This concerns the UK. Let’s say you buy Sainsbury’s basics Super Chunks in Gravy with Beef. It gives the impression that this is a wet cat food made primarily with beef. However, this particular product contains animal protein which is made up of 47% beef, 52% chicken and 1% pork.
It is perfectly legal to do this. Apparently many wet cat food products in the UK contain the meats of animals which are not specified on the tin while the declared meat on the tin is a minority meat ingredient.
It is said that some pets may be falling ill because they may be allergic to some of the undeclared ingredients. We know how difficult it is to diagnose the cause of feline allergies.
Manufacturers of pet food are not required the exact contents within their products.
Researchers checked 17 cat and dog food products. “Unspecified animal species” were found in 14 of them. These are typically described as “meat and animal derivatives”.
To be honest, I don’t think this is startlingly new information because many of us know that almost anything goes into many pet food products to create the required protein content. The higher quality foods tend to have genuine meat ingredients.
However, it is worthwhile mentioning this because I’m sure that many cat owners are unaware. A spokesman for the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association said that they are happy to discuss pet food labelling “as it highlights a common misunderstanding of how pet food labelling legislation works.”
Prof Kin-Chow Chang, the lead scientist in the study at the University of Nottingham said:
“Full disclosure of animal content will allow more informed choices to be made on purchases which are particularly important for pets with food allergies…..It may be a surprise to shoppers to discover that prominently described contents such as ‘beef’ on a tin could, within the guidelines, be a minor ingredient, have no bovine skeletal muscle (meat) and contain a majority of unidentified animal proteins,”
It won’t surprise most experienced cat guardians.
Source: Independent Newspaper