Keep the grains out of Wellness canned cat food sign now

To Old Mother Hubbard pet food company:

We understand that you have added brown rice to your Wellness brand canned cat food line, without explicitly stating so on the food labels or on your website. While there may be labeling loopholes that technically allow you to change the formula without reflecting that on the label, we had expected more from a company whose stated philosophy is to "make pet food without compromise."

Some cat caregivers, unfortunately, learned about this unannounced change the hard way when their cats would no longer eat this food. Worse, many of us have cats that are especially sensitive to species-inappropriate ingredients, most notably grain products, and they became ill after eating Wellness canned cat food from batches prepared with brown rice. Other cats had digestive symptoms return, such as vomiting or diarrhea, that had been kept successfully at bay thanks to feeding a grainless diet. Those of us with cats afflicted with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), diabetes, cancer, or urinary tract disorders are especially concerned, since grains are an extraordinarily troublesome culprit in contributing to these illnesses.

The reason that many of us opted to feed our cats Wellness in the first place was because it was grainless (low in carbohydrates) and contained human-grade quality meat and other quality ingredients. If the Old Mother Hubbard company persists in making such critical changes to its formulation without telling its consumers, we have no choice but to stop purchasing the product.

Added grains such as brown rice have no place in the diet of a true carnivore and do not supply an adequately bioavailable form of protein. While they are often used as filler in other cat foods, one of the best features of Wellness canned cat foods, up to now, was that those of us with especially grain-sensitive cats could safely feed this food.

Recently published veterinary literature on why grain-based carbohydrates can be harmful to cats is quite clear on the scientific reasons that cats need to steer clear of species-inappropriate grains. For those of us whose cats are already suffering from problems such as IBD, cancer, diabetes, or urinary tract disease--health conditions that are seriously aggravated by the inclusion of grains in the diet--Wellness has, up to now, been one of the very few choices we could safely make in selecting a grainless commercial food.

Various company representatives contacted by concerned consumers have suggested that the reason for this change was because of complaints that the food was too watery. We find this reasoning difficult to accept, since many of us currently add water to Wellness canned food to make sure our cats get enough moisture with their food.

The suggestion by some company representatives to customers that they could determine whether cans they had purchased contained brown rice by hunting for a specific manufacturing code on the cans is simply unacceptable. It represents a disturbing departure from the truthfulness in labeling we had come to expect from Old Mother Hubbard company.

We petition you to immediately remove the brown rice and keep the original formula--and to refrain in the future from adding any grains to your canned product--so that the loyal customer base you have built up over the recent years can continue to be able to confidently purchase your product. Moreover, we urge you to explicitly reflect any changes you might make to your formula in the future on your labels, so that consumers are not unwittingly serving ingredients to their companion animals that have the potential to cause or aggravate serious health conditions.

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Shauna DunlapBy:
ReligionIn:
Petition target:
Old Mother Hubbard, P.O. Box 1719, Lowell, MA 01853-1719

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