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NUTRO Dry Cat Food Zinc Levels “Sky High”

Posted by Jane Akre
Thursday, June 18, 2009 11:44 PM EST
Category: Protecting Your Family
Tags: Pets, Cats, Pet Health, Zinc, Tainted Pet Food, Pet Food Recall, Contaminated Pet Food

NUTRO  drycat food levels sky high with zinc, a nonprofit group finds.

An Error In Production



 IMAGE SOURCE: Wikimedia Commons/ 8 week old kittens/ author: Adriano 


A non-profit group has tested the controversial, recalled NUTRO cat food and finds the levels of zinc are “sky high” enough to cause kidney and  liver damage, and gastrointestinal problems.  

The Pet Food Products Safety Alliance (PFPSA) hired an independent lab, Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, to test the NUTRO Max Adult Roasted Chicken Flavor dry cat food. 

Zinc levels came back 2100 parts per million (ppm), about 38 times the daily recommended dose of 175 mg. per day of zinc, an essential trace element for plants and animals in small quantities.  The European Union sets a level of 250 ppm in animal foods.

Dr. Stephen Hansen, a veterinary toxicologist and senior vice-president of Animal Health for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) tells Consumer Affairs, “That zinc level jumps off the page. It is awfully high and does concern us. It’s certainly gotten our attention.”

PFPSA founder, Don Earl, believes this is a deadly level of zinc. “I consider it highly unlikely that any cat exposed to this food would survive much over a week.”

PFPSA reports since 2004, there have been on average at least one pet food recall every quarter and the pet food industry is largely self-regulated, headed by the lobbying organization, Pet Food Institute. 

Earl’s group tested the unopened NUTRO Max cat food on May 22, one day after the company announced a recall of seven flavors of cat food, part of the Natural Choice Complete Care and NUTRO Max cat foods.

The company claimed the products had high or low levels of zinc and potassium which it blames on an error in production.  

Pet owners have been warned to look for weight loss, refusal to eat and diarrhea in their cats. Many pet owners report their cats have expired or been sickened. Some have spend hundreds of dollars or more in vet bills. 

The non-profit group fears that pet food suppliers have not pulled the pet food from store shelves. 

One consumer, concerned about the illness of both of her cats, contacted NUTRO but did not get any response for a couple of weeks, she says. Stacey tells Consumer Affairs, “I don’t feel the company has been truthful about the side effects and complaints from pet owners that had given their pets this food.”

The recall announced in May includes:

Select varieties of NUTRO® NATURAL CHOICE® COMPLETE CARE® Dry Cat Foods and NUTRO® MAX® Cat Dry Foods with “Best If Used By Dates” between May 12, 2010 and August 22, 2010.

The recall does not affect NUTRO dog food, or wet cat food, or dog or cat treats. See the Max Cat products affected on the NUTRO company web site, or contact them at 1-800-833-5330. The hours 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM CST. 

The recall affects all 50 states as well as 10 countries.      #


Anonymous User
Posted by Petlover
Friday, June 19, 2009 7:22 AM EST

Important points for pet owners to know..Nutro does tout great QC/QA on their website but this food was not tested for basic nutrients apparently as Zinc is a basic cat nutrient...and who made the error that was only caught by paperwork SIX months later--did Trouw Nutrition get it wrong or did Nutro give the "wrong recipe card"?? We may never know because Nutro will not answer those hard questions in a public forum...When the VP of the ASPCA seems troubled...it is time to make sure we all know exactly what happened to prevent it again!

Posted by Jane Akre
Friday, June 19, 2009 10:27 AM EST

Member law firms -

What remedies do individuals have when their pet has been injured or killed and they have high vet bills?

And why, if a pet food maker is facing a huge financial hit, would they not have someone in quality control?

Anonymous User
Posted by concernedpetparent
Friday, June 19, 2009 10:36 AM EST

This commercial pet food is produced by one of the
biggest pet food manufacturers in the country, Mars. How many other commercial pet foods if safety tested for correct amounts of vitamins and
minerals would also not be correct, maybe downright dangerous or lethal?
Clearly, there is little to no commercial pet food
safety testing occurring or this error never would
have made it to the store retail shelves across
Demand that commercial pet food producers be required to safety test their pet food products
for all grain toxins, bacteria, vitamin and mineral and heavy metals content, phony protein content, and that these testing results be
available to the pet food consuming public on
pet food websites for each and every batch of food
in the retail stores across the country.

Comments for this article are closed.

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