Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Aflatoxin is back...

Remember the Diamond Pet Food recalls of 2005? Remember hearing about all those dogs (and cats) that were poisoned by their dog food? Well(shockingly) history repeats itself - last week Kroger announced a recall on many of their dog food varieties due to aflatoxin contamination. This is astonishing to me - I'm truly disgusted by Kroger and it's manufacturer. Five short years after all of that tragedy and sadness dog food manufacturers and pet owners have not learned anything from that experience.

First - I can't believe that people still think it's a good idea to feed their dogs and cats corn. CORN...seriously. How well do YOU digest corn? Your dog doesn't do any better with it either - it's garbage filler - added to pet food because it's cheap and readily available. Some dog foods are 50% corn - if your dog had a choice between an ear of corn and a hamburger - which one do you think he'd choose?

Second - it's more and more apparent that pet food manufacturers are looking for the cheapest source not the quality of the source. There is no reason for any manufacturer to accept a shipment of any product without testing the safety of the product before it's even unloaded from the truck/train/etc. Aflatoxin is a fungus - why wasn't Kroger (or "Pride") screening incoming shipments of corn for the presence of fungus? Why didn't the farmer and wholesaler test for fungus? Where was quality control? Where are the checks and balances? I'm willing to bet that the answer to those questions was cost. It's expensive to admit that your produce has been contaminated, it's expensive to take a loss on an entire contaminated crop, it's expensive for Kroger to buy quality ingredients, it's expensive to test for quality of those ingredients, it's expensive to test every single batch of dog food rolling off the line, it's expensive to hold inventory until the results of those tests come back from the lab and it's really hard to produce cheap dog and cat food if you have to spend money on sourcing and testing.

Third - I can't fathom how people can STILL think that that bag of ol'roy ($15.99 for a 40lb bag) is adequate nutrition for their dogs - you get what you pay for - and in this case that bag of Pride Pet Food bought your four-legged friend a one-way trip to the emergency vet. There are so many good options out there that don't cost an arm and a leg - but also don't contain mass amounts of corn and fillers - the pet community needs to send a message to pet food manufacturers (even the good ones) that we're paying attention (which means we have to pay attention) to their manufacturing process and sourcing processes and we need to be looking at labels and voting with our dollars.

The link to Kroger

The Wiki article on Aflatoxin


Lindsay said...

Agreed! What gets me are people who have to switch foods for their pets because the "formula" was recalled. Only to turn around and go right back to that variety once it's "clean" or to switch to a different type within that same brand. Food me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me!

Anonymous said...

Finally, someone whith something intelligent to say Other than the five million other bloggers who simply copied Kroger's press report and left it at that.

Thank you!


Certified Cat Nut & Pet Food Advocate