Recently, we wrote about a scandal involving melamine in pet foods back in 2008 which shook the food manufacturing industry to its core, especially after babies started dying from foods contaminated with the chemical. Unfortunately, dog food has been in the news again thanks to a major recall involving pentobarbital found in major pet food brands. A complete list will be supplied at the end of this blog post.
Recently, the FDA found that some canned foods sold by some major brands contained pentobarbital. Pentobarbital is a drug that has a variety of uses. It can be used for sedation and anesthetic purposes. However, another purpose is to induce death in a relatively painless way when used in very large doses. This is used for putting down pets in veterinarian offices and sometimes as a method of executing convicted criminals.
Upon finding out this chemical was present at all in their canned foods, J.M. Smucker issued a recall for three of their largest pet food brands: Gravy Train, Skippy, and Kibbles ‘N Bits. This happened almost exactly one year after Against the Grain Pet Food Inc. and Evanger’s announced recalls for their pet food products for containing pentobarbital.
In the 1990’s, there was also a pentobarbital scare, discovered when veterinarians were finding that dogs had developed a resistance to drugs based on it. In 2002, the FDA published a paper detailing the risks (and lack thereof) involved in pet food contaminated with pentobarbital. Since then, pet food manufacturers have been far more vigilant about what goes into their food.
According to the FDA’s findings, there were only trace amounts of pentobarbital found in these foods. In fact, the amount found in dog foods was nowhere near enough to generate more than a gentle buzz for the animals consuming the food. That being said, this is not news anyone wishes to receive. After all, we feed our pets. They have no choice in what they eat, and we want what’s best for them.
Additionally, any detection of pentobarbital in pet food violates the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Further investigation is being conducted by the FDA and J.M. Smucker to detect the source and route of the contamination. Once the manufacturer of the tainted ingredient is discovered, charges will be filed.
J.M. Smucker released a statement addressing the findings and ensuring their commitment to investigating and fixing this problem. They claim to have “identified the root cause to be a single supplier and a single, minor ingredient, used at one manufacturing facility.” The President of the Pet Food and Pet Snacks division reiterated the company’s aim to “work closely with [their] suppliers and veterinarians to ensure the ingredients used in our products meet or exceed regulatory safety standards and our high-quality standards.”
Now, according to the FDA, it is incredibly unlikely that any pets will be harmed by this contamination. If they do, there are steps you can take to ensure the health and safety of your animals. Pets affected by the pentobarbital can show signs of “drowsiness, dizziness, excitement, loss of balance, nausea, nystagmus (eyes moving back and forth in a jerky manner) and inability to stand,” according to the FDA. If your pets are exhibiting these behaviors, they should see a vet immediately, regardless of the cause.
Sadly, the adulteration of supply chains happens all the time, even with reputable brands. Until security and regulations are tightened up all over the world, we will continue to have problems with this.
Here at IDLogiq, we’re working on blockchain-powered solutions to problems just like this. With transparency and accountability ensured on a scale never seen before, we can prevent horrible situations like pentobarbital popping up in dog food from happening in the future.
The products that are being recalled are:
- Gravy Train with T-Bone Flavor Chunks, 13.2-ounce can, UPC 7910052541
- Gravy Train with Beef Strips, 13.2-ounce can, UPC 791052542
- Gravy Train with Lamb & Rice Chunks, 13.2-ounce can, UPC 7910052543
- Gravy Train with Chicken Chunks, 13.2-ounce can, UPC 7910034418
- Gravy Train with Beef Chunks, 13.2-ounce can, UPC 7910034417
- Gravy Train with Chicken Chunks, 22-ounce can, UPC 7910051645
- Gravy Train with Beef Chunks, 22-ounce can, UPC 7910051647
- Gravy Train Chunks in Gravy with Beef Chunks, 13.2-ounce can, UPC 7910034417
- Kibbles ‘N Bits 12-can Variety Pack – Chef’s Choice American Grill Burger Dinner with Real Bacon & Cheese Bits in Gravy, Chef’s Choice Bistro Tender Cuts with Real Turkey Bacon & Vegetables in Gravy, 12 pack of 13.2-ounce cans, UPC 7910010377, 7910010378
- Kibbles ‘N Bits 12-Can Variety Pack – Chef’s Choice Bistro Hearty Cuts with Real Beef, Chicken & Vegetables in Gravy, Chef’s Choice Homestyle Meatballs & Pasta Dinner with Real Beef in Tomato Sauce, 12 pack of 13.2-ounce cans, UPC 7910010382, 7910048367, 7910010378
- Kibbles ‘N Bits 12-Can Variety Pack – Chef’s Choice Homestyle Tender Slices with Real Beef, Chicken & Vegetables in Gravy, Chef’s Choice American Grill Burger Dinner with Real Bacon & Cheese Bits in Gravy, Chef’s Choice Bistro Tender Cuts with Real Beef & Vegetables in Gravy, 12 pack of 13.2-ounce cans, UPC 7910010380, 7910010377, 7910010375
- Kibbles ‘N Bits Chef’s Choice Bistro Tender Cuts with Real Beef & Vegetables in Gravy, 13.2-ounce can, UPC 7910010375
- Kibbles ‘N Bits Chef’s Choice Bistro Tender Cuts with Real Turkey, Bacon & Vegetables in Gravy, 13.2-ounce can, UPC 7910010378
- Kibbles ‘N Bits Chef’s Choice Homestyle Tender Slices with Real Beef, Chicken & Vegetables in Gravy, 13.2-ounce can, UPC 7910010380
- Ol’ Roy Strips Turkey Bacon, 13.2-ounce can, UPC 8113117570
- Skippy Premium Chunks in Gravy Chunky Stew, 13.2-ounce can, UPC 79100502469
- Skippy Premium Chunks in Gravy with Beef, 13.2-ounce can, UPC 7910050250
- Skippy Premium Strips in Gravy with Beef, 13.2-ounce can, UPC 7910050245