If you want to be confused try working out whether bisphenols and phthalates are in cat food

A recent study concluded that the sperm quality had fallen quite significantly amongst stud dogs over a 26-year period. The team who conducted the research suggested that environmental contaminants such as bisphenols (BPA) and phthalates which have been often linked to infertility in people might be to blame. The study found that there were traces of these chemicals, which are present in pet food, in the sperm in testes of adult dogs. Is the same happening to cats? Are these chemicals in cat food and which sort of cat food?

Phthalates
Phthalates
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats
BPA
BPA

Dogs, cats and humans share the same environment. The chemicals referred to are found in a wide range of everyday plastics including clingfilm and shower curtains. These chemicals are linked to diminished libidos in women and lower sperm counts in men.

The study was reported in the journal Scientific Reports. Dr Lea said:

“It’s an indicator that if something’s happening to man’s closest friend then perhaps we should look further at what may be happening to human males as well.”

On the basis of this research reported in the Times newspaper I decided to try and find out whether BPA and phthalates were in cat food. Are these chemicals in the sachets that contain cat food sold in the UK and I presume elsewhere? Are these chemicals in the lining of canned cat food? Here’s the confusion. I spent a good 40 minutes researching and I could not find a clear answer.

The cat owning customer is being deliberately confused I would argue. You’d have thought in the 21st century with a massive internet there’d be clear information on the quality and safety of cat food. But no. BPA was at one time felt to be safe by scientists but my research indicates that there appears to be a general trend towards considering it unsafe although it is work in progress. BPA appears to be in some cat food having leached into it from the lining of cans. I don’t know whether it is in the plastic that is used to make the sachets containing more expensive cat food. It seems quite possible that it is. I find this worrying and of course confusing. In February 2016 the European Union was discussing placing BPA on a list of restricted chemicals which would mean that if it was in a product at a concentration above 0.1% it must be disclosed to a purchaser.

The effects of this chemical on animals is long and rather disturbing. Let’s just say it is a chemical which can have quite dramatic negative health effects.

As for phthalates, in America, the US National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health state that phthalates are not used in plastic food packaging which I presume (wrongly perhaps) also includes pet food packaging. However, this chemical may be elsewhere in the household and therefore it may be gently poisoning every living creature in it. The negative health effects are long and disturbing including endocrine disruption (affecting hormone production) and cancer.

The point I wish to make really in this article which is difficult to write because the whole situation is highly confusing is that I don’t feel that the consumer is being protected adequately by the regulators and I feel that the manufacturers are trying to pull the wool over our eyes with respect to their packaging and the use of toxic chemicals in plastics packaging to make it more convenient to handle by consumers.




4 thoughts on “If you want to be confused try working out whether bisphenols and phthalates are in cat food”

  1. While chemicals added to food and the containers it’s processed in may add to reduced fertility the use of artificial insemination has had a bigger impact on breeding. It allows an animal incapable of passing on it’s genes in a natural way to pass that trait onto it’s offspring though AI.

    Reply
  2. Agreed Eva.
    Unfortunately, should you find plastic containers that read “EPA free”, you will see a substitute for it that has many of the same undesirables. In 2012, BPA was replaced with something called BPS. As it turned out, BPS was found to be no better. In 2013 (they waited a year to test), 81% of Americans had traces of BPS in their urine.
    For sheer safety purposes, I guess we just need to stick with sterilized glass especially for pets and babies.
    Just think of all the plastic bottled water that is consumed here. I won’t go into my opinion about why anyone other than those with poor water quality would spend a fortune on bottled water.

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  3. Well, I don’t think consumer’s protection is one of manufacturer’s goals, except minimally where the law demands it, but even then….

    And Susan Thixton’s research shows that regulator’s blatantly don’t care about what’s in pet “feed”, much less the containers. I think cans may be worse than bags or plastic, but I really don’t know for sure.

    I buy commercial raw food in 1 lb. containers, then when it’s partially defrosted, divide into 1 oz. servings in small plastic containers that go in the freezer.

    I’ve been trying to help a neighbor find 5 gal plastic water containers that don’t have BP in the plastic. It’s been nearly impossible. She can’t afford an expensive filter.

    We’re really at the mercy of manufacturers and their desire to keep costs down, and prices up.

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