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Your dog is at risk from contaminated pet foods due to the compromised disposal chain for recalled products and the practice of offshore recycling.


June 3, 2009 |

Nel Liquorman, Health Editor


Dog Food makers may have shot themselves in the foot with bad disposal decisions and not respecting consumers’ rights regarding what’s in the pet food chain.


Most pet food factories are owned by large corporations such as the Mars Company, Nestles, or Proctor and Gamble. Operating around the globe with $billions in sales yearly, pet foods are easy targets for offshore counterfeiters.


If disposal of recalled products was not properly handled, those contaminated goods may now be in the hands of dishonest repackaging or counterfeit resellers.  To be on the safe side, check to see if you are feeding any potentially counterfeit dog food brands on this list because we have learned that a wide range of trustworthy brands may be counterfeit and the maker has little way of knowing which bag or can is actually counterfeit.  Upon release of this information to subscribers (and thus, the entire internet) trustworthy pet food manufacturers will take additional steps to recall or prevent their brand name from being further corrupted.


Pet food companies are understandably reluctant to acknowledge counterfeiting problems or repercussions from disposal of recalled products. These well kept secrets would only frighten consumers but when we can find no information to substantiate that recalled pet foods were destroyed, we must ask what did the companies or recyclers actually do with all the recalled pet food and where did it end up?


When the landmark article Counterfeit Dog Food = Dead Dogs{1} was published, Mars did not respond to our query about a Taiwan website for Natural Pet Corporation even though Optima (Mars’ brand) showed up as a suspected bogus product along with Diamond, Super Saver, Holistic Recipe Solution, Devine, and Feed Rite.


Shortly after we contacted Mars, the Natural Pet Corporation site became inoperable, except for their “Domain For Sale” page and ad links. Does that mean Mars investigated (the FBI has no off-shore jurisdiction) or only that the counterfeiter removed its public presence?


Why is counterfeiting of pet food not being reported by mainstream media? (They don't want to alienate advertisers!) Why are consumers being left to their own defenses when it comes to contaminated or poisonous pet food? (Same reason - $$$) Such products are especially likely to show up on free-floating (no location, no country) websites selling discounted pet food.


Consumer reported that the FDA was investigating one of Mars products and the FDA confirmed a probe of Nutro Dog Food{2}. FDA did not tell us what, if anything, that probe uncovered but on April 28, 2009, only 9 days after confirming the Nutro investigation, the FDA issued another statement, this time essentially denying that Nutro was the subject of an investigation!{3}


With our government currently bailing out so many companies, the series of events involving the Mars Company leaves consumers with a lot of questions regarding the FDA and big corporations. Pet owners need to know if there could be a problem before they buy a new brand or a new supply of a normally safe brand. And we especially want to know that the agencies meant to protect consumers are actually on our side.


If the pet food companies do not take a stand, will all major brands fall victim to the counterfeiters? While sick dogs and cats are the major concern, what about the economic ramifications? If this reporter is still finding bogus sites, pet food companies whose brands and credibility are being compromised, shouldn't our safety officials, USDA, FDA, etc. be able to find them?  What about counterfeit pharmaceuticals? 


We understand the limitations of international law and trade agreements but counterfeit or genuine, there are no excuses for pet food products that sicken or kill our pets! Thankfully, believes animal owners owners need to know that counterfeit or even top brand name foods which are manufactured offshore are not subject to U.S. regulations or legal action.  Please, no matter when you read this, make your friends aware of this problem and beware when you consider changing from a pet food brand or local source that has NOT sickened your animals.


Counterfeit, re-labeled, or recycled cat and dog food products may be a newly discovered gold mine for some companies but they are an international health risk that could kill thousands of American pets and untold numbers elsewhere.



{1} Counterfeit Dog Food = Dead Dogs

{2} FDA confirmed a probe of Nutro Dog Food (now denies)

{3} Nutro was the subject of an investigation (same denial)

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