Once again, Chinese pet jerky products are causing family pets to become very ill and in some cases die. As before, as soon as this info makes the news, the phone calls and emails pile in. The questions are always similar: Is Ark Naturals an American company? (Yes!) Is Ark manufactured in the USA? (Yes!) Are all the ingredients in every single Ark and or Gray Muzzle purchased in the USA from USA companies (Yes!) Is every ingredient in our products of USA origin? (No.) Which ingredients typically are not of USA origin? Glucosamine and Chondroitin.
Who determines the standards for Made in the USA? The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) makes that determination.
“The consumer perception evidence available to the Commission indicates that the country in which a product is put together or completed is highly significant to consumers in evaluating where the product is "made." Thus, regardless of the extent of a product's other U.S. parts or processing, in order to be considered all or virtually all made in the United States, it is a prerequisite that the product have been last "substantially transformed" in the United States, as that term is used by the U.S. Customs Service” http://www.ftc.gov
Pet remedy /health products and human natural remedy/health products are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and in cases of pet products the Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) also regulates. The FDA requires that product claims ("structure and function claims") are truthful, not misleading and supported by scientific studies. The FDA has the right to recall or ban dietary supplements that are found to be unsafe. The FDA requires that they are manufactured in accordance with Good Manufacturing practices (GMPs) using documentation and consistent methods. Information about FDA regulations can be found at the FDA website.
Virtually 99.999% of all the glucosamine and chondroitin in the marketplace (both human and pet) is from China. Why do we (Ark and our competitors as well as human products) purchase Glucosamine & Chondroitin from China? Purchasing those ingredients from American sources would be substantially more expensive – and would force all of us (our competitors included) to raise our prices- which would be passed on to the consumer.
The most important question is how do we protect our customers (your pets)? We protect our customers (your pets) by following the following protocols: To make sure these ingredients meet label claim and contain no harmful additives – we purchase our raw materials way before we actually need them. This gives us ample time to inspect the ingredients and send samples of every single lot purchased to licensed and independent USA testing labs. There are specific/defined protocols for testing raw materials. The samples are sent according to protocol and are identified by numbers only. This assures that the tests are not biased. We test for bacteria and for efficacy – This makes sure we are providing you (your pets) with the best quality ingredient that is not only safe but effective.
What do we mean by effective? Glucosamine, Chondroitin, MSM are just a few of the ingredients that have come to be known as nutraceuticals. A nutraceutical is something that starts from a natural source i.e. fish cartilage or bovine cartilage and then undergoes a process that isolates the beneficial characteristics of that natural ingredient. They are then compounded, processed and stabilized to provide the benefits of that particular raw material.
Did you know that glucosamine and chondroitin are sold in grades (level of effectiveness). Ark Naturals takes of this one step further as we only purchase “A” grade nutraceuticals and claim the effectiveness percentage on our labels.
Meaning that 500mg (on a label) is not a measure of quality. It is only a measure of weight. 500mg of a lesser grade of glucosamine or chondroitin is less effective than 500mg of an ingredient that is 99.9% pure.
Finally, every product Ark manufactured is safety sealed, has an expiration date and lot number. We hold a pouch, bottle, or container of every product of every lot number. We hold these for a minimum of 4 years – well past the expiration date. Additionally, we can trace every single product to the first point of distribution. Meaning if there should be a problem we’d be able to alert our retailers and distributors immediately.
Another safety practice in place is that we are founding and audited members of the NASC www.nasc.cc. The NASC is a trade organization comprised of competitor companies. They routinely pull products off retail shelves – indiscriminately and sends the products to 3rd party laboratories – They check to see our products meet label claim.
Ark Naturals, Gray Muzzle & Susan Weiss
Since 1996 we can proudly say we’ve had a sterling record protecting everyone. Corporations are a snapshot of the people who own and run them. Ark Naturals and Gray Muzzle are committed to transparency via - providing full ingredient disclosure on their products and policies of honesty and service to pet guardians. We try to use as many environmentally friendly ingredients and packaging – without compromising the quality of our products. We work with USA companies who share our values.