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FDA Admits Some Pet Food Sourced From Diseased Animals

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  1. Anthony Hepton

    Susan, As you are well aware, FDA/CVM has completely dismissed USDA/ APHIS published statement regarding the heat treatment of contaminated carcass material which states, ” The cooking step of the rendering process kills most bacteria, but does not eliminate endotoxins produced by some bacteria during the decay of carcass tissue. These toxins can cause disease, and pet food manufactures do not test their products for endotoxins.”
    FDA continues to regard the “Kill Step” as sufficient to make ALL products safe, but in our discussions with FDA they recognized that there were probably “outliers” that could be problematic, but that they were not in a position to do the research necessary to establish a tolerance for endotoxins.
    It is not the responsibility of FDA to produce a safe product, that responsibility clearly rests on the shoulders of the manufactures. However, it is the responsibility of FDA to enforce regulation that fall into their jurisdiction. Because there is clearly the possibility, or more likely the probability, that byproducts from rendered diseased animals are contaminated with toxins that can cause disease, FDA should be required to protect the public and their pets from ingredients that can cause disease. If this requires a law suit against FDA/CVM count me in.

  2. Carole

    If I fed dog food and read this, it would be the last time a bag or can would be in my house.
    What are we doing to our dogs, who provide so much to us all.

  3. Valerie

    an equal concern is the packaging materials left on spoiled grocery meats that are distilled into the stew of pet food ingredients. The plastic wrap, labeling, foam trays, etc. are left with the meat. What about these issues???

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      The rendering industry told us at an AAFCO meeting that all packaging is removed. Do I believe that? No. But that is what the industry claims. And FDA doesn’t really care about that either. They had no response when this was discussed (at AAFCO). During this same conversation was when Dr. Cathy Alinovi spoke out against this practice, and the room boo-ed her (industry).

  4. Peter

    It’s strange that FDA openly states that they will “consider regulatory action against canned pet food on the basis of use of decomposed animal tissues or use of tissues containing violative drug residues” when that is precisely what “material from diseased animals or animals which have died otherwise than by slaughter” is.

  5. Andrea

    “Consider” means they won’t do a damn thing! Cooking the hell out of diseased, decaying meat will not destroy dangerous toxins. It creates additional toxins. The FDA should know this. (Or rather, they do know, but don’t care.) Heck, we would get violently ill, some would even die from poisoning, if we were told it was safe for humans to overcook expired meat to make it ‘safe’. No different for our pets. Heck, it’s been mentioned in the news every now and then, especially in the summer, that bbq’d meat causes cancer. Cooking meat at high temperatures creates carcinogens.


    That’s great if the FDA is “letting it’s guard down”.

    However, if so, how long do we have to wait to see if “60 Minutes” gives it a 20 minute segment?

    That may open the eyes of millions of Americans who never read the label on their pet foods nor their own.

    1. Mandy B

      I would love to see a documentary about the pet food industry released on Netflix. The general public would be horrified.

      1. Cindy

        Great idea. Better yet on public channel “How It’s Made”.

  7. steve trapich

    Pedigree dog food Is that included in your list

  8. steve trapich

    There’s your statement include pedigree dog food

  9. Gitta

    I fear if the various “free trade agreements” become reality, all this may be a moot point. Any country with lower standards can and will bring a law suit against this government for hindering their pet food sales. Even future scientific results that might prove these ingredients to be highly toxic would not alter these trade agreements. We already have our first taste: as consumers we no longer have the right to know the country of origin of the meat we purchase for our meals.

  10. Anthony Hepton

    A review of the responsibilities of FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) shows they have an Office of Surveillance and Compliance, which is responsible for animal food safety. They have the primary responsibility for pet food safety and are charged with the responsibility of enforcing industry compliance with FFDCA, the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. This is their written mandate. They have failed miserably as they have openly said that they will choose which parts of FFCDA they will enforce when it comes to pet food. If we cannot depend on the regulators to enforce their own regulations which were promulgated to protect the public and their pets, we have no regulations, period.

  11. Lena

    And what about CHICKEN/TURKEY/DUCK MEAL?? Are they any different?

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      Any poultry meal (chicken/turkey/duck) is required through legal definition to be sourced from a slaughtered animal. That can come with risks too, but at least it is not allowed to be sourced from dead/non-slaughtered animals. Poultry by-products and by-product meal do not have the requirement to be sourced from a slaughtered animal – so by-products can be sourced from diseased animals.

      1. Lena

        Thanks for the clarification!

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