How Can I Trust Products with Ingredients from Other Countries?

laboratory testingAs a company that makes products you feed to your family members (your fur babies!), we have to be very careful about the ingredients we choose.

We choose ingredients based on a lot of external factors, but our main priority is health, and that means our main priority is safety, too.

So whenever we hear the question, “Are all of your raw ingredients sourced from the United States?” we want to answer with as much – and as thorough – info as possible.

In short, the answer is no. But there’s a lot more to it than that.

Consider the source

We source our raw ingredients from all over the world. Depending on our needs, the current market supply, current demand, and seasonal availability, a given ingredient in one batch might come from country A and in another batch from country B.

Still, we verify the identity, strength and purity through testing and documentation  – and we choose only the highest quality ingredients available. That’s because our products are manufactured in the United States, in a facility that operates under current Good Manufacturing Processes protocol.

What the heck are GMPs and CofAs?

Under these protocols, we require that every ingredient in every formula be supplied with its respective Certificate of Analysis. That C of A documents ingredient quality, purity and potency, and we review it before accepting any raw material into our production stream.

The Certificate also indicates that our supplier was required to test the ingredient for contaminants like heavy metals and microbials, as well as any other physical or chemical parameters unique to the ingredient – before it ships.

When we receive a raw material, it’s tested for purity and potency, as well as the parameters outlined in the ingredient’s specification sheet.

Any raw material used in a formula, regardless of the country of origin, needs to be verified by a manufacturer using some approved method of analysis before it is used. GMP requires that you cannot depend on the C of A from a supplier without verifying/analyzing the ingredient upon receipt. We are a U.S. company – and that means verification is done here, in the U.S., upon receipt.

If a raw material doesn’t meet the specifications laid out for that ingredient– guess what? We’re not using it. We send that back to the supplier.

lab testing Who sets the standards?

Most raw materials have a validated analytical method and standards for quality associated. Depending on the raw material, the method and standard are listed in one of these references or compendiums:

• AOAC (Association of Official
Analytical Chemists) methods
• USP (United States Pharmacopeia) including FCC (Food Chemical Codex) methods
• Japanese Pharmacopoeia methods
AOCS (American Oil Chemists’ Society) methods
• Compendium of Methods for Microbiological Examination of Foods
• AFIA Lab. Methods
• Journal of the Association of Official Analytical Chemists, Journal of Chromatography,
Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry

Is China worry worthy?

A few of our raw materials do come from China – many of which are commonly found in top pet food brands. Certain ingredients in animal health products, such as glucosamine and vitamin C, can be extremely difficult to source from any other country.

The number one priority of VetriScience® is the safety of pets. Our parent company is a founding member of the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC), and our facilities and practices routinely undergo audit by that organization, as well as the FDA and the Natural Products Association.

Remember those GMPs? The NASC requires members to comply with human dietary supplement cGMPs. That means many VetriScience raw materials are of such quality that they are also used in human products.

Still, we receive a lot of questions about jerky treat contamination in China. Rest assured: VetriScience does not make any jerky treats, and the jerky treats in question have absolutely no ingredient relationship with our products. Isn’t that a relief?

Concerns or questions? Just call us!

You can also check out ingredients for all of our products on their respective product pages here.