sneaky kitty hiding in snow

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.

Comments (4) Write a comment

  1. My daughter’s cat got very ill with diarrhea and vomiting and heavy panting after ingesting Whiskas tuna treats. Her friend’s cat had the same problem after eating these treats! Some cats have even died! What is it going to take to get these taken off the market!


  2. We also suffered the loss of not one but two kitties, within 5 weeks of each other, and the only common denominator was the Whiskas cat treats. Repeated calls and emails to Mars Pet Products have yielded no results except for a “case number”. We were instructed by our vet to file a complaint with the FDA, and they have been surprisingly supportive. I am on hold with Mars Pet Food Products division as I type; my next call is back to the FDA.

    I am boycotting the entire company and asking my friends and family to do the same. Mars, you greedy corporate bastards! How would you like it if it happened to YOU and no one care, no one responded?


  3. I found something so horrifying in my dog’s pedigree bag and I have made multiple attempts to contact mars pedigree and no one has called me nor emailed me


  4. Letter from the Great White North (That’s Canada folks)

    It looks like your problems are our problems. One of my cats died about two weeks ago with various symptoms, and about four days later another cat entered my life. Within two weeks the new cat displayed the same symptoms as the old cat had displayed and the only common element was Temptations treats by MARS.

    What our governments allow these companies to get away with is shameful and the media treats this action as old news. These animals (two dogs and two cats) are my life and mean more to me than my own life. Had I known about these products I would never have given them to my furballs.

    I am a retired military grumpy old fart who lives alone, with a big heart and small brain, and these animals give me a reason to keep going.

    A scary footnote to this is our government is going to allow our locally produced meat products to be processed by China, You had better check to see what your idiots in Washington are doing or are planning to do on this one, It scares the sh*t out of me.

    Keep on petting folk.



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