“It’s become such an emotional issue,” said Dana Brooks, CEO of the Pet Food Institute, whose members produce most of the pet food in the United States. “We’re scrambling to try to figure out what’s going on.”
cause for concern
Grain-free pet diets became popular in the early 2000s, relying heavily on legumes — seeds of legumes including peas, beans, and lentils. In 2019, grain-free kibble accounted for 43% of dry pet food sold.
Until 2017, the FDA saw one to three DCM reports per year. But between January 1 and July 10, 2018, he received 25 cases. Seven reports came from a single source, animal nutritionist Lisa Freeman of Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, an FDA spokesperson said. However, FDA records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act indicate that these reports may not have been entirely representative of cases seen at the Tufts Clinic.
In a June 2018 email to FDA veterinarian Jennifer Jones, Freeman attached a document asking veterinarians to report cases to the FDA: ingredient, or grain-free diet.
Asked if this could be seen as select data that would shape the investigation, Freeman said through Tufts Media Relations: “The protocol for this email was developed and intended to assist veterinary cardiologists in the early stages of investigating potential associations. between diet and dilated cardiomyopathy.