Ever tried to contact the company that makes your pet’s food? Did they answer the question you had completely and honestly? Susan Thixon, the force behind TruthAboutPetFood.com, set out to test how pet food companies respond to consumer inquiries. She contacted more than 50 companies with one simple question and reported the results in a recent blog post.
Susan admits that the question she asked, “What is the country of origin of ingredients in your pet foods? All ingredients,” was a bit of a trick question. Truth About Pet Food wanted to know if the companies would include the country of origin of the added vitamin and mineral supplements in their foods. “Many pet food vitamins and minerals are sourced from Europe and Asia (including China),” writes Susan. “We have to assume that ‘China’ is the word many pet food companies want to avoid telling consumers.”
Of the over 50 companies contacted, 23 completely ignored the request. Of those that did respond, only eight included the country of origin of their added vitamins and
minerals in their initial response. The rest required an additional follow up email asking again. Some finally answered but others still did not. For all the details, you can read the entire blog and the additional experiences of customers in the comments section.¹
What About Nature’s Logic?
Susan explains, “Nature's Logic was not contacted because their foods do not include vitamin/mineral supplements.” She knows her pet food! Since we didn’t get the call, here is how we would have answered that question, “What is the country of origin of ingredients in your pet foods? All ingredients:”
• USA: Chicken meal and chicken; beef and beef meal; duck meal; spray-dried beef; chicken liver; spray-dried rabbit; all fruits, vegetables and herbs; millet; menhaden fish meal; salmon meal; white fish meal; probiotics; enzymes; monmorillonite clay; brewer's yeast; and pumpkin seed.
• New Zealand & Australia: Venison meal, lamb meal, and rabbit.
• Norway: Fish oils.
• Italy & France: Rabbit meal.
Nature’s Logic requires certificates of analysis on all of our ingredients. These documents verify the country of origin, as well as other analytic measurements to ensure quality.
How Are These Man-made Vitamins and Minerals Added?
Here’s a little background on this part of the pet food manufacturing process. Pet food companies typically don’t add synthetic vitamins and minerals, one at a time, to batches of their food. Instead, manufacturers use canine or feline premixes, which contain as many as 20 or more blended synthetic vitamins and minerals. In both the Royal Canin recall of 2006 and the Blue Buffalo recall of 2010, the food companies blamed the problem on the premix manufacturers that sold them the chemically-synthesized vitamins and minerals they then added to their pet foods.
Pet food makers purchase these blends from many different suppliers, including companies like NutraBlend or Hoffman-La Roche Ltd. These companies making the premixes buy individual vitamins and minerals in bulk from other sources and blend them together in the proper proportions to meet the pet food company's required levels.
Why Are So Many Companies Not Talking?
Aside from poor customer service, pointed out by Susan in her blog, there are a couple of other reasons so many pet food companies may have avoided answering her question:
1) They probably have no idea where all the individual, synthetic vitamins and minerals come from. Another company buys them and blends into canine and feline premixes for them.
2) If they do know, the source may very well be China. As Susan also pointed out in her blog, they do not want to disclose this to their customers. Pet food companies know ingredients from China create a negative impression with pet owners.
China has virtually cornered the market on most all vitamins² and synthetic amino acids such as taurine³. The Seattle Times reports that many of the world's vitamins are now made there in one of two million food additive companies exporting over $2.5 billion worth of goods annually. As you might guess, cases of adulterated or mislabeled products have occurred. Since it is nearly impossible to get all the synthetic vitamins and minerals that are routinely added to pet food without using Chinese sources, this may be why many pet food companies try to avoid answering this question.
Nature’s Logic Gets All Nutrients from Food
The only way to avoid ingredients from unknown countries is to feed your pets foods without added synthetic vitamins and minerals. Nature’s Logic is the only full-line, commercial pet food with no chemically-synthesized nutrients. All of the vitamins, minerals, and amino acids in our dry, canned and raw formulas are derived from food. This is the safest way to supply nutrients to your pets. More information about our 100% natural foods may be found at http://www.natureslogic.com/.