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Pretend Pet Food advice from the FDA

Pretend Pet Food advice from the FDA

It seems you can’t turn around on the Internet these days without someone giving you some kind of advice on pet food. I thought it might be interesting to shake things up a little…the following is pretend (imaginary, not-real, fake, phony, sham, false, make-believe) pet food advice from the FDA:

1. All U.S. pet foods are safe – and will continue to be safe.

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. 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 – we do not allow these animals to be processed into human food, and we do not believe they are a risk for use in pet foods. We have everything under control.

4. No, we don’t think Mad Cow Disease is a risk to U.S. pets…yes, we know that over 100 cats in the UK have been diagnosed with the disease. 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 have everything under control.

5. 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.

6. 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…hmmm, 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.

7. The FDA finds it completely acceptable for a pet food to make the claim ‘Premium’ 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.”

8. 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 – the 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.

Unfortunately very little of the above is pretend (imaginary, not-real, fake, phony, sham, false, make-believe). If it wasn’t so sad, the real life condition of pet food seems almost like its been taken straight out of the pages of some script from a twisted humor television show. The twisted part – is that most all of the above is true (factual, accurate, correct, proper, exact, valid, genuine). The only part of the above that is questionable as being accurate is ‘all U.S. pet food is safe’ and ‘everything is under control’. 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 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 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 inferior ingredients. It takes a small amount of effort to find them, but the rewards are obvious.




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