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We wanted to give you an update on Purina heavy metals test results, because the verdict is IN!

Numerous pet owners are worried about giving Purina pet food to their animals, citing concerns about potential toxins in the food. The concerns began in 2023 with a toxicology screening report from Kansas State University, which showed potentially elevated levels of certain metals in Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach food.

Both Purina and the FDA have looked into this issue. The food was retested at two different labs.

FACT CHECK: Repeated testing found that Purina foods are safe to feed. The initial test results were incorrect, due to an error that occured during testing.

Update: January 30th, 2024

Not only do we have two independent lab results from Purina coming back clean, but the tests that Dr. Judy Morgan sent for also came back clean.

She spent around $4000 to have lab tests done on Purina Pet food. In a video posted on her Facebook page on January 30th, she mentioned that they did not find heavy metals, Aflatoxins, Pentobarbital, Melamine, Vitamin D, Clostridium, Listeria, or Salmonella.

I will dive into this shortly, but the key takeaway is that Purina does not contain harmful levels of heavy metals. Any contrary information you encounter is rooted in online rumors and a social media campaign leveraging fear-based marketing to promote “holistic” alternatives.

Purina heavy metals test results

Kansas State University KSU Heavy Metals Report on Purina Food

In November 2023, a post gained viral traction on social media, suggesting that three dogs fell seriously ill after consuming Pro Plan Sensitive dog food. The post showcased a portion of a document containing toxicology results from the laboratory at Kansas State University.

The report highlighted heightened levels of specific heavy metals, leading to understandable concern among pet parents.

Numerous individuals questioned the reliability of the report. Purina is renowned for maintaining an extensive quality control and testing program. The notion that they would distribute food with toxic levels of heavy metals to store shelves appeared far-fetched.

Furthermore, the report lacked crucial details, including the specific Purina formula tested (such as the lot/batch number), and reference numbers or information providing context on what an average value might typically be for similar foods.

Despite the red flags, the holistic pet community grabbed hold of this and started spreading it around as “proof” that Purina pet foods are dangerous to feed. That is a whole other discussion, which I cover in depth in another blog post titled “Is Purina Dog Food Making Dogs Sick”. You can read it here!


Heavy Metals Analysis Testing Error

An update was released on January 15th, 2024. Purina published that the samples were tested again by both Kansas State University AND Iowa State University’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.

The results of both tests confirmed that there had been a testing error in the initial heavy metals analysis for Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach.

Purina pet foods are in fact, safe to feed.

Occasional failures occur in all laboratories. Contamination, storage and processing errors, and equipment malfunctions can contribute to issues that skew test results. This underscores the importance of repeating critical tests and screenings to ensure accuracy.

Unfortunately, this now-debunked toxicology screening has caused untold amounts of anxiety and panic among pet parents! Some people are still spreading the initial report around as fact, which is misguided, misleading, and disingenuous.


Purina’s Response to Online Rumors

Purina says that as few as two consumer reports associated with any food or product will prompt them to investigate. Due to the viral spread of the heavy metal screening test result on social media, hundreds of reports related to various products in their line were generated.

In light of this rumor, our Quality Assurance team has reviewed all incoming consumer contacts, manufacturing, and quality assurance data (this includes ingredient testing, analytical data throughout the production process, and quality assurance post-production testing) for the past year.

Purina Media

To clarify, Purina did treat this matter seriously. As numerous pet owners seek explanations for their pets’ illnesses and fatalities, it’s crucial to recognize that pets can fall ill irrespective of the food they consume.

There is no concrete evidence suggesting that Purina has caused harm to any dogs. Social media reports seem to stem from individuals who neglected veterinary consultation, disregarded diagnosed conditions (such as Parvo, unrelated to pet food), or attributed every ailment, from obstructions to poisoning and genetic disorders, to Purina.

The media team at Purina has responded swiftly to all reports and has published a page with information about the online rumors. You can read it HERE.


Is There a Silent Recall of Purina Food?

Despite proof from multiple University labs that Purina Pro Plan pet food is safe to feed, anxious pet parents and social influencers continue to promote the idea that a recall is imminent.

Purina has consistently addressed this issue through multiple statements on its social media platforms and website. However, some individuals are reluctant to accept these explanations.

Individuals who suspect that Purina is concealing information promote the notion that the company is engaging in a “silent recall.” Their theory is that Purina is quietly pulling food from store shelves, but is not publishing a recall with the FDA.

Of course, this is just a theory and has absolutely no basis or proof. It’s important to emphasize that the idea of a “silent recall” is purely speculative and lacks any substantiated basis or evidence.

Purina remains readily available for purchase from major retailers like Chewy. If it happens to be unavailable in a particular pet store, it’s more likely due to a stock issue rather than a recall.

There is no such thing as a ‘silent recall,’ and quietly retracting product from the market that has been proven to be harmful to pets would be both irresponsible and illegal. Information about any recall is shared immediately with the FDA, consumers, retailers and veterinarians.

Purina Media

Whether people want to believe it or not, the reason most veterinarians recommend brands like Purina, Hill’s, and Royal Canin is because of the amount of quality control, testing, and nutritional science behind those brands.

Unless an official recall is published by the FDA, there is very little (if any) reason to be concerned.


Purina Heavy Metals Test Results from Dr. Morgan

Dr. Judy Morgan, a prominent holistic influencer leading the anti-Purina campaign, purportedly sent samples of Purina pet food to independent labs for testing.

There is no available information regarding how she acquired, stored, or handled the samples, and it’s unclear whether they originated from the homes of pet parents who allege that the food caused harm to their pets.

Despite several weeks passing, those results are still pending. While she attributes the delay to the time-consuming nature of the process, questions arise as Purina has already disclosed the outcomes of their comprehensive tests.

The whereabouts of Dr. Morgan’s test results remain uncertain; despite this, she continues to promote that the food is full of toxins.

Author’s Note: I am actively monitoring this social activity and the dissemination of misinformation by Dr. Morgan and her followers. Should she present test results, I will assess their validity and provide an update here.

Is Purina a Trustworthy Company?

Ultimately, pet parents are faced with a choice in deciding whom to trust.

The credibility lies with thousands of practicing veterinarians, board-certified Veterinary Nutritionists, and consistent test results from various laboratories. It’s worth noting that 46 million dogs are fed Purina each year, and they lead long, joyful, and healthy lives.

On the other hand, there exists an opposing viewpoint promoted by “holistic” veterinarians who often engage in fear-based marketing tactics. This perspective advocates the belief that extensively researched foods like Purina are detrimental to pets’ health and contain toxins.

Followers of this viewpoint have been urged to discredit conventional veterinarians and harbor skepticism towards preventive measures such as teeth cleaning, vaccines, and flea/tick medications.

They leverage this information to promote online courses, books, and alternative foods and supplements (which conveniently, they sell).

We see this at play in multiple very concerning groups on Facebook, which are run or moderated by Dr. Morgan. A lot of easily debunked misinformation is being spread, in tandem with a healthy handful of promotions and brand recommendations (including products that she either owns or has a strong financial affiliation with).

In my mind, the choice of who to trust is clear as day. I stand with science, evidence, and critical thinking. My dogs eat Purina Pro Plan and they are thriving; the proof is in the pudding.

It’s noteworthy that, with few exceptions, the majority of other social media groups on Facebook are now restricting discussions related to the current “Purina Panic.” This indicates a substantial number of moderators in the pet community actively curbing the spread of misinformation, and we appreciate that!

Share your perspective! Do you trust Purina, or do you suspect that your pet may have been affected by Purina food? Feel free to leave a thoughtful comment below. If you align with our scientific approach, please share this post, too!

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. 

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