The Radura symbol on cat food packaging. Check for it.

The Radura symbol on cat food packaging indicates that the contents have been irradiated. It is done to kill bacteria and other microorganisms. Is it safe? There are very serious doubts about its safety. The FDA in America approve it. Experts critically question the process and declare it potentially unsafe. Until it can be shown to be conclusively safe it must be unsafe. Look for the Radura symbol and judging by the assessment made by respected experts I’d avoid the stuff.

Pet food is irradiated to prolong shelf life. It is done to benefit the manufacturer not the consumer. I strongly sense that it is a flawed concept.

I wrote about irradiated cat food in Australia years ago. Some years ago, all pet food imported into Australia had to be irradiated to destroy bacteria, microorganisms, viruses, or insects. In 2009 cats fed irradiated food developed neurological problems. I suspect that irradiated pet food in Australia is now banned but I can’t find information on this quickly.

There is a person we can positively rely on to provide accurate cat food information, the warrior of consumer rights and pet food advocate, Susan Thixton.

She quotes the much respect Dr Michael Fox on her website who believes that the recent scandal about Chinese manufactured jerky treats poisoning dogs is because the product was irradiated.

In turn Dr Fox quotes the Center for Food Safety. They say that radiation can dangerously change the food by creating substances called “unique radiolytic products”. These are irradiation by-products which include “mutagens”, mutated genes. Many mutagens are carcinogenic (can cause cancer).

He states that irradiation can create volatile toxic chemicals such as benzene and toluene. These chemicals are known to cause cancer and birth defects. In laboratory tests irradiated food caused stunted growth in animals.

Dr Fox says that Americans should avoid buying pet food which is labelled “manufactured for and distributed by…” i.e. not made in America. The same would apply to any country.

Irradiation is similar to the process of creating dry cat food. As stated, they are good products from the manufacturer’s standpoint. They are highly commercial but at the expense of pet health arguably. This is the nature of big business in the pet marketplace. They tend to pervert things. For instance, they work with vets to ensure that their products are perceived as healthy. It is a marketing ploy. Radura indicates another aspect of the dubious ethics within the pet food manufacturing business.

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