Pet Foods with Plant-Derived Proteins May Contain More Harmful Toxins Than Pet Foods with Traditional Fish and Meat Proteins.’
We’ve been warning about GMO contaminated foods and this is a warning about pet foods. Although they don’t mention GMO, most of the corn (and wheat is suspect too) used in non-organic pet foods is GMO and this is an example of what can happen.
The potential for an increase in deadly aflatoxins in pet food made with corn-based ingredients. The increased risk is due to extreme drought conditions in the U.S. Midwest. Aflatoxins are naturally-occurring mycotoxins produced by the Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus paraciticus species of fungi that grow on certain crops. Aflatoxins are highly carcinogenic. They poison the liver and promote tumor development. According to PetfoodIndustry.com: “Pet foods with plant-derived proteins may also contain more harmful toxins than pet foods with traditional fish and meat proteins, according to new research from the University of Guelph.” Animal and poultry science professor Trevor Smith at Guelph in Canada who has spent over three decades researching mycotoxins: “Although we have no exact numbers, we can estimate that when half of the food is of vegetable origin, there will almost always be some degree of contamination. If the food is mainly of animal origins, the chances of contamination are greatly reduced.” He counsels pet owners to minimize the risk by avoiding inexpensive pet foods containing vegetable cereals, corn or wheat fillers, and especially rice bran.
Aflatoxins frequently contaminate agricultural crops before they are harvested. Conditions that promote pre-harvest contamination include high temperatures, prolonged periods of drought, and insect activity. Aflatoxins can also be a problem after harvesting if the crop stays wet for too long. And they can grow on stored crops if the moisture level is too high and mold develops.The three plants with the highest rate of aflatoxin contamination are corn, peanuts and cottonseed. Processed foods containing corn can also carry a risk of aflatoxin adulteration. Infected corn and cottonseed meal fed to dairy cows has resulted in aflatoxin contamination of milk and other dairy products including cheese and yogurt.