More Concerns with imports from China

Avatar BCR | September 3, 2008 1 View 0 Likes 0 Ratings

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More Concerns with imports from China

You might have heard of this story in the national news, it happened this week – the day before Valentines Day – in a neighboring city to where I live. A small shard of metal was found in a child’s Valentines sucker – a Pokemon Valentine sucker – and the product was quickly recalled. As soon as the story broke here on local news – before they even announced where the product was made – I knew where it came from. It was made in China.

I don’t know how long it’s going to take China to get their act together or if they ever will – but concerns of imported Chinese products and ingredients are real and on-going. As a pet owner – you must be very diligent to avoid any pet food, treat, toy, anything that your pet could consume – that is made in or has an ingredient from China or other risky countries…or be ready to accept the consequences.

It’s not my intention to scare the socks off you – but it is my intention to motivate you enough to find out where everything you give your pet is from. Tainted or toxic or dangerous imports from China have been headline news for over a year now – starting with the pet food recall that is one year old this month. I am on the FDA’s recall announcement email list – and I receive emails just about every single day regarding recalled products (all products, not just pet food). But…better than 60% of all of these recalls have to do with imported products or imported ingredients. The biggest concern for all pet owners was the tainted wheat and corn glutens and since that catastrophe there has been headline recalls from Chinese imported tires, toothpaste, dog treats, children’s toys, and now candy.

The point here…do not get complacent about what you feed your pet! Don’t get comfortable thinking that the gluten issue is resolved and somebody is testing it and all is well. Recalls are continuing from dangerous Chinese imported products or ingredients – and you do not want to be feeding your pet the food or treat that is next on the recall list because it contains ingredients from China or Taiwan or some other country that has far less quality control (maybe better worded would be quality concern!) than the U.S. or Canada or a handful of other countries that do the due diligence to provide safe products.

I’m by no means 100% happy with the FDA or the CVM and their efforts to protect our pets (and our kids, and us!) – but… we are head and shoulders above China. I think the FDA has a long way to go – and I am very hopeful they will continue to make changes to protect us and our pets. The one thing that is certain – for right now – the risk from Chinese imported products and ingredients is much higher than that of U.S. ingredients.

Please…find out where every ingredient in every product your pet consumes is from. It takes a simple phone call to the manufacturer – it might take ten minutes of your day for each manufacturer. But that ten minutes could turn out to be a life saver. Be pro-active for your pet’s health.

When you call a pet food or pet treat manufacturer – ask them if they use all U.S. ingredients. You might get an answer like…’yes, we use all U.S. suppliers’. Nope, that’s not the information that you need – the supplier or distributor might be a U.S. company, but the actual ingredient could come from China. This is exactly the case with the contaminated wheat and corn glutens from a year ago. If you hear the ‘U.S. suppliers’ response, ask more questions…’Do any of the ingredients in your pet food or pet treat originate from countries other than the U.S.?’ Tell them you want to know if any ingredient in the pet food or treat is made in or grown outside the U.S. From my experience in asking over 30 different pet food/treat manufacturers these questions for Petsumer Report – you can tell pretty quickly which manufacturers are using all U.S. ingredients and who is not. The companies that use all U.S. ingredients – with the few expected exceptions like lamb and venison from New Zealand – are quick to tell you. The ones that don’t – the companies that might purchase minerals, vitamins, or glutens from China – take you on an investigative journey before they finally give up the information you deserve to be told.

Please know – it is NOT that all Chinese imported ingredients are dangerous or potentially dangerous to your pet. It is that they have a history – a scary history – that personally I avoid for my family.

I recently discovered that a member of the PFI – the Pet Food Institute, a lobbying organization that represents about 85% of pet food manufacturers – is a subscriber to this email/newsletter list. I am choosing to be hopeful that this gentleman is reading my newsletters and emails to gain a better understanding of what pet owners want in their pet foods – a means for him to better represent the pet owning consumer – the Petsumer! So, since the PFI representative is reading this – here is what pet owners want – we hope you are listening…

* We don’t want risky imported ingredients in our pet’s food or treats.

* We want you to be honest with your labeling. If it’s human grade – allow manufacturers to state that on the label. If it’s chicken feet or cow intestines – tell us that too – don’t disguise it as ‘by-products’ and tell us it’s premium. Provide pet owning customers with quality rating (and country of origin) information on every single ingredient – on the label or on each manufacturers website.

* We want you to stop putting any type of euthanized animal or 4-D animal in pet food. We actually don’t care that the livestock industry has no other selling outlet for this trash – just stop putting it in pet food. If you won’t serve it to your kids – then don’t expect us to serve it to ours.

* Offer your customers some assurances – guarantees. Guarantee us that you test every single ingredient in every single batch of pet food and that it is safe. Guarantee us that you’ve done EVERYTHING humanly possible to produce a food and treat that is safe from being recalled. And if someone makes a mistake – then step up, claim the mistake and make all efforts to help those affected and to fix the problem. We are going to respect you far more and begin to trust you again when you take responsibility for your actions and your products.

That’s a start.

Wishing you and your pet the best,

Susan Thixton

Truth About Pet Food

Petsumer Report

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