I was very interested in your piece 'Let them eat dog food' (WDDTY vol 13 no 9). For years, I've been interested in nutrition and supplements for humans without really paying any attention to supplement levels in pet food. But then my cat died of cancer not long ago. I suddenly realised that an awful lot of my friends have pets with cancer and other serious diseases - it's quite shocking once you pay attention.
But, once I'd read Food Pets Die For by Ann N. Martin (Troutdale, OR: New Sage Press, 1997) and What Vets Don't Tell You About Vaccines by Catherine O'Driscoll (Longnor, Derbyshire: Abbeywood Publishing, 1998), all became clear.
Every pet owner should read these books!
The dodgy glop we feed our animals is killing them. High levels of supplements or not, the nutritional value of the food is so low that the added vitamins and minerals are still nowhere near high enough to keep our pets healthy - not to mention the carcinogenic antioxidants that are added when manufacturers could be using vitamins C and E as mixed tocopherol antioxidants, as do some companies in the UK and the US.
There are some manufacturers in the US who have started making decent pet foods (see www.naturapet.com, for example), but you can't get this in the UK.
So I contacted Royal Canin (one of the better pet food manufacturers available here in England) to find out what they use to preserve their fats. They didn't answer. I then asked the German branch, and was told Royal Canin uses BHA (E320) and E310.
Now, BHA has long been suspected of being carcinogenic (by the Animal Protection Institute of America), so I wrote back and asked why they couldn't use vitamins C and E as antioxidants instead, and mentioned the other manufacturers who are doing so. They answered that the vitamin levels they would have to use would be too high and that the vitamin E levels would be toxic as a result.
I didn't believe it as the other manufacturers are managing to do it perfectly well, and their food is not toxic - and then it hit me!
I was talking to Germans in Germany, where Codex proposals already exist as law! The use of vitamin C above 200 mg and vitamin E above 45 IU are illegal there.
So this is what we can look forward to if this becomes law here. Not only will our own health be affected, but our better pet foods will be outlawed too. So we'll be forced to feed our animals more carcinogens. (Not all of us have the time to cook for our pets.)
I'm sure a lot of your readers are pet owners, and they have children who are heartbroken when their pets get sick and die.
If you ever do a 'pet special', please recommend that pet owners read The Nature of Animal Healing by Martin Goldstein (currently out of print, but secondhand copies are available from www.amazon.com on the Internet).
In fact, the information in this book is relevant to human health too, regardless of whether you have pets or not. The more we learn about what's going on, the better - on every level.
What's happening in animal health is a scandal waiting to become public knowledge! - C. Chaplin, London