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A Pet Food Betrayal Like None Other

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  1. Jan

    What the he** is wrong with them???!!! This is inexcusably and utterly infuriating! Thank you, Susan for your continued efforts to keep everyone informed.

  2. Dee

    I’m sure I will get lots of slack for this … but where is the trust with the FDA ? FDA did not enforce the laws when they were on the books over the past several years. .. I believe it is our duty to continue to inform and educate pet owners about the truth of this awful industry and how to feed specie appropriate diets. Pet owners should not be supporting the processed pet food industry to begin with. It does not cost anymore money to feed specie appropriate diets to our pets. I support all that you do Ms. Thixton and cannot thank you enough for all of your hard work !!😻

    1. Debbie

      I agree with you completely. No flack here. I will NEVER EVER EVER buy pet foods again. Those days are over. I feed 5 dogs a raw diet and will until I die.

      1. Debi

        I do not feed exclusively raw, have done, but have not fed dry food since the 2007 recall, won’t either, good for us !!!!!

  3. Chris

    A bit confused. The House deletes this law but doesn’t it still have to go to the Senate for final passage?

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      HR 5554 was introduced in the House – passed. Moved to the Senate – passed. Signed into law.

      1. Chris

        Thanks Susan. I would have contacted my Congressperson when it was introduced in April if I’d known. How this stayed off the radars of all the pet advocate groups is surprising as well. It appears like they wanted this pushed through by ignoring normal rules- “Passed/agreed to in House: On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended Agreed to by voice vote.”
        https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/5554/actions

  4. Teresa Johnson

    Over and over I have “sorry, not in the budget” as an excuse to not do what is right for both humans and animals, domestic and wild. It sickens me and pushes me further away from our complacent government and those who “serve” in it towards anarchy! Less government and it’s bogus regulations, more “of, for, and by the people”. I can only hope responsible pet food makers keep standards above and beyond any government regulation or law. I encourage folks to “vote with your dollars” and speak out to other pet caregivers. It seems only if we hit these companies in their wallets will they actually to actions to do right by our pets and us as consumers and caregivers.
    Thank you Susan for your wonderful reporting.

  5. Sally Roberts

    They make me sick ! Hardly ever do they do what they promise to do. Wonder which companies put big bucks in their pockets to make all this go away !!

  6. samiswan

    Between the multi-million dollar disinformation campaign from the manufacturers and the “prescription” pet food nonsense being put forth by so many vets, most people in 2007 didn’t know where to find genuine information, unless they happened to know about Susan.

    I have no problem writing to members of Congress, whether they’re in my state or not. But Burgess & Green are in Texas, as I am, so I’ll be happy to write them today, and to call their offices. This is obviously not a political party-specific problem; it’s a sneaky weasel problem.

    I realize that much of the work you do is exhausting and puts you at personal risk, Susan. Thank you for your continued bravery in exposing the corruption, as well as providing us details to help us take action ourselves.

  7. Dianne & Pets

    It is a sad reality that once all these mergers started happening and were not stopped, sectors started getting powerful enough to buy government. Since the goal of any corporation is to make money and to make more money than it did the year before. I have to wonder though, Does Dr. Solomon work for PFI or the FDA? I think the answer is pretty obvious. Wouldn’t that violate some kind of standard that should rightfully lead to his firing? I wonder what those six congressmen feed their own pets, if they have any.

  8. cb

    Hi Susan.

    Thank you for this important information. I will contact my Representatives, but I want to include how they voted on the bill. I’ve searched Congress.gov and a couple other sites but I can’t find a list of how Members voted on that Bill. Do you have a link to that info?

    Thanks again for all your hard work!

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      It was a different type of vote taken, and with that they do not have a records of how members voted.

      1. cb

        How convenient.

        I’ll be writing my Representatives and asking how they voted on this as well as expressing my wish that they introduce new legislation and see that the FDA follows through.

        My sister and I were talking today about how everything with our government seem so broken, in constant chaos, and overwhelming. (How many calls and emails on varying issues have I already made?) But we will continue to work towards a fair and uncorrupted government that represents the people.

  9. Pet Owner

    “In 2007, Congress clearly cared about our pets by writing FDAAA.” Why? Because of a huge outcry among pet owners and Vets who put pressure on making changes! Trauma and expense was a firsthand experience! Emotion was raw and justified. Of course in 2007, Congress was less distracted than they are now.

    “In 2018 Congress passed a bill that included a hidden devastation for pet food consumers.” Why? Because everything returned to status quo. People who consider pets, animals buy “carp” from discount stores. People who treat pets like family, home cook. People in the middle only want to know their PF is “safe.”

    While there “might” be 1000 people reading this newsletter, only 10% “might” react. Will another email really be noticed among hundreds+ and hundreds+ of hateful comments Congress is already getting?? (YES, because issues are sorted and collated for polling purposes!). But your effort takes penetration, meaning persistence and endurance.

    The ONLY way to make a GENUINE difference is to send every dissenting legislator a signed petition that they’ll not be re-elected period, based on this action! To FLOOD VM hotlines, repeatedly protesting the change!! Telling them they are the one responsible! In short, making yourself (and especially your group) such an annoying nuisance that one of them will finally ask, “hey, what’s going on here, these people are REALLY angry!”

    Pets are family, but also YOUR property, which is an expense to YOU. A sick pet is emotionally devastating, and a financial disaster. This isn’t any kind of partisan issue, so it should rise above! As a taxpayer, demand government protect you and your domain. Big Business (or not) these elected officials all want to be re-elected. Meaning EVERY issue adds up. And they might actually need YOUR vote.

    But the issue needs publicity! The lack of it, is how it passed. Change that!!! Susan Thixton has informed you. Now share what you know and how it impacts others.. Otherwise the “Menu Tragedy” will happen all over again someday.

    Just don’t complain, when you haven’t done anything to prevent it.

  10. Ellie

    It is sad but Americans have lost touch with their government. Instead of the people voting in others to represent them in Congress and the Senate we now have huge multinational foreign manufacturing corporations that own multiple interests, big banks, and big money people, choosing who will run for office and financing their careers for many years. This is happening in both political parties. MANY of the people that we see listed on the ballet on election day are people that most of us have never heard of until they were “nominated” by someone in a political party that has been bought and paid for by these “special interests.” Did anyone ask you who you thought was a good person to have represent you in Congress or the Senate of your state or the federal government? No, not unless you are someone with several millions of dollars and own a lot of interest in a big corporation will anyone be concerned about asking you. These days the “special interests” (like the multi billion dollar a year pet food industry) know that if they want to have things go their way in Congress and the Senate that they have to make sure that the people in there will represent their interests. This is contrary to the Constitution of this country. The government is supposed to work for all the people, not only the rich. If we want to regain control of our country campaign finance laws have to be truly be changed. Several years ago they passed laws that were supposed to fix the problem but then they allowed the “super pacs” which made it perfectly legal for these same “special interests” to finance the careers of those people that they choose to send into political office.. No one wins a major Congressional seat or Senate seat without millions of dollars to finance that campaign. Those multi billion dollar business have the money to put anyone into office that they choose. YOU can run for office but the one with the most money to buy advertising and to buy votes is usually going to win. There are ways to fix this problem but it is the people who have to decide that they are sick and tired of being trampled on by these corporations, big banks, and big money people. It used to be that small business made it possible for all Americans to hold decent jobs and have a diverse amount of quality goods to choose from. Today we have to take what these huge corporations decide to allow us to buy and those products are now usually manufactured as cheaply as possible in some third world country where the workers are paid slave labor wages..
    The food industry for humans and pets are also effected by the corporate monstrosity that has been created.. Most of our food is grown here but much of it has been genetically modified and the animals involved are treated in the most cruel manner. Livestock is also fed GMO grains and given steroids, hormones, and antibiotics throughout their lifetimes. All of this remains in the meat that we buy in the grocery store. Human food is adulterated by the food industry. Pet food is not even real food anymore! The pet food industry is making billions of dollars yearly by using ingredients, most of which would have been considered garbage in days past.

    1. PEt Owner

      Overwhelming concepts like multiple interests, multinational, foreign manufacturing, special interests, super pacs, lobbyists, lack of representation, are all designed to dampen our spirit. Situations are complicated (and if we allow) justify our inattention. But the fact is we live in a global economy. That’s life. The issue isn’t so much how somebody got into office. But how are we affected. We may not know, in total. But it’s our duty to react o issues that we do know. In this case, Susan spelled out the immediate failures in the matter. “The House of Representatives that were FDA’s partners in crime were:

      Representative Markwayne Mullin, Oklahoma – Republican
      Representative Kurt Schrader, Oregon – Democrat
      Representative Greg Walden, Oregon – Republican
      Representative Frank Pallone, Jr., New Jersey – Democrat
      Representative Michael Burgess, Texas – Republican
      Representative Gene Green, Texas – Democrat”

      Congress made a promise, and broke it. That’s all we need to know!! It’s a VERY simple concept to communicate to elected officials. Because if they broke that promise, then how many more. So very popular to say these days is, that it speaks about character. The mess can only be cleaned up, person by person.

      To that end, Susan identifies one simple action required, supported by a detailed letter of facts (in her post):

      “In 2007, Congress clearly cared about our pets by writing FDAAA. In 2018 Congress passed a bill that included a hidden devastation for pet food consumers.” “I ask you to take the steps necessary to reinstate FDAAA Section 1002 (a) in a new bill with the requirement FDA complete this work within 6 months.”

      If Susan can call them every day if need be, to assure they help us, why wouldn’t hundreds of pet owners? Accompany an email or voicemail with this real life example of thousands more! Shine the light of painful truth on those who hide in the closet of deceit.

      “In his final days, Merlin and I sat next to each other, he in a tank attached to oxygen and I on the bedroom floor next to him so that he wouldn’t feel alone. I’m disabled and it was not easy, but I was determined that Merlin knew he hadn’t done anything to warrant his isolation. In the end, I held him in my arms while the veterinarian administered a lethal dosage that would finally separate me from my dear friend. It cost $6000 in vet bills, several friendships, and almost a marriage. I cried for months.”

      When choosing between action or inaction, keep those two innocent victims in mind, and decide which kind of world we should live in.

      1. Robin

        My heart hurts for your undying love for Merlin!!♡♡♡

  11. Batzion

    Illinois – Wrote to Tammy Duckworth and Danny Davis. Will follow up with phone calls tomorrow.

    1. Robin

      I too am in Illinois I would rather just call Tammy Ducksworthe office and talk with her or one of the people that handle all the messages that she

      1. Susan Thixton Author

        Hi Robin – please call them both (Durbin too).

  12. Diana

    Well safety first time to make our own pet food.

  13. Mariya Dolgopolova

    Don’t buy commercial food. It’s not terribly hard to feed a dog raw meat anf bones, baked vegetables and raw milk.

  14. Chris

    I guess you have to ask your Senator and Rep how they voted since voice votes like this one in both the Senate and House are not recorded.

  15. Kathleen OShea

    Is there a petition to sign? What more can be done?

  16. Julie Keyes

    ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE FDA? SURELY ANIMAL CRUELTY.

    Let me know if there is a petition to sign.

    1. Pet Owner

      It IS animal cruelty. I wonder why nobody has challenged on that basis alone. If they stuck poison in food meant for humans, they’d be sued.

  17. Gary

    Call me a contrarian, but I not one whom expects the government to save us. It’s up to consumers to vote with their pocket books as to what companies / commercial entities they want to support.

    And sadly, more regulations will not prevent the melamine issue we had years ago. That was a case of a foreign company intentionally adulterating and misrepresenting an ingredient. Besides the pet deaths caused in the US, similar adulterations were done with ingredients for infant formula. Twice. Deaths resulted too. If an company is determined to break the law, more laws won’t stop them.

    1. Rosann Gomez

      Agreed! No laws needed. Feed a species appropriate diet. Don’t buy this crap and these companies will fold.

    2. PeterSPoulos

      It is no longer a matter of whether or not the corporate-controlled government is going to save us, but whether it is going to destroy us through the subversion of laws and regulations.

      1. cb

        Welcome to the kleptocracy :'(

  18. Michelle

    Unfortunately, I have no trust at all in government agencies that are supposed to protect us and our pets. They are all swayed by the lobbyists and the almighty dollar. It’s like dealing with the devil every time we trust in them. Our government is now reversing all that was in place to to protect us, our pets and our environment. We need to depend on ourselves and do the best we can to control what goes into our bodies and the bodies of our beloved pets.

  19. Claire

    Since my Sophie was killed in 2007, I have NEVER fled my animals commercial made food. After taking a year out of my life to lobby on behalf of companion animals, I came to the realization that nothing would ever be done or enforced. The ONLY thing I could do was take responsibility for my pets nutrition. The public needs to wake up and stop feeding commercial food because it’s “convenient “. Do you feed yourself McDs, etc every meal, everyday? No. So stop feeding your pets crap and make them their meals. If everyone
    Took responsibility for our own furry family members nutrition and made their meals, we would end an industry that could care less about them But this will never happen bc the publi6is too lazy.

    1. Pet Owner

      Condolences for experiencing the PF tragedy first hand. Overwhelming sadness, and I can’t imagine the heartbreak and waste. Kudos for giving a year of your time to lobby on behalf of pets. That was an uphill battle in 2007. You’ve certainly paid your dues. But it’s dangerous and unproductive to leave others with the impression that Goliath will win over David. Susan has been at this for TEN years. And if she took that attitude, none of us would know what we do now.

      One thing that’s changed in Politics, is about people not giving up on their causes. Conflict just makes them more entrenched. The weakness in our PF cause, is independent activism. The enemy entities know they can divide and conquer us. Oh a couple of letters here and there, a few folks stop buying PF, a few articles uncovering deceit. It doesn’t seem to add up to much.

      But Susan is to the PF Industry what Ralph Nader was, in his day. Calling out wrong doers. Spawning the whole idea of specialized advocacy groups. And just because they don’t make the media, doesn’t mean they’re not doing their part. They just have to be sought out.

      I “believe” what PF manufacturers are doing, is illegal. That’s what I read into the FDA Regulations being ignored. My analogy is, should drivers who’re dangerously speeding in a small town be ignored, just because the Highway Patrol hasn’t caught them. Or should they be reported (smartphone picture & license). Sooner or later they will do the wrong thing under the right circumstances. And pay the price. But not if people give up on turning them in.

      You may have paid your dues. But this comment speaks to everyone else who’s given up even before trying. If everybody does a little (sharing an article, informing their Vet, pushing back on a pet supply store, and contacting elected officials) it may not move mountains, but makes a dent. The HSPCA campaigns on television against animal cruelty, asking for donations. Why aren’t we (as a group) responsible for educating people about dangerous PF?

    2. Concerned

      I’m very sorry you’ve experienced the PF tragedy first hand. Can’t imagine the heartbreak. Kudos for giving a year of your time in to lobby. You’ve certainly paid your dues. But it’s defeating to leave others with the impression that “Goliath” will win over “David.” Susan has been at this TEN years. If she took that attitude, none of us would know what we do now.

      Politics has changed people (since 2007) in terms of obstacles only making them more determined! (Just watch the News!). The weakness in our PF advocacy effort, is independent activism. Manufacturers and the FDA know they can divide and conquer us. Oh a couple of letters here and there, some who stop buying PF, articles uncovering deceit. It doesn’t seem to add up to much.

      But Susan is to the PF Industry what Ralph Nader was, in his day. Calling out wrong doers. He brought consciousness to a subject no one had thought about before. Creating watchdogs and whistle blowers. Just because they don’t make the media headlines, doesn’t mean they’re not doing their part. They just have to be sought out.

      What PF manufacturers are doing (via Compliance Policies) is illegal when PF is adulterated! My analogy is this, should drivers dangerously speeding on highways be ignored, because the Highway Patrol hasn’t seen them. Or should they be reported (smartphone picture & license plate). Sooner or later they will do the wrong thing under the right circumstances. And pay the price. But not if they continue to be invisible. And no one cares.

      You may have paid your dues. With much gratitude for that. But this comment speaks to everyone who’s given up even before trying. If everybody does a little (sharing an article, informing a Vet, a pet supply store, contacting elected officials) awareness spreads. Compared to 2007 people are a thousand times more vocal (about passionate causes)! Because there is power in Social Media. It may not move mountains, but does make a dent. We see the request for donations on TV to fight animal cruelty. We see those pictures and cringe!! But why aren’t we just as responsible for educating (and changing) people’s attitude regarding dangerous PF?

  20. Eve

    This is a blatant act of animal cruelty and complete disregard for pet consumers rights! Susan is a leader in this movement an absolute heroine. Maybe this may help someone out to use to get around the careful scrutiny of the commercial pet food industries: As pets cannot read and cannot physically purchase their pet food a carer ‘pet owner’ must do it for them, thus, maybe we should think of winning this by flipping the coin – focus on the pet food owners rights. Focus on the food safety laws obviously, BUT hit these kittylitterpoosh@t heads with human rights laws where animals ‘pets’ are an extended family member ‘part of the human family group’ and is totally dependant on their carer ‘pet owner – extended family member’ only then I believe we can win this fight with justice. Make the laws about the pet owner extended family member along these lines/ideas because lets face it the ONLY way to keep your pet safe is by feeding them biologically species appropriate RAW Meat and RAW Meaty Bones Diet. It isn’t rocket science it’s so easy and so simple that we are hoodwinked into believing it isn’t. Im almost completed my Holistic Pet Animal Companion Nutrition Studies (with veterinary care background) and I can assure you feeding pets what THEY NEED and WANT to THRIVE with LITTLE to ZERO DISEASE is GOLD you will NEVER get that in a tin or packet. Time for Pet Owners to take control LET GO of OLD BELIEF PATTERNS and TAKE FULL CHARGE AND OWNERSHIP of what YOU CHOOSE to put in your beloved pets MOUTHS. Please don’t fall for the hooharr of OMG it’s too expensive to feed my pets like they should be fed RAW pardon the pun but fiddlesticks. Actually 1-5 kilo bag of chicken necks (cut off the thyroid glands if still attached to avoid over thyroxine ingestion), 12 eggs (yep with the shells for true calcium that’s what they truly snatch from birds nests, lizards etc make sure from CLEAN organic free range eggs), 1 litre plain goats or sheep yogurt AVOID COW DAIRY none of it is beneficial to you pets only goat or sheep RAW GOAT MILK is a brilliant superfood for pets), lamb backs, whole chicken and qual carcasses YOU get it. AND GREENS baby spinach leaves and sometimes silverbeet NO STEMS puree it add to raw fresh meat, crack open a raw egg crush really well the shell (wash in cold water first do not use supermarket eggs they are sprayed with toxin on the shells) and give pawpaw or papaya no seeds no peel. squash into raw meat and eggs, THIS will only cost about $25 for 2-3 weeks of course you can add other things but these are the basic things. Follow BARF Diet for more info. Love and LIght to ALL the beloved pets BECAUSE THEY DESERVE MORE. Like Susan said: Our Pets are NOT Garbage Tips. Dogs and Cats are NOT supposed to eat like cows or herbivores meaning they’re not grazers. You can leave some chopped beef, lamb or chicken (no bones when your’e not home) in a bowl whilst at work it won’t go off if you add fresh pawpaw it’s an antibacterial and will set a natural mucilage to protect the meet OR add a Slippery Elm 1 tsp into 1 cup water. Add 3-4 tablespoons of the wet sloppy mix to the meat this will stop it from going off up to 5 hours…trust me the food will not last that long your pet will gobble it all down by lunchtime. Dogs need fasting at least once per week but must have fresh water and fruit esp on very hot days. CATS must NEVER be fasted and can be fatal cats must too have fresh water and papaya/pawpaw with goat yogurt. Ditch the biscuits and feed RAW but if you must feel you need weaning off the habit only buy air-dried meat called ZIWI-PEAK its organic and real meat its from new zealand and I think they sell online for Americans. HONESTLY DON’T RISK ANYTHING ELSE.

    1. Pet Owner

      I write comments that are way too long. And I know nobody reads them. But you have a lot to say (or advise). And it’s a shame yours is so bunched up. Here are my take-aways which hopefully will benefit others. The following does NOT apply to cats:

      1. Deliberately adulterated PF is a form of animal cruelty
      2. Make pets an extension of family rights (currently they are property)
      3. Pets need a biologically appropriate diet (see BARF)
      4. Don’t let expense / convenience be your excuse
      5. Feed clean, organic free range eggs
      6. Add raw goat milk
      7. Greens (no stems)
      8. Feed clean, non-toxic food
      9. Add pawpaw or papaya (no seeds, no peel)
      10. Dogs aren’t supposed to eat like cows (meaning they are not grazers)
      11. To fresh chopped beef, lamb or chicken (no bones) add fresh pawpaw (an antibacterial) which creates a mucilage to protect the meat (up to 5 hours).
      12. Fast dogs once, weekly
      13. Always provide fresh water
      14. Consider air-dried meat (such as Ziwi-Peak organic from New Zealand)

  21. D

    This made me cry. Really, deep sobbing. All of our cats were poisoned in 2007. Two eventually died of intestinal cancer. Our vet never reported their poisoning because she sells food made by the same companies. Our other two cats still have gastro-intestinal illnesses and Chronic Renal Failure (aka CKD) caused by the poisoning. Altogether, we’ve spent uncountable days/night in the ER with our cats, or doing palliative care at home. Seeing their suffering is THE WORST! It’s been beyond awful, painful, and heart wrenching. Like Merlin’s human, we’re also disabled and it made everything more nightmarish and horrible because we felt we weren’t doing everything possible which compounds guilty feelings. Even so, I tried to do everything and more to where my health was *completely* ruined and I’ve never recovered. I am now completely bed-bound. Because of that I’m not able to take care of our survivor kitties the way I feel they deserve. Their cat daddy has to do just about everything, which is extremely tough on his health. Also, we’ve spent tons of money on treatment costs we couldn’t really afford, trying to ease our cats’ suffering. Yet these “pet food” corporations feel no pain, no one went to jail, they are still in business, and are even raking in billions!
    .
    I’m also angry at how upset I am at this news because our family knew the laws passed were just a form of theater, because the laws were never budgeted for. You *MUST* pay attention to the budget. If something isn’t budgeted for, or if the funding of new rules or laws is set off in the distant future – the law or rule is *never* going anywhere. It can be on the books, but literally NOTHING will ever come from it. It’s just corruption theater, something for show to shut people up until they forget or are overwhelmed by the next horrific thing.
    .
    The watchword for all of American politics is corruption.
    .
    The government was hollowed out and then corrupted (or more corrupted, some would argue) by tax cuts for corporations and the unfathomably wealthy since the 1980s, which then made it possible for politicians of *all stripes* to say there wasn’t enough money to fully fund, or fund at all, “X” agency, or program, or law, or whatever. Then they had ‘political cover’ for voting ‘yes’ on massive cuts to vital parts of government, under-funding budgets of needed laws, rules, and so on. After all, they’d argue it’s ‘pragmatic’ to do so. All the while taking lobbyist money from those benefiting from such cuts.
    .
    Citizens never having had civics classes in their underfunded schools mostly don’t understand how government should work, or heck – how economics or the government budget really works, think this sounds reasonable. It’s insidious, because it *DOES* sound reasonable, but it *Isn’t* if you know who is pulling the strings in the background versus how these things *really should be* working. All of these subjects are also overly complicated, to where I think most politicians and policy makers don’t understand them either. Even with tons of studying over the years I only get the gist of certain aspects of economics or monetary policy. What I do have is a *solid* grasp on what is BS and what isn’t because of the *history* of what has worked and what hasn’t.
    .
    Cuts are how the regulatory FDA, an agency that came about because of disgusting and poisonous food for *everyone* was uncovered by people like Upton Sinclair in newspaper stories and books like “The Jungle” which let everyone know the *literal* garbage they were eating and drinking. You might want to read The Jungle as it’s about the meatpacking industry where you may glimpse the future of our unregulated food supply.
    .
    Because of that journalism, outraged citizens across the country forced government to hold business accountable. Laws such as the Pure Food and Drug Act and the Federal Meat Inspection Act, both of 1906 were made which brought about the FDA. Ever since then it has been undermined by those that lost a bit of money. They spent tons of money over decades on politicians. Either buying them up or on politicians to run against those with morals. Those bought politicians cut the FDA budget.
    .
    After tons of budget cuts and ‘shrinking,’ the FDA and the USDA were ‘captured’ (destroyed and taken over) by agribusiness which they were supposed to be regulating holding accountable.
    .
    People now think the FDA is worse than useless and should be disbanded. People thinking this also (generally) tend to think government should be ‘shrunk,’ “Hey, government doesn’t work! Let’s get rid of it!” This is actually the much hoped and planned for response by those proposing and pushing destruction of regulations and agencies. They brag about it in their meetings or newsletters, similar to the bragging you see in Susan’s article. In a way, the “let’s get rid of it” response is perfectly understandable. However, there’s no way in our gigantic country the general citizenry can keep track of the safety of their food or medical devices and so on. That is why we pay government taxes to budget for agencies to protect us. We should be *furious* the regulatory agencies created to keep us safe were gutted and captured by industry. We should be *furious* our government has become like a movie set that looks great from the front while there’s nothing behind those fronts but bits of wood propping them up. We should demand underfunded, gutted agencies that have been corrupted be completely cleared out and reformed. Arguing for deregulation is not the answer! We all have too much to do just to keep ourselves going. How are we going to keep on top of the safety of our food, medications, medical devices, etc.?! Regulation is the only thing keeping the vast majority of us and our pets from harmful food among other things.
    .
    Yes, there is a monstrous, infinitesimally small group wanting the government shrunk simply so they can feed us and our pets garbage, poison our water and air, and make a ton of money off of us while doing it because they are the only thing going. Their profits then supporting their legal bribing of our government. It’s an abysmal and cruel cycle.
    .
    It’s also how governments fall. As if it weren’t enough to learn from history, I’ve seen it happen around the world in my lifetime. Cuts cuts cuts, then ‘private-public-partnerships’, then straight privatization. Once it is out of our government’s hands somewhat, citizens can’t get vital information they need on what’s really going on through the use of the Freedom of Information Act because government’s private business partners use the excuse of, ‘proprietary’ information, which makes whatever information they want to hide a secret – legally. (Just look at our voting machine situation in America, no one has real info on how voting machines work, which seems like it should be illegal because it’s the most important thing Americans do, but nope. Paper ballots are more secure because they’re not easily hackable by children and we can count them without having to trust corporate overlords to give us real vote tallies, but do we use them? Nope. Anyway. . .)
    .
    BOTH political parties have taken part in this destruction of OUR GOVERNMENT by doing what their owners/donors/legal bribers/’lobbyists’ want them to. Add to that the problem of legal ‘dark money’ bribes since Citizen’s United and related was passed. If their corruption isn’t as out and out observable as that, watch what members of Congress and the Executive branches do once they leave office. . . Going on to join global corporations they were supposed to hold accountable through oversight (which, clearly they don’t), to ‘earn’ millions a year, or to give ‘talks’ to the same corporations for millions a year.
    .
    Just look at the sponsors of this bill! IT WASN’T PARTISAN.
    .
    Personally, I don’t think there’s a member of the House, the Senate, or the Executive branch that isn’t corrupt. How can they not be when elections cost millions to billions depending on which branch of government they are running for? They ALL *admittedly* spend the majority of their time calling the people and businesses they are supposed to hold accountable, to beg for money and support!
    .
    The last hope was the Supreme Court, but both Republican and Democratic presidents in the last decades have put in judges that came directly from “lawyering” *for* global corporations and *against* citizens. It doesn’t matter what ‘side’ you are on politically. If you follow the SCOTUS, you know they consistently rule for the rights of corporations over the rights of people. They don’t try to hide it. Corporate ‘profit motive’ demands profit over every other thing on the planet. They’ll probably kill us all in the end.
    .
    If you’re counting, that’s all three branches of government. Corrupted.
    .
    The so-called ‘Fourth Estate’ meaning the media, journalists, etc., are all owned by the same handful of corporations which own almost everything else and promote their agenda in a ‘synergistic’ fashion. At least mainstream media which is what most have access to. Media/journalists were supposed to tell us the hidden truths about government. But they too, are owned. Instead they give us shiny objects to get outraged about, or to think ‘your side’ is winning, at least temporarily, because they still want you to FEAR what you may lose, so you’ll continue to buy their product; their websites, broadcasts, media in general.
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    There seems to be no recourse for us as citizens unless you have a ton of money to buy back your politicians. A million people can (and have) protested things in the past and it’s made zero difference.
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    OK, I took a deep breath. Actually, that is a bit too dire. We, *all* citizens from whatever political ‘side,’ could get together and perhaps force a Constitutional Amendment keeping money out of politics. No PAC money, no corporate money, no secret dark money. No working or giving ‘talks’ or whatever to big money interests for a *decade* after you’ve been in office so you can’t ‘work’ your political connections for profit. No loopholes! These rules seem something all but the outrageously rich could agree on. None of us want our elected officials bought by anyone, right? For one, it’s literally killing us and our pets.
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    It would be very tough going and would likely take years, but it’s something worth working for if you consider America is done as a democracy if all of our political system has been hijacked by global corporations and a tiny amount of families that have something like 90% of the wealth in the *entire* country. Wait, that might be wrong. But what’s definitely remember and is true is that there are just THREE dudes with more wealth than the ENTIRE bottom 50% of us. I bet you could name those guys without trying too hard.
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    Maybe until a Constitutional Amendment is passed we *should* crowdfund to buy politicians?! Perhaps I’m too cynical overall.
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    That said, in regards to the FDA and big Pharma alone – Top officials from the FDA have publicly stated, sometimes under oath before Congress, *multiple times* the FDA behaves the way it does because it was corrupted by pressure from members of Congress, lobbyists, and big Pharma. The threat was absolute destruction of FDA officials themselves and of the FDA (funding) when it came to keeping unsafe drugs for sale. A good example of this: Vioxx. IIRC, the testimony I’m thinking of in one of these cases over the decades was on Vioxx killing about 50,000-80,000 people, and the pressure was placed on FDA officials and FDA funding by Congress generally, if anyone spoke up about Vioxx killing people. That’s why it stayed on the market for so long. I remember seeing commercials for class action lawsuits right up against commercials for Vioxx and marveling how it was possible there were enough injured or dead people to have a ton of lawyers trying to get a class action suit together while the FDA did nothing.
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    With that, why would we think the FDA would have any empathy toward animals? They let just that *one drug* kill tens of thousands of people.
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    FDA officials testified or spoke publicly about how it *always* comes down to greed.
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    Then some time in the 2000s big Pharma was *directly funding the FDA* through the Prescription Drug User Fee Act! So, you know *that* helped with the corruption of the FDA tasked with holding big Pharma accountable for unsafe drugs. Added benefit to big Pharma = Massive hike in drug prices, including generics. On a personal note – some of the generics we take are ridiculously expensive now.
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    So. This diatribe is on hopelessness. Our sweet baby animals died terribly because of this corruption. People die from this corruption every day. But political divisions purposefully keep us in fear and fighting instead of coming together on at least this *one* thing which would benefit the entire country – Getting money out of politics. In the mean time politicians, corporations, and the obscenely wealthy eat happily and healthfully on the endless gravy train 🙁
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    D

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