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Pentobarbital in Pet Food

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PugOn March 2, the FDA declared a recall on a pet food product that contained pentobarbital, a barbiturate drug that is most commonly used in animals as a sedative, anesthetic, or for euthanasia. The concern of pentobarbital dates back to 2001, but recently has made headlines due to the death of a pug last year.

The FDA evaluated the pet food product and determined that the low level of pentobarbital present in pet food products is unlikely to pose a health risk to pets. However, products containing any amount of pentobarbital are considered to be adulterated and is a violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Possible harmful effects of pentobarbital in pet food include drowsiness, dizziness, nausea and — at high levels — coma and death.

How can Eurofins help?

Recalls cause questioning of the food safety, quality, and ethics of America’s top-selling pet food brands, resulting in loss of consumer trust.

Eurofins CAL has implemented and validated the method developed by Dr. David Heller at the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine in 2000 (Anal.Chem. 2000, 72. 2711-2716).  Using the most sensitive LC-MSMS available, we have validated the method in pet food, meat, and fat products. Our reporting limit is 2 ug/kg (ppb). Accuracy and precision results are well within industry norms.

Do you have an inquiry about pentobarbital residues in pet food or other products?

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