Dog food and dog food poisoning: New findings
New Scientist article A new study has found that dog food and food contaminated with the toxin brominated flame retardant (BFR) can be ingested by humans.
The study, published in the scientific journal, looked at food samples from 1,846 dogs tested at the University of Sydney in Australia.
Researchers found that a third of samples contained the toxic compound, which is known to be harmful to humans.
BFR is banned in Australia, the United Kingdom, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland, but can be sold on the black market.
The new study also found that people exposed to BFR have increased risk of developing an allergic reaction to it, which can lead to potentially life-threatening symptoms.
Dogs are the most common pet food in the US, with an estimated one in four people consuming the products in their homes.
The BFR contamination was found in more than half the dogs tested, with half the samples coming from dog foods, the study said.
“We found that dogs that consumed food containing BFR contained significantly more BFR-containing samples,” lead researcher Professor Andrew McLean told New Scientist.
“This suggests that the ingestion of BFR by humans may result in a higher risk of dog food-related food poisoning.”
The researchers say the increased risk could be attributed to the exposure of the human to the BFR and its toxic effects on the central nervous system.
The researchers believe the increased incidence of BFOID and food poisoning among people who consume dog foods could be due to the fact that dog foods are generally less well-tolerated than human food.
Professor McLean says BFR could also be responsible for a recent increase in cases of food poisoning in dogs.
The number of people reporting food poisoning has risen by around 40 per cent over the past 10 years, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The agency’s Food Safety and Inspection Service says BFOIDs are commonly sold in pet food stores.