|I am really opposed to using preservatives, especially ethoxyquin as I keep hearing about the bad side effects. I try to avoid my human kids having colours and preservatives and the same goes for my four legged mates. I've also been told that ethoxyquin has to be labeled as a poison and that demonstrates how toxic the stuff is. What's your opinion?|
Recent ethoxyquin questions have popped up once again and it is just one of innumerable times it has come up in the canine world. It's akin to the Good Times virus hoax, or the Neiman Marcus cookie recipe or the fact that Microsoft is buying the Vatican. All of them are equally truth-based (as in... not) and all are based on the simple accusation or hoax by a single person snowballing into a rumor of worldwide and epic proportions. Monsanto has paid dearly for this misplaced rumor and has even had to fund two entirely separate research studies to disprove the purported "facts" of the harmfulness of ethoxyquin.
The facts: there has simply been no scientific evidence demonstrating any negative side effects of ethoxyquin in pet foods. The original story was an unfounded anecdotal incident from a single breeder that has snowballed into an urban myth (and obviously an international one too). The breeder had a problem with one of her litters and had nothing to blame it on except ethoxyquin. How she or anyone else determined that it was the ethoxyquin that was the causative agent of her pups' deformities is unclear. Her anecdotal accusations were published in a dog club newsletter and the rest, as they say, is history.
Ethoxyquin has since been blamed for a myriad of problems - none of which has ever been proven. Ask anyone that insists that they would never feed a dog food containing ethoxyquin to their dog exactly what the problem with it is, what effects or exact harm it causes, and what mechanism it works by. Inevitably they won't be able to tell you. Most folks simply know that it's "bad".
The FDA has approved ethoxyquin not only for animal consumption but human consumption as well. It's actually in quite a few human food products (paprika being the most notable) yet no one ever complains about people eating it or boycotting human products that contain the chemical. The argument that the FDA actually requires it to be labeled as a "poison" is utter nonsense, as the concentration of harmful levels of ethoxyquin are several orders of magnitude above those included in pet products. Even aspirin is a "poison" if taken at a high enough dose.
Monsanto has published the results of their first study on the safety of ethoxyquin many years ago. The results of their most recent studies are due out sometime soon. Rather than complaining that people didn't have their facts straight, they simply decided to fund a couple of projects to prove their point even further. It reminds me of the situation with McDonalds - where some rumor was started about them using beef from cattle raised on cleared rain forest lands. Everyone was up in arms about the destruction caused by McD's, so they decided to discontinue using "rain forest cattle" and spent millions of dollars on an ad campaign announcing that they were "discontinuing" using beef from rain forest countries. Funny thing is, they never were in the first place. They figured it was easier to simply tell everyone that they had quit, rather than trying to argue against the validity of the rumor. Monsanto is doing something akin to this.
There has been lots of stuff published on this subject.