Pet Food Contaminated with Toxic PFAS Chemicals

The family pet is likely being exposed to toxic “forever” chemicals every day.  A  recent analysis conducted by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) examined 11 bags of pet food and found that all of them contained toxic PFAS* chemicals, including several at extremely high levels.  The chemicals are likely used in pet food bags to make them repel grease.

Findings

Researchers tested the packaging of both cat food and dog food and measured the amount of compounds that indicate PFAS chemicals are present.

For cats, the highest levels were detected in the Meow Mix Tender Centers salmon and chicken flavors dry cat food, at more than 600 parts per million (ppm). Purina Cat Chow Complete chicken showed over 350 ppm, while Blue Buffalo, Iams and Rachael Ray Nutrish all had levels of less than 100 ppm.

For dogs, Kibbles ’n Bits bacon and steak flavor registered just under 600 ppm, followed by Blue Buffalo’s Life Protection Formula chicken and brown rice recipe at 150 ppm. Other dog foods made by Purina, Iams and Pedigree had much lower amounts. While some of the PFAS levels are considered by public health advocates to be high, no legal framework to measure it exists. (source)

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Despite pressure from public health advocates, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has refused to ban the use of PFAS in food packaging.

*PFAS chemicals (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are toxic to humans, animals and the environment. They are comprised of approximately 12,000 compounds. PFAS chemicals have been mass produced since the 1950s, and used in products such as firefighting foams, nonstick pans and personal care items. They are now ubiquitous in the U.S., appearing in many consumer and industrial products including household products (like carpeting, curtains, furniture upholstery, waterproof and stain-resistant flooring, etc.), cooking supplies (including cooking utensils and bake ware), clothing, personal care products (like cosmetics, including waterproof mascara) and even food (PFAS appears in processed food packaging for humans and pets) and public drinking water (tap water) that affects an estimated 2 million Americans.  PFAS chemicals are usually found in products labeled “stain-proof” and “waterproof”.  PFAS chemicals also appear in fire-fighting foam and other industrial products used at airports and military bases across the country, where the chemicals have leached into the groundwater. PFAS chemicals are known as “forever chemicals” because they do not readily break down in the environment or human body.  PFAS chemicals have been linked in scientific and medical studies to a variety of serious health conditions including cancer (including testicular cancers), kidney disease, heart disease, thyroid problems, reproductive problems and liver problems. Some newer PFAS have been found to accumulate in organs, and in some cases, science simply cannot detect them in blood. PFAS chemicals have been detected in the blood of more than 98% of Americans. (source)