Shocking test results provided in a new consumer lawsuit against Taste of the Wild pet food.
A lawsuit against Diamond Pet Food’s Taste of the Wild brand was filed in Illinois on 2/28/2019 claiming the pet food was “negligent, reckless, and/or intentional practice of misrepresenting, failing to test for, and failing to fully disclose the risk and/or presence of heavy metals, toxins, Bisphenol A (“BPA”).”
This lawsuit is similar to many other recent pet food lawsuits with the exception of one significant thing. Test results of Taste of the Wild Grain Free Southwest Canyon Canine Recipe with Wild Boar Dry Dog Food found “12,200 mcg/kg” of lead in the dog food.
How dangerous is 12,200 mcg/kg lead?
Quoting the lawsuit, “one of the Contaminated Dog Foods tested higher than most homes in Flint Michigan: “In Flint, the amount of lead found in in residents’ water since the crisis erupted has varied from house to house with many showing no detectable levels of lead. At a few homes, lead levels reached 4,000 ppb to nearly 12,000 ppb.”
The FDA says the following about lead in food for humans:
The FDA assesses whether the amount of lead in a food product is high enough to raise a person’s blood lead level to a point of concern. To do this, the agency establishes a maximum daily intake for lead, called the Interim Reference Level (IRL). In determining the IRL, the FDA takes into account the amount of a particular food a person would need to consume daily, as well as other factors, that would result in blood lead levels of of 5mcg per deciliter, the level at which the CDC recommends clinical monitoring of lead exposure in children. The FDA has established the current IRL at 3 mcg per day for children and 12.5 mcg per day for adults.
How much lead per day is a dog eating of 12,200 mcg/kg?
Per the Taste of the Wild website, recommended feeding for a 30 pound dog is two cups a day. Two cups of the tested dog food would mean a 30 pound dog is consuming 2,440 mcg of lead per day. Comparing side by side the FDA daily maximum level of lead in food for an adult human to the daily amount a 30 pound dog would consume of the tested Taste of the Wild dog food:
Side by side – the human food maximum established by FDA is barely measurable compared to the lead found in the Taste of the Wild dog food (per the lawsuit).
The level of lead considered risk in pet food is completely different than in human food. Remember, pet food is regulated as ‘feed’, not as ‘food’. Everything ‘feed’ is different.
The FDA or AAFCO has not established a legal maximum of lead in pet food. Instead, regulatory authorities refer to a 14 year old publication from the National Research Council (NRC); 2005 Mineral Tolerance for Animals. The NRC has not established a specific maximum ‘tolerance’ level for cats – but makes this statement regarding dogs: “Rats and dogs tolerate 10 mg lead/kg diet without changes in functional indices in hematopoiesis or kidney function.”
Based on the 14 year old information from NRC (and converting mg/kg to mcg/kg), a ‘safe’ (maximum tolerance) level of lead for a 30 pound dog would be 2,000 mcg per day. Remember – a human adult maximum tolerance level of lead is 12.5 mcg per day – a 30 pound dog maximum is 2,000 mcg lead per day. Comparing all three stats side by side – the FDA daily maximum level of lead in food for an adult, the daily amount a 30 pound dog would consume of the tested Taste of the Wild dog food, and the maximum level of lead per day the NRC believes is safe for a 30 pound dog to consume:
Even though the NRC safe level of lead is significantly higher than the FDA maximum lead level of food for humans, the The Taste of the Wild dog food tested in this lawsuit is STILL above the National Research Council level.
Click Here to read the lawsuit against Taste of the Wild.
If you have concerns that your dog (or cat) was exposed to high levels of lead, please contact your veterinarian.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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