What are BHA, BHT, and Ethoxyquin?

Foods will usually spoil without some form of temperature control or preservatives. BHA, BHT, and ethoxyquin are chemical antioxidants designed to extend the shelf life and reduce fat spoilage (rancidity) of pet foods and pet treats. Chemical additives and artificial preservatives such as BHA, BHT, and ethoxyquin may cause health problems, dental disease,  dry skin, and allergic reactions.  Studies have shown that BHA and BHT promote liver disease and other medical problems such as diminished kidney function.

BHA, short for Butylated Hydroxyanisole, and BHT, Butylated Hydroxytoluene, are both artificial preservatives added to oils to slow down deterioration. BHA and BHT (as well as ethoxyquin) are used in numerous pet food brands, including “premium-grade” brands such as Science Diet (even their prescription diet product line) and brands like Alpo and Pedigree, to replace vitamin E, which is removed during oil processing.

Ethoxyquin is a chemical preservative – and possible carcinogenic – regulated by the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) as a pesticide.   Ethoxyquin cannot be used in human foods, but it continues to be used in many pet foods. Ethoxyquin promotes kidney carcinogenesis and significantly increases the incidence of stomach tumors and enhanced bladder carcinogesis, according to several studies, including a recent study done by The Department of Pathology, Nagoya City University Medical School, Japan.

Yikes!  When eating a typical pet food diet, the average dog (44 lbs) can consume 26 lbs of preservatives a year!  No wonder we are seeing more and more chronic illness in our pets.

Currently the FDA allows only a trace amount of ethoxyquin residue (.5 to 5 ppm) in human foods, but it allows high amounts (150 ppm) to be used in pet food and livestock feeds.  In 1997, the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) made a request to manufacturers of ethoxyquin and the pet food industry to voluntarily lower ethoxyquin residue in pet foods to 75 parts per million (ppm). To date, there is still no mandatory requirement to meet the voluntary request.

Note: Rather than listing it as an ingredient on the packaging, some dog food manufacturers simply print “E” to represent ethoxyquin.

All Life’s Abundance pet foods and pet treats are Guaranteed Free of BHA, BHT, and Ethoxyquin. Life’s Abundance uses mixed tocopherols, natural antioxidants that slow the oxidation process of fats and oils, to ensure its premium pet foods and treats remain fresh as in their initial state.

Important Disclaimer: The stories and information on this site are not meant to diagnose or prescribe for you. If you or your pet has a medical problem, you should consult your medical doctor or veterinarian. The ideas and information on this site have not been endorsed or approved by the FDA.  In no event shall the owners of this website be liable for any damages whatsoever resulting from any action arising in connection with the use of this information or its publication, including any action for infringement of copyright or defamation. The decision to use, or not to use, any information is the sole responsibility of the reader. Opinions expressed here are those of individual contributors. This web site does not verify or endorse the claims of contributing writers.

The statements above have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  This product(s) is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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