2013 Stupidest Act in Pet Food Voting Begins


This is the fifth year TruthaboutPetFood.com has provided the Stupidest Act in Pet Food Awards.  For your voting consideration (vote below), the 2013 nominees are…(in alphabetical order)…

AAFCO (American Association of Feed Control Officials)

For your voting consideration, in 2013 AAFCO – a independent organization responsible for the laws each state enforces in pet food – gifted (gave, no charge, free) expensive, valuable meeting space to pet food industry lobby groups.  This gifted meeting space would have otherwise cost these pet food lobby groups thousands of dollars – but instead AAFCO said ‘No Charge’.  The problem is not the meeting space.  The problem is that AAFCO doesn’t understand this ‘gifting’ is inappropriate and unethical.

Because of AAFCO nondescript pet food ingredient definitions (and FDA Compliance Policies), pet food is allowed to include waste food into ingredients without consumer knowledge.

Evangers Pet Food

In 2013, Evangers Pet Food owner Joel Sher was arrested“A Lincolnwood man who is facing charges of illegally diverting gas and power to his pet food company was hit with more charges of trying to bribe a witness in the case, Cook County prosecutors said Saturday.  Joel Sher, 56, allegedly offered $5,000 to a witness in exchange for changing testimony in a case from 2010 where he is accused of ordering his company employees to divert nearly $2 million worth gas and power lines to his store.”

Also in 2013 Evangers posted a press release stating FDA cleared them of all charges.  Evangers press release stated “Evanger’s clears its name after a thorough investigation proves no wrongdoing”.  However the FDA said “Based on our evaluation, it appears that you have addressed the violation(s) contained in this Warning Letter. Future FDA inspections and regulatory activities will further assess the adequacy and sustainability of these corrections.”  To be clear, FDA did not “clear” Evangers of all charges as their press release stated.  The FDA did find that Evangers properly addressed the violations.


In no particular order…

  • Dog DNA was found in Spain in a pet food.  Thanks to FDA Compliance Policies this would be allowed in U.S. pet food.
  • Selective enforcement; in 2013 FDA publicly chastised a U.S. jerky treat manufacturer (responsible for not one pet death) while they allowed Chinese jerky manufacturers to control the plant inspections in China.
  • When two cats died from what is believed to be linked to Royal Canin pet food, the FDA investigator told the pet owner Dr. Renate Reimschuessel told this grieving pet owner…“there was nothing the FDA could do, they wouldn’t know what to test the pet food for”, and “but if your other two cats die, send us their bodies – FDA will pay for shipping”.
  • FDA Compliance Policies that allow waste into pet food ingredients.
  • In 2013 the FDA announced they had performed a ‘study’ on raw pet food stating they found 15 raw pet foods to be contaminated with Salmonella.  Oh…but there was no recall.


In 2013, Iams Pet Food did a little name changing.  The company changed some of their foods to Iams So Good! and added a website promoting the foods telling consumers how ‘So Good’ their foods are.  However we found they fell a bit short of proving that.  Ingredients in the Iams foods compared to others were just about the same.

Jerky Treats imported from China

No particular company – the entire jerky treat industry in China – and every U.S. importer selling these treats.  For seven years pets have been sickened and killed by these treats.  For seven years importers and retailers have ignored thousands upon thousands of consumer please to remove them from store shelves.  We (Association for Truth in Pet Food) even provided FDA and each State Department of Agriculture with import documents proving the very same Chinese suppliers that sold to recalled Waggin Train and Milo’s Kitchen were selling to many other brands (and were very likely to contain the same illegal drugs).  No one listened.

Pet Food Advertising

In 2013 we brought attention to a common term in pet food – ‘Real Meat’.  And the crazy things many of them told me what ‘real’ means.  http://truthaboutpetfood.com/real-meat

Pet Food Institute

The Pet Food Institue is the lobby organization representing the interests of Big Pet Food.  During 2013 the PFI…Purchased the domain name TruthaboutPetFood.org and TruthaboutPetFood.net.  And then forwarded these almost identical to this domain name to their own website.  Which by the way violates the “Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act”.  In August 2013 (at the AAFCO meeting) I asked the PFI representative to remove these domains.  I shared with PFI what they are doing – redirecting a VERY similar domain name to a competing website (theirs) is a violation of law.  Seems they don’t care.  They never removed the domains.

Also in 2013, the PFI hired lobbyists to stop a pet food manufacturer tax that would support Spay/Neuter programs in states.

And we learned this year that PFI partially funded the National Research Council‘s nutritional requirements for Dogs and Cats – which allowed them certain privileges (such as influence to the scientists developing the research).  The NRC study is the foundation of legal requirements for pet food.

Purina Pet Food

During 2013 Purina Pet Food told consumers that the ingredient ‘animal digest’ was a quality ingredient.  In their post “Nutrition Myth” Purina says “this is because the word ‘digest’ is mistakenly thought to describe the contents of the digestive tract.”  Purina neglected to mention FDA testing found ‘animal digest’ to be one of several pet food ingredients likely to contain a euthanized animal.

Royal Canin Pet Food

In 2013 Royal Canin Pet Food announced the benefits of a new pet food ingredient…feather meal (yes – a pet food ingredient of feathers).  Royal Canin said “Feathers are broken down to an amino acid level and don’t have much of a taste. Then we add palatizers for taste.” 

UC Davis

In 2013 UC Davis released a study that found many recipes for home prepared pet foods were lacking in nutrients.  But what the UC Davis study didn’t tell consumers was the university pet nutritionists compared whole food diets to highly processed kibble diets – which simply can’t be done (worse than comparing apples to oranges – and they should have known that).

Whole Foods

Whole Foods is known to many as a source for premium foods, however the company did not respond to all the questions sent to them about their new pet food line Whole Paws.  Puzzling how Whole Foods caters to an educated consumer but doesn’t realize educated pet food consumers deserve answers too.

Wysong Pet Food

In 2013, Wysong told a pet food consumer they would not sign our Pledge to Quality and Origin, they felt such Pledges were nonsense – and signing such a pledge is ” It’s kind of like being asked if you have stopped beating up on your grandmother yet.” 

Ready to vote?

Results will be shared at month’s end.


Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,

Susan Thixton
Pet Food Safety Advocate
Author Buyer Beware, Co-Author Dinner PAWsible
Association for Truth in Pet Food

What’s in Your Pet’s Food?
Is your dog or cat eating risk ingredients?  Chinese imports?  Petsumer Report tells the ‘rest of the story’ on over 2500 cat foods, dog foods,  and pet treats.  30 Day Satisfaction Guarantee. www.PetsumerReport.com




2014 List
Susan’s List of trusted pet foods.  Click Here



Have you read Buyer Beware?  Click Here

Cooking for pets made easy, Dinner PAWsible

Find Healthy Pet Foods in Your Area Click Here


  1. Mollie Morrissette

    Personally, I think the most egregious act was when the FDA wrote in the proposed rule that “waste” would be an acceptable ingredient in animal food.

    • Pacific Sun

      well and you have to remind the readers what is the full definition of “waste” to understand exactly how dumb this permission is.

  2. Janet Velenovsky

    Susan, thank you *again* for all the incredibly important work you are doing. You are such a hero to me and my dogs and cats!

    I would encourage you to consider giving us 3 votes – simply to avoid the frustration I feel at not being able to “take shots” at more than one of these unethical organizations! I had considerable angst trying to decide which of these to vote for. I HATE Purina, and the PFI is just an extension of so many money-grubbing companies. But, because they should be an advocate for consumer citizens, I had to choose the FDA. Clearly, most of those listed deserve any of the bad publicity that might come their way.

    Keep up the great work, Susan. You are making a difference!

    • Lila Bett

      I agree.. I had a really hard time picking just one!~I also ended up with the FDA though….

  3. Nicki

    I almost voted for the insensitive reply that the FDA doctor made to the grieving pet owner about their cats who died with Royal Canin, – “Dr. Renate Reimschuessel told this grieving pet owner…“there was nothing the FDA could do, they wouldn’t know what to test the pet food for”, and “but if your other two cats die, send us their bodies – FDA will pay for shipping” ….. Wow how unfeeling!! But in the end the Jerky Treats from China got my vote because it has gone on for so long now and you would think that people (the Chinese manufacturers, the importers, the retailers selling, and the owners who buy them) would have learned by now!

    • Puller

      Not when the pet stores and grocery stores keep selling the Chinese pet treats.

  4. Jenny

    The FDA won’t even do the right thing when it comes to human food…I doubt they’re going to make any advances in the area of pet food anytime soon. That whole agency is in the pockets of big corporations & unfortunately a complete detriment to both humans & animals.

  5. Pacific Sun

    Can you vote more than once? I mean on different days, for different ones ….


  6. sharon kinsey


    You are letting PFI too easily concerning their violations of the Anticybersquatting Act. Go after them!!! Thank you for all you do.


  7. sharon kinsey


    Went out and checked – Petfoodinstitute.Co is available – why not fight fire with fire?


  8. Julie

    Maybe this will help…. I zeroed in on the word “stupidest.” When I was thinking who was the worst, purely evil or most egregious, I could not decide….too many choices.

  9. Allison

    So hard to choose just one!!

    • Jeri

      Agreed on that. I thought they DEFINITELY deserved a place on that list for sheer audacity in view of the many documented illnesses in both pets and people due to pathogens in kibble….but no documented cases for raw food. It’s rather like housing a pooping elephant in your living room and then complaining about mouse droppings you find….

  10. Lynn Haughwout

    Wish there was an all of the above choice. Thank you once again Susan for all you have and continue to do.

    • Pacific Sun

      But then the title would have to be changed to … “Dumb and Dumber” … let the voting proceed!!

  11. Marsha

    FDA was my first pick, but Royal Canin would get my vote as well. Feathers as food, get real. So would be Jerky treats from China. It is time this country sees China for what it is. UP TO NO GOOD!

  12. Anne

    I picked the FDA simply because soon or late everything should go through them.
    Oh and wasn’t road kill on the list of allowable ingredients???

    Can’t wait to read anyone’s version of “The Duck Stops Here”


  13. Deborah

    I hate Purian Pet Food, they now put out bird seed and I won’t touch the stuff! Wish we all could put theses
    monsters out of business for good!Iams and Royal Canin follow right behind. We all need to keep getting the word out! Thank You Susan for all your hard work and keeping us all up to date on what is going on with pet food. By your hard work alot of animals lives have been saved.

  14. Ehab Reda

    The FDA won’t actually carry out the correct factor with regards to human being food…I doubt they’re gonna make almost any advancements in your neighborhood involving dog meals anytime shortly. Which entire bureau is in your pouches involving big firms & unfortunately a whole detriment in order to both equally human beings & pets.

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Jerky Treats from China have been killing and sickening pets for

When will FDA make this clock stop?

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