Genetically-modified Ingredients in Pet Food By Dr. Michael W. Fox

Written by Jan on October 24, 2012 – 10:49 am



By Dr. Michael W. Fox

The metaphor of the proverbial canary down the mine shaft alerting miners to the presence of poisonous gas is eminently applicable in this modern day to our animal companions alerting us to hazards in our shared home environments when they become ill. One of the long overlooked external environmental factors that affect the health of our cats and dogs as well as our own is the food we and they consume. Manufactured pet foods are not something separate from what we consume and provide for the rest of our families. What we and they eat comes from the same agribusiness food chain!

In my review of the risks of GMOs, (genetically modified food ingredients), present in most manufactured pet foods that are not Organically certified and which contain corn, soy, canola, sugar beet or imported rice, I give a unique perspective as a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist. It is through this column, which I have been writing for over 40 years, and the thousands of letters received from pet owners concerned about their dogs’ and cats’ illnesses which conventional veterinary treatments were not always effectively resolving, that I was able to track changes in the kinds of illnesses seen in companion animals that coincide with and parallel the introduction of increasing amounts of GMOs in their diets.

People often wrote to me when veterinary treatments for this cluster of ailments failed, often with harmful side-effects from prescribed remedies, especially with steroids, and problems with various manufactured prescription diets. These animals were suffering from what attending veterinarians were diagnosing and treating as allergies, asthma, atopic dermatitis and other skin problems, irritable bowel syndrome, leaky gut syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, colitis, recurrent diarrhea, vomiting, indigestion, along with abnormalities in liver, pancreatic and immune system functions.

I am not saying that every animal with the above ‘cluster’ of health problems got better after GM ingredients were no longer fed to them, because it is quite possible that simply improving their diets by providing better quality ingredients made the difference for some. But when we look at the feeding trials under controlled laboratory conditions in test animals given GM foods, it is indeed striking that very similar adverse effects were reported in these test animals as were found in companion animals fed GM-containing pet foods.

The pseudo-scientific term “substantial equivalence” has been coined by the biotechnology food industry to assuage regulators and concerned consumers over the lack of scientific safety tests prior to government approval of GMOs which are by their very nature in no way substantially similar to conventional crops and foods. To claim any such  equivalence is biologically absurd science fiction.

Readers of my review, posted on, and recent book Healing Animals & The Vision of One Health, will be inspired and empowered to make informed food-choices for their companion animals as well as for themselves, and also learn the basics of the One Health movement which applies a holistic, integrative approach to wellness where our physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing are dependent upon how we treat the natural environment and all creatures great and small.

For more details visit Dr. Fox’s website He is an Honor Roll member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, member of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association, and holds doctoral degrees in medicine and ethology/animal behavior.

Our thanks to Dr. Fox for sending us this article summary and giving us permission to post it.

Read another article by Dr. Fox on genetically engineered and MLV vaccines:  Vaccine-Associated Auto-Immune And Other Diseases by Dr. Michael W. Fox

Posted under Nutrition, Uncategorized | 4 Comments » Email This Post

4 Comments to “Genetically-modified Ingredients in Pet Food By Dr. Michael W. Fox”

  1. Matt S Says:

    After reading this, I got the very distinct impression that Dr. Fox is implying a cause-and-effect relationship here. Our pets’ foods are also becoming more processed over the years, as well as containing more preservatives, additives, etc. It has been reported that a large number of dog foods are being made from the rendering of euthanized dogs, resulting in trace to significant amounts of euthanizing drugs in the food. Use of agents to kill fleas via drugs and pesticides has significantly increased over the past few years. Use of medication to prevent heartworm has increased significantly, as well. New evidence shows that we have been overvaccinating our pets. All of these things will contribute to the health and well-being of our pets, as well as the epidemiology of new and old pet disease alike. To suggest that GMOs are the cause is irresponsible.

  2. Nancy Spears Says:

    The assumption that someone who reads your book “will be inspired and empowered to make informed food-choices for their companion animals as well as for themselves,” makes me wonder how? Since vets and scientists disagree, and their schools and institutions are often funded by pet food manufacturers, how can someone who reads one book be better informed that PhDs and DVMs?

    I do not have time to do research. I want safe food. What regulations could ensure that food companies are not sickening or killing their customers?

  3. Renee Tidwell Says:

    For over 15 years, I have been researching, studying and have switched to several different dogs foods. I was very aware of all the horrible things they have put in our pet’s foods and even our own food…and in the certain preventative meds. I have changed my diet to not include any GMO foods. This is so difficult since half of everything in the grocery stores are processed GMO or made with GMOs. I have a list of those foods. I have two dogs. One is 11 and the other is 12. They are pretty healthy and are still very active. I do apply homeopathic remedies to certain ailments, etc. to our pets. These seem to work for my babies with no adverse affects. Again after the 10th time in changing their diets, I will be making their own food and treats from now on. Researching and continuing to do so, I have learned much about our health and our dogs. So much is added to our food supply before it gets to our tables, it would make your heads spin. When the companies are caught, they claim to remedy the problem, but all they actually do is just change the name (give it some scientific name no one can pronounce), alter it a little but will have the same affect on humans and pets…This article doesn’t surprise me. What does surprise me is that it has taken this long for people recognize it. OBW: I also had to cats that lived to 16 years old.

  4. Yvonne Showers Says:

    I have read everything that has been said, there are a lot of bad things in most pet foods for dogs and cats, I had to switch dog food myself, once I figured out why my Shepard was itching all the time, and we have no fleas, I use natural remedies for that in my home. I changed his food to a grain free food and he’s much better, I also found that he has better bowl movements as a result, I also feed him fresh vegetables from my own garden, he’s 8 years old and acts like a puppy.
    We also have 4 cats our oldest is almost 20 years old and their on a all natural diet as well without grains or all the by products, even are cats are very spunky, nor do they meow when they go to the bathroom. which has made us happier about their health and well being. When I do use any grains they are whole grains which are much better for your pets as well as yourself. I too also cook many item for our pets as well, there are several websites that have the recipes for making your own food and treats, I use Google to find most of them.

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