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Campaign advocates

Today sees the launch of the Campaign for Real Pet Food by various high profile individuals in the pet world, including Joe Inglis – that vet bloke off the telly - hoping to do for pet food what Jamie Oliver did for school dinners.

The Campaign is primarily concerned with the lack of openness and honesty in pet food labelling, as the increasingly common behavioural issues in children, associated with the various additives found in food, are equally as prevalent in the nation’s pets.

Did you know…?

· Vets are frequently linking bad behaviour in pets, to an additive-heavy diet. Food allergies and intolerances are also increasingly common

· Pet food manufacturers can legitimately use various generic terms, such as ‘meat and animal derivatives’, ‘by-products’, ‘cereals’ and ‘EC permitted additives’, in ingredient lists that hide the real content from pet owners

The use of generic terms in pet food labelling allows actual ingredients to remain unknown, for example ‘meat and animal derivatives’ can refer to any part of any animal. With allergies and intolerances rife, differentiation is crucial. In the US, pet food, like human food, is required to be pure and wholesome, contain no harmful or damaging substances, and be truthfully labelled, because they understand these issues.

One of the main problems is lack of transparency. By using terms such as ‘EC permitted additives’, manufacturers can hide the exact ingredients they use, so it is impossible for a pet owner to make an informed decision about food. ‘EC permitted additives’ covers a list of some 4,000 chemicals and there is a large amount of evidence for the potential harm that artificial additives can do to pets. For example, artificial colours such as E102 (tartrazine), E110 (sunset yellow) and others have been shown to cause hyperactivity in children (and are part of Britain’s voluntary ban by the Food Standard Agency) - and it is highly likely that this effect is also seen in pets. In addition to hyperactivity, colours such as Blue 2 have been shown to have the potential to cause tumours, as have anti-oxidants including BHA.

If manufacturers are so confident about the ingredients they use providing “complete and balanced nutrition”, and their positive effects, why don’t they name them rather than use these woolly general terms?

Supporters of the Campaign include famous faces such as Matt Baker (BBC presenter including Crufts 2008, the Beijing Olympics, and formerly Blue Peter), Anthony Head (actor), Deborah Meaden (Dragon’s Den entrepreneur), Bruce Oldfield OBE (British fashion designer) and Sally Gunnell OBE (champion athlete). Natural pet food manufacturers are also supporting the Campaign, pledging to only use high quality, individually identified ingredients – without the use of artificial colours, flavours and preservatives. Products from these manufacturers will be stickered from today, highlighting their support for the aims of the Campaign.

Visit www.crpf.org.uk for more information and to pledge your support.

NOTES TO EDITORS:

Joe Inglis is available for interviews to discuss the Campaign in more detail.

High res images are available upon request.

CONTACT:

Rachel Turner
Account Executive
Campaign for Real Pet Food Media Relations
The Bottom Line Consultancy
Tel: 01992 579990
Email: rachel@bottomlineconsultancy.co.uk

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