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Death by Dog Food: A Critical Examination of Pet Food Regulation in the United States


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  1. Mirsades McIver

    What an excellent paper this law student wrote, thank you Susan for posting this. It should be made to go viral on the internet and raise such an uproar that the FDA will have to listen to us consumers. Maybe a call to impeach/remove or whatever you want to call it, everyone in the FDA and bring in all new people that know how to obey the law is in order. If we break laws, we go to jail. I think there are some people in the FDA that belong there. Murder is murder, whether by gun, knife, car, etc. or FOOD period !!!

  2. Pet Owner

    Who’s permission do we need to forward the Law Student’s Paper and accompanying TAPF comments?

    Emailing is free!

    This should be sent to every FDA Rep and Lawmaker for whom we can determine an address.

    How can we begin?

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      This post and the law student paper is public information. You can email it to anyone and everyone you like. Just a thought – for people who want to read the full paper, you might want to download a copy. It would not surprise me one bit if Big Pet Food forces them to remove it. They have been known to do those things in the past.

      1. Bowser

        Thanks for the heads-up about saving it in PDF format!! 🙂

  3. Sharon Oh

    Susan – this was great – since I’m still trying to obtain documented information for my vet . . . I’m on this like a dog on a bone! I downloaded the paper and did a little searching on the author – and given that the public at large usually has somewhat of a negative perception of attorney’s she does seem to have some positive virtues. Ms. Fretwell is licensed to practice law in California and before the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. She attended California Western School of Law and graduated summa cum laude. Ms. Fretwell received many honors while in law school, including obtaining the highest grade in class for Property II, Legal Skills II, Constitutional Law I, Trust & Estates, Federal Income Tax, Sports Law, and STEPPS (Skills Training for Ethical and Preventive Practice and career Satisfaction). She also served as a senior editor for the California Western Law Review/International Law Journal and was a member of the Public Service Honors Society, the Sports and Entertainment Law Society, and the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund.

    In 2013, Ms. Fretwell won First Place in the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Animals and the Law student writing competition with her article entitled Death by Dog Food: A Critical Examination of Pet Food Regulation in the United States. She was also honored with the National Order of Scribes Award in 2014 by the American Society of Legal Writers. Ms. Fretwell’s publications include Shutting Down the Pharmacy on Wheels: Will Lance Armstrong’s Admission Impact the Practice of Doping in Professional Cycling?, 4 PACE. INTELL. PROP. SPORTS & ENT. L.F. 177 (2014).

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      Thanks for this added information!

  4. Jude

    Never underestimate the power of money.
    Never estimate the power of good people standing up for what is right.

    1. Sherrie Ashenbremer

      Good points Jude, I believe people have to stick together. Power in standing together

  5. Dianne & pets

    I downloaded a copy. It occurred to me that the two images above would make great postcards to mail to different people, such as the president, the presidential candidates, the American embassy (if you are not American), leave in vet offices. Can they be re-made as postcards with the logo on the back instead of the front? Also the link to the paper, the blurb about it being a prize winning paper and the link to the compliance policy. There could even be a good selection of images of pets who have died from contaminated food with their cause of death and date. If you don’t want to do it yourself but like the idea, if you send me the image files, I could try to work something out. Perhaps some others would like to attempt it as well.

    By the way, I finally bought your cook-book. If I am not mistaken, some of them could be made up as a meal for the whole family.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      That is an excellent idea – thank you so much! I will look into that – I believe there is a service that will do that including print and mail them. I’ll look for something. They could be mailed to each person’s State Department of Agriculture and FDA.

    2. Jane

      When I saw the pictures in the article, a similar thought occurred to me, that whenever we email our legislators, including pictures would be of great value. “A picture is worth a thousand words,” rings so true when trying to get a message to someone quickly, especially considering all the issues our political representatives and staff have to deal with. Even sending pictures of the “yucky stuff” might help. Of course too much hype often leads people to believe the sender is just an angry crank, but using images judiciously quickly draws emotion and attention.

  6. Dianne & pets

    I was thinking of something we could print ourselves and add a personal message to. In Canada mailing to politicians is free, just not to their constituency office.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      I understand. If you want to do it yourself, feel free to copy the text or the entire image. That is not an issue for me.

  7. Jane Anderson

    One time when I was considering using a new (for me) dog food I was quizzing them as it was alleged their food was packed by Evangers. Well their canner was “proprietary” because if everyone knew who their canner was then everyone else would rush to get them too and there wouldn’t be any room for them. I was really quizzing them and said that Farmina was made in Italy (which is good). He said very proudly “ours is made in the US”. That is nothing to brag about. I hope you are reading this, Buttercup. And no, I did not use your dog food for my babies.

  8. Gigi Kossmann

    Hi Susan, I would like to make copies of the images and send to my politicians and also include on my social media and as part of my email signature.

  9. Kim

    The pet food manufacturers andmostvets want us to believe that feeding table scraps to our animals or creating a raw diet for them at home is detrimental to the pet’s health, but their products are fine.

    No more kibble in my house! No more processed pet food or treats either! All raw, all the time or home made jerk and freeze dried.

    Glad to see a legal view on this horrible poison trade!

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