What is Ethoxyquin and Why Should Pet Owners Care?

What is Ethoxyquin and Why Should Pet Owners Care?

Ethoxyquin (also known as Santoquin, Santoflex, and Quinol, under trademarks) is a chemical preservative that is used in some pet foods to help prevent rancidity in fats. It has been used for various purposes since the 1960s, but the effects of it on humans and animals are potentially harmful. Learn more about this chemical and what you can do to protect your pet below:

Ethoxyquin (also known as Santoquin, Santoflex, and Quinol, under trademarks) is a chemical preservative that is used in some pet foods to help prevent rancidity in fats. It has been used for various purposes since the 1960s, but the effects of it on humans and animals are potentially harmful. Learn more about this chemical and what you can do to protect your pet below:

The History of the Use of Ethoxyquin

Monsanto developed this product in the 1950s and introduced it in 1965 as a pesticide to help with the browning of pears before and after harvest. It is also commonly used in the spice industry to stop color loss caused by oxidation, as a pesticide to stop pears and apples from oxidizing, and as a rubber preservative.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved this chemical for use within the USA, however Australia, South Africa, Chile, Portugal, Canada, Spain, and the European Union have all banned it from being used in any food sources. Although the Center for Veterinary Medicine has asked manufacturers to keep the level of ethoxyquin in pet food below 75 parts per million, as of 2012 the FDA requires no more than 150 parts per million.

This chemical is not permitted in foods intended for humans (besides those mentioned above) but we can certainly be exposed to it from handling pet food, eating products such as meat or eggs that have residual amounts on them, or using low-grade fish oils that are preserved with ethoxyquin.

Is Ethoxyquin Harmful?

Reports show that laboratory rats absorb ethoxyquin from the gastrointestinal tract. Traces of the chemical were detected in the rats’ livers, kidneys, and adipose tissues. What we have yet to understand is how exactly ethoxyquin affects the body and if it is linked to cancer. While these studies showed no link between ethoxyquin exposure and cancer, we remain wary.

In my opinion, these studies are most likely skewed towards showing ethoxyquin in a positive light since they were funded by Monsanto (who, as you’ll remember from above, developed this chemical).

The Importance of Reading Pet Food Ingredient Labels

When diving deeper into the matter of completely ethoxyquin-free pet foods, the answer is not very clear. Many manufacturers do not add this chemical to their food. But because the animals used in the food may have been exposed to ethoxyquin, there cannot be a guarantee that the food doesn’t contain trace amounts of the chemical.

This shows how important it is to pay attention and read ingredients when making pet food choices. Unfortunately, most of our fish sources for the pet food industry are preserved with ethoxyquin, which doesn’t always have to be disclosed to the consumer since it wasn’t used at the place of manufacturing. This is where the pet food industry can get sneaky and unforgiving with their ingredients.

If Your Pet Has Been Exposed to Ethoxyquin

Although the reports are unclear as to how long-term exposure to ethoxyquin would impact your pet, we do know that it does affect the liver, kidneys, and fat tissues. Knowing this, if you think your pet has been exposed to ethoxyquin, it would be most beneficial to help your pet by cleansing their liver and kidneys.

You can support the liver by using Animal Essentials milk thistle, detox blend, dandelion/milk thistle blend, or spring tonic. You can also use Cell Salts nat sulph, nat phos, or kali sulph, Holistic Blend’s flax seed oil and many high-quality brands of probiotics and digestive enzymes for added support.

Helichrysum essential oil is wonderful at helping with liver ailments as well as for those who have had toxin exposure or poisoning. Depending on the severity of the situation, Helichrysum can be encapsulated and given orally, applied topically to the liver area, or applied to the vita flex point on the foot. When using essential oils with your pets, it is always best to dilute the essential oils according to your pet’s weight.

Conclusion

It is nearly impossible to avoid every chemical, but we can holistically treat ourselves and nourish the body to get the right nutrients. By doing so we can avoid major health ailments and increase our pets’ lives here on Earth. If you are interested in committing to a low-toxin diet for your pet, then you really need to consider feeding fresh, raw meats that come from known sources and farms.

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