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Friday, 22 January 2016

Artificial, Natural, Organic Flavor in Dog, Cat Food – What’s the Difference?




 Artificial, natural, organic flavor in dog, cat food – what’s the difference?

Artificial, natural, organic flavor in dog, cat food is classified as a food additive, and all three fall under the FDA’s GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) regulations.  You would think that ‘generally recognized as safe’ mandated by the FDA equates to safe-to-consume right?

WRONG.

Artificial and natural flavor is a source of allergens, toxins and carcinogens - sadly organic flavor can be little better. Does that beg the question, so why are these unsafe (supposed-to-be ‘generally recognized as safe’) substances added to your dogs, and cat’s products? For an answer to that question, read on here.

If you are purchasing prepared food, treats, drugs, or supplements for your dog and cat it’s time to start checking labels.  

Artificial vs. Natural Flavor
The difference between artificial and natural flavor is minimal.  In this article I will be referencing the FDA – note, Health Canada’s definitions and regulations for the use of flavor are very similar to the FDA’s definition and regulations on flavor.

The FDA’s definition of artificial flavor or artificial flavoring is defined as any substance, the function of which is to impart flavor, which is not derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof ”.

The FDA’s definition of natural flavor or natural flavoring is defined as “the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional”

What does this really mean?

A single food flavor can include hundreds of chemical ingredients. The flavor industry uses thousands of flavor chemicals. Approximately 25% of these chemicals are FDA approved and regulated. The other 75% of chemicals used are not directly regulated by the FDA. The FDA allows the flavor industry – specifically the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association (FEMA), to self-regulate.

Under the FDA’s ‘generally recognized as safe’ (GRAS) regulations, FEMA can add substances (ingredients) without the FDA’s approval. Doing so is not a chargeable offence – it is 100% legal and fully sanctioned by the FDA. If you would like to understand more about GRAS, Food Safety News offers a simple-to-understand article on the subject.

Both the FDA and FEMA’s sanctioned flavor additives include suspected and known allergens, dementia triggers, toxins and carcinogens, i.e. propylene glycol, MSG, nitrates, and nitrites. No surprise though as the FDA has approved many health-deteriorating food additives including preservatives discussed here, and food coloring here.  As for FEMA, their priority is profit. FEMA’s members come from the food flavoring industry. FEMA is controlled by the food flavoring industry.  FEMA IS the food flavoring industry.  Another FDA failure to protect ours, and our companion animals’ health.

The Making of Artificial and Natural Flavor
Artificial flavor is made using 100% synthesized chemicals.

Natural flavor requires extracting a substance from a plant or animal - the extracted substance is then processed by various methods, for example chemical processing, high-heat processing, etc. Natural flavoring typically contains significantly more complex chemical compounds than artificial flavoring. These complex chemical compounds include emulsifiers, preservatives, and solvents known to trigger and exacerbate health issues.

The chemical compounds in flavor fall under the classification ‘incidental additives’. The FDA does not require manufacturers to list, or disclose incidental additives.  Another absolute failure by the FDA to protect health. You will not see flavor ingredients listed on a product’s label. The chemical compounds are a hidden ingredient.

The next time you see ‘liver flavor’, ‘natural liver flavor, smoke flavor, or natural smoke flavor etc., forget images of a single, wholesome flavor ingredient – the product you are looking at contains multiple health deteriorating chemicals.

Incidental Additives in Artificial and Natural Flavor
Incidental additives used in artificial and natural flavor include derivatives of Monsanto’s GMO corn and soy, GMO canola, GMO sugar cane. On March 20, 2015 the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) released its findings on Monsanto’s herbicide glyphosate (herbicide used on GMO crops), concluding that there is “sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity” based on laboratory studies. You can read the World Health Organization (WHO) report on IARC’s findings be going here. The Wall Street Journal’s comments on the IARC’s press release here..  

Another interesting fact – the FDA’s Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinarian Medicine is Michael R. Taylor. Mr. Taylor is Monsanto’s former vice president of Public Policy. Mr. Taylor oversaw the FDA’s policy on GMOs. Unethical, yes - but it gets worse. Mr. Taylor developed, and pushed through his Policy on use of GMOs without due process. The FDA have a standard process for safety testing and screening that must be undertaken prior to approval –safety testing and screening was NOT done for GMOs. 

Manufacturers are permitted to label flavoring as ‘natural’ even if derived from genetically engineered (GE) crops. Why? Health Canada and the FDA have not, at this time fully defined the term ‘natural’. You would think it would be a priority to define this much-used food industry term. Perhaps the delay is due to Mr. Taylor’s influence - protecting the profit margin of companies such as Monsanto, at the expense of human, and non-human animal health.

Organic Flavor
Organic natural flavoring rates slightly better than the other two types of flavoring but organic natural flavor can still contain inappropriate ingredients.

If you are looking at a product labeled USDA Organic don’t assume that the flavour used in the product is organic.

100 % Organic
As defined by the FDA, products labeled 100% Organic should contain only organically produced ingredients and processing aids, excluding water and salt – no other ingredients are permitted. 100% organic flavor gets a slightly better rating due to the FDA’s regulation that states organic natural flavor “must have been produced without synthetic solvents, carriers and artificial preservatives.”


USDA Certified Organic
USDA Certified Organic products must contain 95% organic ingredients, the other 5%  of the ingredients may be non-agricultural substances, and for minor ingredients such as flavor, can be non-organic. The only restriction, the flavor must not be produced using the following excluded methods – GMO, sewage sludge and ionizing radiation.

Made With Organic Ingredients
Products labeled “made with Organic Ingredients” 70% to 95% organic, are not actually ‘organic products’ as the remaining 30% of ingredients can be derived from pesticide-grown botanical, artificial or natural flavor, etc.

The Bottom-Line
Your dogs and cat’s food, treats, medicines and supplements should not contain artificial, natural or organic flavoring.  

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Toxic Additive in Dog, Cat Food – Flavoring, Flavor Enhancers

 Toxic Additive in Dog, Cat Food - Flavoring, Flavor Enhancers
...Artificial, natural (and yes, even organic), flavoring and flavor enhancers are a threat to dogs, and cats health. So why are these toxic additives – flavoring and flavor enhancers used as an ingredient in dog and cat food, treats, supplements, and drugs?


Time for the Truth...

Artificial, Natural Flavoring, Flavor Enhancers Cover-up Inappropriate Ingredients
The pet food, and supplement industry uses artificial and natural flavoring to mask rancid and inappropriate ingredients – i.e. rancid fish oil, previously used, rancid vegetable oils (a by-product of restaurants, and the made-for-humans processed food industry).



The pet food industry uses artificial and natural flavor, flavor enhancers to fool your dogs, cat’s taste receptor system. The taste receptor system is responsible for detecting chemicals present in the oral cavity – i.e. real, whole foods are comprised of naturally occurring organic chemicals. Highly processed food contain multiple synthesized chemicals.  Processed pet food is a scientific formulation engineered for profit, not for health – this is so for even the ‘best’ dry dog and cat ‘foods’. Species inappropriate bulk fillers, and additives are used in all highly processed dry food products and supplements. Flavor enhancers are used to fool the taste receptor system by using synthesized chemicals to mimic the natural chemical profiles of essential nutrients such as essential amino acids in raw meat. These synthesized chemicals signal the brain, and body that essential nutrition intake has been fully and appropriately satisfied.



This same tactic is used by Pet Food manufacturers to entice dogs, and cats to consume species inappropriate ingredients. Typical examples are corn, and other grains; soy, and other legumes such as lentils and chick peas – inflammatory, chronic disease causing ‘ingredients’.


Flavoring, Flavor Enhancers Replace Flavor Destroyed in Over Processed Food Products

Highly processed (over-processed) food loses its Natural flavor during the manufacturing process – to make the product enticing the manufacturer adds artificial or ‘natural’ flavoring.  



Flavoring Added To Drugs and Supplements to Entice

‘Natural’ and artificial flavoring is added to entice the dog or cat to consume the drug or supplement.  Simple but problematic.  Drugs are used by conventional medicine to address illness.  Supplements are used to promote health, treat and remedy health conditions. Flavoring (natural and artificial) contain allergens, toxins and carcinogens. A remedy, treatment or cure cannot be ‘health’ promoting if it contains allergens, toxins and carcinogens, it does contribute to toxic load, and inflammatory, chronic disease.



Lack of Ethics is Pervasive in the Made-for-Pet Supplement Industry

The supplement industry is just as unethical as Big Pharma. Sadly well known members of the holistic pet community are just as guilty (as members of the allopathic community) of pushing and selling supplements that contain inappropriate ingredients. Many products are advertised as ‘natural’, and/or 'holistic', and are sold by individuals or organizations within the holistic community - but never assume that the product is toxin-free, or truly natural. The 'pet' industry is populated by spin doctors - the truth is there is no excuse for including toxins in a made-for dog or cat product.



The Bottom Line
Whole, fresh, species appropriate foods are flavorful, and do not require added flavoring.  Supplements (herbs, nutraceuticals) should be health promoting, and health supporting, not health deteriorating - your dogs and cats supplement should NOT contain flavor. If you need to add flavor to entice your dog or cat to take his/her medicine, give with appropriate food, broth  or healthful treats selected and portioned to suit the individual's situation.



Do you know the difference between artificial, natural, and organic flavoring? The answer may surprise you – find out here.


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Monday, 11 January 2016

Trichinosis Prevention in Dogs, Cats – Domestic and Wild Game Diet




Trichinosis Prevention in Dogs and Cats – Domestic and Wild Game Diet

No need to fear feeding raw…


Trichinosis prevention in dogs, cats - domestic and wild game diet is a simple matter of understanding which meat to use, avoid, and best preparation methods for incorporating into a raw diet or gently cooked diet.

Trichinosis – What Is It?

Trichinosis is a disease found in wild carnivores, wild omnivores, wild and domestic herbivores, and domestic pigs.

Trichinosis is a food-borne infection that may be transmitted by consuming raw or under cooked meat from animals that are infected with Trichinella – a nematode intestinal roundworm commonly found in wild animals. When the flesh of an infected animal contains live trichinella larvae that embed in cysts, the cysts can pass through your dog’s, cat’s intestinal tract to invade other tissues, such as your dog’s, cat’s muscle tissue. The nematodes can cause damage to the tissue, resulting in minor and major symptoms of trichinosis. If only a few cysts are consumed, infection may not occur.  The likelihood of infection, and severity of infection increases with the number of trichinosis cysts consumed. Your dog or cat cannot infect you with trichinosis.

Trichinella may be present in domestic pigs, domestic horses, wild animals (wild ‘game’) such as brown and black bear, boar, other wild carnivores, omnivores including small rodents, herbivores such as deer, small rodents, and wild fowl, and marine animals such as polar bears, seals, walruses.

How to Avoid Trichinosis via Trichinella Infection When Feeding Your Dog, Cat Raw Meat

Domestic pigs can carry the trichinosis infection, however the cysts can be killed by freezing pork in cuts of 6” (15.24 cm) thick, or less for 20 days, at 5 F, -15 C. If you are purchasing pork from a grocery store, butcher or local farmer you can ask them if this freezing process was done.

This same freezing technique is NOT reliable for wild game meats as the trichinella present in wild game tend to be cold-hardy.  The NCBI provides a chart reporting the resistance of trichinella cysts to freezing – you can view that chart here.

If you are going to be feeding your dog or cat raw, wild game meat (from wild carnivores, omnivores or herbivores), make sure you are sourcing the wild game from a reputable supplier, or area known to have a low rate of trichinella.

How to Avoid Trichinella in Cooked Meat

Make sure you cook wild game meats, and pork as per the Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines. Microwaving, or smoking meat will NOT kill the cysts that cause trichinosis infection.


Additional Assistance - Holistic Health and Wellness Service
If you require additional support, and guidance - contact me to discuss your requirements. I will determine the appropriate course of action for your situation and I will let you know the applicable fees. I offer consultative services to clients around the world...
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  • On-Line consultation and sessions - information and payment here >>.