Xylitol labeling legislation would promote pet safety

Published on September 14, 2021
Protect. Promote. Advance.

The AVMA strongly supports the Paws Off Act of 2021, a bill that would require food containing the sugar substitute xylitol to include a warning label specifying its toxic effects on pets. Xylitol is highly poisonous to dogs and other pets and, when ingested, can cause muscle tremors, seizures, and even death.

Most often found in sugar-free gum and breath mints, xylitol may also be present in vitamins, cough drops, sugar-free desserts, mouthwash, toothpaste, and even some peanut butters, among other products. The artificial sweetener, also known as birch sugar, is not always listed on the ingredient label, making it difficult for pet owners to know which items pose a danger to their pets.

Over the past 15 years, xylitol poisoning calls to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) Animal Poison Control Center have increased dramatically. In 2005, 201 xylitol-related calls were registered, compared with 6,760 registered in 2018.

The proposed legislation would help inform pet owners about xylitol-containing products in order to keep their pets safe. U.S. Reps. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.) and Greg Stanton (D-Ariz.) introduced the bill in the House of Representatives with Reps. Michael Waltz (R-Fla.) and Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) joining as original cosponsors.

Help ensure the veterinary profession’s voice is heard on this important animal welfare issue by contacting your representative in Congress and urge them to support the Paws off Act of 2021.

Comments

PAWS OFF ACT of 2021

I am in support of the PAWS Off Act of 2021. Please do what is necessary to get this passed.

Wendy Borowsky
September 21, 2021 Permalink

PAWS OFF ACT OF 2021

So very important for our much loved pets.
Please help get this passed!

Barbara Walter
September 23, 2021 Permalink

Xylitol

So glad to learn of this act
I have informed many re xylitol toxicity in dogs even letter to editor in an NP journal
Used in oral health products even in nursing homes.
Concerned with many chewing gums, candy that can be dropped on floor or spill out of a pocketbook

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