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FDA Pet Food Safety Policies Comprised of Twisted Logic

Friday, September 12, 2008 by: Susan Thixton
Tags: pet food, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) The FDA is supposed to protect our pet's food. Congress took note of the deadly pet food recall last year and mandated the FDA to clean up its act. Human food and pet food regulations are supposed to be updated and in working order by September 2009 according to the Amendments Act. I have my doubts. The list below does not come directly from the FDA in exact words, yet it is a fair interpretation of how the FDA acts in caring for the safety of our pet's food and treats.

1. All U.S. pet foods are safe –- and will continue to be safe. We have everything under control.

2. The pet food recall last year was not our fault –- China did it. We do not think it's necessary to restrict Chinese imports or label pet foods with information that some ingredients might come from China. China has taken measures to prevent this from ever happening again. We trust Chinese imports. Besides, around 1% of all imported products are inspected by the FDA. We have everything under control.

3. U.S. pet owners should not be concerned that sick, diseased cattle and other animals are processed into pet food. Even though the FDA currently considers sick, diseased cattle to be Specified Risk Materials to spread mad cow disease and we are aware that cats around the world have contracted the feline version of this disease, we do not believe they are a risk for use in pet foods. The FDA has been told by pet food industry stakeholder groups that Specified Risk Materials –- animal materials at risk to spread mad cow disease –- are too costly to destroy. We trust the advice of these stakeholder groups and agree that the cost to destroy these risk materials is too high. Sorry, but pet food is the only place to discard specified risk materials. We consider Specified Risk Materials safe for your pet to consume. We have everything under control.

4. Pentobarbital –- the drug used to euthanize animals including pets –- is safe for pets to consume. Yes, we are aware that our neighbor government agency, the Fish and Wildlife Agency, reports that over 100 Bald and Golden Eagles have died recently from eating a euthanized animal. The FDA did a lengthy and complete 8 week study and we determined there is no risk to pets consuming this lethal drug over a lifetime. We have everything under control.

5. The FDA has no idea how the euthanizing drug pentobarbital gets into pet food. We are aware that there is some significant evidence that euthanized pets are rendered (cooked) and put back into pet food. We have spent a great deal of tax payer money developing testing procedures to determine the species source of the drug. Our test results found nothing... well, to be more specific, we spent a great deal of our limited budget trying to quiet the rumors that euthanized dogs and cats are processed into pet food... but, we failed. We cannot say for certain where or how pentobarbital gets into many popular brands of pet foods. However, we firmly believe the information that pet food industry stakeholder groups tell us –- pentobarbital in pet food is not from rendered euthanized dogs and cats. Pet owners should not be concerned how pentobarbital gets into pet food nor which pet foods contain euthanized animals. We have everything under control.

6. The FDA finds it completely acceptable for a pet food to make the claim 'Premium' or 'Choice' on the label even if the food contains chicken feet and cow intestines. Our pets in the U.S. are so fortunate; we understand that chicken feet and cow intestines are considered a delicacy in some countries. The FDA provides a confusing explanation on pet food labels on our website, but we feel the following sums it up: "The pet food label contains a wealth of information, if one knows how to read it. Do not be swayed by the many marketing gimmicks or eye-catching claims." We have everything under control.

7. Should any pet owner feel the FDA is not completely looking out for the best interest of U.S. pets, please note that the FDA leaves most decisions regarding the rules and regulations of pet food to AAFCO (American Association of Feed Control Officials). Since the pet food industry stakeholder groups provide AAFCO with the same valuable advice they provide us, in fact members of these stakeholder groups sit on the Advisory Boards to AAFCO –- the FDA feels confident that AAFCO has everything under control. Should you still feel the FDA is not doing enough to protect your pet, we provide you with the same response we give whenever we are questioned about our ability to protect human and pet food: "We don't have the funding or the manpower".

If it wasn't so sad, the real life condition of pet food seems almost like it's been taken straight out of the pages of some script from a twisted humor television show. My guess would be that the FDA does consider they have 'everything under control' and that all U.S. pet foods are safe. Many doubt that.

It's not rocket science to understand that a quality piece of meat is far more nutritious for your pet than chicken feet and/or cow intestines. And even more so, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that sick, diseased animals or euthanized animals (especially the possibility of euthanized pets) should never be processed into pet food. The good news (honestly) is that there are some high quality pet foods out there that do not use these types of inferior ingredients. It takes a small amount of effort to find them, but the rewards are obvious.

Wishing you and your pet the best,

Susan Thixton

About the author

Susan Thixton has an international pet people following providing dog and cat lovers a trusted source for pet food and pet food ingredient information. She's been called courageous, perseverant, even "the Caped Crusader for Pets" for her 16 year study of pet food. Susan Thixton is the author of hundreds of pet industry articles and the 2006 released book Truth About Pet Food (currently being updated for a second edition). She developed and publishes the pet product consumer magazine Petsumer Report and is a frequent speaker and radio guest all over the U.S. and Canada with more than 70 appearances in the last 2 years.
If you are looking for straight forward pet food information that can have an almost immediate impact on your pet's health - subscribe to the free newsletter, and subscribe to Petsumer Report to see reviews of close to 700 dog and cat foods and treats (adding 40+ each month). Susan Thixton's 'truth' will help you find a safer, healthier dog or cat food that could add years to your pet's life. http://www.TruthAboutPetFood.com

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