Pet food manufacturers must create food that adheres to AAFCO (The Association of American Feed Control Officials) standards. In order to meet these standards, they often purchase vitamin and mineral premixes from another company.
Dogs Naturally explains:
But here’s how pet food manufacturers can trick us into believing the ingredients our dogs are eating are sourced in the US when they’re probably not …
… if the vitamins and minerals from China are mixed together in another country, and then added to the food, the manufacturer doesn’t have to come clean on the Chinese ingredients because they weren’t added directly to the food. And if the premix was mixed up someplace other than China, the pet food manufacturer can claim there are no dangerous Chinese ingredients in the food…
So, while reputable and premium pet food manufacturers make reasonable attempts to source the highest quality ingredients for their food and treats, it’s nearly impossible to determine where every single ingredient originated.
In defense of their pet food, several companies including Evangers, Stella & Chewy’s, Solid Gold, and Red Moon Pet Foods have explained that it’s impossible to source every single premix ingredient from the U.S. and that any company making that claim is lying.
To see how your pet’s food manufacturer responded to questioning regarding the country of origin of their vitamin/mineral premixes, see this report from Truth About Pet Food.
In response to this lawsuit, Merrick Pet Care and Castor & Pollux told us the following:
We recognize that it’s important for pet parents to understand where the ingredients in their pet food come from, and we encourage pet parents to reach out to us if they have questions about specific ingredients in our recipes.”