Pet Food Recalls, Canine Nutrition, Ingredients Analysis
Spilling The Beans On Soy
Soybeans are a cheap way to raise protein levels in dog foods but soy wreaks havoc with pet health. Here’s how.
August 2010 | TheDogPress.com
Nel Liquorman, Investigative Reporter
Pet food makers substitute soy products for meat proteins because they are cheaper. But dogs and cats are carnivores. Meat eaters, not bean eaters. Our pets should not be eating soybean protein powder, soy protein isolate, or soybean meal. Nor should they have the soybean oil and soybean sauce that is now showing up in dog food. Soy is also disguised as vegetable broth, textures vegetable protein, or TVP.
The soybean industry fell short on promises that it would bring about good health for mankind and thus, America’s love affair with soy is fading. Faced with rejection and falling profits, soybean growers found another market in the cat and dog food industry.
“Soy” may sound familiar – in products intended for human consumption. But we are omnivores; dogs and especially cats, are meat eaters. They don’t need soybeans in any form, yet it can be added to already existing products that were once soy free. Remember, pet food manufacturers can change recipes and simply list a new ingredient on the back of the can or bag where it goes unnoticed by most pet owners.
Soybeans were promoted by our own government but most studies were more about marketing position than about good health. In 2004 there were nearly 700,000 soybean producers in this country. The huge soybean industry has the blessing of our government, but soybeans and their derivatives now permeate pet foods and harm our dogs and cats.
Soybean crops helped to replace tobacco crops in the USA. Although profits could not compare with past profits from tobacco crops, USDA programs provided research to improve the production of soybeans and increase their markets.
The hulls make great bedding in turkey barns because the dried plant material will not absorb anything and the “stuff” just sifts through. But we have to wonder why soybean hulls would ever be used in pet food? Surely the hulls serve only to bulk up the cat or dog food as a tasteless colon irritant with no food value.
The Chinese knew centuries ago that soybeans were only edible when fermented due to the toxic chemicals that can’t just be cooked away. The beans cause red blood cells to stick together, hindering the body’s ability to use oxygen. Soy proteins are hard to digest and block mineral absorption.
By now most women know phytoestrogens in soy mimic the female hormone estrogen. Okay if given by your doctor but not to your dog or cat, especially the males! Known as flavones, phytoestrogens can be the most risky component of the soybean.
Remember, these findings are in the human population. Bad in the human food supply translates into a much worse outcome when added to pet foods! For example, soybeans have the highest pesticide concentrations of any food crop!
Unfortunately, almost anything grown in nature can be added to animal feeds because plant life is considered GRAS, generally regarded as safe. With the exception of marijuana, which has been declared illegal for use, there seem to be few limits to the plant life that finds its way into animal feeds and pet foods.
Every cell in the body depends upon the thyroid gland’s production of hormones to regulate reproduction, growth, and the use of oxygen and calories. Think about this. Soybeans have been in our food supply for years even though experts have long been aware that phytoestrogens in soy interferes with and lowers thyroid function.
Decreasing the human population growth may be an admirable goal for the WHO (World Health Organization) and other global groups but you just might not want your family or your breeding stock to be a part of that project.
In the short term however, you should also know that seizures can be caused by the ingestion of soybean products, which can affect cats and dogs quickly. Read SOYBEAN BROTH IN TUNA GAVE MY CAT SEIZURES to learn the risks for your dog or cat.
The FDA Amendments Act of 2007 required establishment of pet food regulations and ingredient standards/definitions, processing standards, and nutrition and ingredient information in standards for labeling. The government grinds slowly and in the meantime the FDA committee is not rushing to take soy products and other plant waste materials out of pet food.
Such ingredients help cut the cost of production, bulk up pet foods and stimulate the medical and veterinary industry but that surely isn’t your objective! Read cat and dog food labels and take action by emailing the FDA, USDA, and pet food manufacturers to let them know you know and have voted with your bucks.
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