Friday, February 18, 2011

Toxic Metals in Pet Food Study - Part 2 Published

Earlier this year, Part I of a study documenting the presence of potentially harmful or toxic elements was published in the journal Spectroscopy¹. Researchers tested 58 unidentified brands of dog and cat food, with prices ranging from budget to premium, and found that many of them indeed contained high levels of heavy metals. The authors suggested possible sources of these toxins in some pet foods may result from added synthetic nutrients: “The essential minerals and other additives may contain significant concentrations of heavy metals.” You can find more information on contaminants coming from added chemically-synthesized vitamins and minerals at

Part II Now Published

Now Spectroscopy has published the second half of the data, Analysis of Toxic Trace Metals in Pet Foods…Part II², along with conclusions by the study’s authors. The researchers remind readers that the purpose of the study was to determine whether commercial pet foods contain potentially toxic elements and if
 the presence of these harmful contaminants differed between “budget” or “premium” pet foods. The authors did not attempt to identify the sources of the heavy metal contaminants, though they did speculate on it, and suggested additional studies would be needed to determine the source of the potential toxins.

Key Study Conclusions

• Results showed that the pet foods contained levels of trace-metal contaminants higher than those considered safe for humans by the Environmental Protection Agency and the World Health Organization, when those levels were adjusted for the average weight of a dog and cat.

• Authors stated that many dog and cat foods may contain ingredients, including added nutrients and essential minerals, which may be the source of the contaminants. They note that the FDA does not conduct rigorous testing on these ingredients, which might identify these as sources.

• The data show no difference in heavy metal contaminants between “budget” and “premium” brands of pet food.

What Does This Mean?

Those of us familiar with different pet foods know that the ingredients between premium and budget brands vary significantly. Premium foods contain high-quality proteins from meat, poultry, and fish. They also avoid cheap fillers like corn, and soy. So why would both low-priced and high-priced foods have the same levels of heavy metal contaminants?

One possible source, as suggested by the authors in both Part I and Part II of the article, is the added man-made nutrients in nearly every commercial pet food, budget or premium. The researchers noted that these added nutrients are manufactured from industrial chemicals, which could possibly contain other trace-metal impurities, suggesting the need for further research.

What Can Pet Owners Do?

The best way to avoid these unwanted ingredients like these heavy metals is to feed your pets foods without added synthetic or man-made ingredients. If a pet food claims to be “natural with added vitamins and minerals,” those vitamins and minerals are NOT natural. This statement is actually a disclaimer, required by The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), to alert pet parents that the product contains synthetic nutrients.

Nature’s Logic is the only full-line, commercial pet food with NO chemically-synthesized nutrients. All of the vitamins and minerals in our dry, canned and raw formulas are derived from food. This is the safest way to supply nutrients to pets. More information about pet food ingredients may be found at


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