By Leilah's Mom
Iams Correspondence 3/24/00
NOTICE: (4/6/00) I no longer have
time to keep updating this page, and in all fairness, I should be prompt
with updates. So, I have cut it back to the basics now, and have
removed most all of my editorializing (other than what I wrote to Iams).
The Labels and correspondence with Iams will remain.
Here is a label from Eukanuba Adult Maintenance,
the bag was dated December 22, 1998.
The first few ingredients listed here are:
1) Chicken, 2) Chicken By-Product meal,
3) Rice Flour, 4) Ground Corn, 5) Ground Grain Sorghum,6) Fish Meal...
Legally, ingredients must be listed in
order of quantity, so supposedly this bag has Chicken in the greatest amount.
Usually the first 5 ingredients are considered most significant.
I found this, from a bag dated November
The first ingredients on this label are
(changes in italics):
1) Chicken, 2) Chicken By-Product Meal,
3) Corn meal, 4) Ground Grain Sorghum, 5) Ground Whole Grain
Barley, 6) Fish Meal.... 8)Rice Flour
The Crude Analysis was exactly the same
For Eukanuba Large Breed Adult
The ingredients on their site, it showed
(and still shows, as of today, 3/21/00 at http://www.iams.com/products/product.asp?ProductID=32
) - this is the new formula
Eukanuba Large Breed Adult as of
1) Chicken 2) Corn Meal 3) Ground Grain
Sorghum, 4) Ground Whole Grain Barley, 5) Chicken By-Product Meal 6) Fish
A bag dated August 24, 1999, I found (differences
in italics) - this is the old formula.
1) Chicken, 2) Ground Corn, 3) Ground Grain
Sorghum, 4) Chicken By-Product meal, 5) Corn Grits, 6) Fish Meal....
Ok, since I put up this page, I was given
some new info from an independent (I hope) source about the digesibility
of corn and other grains. Unfortunately, I don't fully understand it, but
it seems to say corn isn't as bad to digest as other information I've seen
- supposedly DM means digestible material and CP is Crude protein, haven't
found what OM is yet :
J Anim Sci 1999 Aug;77(8):2180-6
Evaluation of selected high-starch flours as ingredients
in canine diets.
Murray SM, Fahey GC Jr, Merchen NR, Sunvold GD, Reinhart
Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois,
Urbana 61801, USA.
Cereal grains represent 30 to 60% of the DM of many
companion animal diets. Once
incorporated into a diet, the starch component of
these grains can provide an
excellent source of ME. However, crystallinity and
form of starch are variable
and can cause incomplete digestion within the gastrointestinal
tract. Diets fed
in this experiment included one of six high-starch
flours as the main source of
carbohydrate. The flours originated from barley,
corn, potato, rice, sorghum,
and wheat. The diets were extruded and kibbled.
Starch fraction concentrations
of flours consisted of nearly 100% rapidly digestible
starch (RDS) and slowly
digestible starch (SDS) combined. Starch fraction
concentrations of diets
paralleled concentrations in flours. Flours varied
widely in concentrations of
CP, fat, starch, and total dietary fiber. Ileal
OM and CP digestibilities were
lowest for the potato flour treatment (74 and 64%,
respectively). Ileal and
total tract starch digestibilities were different
(P<.05) among treatments;
however, the starch component of all diets was nearly
(>99%). Total tract digestibility of DM and OM was
lowest for sorghum (80 and
84%, respectively) compared to all other diets.
Crude protein digestibility was
highest for corn (87%). Wet fecal weights tended
(P<.08) to be greatest for dogs
fed the barley treatment (175 g/d). However, dry
fecal weights (dried at 55
degrees C) were greatest for dogs consuming the
sorghum diet (51 g/d). Fecal
scores were consistently greater (i.e., looser stools)
for the barley treatment.
Any of these flours could be used without negative
effects on digestion at
either the ileum or in the total tract. Fecal consistency
data for dogs
consuming the barley treatment indicate that diets
containing large amounts
(>50%) of barley may not be advantageous for dog
owners who house their animals
indoors for most of the day.
From Iams 3/24/00
Dear Francoise (Leilah's Mom):
> We strive to reply to every message
completely, personally, and within 24 hrs.
> For this reason, our 800 number is often
our preferred method of communication
> with customers. We apologize for
not responding to you in the manner in which
> you requested. Please give us
an opportunity now to address your concerns.
> Your first request involved changes
to Eukanuba(R) Adult Maintenance Formula.
> First, we did not cheapen the product;
we enhanced the product's nutritional
> At The Iams Company, our mission is
to enhance the well-being of dogs & cats
> by providing world class quality foods.
We do this by continuously
> researching nutritional breakthroughs
and applying those advancements to our
> products. In 1996, we began some
extensive research into diabetes in dogs,
> and from that research found that we
could also improve the glucose metabolism
> of normal, healthy dogs. Additional
research in 1997-1999 then led to the
> improvements we incorporated into all
dry Iams and Eukanuba chicken-based dog
> food formulas in mid-1999.
> As the result of our innovative research
with the patented blend of complex
> carbohydrates -- corn, grain sorghum
and ground whole grain barley -- Iams
> developed the new formulas. Iams
scientists found that the combination of
> these carbohydrates provided a stable
source of energy. This blend is also
> highly digestible, which means the body
will metabolize a high percentage of
> each carbohydrate for energy.
But it's important to note that the sorghum,
> barley, and corn blend results in a
more moderate and stable blood sugar level
> after a meal. By minimizing swings
in blood sugar, diets containing this
> blend minimize the risk of obesity.
We called this unique, patented
> carbohydrate blend the Energy Management
> Eukanuba Adult Maintenance Formula now
contains the Energy Management System
> and includes corn meal, ground grain
sorghum, ground whole grain barley and
> rice flour. This is the carbohydrate
blend you noted on the 11/6/99
> packaging. This is an improvement
from the previous carbohydrate blend of
> rice flour, ground corn, and ground
grain sorghum that you noted on the
> 12/2/98 packaging. The total amount
of carbohydrate in the diet has remained
> the same. Please note that some
of the ingredients are the same but have been
> renamed to help consumers better understand
the ingredients and their purpose.
> For example, ground corn = corn meal
and chicken digest = natural chicken
> The ingredient list that you noted on
the 8/24/99 bag of Eukanuba Large Breed
> Adult Formula lists the previous carbohydrate
blend. The ingredient list that
> you noted on 3/21/00 on our website
lists the current carbohydrate blend of
> corn meal, ground grain sorghum, and
ground whole grain barley.
> We communicated these improvements to
our customers via in-bag inserts and a
> press release to the media. It
is possible that our communication may not
> have reached you. We have certainly
made note of your concerns and will work
> to improve our communications.
> On your website, you also made mention
that corn is less nutritious and less
> digestible than rice. Corn as
a carbohydrate is every bit as good as rice.
> Ground corn or corn meal is whole corn
that is finely ground and chopped.
> Corn grits is similar, but has much
of the protein removed (this was used to
> keep as much protein coming from animal
sources as possible). When processed
> in our manufacturing facilities, corn
is highly digestible and provides dogs
> with high-quality carbohydrates for
> It is more appropriate to associate
the corn used in Eukanuba and Iams
> products with "corn bread" rather than
"corn on the cob." The difference is
> cooked corn versus raw corn. Only
the highest-quality corn is used in
> Eukanuba and Iams products. The
corn is finely ground to a meal, which breaks
> up the outside covering of each kernel,
and then it is cooked, which increases
> its digestibility. In fact, our
research shows that the new Eukanuba formula
> is every bit as digestible as the previous
> In addition, you commented on corn being
an allergen. There is a
> misconception that corn can cause food
allergies. Dogs can develop allergies
> to any ingredient in their food.
The problem develops not because the food or
> ingredient is "bad" or "poor quality",
but rather because the dog has a
> hypersensitive immune system.
Of the many dogs that regularly eat a food
> containing corn, only a very few will
develop an allergy to corn. Only about
> 10% of all canine allergies are to a
dietary ingredient. Of these,
> approximately 80% are due to beef and
> We will never compromise on product
quality. The Iams Company has been in
> business for more than 50 years and
has gained respect and trust based on our
> product performance. Procter &
Gamble understands, respects, and fully
> supports the Iams mission and our dedication
to nutritional excellence. Under
> our new ownership, we will be able to
make even greater advancements in
> research, development and distribution
of top quality premium pet foods for
> cats and dogs. Maintaining the
exceptional product quality and performance of
> all of our brands is an essential part
of our past and our future.
> The Iams brand is now available in retail
stores where other P&G products are
> sold. Again, the product has not
been cheapened in any way in order to do
> this. We will continue to distribute
Eukanuba Dog & Cat Foods only at pet
> specialty stores and veterinary clinics.
We invite you to compare product
> ingredients, feeding requirements and
product performance to determine the
> highest quality product to best meet
Leilah's nutritional needs.
> We value your feedback. Thank
you for giving us the opportunity to regain
> your trust in our products.
> XXXXX, D.V.M.
> Technical Services Veterinarian
> The Iams Company
Here is the reply I've sent, on 3/26/00:
Thank you so much for a real reply! I will
add it to the site (without personal info again of course, unless you say
otherwise). I'll post this response too. People can read it
for themselves, and decide if I have a clue or not, if Iams is doing right
or not, etc....
Since I put up my page, I am hearing about
many dogs that are having problems with this new Energy Management System,
once I was able to confirm a change. Unfortuantely, I didn't save the posts
from the message boards about this. My problems were minor, just
she wasn't absorbing it real well. Most of the other problems I've heard
seems to involve the same kind of thing that happened to my Leilah, stool
output increased, color change, softer. I've also heard of
dogs vomiting from it. No one was given a chance to do a slow change,
so who's to know if vomiting is from the quick diet change in itself or
the new carb formula? Lots of people didn't stay with it long enough to
find out. Some of us are capable of managing our own dogs' energy, you
didn't take us into consideration? Or, are you going for a lower common
denominator of people's dog knowlege.
Between bad breeding, over vaccinating,
and too many chemicals, dogs in this country are really messed up sensitivity
wise. Yes, it IS a hypersensitive immune system, no doubt about that.
The rise in canine cancers in the country is another sign of it.
But, what to do about it? How about avoiding foods that set it off until
the underlying cause can be addressed, IF it anything can be done? No,
we can't avoid corn in the Euk Adult maintenance, it was always there.
Just not as much of it. I need to make sure that's pointed out on the site
clearly. Regardless of the root cause, corn does trigger reactions,
it doesn't matter the quality of the corn. Corn can cause reactions
whether it's dust from the bottom of the chicken feed barrel or the juciest
corn on the cob. And, that 20% of that 10% you quote is a still a
lot of dogs! That's 2% of all dogs - thousands of them.
I realize that corn is a good carbohydrate,
but only if the dog absorbs it. Leilah doesn't seem to.
The only research I have is my own dogs. Her stools got as large and as
plentiful as my aussie who weighs twice as much, (nutro diet for him -
he needs that extra low protein). I could no longer tell the landmines
apart. It did not look like she was absorbing the food the same way anymore.
Too many dogs have owners who don't pay
attention. Iams seems to realize that, "By minimizing swings in blood sugar,
diets containing this blend minimize the risk of obesity." Is that a way
of saying the carbs are now some kind of time release? Shoot, how about
just feeding less to prevent obesity? Excercising more? More than once
a day to prevent sugar swings? I am glad you are trying to work around
owners who can't handle that, but it's a one size fits all approach. For
myself, I never worried about swings in blood sugar, Leilah is free fed,
and my other dog is fed more than once a day. Iams apparently realizes
that many people don't do this, for better or worse. It does seem like
you are taking a "one size fits all" approach now. Possibly to appeal
to a broader market? Well, it still doesn't fit my dog. Yup, lots
of people need lots of educating about dogs in general! I've also
had to put a notice on the site not to change foods only because I don't
want it for Leilah, but to do their own research and find what's right
for THEIR dog. One size does not fit all.
You might want to check where those
bag inserts went, because NO one seems to have ever seen one, I don't think
they ended up in the bags. There was certainly no info on the OUTSIDE
of the bags, not that I nor anyone I know ever saw. I should not
have to be in contact with media to know about a change in my dog's diet,
it should be on the bag. Nothing on your website, which should be a main
communication source for those of us who discover this kind of thing by
My whole point, and this is what truly
angered me about Iams, was that there were changes that people were
NOT made aware of, changes that many of us feel are not for the better
for our individual dogs, regardless of your research that shows it might
be better for the general market public. And, we were getting no where
asking Iams directly. One vet friend tried to get info directly from an
Iams rep friend of his after I discovered these changes and put the labels
up on the net. He was told no changes at all since the omega acids were
added in 96 or so. Direct denial. He's even changed off it now, saying
that after 20 years of endorsiing, sellling and feeding Iams and Eukanuba,
he can no longer support your products. This is a man who did his own research
into my complaints, being a vet, he sure wasn't gonna take my word on it.
No one's letters from Iams would admit
a change. Other than my own labels, you're letter is the first anything
I've seen from Iams on the subject admitting that there has been any change
at all. Iams seems to have been less than upfront about all these changes,
improvements or not. I personally don't see where Iams has made any effort
to communicate these changes. Not a single person I know has heard
anything but "through the grapevine", nothing FROM Iams. So, after lack
of response from Iams, I took it into my own hands, and communicated it
for you to my friends. My letters were not truly answered by Iams
until now, after I built the web page. Chances are if I had not built that
page, you would not be writing me.
Oh, and about the large breed food?
I did check again last month the ingredients hadn't changed. But, checking
today? The change is now on the shelves, in a bag not saying ONE word about
it. The bag I checked was made on 10/20/99, two months older than the label
I put on the internet. Granted, this change IS an improvement, but no communication
about it. Not on your site, not on the bag, none. I did NOT buy the
bag to check for an insert. I am glad you pointed that out, that this was
the new formula or I may not have rechecked anytime soon.
So, in the interest of better communication,
I would like to invite you to a message board I frequent. There are
many dog knowledgable people on there, responsible and reputable breeders,
rescuers, just plain pet owners, and even the aforementioned vet.
I know a some of them have been very disappointed by Iams lately.
Some have taken their dogs off Iams foods recently. The URL is:
Patty's Dog Park
And, over this weekend, I'll update my
Iams page too, to include the info you've sent. I hope to see information
on this new Energy Management System on your site. and on the food
bags. soon. But I can't find those words on the Iams site at all now, is
it an "in-house" reference only? Your own search engine shows one reference
to that phrase, on a page about Euk Senior dog food ( http://www.iams.com/_vti_bin/search.htm0.idq
) and that page is not found.
Thanks again for responding. Please consider
looking at that message board, and participating on it!
-Francoise aka Leilah's Mom
Received from Iams on 3/31/00
> Hello again! I wanted to clear
up some of your remaining questions. After
> looking at your website, I really believe
that ultimately we are on the same
> page. We both want the best nutrition
available for dogs.
> You mentioned in your response that
we have a "one size fits all approach."
> The Energy Management is just one component
of many of our canine
> formulations. We offer a wide
range of formulas that uniquely address the
> different segments of the dog population.
> Based upon our research, we genuinely
feel that the Energy Management System
> is a benefit to all dogs. The
primary dietary component responsible for the
> rise in blood sugar immediately following
a meal is starch(carbohydrate).
> Iams studies have revealed that including
sorghum or barley in the diet of
> dogs resulted in a lower blood sugar
level, compared with that from diets
> containing rice. In addition,
feeding barley resulted in the lowest blood
> insulin levels, compared with that from
diets containing other grains. By
> minimizing the surge in blood sugar
and insulin levels in response to
> ingestion of a meal, optimal starch
choices can decrease the post-meal
> glycemic response and may lead to an
overall improvement in the stability of
> blood sugar and insulin levels.
> In regards to your concerns about corn
being associated with allergies and my
> previous statement that 80% of canine
allergies are to beef and dairy
> products. This does not mean that
the other 20% of canine food allergies are
> to corn. The other 20% could be
to most any other food ingredient. Most of
> the time this is to a protein.
> My earlier points about the quality
of the corn meal were to clear up any
> confusion about the digestibility of
the corn used in our products. Corn,
> processed as we do in our foods, is
equally digestible to rice! We have
> tested this in hundreds of dogs, too.
> I can also assure you that The Iams
Company has never tried to hide these
> product changes. I really do not
know why an Iams rep would have told your
> veterinarian friend that there had not
been any changes since 1996. Your
> veterinarian friend is certainly welcome
to contact Veterinary Services at
> 1-800-XXXXXXX and ask any one of us
his or her questions. I would also be
> interested in seeing the letters from
Iams that would not "admit a change."
> Unfortunately, the written word does
not have the benefit of tone or nuance,
> and can therefore easily be misinterpreted.
If anything at all still seems
> unclear, please call us in Customer
Service at 1-XXXXXXX. Our center is
> open Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m.
until 8:00 p.m. est and Saturday from
> 8:00 to 6:00 p.m. est. If these
hours are unsuitable, please let us know. If
> you would prefer, we would also be more
than happy to call you.
> XXXXXXX, D.V.M.
> Technical Services Veterinarian
> The Iams Company
My response 4/8/00:
I really appreciate your explanation about
the blood sugar levels. Blood sugar levels in healthy dogs is not something
I have found much info on when checking out information on commercial diets.
Us humans have the same problem too, sugar rises after meals.
Doesn't corn cause higher initial sugar levels since it's higher in sugar
to begin with? Some of my friends have speculated that this is why
their dogs have behavioral problems with too much corn. We have each
seen that corn does not agree with our dogs in one way or another.
So far you have been very patient in answering
my questions, and I do really appreciate it, since I know I must be trying
your patience by now. Just my dogs have to last forever, or as close to
it as I can get.
No one has doubted the quality of the ingredients,
it was just there was a change that none of us were made aware of. Iams
response was less than stellar, just form letters not really addressing
the original questions about the changes. And, we are active in the
dog community on the internet and in our physical lives, we are not the
pet owner with Fuffy stuck out in the back yard.
A Siberian Husky Breeder friend of mine
sent me a copy of his email response from Iams, I know of at least one
or two other people who pretty much got the identical letter if I remember
correctly. I did misspeak saying they did not admit any change, in
this letter at least, just it was not addressed well by Iams.
Subj: RE: Customer Feedback
Date: 2/10/00 6:41:33
PM !!!First Boot!!!
(Customer Service Internet Mail)
Thank you for your interest
in The Iams Company and our products. Corn has
always been the second
ingredient for Iams Chunks and MiniChunks.
meal moved from number one ingredient to the fourth
ingredient. We did
not increase the amount of corn, but added barley to the
formulation. The percentage
of carbohydrates or protein did not change.
Our patented carbohydrate
blend maintains energy by maintaining normal blood
sugar levels. We use
the combination of barley, grain sorghum and corn. The
corn in our product
is not used as protein. Our protein sources are from the
chicken and chicken-by-product
includes white meat, dark meat, liver and other internal
organs. The refining
process removes the poor quality proteins and excess ash
often found in typical
chicken meal and chicken by-product meal. This makes the protein more digestible.
Because internal organs are a rich source of nutrients,
the chicken by-product
meal contains internal organs which add to the
nutritional value of
Chicken - the muscle
meat; the clean combination of flesh and skin with or
bone, derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken or combination
thereof, exclusive of feathers, heads, feet and entrails.
We only use the highest
quality ingredients from USDA-inspected suppliers in our products. We also
insist that our suppliers adhere to our strict quality
standards. The Iams
Company maintains the same good manufacturing practices used for human
food. The American Institute of Baking (AIB), a well-respected food sanitation
and safety firm, conducts random inspections of our plants each year to
ensure safety and quality. We have consistently received superior ratings
from the AIB.
The mission of our company
is to enhance the well-being of the dogs and cats.
We have very high standards
and quality checks in place to ensure that our
ingredients are top-quality
products. Every plant that we get our protein
sources from are routinely
inspected by us. We only purchase our ingredients
from plants that meet
our specifications and expectations. They must guarantee
us, in writing, that
we will always get what we ask for. For example, if we ask
for chicken, it must
be 100% poultry. The lamb protein must be all lamb, and
fish must be only fish.
The plants that we use have our confidence and share
with us our ethics
to only provide the best quality meats and meals. We then
examine all shipments
of ingredients before they are accepted into any of our
The fresh chicken actually
makes the product more digestible than the older
formulation. The percentage
of carbohydrates remained the same.
Once again, our mission
is to enhance the well-being of dogs and cats by
quality foods. We are deeply committed to that mission.
If we can be of further
assistance, please feel free to write us back or you
may call our Customer
Service Center at 1-800-525-4267.
P & G is committed
to maintaining the quality of our products. Consider the
other P & G products
you use in your home. They provide consumers with the
latest technology to
provide the very best products for the consumer. That Iams
Company is dedicated
to finding new ways to enhance your pet's life through
and development. We will continue to provide our customers
with cutting edge technology
to improve the nutritional well-being of your dog
We appreciate your support,
if you have any questions, please contact us.
Iams Customer Service
This letter dances around my friend's inquirey
(adding barley moves corn UP the ingredients list?). In an except from
his letter to you:
I noticed that the formulation has changed
and now lists chicken as the first ingredient. I'm really happy about this
change but also noticed that corn has moved up on the list which
does not make me happy. "
The chicken is not the problem, but he
concerned about the corn. Even if the respondent got
confused about which food she was writing about, this letter he received
is mostly about chicken, it barely touches his concerns. His
comment is "They sidestepped the whole thing pretty well, huh? ".
And, my friend was writing about Eukanuba Adult Maintenance, not Chunks
or Mini Chunks. Not a single word about the Energy Management System.
I am still trying to get more letters, I know of at least a couple more
people who got them (just gotta track down which people), all felt
quite dissatistifed by the responses they received, none felt they got
a real answer.
I am updating the Iams page I put up, and
will include yours and this letter, identifying info x'd out of course.
I will no longer be able to keep up on updates promptly with it (which
I feel is necessary to prevent any problems for either of us). Because
of this, I have removed most of my editorializing, and left mostly just
the labels and the correspondence.
-Francoise aka Leilah's Mom
> Hi! To answer your question about corn
and sugar levels, let me first give
> you a little background. In 1996, we began
looking at different carbohydrates
> to find a solution to help nutritionally manage
diabetes and reduce obesity in
> dogs. We discovered nutritional truths
that apply to all normal, healthy dogs
> -- not just diabetic dogs. In our research,
we looked at corn, wheat, barley,
> rice, and sorghum. Corn resulted in a
relatively low post-meal sugar
> response. Rice-based diets resulted in
significantly higher-post meal sugar
> and insulin responses. Sorghum generally
resulted in the lowest post-meal
> sugar response. Corn was the second lowest.
Barley resulted in the lowest
> post meal insulin response. As a result,
we replaced the rice in many of our
> foods with a patented blend of the three carbohydrate
sources that resulted in
> low post-meal sugar responses. As you
know, this is now known as our Energy
> Management System.
> You're right, it looks like we missed the mark
in our response to your
> Siberian Husky friend -- and for that I apologize.
It is not that his
> question was being dodged, but it may not have
been fully understood. E-mail
> is not always interpreted in the way it was
intended. In the response that he
> received, the Energy Management System is referred
to as our patented
> carbohydrate blend. They are one and the
same. Sorry about the confusion
> there! For Eukanuba Adult Maintenance
Formula, corn meal is now listed as
> the 3rd ingredient. The old formulation
listed ground corn (same as corn
> meal) as the 4th ingredient; rice flour was
the 3rd. As I stated above, corn
> actually results in a lower post-meal sugar
response than rice. This is a
> beneficial change for the dog. Also, as
my colleague noted in her response to
> your friend, it's important to note that the
total amount of carbohydrates in
> the food remains the same - only the mix changed.
> XXXXX, D.V.M.
> Technical Services Veterinarian
> The Iams Company