May 28, 2024

FDA Warning Letter: JBS Souderton Tallow Contained Pentobarbital

An FDA warning letter dated April 23, 2019, states that the manufacturer JBS Souderton’s products from its rendering plant contain pentobarbital, which is a drug used to euthanize dogs and cats in the United States. The pentobarbital was found in the pure tallow the company produces that was used to make pet food.

FDA Warning Letter: JBS Souderton Tallow Contained Pentobarbital

JBS Souderton does business as MOPAC and supplies beef tallow to several animal food manufacturers. This letter is significant because pentobarbital was found in some brands of dog food last year, including canned Smucker dog food such as Gravy Train, Kibbles ‘n Bits, and Skippy products.

It is illegal for pet food to contain pentobarbital, because the food then contains an unsafe new animal drug. And no food can be sold in this country that is adulterated or misbranded. Pentobarbital can cause drowsiness, dizziness, and nausea in pets when eaten in small amounts.

Pentobarbital is found in the fat of animals that are euthanized. Tallow, which is usually derived from cows or sheep, can also be obtained from horses.

The FDA  and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture inspected the JBS Souderton plant several times between March 13 and June 6, 2018. They found that the firm did not conduct testing on any raw materials other than grease and did not examine raw materials when received, failing to ensure they were suitable for manufacturing animal food.

The firm responded to those inspections, stating that they refused to receive equine ingredients, had their suppliers complete a questionnaire about their food safety practices, had suppliers sign a guarantee that they do not pick up euthanized animals. A comprehensive cleaning of the equipment was conducted.

But a sample taken by the FDA in August 2018 that was cleaned found trace amounts of pentobarbital. The warning letter states, “This indicates that the changes you have made to your examination of raw materials and other ingredients from your suppliers may not be sufficient to prevent pentobarbital contaminated ingredients, such as those potentially sourced from euthanized animals, from entering your facility and contaminating your finished tallow product.”

The FDA sampled nine animal foods for attention samples collected at the facility on March 19, 2018. Four tested positive for pentobarbital. On August 6, 2018, six sub-samples were collected; one contained trace levels of pentobarbital.

The FDA states that the company “continued to distribute adulterated products after you received formal notification of pentobarbital contamination from your customer on February 13, 2018, and after formal notification of positive pentobarbital samples from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture on or about April 5, 2018. “



    This is not the first time that this has been reported. However, USDA, FDA, and DEA are still having their coffee and doughnuts before they get off their behinds and investigate. Makes you wonder what is truly in our human supplies.

  2. Jeanette says

    Make animal making food companies have stricter regulations, our pets are family.

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