FDA to launch investigation after euthanasia drug discovered in dog food

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JM Smucker Co. voluntarily withdrew some shipments of 27 pet food products after media reports of pentobarbital contamination was found in some of its dog food brand Gravy Train. "If they don't like the explanation that it's coming from animals that have been euthanized, what is their explanation as to how it gets in there?"

Retailers across the country, including Walmart, removed the products from their stores.

A spokesperson for Smucker released a list of the dog food recalled, which it requested retailers take from warehouses and store shelves.

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The Clean Label Project is a non-profit aimed at educating people about toxins in products, including pet food. "The presence of pentobarbital in Gravy Train does not come as a surprise and the Evanger's recall was not a one-off, rather the tip of the iceberg of an industry that needs to significantly improve its food safety and quality through testing". She sent the rest of the dogs' food and the remains of one of the dogs for testing, where the dog was found to have been poisoned by dog food and that the food contained pentobarbital, WJLA reported last week. The study was carried out in response to a discovery in 2017 of pentobarbital in wet/canned dog food brands made by the Evanger's Dog and Cat Food Co., and resulted in several pets becoming ill and at least one dying.

"I was a little surprised, but at the same time you hear all sorts of stuff about what is and what isn't in dog food", said Sam Porach, pet owner.

Veterinarians, animal nutrition specialists and the FDA confirm the presence of the drug, but assure that the low levels are not harmful to pets. The company has focused its investigation to "…a single supplier and a single, minor ingredient…" used at that facility.