A recent study conducted by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) revealed a frightening truth: a significant portion of America’s pet food packaging could be contaminated with forever chemicals, aka PFAS. If true, this creates a potentially dangerous scenario for pets exposed to toxins. The group checked 11 bags of pet food and discovered that each and every one of them tested positive for some level of the harmful substances — including several that showed extremely high levels.
“This represents a significant source of PFAS in the home environment,” warned EWG analyst Sydney Evans. While testing 11 brands would be considered a limited study when you account for the dozens and dozens of pet food purveyors in the U.S., it’s still a significant find and an indicator that many more likely contain them as well.
If you’ve heard the words bandied about but you still don’t have a clear understanding of what they mean or how serious a threat they are, PFAS stands for polyfluoroalkyl substances, and they’re not good. Here’s what the EPA has said about them so far:
*PFAS are widely used, long-lasting chemicals, components of which break down very slowly over time.
*Because of their widespread use and their persistence in the environment, many PFAS are found in the blood of people and animals all over the world and are present at low levels in a variety of food products and in the environment.
*PFAS are found in water, air, fish, and soil at locations across the nation and the globe.
*Scientific studies have shown that exposure to some PFAS in the environment may be linked to harmful health effects in humans and animals.
*There are thousands of PFAS chemicals, and they are found in many different consumer, commercial, and industrial products. This makes it challenging to study and assess the potential human health and environmental risks.
Cat Food Brands
If this doesn’t sound good to you that’s because it’s not. The chemicals are thought to be used in food bags for the purpose of repelling grease. For felines, the highest levels were detected in the Meow Mix Tender Centers salmon and chicken flavors dry cat food, at a surprising 600 parts per million (ppm). Purina Cat Chow Complete chicken showed over 350 ppm, which is at least a step down by nearly half, while Blue Buffalo, Iams, and Rachael Ray Nutrish all had levels of less than 100 ppm. Better but still there.
Dog Food Brands
As for dog food brands, Kibbles ’n Bits bacon and steak flavor registered just under 600 ppm. This was followed by Blue Buffalo’s Life Protection Formula chicken and brown rice recipe at a much lower 150 ppm. Again, not great that they’re in there, but it’s still a significant difference. Other foods made by Purina, Iams, and Pedigree for canines had significantly lower ppms.
Environmental Working Group
The EWG report stated that no “top pet food manufacturers” have openly committed to stopping the use of PFAS in their packaging to date. So far, the FDA has done nothing to ban the use of PFAS in food packaging, either. Congress has also dropped the ball on the subject. Evans did say what most of us are thinking, however, and that’s, “We need strong new state and federal actions to eliminate sources of PFAS pollution … and end unnecessary uses of PFAS in pet food packaging and in products found in and around the home.”Whizzco