Dr. Michael Fox is a very well respected Veterinarian in the Holistic field and began working with massage on animals and then found great results with acupuncture and acupressure treatments on animals.
Pet Food Perils
Lurking GMOs May Hurt Our Pets
By Dr. Michael W. Fox
Like a canary in a coal mine, dogs serve as sentinels, drawing our attention to health hazards in our shared home environment and in the products and byproducts of the food industry.
Multiple Health Issues
In the mid-1990s, as genetically engineered or modified (GE, GM or GMO), corn and soy were becoming increasingly prominent ingredients in both pet food products and feed for farm animals, the number of dogs reported suffering from a specific cluster of health problems increased. It also became evident from discussion among veterinarians and dog owners that such health problems occurred more often among dogs eating pet food that included CM crops than those consuming food produced from conventional crops.
The conditions most cited included allergies, asthma, atopic (severe) dermatitis and other skin problems, irritable bowel syndrome, leaky gut syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, colitis, recurrent diarrhea, vomiting and indigestion, plus abnormalities in liver, pancreas and immune system functions. People often reported failed treatments and harmful side effects to prescribed remedies (e.g. steroids), as well as problems with various manufactured prescription diets after their attending veterinarians diagnosed their animals with these conditions.
According to a 2011 study in the journal Cell Research, in engineering crops like corn and soybean, novel proteins are created that can assault the immune system and cause allergies and illnesses, especially in the offspring of mothers fed GMO foods. Diminished nutrient content is a concurrent issue.
"The results of most of the few independent studies conducted with GM foods indicate that they may cause hepatic, pancreatic, renal and reproductive effects and may alter hematological, biochemical and immunologic parameters” concluded Artemis Dona and Ioannis S. Arvanitoyannis, of the Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology at the University of Athens Medical School, in their 2009 study on the effect of GM foods on animals.
Such problems are caused partly by the inherent genetic instability of GM plants, which can result in spontaneous and unpredictable mutations (Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering Reviews). DNA in GM foods is altered by the genetic engineering process; it can be incorporated by gut bacteria and may alter their behavior and ecology in the digestive tract. Likewise, when digestive bacteria incorporate material from antibiotic-resistant genes, engineered into patented CM foods crops to identify them, it could have serious health implications, according to Jeffrey M. Smith in his book, Genetic Roulette, and Terje Traavik and Jack Heinemann, co-authors of Genetic Engineering and Omitted Health Research.
What Pet Owners Can Do
Look for pet foods that are free of CM corn and soy, and/or organically certified. Pet food manufacturers that use U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) certified organic ingredients—and especially those that don't use corn, soy, canola, cotton byproducts (oil and cake) or sugar beet, which are more commonly genetically engineered, or imported rice, which can have GM strains—can legitimately claim "No GMO Ingredients" on their packaging.
Information, plus tips on avoiding hidden GMO ingredients are available at NonGMOShoppingGuide.com. Many websites also provide recipes for home-prepared diets for companion animals, including DogCatHome PreparedDiet.com.
Let responsible pet food manufacturers know of consumers' concerns and heed Hippocrates' advice to let our food be our medicine and our medicine be our food. Enlightened citizen action is an integral part of the necessary revolution in natural agriculture aimed at promoting more ecologically sound, sustainable and humane farming practices, a healthier environment and more healthful, wholesome and affordable food for us and our canine companions.
Michael Fox, author of "Healing Animals & the Vision of One Health, is a veterinarian with doctoral degrees in medicine and animal behavior. Find GMO-free pet food brands and learn more at DrFoxVet.com.
From Natural Awakenings, July 2013, Phoenix Addition.
Sodium Bisulfate: It Might Burn Your Pet's Mouth, Throat, and Stomach - But They're Adding It to Food Anyway
June 28, 2013
By Dr. Becker
Anticipated regulations from the Food Safety Modernization Act will affect pet food production. According to PetfoodIndustry.com, as a result, product safety has jumped to the top of the priority list for pet food manufacturers.
One of the primary concerns, especially with the rash of recalls over the last few years, is that humans are being exposed to salmonella bacteria from processed pet food – in particular, dry food.
Pet food producers are implementing a variety of tactics to control salmonella contamination, including more vendor inspections, hazard analysis and critical control point plans, and hold-and-release programs. As you might expect, additives are also being looked at for their ability to control salmonella. One of those substances is sodium bisulfate.
A producer of sodium bisulfate and scientists at Kansas State University are collaborating to study the ability of this substance to prevent recontamination by salmonella after the pet food extrusion process.
Adding Sodium Bisulfate to Kibble May Help Control Salmonella Contamination
Sodium bisulfate is not to be confused with menadione sodium bisulfate, which is synthetic vitamin K3. It should also not be confused with sodium bisulfite, which is a chemical preservative used in fruits and wines.
Sodium bisulfate, also known as sodium hydrogen sulfate, is an acid salt. Its primary function is acidification. It is currently used in some processed pet foods to acidify urine, reduce pH levels, and control microbes in soft treats and liquid digest. But according to PetfoodIndustry.com, “New research conducted at independent laboratories indicates that sodium bisulfate controls Salmonella contamination on the surface of extruded dry petfood.”
Dry pet food is heat-treated twice – once during pre-conditioning and again during extrusion. The very high temperatures used in these processing steps should kill the salmonella present in the food. It is therefore suspected recontamination occurs primarily after the food is extruded – possibly inside the conveying system or from airborne dust in air-handling systems.
If either of those sources of contamination is the cause, it’s assumed the salmonella is only on the outside of the kibble. This is where sodium bisulfate comes in. It is a “surface-active” compound that is highly acidic and in a physically dry state. This means it can be turned into a powder and applied to the surface of kibble for purposes of salmonella control.
And Now for the Bad News…
The good news is pet food companies are actively searching for ways to reduce human exposure to salmonella bacteria in their products.
The bad news? Adding a substance like sodium bisulfate to dry pet food is a little like putting lipstick on a pig (no offense to pigs). The pig may look more attractive. It may not even look like a pig from certain angles, but it’s still a pig. Salmonella-free kibble is still kibble – highly processed, double heat-treated pet food that lacks moisture and other nutrients that can only be obtained from fresh, whole, real food.
In addition, you should know that sodium bisulfate isn’t an entirely benign additive. According to MedlinePlus, in humans, symptoms from swallowing more than a tablespoon of this acid can include burning pain in the mouth, diarrhea, vomiting, and severe low blood pressure.
Sodium bisulfate is produced in a “pet grade” as well as a technical grade. I wasn’t able to find a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) on the pet grade product, but the MSDS on the technical grade product states that inhalation of the substance damages the mucous membranes and upper respiratory tract. Sodium bisulfate is classified as a corrosive, so swallowing it can cause severe, even fatal burns to the mouth, throat and stomach; touching it can cause severe skin burns. Chronic exposure can result in lung irritation, tracheal bronchitis, persistent coughing, and corrosion of teeth.
The danger of salmonella poisoning from pet food is a risk to the humans serving the food – not the dogs or cats eating it. Healthy pets are able to handle a much higher bacterial load than their owners. It’s important to understand that distinction.
If you feed your pet kibble (which I don't recommend), the following simple handling precautions should keep you and your family safe from contamination:
· Wash your hands thoroughly after handling any pet food or treats.
· Don't allow very young children, elderly people or those who are immunocompromised to handle pet food or treats.
· Keep all pet foods and treats away from your family's food.
· Do not prepare pet foods in the same area or with the same equipment/utensils you use to prepare human foods.
· Do not allow pets on countertops or other areas where human food is prepared.
· Feeding pets in the kitchen has been identified as a source of infection. If you can arrange to feed your pet in an area other than your kitchen, consider doing so. Alternatively, feed your pet as far away from human food preparation areas as possible.
I don’t recommend feeding your dog or cat a commercial pet food with special additives designed to control salmonella. I’m an advocate of wholesome, natural diets for pets (and people). I’m not in favor of chemicals added to food. And I certainly don’t recommend feeding your pet or any pet a highly processed, preserved kibble dusted with a potentially corrosive substance.
This article is from Dr. Becker’s free newsletter @
I get Dr. Karen Becker's newsletter because she has very informative information in it. I love my pets and I am constantly researching information for their health and safety. I will post anything that I find alarming that I feel pet owners should be informed about.