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Day 2 AAFCO Meetings Thanks and Their True Feelings

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  1. Marie

    OMG! Susan, thank you so much for sharing your notes! Thank all of you for going in force! I am astonished, yet not surprised, that industry can get away with this! The abuse of Dr. Cathy? What can we do? It’s not like the world will boycott food. Those of us who know can make our own food, but we aren’t enough to drive them out of business. You are a real fighter! I’m beyond words at industry laughter over our concerns. Calling plastic nutrition is nothing short of absurd. Be it children drinking milk from these cows or our animal children, they are playing with our hearts!!! Have they never met an angry mama bear?!! That’s who we are, those of us who feed beloved animals, and they do not want to piss us off! Yet my anger is stifled by a sense of helplessness. I am outraged at the behavior of industry – it’s nothing short of evil. I can only pray that their greed catches up with them sooner rather than later. Perhaps if they ate and drank what the cows eat, or they could just eat from the dumpster. How do we win against this mindset?! More signatures? What can I do to help?

  2. Tracy Dion

    Their behavior is simply insane! I listened to all of the Pet Food meeting and part of the Ingredients session. I missed this part but industry representative behavior was sarcastic and rude throughout. I was surprised and dismayed at the complete lack of professionalism I heard.

    Such nonsense has got to stop! They are completely disconnected from any conception whatever of the consequences of their practices. 🙁

  3. Jean Hofve DVM

    Susan, you ARE very funny… but the competition was fierce: Dr. Karen is an all-out HOOT!! Of course, given the odds and the money and the massive machine we are up against, we all *have* to maintain a good sense of humor, for our own sanity!

    This was the most amazing collection of passionate, intense, high-powered advocates for healthy, ethical pet food ever assembled in one place … big, big kudos and blessings to you for all the work you did to coordinate this amazing group!

    1. Mollie Morrissette

      I know, that Karen is somethin’ else! She is dynamite. I thought I was the Queen of Drama but she stole my crown. I cannot compete with a mega star like Karen. She is a force of nature. All I could do was sit back in awe.

      It gets so intense at these meetings that after we deflate – we relax and have fun. We were laughing so hard we were cryin’! Tears were streaming down our cheeks.

      But the topping on the cake was when Karen showed off her extraordinary flexibility – and that is all I’m going to say…

  4. Mollie Morrissette

    I felt your presence at the meeting, along with enormous weight of the responsibility we have as consumer advocates have. At the table with me were millions of pet parents, and their dogs and cats, birds and pocket pets. I also felt the presence of every pet sitting with us in spirit that has been harmed by contaminated food.

    But, that crushing weight of the responsibility we bear, was made that much lighter with new advocates at AAFCO.

    Thanks Susan, Cathy, Rodney, Karen, Nina, Roxanne, and of course, Dr. Jean – my wonderful host in Denver! I love you all!

    Mollie

    1. Yvonne McGehee

      Well said Mollie, I am sure remembering all the pets who have been harmed or died gave you great motivation.

  5. Christine Sauer

    Thank you so much for posting and sharing your experiences at this meeting. I am so impressed that so many amazing people ( don’t know them but from what I have seen about them online) who are quality pet food advocates were in attendance and vocal!! The behavior or booing Dr. Alinovi is shocking, so unprofessional and sad really. I appreciate all that you do on behalf of our companion animals!!

  6. Bonnie Patrick

    When I tried to copy to Facebook, the photo is upside down. Thank you for your hard work. This is frightening.

    Bonnie Patrick, LCSW

  7. Nina Wolf

    We were all honored to be there, and honestly, it seemed like a compliment to have that room think of us as ridiculous. There is hope, there is a great deal of potential power in the making, and regulatory/standardization companies, to say nothing of manufacturers, should see the writing on the wall: Here we come. Bring it.

  8. Marie

    Susan, I already posted a comment but had an idea! Can we get enough signatures (YES WE CAN!) to create a bill so federal law gives these guys a proper code of conduct? I don’t mean just being decent in meetings; I mean caring! And if we can’t make them care, we can sure make it a law so they’ll have consequences.
    I thought of this because a federal judge just reversed the ruling making it a crime for whistleblowers to report farm animal abuse. Now farm animal abuse can be reported by individuals/groups who witness it, and that’s a win! State laws will have to abide by federal law. There’s the global outrage over Cecil the lion that’s now causing a newfound awareness of trophy hunting. One airline, at least, is refusing to allow trophy hunters to carry their “prize” on the planes. There is hope with growing awareness. Can we get the law-making process started? I believe we just need enough signatures! God bless you and all of the wonderful consumer advocates. Our beloved animals and we love and appreciate you!

  9. Gitta

    In a way I’m glad these industry reps acted like primitive, low class, ignorant street thugs and baffoons. The polished veneer came off.

    Knowing they were fully exposed, having not a hint of reasonable counter argument they only had one thing left in their arsenal: virtual feces to sling.

    Does it really take a rocket scientist to conclude that eating massive amounts of plastics is not nutritious?

    And where are the groups claiming to be the watchdogs for human food? Do they not care that humans at the top of the food chain will end up eating a cocktail of cooked plastics? Is nobody concerned with all those chemicals ending up in manure and from there on fields and in streams?

    1. Yvonne McGehee

      I don’t think they do care; they seem to care about short-term profits rather than long-term good for all creatures and the planet. Thus, we have so little response to and so much denial of global warming.

  10. Diana Farrar

    If at all possible, I will join you in January. Please let me know when/where and I will move mountains to be there. And I’ll try to bring as many of my industry friends as I can. It simply has to stop.

      1. Marie

        Hi Susan and everyone,
        I’ve been out of the loop due to health problems, but during that time I’ve been giving all of this some serious thought. Clearly the AAFCO does not care; that’s a given. We can fight year after year and try to make them do their job, a David and Goliath scenario in which we expend all our energies and resources while they sit and laugh. OR, we can give them enough rope to hang themselves. Their behavior at the meeting is that rope.

        I firmly believe that if the previously mentioned recording be made with the echo pen (or any hidden device), preferably by a consumer so as not to impede advocates from future attendance, and that information is leaked, it will go viral!! Public outrage will be their hanging. They will be forced to change their ways and do their job, so we don’t have to do it for them. They’re being paid to do a job they aren’t doing, and we all agree it is unacceptable. I feel this is the only way to truly raise some hell and create some radical change. Record them and leak it. The scandal will awaken far more people than the relatively few who even know what’s going on with pet food and the failure of, and mockery from, the AAFCO.

    1. Marie

      Can consumers come? What if we showed up en masse? How about hundreds of us there? Love the virtual feces flinging insight!!! They are pretty pathetic.

      1. Susan Thixton Author

        Yes – consumers can come. But I warn you – it is expensive. $450 to attend the meetings and this past meeting hotel room was $163.00 a night.

        1. Marie

          Thanks Susan! As I think of it and the expenses, it might be more worthwhile to fund tests, etc., you guys, in other words. You may have noticed I can be a bit of a hot head over this stuff (from a few emails I shared w/you sent to Purina), and I’d be no different there. I’m incorrigible. Not a problem getting in industry face for rudeness and may not be as helpful as I’d like. But again, if I’m not “associated” with a group of advocates, maybe I can get away with more. If enough consumers showed up, it would be super difficult to find out who recorded the next meeting. Let us know what you guys think – more consumers the better? Or fund the testing another commenter requested, as I know that’s quite costly in itself. It seems we are currently the only ones regulating pet food, and that’s overwhelming. I’m so weary of govt. that disregards animals! I imagine too that there are time restraints wherein each consumer would not have the opportunity to speak? I would speak up! Had I been there, from what you describe, I would not have behaved at all, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I’m good at speaking and writing – communication – and not at all afraid to speak what’s in my heart and move people while I’m at it. These guys seem heartless though – perhaps unmovable by such approaches.

          1. Christine

            Please do keep soliciting people for donations for testing Susan! Real data is what I think has the best chance of showing people and regulators what the real picture is.

            Laughing and booing? It’s scandalous. Ridiculous. Depressing. Where else in a business setting would this ever ever happen?

          2. Marie

            Boy, I’m not sure who to solicit for testing. I just took my site down – no traffic anyway. But I’ll sure keep telling people about this crucial work! BTW, had surgery yesterday so not commenting/reading new stuff is temporary – little out of it. If anyone has ideas to raise money for this testing, please let me know. It seems tax dollars should be paying to overhaul AAFCO since it’s their job… if only we could trust them, but we can’t.

  11. Barbara Fellnermayr

    What recipe are they following when they don’t know what is in the ingredients? They don’t know what or is not in the concoction they are buying from the rendering plant?

    1. Marie

      They probably know. They don’t care.

  12. Dianne

    To say that I am incensed is putting it mildly. It is election time in Canada and the states. Could be an opportunity to get politicians on side. Especially if put in terms of human health.

    I would like to know by what mechanism feeding livestock garbage helps feed starving children. What exactly are they doing to feed starving children?

    The FDA needs to see this in terms of human health. Science has already determined that our food is not as nutritious as it used to be. Could feeding plastic be part of the problem?

    Are they actually feeding the plastic at this time, or are they trying to get permission to do so? Could plastic be the next melamine?

    Also, it isn’t completely clear that Honest Kitchen, Bravo, Answers, Primal, and Darwins are good guys or not.

  13. D.L.Ainsworth

    Susan, you and your team members are on the front line standing firm on behalf of our pets (and now, it seems, drinkers of cow’s milk!) Poise and courage under such abusive treatment is truly admirable.

    Those of us who subscribe to your list of acceptable pet foods, your news letter, and Petsumer Report are behind the front line spreading the word! I preach to any one who crosses my path on the importance of being educated about all of the issues you have taken on. Whether they want to or not, these people now know about pet feed vs pet food. I urge them to get your list and spend the money to provide good food for their pets and avoid the costly vet bills, or the devastation of a terminally ill pet later. And equally as important, to support the businesses providing high quality pet food.

    My two cats have been on Primal rqw nuggets since your list came out in January and their fur is silky smooth. They are the happiest, healthiest cats we could hope for. When the vet asked what type of food they eat I not only answered her question, I explained why. Vets also need more education about the evils of the pet food (feed) industry!

    Please know that when you are standing before the morons making decisions and deceiving consumers about the food available to our pets, there is an army behind you trying to make a difference one person at a time.

    My very best,
    D.L. Ainsworth

  14. Cheryl Mallon-Bond

    It is just UNBELIEVABLE! to me how just when you think it couldn’t get any worse with food ingredient’s it does! OMG!!! these MORON’S have themselves believing their own lies that melted down plastic is OK! for cows to eat, & then in turn children & adults! One more reason to eat Organic only! For them to trybto twist things around by saying “they are trying to feed a starving world”, is just complete NONSENSE! REALLY!? they are shopping this food around the world to needy starving people!?….I think NOT!!! They are selling this food on the shelves of every supermarket where unsuspecting people are spending their hard earned dollars on! “They” are not giving away food to starving needy people! For these “adults”, (& I use that term loosely!) to behave literally like 6th grader’s, laughing & booing! is so shocking!!! I wonder what would have happened if either one of the pet food advocates piped in…” excuse me children!, please contain yourselves & stop with Tue innapropriate outbursts! or you will find yourselves in detention after class! I mean REALLY! They we’re totally action like children!!!! I cannot believe this is acceptable behavior in a professional environment! Someone should leak the audio of these meetings on the internet & embarrass these people! It is beyond unbelievable their behavior!!!!!!!

    1. Dianne

      You should watch how Canadian politicians behave. Just as dismal.

    2. Marie

      Yes to leaking the audio!!! Next time, echo pen. Who says we have to follow their rules if we can expose them with their own behavior?

  15. Pacific Sun

    Folks, we can sit at our keyboards all day and let these brave warriors speak on behalf. Or we can get involved!

    We need to FUND an effort to reveal (in the form of a You Tube documentary) what happens to Grocery Store food waste!!!

    This is a very well kept deep dark secret that most of us never think about, right. We already know meat headed for the rendering plant isn’t stripped of packaging. And that packaging is pretty ugly! If yogurt is not then no dairy products would be either. There are gallons of milk, containers of cottage cheese, plastic packages of cheese, and all of it? In fact 50% of grocery food is involved with plastics! What about bread & related products and frozen foods.

    If this stuff isn’t permitted in landfill, and if there is some redemption value to it, then what the devil happens to ALL of it? If it’s going back into livestock feed then how putrid can it become before it is no longer acceptable? Think of the HUGE box store chains and warehouse distributors, with crates of produce! While there could be relative nutritional value available, the presence of PLASTIC and artificial packaging and its rotting status – absolutely cancels the benefits, and could be damaging to health! Are there health studies? Does this stuff NEED to be tested, regulated, monitored? Surely there must be a way to strip food from packaging. Producers can shell walnuts even sunflower seeds! Is it rocket science to get the cellophane out of FOOD!?

    So the way to catch consumer’s interest is FIRST to focus on the harm of ingesting plastics (especially on children and pregnant women) and the accompanying story would follow about the UNREGULATED dump into pet food and the health effect on pets. No wonder some pets become deathly ill on certain PF.

    Let’s raise the money, do the expose, and get the signatures to propose the legislation!

    We have the power of social media as a tool and the passion to protect our pets at stake!

    1. Marie

      I’m in!

  16. Becky Allums

    Thank you so very much for standing up for us and our pets. I know I’m not the only pet parent who wishes they could be there and at least show how many of us there really are that are concerned about what goes into our pet’s food! It was lovely to see the picture of all the “heavy hitters” who are there speaking for us. Again, thank you so very, very much for all you do!

  17. Sharon

    Hi Susan, this is SO infuriating!
    Hey is there any way you’d be willing to repost this story on Facebook but without the part that introduces all the pet food advocates? I’d love to share this, but in our “2-second-sound-bite-world” it would be a lot easier if I didn’t have to direct people to skip halfway down the article to get to the “meat” (excuse the pun) of the story. A descriptive title like, “Industry rep says plastics and spoiled food okay for nation’s animal feed” –would make a good headline! 😉

    By the way, would this grocery garbage also include Styrofoam meat trays and plastic wrap? It sure would be interesting to have animal feeds tested to see what’s in them! A great big thank you to you and all the pet advocates standing up for our pets at the AAFCO meeting this week!

    1. Cheryl Mallon-Bond

      A descriptive title like…., “Industry rep says plastics and spoiled food okay for nation’s animal feed”

      Hey Sharon, A very good suggestion! May I suggest adding to your above title…after the animal feed part…& for our children to consume! I say this, because if some people aren’t emotionally moved, or do not really understand what exactly animal feed is…they sure will be more emotionally connected to what will affect their children.

      I also do agree about testing animal feed to see what EXACTLY is in it! I am SURE that there is Styrofoam & plastic in the animal feed. If all spoiled meats are shipped for animal feed, (which are always packaged in Styrofoam w/ a plastic wrap) then there is a toxic brew of MANY chemicals in what animal feed is….& if this is uncovered…it might blow the lid off of things! especially if the emotional trigger is people’s kids in turn eating animal meat that has been fed this toxic chemical brew!

      1. Marie

        Yes to the descriptive title that includes children! And yes to defining animal feed – many will think cattle feed when it’s also found in our pet foods! 😮 Agreed too that while companion animals may not be “important” enough to some people (not us!), children will most definitely get everyone’s attention! But I know that it’s the pet food we care about here, as well as the food fed to food animals. It does end up in us too. It’s like people finally took animal abuse seriously when they realized animal abusers grow up to become human abusers. It took people abuse for anyone to care about animal abuse, while many of us always cared simply about animal abuse; it was enough for us!

        These tests are a great idea! But how do we pay for them? There are a ton of foods to be tested, and it costs money to do these tests. LOVE the idea of leaking the next meeting on the internet! And while a recording may well be prohibited in these meetings, while it would not hold up in a court of law, it would most certainly blow the lid off these idiots in industry. They would be nakedly exposed. I doubt they’d have time or focus to try to find out who recorded them – let ’em prove it. They can’t.

    2. Mollie Morrissette

      No, they insist that the packaging is mechanically separated from bakery goods. Now, whether it happens with the rest of the garbage, no one can be certain.

      Although they assured us no one would buy a contaminated product. For example, if it were contaminated with plastics they would be in violation of the law because, as they explained, the feed would contaminate their animals as well and the products they made with them or from them.

      Specifically, Title 21 Part 110 of the Code of Federal Regulations states that “Effective measures shall be taken to protect against the inclusion of metal or other extraneous material in food.”

      Extrinsic material is material not normally found in food, such as metal, plastic, glass or metal.

      Certainly, no one is advocating for the elimination of human food waste as a viable source of recycled food for livestock, provided it is handled safely in the supply chain, refrigerated, and separated from it’s original packaging.

      One of the people at the meeting told us it was WalMart that has the largest of food waste processing system of expired foods in the US, implemented in an estimated 30-50 states. I did a report about it a long time ago on Poisoned Pets. It was called their “Zero Waste” program, which, as I remember, was deeply flawed.

      WalMart asked me to take the article down, because it was so damning. And at the time, I was afraid of being sued, so I took it down. However, today I would acquiesce to their demands.

      1. Marie

        You mean today you would NOT acquiesce to WalMart’s demands? I think that’s what you meant… do you still have the article? WalMart almost went under over the gay marriage issue, and public pressure made them back down. These giants are nothing under sufficient public scrutiny and outrage. I’d post that article again! You could even do it as an anonymous leak on Facebook or just anywhere on the internet – could spread like wildfire! We need to create just such an energy on this subject – word that outrages and spreads like wildfire. Nobody likes being laughed at and put down – just makes us madder, and these corporate jerks are too dumb to realize they’ve just awakened a bigger beast! Before we were concerned; now we’re rallying and angry! And while they claim this and that, there is still no caring, attentive agency to monitor pet foods. It has to be us, the consumers, letting all consumers know!

        1. Mollie Morrissette

          Yes, that is what I meant. Today, I have no fear. None.

          I did go back to find the article in WordPress, but I suspect I have a copy of it in my documents on my laptop.

          Of course I will need to verify if it is still accurate. But, since it came up at the meeting I already had plans to post it again on Poisoned Pets.

          What was so outrageous, is that expired meat was going to poor zoos and being fed to all the big cats – I have video of it.

          A national zoo association (can’t recall the name) was mortified and contacted me for verification. I said yes, it’s all true.

          Walmart outsources their expired meat to a third party who distributes it to zoos and other facilities that cannot afford (or are too cheap) to buy the incredible amount of raw meat they need to feed the big cats.

          I wanted to cry. No, I did cry.

          I’ll dig it up and re-post it.

          1. Marie

            Mollie, you are awesome and fearless!! I applaud you! 🙂 We have such an awesome and fearless group! I applaud you all. God bless you! We will take these jerks down! Publish that baby!

          2. Marie

            PS: A thought – I believe wild cats like lions do eat carrion in that they will bury their prey to eat again in a few days. Does this diminish the spoiled meat fed to zoo animal issue?

  18. Cora VandeKar

    I’m astounded but yet not surprised!
    To hear it put out there as a normal occurance “to feed the hungry children”.. Ugghh Not for long we WILL have “China” food on the table but produced and packaged on our owl soil! (Resting my forehead in my hands).. It doesn’t take long to accomplish. Keep recycling the garbage into our animals and these animals end up as garbage recycled to animals and so forth..
    Thank you all for standing up.

  19. Hannie

    Why does this sound like a good-old-boy club? Like a bunch of young men who haven’t grown up yet sitting around drinking & hissing & booing (or whistling at the women who walk by). This is so juvenile & crude but for some reason, I am not surprised…….& it shows by what’s on the shelves these days calling itself dog or cat food.

  20. Marie

    Yes! They are currently and have long been feeding this plastic (and more) to food animals and to our pets. Google Jerry’s Story/Rendering Plants, and Mollie’s site (Poisoned Pets) has the low down. We know that Answers and Honest Kitchen are good guys. Join Petsumer Reports to see about the others. It’s the best education one can get for a mere $18. for a year, and it supports Susan’s work.

  21. Ron W

    I would suggest that at the next meeting the AAFCO and FDA be invited to and served a meal of the very ingredients the are forcing on the public.

    1. Marie

      I agree! There’s an organization called We the People where we could start a petition. It’s at
      https://petitions.whitehouse.gov If we can get enough signatures, that would bring it to legislation. And while the FDA doesn’t feel we have the right to know what’s in human food, it’s likely to be tough to create enough ruckus so AAFCO addresses what’s in pet food. I almost started a petition about federal enforcement of spay/neuter laws but need to ponder the wording before I do. So it’s another avenue. Still love the use of social media as our best first action. What about the headline, “AAFCO laughs at consumer advocates for safe pet food” or “AAFCO derides public concerns.” There’s a perfect headline out there! Also there’s http://www.takepart.com/world – another place to get information out there. I sign some of their petitions, and they also provide great information. We could have our information there too!

  22. Myra W

    What an amazing force of people to advocate on behalf of our pets! Thank you so much for the work you all do. I live outside of Boulder, CO and wish I could have attended the meeting and met you. I am so inspired by the work you do and appreciate your advocacy. Step by step, the industry will change for the better. Please keep up your work!

    1. Marie

      I do too – would have loved to there, but I doubt I would have held my self control as this wonderful group of advocates did. I can see me climbing over the desks to strangle the industry idiots. I’m in Loveland, CO! What about us connecting/raising awareness by state? SO full of ideas!

  23. Terri Janson

    Thanks Susan for the update! I wonder how they would like to eat that plastic? It’s unblieveable to me that they think it’s ok. But then again….our government thinks GMO’s are safe as well. 🙁

    Thank you for fighting for our beloved furkids! You are really special. 🙂

  24. I've Got the 'Scoop'!

    Oh, how I wish I had the qualifications to stand with all of you in the photo and attend!!! Thank you for representing us… and not being intimidated!!! I LOVE the idea of an audio leak, but wouldn’t that get consumer advocates banned? They didn’t even want Susan just to be allowed to attend from what I remember reading last year… and didn’t they make her move her seat???

    1. Marie

      Ah! Good point! If this leak were carefully considered and went viral, maybe no one would have to go to these meetings anymore! But we definitely have to protect the right for our advocates to go! I’m sure there’s a way.

    2. Cheryl Mallon-Bond

      As far a leaking the audio……Susan had stated that we could ALL listen in on the AAFCO meetings, so if it is made open to the public, than it is public domain & I would assume be posted in other avenues of social media. I would love for them to be HUMILIATED by their childish, 6th grade behavior, laughing & booing! Little boys in men’s bodies! So truly SAD &PATHETIC!!!!!!

      1. Marie

        Excellent point!!! 🙂

  25. Maggie

    Wow! These AAFCO reps are like hyaenas from hell
    laughing at the angels. It is so distressing that such
    evil has power over the food supply. They are as evil as
    Montsanto. Thank you, all of you, for standing up
    against this force. More reason to make your own
    cat food and to eat organic. Gheck!

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