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The Dangers of Genetically Modified Ingredients in Dog Food

Is your dog eating a genetically modified corn-based kibble, or a food that contains soy?

Your dog’s health and vitality depend on the choices you make for them.

While there’s no way to know absolutely if your dog’s corn or soy-included kibble is made using genetically modified ingredients, chances are that it is. In fact, in the United States, 88% of the corn used in pet foods and animal feed and 93% of soybean crops are genetically engineered, according to a 2011 International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications report.

So, what does genetically modified mean?

Corn is the #1 crop grown in the U.S. and almost all of it is genetically modified. GMO’s, or Genetically Modified Organisms, are plant or meat products that have had their DNA altered in a laboratory. Genetically modified corn contains a pesticide that cannot be washed off. Additionally, GM corn grown in the U.S. is “Roundup Ready,” meaning it can withstand spraying of Monsanto’s Roundup pesticide and continue to live and grow, while the weeds around it die. (For now. Research is showing that Roundup-resistant weeds are now starting to grow, requiring farmers to increase the amount of pesticide used to kill them.)

As for soy, while it may not be clearly listed on your dog food label, soy is a staple in food production under various names including hydrogenated oils, lecithin, emulsifiers, tocopherol (a vitamin E supplement) and proteins. 93% of US-grown soy is genetically modified.

What are the long-term effects of consuming GMO’s?

Unfortunately, the long-term effects of human and companion animal consumption of GMOs remains to be seen. However, research has linked GMO’s to allergies, organ toxicity, and other serious health issues.

According CA Right to Know, an organization dedicated to establishing labeling laws on GMO foods:

GMOs have not been proven safe, and long-term health studies have not been conducted. A growing body of peer-reviewed studies has linked these foods to allergies,organ toxicity, and other health problems. These studies must be followed up. However, unlike the strict safety evaluations required for the approval of new drugs, the US Food and Drug Administration does not require safety studies for genetically engineered foods. The United Nations/World Health Organization food standards group and the American Medical Association have called for mandatory safety testing of genetically engineered foods — a standard the U.S. fails to meet.

In a 2009 study on the effects of GM corn on rats, significant kidney and liver disease was found in rats after only a 90-day feeding trial. A 2012 study revealed that during the lifespan of lab rats tested, not only did rats fed a diet that included GM corn die earlier than those fed non-GM corn, but they also developed mammary tumors and severe kidney and liver damage.

What is the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s position on the safety of GMO’s?

Unlike the FDA’s tough position on drug approval, wherein extensive research, drug trials, and safety must be proven before allowed on the market, their position on GMO’s is quite the opposite.

A USA Today article revealed:

Using the Coordinated Framework for Regulation of Biotechnology finalized in 1986, the Food and Drug Administration has ruled that genetically engineered foods are substantially equivalent to conventionally produced foods. In 1992, the FDA said genetically engineered crops are generally recognized as safe. FDA, in effect, said that those foods are no different from other foods and shouldn’t be held to any different standards.

Further, the article explained that the FDA requires zero testing of GMO foods for safety before they are allowed in the marketplace. In other words, these genetically modified foods are being considered safe until proven otherwise through actual long-term human consumption, on a population that is legally not required to be informed whether what they’re eating is GM or not.

And, this is their take on food for human consumption – as we know, the FDA position on pet food safety is far more lax.

How can I be sure my pet’s food is safe?

As dog owners, we must arm ourselves with as much information as we can. We can’t rely on fancy packaging and clever catchphrases like, “complete nutrition” or “wholesome ingredients” which mean absolutely nothing in the world of unregulated dog food manufacturing. Read labels, look for real meat as the number one ingredient, avoid foods with corn as a main ingredient (or at all!), foods with by-products, unidentified meat-meals, and loads of nutrient-empty fillers. To avoid GMO’s altogether, buy a pet food with the USDA Organic certification.

Your dog’s health and vitality depend on the choices you make.


Are you feeding your dog a good, wholesome, and nutritious dog food that doesn’t contain any genetically modified corn or soy? Leave a comment below that helps other readers also make the right choices for their pets!

25 Responses to The Dangers of Genetically Modified Ingredients in Dog Food
  1. Edward Knutson
    February 22, 2014 | 12:05 am

    the head of the FDA is the ex ceo of monsanto the same company who makes roundup, gmos and more. any idiot feeding their dog purina ie monsanto has not right to own a pet it is irresponsible. the same people should not have children.

  2. Lisa
    January 15, 2014 | 2:58 pm

    I feed all three of my pups PetSana – NO GMO’s!

  3. Chicken Coopes
    November 21, 2013 | 6:42 am

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  4. Deanna Clark
    November 16, 2013 | 11:52 am

    Newman’s Own Organics has large bags at Whole Foods. With 12 bar codes you get a freebie ($45)
    I have 7 border collie mix dogs we all love and want to stay healthy.
    Peggy Westhoven at Newman’s Own is friendly and will send you coupons and free stuff. I highly recommend this line as they also support good, honest charities like food banks, etc.
    With this and table scraps the dogs are thriving…of course, we run around the yard with them until we drop…try tennis balls with whiffle bats.

  5. Mercedes
    November 6, 2013 | 3:55 pm

    Man’s Best Friend Catering is gmo free, human grade, and all natural. You can check out their facebook page here
    Good luck!

  6. Shraddha
    July 23, 2013 | 12:01 am

    I feed my pom Grassland grain-free Acana primarily, sometimes I order a 5lb bag of the Pacifica version of the same brand and mix the two. Recently I’ve been mixing Merrick Buffalo with Grassland Acana and it’s going good. I also occasionally feed him raw lamb meat and he loves it! I dehydrate organs (gizzards/ hearts/ livers) for him and use it as treats – he absolutely loves it! Its better and cost effective! He also loves the freeze dried treats Orijen has started making! The first vet we took him to ordered us to put him on Royal Canin. He would poop triangle Royal Canin kibbles and he hated it! When I brought this to the vet’s attention she said to continue putting him on it and force him to eat just that. That was also the last time we were at that vet’s office.

  7. terri harris
    July 22, 2013 | 12:27 pm

    so I feed them pedigree and I have Maltese’s .. trying to find a better food that I can afford any suggestions I have 4 dogs so cost is an issue

  8. Jose Ortiz
    June 6, 2013 | 1:46 pm

    I feed My Dog a RAW diet. I try and feed as much organic and holistic as possible. Kibble is so bad.
    All the pretty pictures of Meats, fruits and veggies on the bag are not whats in the bag. Instead there is this dry cereal. Dogs are Canines…Meat eaters. They dont eat dry cereal.

  9. Mattea
    June 5, 2013 | 10:38 am

    I feed my dogs Merrick once a day and home made dog food at the other feeding. I use a cookbook I love, mainly they eat sweet potatoes, spinach, squash, parsley, salmon, turkey and chicken. Their skin problems are gone and they are all a healthy weight. It is more expensive, but its saving me a ton of money at the vet.

  10. Gail
    June 4, 2013 | 9:44 pm

    I have chosen to make my own dog food. I buy a protein (fish, chicken, beef, etc) add carrots, celery, green beans, zucchini green and yellow, add kelp for minerals, oats for vitamins, calcium for bones and teeth and sometime quinoa, or rice or even barley as we do agility and need the carbs and protein.

  11. Patrisia Rawlins
    June 4, 2013 | 4:01 pm

    My dog is allergic to just about everything, especially any formulas with poultry. He does well on Blue lamb or bison, also a few other brands in lamb, but I have to read the labels very, very carefully to be sure there is no corn, soy, or grains of any kind as well. I think he is allergic to the poultry because the birds are fed corn byproducts! Does anyone have other food suggestions?

  12. Bobbie
    June 4, 2013 | 10:45 am

    Blue has no GMO’s, dont buy anything with corn, wheat or soy in it.

  13. best teeth whitening method
    May 1, 2013 | 9:48 pm

    It’s difficult to find knowledgeable people on this topic, however, you sound like you know what you’re talking about!

    • moni mutter
      July 22, 2013 | 12:40 pm

      we feed our dogs with natural meat and milled chicken with cooked rice. Some carrots and other vegetable from the farm. It’s the best, not only for human.

  14. Dot
    April 30, 2013 | 5:20 pm

    how do I know if I am feeding this krap? Is there a list that shows which foods do not contain any of this garbage? I feed IVet, which is supposed to contain no grains of any kind, but how do you know for sure?

    • Kat
      May 27, 2013 | 1:25 am

      Purina lovers, your dog is fine for now. How do you know? Read the labels, corn, soy and wheat are the 3 worst products, by-products is a good hint etc. We make our own food, farm to table, we know our ranchers, farmers and growers!

      Questions, let us know.
      Mamas Choice 100% Natural Raw Dog Food

  15. robin
    April 30, 2013 | 5:04 pm

    i feed my dog purina dog chow and its all good

    • Rose
      May 2, 2013 | 1:17 pm

      I am sorry to inform you that it is one of the worst foods you can feed your dog. It is making a lot of dogs and cats sick. Read what people are posting on the consumer affairs web site

      • Roger Biduk
        January 15, 2014 | 1:41 pm

        It’s not only bad food it’s dangerous; contains not even one named meat ingredient but does contain some ingredients that the FDA say have a probability of containg pentobarbital, the euthanasia drug.
        Added color ingredients have been linked to be carcinogens.

        Whole grain corn, meat and bone meal, corn gluten meal, animal fat, soybean meal, poultry by-product meal, whole grain wheat, animal digest, salt, Yellow 6, Yellow 5, Red 40, menadione sodium bisulfite complex.

        Many ingredients are similiar to what you’ll find in a 50 lb. bag of Ol’ Roy that you can buy for $19.88 at Walmart.
        Roger Biduk

    • Jose Ortiz
      June 6, 2013 | 1:47 pm

      Horrible …Low Grade food.

    • Tammy
      July 10, 2013 | 8:46 pm

      My motto is if you can buy it at Wal Mart it is not good! Try Wellness Core.

      • Roger Biduk
        January 15, 2014 | 1:30 pm

        Wellness Core is good.
        Their six canned formulas are high protein, very low carbs on a dry-matter basis… the three grain-free stes are also good but lower protein, higher carbs.
        Roger Biduk

    • Dawn
      July 22, 2013 | 1:59 pm

      Rose is right! Local vets call Purina Dog Chow and Puppy Chow “junk food for dogs” If you insist on Purina, at least switch to Purina One!! My choice is Fosters and Smith! Good stuff!!

      • Dee
        January 10, 2014 | 12:31 pm

        Actually my Sheltie mix and Schnauzer both ended up with bladder stone issues after I fed them Purina One. I have no idea if this is coincidence but now I would never feed it to my rescue pup.

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