California Appeals Court Ruling on Sick and Disabled Animals in Food
A California Court of Appeals reinstates a California law banning sick and downed animal in the human food supply. Wouldn’t this already be law with the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act? And what about pet food? Could this mean even more sick and downer animals will be processed into pet food?
On the last day of March 2010 a California Appeals court reinstated a law that was temporarily blocked by a lawsuit brought by the National Meat Association and the American Meat Institute. The law states that sick animals and downer animals (downer/downed animals are more likely to be infected with BSE or Mad Cow disease) cannot be processed into human foods. “Studies also suggest animals too sick or injured to stand and walk may also be more likely to harbor E. coli and Salmonella, which kill hundreds of Americans every year.” http://aldf.org/article.php?id=1311
“According to the meat industry groups’ papers, they believe California lacks the authority to protect school children from the human form of mad cow disease and other foodborne illnesses, or to prevent wanton cruelty to farm animals.” http://aldf.org/article.php?id=819
Isn’t that comforting?
Two thoughts struck me as I as was reading the notice regarding this Appeals Court ruling…
One…Doesn’t the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act laws already prohibit sick and diseased animals in food?
From the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act…Section 201 (f) “The term “food” means (1) articles used for food or drink for man or other animals, (2) chewing gum, and (3) articles used for components of any such article.” http://www.fda.gov/RegulatoryInformation/Legislation/FederalFoodDrugandCosmeticActFDCAct/FDCActChaptersIandIIShortTitleandDefinitions/ucm086297.htm
And Section 402 “A food shall be deemed to be adulterated…(5) if it is, in whole or in part, the product of a diseased animal or of an animal which has died otherwise than by slaughter;”. http://www.fda.gov/RegulatoryInformation/Legislation/FederalFoodDrugandCosmeticActFDCAct/FDCActChapterIVFood/ucm107527.htm
Seems clear to me. How/why should any state have to go to the expense of a trial to defend a law that is already in place? Why isn’t existing Federal Food Safety laws actively enforced? I would welcome comment from legal minds out there.
Second, if in fact California and probably soon other states officially ban diseased and downer animals from human food, does this mean more sick and perhaps mad cow disease positive animals will end up processed into pet food? That’s a frightening thought.
Although the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act also should protect pet food, our FDA tells field agents NOT to enforce the law with pet food. Pet food is allowed, per the FDA not per Federal law, to contain diseased animals and animals that have died other than by slaughter.
More diseased animals ending up processed into pet food and pet treats is horrible and concerning. Again…Why isn’t existing Federal Food Safety laws actively enforced with all food?
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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