In the latest twist to the duck tale, Susan Thixton, writing in Truth About Pet Food, reports the following clarification from Genetic ID, the third-party lab that tested Evanger’s Duck dog food:

“Genetic ID NA, Inc., the lab used by Evangers Pet Food, confirms the food tested was Grain Free Duck pet food – appearing to be the same food tested by the FDA.”

Susan adds that, as yet, she has been unable to obtain confirmation from FDA that the lot number of the Duck dog food tested by the agency matches the lot number tested by Genetic ID. Evanger claims that both FDA and Genetic ID tested samples from the same production lot of Grain Free Duck pet food.

Evanger’s web site contains the following update to their initial comments on FDA’s Warning Letter:

It has come to our attention that we used the term, “Super Premium Duck” in our response referencing the product that was tested. The product that was tested by both FDA and Evanger’s was “Grain Free Duck” in a 6 oz can, Lot #2401E02DK2. The term “Super Premium” refers to the Evanger’s line of food that the Grain Free Duck is categorized in. Again, both references refer to Evanger’s brand 6 oz duck can Lot #2401E02DK2.

For anyone who is curious about the lot numbering system used by Evanger, “24” refers to December; the third digit (in this case, “0”) represents the last digit of the year of production, meaning that the product in dispute was manufactured in December 2010 – just as Evanger indicated. “DK” – of course – identifies the product as duck. I have been unable to verify the meaning of the remainder of the lot code; I’m still waiting for an answer from Brett Sher on that. I suspect that the day of the month is identified by the pair of digits that follow the letter E.

Assuming that FDA and Genetic ID ran their analyses on samples from the identical batch, we are still left with a significant mystery; namely, how can two supposedly competent labs arrive at diametrically opposite test results using similar analytical methods on two samples from the same production batch?

Also, if FDA didn’t find any duck in the Grain-Free Duck product, what type of meat did they find instead?

I have been in touch with FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, and I am hoping for an answer to these questions in fairly short order. Please stay tuned.