SYNTHETIC VITAMINS IN PARROT PELLETS (and other pet foods)
by Sally Blanchard
In a discussion on my Sally Bs Companion Parrot Facebook page about Harrison's Parrot Pellets being organic, I disagreed. While the base ingredients may be organic, there are synthetic vitamins and minerals used to provide the actual nutrition. These are NOT organic so Harrisons is not an organic food for parrots but so many people think that it is organic because of the marketing hype. How can a food that contains synthetic vitamins as its "nutritional source" be called organic?
If a vitamin is not derived from natural foods, it is synthetic. For example, palmitate is listed as a source of vitamin A, pyridoxine hydrochloride is listed as a source of vitamin B6, and dl-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate is listed in Harrisons and they are all synthetic. Check the ingredient list of any parrot and other pet food for these vitamin sources listed below as they are all synthetic vitamins to avoid. Some manufacturers of commercial vitamin and mineral supplements add synthetics to vitamin products, typically to increase the vitamin's potency, but many synthetics do not provide the vitamins that real food does and are made from derivatives of coal tar - a known carcinogen found in cigarette smoke. You've heard the old adage that if you can't pronounce it, maybe it shouldn't be in your foods or your parrot's food.Common Synthetic Vitamins to AvoidVitamin A: Acetate and PalmitateVitamin B1 (Thiamine): Thiamine Mononitrate, Thiamine HydrochlorideVitamin B2 (Riboflavin): RiboflavinPantothenic Acid: Calcium D-PantothenateVitamin B6 (Pyridoxine): Pyridoxine HydrochlorideVitamin B12: CobalaminPABA (Para-aminobenzoic Acid): Aminobenzoic AcidFolic Acid: Pteroylglutamic AcidCholine: Choline Chloride, Choline BitartrateBiotin: d-BiotinVitamin C (Ascorbic Acid): Ascorbic AcidVitamin D: Irradiated Ergosterol, CalciferolVitamin E: dl-alpha tocopherol, dl-alpha tocopherol acetate or succinateNOTE: The “dl” form of any vitamin is synthetic.