Over 30 varieties of pet food from brands owned by Smuckers have been pulled off shelves after an investigation found a euthanasia drug. A 7-month-long investigation uncovered the drug pentobarbital. Big Heart Brands is the creator of the pet food, Smuckers is the parent company.

Big Heart Brands consider of labels like Meow Mix, Milk Bone, Kibbles’n Bits, 9 Lives, Natural Balance, Pup-Peroni, Gravy Train, Nature’s Recipe, Canine Carry Outs, Milo’s Kitchen, Alley Cat, Jerky Treats, Meaty Bone, Pounce and Snausages.

Which leads to the question: are dead animals used in Big Heart Brands pet food?

In ABC7's investigation, they found non-lethal levels of the drug in 60% of the Gravy Train brand food tested. No other brands outside of the Big Heart Brands came back positive for the drug. The investigation states that testing went on for months, and Gravy Train consistently came back positive for the euthanasia drug.

ABC7 reports that the drug is illegal to kill any animal that is part of the food supply and that it would violate federal law if it was. Which leads to the question: are dead animals used in Big Heart Brands pet food?

FDA acknowledges that pet food has violated the law

In a 2004 report to Congress, some ingredients identified were "dead animals from farms, animal shelters, and other facilities."These are ruled as adulterated ingredients under federal law. Adulterated ingredients are any animal that has been killed in a method other than slaughter, and are illegal for humans and animals to eat. However, the FDA acknowledges that pet food has violated the law, and has said that it is considered fit for animal consumption, according to the report.

The products were pulled from stores as a voluntary withdrawal from Smuckers. Walmart has removed all their brands from shelves in all their stores. Smuckers and the FDA have declined to respond to ABC7.

If you are interested in contacting the parties involved, you can reach them here:

  • FDA: 888-463-6332
  • Smucker’s: 888-550-9555
  • Big Heart Brands: 415-247-3000

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