Pentobarbital in Pet Food – Again!

February 11, 2018

A year ago, I posted a recall notice of a product recalled because the drug, pentobarbital, was found in the pet food.  It just happened again! Last year,r a family reported the death of one of their dogs and illness of others from eating food contaminated with pentobarbital in a product manufactured by Evanger’s. A Washington, DC, ABC station conducted an investigation of 62 samples of pet food, testing and retesting. Out of 15 cans of Gravy Train Dog Food tested, 9 cans came back positive for pentobarbital.

Pentobarbital in pet food is lethal and against the law.

Is Pentobarbital Legal in Pet Food?

Federal law states that a pet food company using meat from “a diseased animal or an animal that has died otherwise than by slaughter” is a violation of Federal law.  If a veterinarian euthanized a pet with pentobarbital,  a manufacturer must not include that animal in pet food. Obviously, someone ignores that law.

Over the years, numerous pet foods tested positive for pentobarbital residue. This happened because many dry pet foods include rendered ingredients containing animals euthanized with the drug.

In 2017, Evanger’s recalled some products after pentobarbital was found. February 17, 2017, the Food & Drug Administration advised pet owners not to feed their pets certain lots of Evanger’s Hunk of Beef and Against the Grain canned dog food.  The reason given: The presence of pentobarbital.

After an investigation, The FDA sent a warning letter to Evanger’s Pet Foods in June, 2017, about pentobarbital found in some cans of Hunk of Beef Au Jus.

Pet Food Violations: An Industry Problem

The latest finding of Pentobarbital in Gravy Train Canned Dog Food highlights an industry problem. The FDA is not doing enough to ensure that manufacturers police their products and follow the law. Trusting consumers buy pet food, believing their pets eat a safe product. Pet owners deserve better than what we get from both manufacturers who chance that the rendered ingredients they use may not contain adulterated material and from the FDA, who we believe to be “the last word” in food safety. We don’t know who to believe or who to trust.

Signs of Pentobarbital Poisoning

An animal consuming a food containing pentobarbital may display signs of dizziness, drowsiness, excitement, loss of balance, nausea and possibly death.

Pentobarbital was found in Gravy Train Canned Dog Food.In the latest discovery of pentobarbital in Gravy Train Canned Dog Food, out of 15 cans tested, 9 cans came back positive for the drug. As found, the amounts were not lethal in each can, but the law does not permit any amounts. If a dog or cat should eat a pentobarbital-tainted food, containing just a small amount of the drug, twice a day for several days, that small amount of the drug builds up in the animal’s body.  The drug then becomes a potentially fatal problem.

Brands Made by Big Heart Pet Foods

Big Heart Pet Foods, a division of Smucker’s, makes Gravy Train. Big Heart also manufactures Meow Mix, Milk Bone, Kibbles n Bits, 9 Lives, Natural Balance, Pup-Peroni, Nature’s Recipe, Canine Carry-Outs, Milo’s Kitchen, Alley Cat, Jerky Treats, Meaty Bone, Pounce, and Snausages. Should we wonder if the rendered ingredients in those other products come from the same batch as Gravy Train? It certainly gives one thought. Fortunately, my pets don’t eat any of those products.

Why do the manufacturers get away with selling adulterated pet foods? Why doesn’t the FDA enforce their own laws? Be very careful what your dogs and cats eat.

I applaud WJLA, the ABC station in Washington DC, whose staff was concerned after reading about the death of a dog last year after eating an Evanger’s product containing pentobarbital, for investigation this horror.

Kudos to Susan Thixton of Truth About Pet Food for her tireless efforts on behalf of pet owners to push the FDA to follow the law.

Update on Pentobarbitol in Pet Food

Since the news broke about Gravy Train’s inclusion of Pentobarbital in some cans, many more articles surfaced on the subject.  Apparently, Smucker’s looked further into their products and more have been removed from store shelves.

This site listed 27 brands and flavors of euthanasia-loaded dog food:

  • Gravy Train 13.2 oz. with T-Bone Flavor Chunks (UPC: 7910052541)
  • Gravy Train 13.2 oz. with Beef Strips (UPC: 7910052542)
  • Gravy Train 13.2 oz. with Lamb and Rice Chunks (UPC: 7910052543)
  • Gravy Train 13.2 oz. with Beef Chunks (UPC: 7910034417)
  • Gravy Train 13.2 oz. with Chicken Chunks (UPC: 7910034418)
  • Gravy Train 13.2 oz. Chunks in Gravy Stew (UPC: 7910051933)
  • Gravy Train 13.2 oz. Chicken, Beef & Liver Medley (UPC: 7910051934)
  • Gravy Train 13.2 oz. Chunks in Gravy with Beef Chunks (UPC: 7910034417)
  • Gravy Train 22 oz. with Chicken Chunks (UPC: 7910051645)
  • Gravy Train 22 oz. with Beef Chunks (UPC: 7910051647)
  • Kibbles ‘N Bits 13.2 oz. Burger Bacon Cheese and Turkey Bacon Vegetable Variety 12-Pack (UPC: 7910010377; 7910010378)
  • Kibbles ‘N Bits 13.2 oz. Beef, Chicken, Vegetable, Meatball Pasta and Turkey Bacon Vegetable Variety Pack (UPC: 7910010382; 7910048367; 7910010378)
  • Kibbles ‘N Bits 13.2 oz. Beef, Chicken, Vegetable, Burger Bacon Cheese and Beef Vegetable Variety Pack (UPC: 7910010380; 7910010377; 7910010375)
  • Kibbles ‘N Bits 13.2 oz. Wet Variety Pack (UPC: 791001037; 7910048367)
  • Kibbles ‘N Bits 13.2 oz. Chef’s Choice Bistro Tender Cuts with Real Beef & Vegetable in Gravy (UPC: 7910010375)
  • Kibbles ‘N Bits 13.2 oz. Chef’s Choice Bistro Tender Cuts with Real Turkey, Bacon & Vegetable in Gravy (UPC: 7910010378)
  • Kibbles ‘N Bits 13.2 oz. Chef’s Choice Homestyle Tender Slices with Real Beef, Chicken & Vegetables in Gravy (UPC: 7910010380)
  • Skippy 13.2 oz. Premium Select Cuts in Gravy with Beef & Bone Marrow (UPC: 7910071860)
  • Skippy 13.2 oz. Premium Select Cuts with Burgers & Cheese Bits (UPC: 7910050243)
  • Skippy 13.2 oz. Premium Chunks in Gravy with Smoky Turkey & Bacon (UPC: 7910050246)
  • Skippy 13.2 oz. Premium Chunks in Gravy with Beef & Chicken (UPC: 7910050247)
  • Skippy 13.2 oz. Premium Chunks in Gravy 3 in 1 Chicken, Beef & Liver (UPC: 7910050248)
  • Skippy 13.2 oz. Premium Chunks in Gravy Chunky Stew (UPC: 7910050249)
  • Skippy 13.2 oz. Premium Strips in Gravy with Chicken (UPC: 7910050244)
  • Skippy 13.2 oz. Premium Chunks in Gravy with Beef (UPC: 7910050250)
  • Skippy 13.2 oz. Premium Strips in Gravy with Beef (UPC: 7910050245)
  • Ol’ Roy 13.2 oz. Turkey Bacon Strips (UPC: 8113117570)

This is not an official recall but rather, the company has taken notice that they have a problem and voluntarily removed the above items from retail shelves.

Federal officials say an investigation is ongoing.

 

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

mdenoune February 16, 2018 at 11:01 am

Thank you Author!xo,Kellyann

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