Showing posts with label pet food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pet food. Show all posts

Friday, 2 December 2016

Chelated Minerals in Pet Food - Not Healthy, Not for My Dogs, or Cats!

Chelated minerals are a common ingredient in pet food products, and pet supplements. Chelated minerals aren’t so healthy for your pet. I won’t give my dogs, or cats food or supplements that contain chelated minerals.

In 2012, the NCBI reported on a study assessing levels of heavy metals in the liver and kidneys of dogs from an urban environment. Pet food was confirmed as a source of heavy metal contaminants (i.e. cadmium, lead, and mercury), as was environmental pollution.

Another NCBI report states,
“…food can affect health not only be their nutrient content and the amount consumed, but also by non-nutritive components, such as pesticides, fertilizers, preservatives, heavy metals and microbiological components”

Trace Minerals

Trace minerals are heavy metals that occur, or are required at low concentrations to sustain life. These minerals (i.e. copper, iodine, iron, manganese, selenium, and zinc), are present in whole fresh foods. When soil health is good, the trace mineral content in fresh foods is optimal. When soils are depleted, (typically from use of conventional fertilizers), the trace mineral content in plants are less than optimal. This is one reason why food grown following organic farming practices is nutritionally superior to conventional non-GMO, and GMO farming practices.

Like us, our dogs and cats require trace minerals to maintain health. In the past (tens of thousands of years past, to present day), dogs and cats obtained required levels of trace minerals from their natural diet of fresh whole foods. An appropriate, good quality fresh, whole food diet (raw or minimally cooked) is not trace mineral deficient, and will not cause over-intake of trace minerals.

Industrially produced trace minerals were introduced to the canine and feline diet when highly processed pet food became popular. Which by the way, also coincides with the escalation of serious health issues (inflammatory, chronic disease, including cancer), and the foreshortened life spans we see in today’s dogs and cats. Industrial trace minerals are NOT the same as trace minerals naturally obtained from fresh whole foods.

Natural, Bioavailable Trace Minerals

Dogs and cats naturally obtain required levels of essential trace minerals from consuming a quality fresh, raw food (or minimally cooked) diet - raw meat, raw bones, healthy fats, and select botanicals, including herbs. For example, raw meat (muscle meat and organ meat) is an excellent source of iron, selenium and zinc, spinach also provides selenium and zinc. Raw pumpkin seeds, pineapple and spinach are rich in manganese (and other essential trace minerals). Raw liver is a good source of copper. Food sourced from pasture-raised, grass feed, organic, or wild-crafted sources provides the best trace mineral profile. Conventional farming methods result in less mineral rich whole foods. GMO farming methods result in a further loss of trace minerals.

Trace Mineral Loss in Manufacturing of Highly Processed Foods

Dry pet food, and canned (wet) pet food is a ‘highly processed’ product. Ingredients undergo a series of complex processing steps, which include high heat cooking.

Trace mineral loss occurs when whole food ingredients are cooked at high temperatures. The typical range of trace mineral loss from high heat cooking is 30% to 40%.

Additional trace mineral loss can occur due to one, or a combination of the following…
  • Meat, fat and bones sourced from factory farm (CAFO) raised animals. CAFO animals are fed a species inappropriate diet of GMO corn and GMO soy, supplemented with chelated trace minerals. The end-result of this terrible diet (as pertains to trace minerals, there are many other adverse impacts as well):
  • Meat, bones and fat that are trace mineral deficient, and may also be contaminated with toxic heavy metals (i.e. arsenic, mercury and lead).
  • If condemned, denatured meat, bones and fat are included in the pet food product additional trace mineral loss occurs during the denaturing process.
  • Fruit and vegetables grown in soil treated with conventional fertilizers, result in mineral depleted produce. Most dry, and canned pet food contains conventional, or GMO grown produce – not organic grown.
The end result is a product that is at minimum 40% trace mineral deficient.

To ‘make-up’ for the loss of trace minerals, the pet food industry adds industrial trace minerals, called chelated minerals.

  • Approximately 70% of these minerals come from China.
  • Chinese-sourced minerals can be tainted with other heavy metals, i.e. non-organic arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, nickel and strontium from environmental pollution.
Industrial Trace Minerals

Industrial trace minerals fall into two basic categories – inorganic, and organic. Inorganic (chelated) and organic trace minerals are mined using the same methods – extraction from rock.

Inorganic trace minerals are not readily absorbed by the body, nor readily eliminated. Organic (chelated) trace minerals are more bioavailable than inorganic. Neither can match the bioavailability of trace minerals obtained from a fresh whole food diet. When inorganic or chelated trace minerals intake exceeds the body’s requirements, the body’s eliminatory system will work hard to remove as much excess mineral as possible. Some of the excess may be stored in the body’s organs – over time this can lead to a range of issues (i.e., anemia, digestive upset, fatigue, inflammation, oxidization, poor immune system response, increased risk of urinary tract infections, etc.), organ fatigue, toxicity, and at worst death. Insufficient mineral intake can also cause a multitude of health issues, and at worst death.

Chelated Minerals (organic minerals)

First, we need to define the word ’organic’ in context of industrial trace minerals. The term ‘organic’ when used in this context indicates the presence of carbon - it does NOT mean organic as in organic farming. The chelated minerals used in pet food are not an “organic food additive”, that ARE a synthetic food additive.

The first step in making chelated minerals involves industrial mining of rock, from which the minerals are then extracted. After extraction, the inorganic minerals are bound to a carbon-based substance using a synthetic-chemical process. Binding the inorganic mineral to a carbon-based substance increases the bioavailability of the mineral. When the binding process is complete, the trace mineral is said to be ‘organic’. Any remaining unbound particulate is removed. The resulting substance is then dried and ground to a powder.

Now we need to quickly talk about chelating agents. Chelating agents used in the manufacture of chelated trace minerals are natural or synthetic-chemical amino acids, i.e. cysteine, l-cysteine and glycine, or partially hydrolyzed proteins. Hydrolyzed proteins are obtained by intense processing in which the animal proteins (i.e. from factory farm raised animals), or plant proteins (i.e. GMO soy), or synthetic proteins are treated with caustic denaturing agents to separate the amino acids from proteins. The caustic, denaturants used are, for example - hydrochloric acid, sodium hydroxide, and hexane (a solvent made from crude oil).

Pet Food Products That Contain Chelated Minerals, and Inorganic Minerals
  • Dry Processed Pet Food (Kibble) – all contain chelated minerals, including:
    • Premium dry food diets
    • Veterinary prescription dry ‘food’ diets
    • Grocery store and tractor supply store kibble
  • Wet / Canned pet food – many, but not all
    • Premium
    • Veterinary prescription
    • Grocery store and tractor supply
  • Freeze Dehydrated and Freeze Dried – many, but not all
  • Raw Frozen – some, but not all.
    • I consider the presence of chelated or inorganic minerals in a raw frozen pet food product to be indicative of a problem with the whole food ingredients used in the product. 
    • A truly good quality raw food does NOT contain chelated minerals.
Take A Look at your Pet Food Labels

If you are using multiple items that contain chelated minerals, your dog and cat’s eliminatory system is working over-time to excrete the excess, partially bioavailable chelated minerals for his/her body.
  • An example of a chelated mineral -
    • Copper proteinate
    • Copper amino acid chelate
  • An example of an inorganic mineral –
    • Copper sulfate (copper sulphate)
    • Copper carbonate
    • Zinc oxide
Chelated minerals are industrially mined heavy metals, pulverized, and bound to synthetic amino acids and proteins that have been processed with toxic chemicals resulting in a partially bioavailable trace mineral. I consider chelated minerals to be a source of toxins.

The high incidence of inflammatory and chronic disease, premature aging, renal failure, cancer, etc. seen in today’s companion animal population is not ‘natural’, it is a man-made epidemic. 

Dogs and cats are, casualties of the greedy pet food industry, and the unethical individuals behind the industry.

You now know one more reason why I will NOT feed my dogs, cats or ferrets highly processed food products. And why I do not recommend highly processed food to my clients.

For the love of dogs and cats, pass it on.
Additional Assistance –

Holistic Health and Wellness

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 provide you with a quotation for cost of services. 

I offer holistic services to clients located around the world.

Holistic Dog Training Services
Holistic Diet Nutrition Wellness Services
  • Unbiased advice regarding Diet, Nutrition, Wellness, Food, Supplementation, etc. - for more information go here>>. 
  • Holistic Diet Nutrition Wellness Plans - for more information go here>>. 
Please note - I do NOT sell food or supplements. I am not aligned with any companies. I do this so that I can remain 100% objective in selecting, recommending and prescribing the best solutions for my individual clients' situation.


Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Condemned, Denatured Meat in Pet Food - a Cancer Causing Ingredient

Condemned, denatured meat in pet food - a cancer causing ingredient in many popular dog and cat food products, and treats. The Pet Food industry does not want you to know about this cancer causing, toxic ingredient. Sadly many products on your local pet food store shelves contain it, so do many veterinarian prescribed dog, and cat food products.

Check Your Pet Food Product Labels

A quick check of your pet food label will reveal if your dog or cat’s food contains condemned, denatured meat. Don’t bother looking for ‘condemned’, ‘denatured’, ‘denaturized’ on the label – you won’t see those words used.  The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), United States Department of Agriculture Food Services Inspection Agency (USDA FSIS), and non-governmental organizations such as AAFCO do NOT require pet food manufacturers to reveal this information on pet food labels.

The meat *may NOT be condemned, or denatured if the label specifies:

  • Meat is 100% 'editable'.
  • Meat is 100% human food grade, or;
  • All ingredients are 100% human food grade.
  • Unfortunately, the words 'human food grade', or 'human grade' are NOT a guarantee of quality. Neither term is legally binding. The FDA uses the term 'edible' to define '"safe for human consumption".

*In August of 2015, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it would no longer offer, and provide review of pet food manufacturer documentation for the purpose of substantiating ‘human-food-grade’ claims on pet food (and treat) labels. AAFCO is gearing-up to devise their own regulations to define ‘human-food-grade’ ingredients in pet food. This, however is not reassuring, as AAFCO is an organization made up of representatives of the pet food industry. AAFCO is a self-regulating, and self-interested organization.

All, or some of the meat IS likely to be condemned and denatured if the label does NOT specify:

  • 100% human food grade meat, or;
  • 100% human food grade ingredients. 
 Even if the above is specified, the food can still contain condemned, denatured meat. Remember 'Human food grade' is not a legally bonding term, 'edible' is the term used by the FDA to designate  a food as safe for human consumption.
If, after checking the label you have identified the presence of denatured meat – I recommend you change your dogs and cats diet.

Types of Pet Food that Can Contain Condemned, Denatured Meat and by-products


 Condemned, denatured meat is used in a wide range of commercial pet food products, including:

  • Dry Highly Processed Pet Food (kibble), and treats
  • Dry processed Pet Food, and treats (‘minimally’ processed patties and other formulations)
  • Canned Pet Food (‘wet’ pet food)
  • Dehydrated Pet Food, and treats
  • Freeze Dried Raw Pet Food, and treats
  • Raw Pet Food – grinds, patties, etc.

Pet food made in Canada and the USA, containing condemned and denatured meat is sold all over Canada and the USA – it is also exported all over the world. For example Hill’s, Purina’s and Royal Canin’s dry processed food, canned food and treats – pet store and veterinarian prescription product lines.

Regulation of Meat and Poultry Classifications

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Agency (FSIS) are responsible for regulating and inspecting all animals (‘livestock’) for slaughter /  meat processing by registered slaughter establishments and rendering plants.

Condemned Meat

Just prior to slaughter, CFIA and FSIS Inspectors - inspect, mark, stamp or tag all live animals – ante-mortem inspection. Animal carcasses are re-inspected after slaughter - post-mortem inspection.  Animals are considered unfit for human consumption – ‘inedible’, and therefore ‘condemned’ under the following circumstances:

  • 'Downers' - an industry term for animals that cannot stand on their own.
  •  Live animals found to be affected by disease or an abnormal condition.
  • Animals that died en-route to the registered slaughter establishment.
  • Animals that died in the yard, or livestock holding pen of the registered slaughter establishment.
  • Dead dogs and dead cats - you can read about that here.
  • Dead zoo animals. 
  • Roadkill.

Condemned Meat Products

Condemned Meat includes:

  • Entire carcasses.
  • Portions of carcasses which upon inspection (or re-inspection) are found to be affected by disease or an abnormal condition, or contaminated by feces – all of which renders them “unfit for human consumption”
  • Butcher shop floor trimmings, and meat past its best before date.
  • Grocery store meat that is past its best before date.
  • Carcasses and parts that are condemned as ‘Specific Risk Material’ (SRM) can be used as salvaged meat for pet food (animal feed products) once the portions of the animal that are SRM are removed. If removal of the SRM is not possible the carcass or effected portions of, are considered inedible and are to be disposed.

Feathers, hides and hair are generally considered inedible however feathers and hide are used in the pet food industry. The hide is used to make rawhide. Feathers are used by some pet food manufacturers as ‘highly edible’ and a ‘good source of nutrition’ – which feathers clearly are not. Royal Canin uses feathers in some of their high-end prescription dog and cat food products.

Condemned products (meat, organs, blood, etc.) may be mixed with non-SRM, and non-condemned salvaged for animal feed products. 

Once the CFIA or FSIS inspector condemns a carcass or body-part, it must be clearly marked ‘CONDEMNED’ and is handled in a part of the facility separate from non-condemned meat. Segregation of condemned meat vs. fit for human consumption meat is highly regulated - even air flow patterns are regulated to prevent air in rooms containing inedible meat from mixing with the air in edible meat processing spaces. Shipping containers used to transport the condemned meat must be marked as containing condemned meat. This should indicate to you, the consumer something about the, diseased, bacteria laden, etc. state of the condemned meat. 

The next step in the processing of condemned meat is the application of toxic substances to ‘denature’ the meat.  Keep in mind, even if the slaughtered animal was pasture raised-grass fed, or raised via certified organic husbandry, after the meat is denaturized the meat is contaminated with toxins and carcinogens making the meat a trigger for cancer in your dog or cat.

Denatured Meat

Meat, poultry, fat rendering plants, and pet food manufacturers must comply with the CFIA’s and USDA’s regulations for processing and handling of condemned meat and poultry.  The CFIA and FSIS regulations state that all condemned meat, and poultry:

  • Must be ‘denatured’.
  • Denaturing must be accomplished using a denaturing agent.

Definition and Purpose of Denaturing Meat

According to the CFIA, Denaturing:means to stain the meat product in accordance with section 6.21 or 6.22 of the Health of Animals Regulations or to otherwise treat the meat product to give it an appearance or characteristic such that it cannot be confused with an edible meat product.”

According to the USFDA, Denaturing:  “The basic purpose of denaturing is to prevent salvage or diversion of violative materials for human consumption.”

What does this really mean?

Condemned meat must be made unrecognizable as meat and poultry for human consumption by altering its smell, color and other attributes of its physical appearance. 

Condemned Meat Ingredients and Pet Food Industry ‘Marketing’

As noted in the first part of this article – you won’t find the words ‘condemned’ or ‘denatured’ on any pet food or treat packaging. What you will see is the pet food industry taking advantage of the loving pet owner. Pet food products that contain condemned/denatured meat and poultry are advertised as…

  • “Fresh meat ingredients”
  • “Natural meat ingredients”
  • “Quality meat ingredients”
  • “Real meat ingredients”
  • “100% human food grade meat ingredients”
  • Etc.

Why? Because there are no regulations in-place to stop the pet food manufacturers, pet food retailers, (including veterinarians that push, and peddle 'prescription diet' foods and treats) from doing otherwise. The deception is 100% legal.  

Are you shocked your veterinarian has not told you what’s in the prescription pet food he/she is selling you? Surprised your trusted pet food store staff haven’t told you. The sad truth is that there are many ‘professionals' - members of the pet industry that know but just don’t care. Greed takes precedence over truth and ethics.

Denaturizing Agents

The substances approved by the CFIA and FSIS for use as denaturizing agents include multiple toxins and carcinogens. After the condemned meat is 'bathed' the denaturizing agents become a hidden ingredient in the meat. You will not see denaturizing agents listed on pet food product labels.

The following is a list of denaturizing substances approved for use on condemned meat and poultry destined for use in pet food:

  • Crankcase oil (used oil)
  • Cresylic disinfectant
  • Coarsely ground hard bone
  • Crude carbolic acid
  • Charcoal (fine powder form) – i.e. Liquik®Char
  • Dye – specifically black chemical-based dye
  • Food coloring
  • FD&C blue No. 1
  • FD&C blue No. 2
  • FD&C green No. 3
  • Food colouring mixed formulas immersions (baths) –
  • FD&C green + No. 3 coloring + liquid detergent + citronella oil
  • FD&C yellow + No. 5 coloring + tannic acid
  • Fuel oil (No. 2) brucine (brucine is a very poisonous alkaloid) dissolved in a mixture of alcohol + pine oil or oil of rosemary and finely powdered charcoal
  • Kerosene
  • Phenolic disinfectant that conforms to commercial standards CS 70-41 or CS 71-41 “which shall be used in at least 2 percent emulsion or solution”.
  • Other proprietary (trade secret,non-disclosed) substances developed by the chemical industry for denaturing. These substances are not scrutinized, nor regulated by the USDA. For example 4-D Denaturant™
  • Tanic acid bath – Tanic acid + ferric acid + water

  • Charcoal
  • Fish meal from a registered feed meal – most fish meal is preserved with ethoxyquin, a cancer causing substance that you can read about here.
  • Chemical denaturants listed here, and here – these are toxic chemical substances that include carcinogens.
  • These include:
  • Denaturant Black – black chemical based dye
  • DENATURANT G – By Birko. You can see details here.
  • RMC Denaturant 
  • Johnson Meat Denaturant by S.C. Johnson famous for all the carcinogens they use in their products
  • The above all contain toxic, cancer causing dyes and other chemicals.
  • An agent for which the operator requested a letter of guarantee from the supplier of the agent to demonstrate its acceptability; OR
  • Alternate to using an approved denaturing agent, another acceptable method of denaturing is to mix the meat product or carcasses with intestines and intestinal contents in a continuous and non reversible mechanical conveying system which empties directly to a melter or a conveyance acceptable to the inspector in charge for transportation to another registered establishment or an inedible rendering plant for sterilization.
  • CFIA’s list allows use of non-scrutinized, unregulated substances.

The above substances are allergens, toxins, most are known carcinogens – cancer causing agents. 

FD&C food dyes are known to cause adverse behavioral changes in animals and, in humans. FD&C dyes are known carcinogens and allergens for non-human animals, and humans. And yes, obviously crude oil and its derivatives (fuel Oil No.2 – jet fuel motor oil, etc. and kerosene) should never be ingested by any animal. Chemical based detergents leave toxic residue, and obviously should never be ingested. Obviously not one of these substances is an appropriate ingredient (hidden or otherwise) in food for dogs or cats.

Restoring ‘normal’ Color and Smell to Denatured Meat

The denaturizing substances cannot be washed out of, nor in any other way removed from the meat. Denaturizing agents are designed to penetrate all cells – muscle, organ, fat, bone.

Once the denatured meat has been sold and transported to a pet food manufacturing facility, the manufacturer may choose to apply additional chemicals to make the smell, and look of the meat appear normal.

  • Toxic, carcinogenic food additives - food flavor, and or food color is used to help disguise denatured meat.
  • The intense processing, and high heat cooking required to make dry food and wet foods also helps to destroy color and smell.
  • After processing, dry processed food is typically sprayed with rendered fat to make the product more appealing.

Examples of Pet Food That do NOT use Human Food Grade Meat

You will see some of these manufacturers advertise their products as:

  • ‘holistic’,
  • ‘all natural’,
  • ‘we only use high quality ingredient’
  • ‘100% fresh’
  • *‘No food additives’
  • *‘No food coloring’
  • *‘No preservatives’
  • etc., but...

In the absence of regulation, you must define for yourself what you accept as the definition of terms such as 'Human food grade', ‘all natural’, ‘holistic’, ‘high quality’ etc. – these are all unregulated terms in the pet food industry.  Manufacturers do not have to define nor justify these terms according to any regulations.

The example brands, product lines and/or manufacturers listed below produce either one of, or multiple of the following types of pet food: 
Dry highly processed pet food or;
Wet/canned pet food, or;
Dehydrated pet food, or;
Freeze dried pet food, or;
Raw pet food.

*Pet food manufacturers are only obligated to list food, and food additive ingredients that they put into a food product – they are not legally obligated to list ingredients that are part of an ingredient i.e. food coloring or motor oil or other denaturing substances used to denature condemned meat. 

  • Artemis
  • Avoderm
  • Blue Buffalo
  • Chicken Soup for the Soul
  • Golden Eagle Holistic Health
  • Go
  • Dick Van Patton Natural Balance
  • Dog’s Well Nutrisca
  • Earthborne Holistic
  • Evanger's
  • Halo
  • Hill’s Prescription Diet
  • Hill’s Science Diet
  • I and Love You
  • Ivory Coat Natural Health
  • Kirkland Lake
  • Nature’s Recipe
  • Nutro
  • Now Fresh
  • Performatrin Ultra
  • Premium Edge
  • Purina
  • Purina Veterinary Diets
  • Royal Canin
  • Royal Canin Veterinary Diet
  • Simply Nourish
  • Simply Rawsome  - but at least they are honest. This is the only pet food company I have ever seen that notes their products that contain denatured meat... not that doing so makes it OK to sell!
  • Summit
  • Taste of the Wild
  • Wellness Core

…these are just a few, there are a many, many more.

A Few Things You Can Do to Avoid Products Containing Condemned, Denatured Meat and Poultry

Look for a product that GUARANTEES (rather than just claims):

  • Make your dog and cat's pet food - you get to control all of the ingredients.
    • You can find an example recipe here.
  •  Purchase raw pet food from a trusted pet food manufacturer.
  •  If you do not want to feed raw, you can cook the raw food product,

Unfortunately the more processed a product is – i.e. dry processed ‘food’ (kibble), canned highly processed food, raw minces, and dehydrated food products – the easier it is to hide the truth behind the product ingredients.

The high-rates of cancer experienced by today's dogs and cats is not a Natural occurrence - it is a man-made disease. Cancer doesn't just happen.

Additional Assistance – Holistic Health and Wellness

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 provide you with a quotation for cost of services. 

I offer holistic services to clients located around the world.


  • Holistic Diet Nutrition Wellness Services
    • Unbiased advice regarding Diet, Nutrition, Wellness, Food, Supplementation, etc. - for more information go here>>.
    • Holistic Diet Nutrition Wellness Plans - for more information go here>>. 
    • Please note - I do NOT sell food or supplements. I am not aligned with any companies. I do this so that I can remain 100% objective in selecting, recommending and prescribing the best solutions for my individual clients' situation.
  •  Holistic Dog Training Services