The FDA initially alerted the public to the cases plaguing dogs last July but did not specify food brands. The agency instead pointed to pet food labeled as “grain-free” and containing peas, lentils and other legume seeds and/or potatoes as their primary ingredients.
The probe now has the agency identifying 16 brands of dog food with the most frequently reported cases of DCM. Acana was named in 67 DCM reports, Zignature in 64 and Taste of the Wild in 53.
Zignature, for one, disputed any connection. “In parallel with the FDA investigation, our own third-party internal studies found no link between our high-quality pet food products and any of the other physical characteristics that correlate to DCM,” Zignature said in a post on its site.
Champion Petfoods, which owns Arcana and Orijen, is working on its own and with others in the industry to try to determine the cause of DCM, but objected to the FDA’s listing of brands.
“We think it is misleading for the FDA to post the names of brands, while at the same time fully stating that they have no scientific evidence linking diet to DCM. We feel this will only serve to further confuse pet lovers,” the company stated.
The company’s research shows “Champion pet foods are safe,” it said.
The Pet Food Institute, a trade group that represents 98% of pet food and treat makers, said it has consulted with nutritionists, product safety experts and veterinarians for more than a year in trying to determine if there’s a link between diet and DCM. “This is a complex issue with many factors requiring scientific evaluation,” Dana Brooks, the group’s president and CEO, said in a statement.
Noting that the FDA’s probe focused on ingredients in grain-free pet food, the agency “has not identified any established link between certain ingredients and incidents of DCM,” the industry group stated on its web site, which also noted “millions of dogs eat and are thriving on grain-free dog food.”
Between January 2014 and April 30, 2019, the FDA received 524 reports of DCM, including 119 dog deaths and five cat fatalities. Of those reports, 222 of them came between Dec. 1, 2018, and the end of April, the agency said.
Here is the list of 16 pet food brands and the number of reported DCM cases that the FDA suspects are related to each brand:
- Acana: 67
- Zignature: 64
- Taste of the Wild: 53
- 4Health: 32
- Earthborn Holistic: 32
- Blue Buffalo: 31
- Nature’s Domain: 29
- Fromm: 24
- Merrick: 16
- California Natural: 15
- Natural Balance: 15
- Orijen: 12
- Nature’s Variety: 11
- NutriSource: 10
- Nutro: 10
- Rachael Ray Nutrish: 10
- and the opposition by pet business:
Pet Defense opinion: At least 5 or more of the above brands have fought other brands as to how much better they are; in particular, Blue Buffalo among one of the worst to condemn other brands.
We therefore point out–those who wish to denigrate other brands, breeds, and people, should consider what they are doing. If for example, the rescue groups would stop denigrating purebred canines, and stop the gravy train for a minute to stop calling attention to themselves, maybe one day people could be more neutral about animal activists.
But unfortunately, the word “breeder” has been made equivalent to greedy– which, unfortunately— it explains rescue groups instead??