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Author Topic: Foods to test for heavy metals?  (Read 10162 times)
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mikken
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« on: February 15, 2011, 01:28:28 PM »

Ok, I'm going to start testing some dry dog and cat foods for heavy metals (Cadmium, Lead, Arsenic, Mercury and Antimony) with Midwest Labs.  I'd like to make it as useful for folks here as possible, so while my initial thought was to test the more popular grocery store brands, Bug suggested that I should start with what people here are actually feeding.  Bug's cats are eating Innova Cat/Kitten (red bag) and EVO Cat/Kitten (purple bag), so I'll start with one of those for a cat food (if you are feeding one of those two as well, let me know so I can pick that one first).

Can someone suggest a dog food?  And if you have other cat food suggestions, go ahead and list them because I hope to be able to keep testing over the year as finances allow.

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bug
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RIP little angel Katey


« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2011, 01:53:17 PM »

Mikken, if you're going to start on Innova and EVO, try to get as new a bag as possible to ensure that the transition to P&G was complete at the time of production. You'll want a bag with a BB date of November or December 2011 as most dry foods have a 14 - 16 month shelf life.
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My little babies, you'll always be in my heart. Mom will see you later. Look after each other, ok?
mikken
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« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2011, 02:31:32 PM »

Will do, Bug!

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bug
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« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2011, 07:27:14 PM »

Is this something you can afford or would you like us to chip in? I mean, there's the cost of the food and the cost of the testing...
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My little babies, you'll always be in my heart. Mom will see you later. Look after each other, ok?
mikken
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« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2011, 08:05:26 PM »

It's ok, Bug - this is sort of my personal tithing for now.  People deserve food safety.  Even with their pets' food.

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bug
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RIP little angel Katey


« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2011, 07:26:07 AM »

Good project. I have a few of my own and I'm happy to do them, too. Thanks for doing this!
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My little babies, you'll always be in my heart. Mom will see you later. Look after each other, ok?
mikken
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« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2011, 12:34:19 PM »

Bug,

I'm having trouble finding these foods locally.  I have one more place to look (the local hfs carries one of them, but they mark up like crazy and only carry the big bag) but I didn't want you to think that I had forgotten your foods! 



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bug
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RIP little angel Katey


« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2011, 12:37:14 PM »

That's no problem. If they're not available, test something else someone has suggested. No point knocking yourself out getting this done. I'd send you a bag but I'm in Canada and that would be more expensive than ordering it online.
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My little babies, you'll always be in my heart. Mom will see you later. Look after each other, ok?
lesliek
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Trooper,Remy & Fragile


« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2011, 05:55:58 PM »

Let me know if you want me to get a small bag for you. If my local store doesn't have them, they will order it.
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"the world's most inept extortionist"
mikken
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« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2011, 07:57:53 AM »

I had a brain wave - I wrote to the company asking for samples!  That'll be enough to test and we can have the note on the testing that the product was in factory sealed packaging (something Don recommended to me as some companies say that opened samples must have been contaminated after opening - as if!).  I'm hoping that their lot dates will be current...we'll see.

Science Diet, btw, does NOT give out samples.  I thought that was interesting.

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mikken
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« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2011, 08:03:44 AM »

Well, my first heavy metals test came back from Midwest - all "no detectable level" for every metal (although they didn't test for mercury after all?  I have a query in about that).  Which seems reassuring except for the fact that the minimum detectable levels are really much higher than I expected. 

Arsenic is at 10ppm and Lead is at 5ppm for their minimum detectable levels, so anything under those numbers, they can't see.  Well, I don't know about you, but 2ppm of lead is too high for me, but the test can't tell me if it's present in that amount.  All they know is that whatever may or may not be there is less than 5ppm for lead and less than 10ppm for arsenic. 

I've talked to Don Earl about it and he agrees that the minimum detectable levels are higher than other labs.  I suspect the problem comes in because I see pet food as "food" and Midwest Lab sees it as "feed". 

My next test will be with a different lab because the Midwest testing is not at all useful to me.

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Sandi K
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« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2011, 02:29:56 PM »

mikken, thanks for doing this and for sharing the info with us.  Its all very intriguing. 
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mikken
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« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2011, 04:20:45 PM »

Well, it turns out that Midwest's mercury testing has a decent detection limit (.002 ppm), so I asked them to go ahead and test the samples for that as well (they didn't realize that I wanted the package with the mercury?  Miscommunication, I guess because I didn't know that they offered a package without it).

At least we'll get mercury numbers for the two samples - one is Evo dry and the other is Purina Friskies dry.

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bug
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RIP little angel Katey


« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2011, 06:57:46 PM »

It's great that even at their bottom (higher than one would want), there weren't any heavy metals detected. Would have been bad if they did find them at that level. Thanks for this project!
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My little babies, you'll always be in my heart. Mom will see you later. Look after each other, ok?
mikken
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« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2011, 04:15:02 PM »

Mercury tests came back - "none detected" on both foods.  Which is good, I guess, but I'd be happier with a more sensitive test.

I think I'm going to steer away from heavy metals testing just because it's not sensitive enough without the kind of testing we've seen from someplace like Spex CertiPrep.  But they don't test for consumers (or companies, for that matter).

I'm going to talk to Don Earl about testing nutrients instead and helping people out who are having concerns about what they're feeding.

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