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A wide range of anti-microbial substances and herbal extracts are showing up in human and pet foods as flavoring or extractives, some good, many questionable.


September 20, 2022

Nel Liquorman, Health & Nutrition Editor


Nutraceuticals are in most pet foods and now in human foods. They kill microorganisms such as bacteria and mold. Generally, that’s a good thing but additional anti-microbial substances are showing up on labels and include such terms as flavors, flavoring, and extractives.



Rosemary Extract, which I have warned about, can be hidden in chicken, beef, or vegetable broth. Check out the ingredients on canned tuna or salmon, especially the well-known brands that we have used or seen for decades. “Ingredients” may have changed.


Pet foods aren’t the only food items that may contain toxins. A week ago, a package of ground beef at a big box store indicated on the price label that there were 3 countries of origin. I flipped it over and also found a content label that included “FLAVORS FOR PRESERVING”. That could be an anti-microbial and they did not even find it necessary to say which plant.


Many experts, including veterinarians, insist that these additives are safe for people and pets but owners of deceased animals beg to differ.


I would have no trouble believing that all the toxic additives have brought about a lot of need for veterinarian services which had declined with the emergence of the 3-year rabies vaccine in 2009.


Some readers may recall that deadly dog treats from China were killing dogs for 6 years, until I uncovered the USA investigator’s report citing the use of industrial grade glycerin. After I FAXED Senator Sherrod Brown (head of the Committee that was studying trade with China in 2013) dangerous ingredients started disappearing from some products. But lately, those toxins have returned accompanied by nutraceutical substances that have had name changes.


If the experts are correct, when they insist that Rosemary Extract or some other herbals are not toxic, then we might wonder if the Hexane imported from other countries is something other than Pharmaceutical or Food Grade Hexane? Could it be that the Hexane used to extract the oleoresin out of the Herbs is Industrial Grade and not the grade intended for food? Industrial grade would be cheaper.


Remember that some sellers invented lying about the labeling, stating that they used food grade glycerin when they used the cheaper industrial grade in producing things like chicken jerky for dogs. Every product maker in the human and pet food chain needs to know the history and safety of the ingredients before adding them to the food or product. For example such things as kitty litter which is ingested when cats come out of the litter box and lick their feet and coat.


It is time for our Food Safety people to do their jobs. These extracts are from many countries around the world. As additives they could be as deadly as melamine. There could even be an intended purpose of peril. Look how long we had to endure the melamine toxin.


It is criminal to knowingly supply unsafe people food, pet food, kitty litter or any kind of product, yet many producers in the USA have been contributing to this problem for years in the past and the ones who pretended to stop, just paused for a while.


Whether it is a matter of IGNORANCE or GREED, a food chain problem could be even more sinister than the Melamine scandal.


Remember, the deadly glycerin in some jerky treats and the melamine mess were both said to be intentional. Be aware that herbal extracts such as oleoresins, or some types of nutraceuticals may be remedies, but like pharmaceuticals, such substances all have health risks.



Nutraceuticals should not be in the food chain, pet foods, or as we learned, in kitty litter which cats ingest when cleaning their feet.


Chinese plant extracts are sold all over the internet. Anybody can order them. Could your pet food contain Chinese herbal extracts? You bet! Read all the way through any dry pet food label and you will see one or perhaps as many as five extracts. What you will not see is the risks that may be present for your pet.


USA producers extract oleoresins and by the same method using Hexane, and likely it could be imported, but the bottom line remains for any plant extracts – THERE ARE HEALTH RISKS. EST 2002 © Sep. 2022



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