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Lead, Mercury, Arsenic, Cadmium Found in Popular Pet Foods

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — There are plenty of regulations intended to keep human food safe, but there are new concerns about pet foods.

There have been thousands of pets with illnesses or deaths linked to pet foods in recent years.

And in many cases, the pet owners don’t know what in the foods made their pets sick.

The FDA has received over 9,000 pet food complaints since 2010 ranging from diarrhea to death.

Now, lab tests commissioned by the Clean Label Project are shedding light on what they say are shocking levels of contaminants lurking in pet foods.

Jackie Bowen said, “Seeing lead levels that were 55 times those observed in the Flint, Michigan drinking water” was among the most surprising part of the tests.

Bowen says they worked with Ellipse Analytics to test 900 of the bestselling pet foods and treats for over 130 contaminates and toxins.

Jackie Bowen said, “We’re talking about lead, arsenic, mercury, cadmium.”

Instead of nutrition, she says they focused solely on contaminates which the lab says it found in products from nearly every brand tested.

Though levels varied dramatically from product to product within each brand.

Veterinarian Dr. Jill Chase notes animals can be more tolerant than humans to many contaminants.

Chase said, “Foods are branded, organic, they’re this, they’re that, but the reality is that most of the foods just have to comply with basic FDA standards and they haven’t been researched.”