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California Pet Food Law

Pet food regulations in California:

17 CA ADC 19025 Barclays Official California Code of Regulations
19025. Labeling and Restrictions.
Article 16. Processed Pet Food Regulations

(d) No product or any of its wrappers, packaging or other containers shall bear any false or misleading marking, label or other labeling, and no statement, word, picture, design, or device which gives a false indication of origin, quality or flavor. No product shall be wholly or partly enclosed in any wrapper, packaging or other container that is so made, formed, or filled as to be misleading.

(o) A vignette, graphic, or pictorial representation of a product on a processed pet food label shall not misrepresent the contents of the package.

Source: https://govt.westlaw.com/calregs/Browse/Home/California/CaliforniaCodeofRegulations?guid=IAD5302E0D60611DE88AEDDE29ED1DC0A&originationContext=documenttoc&transitionType=Default&contextData=%28sc.Default%29 and https://govt.westlaw.com/calregs/Document/IAEC4BB50D60611DE88AEDDE29ED1DC0A?viewType=FullText&originationContext=documenttoc&transitionType=CategoryPageItem&contextData=%28sc.Default%29&bhcp=1

From the FDA website, it appears California has adopted the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act as state law, though it is uncertain if they have adopted the federal laws with respect to pet foods. The federal law states:

Title 21, Section 321 (f) The term “food” means (1) articles used for food or drink for man or other animals,

Title 21, Section 342 A food shall be deemed to be adulterated-(a) Poisonous, insanitary, etc., ingredients (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;

Source: http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?path=/prelim@title21/chapter9/subchapter2&edition=prelim and http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=granuleid:USC-prelim-title21-section342&num=0&edition=prelim

 

Find your Representatives in Congress here: https://www.opencongress.org/people/zipcodelookup

Example letter to California Representatives…

Dear _________,

I am writing to share that pet food regulations within the state of California are being selectively enforced.

As example, California pet foods are regulated under Article 16. Processed Pet Food Regulations. Law states: (d) No product or any of its wrappers, packaging or other containers shall bear any false or misleading marking, label or other labeling, and no statement, word, picture, design, or device which gives a false indication of origin, quality or flavor. No product shall be wholly or partly enclosed in any wrapper, packaging or other container that is so made, formed, or filled as to be misleading. And (o) A vignette, graphic, or pictorial representation of a product on a processed pet food label shall not misrepresent the contents of the package.

Many varieties of pet food – as example from Pedigree Dog Food, Hill’s Science Diet Crafted Pet Food, and FreshPet Pet Food show grilled meat or roasted meat on the label, however there is no grilled or roasted meat in the pet food. Thus the ‘quality’ falls below what is ‘represented on the label’. But none of these pet foods and many more are being held to state law.

Per the FDA website, it appears that California has adopted the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act into state law. I am uncertain if California has adopted the full Act in reference to food/pet food.

In the United States Code, Title 21, Chapter 9, Subchapter IV, Section 342 – the law states that a food is considered adulterated if it is sourced from a non-slaughtered animal (Section 342 a-5). However right now in California pet foods are being sold that include ingredients sourced from non-slaughtered animals. The legal definitions of the following common pet food ingredients Do Not require them to be sourced from a slaughtered animal: Chicken/Turkey/Poultry by-product meal, Meat and Bone Meal, Animal by-product meal, Animal fat, and Animal Digest (source AAFCO Official Publication). Per federal law, any pet food that contains one or more of these ingredients would be considered adulterated. A significant number of pet foods contain one or more of these federal law defined adulterated ingredients; an estimated $19 million dollars worth sold every single day in the U.S.

Current conditions in pet food are a result of state and/or federal laws not being enforced. As it is not my personal goal to financially damage pet food companies due to authorities lack of enforcement, or financially damage the rendering industry (the companies that produce ingredients listed above) – I am asking you as my state Representative to do two things. One – make certain that pet foods abide by both federal and state labeling laws; and two – (with respect to the financial stability of the pet food industry) require pet foods that contain an ingredient that is in violation of state/federal law to include a warning on the label – or ask authorities to fully enforce existing laws. Example warning label could state: ‘Warning. This pet food could contain ingredients that are in violation of federal and state law. Handle and store with care.’ The consumer warning should be required to be implemented immediately, and placed in a highly visible area on the pet food label.

Thank you for your time and consideration of pet food consumers.

(Your signature)

 

Example letter to California Attorney General…

I wish to report pet foods sold within the state of California that do not meet the requirements of state law.

As example, California pet foods are regulated under Article 16. Processed Pet Food Regulations. Law states: (d) No product or any of its wrappers, packaging or other containers shall bear any false or misleading marking, label or other labeling, and no statement, word, picture, design, or device which gives a false indication of origin, quality or flavor. No product shall be wholly or partly enclosed in any wrapper, packaging or other container that is so made, formed, or filled as to be misleading. And (o) A vignette, graphic, or pictorial representation of a product on a processed pet food label shall not misrepresent the contents of the package.

Many varieties of pet food – as example from Pedigree Dog Food, Hill’s Science Diet Crafted Pet Food, and FreshPet Pet Food show grilled meat or roasted meat on the label, however there is no grilled or roasted meat in the pet food. Thus the ‘quality’ falls below what is ‘represented on the label’. But none of these pet foods and many more are being held to state law.

Per the FDA website, it appears that California has adopted the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act into state law. I am uncertain if California has adopted the full Act in reference to food/pet food.

In the United States Code, Title 21, Chapter 9, Subchapter IV, Section 342 – the law states that a food is considered adulterated if it is sourced from a non-slaughtered animal (Section 342 a-5). However right now in California pet foods are being sold that include ingredients sourced from non-slaughtered animals. The legal definitions of the following common pet food ingredients Do Not require them to be sourced from a slaughtered animal: Chicken/Turkey/Poultry by-product meal, Meat and Bone Meal, Animal by-product meal, Animal fat, and Animal Digest (source AAFCO Official Publication). Per federal law, any pet food that contains one or more of these ingredients would be considered adulterated. A significant number of pet foods contain one or more of these federal law defined adulterated ingredients; an estimated $19 million dollars worth sold every single day in the U.S.

Current conditions in pet food are a result of state and/or federal laws not being enforced. As it is not my personal goal to financially damage pet food companies due to authorities lack of enforcement, or financially damage the rendering industry (the companies that produce ingredients listed above) – I am asking you as my state legal Representative to do two things. One – make certain that pet foods abide by both federal and state labeling laws; and two – (with respect to the financial stability of the pet food industry) require pet foods that contain an ingredient that is in violation of state/federal law to include a warning on the label – or ask authorities to fully enforce existing laws. Example warning label could state: ‘Warning. This pet food could contain ingredients that are in violation of federal and state law. Handle and store with care.’ The consumer warning should be required to be implemented immediately, and placed in a highly visible area on the pet food label.

Thank you for your time and consideration of pet food consumers.

(Your signature)