Yikes, my dog is eating genetically modified (GMO) dog food!

By Mike BarnettI must say, I was surprised when I saw a post relating to the purported dangers of GMO dog food on Facebook by Caroline O’Sullivan, DVM. She is not just any veterinarian. She is a holistic veterinarian. And that’s dandy with me that Dr. O’Sullivan considers all aspects of a dog’s needs, including psychological, physical and social, should be taken into account and treated as a whole. I’m not sure that the dog cares, but the good veterinarian is not marketing to dogs, she’s marketing to people.

Actually, it’s good to know that dogs—just like people—have a choice when it comes to the food they eat. I know people care about their pets’ health. I feed my dog, Miss Molly, a premium dog food because I want her to have the proper nutrition. I don’t know for sure, but I suspect that dog food has genetically modified grain in it and I don’t care. Why? I eat genetically modified food, too—the people variety, however—and I have for many, many years. Miss Molly—my dog—is only five years old, so as far as I know, GMOs have always been part of her diet. We’re both pretty healthy.

It seems that anti-GMO activists use the same, tired pseudoscience in talking about pet food as they do with people food. Dr. O’Sullivan cites the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) as her primary source. I have never heard of the AAEM, but I have heard of the National Academies of Science and the American Medical Association, who have concluded that genetically engineered foods do not pose any more risk to people than other foods. I would assume that holds true for pets, as well.

But if you still want Fido to remain GMO free, there’s a number of dog foods out there like Grandma Lucy’s Organics: Pumpkin, Blueberry, Banana-Sweet Potato; Honest Kitchen; and Anita’s Organic Animal Feed. By the way, a 10-pound box of Honest Kitchen’s Love Dog Food, described as “a gluten-free dog food made with dehydrated Midwestern beef and produce like sweet potatoes, dandelion greens and papaya,” is listed on the Internet for $96.99. That’s some expensive dog chow.

I asked Miss Molly if we could stick with Purina Pro Plan. I took the tail wag as a yes.

Photo © Madrabothair | Dreamstime.com

Mike Barnett

Director of Publications
Texas Farm Bureau
I’m a firm believer that farmers and ranchers will continue to meet the needs of a growing world population by employing equal measures of common sense, conservation and technology.
Follow Mike on Twitter and Facebook.

6 Responses to “Yikes, my dog is eating genetically modified (GMO) dog food!”

  1. Hi Mike,
    As you stated, there is no scientific evidence GMO foods are harmful to dogs. And more importantly, all veterinarians consider all aspects of a dog’s (and all animals) needs including psychological, physical, and social and all of us take these parameters into account and treat the dog as a whole every day on every case. There is also no specialty recognized as being a “holistic” veterinarian. This is a marketing ploy as you suggest to set herself apart from other vets even though there are no credentials recognized by the AVMA to support such a claim. Anyone can all of a sudden decide to call themselves a “holistic” veterinarian or “holistic” anything else for that matter. Thanks for the article.

    • Mike Barnett says:

      Thanks Dr. Judd, for setting the record straight on “holistic” veterinarians and GMO foods!

  2. Now I’m going straight to the TX Farm Bureau Facebook page to ‘like’ it!

  3. I wonder if you have any connections to these food manufacturers? You seem to be affiliated with the producers. Many of us avoid GMOs and do the same for our pets. Unlike you, we believe these GMOs are harmful to the body and as more time passes, this will prove to be true. Why take a chance with your health. Do you really trust companies like Monsanto??? I no longer believe the FDA is looking out for the public interest. Too many ties to big food corps.
    Me, I choose to not take a chance with GMOs. Take a look at the video by Geoffery Smith. I can’t remember the name but it is very informative on GMOs.

    • Mike Barnett says:

      You make sweeping generalizations like “we believe GMO are harmful to the body” (we is a pretty broad term) and as “more time passes, this will prove to be true (GMO foods have been on the market for more than two decades and they are still deemed safe).” It’s fine that you choose not to take a chance with GMOs. I don’t have a problem with that. I don’t have a problem with you feeding your pet non-GMO food either. I believe the American Medical Association and other credible sources that say GMOs pose no more risk than any other type of foods.

      • Gene Hall says:

        The science in favor of biotech is pretty much settled in favor of genetic advances. Rather than prove otherwise, the passage of time without the predicted catastrophe just “settles” it more. 17 years and counting without the apocalypse. Of course tremendous amounts of money are raised on these false claims, though it’s us you accuse of collusion with the industry. The entire anti-agriculture science premise, as one of my sons says is “a first world problem.” In other words only wealthy nations have time or resources to worry about it.

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