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AAFCO Day Two and Final Notes

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  1. Mary Huber

    Susan, I read every communication from you and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you are doing on behalf of our animals and us, too. Truly, you are amazing!
    ~~ Mary Huber

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      Right back at ya! I think all of you are amazing…together we make a good team.

  2. Valerie Noyes

    Baby steps but important ones. For FDA to actually make the statement about using the term “food” loosely, that’s a wonderful step in the right direction. It’s going to be a long, long fight.

  3. Michelle

    God Bless You! You have taught me so much. At least now I feel that I have some information to protect my fur family. I wish I had know what I know now when my heart dog Ace got sick. I didn’t know that what I was feeding him “to get better” was actually poison. I feel like I killed him…my heart will be forever broken.

    Thank you for what you do to fight this fight and all of the people that fight this fight with you.

  4. Dori

    Thank you Susan for all you do for our dogs. Just as Mary Huber stated, I read each and every one of your emails and am delighted with your tenacity when it comes to dog food. Also, thank you, thank you, thank you for your dog food list. I’m always ecstatic when I see foods that I am already feeding on one of your lists. Yay! I’m basically a commercial raw food, dehydrated and freeze dried rotational feeder. Through your efforts I’m hoping to add more and more foods into rotation for my girls.

  5. Carol

    Thank you for your fortitude and courage, Susan, in investigating and asking the questions that need to be answered. It is so easy for people to ctiticize when they can’t be bothered to even do personal research. Someday, people will see that you were a leader in pet food advocacy and a true front line animal activist.

    I used to live in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and discovered Rodney’s store and his expertise when I began to question what my vet was telling me to feed my dogs. It was too late for Austin, but Rodney helped me save Kylee from a digestive system that had shut down because of a reaction to anesthesia after a dental.

    Thank you, Rodney, and others who truly do the right thing.


  6. Dean

    Susan, good information. I think it would be beneficial to clarify a couple of things for your readers and the FDA.

    Like the terms ‘food’ and ‘feed’. From what I am reading, I think you are using the term ‘food’ to indicate a diet for life. Where as the term ‘feed’ would be used to describe the diet for animals used in food production, where the economics of growth per $ spent on inputs carry the priority. When doing presentations to the vet classes at the university I make this distinction and get a mystified reaction; because people don’t seem to accept the notion that these 2 diets are very different in requirement/outcome. AAFCO’s view, is in fact that they are the same, and is driving the outcome you see.

    As far as we can see the kibble industry is one of the largest undefined recycling projects in the world and pet owners are the unknowing accomplices. Redistributing many tons of industrial food waste into their own local landfills through their pets.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      Hi Dean – no, I was referring to the same feed/food dilemma that you are. I’ve discussed this with FDA personally (at the July 2014 AAFCO meeting) – feeling that unless a pet ‘food’ abides by ‘food’ law, it should be called dog feed or cat feed. But I couldn’t agree more with you in that many pet foods (perhaps most) are part of “the largest undefined recycling project in the world”. Though most consumers don’t know – because of lack of enforcement and labeling laws – they are buying recycled waste. I’m confident this is why the FDA representative at the meeting stated he was using the term ‘food’ loosely (he was part of the meeting in July).

  7. Kim Willis

    Thank you Susan for the work at the meeting. We were all there in spirit and proud with you when you spoke up for all our cherished companions and us.

    That free speech comment was ridiculous on their part. The FDA censors when it suits them and does not when it suits Big Corp. Blatant censoring will be in place as long as we let it. Censoring as such creates uneducated people, which creates more money for Big Corp. The single most effective way to put them in their place is to stop false and deceptive advertising. Maybe starting a fund for a class action lawsuit would be a good start. If we shut their ability to lie everything else will have to fall inline.

    I LOVE Dean’s description,
    “As far as we can see the kibble industry is one of the largest undefined recycling projects in the world and pet owners are the unknowing accomplices. Redistributing many tons of industrial food waste into their own local landfills through their pets.”

    Also it is nice the dental vet was there to speak out about the misleading dental label and that he is part of the working group now, but face it we all know that the guilty ones here know what they are doing wrong and our wonderful govt. lets them do it. The alliance is with Big Corp not the people who pay everyone’s bills. We need to make as big a deal about it as they feel the need to do. The conversation should be to tell them there is no free speech when it comes to purposeful deception for the dollar. We do have laws against that as well as false advertising. Do we have a lawyer in our group to root out purposeful deception laws? We need you.

    Shut down their ability to lie to the owners and we have a different platform to move on.

    My challenge remains to all. Educate one person a day on what this industry does and how to feed better. Ask them to join us. If we get even 25% to listen we have done very well. Then they can continue the same. You can see the results of this “better health for our pets” movement in the many better dog foods that are now coming out.

    We are the “Whale Wars” of the dog food industry with a great leader and we never give up.

    Kim Willis

  8. Laura

    What did the FDA representative say when you asked him that question about free speech?

  9. B Dawson

    I wasn’t sure where to post this, so I’ll chose the thread on AAFCO since my point deals with food.

    Veterinary Practice News just published an article on intestinal surgeries. Seems they feel there’s a lot of unhealthy alimentary tracts out there. I’ll provide the full link at the end of my comment, but I’m not sure if it will work since its a subscription situation. The gist is that vomiting, in conjunction with other symptoms, in cats should trigger vets to look for more serious problems, and that a study of 100 cats who presented with persistent vomiting and diarrhea found the following:

    “Pathology results were as follows in Norsworthy’s 100 cats:

    One cat had no significant findings.
    49 cats had chronic enteritis. Those cats were 1 to 16 years old, with a mean age of 10.
    46 cats had lymphoma. These cats were 1 to 18 years old, with a mean age of 12. n Four had other types of intestinal cancer: three mast cell tumors and one adenocarcinoma.
    Even though the age ranges look similar, a statistical difference existed between the two groups. Cats with chronic enteritis tended to be younger—under 8 years old—and cats over 8 tended to have either enteritis or intestinal cancer.

    Conclusions from the study:

    Weight loss was the most common sign, sometimes without vomiting or diarrhea. About 70 percent of cats presented with weight loss. Conclusion: Weigh cats at every visit.
    Any cat presented with vomiting, diarrhea or weight loss should ideally have an abdominal ultrasound to measure the thickness of the intestine. If measurements reveal increased thickness, then surgical biopsies are indicated.
    The most important conclusion: Vomiting more than twice a month is not normal in cats.”

    As an animal herbalist, I spend a fair amount of time adjusting digestion but this really shocked me. Since immunity has its foundations in the gut and based on these results of an admittedly small study, food never looked so important. I’d give my eye teeth to know what the diets of these cats were like!

    I do question the push for expensive testing and biopsies, but that’s just my opinion. A discussion between client and vet is the best course of action.

    Here’s the link (warning, some graphic images are in the article):

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