Weeks ago, shortly after the election, pet owners representing 22 different U.S. States sent letters or emails to their Representatives in Congress. Their letters provided proof the FDA, a government agency that is overseen by elected officials in Congress, is blatantly allowing Federal law to be violated. It seems Congress doesn’t care.
At the end of October, I sent out a plea to pet owners asking for their help. In a lengthy article, the blatant proof was provided that the FDA allows the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act – a set of laws designed to protect U.S. citizens and their pets – to be violated. Fifty-four concerned pet parents volunteered for letter writing duty. We waited for the elections to close, and we sent hopeful letters to our Representatives in Congress; hoping that someone would care about the existing conditions of pet food, hoping that an elected government official would care that Federal law is being violated.
As of the end of November, we have received only one reply; only a half hearted reply at that.
Senator Dianne Feinstein of California responded with the following email on Thursday November 20, 2008:
Dear Ms. Mahoney:
Thank you for writing to express your concerns about contaminated pet food. I appreciate hearing from you and welcome the opportunity to respond.
First, let me say that my heart goes out to all families who have lost a pet due to contaminated pet food. I believe that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) needs to reexamine its inspection and notification processes so that these situations are avoided in the future. On April 12, 2007, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies; of which I am a member, held a hearing on this issue. After investigating the sources of last year’s contaminated food, the FDA determined that the toxic ingredient came from wheat gluten in China. As a result, on February 6th, 2008, executives from two Chinese firms and an American company were indicted for their roles in importing pet food containing melamine- contaminated wheat gluten.
On May 2, 2007, Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) introduced the “Human and Pet Food Safety Act of 2007” (S. 1274), which would grant the Secretary of Health and Human Services authority to declare recalls and require additional certification and auditing for pet food. Specifically, the bill would establish stricter processing and ingredient standards, labeling standards, and an early warning system to prevent outbreaks of contaminated food. S. 1274 has been referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. Although I am not a member of this committee, I will keep your thoughts in mind should this bill come before the full Senate.
As you may know, portions of S. 1274 requiring the FDA to gather information and notify the public of recalls were included in the Food and Drug Administration Revitalization Act, which was signed into law on September 27, 2007. I suggest visiting the FDA’s pet food recall website if you have further concerns about the food you are giving your pet. The site can be found at http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/petfoodrecall.
Again, thank you for writing. I hope you will continue to keep in touch on matters of importance to you. Should you have any further questions or comments, please feel free to contact my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 224-3841.
United States Senator
Further information about my position on issues of concern to California and the Nation are available at my website http://feinstein.senate.gov/public/. You can also receive electronic e-mail updates by subscribing to my e-mail list at http://feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=ENewsletterSignup.Signup.
Senator Feinstein did NOT even read her constituents email. She did NOT address one issue that was mentioned in the letter. Senator Feinstein responded, unlike any other member of Congress, but her response was simply canned, uncaring, and ignorant of the information that was provided her.
There are countless issues that need to be addressed by Congress and by our President elect. However, ignorance of the law, even if it ‘only’ relates to pet foods, should be considered an important issue. Ignorance of the law does not provide any criminal with a viable defense, nor should it the FDA and Congress.
Senator Feinstein, and the countless other members of Congress who didn’t even bother to respond, your jobs are to protect the rights of U.S. citizens. The FDA is violating Federal law, do something about it!
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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
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