even “healthy.” Despite that logic should tell us otherwise, this scandal continues. FDA joins in, with not only their failure, but their refusal to “administer” and enforce federal regulations that relate to pet foods.

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    • Thanks Peter for your wonderful comment (as usual!). Sometimes, I feel as though no one is listening, because people tend not to comment on my articles. I don’t know why that is, but there it is. Maybe now that the access problem is fixed (thanks again to you), that will change.

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  3. Another alternative is a formulated balanced home cooked human food diet, which is what I do. There is an association of verterinary nutritionists as well.

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    • Thanks June, I did recommend home-cooking as that is what I do.. I do recommend consulting with a board certified veterinary nutritionist as well – to be on the safe side. I have compared a number of recipes from so-called veterinary nutritionists and, oddly, they vary dramatically. I should publish the results of my analysis – some day. Meanwhile, you can read this article that evaluated 200 recipes, of which, 129 were written by veterinarians. Remarkably, only 5 recipes could be interpreted as providing adequate levels of all essential nutrients as established by the National Research Council guidelines: Stockman, J. Fascetti, AJ. Kass, PH. Larsen,JA. Evaluation of recipes of home-prepared maintenance diets for dogs. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 2013;242(11): 1500-1505.

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      • Thank you for your reply, and while I’m not shocked, I am surprised by the results of your analysis. I use a veterinary diet analysis software when calculating, and some manual calculations to ensure higher than the minimum requirements are met as set by AAFCO. Of course, there is controversary as to optimal levels. As a human dietician, I can say that making a healthy well balanced diet for our best friends is more difficult than for us humans! On a side note, I administer no pesticides for fkea, tick, mosquito disease prevention, but only natural non toxic as needed.

        I really enjoy your updates, and appreciate you keeping us aware of what affects our companion animals health!

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