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Mars Petcare, maker of Pedigree pet food, accused of negligence

Since the news broke about hazardous conditions in a Mars Petcare pet food plants, understandably, pet parents have begun to worry about the safety of pet food made there.

And some have begun to wonder about the quality and standard of all Mars brand pet foods, regardless of where they were made; a fear that the very same conditions that existed at one facility could be occurring at all the other 13 Mars pet food plants across the U.S.

The concern was prompted by a damning Center for Disease Control health hazard evaluation report of employee health risk from exposure to environmental hazards at a Mars Petcare plant.

The report listed hazards including aflatoxin contaminated raw materials, diacetyl, a hazardous chemicals used in flavor additives, and phosphine, a highly toxic chemical pesticide used in raw materials: Dangerous materials capable of causing severe damage to the respiratory tract and to internal organs of employees.

Since that time, details have emerged about a lawsuit involving eight former employees of the Joplin plant who are accusing Mars Petcare of negligence and carelessness because of dangerous conditions at the plant. The lawsuit alleges that the company exposed them to phosphine gas, a highly toxic chemical used in the fumigation of raw materials for the pet food of pests such as rodents, and insects.

According to the lawsuit, the exposure occurred when the fumigant (aluminum phosphide) remained in railroad cars that entered the plant, causing the eight workers to suffer injuries to their eyes, lungs, respiratory system, and internal organs. Court documents indicate Mars did not follow company protocol that required them to determine if the levels of gas were safe.

Naturally, consumers have begun to fear the same chemicals Mars employees were exposed to could also be in the pet food that was made there. Despite an accusation by a plaintiff in the lawsuit that pet food from that plant did contain phosphine, Mars insists that their products are tested for phosphine and they have no reports that any of their pet food products have been found to contain phosphine.

Some consumers aren’t taking any chances with their fur-baby’s food and have decided to boycott all Mars brand pet foods until more information is known.

For pet parents who are unwilling to risk their pet’s health with pet food made by Mars and wish to avoid purchasing their pet food products, discovering a complete list of foods made by them has proved difficult. Not every brand they make is listed on Mars‘ own website. In addition, Mars also is a third-party manufacturer for an undisclosed number of private label brands.

The following is a partial list of Mars brand pet foods:

  • CATSAN®,
  • CESAR®
  • CHAPPI®,
  • CRAVE®
  • FROLIC®,
  • NUTRO®
  • OL’ ROY®
  • SHEBA®

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Mollie Morrissette

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

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