First up in our “Pet Food Ingredients to Avoid”, written by Laurie Goldstein, is Xanthan gum. Xantham gum is a thickener and emulsifier used in many pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, industrial applications, and processed human and pet foods. Although its use is approved by the FDA, Xanthan gum was identified in 2011 as the cause of a deadly form of colitis responsible for several infant illnesses and deaths. As reported by the New York Times, the President of the company that makes the product in question (SimplyThick) claimed, “There was no need to conduct studies (for use of the product in infant formula), as the use of thickeners overall was already well established. In addition, the safety of xanthan gum was already well established.” (1)
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