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Hot Topics - Pet Food

Consumer Reports ® says:

  • "More than half the cat foods and more than one-fourth of the dog foods - including some "superpremium" types - fell significantly short in at least one of the nutrients in guidelines set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). Among the concerns: low levels of potassium, required for certain metabolic processes and nerve transmission, and of calcium, necessary to build bones. "[From "Feeding Fido (and Fifi, Fluffy, Max...)", February 1998].

  • "Our tests of pet food (February 1998) showed nutritional imbalances in 39 products... After the issue was released, The Iams Company, maker of both Iams and Eukanuba brands, showed us compelling data questioning our test findings of low levels of potassium in some of their products. We retested the products from The Iams Company. Those results demonstrate that each Iams product met the nutritional standards for potassium, and that our initial test results were incorrect." [From "Correction: Pet food tests", March 1998].

  • "Our February report on dog and cat foods focused in part on whether major brands deliver all the necessary nutrients for the health and well-being of a pet... However, our report and Ratings contained errors stemming from mistakes in the measurement of some minerals and a fatty acid. As we promised last month, we have retested all the products described in the February report as being nutritionally unbalanced." [From "Correction: Pet food retest", April 1998].

"Testing Consumer Reports" - Brill's Content reports (Sep. 99), "In February 1998, Consumer Reports declared that more than half the cat foods and a quarter of the dog foods it tested were significantly lacking in at least one key nutrient. The magazine gave 39 of the 97 cat and dog foods lower marks because of that deficiency, telling readers to buy other brands first. But Consumer Reports soon discovered - from a pet food company - that its meticulous testing process had generated flawed results."

"Cheap food may not be a bargain" - A St. Petersburg Times reader asked (Jul 14, 1998), "A recent Consumer Reports stated that grocery store brands of dog food are, in general, just as nutritious as the fancy brands (Science Diet, Iams), implying that it is a waste of money to feed these "better" foods?" A veterinarian answered, "According to the Hill's Co., which manufactures Science Diet pet foods, the Consumer Reports article was misleading. The article focused on meeting minimum nutrient guidelines set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) and the lowest cost for a standardized calorie amount. These criteria alone are inadequate to fairly judge pet foods."

"Iams Campaign a Matter of Taste" - The Dayton Daily News reports, "Hot on the heels of the Consumer Reports pet-food tasting debacle comes a couple of new food products for cats.

Iams, the Vandalia-based company that yelped when Consumer Reports incorrectly reported that some of its products were not nutritious, is taking matters directly to those whose opinions matter - cats."

"Complaint Spurs Consumer Reports To Issue Another Pet Food Review" - The Chicago Tribune reports, "The lengthy review of pet foods in the February [1998]issue of Consumer Reports was based on faulty testing and its recommendations should be disregarded "for now," said the magazine in a press release."

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