Pet Foods: Contamination, Mislabeling and Damages

What Pet Lovers and Animal Guardians Must Know

Marina Martinez
6 min readJan 14, 2019

Global sales of pet food products, mostly for dogs and cats, reached over US$70 billion last year and revenues are expected to keep growing insanely. But what about the quality of these products? Can we expect to find (truly) safe and healthy pet foods in stores?

Dog Food Cartoon

In 2007, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found that some commercial pet foods were contaminated with melamine, a toxic industrial chemical that ended up poisoning and killing thousands of dogs and cats around the world. This widespread food fraud became known as the Great Pet Food Recall. Since then, more than 150 brands of pet food — of all types including dry, wet/canned, and treats — have been recalled and removed from shelves by several companies, according to the FDA.

The causes of pet food recalls over the past 10 years varied but included contamination with salmonella, mold, foreign objects, illegal antibiotics, and even an euthanasia drug.

Causes of pet food recalls over the past 10 years (Photo: Susan Thixton/TruthaboutPetFood)

In most of the cases, a number of pets fell sick or died — before companies voluntarily issuing a recall and/or withdrawing…



Marina Martinez

Global sustainability researcher. Writing about the controversial relationships among People, Nature, and Economy.