Deceptive Graphics are OK!

Updated on October 27, 2021

Deceptive Graphics are Ok!

(AAFCO) Model Regulation for Pet Food and Specialty Pet Food PF2(c) states, “A vignette, graphic or pictorial representation on a petfood or specialty petfood label shall not misrepresent the contents of the package”. Act 36 of 1947, Regulations R. 1087, Clause 22, sub-clause 2 (a) also states, “A vignette, graphic, or pictorial representation of a product on a pet food shall not misinterpret the contents of the package; ” Yet, virtually no manufacturer reasonably respects this requirement, opting instead for a beautifully presented salmon fillet or boneless, skinless chicken breast, slices of white meat turkey presented on a bed of greens … a cornucopia of fruits and vegetables etc., that appeal to consumer sensibilities… which is a deceptive representation of dried meat meals and split grains, and doesn’t convey the nature of the source of the ingredient.

Perspective is ordinarily abused: AAFCO regulations aim to prevent undue emphasis on minor ingredients (i.e., the “3% rule“), but that pertains to words, not graphics. Therefore misleading overemphasis of fruits or specialty fish and meat is extraordinarily common.

Act 36 of 1947, Regulations R. 1087, Clause 22, sub-clause 2 (h) further states “The term “real meat” is interpreted as the soft substance of an animal body consisting predominantly of muscle and fat and this claim must be substantiated;”.

To gain insight into how to read the label, review our article titled Decoding Pet Food Labels, and more to the point, Do Not be Label Fooled.

Of course, THIS is what the labels and branding want you to believe …

And this is what is listed … Chicken, Ground Whole Grain Corn, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Chicken By-Product Meal (Source of Chondroitin Sulfate and Glucosamine), Ground Whole Grain Barley, Dried Beet Pulp, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols), Natural Flavor, Dried Egg Product, Dicalcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Dried Brewers Yeast, Flaxseed, Caramel Color, Salt, Choline Chloride, L-Lysine Monohydrochloride, Carrots, Tomatoes, Fructooligosaccharides, Spinach, Green Peas, Calcium Carbonate, Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Potassium Iodide), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Ascorbic Acid, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate (source of Vitamin B1), Vitamin B12 supplement, Niacin, Riboflavin Supplement (source of Vitamin B2), Inositol, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (source of Vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), DL-Methionine, Dried Apple Pomace, L-Tryptophan, L-Carnitine, Dried Blueberry Pomace, Mixed Tocoperols, Rosemary Extract, Citric AcidBEFORE RENDERING the ingredients.

And this what is listed … Lamb (source of glucosamine), rice flour, whole grain corn, whole grain wheat, chicken by-product meal (source of glucosamine), corn gluten meal, soybean meal, beef fat naturally preserved with mixed-tocopherols, mono and dicalcium phosphate, glycerin, calcium carbonate, liver flavor, salt, caramel color, soybean oil, potassium chloride, dried carrots, dried peas, VITAMINS [Vitamin E supplement, niacin (Vitamin B-3), Vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate (Vitamin B-5), thiamine mononitrate (Vitamin B-1), Vitamin B-12 supplement, riboflavin supplement (Vitamin B-2), pyridoxine hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), folic acid (Vitamin B-9), menadione sodium bisulfite complex (Vitamin K), Vitamin D-3 supplement, biotin (Vitamin B-7)], MINERALS [zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite], choline chloride, L-Lysine monohydrochloride, sulfurBEFORE RENDERING the ingredients.

Ok, so why is this important to me as a pet parent? As we highlight in our blog articles titled “Don’t be label fooled“, you should be aware that no ingredient is affected by water weight more than protein!

What is being advertised is a plant-based pet feed. Not food. Not biologically, specie appropriate.

Surely this is not true for those very expensive manufacturers? Some from Canada even claim that they are Biologically Appropriate?

And this what is listed … Fresh chicken meat (13%), fresh turkey meat (7%), fresh whole eggs (7%), fresh chicken liver (6%), fresh whole herring (6%), fresh whole flounder (5%), fresh turkey liver (5%), fresh chicken necks (4%), fresh chicken heart (4%), fresh turkey heart (4%), chicken (dehydrated, 4%), turkey (dehydrated, 4%), whole mackerel (dehydrated, 4%), whole sardine (dehydrated, 4%), whole herring (dehydrated, 4%), whole red lentils, whole green lentils, whole green peas, lentil fiber, whole chickpeas, whole yellow peas, whole pinto beans, whole navy beans, herring oil (1%), chicken fat (1%), chicken cartilage (1%), chicken liver (freeze-dried), turkey liver (freeze-dried), fresh whole pumpkin, fresh whole butternut squash, fresh whole zucchini, fresh whole parsnips, fresh carrots, fresh whole red delicious apples, fresh whole bartlett pears, fresh kale, fresh spinach, fresh beet greens, fresh turnip greens, brown kelp, whole cranberries, whole blueberries, whole saskatoon berries, chicory root, turmeric root, milk thistle, burdock root, lavender, marshmallow root, rosehips, enterococcus faecium. … BEFORE RENDERING the ingredients.

And this is where they fail pet parents … lentils! Lots of lentils! Never mind the fact that all the “fresh” ingredients, once rendered, it less than the plant-based sources, we now use a source that might cause DCM in dogs (heart problems), namely, lentils (3). Completely NON-SPECIE, NOT BIOLOGICALLY APPROPRIATE ingredients

Given the rules that apply, nobody is breaking any rules with their claims, as they are correctly stating the ingredients, by weight or percentage, used to make their feed, BEFORE RENDERING.

And some of the local offerings? Rich in Chicken and Rice ..!

Very little ingredients listed … include Cereals, meat and animal by-products, vegetable protein extract, oils and fats, minerals, vegetable derivatives, vitamins, amino acids. ?? … BEFORE RENDERING the ingredients.

What is being advertised is a plant-based pet feed. Not food. Not biologically, specie appropriate.

And it is 100% in compliance with local legislation, as the manufacture choice to leverage the leeway provided to them through Act 36 of 1947, Regulations R. 1087, Clause 22, sub-clause 2 (l,ii).

Ingredients listed … Dehydrated poultry protein, maize flour, maize, wheat flour, animal fats, dehydrated pork protein, wheat, hydrolysed animal proteins, beet pulp, fish oil, soya oil, yeasts, minerals, hydrolysed yeast (source of manno-oligo-saccharides). … BEFORE RENDERING the ingredients.

What is being advertised is a plant-based pet feed. Not food. Not biologically, specie appropriate.

And it is 100% in compliance with local legislation, as the manufacture choice to leverage the leeway provided to them through Act 36 of 1947, Regulations R. 1087, Clause 22, sub-clause 2 (l,ii).

Ingredients listed … Maize*, ostrich meal, rice, maize gluten, lamb meal, animal fat & vegetable oils, beet pulp, brewer’s yeast, natural flavouring agents, inulin, egg powder, salt, encapsulated essential fatty acids, glucosamine & chondroitin, vitamins and minerals with approved antioxidants. *Contains GMO’s.

Label claims include “The Adult Dog Food offers nutrient-rich meat and poultry proteins (derived from ostrich & lamb), added vitamins (including C, D and E) and minerals, as well as high levels of antioxidants, in every enticing, balanced bowl. Supports overall physical well-being and helps maintain a healthy immune system. Pets are family and deserve the very best!

What is being advertised is a plant-based pet feed. Not food. Not biologically, specie appropriate.

And it is 100% in compliance with local legislation, as the manufacture choice to leverage the leeway provided to them through Act 36 of 1947, Regulations R. 1087, Clause 22, sub-clause 2 (l,ii).

Ingredients listed … Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Wheat, Brewers Rice, Whole Grain Sorghum, Cracked Pearled Barley, Brown Rice, Soybean Meal, Dried Beet Pulp, Chicken Liver Flavor, Pork Fat, Soybean Oil, Fish Oil, Lactic Acid, Flaxseed, Pork Flavor, DL-Methionine, Calcium Carbonate, Iodized Salt, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite),Taurine, Oat Fiber, L-Carnitine, Mixed Tocopherols for freshness, Natural Flavors, Beta-Carotene, Apples, Broccoli, Carrots, Cranberries, Green PeasBEFORE RENDERING the ingredients.

What is being advertised is a plant-based pet feed. Not food. Not biologically, specie appropriate.

References

  1. https://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/NewsEvents/CVMUpdates/ucm613305.htm
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