FDA reveals name of Hill’s vitamin D premix supplier


DSM Nutritional Products Inc. (DSM) was the supplier of vitamin D premix to Hill’s Pet Nutrition.

DSM is an international corporation that is “…a world leading supplier of vitamins, carotenoids and other nutritional solutions…”, according to the company’s website. Its US headquarters are in Parsippany, New Jersey.

According to the FDA Weekly Enforcement Report released this morning (June 19, 2019), DSM was notified by Hill’s Pet Nutrition (Hill’s) that a dog had become ill after consuming Hills Prescription Diet W/D canned dog food, manufactured using the DSM vitamin premix.

On January 30, 2019, DSM initiated a recall of 2217 Canned Canine PMX Product Code: NP15268025, net weight: 25 Kg per package, package type: Woven polyethylene bag.

The recall encompassed two production lots – 9100058130 and 9100058131 – comprising a total of 2500 Kg (~2.75 tons) of premix.

The premix was produced on August 18, 2018.

DSM notified Hill’s of the recall by telephone. There were no other consignees, and no public recall notice was released.

Hill’s first notified FDA about potentially toxic levels of vitamin D in its canned dog foods on January 31, 2019 and initiated a recall of 25 products manufactured during the months of September 2018 through December 2018.

On March 20, 2019, Hill’s expanded the initial recall to include additional products and lot codes. A second expansion was announced on May 20, 2019.

The recalled products were distributed in the USA and around the world.

FDA initiated an inspection of Hill’s manufacturing facility in February 2019. According to the inspection report, Hill’s blamed a manufacturing error by its premix supplier (DSM) for the toxic levels of vitamin D in its canned dog foods.

Although the Hill’s written procedures called for testing of vitamin D levels in the premix, the company was unable to provide any evidence to FDA inspectors that those tests had been carried out.

Subsequent tests conducted on a retained sample of the premix revealed a level of vitamin D that was roughly 30 times the target range for this ingredient.

As of February 11, 2019, Hill’s acknowledged having received 85 consumer complaints reporting pet deaths.

More than 20 civil lawsuits have been filed against Hill’s Pet Nutrition by grieving pet owners.

FDA offers the following information regarding vitamin D toxicity to pet owners and veterinarians.

  • If your pet is having symptoms of vitamin D toxicity, contact a veterinarian immediately. Provide a full diet history to your veterinarian. You may find it helpful to take a picture of the pet food label, including the lot number.
  • Don’t feed the recalled products to your pets or any other animal. Contact the company listed on the package for further instructions or throw the products away in a way that children, pets and wildlife cannot access them.
  • Consumers can report suspected illness to the FDA electronically through the Safety Reporting Portal or by calling your state’s FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinators. It’s most helpful if you can work with your veterinarian to submit your pet’s medical records as part of your report. For an explanation of the information and level of detail that would be helpful to include in a complaint to the FDA, please see How to Report a Pet Food Complaint.
  • The FDA encourages veterinarians treating vitamin D toxicity to ask their clients for a diet history. We also welcome case reports, especially those confirmed through diagnostics. You can submit these reports electronically through the Safety Reporting Portal or by calling your state’s FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinators. For an explanation of the information and level of detail that would be helpful to include in a complaint to the FDA, please see How to Report a Pet Food Complaint.
  •  Veterinarians should also be aware that vitamin D toxicity may present as hypercalcemia, similar to dogs that have consumed rodenticide. In these cases, FDA suggests that veterinarians confirm diet history to verify whether the dog has been eating any of the recalled products.

For a comprehensive list of Hill’s Pet Nutrition canned pet foods recalled due to excessive Vitamin D, please visit Hill’s Pet Nutrition recalls: Country-by-country breakdown on eFoodAlert

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