Pet food emulsifiers might be harming our cats. Can you trust it?

I don’t believe that we can entirely trust the cat and dog food we buy in the UK to be safe for our companion animals. I have just watched a BBC programme about ultra-processed human foods which might harm us. In the UK the FSA (Food Standards Agency) regulates the food industry including pet food and they say on their website that their fundamental mission is “food you can trust”. But can we trust the FSA to properly regulate human and pet food?

If the FSA can’t properly control and regulate food for humans, how can they do the same cats and dogs and other pets? And it appears that they can’t because the conclusion of the BBC researchers is that ultra-processed foods can contain potentially harmful ingredients such as emulsifiers.

For the food industry emulsifiers are the “Holy Grail”. Emulsifiers are one specific ingredient. They act as a glue to the processed foods to hold them together.

Cat eating wet cat food
Cat eating wet cat food. Image is here to illustrate the page. Picture in the public domain.
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

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Emulsifier link to cancer

The research indicated that there was a significant association between emulsifier intake and increased risk of cancer overall and particularly breast cancer and also with cardiovascular diseases. That information comes from Dr. Touvier whose research is yet to be peer reviewed and further work is needed.

Despite this alarming finding, and despite growing evidence that ultra-processed foods are potentially harmful to health, the FSA “has yet to issue any regulation restricting emulsifiers”, according to the BBC.

The BBC panorama programme team who carried out the research asked the FSA about the growing body of evidence that emulsifiers and other additives potentially cause to human health. They responded by saying that they don’t know of this evidence.

The purpose of the food industry is to sell as much food for as much money as possible. Therefore, the public have to rely on the FSA to protect us and our pets.

If it is found that the quality of ultra-processed foods is inadequate to protect human health, how can we rely upon the FSA to regulate pet food? Pet food is already at a lower quality level. As far as I’m concerned, pet food is already dubious in terms of its safety.

The FSA is potentially failing on the basis of this research to protect people never mind pets. It has always been my belief that some of the idiopathic feline diseases – diseases of an unknown cause – might be caused by harmful cat food even when it is stated as being high quality.

Homemade pet food?

The findings of this study might encourage some people to take the plunge and prepare their own pet food. Veterinarians don’t like this because they believe that cat owners are insufficiently trained to ensure that there won’t be bacterial contamination and cross contamination. Admittedly, there are dangers in making your own pet food.

RELATED: Veterinarian reported her client to Animal Control because she feeds her cats and dogs a raw diet

But I feel very strongly that the FSA in the UK is failing our pets and their caregivers and that an review is required to get to the bottom of the potentially harmful nature of emulsifiers as a priority.

The FSA said that they plan to hold a public consultation. I suspect that some of the big food companies might put pressure on the FSA which may undermine their objectivity and neutrality when assessing foods both for human and pet consumption.

I wonder if it is the FSA which is tainted as well as the food they regulate?

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