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What's in the Bag? Corn Gluten Meal

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Corn gluten meal (CGM) is an organic herbicide that was patented for use as a weed killer in 1991. It will naturally kill small-seeded annuals and perennial herbs, and is used primarily on lawns to fertilize the grass and prevent weeds. Companies that produce corn gluten meal suggest that when applying the product to a lawn, be sure to wear a mask to prevent dust particles from entering your body. Because it is derived from corn, you should not use it if you or a family member has an allergy to corn.

Corn gluten meal is also a major ingredient in the most well known brands of dog food. While humans are warned not to ingest or breathe in this organic herbicide, it is being added to their pet’s food. Companies choose corn gluten meal as a main ingredient (listed in the top ten) because it is inexpensive, and can be used to replace higher quality products such as proteins, fruits, or vegetables. Frequent ingestion of corn gluten meal also causes allergic reactions, which is why corn and wheat are the top allergens for canines.

So next time you buy dog food, take a quick glance at the ingredients label. If you see corn gluten meal listed anywhere, it might be time to switch to a higher-quality food; your dog will thank you.

Dog Foods Containing Corn Gluten Meal:

-Purina Dog Chow (CGM listed as #4)

-Beneful (CGM listed as #2)

-Science Diet (CGM listed as #6)

-Alpo (CGM listed as #9)

-Pedigree (CGM listed as #3)