News Manufacturers Hit Back At Pet Food Claims

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Manufacturers hit back at pet food claims
22nd August 2019

By Sandra Pearce

The Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association has responded to claims made by an online pet food retailer that 95% of dog foods don’t reveal their exact ingredients.

The PFMA said that its members (which represent around 90% of the UK pet food market) are committed to providing pet owners with a clear understanding of what is in their pet’s food, which is why ‘many pet food manufacturers provide full product information on company websites and have dedicated customer care lines to provide further support’.

Paws.com, which offers an online sales of ‘expert-recommended food for your dog, delivered to your door’, said it had looked at more than 1,000 wet and dry dog foods across Britain's supermarkets and Amazon's bestseller list.

Its research said that 95% of dog foods owned by big brands don’t reveal their exact ingredients; 85% of supermarket own-label dog food contains ‘meat and animal derivatives’; and more than half of ‘big brand dog food’ contains vegetable derivatives.

'STRINGENT LEGISLATION'

A spokesman for the PFMA said: “Many pet foods provide a full ingredients list on the label and these products are widely available. Alternatively, some manufacturers may label using category descriptions eg. ‘Meat and animal derivatives’ or ‘vegetable derivatives’ instead of listing individual ingredients.

“Using category descriptions means manufacturers can select ingredients based on supply without having the need to change labels constantly.

“Whilst the word ‘derivatives’ may not sound pretty (the term is set by EU legislation), pet owners should not be put off as this provides a highly sustainable way of sourcing ingredients. A vital consideration given current sustainability challenges and future thinking.

“Regardless of the labelling format, all ingredients are subject to the same stringent legislation and any product labelled as ‘complete’ must by law provide all the nutrients a pet needs for healthy bodily function.”

The PFMA has a number of guides and articles on labelling and pet food ingredients:
> Understanding pet food labels at https://www.pfma.org.uk/labelling-factsheet
> More information on pet food ingredients at https://www.pfma.org.uk/ingredients-factsheet
> How pet food is made at https://www.pfma.org.uk/