cute animals who don't want toxic can linings

You may have heard about industrial chemicals like bisphenol A making their way into our food supply via can linings--but what about our pets? Not surprisingly, they are vulnerable, too. A recent study, for example, found that BPA in the bloodstream of pet dogs nearly tripled when they switched to canned dog food.

At the Ecology Center, we pioneered a rapid method for identifying the types of polymer coatings used in food cans. On the heels of the major study that resulted, we have completed a smaller study of pet food cans.  

We took a “citizen science” approach, asking community members to send in empty cat and dog food cans they had recently purchased for their pets. We received a total of 60 cans from pet owners in Southeast Michigan, then used our spectroscopic method to learn what types of coatings were inside each can.

What we found:

  • Almost all cat food cans tested (95%) had a PVC-based coating
  • Most dog food cans (81%) had a BPA-based coating
  • All of the pet food cans contained a PVC or a BPA-based coating--or both. A few other coating materials were also detected in combination with PVC or BPA.

“These findings are quite concerning and similar to our own studies that examined two brands of canned dog food, including one that was promoted to be BPA-free but actually contained equivalent amounts of this chemical as one where no such claims have been made,” said Cheryl S. Rosenfeld, DVM, PhD, associate professor at the Bond Life Sciences Center, University of Missouri.

“We also found that when dogs consumed canned dog food containing BPA for two weeks, it was associated with metabolic and gut microbiome alterations. Thus, these recent findings from the Ecology Center raise further concern that potentially all commercial brands of dog and cat food may contain BPA that can lead to potential health effects in our companion animals.”

Click on individual products below and on the menu links to read more about our study of pet food cans.

Published on June 22, 2017

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