FDA opens investigation after report exposes euthanasia drug in dog food


A study revealed that some brands of dog food have tested positive for traces of a lethal drug used to euthanize dogs, cats and horses, WJLA reported.

>> Read more trending news

The study, which includes 62 samples of wet dog food from more than two dozen brands, was conducted with Ellipse Analytics -- a lab that tests food for contaminants. 

After months of testing, WJLA reported that one brand came back positive for pentobarbital in 60 percent of the samples tested. Fifteen cans of Gravy Train were tested, and nine contained pentobarbital. While the levels detected were not lethal, they also violated federal law that states the drug should not be allowed in any concentration, WJLA reported.

“Pet food violates federal law, is openly allowed by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) to violate federal law, billion dollar a year companies are making profits selling illegal adulterated products to unknowing consumers in the U.S. every day,” Susan Thixton, a pet food consumer advocate, told WJLA. “Consumers have no information. A consumer has to become a private detective to learn what’s really in their food.”

Gravy Train is made by Big Heart Pet Foods and owned by Smucker’s, WJLA reported. According to Nielsen data, it accounts for more than $40 million of the company’s annual revenue. Big Heart also produces other dog and cat food products.

How then, did dog food become laced with a potentially lethal drug?

“It comes from euthanasia of animals using that euthanasia drug,” said Dr. Nicholas Dodman, chief scientific officer for The Center for Canine Behavior Studies and former director of the Animal Behavior Program at Tufts University. “So, these animals could be dogs, they could be cats, they could be horses -- but how is it getting into the pet food? If they say it doesn’t come from dogs, cats and horses, where does it come from? It doesn’t come from outer space.”

Dodman said the level of pentobarbital in the food is really beside the point.

Contacted to address the test results, the FDA and Smucker’s declined to speak on camera, WJLA reported. Smucker’s did release a statement that said the company is launching “a thorough investigation” to determine the accuracy of WJLA’s test results and the methodology used.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in News

CNN's Anderson Cooper calls out Donald Trump Jr., debunks hurricane meme
CNN's Anderson Cooper calls out Donald Trump Jr., debunks hurricane meme

Atlanta-based CNN is often dismissed as "fake news" by President Donald Trump and his supporters. Seeking to prove their point, some right-wing meme creators found a photo of Anderson Cooper in waist-deep floodwater, claiming he was exaggerating and staging shots during Hurricane Florence.  But the photo was from 2008...
Springfield man sentenced to 15 years in prison for attempted murder case
Springfield man sentenced to 15 years in prison for attempted murder case

Update: 10:15 a.m. Elrashawn Dover was sentenced to 15 years in prison for his role in a Springfield shooting earlier this year. Clark County Common Pleas Court Judge Douglas Rastatter sentenced the man at around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday morning. Dover faced up to 15.5 years for the crimes he pleaded guilty to. Orginal A Springfield man accused of shooting...
Heinz brings Mayochup to the US; Twitter vote for debut city
Heinz brings Mayochup to the US; Twitter vote for debut city

Americans will soon be able to try Heinz’s latest creation -- Mayochup. The ketchup company introduced the combination in Arab Gulf states earlier this year, but after being prodded to bring the product to U.S. store shelves, the company has decided to give its customers what they want and bring it to America.  All it took was a half million...
National Cheeseburger Day 2018: Deals and freebies on burgers Tuesday
National Cheeseburger Day 2018: Deals and freebies on burgers Tuesday

Tuesday is National Cheeseburger Day, and whether you like yours with “lettuce and tomato, Heinz 57 and French-fried potatoes. Big kosher pickle and a cold draught beer,” or if your tastes are more simple, here are some deals on the American classic. 2nd and Charles: Get a free Bob’s Burgers cheeseburger at checkout as long as supplies...
Hyperloop concept gets first regulations, safety guidelines
Hyperloop concept gets first regulations, safety guidelines

An exceptionally fast transportation system may be a step closer to Ohio. Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HyperloopTT) and German insurance company Munich Re said Monday that a set of core safety requirements and certification guidelines for the fledgling mode of transportation have been created. The hyperloop is expected to transport pods of...
More Stories