10 Best Dog
Downgraded to 2 Scoops
Like most of the pet community, we are very
Natura Dog Food's sellout to Procter & Gamble.
We have totally re-evaluated our dog food reviews and ratings
of the one
premium dog food manufacturer. For the moment, we are ranking Natura 2
Scoops, and in all likelihood we will downgrade them even further in
the near future.
walk-through of how we arrived at our decision.
Natura Dog Food - Summary
On June 1, 2010, Natura Pet Products finalized the sale of their
business to Proctor
and Gamble (P&G), the world’s largest manufacturer of household
The brands of premium, all natural dog food made by Natura Dog Food
Evo, California Natural, HealthWise, and Karma Organic Dog Food (made
with over 95% organic ingredients). Each
brands were exceptionally high quality dog foods, and Natura Pet Foods
was by all accounts a trusted and highly-respected pet food
We had originally rated all Natura
Dog Food brands a 5 Scoop dog food ranking, and even included
three of their products, California Natural, Evo and Innova dog
foods on our list of 10 Best Dog Food Brands.
Proctor & Gamble - A Snapshot of a
P&G is a massive multinational corporation headquartered in
Cincinnati, Ohio. Approximately 135,000 employees work in about
80 countries worldwide. As of mid 2010, it is the sixth most profitable
corporation in the
world, and the fifth largest corporation in the United States --
only by Apple, Exxon Mobil, Microsoft, and Walmart.
P&G is the world’s largest manufacturer of household products,
about 23 brands sold in 140 countries worldwide. Its bounty of products
includes: Pampers, Tide, Oral-B, Duracell, Pringles, Olay, Head
Shoulders, Wella, Gillette, Ariel, Always, Whisper, Pantene, Mach3,
Bounty, Dawn, Gain, Charmin, Downy, Lenor, Crest, Braun, Fusion ...
Iams and Eukanuba -- and now, Natura Dog Foods!
Additionally, P&G has owned more than 20 soap
operas in the past 80 years, including the CBS productions,
“Guiding Light” and “As the World Turns” (both cancelled in 2009).
In 2007, according to the Nielsen Company, P&G spent $2.62
on U.S. advertising. Not only is this more than any other company, but
it’s almost twice as much as the next company on the Nielsen list,
General Motors. Globally, P&G spends around $7 billion on
advertising each year.
In January 2010, the Company announced the testing of an online retail
outlet, in order for P&G
to sell their products directly to U.S. consumers.
It will be
telling to see if and when Natura Dog Food will be added to their
Procter & Gamble – A Probing Look at
Eukanuba Dog Foods
In 1999, P&G purchased the Iams Company, which included the
Eukanuba dog food brand, for $2.3 billion.
Prior to the buyout, Iams was a respectable family
operated dog and cat food company. Iams and, Eukanuba in
particular, were a cut above other mass market dog food
brands, and were only available through specialty pet stores and
veterinary clinics. (Note, one can't compare their original foods
with the quality of our present products, as premium all natural dog
food, as we
know it today, did not exist in the 1990s).
Shortly after the acquisition, P&G expanded both Iams and
to the mass market, making it widely available in supermarkets and
retail stores such as Costco, K-Mart and Walmart, across the globe.
Within months of the takeover, it became very apparent that changes had
been made to
the formulation of the foods. There were numerous accounts of dogs and
cats suddenly developing
various health issues and dog food allergies -- from diarrhea to
itching, brittle and poor
quality coats, skin rashes, hot spots, and even blown coats.
The packaging remained unchanged,
and no notification was given to retailers, pet owners or vets. (Note:
food companies are not required to list ingredient changes on dog
food labels for 6 months -- a legal loophole for P&G).
After much publicity and a huge public backlash, P&G admitted
rice to barley, but denied making any other formula changes. They
went as far as adding a PR page to their website in an attempt to
dispel what they
referred to as "rumors", and insisted they were continuing to use the
quality ingredients as before!
In April 2000, P&G implemented another strategy in an attempt
to further reassure the public of their "emphatic commitment to
maintaining the premium
quality of Iams and
Eukanuba dog and cat foods"
- and that - "any product
changes that occured
were designed to enhance the product"
They convened an independent seven-member panel, known as
the Iams Quality Review Board, consisting of veterinarians,
breeders, research nutritionists and pet specialty store owners. The
met at the Company's Ohio plant to observe and review the
manufacturing process and analyze and compare ingredients
lists against product
samples obtained over the past twelve months.
The report with its glowing conclusions was flaunted on their
Company Website, May 17, 2000
Quality Review Board Report and Findings
P&G was later sued by Nutro and Kal Kan Pet Food Companies for
advertising and misleading labels, plus a class action lawsuit on
behalf of consumers was settled by the California law firm, Wasserman,
Comden, Casselman & Pearson.
The lawsuit brought to light that in reality, Iams had "reformulated
its dog food ingredients 'to enhance' the formula -- substituting
chicken for 'chicken by-products meal' and a 'carbohydrate blend' of
bran sorghum and barley for rice. It then adjusted its package
instructions to reduce per-day servings by 25 percent to reflect
scientific evidence, it says, that in-home dogs are 25 percent less
active than kennel dogs -- the basis of most dog food formulations."
with the substitution of cheaper quality ingredients and reducing
amounts by 25%, these "premium" foods could now compete price-wise
with grocery store dog food. In truth, Iams and Eukanuba dog foods
had effectively now become poor quality supermarket pet foods parading
their fancy dog
food labels and exploiting the Iams and Eukanuba brand names.
Perhaps even more telling is that P&G and the FDA filed motions
keep correspondence between them secret and unavailable for evidence in
the lawsuits. Copies were obtained under
the Freedom of Information Act, which disclosed that Iams and
Eukanuba's dog foods did not meet AAFCO standards even though the AAFCO
stamp of approval appeared on the label.
Washington Post article on Nutro's
2002 lawsuit against Iams.
Will history repeat itself with Natura Dog Food?
Until recently, P&G also manufactured branded pharmaceutical
Actonel, an osteoporosis medication, and Enablex, a medication for
bladder. Annual sales were around $2.3 billion. It sold its
pharmaceutical division to Warner Chilcott on
October 30, 2009.
to a Reuters article: "P&G
failed to realize its ambition of becoming a major force in
pharmaceuticals, although Actonel became one of the world's top-selling
treatments for prevention of fractures in post-menopausal women ... Cincinnati-based
P&G, best known
for its vast array of household
consumer products such as Tide detergent and Crest toothpaste, said it
is selling its branded medicines to "prioritize" investments in its
consumer health-care businesses.”
In a true David and Goliath story, a Senior Medical Professor at
Sheffield University in Britain, Dr. Aubrey Blumsohn, went to battle
with P&G accusing the Company of denying him access to key data
attempting to ghost write papers with his name on it. The
University, influenced by the millions of dollars of research
grants from P&G, made attempts to bar the Professor from
efforts to conceal data and manipulate research conclusions. www.guardian.co.uk
After four years of
pressure and negative publicity, P&G
launched a public relations campaign intended to salvage their
reputation. The company first issued the researcher's 'Bill of Rights,'
which stated researchers would have access to all information about
which they are writing. Finally, P&G released
Actonel's full data sets to Blumsohn, a tremendous victory for Blumsohn
and GAP. The full data sets verified Blumsohn's suspicions and provided
evidence against P&G for scientific fraud.”
and 2003, PETA (People for
the Ethical Treatment of Animals) conducted an undercover
at Sinclair Research
Center, a laboratory contracted by Iams Pet Food.
horrendous, inhumane acts of
cruelty to dogs and cats.
who had literally gone crazy from intense confinement in barren, steel
cages and cement cells. The purpose of the "research" was to observe
of solitary confinement on a dog!
Many dogs were debarked, while others were left on a filthy floor after
chunks of muscle
hacked from their thighs. Many extremely sick dogs and cats were simply
left lying neglected in cages, dying slowly and painfully, alone. No
veterinary care or pain
relief was provided.
facility, witnessed the events and ... turned a blind eye!
investigated PETA's complaint and cited the laboratory for about 40
violations of the Animal Welfare Act. Sinclair
penalty of $33,000.
denied any involvement
in the scandal. However, once again, after intense publicity and
pressure from PETA, P&G's public relations machine went into
control. They agreed to begin conducting in-home tests
and nutrition experiments and even built a separate website designed to
version of the "facts".
release of information from a
study in which a painful disease was induced in dogs.
In a 2001 Petfood Industry Electronic Newsletter, Diane Hirakawa
(Senior Vice President of Iams’
Research & Development) makes an admission, stating, “The lesson learned
here is that kennel studies are not an appropriate way to test feeding
guidelines because most kennels represent a high-stress … environment.
Naturally, in such an environment, dogs may need to consume more food
than they would in a home setting.”
However, Iams allegedly still keeps up to 700
their Dayton, Ohio laboratory for non-invasive nutritional studies. It
refuses to give PETA representatives access to the lab and also refuses
invasive experiments on non dog and cat studies.
See below for the
PETA video. Warning:
This video is extremely graphic and absolutely heartbreaking!
& Gamble references
for anyone who wishes to probe
The Future of Natura Dog Food - Our Thoughts
Although some may choose to adopt the “wait and see” approach
regarding the future of Natura Dog Food, we personally have enough to
form an opinion on P&G's history of deceitful practices and
ethics. In fact, the Dog
Food Scoop team has not purchased P&G products for many years.
Yes, large companies are driven by profits and shareholder
accountability. In our opinion, P&G's numerous fraudulent
smoke and mirrors, reveal a cold and highly unprincipled corporate
giant, with little regard for human well-being and pure mercilessness
with respect to our beloved dogs and other animal life.
We believe Natura Dog Food has no place in a conglomerate focused on
baby diapers, batteries, razor blades, detergents, cosmetics, etc.
P&G's philosophy, in our
opinion, is totally incongruent to a product such as Natura Dog Food --
or anything else to do with pet health, for that matter!
We cannot imagine how P&G could ever consider compromising
on its profit margin for the sake of our dogs' welfare.
We have no intention of contacting either P&G or Natura
dog food representatives, as we believe it is a waste of our time to listen to
and carefully scripted marketing humbug. Nor do we intend taking a shot
at the past owners of Natura Dog Foods. No doubt, the deal has provided
the family with enormous financial wealth for many generations to come.
How the family really feels about their decision, and any other how's
and why's are quite irrelevant at this stage. Our focus is on moving
forward and uncovering the truly invested dog food companies.
So! Will this leopard ever change
its spots? Or will it merely become more skilled at concealing them and
engaging in their slick public relations campaigns? We've
certainly let you know what we think! :-(
Folks, as always, this is our opinion on the sellout and future of
Natura Dog Food. Naturally, some of you will have differing points of
view and ultimately everyone has to make decisions they personally feel
Think the Future Holds for
Natura Dog Food?
welcome all feedback and opinions. Please feel free to tell us whether
you agree or disagree with us. Are we being too generous or too miserly
with our 2 Scoop rating? What
future holds for Natura Dog Food?