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Lead, Mercury, Arsenic, Cadmium Found In Popular Pet Foods

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — There are plenty of regulations intended to keep human food safe, but there are new concerns about pet foods.

There have been thousands of pets with illnesses or deaths linked to pet foods in recent years. In many cases, the pet owners don’t know what in the foods made their pets sick.

The FDA has received over 9,000 pet food complaints since 2010 ranging from diarrhea to death.

Clean Label Lab Tests

Now, lab tests commissioned by the Clean Label Project are shedding light on what they say are shocking levels of contaminants lurking in some pet foods.

Jackie Bowen of the Clean Label project said, “Seeing lead levels that were 55 times those observed in the Flint, Michigan drinking water” was among the most surprising findings of the tests.

The Clean Label Project worked with Ellipse Analytics to test 900 of the bestselling pet foods and treats for over 130 contaminates and toxins. Lead, arsenic, mercury and cadmium were just a few of the contaminants the lab says it found in a variety of pet foods.

Instead of nutrition, Bowen says they focused solely on contaminates which the lab says it found in products from nearly every brand tested. Though levels varied dramatically from product to product within each brand.

Veterinarian Concerns 

Veterinarian Dr. Jill Chase notes that the healthy claims on pet food packages don’t necessarily mean the food is better for your pet.

“Foods are branded, organic, they’re this, they’re that, but the reality is that most of the foods just have to comply with basic FDA standards and they haven’t been researched,”Chase said.

Interestingly, among the products tested Clean Label says it found the fewest contaminants in products with chicken and turkey as the primary protein.

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