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FDA pulled the Rug Out From Under Pet Food Consumers

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  1. Peter

    If states are left to individually determine the “food” vs. “feed” terminology, that would seem to contradict interstate commerce law, since most of the products would be shipped across state lines, and individual states might then implement regulations interfering with shipment of goods into their respective states (if a product didn’t comply). Likewise, if federal regulators stepped in, and forbid states to implement such safeguards, it would interfere with the individual state to make laws and protect its citizens.

    I agree with your analysis: that “big pet food” does not want the terms “human grade” and “feed grade” to enter the lexicon of pet food manufacture. Consumer knowledge of what these terms mean would be harmful to the industry.

  2. Laura

    Didn’t FDA at an AAFCO meeting originally tell you, because it’s not feasible to thoroughly regulate every pet food on the market, that you could do something like the Non-GMO project? I’m pretty sure it was them. It doesn’t make sense then why they would give you that idea and then snatch it away a few months later.

    1. Laura

      Project*

    2. Susan Thixton Author

      They are who suggested for us to do the verification project (FDA) – but in March they told me no. Knowing how ‘the system’ works, we have to obtain FDA approval first because the states (State Department of Agriculture) would not allow us to put a seal on product labels informing consumers the quality of ingredients (and country of origin of ingredients) have been verified. It would do consumers no good to have a pet food go through the verification process and then officials not let us tell the consumer. The Non GMO Project folks told me they had to battle a bit at first (legal battles) to get States to allow their seal on human foods too. But we don’t have funding to hire lawyers to fight them – and the fight could take place in each state (probably would). This is why I went to FDA for their approval – if FDA said ok, the states would all be ok with the seal. But FDA said no.

      1. Trouble

        Susan, I am curious to know (if only just so I know, in case I hit the lottery! Haha…), about how much would it cost for these legal battles, to get the FDA to allow states to put their seal of approval on pet foods, to say whether they use human grade ingredients or not?

        How much would it cost to fight the FDA to have an overall seal of approval (similar to what they just removed), that every state uses? I guess it’s similar in the sense that the approval would encompass all states, but instead of it being through the FDA, it would be at the state level. Meaning, the approval that the FDA gave, each state just takes it as their own, and gives the approval (or doesn’t, if the food isn’t made with human grade ingredients). I am sure the states would not want to fight on this – especially if they see that it’s being done in every state (and hopefully we’d be winning….). I am sure they’d rather go along with it, than deal with the hassle of money lost, time lost, and to them, the irritation of it all, when they could just say, “Yeah, if you already have this program all laid out for us, we’ll do it.”

        Why couldn’t the states do just that? They wouldn’t really have to do anything – I’d assume it’d be one more task for that state government worker within the Department of Agriculture, but it’s a lot less work than each state coming up with their own plan of how to approve or disapprove each pet food for human grade ingredients.

        So yeah, my question is simply about the costs of fighting whoever it is we’d have to fight (the FDA, right?), to allow each state to give their approval, or fight for them to put back in place what they so swiftly and devilishly stole away from us….

        1. Susan Thixton Author

          The legal battle would be with each state – State Department of Agriculture. If we did a 3rd party inspection program (through our consumer association and similar to the Non-GMO Project) to verify human grade ingredients and country of origin of ingredients, pet foods that have successfully completed verification would be provided a ‘seal’ that tells consumers this pet food has been verified to be all human grade ingredients. It is that seal on the pet food labels that each State Department of Agriculture will argue about – and not allow on the label. So we’d have a legal battle with each state. I knew the states would fight this (also Non-GMO Project people told me they had to fight for it) so I tried to get the FDA to sort of give their approval of our 3rd party inspection program with hopes if they give a ‘ok’ to the program we wouldn’t have the legal battle with the states. The Non-GMO Project people told me the legal battle is pretty simple – at least there’s was. For them, there was no existing laws that provided consumers with GMO information on food – so the court said yes, their verification system and seal on foods approved was legal. Our battle would be similar – especially now that FDA has backed out of the verification. As for the cost, I really don’t know.

          1. Trouble

            It’s good to know that, hopefully, it would be simple, since there are no laws in place about this.

            So, I guess my biggest question at this point is this: What can we do, as consumers? Since this information wasn’t intended to get out until August… Are the pet food companies still supposed to follow this regulation/law, for this “seal of approval”? I guess I mean to ask.. Is the regulation still in place until August comes around, when they were going to announce it? Or, is it actually gone now, even though it won’t be officially announced until August?

            If we call pet food companies now and ask if they have the FDA’s seal of approval on this, will they still give an honest answer? Or even the companies that do have it, will they tell us that this approval from the FDA no longer means anything, essentially? I guess I want to know, because if the window of time to call pet food companies and see who has the approval or not, is from now until August.. then I want to get a jump on that, before everything changes completely.

          2. Susan Thixton Author

            The information I was provided is that the FDA’s program is already over – they are no longer verifying human grade ingredient claims. I don’t have a clue what this means for the future – it could be disastrous (for consumers). You can call a company and ask if they have FDA’s Letter of No Objection (have been through the FDA verification process) – but only companies that have done this already will have it. The future is what is in question.

  3. Elizabeth

    I’m happy to help; just let me know what to. The FDA pulling this crap is total BS. But somehow, I’m not surprised.

  4. Jude from Maine

    Is it okay to forward this email to friends who are concerned about what their dogs are eating?

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      Yes – please do.

  5. Dianna

    I think you might be onto something, Peter, with the interstate commerce laws. What do you think, Susan? Could we use that as part of the battle plan?

    The FDA proves itself once again for the crony and sly-handed organization they truly are.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      Right now – with pet food/animal feed – each state regulation is different. Some pet foods actually have to make different bags/labels for specific states because their regulations are different than other states. The regulatory system of pet food is an absolute mess. I’m not sure this will work, but I will look into it.

      1. Trouble

        Do you know where we go about finding our states regulations on pet food? I’ve been through Michigan’s state laws/regulations, etc. on their website before, but I don’t recall ever really seeing anything about pet food/pet feed. Granted, I wasn’t specifically looking for that at the time, but anything relating to pet food is something my eye is always open for, and I never recall seeing anything about it, or even any sections for it.

        Do you know, roughly, where it might be listed under, so I can start a search?

        I’m also wondering… Would making this news bigger, trying to get it to the eyes and ears of people anywhere/everywhere, make a difference at all? If we’re able to shine a light on the FDA and what they’re doing behind consumer’s backs… Could it help any?

        1. Susan Thixton Author

          It is actually very difficult to find each states laws on pet food. You’ll search their Department of Agriculture website (most states – some like California pet food regulation falls under Department of Health, Nevada has nothing) for “feed regulation”. Pet food is governed under feed law. You can start on the AAFCO website – this page: http://www.aafco.org/Regulatory – find your state and ask the state feed official listed for the link to your state’s regulations.

          1. Trouble

            Would it be beneficial in any way, you think, to also inquire about what the state may have, or will have in place, regarding this “seal of approval” for pet food? Would it do any good to link this page in the E-mail, for the feed official for my state to see it? So that she knows exactly what I’m asking about? I’d assume the states are already aware of this change, but… I certainly don’t want anyone feigning ignorance on this. I’m sure they have absolutely nothing in place, and no plan of action for it either… I’m wondering if there’s any way to light a fire under their seats, any way to push for any type of…progress, I guess, on this.

            I don’t know. 🙁 I’m just devastated that this is a HUGE step backwards… And gives us even less ability to know that what we’re feeding our pets is safe. I hate working in the pet industry when I feel like I can’t even safely recommend something to someone and feel confident that what I’m recommending is safe….

  6. suzanne

    Appreciate all you do for our pets. I am happy to help with whatever is necessary.
    Thanks

  7. Jude from Maine

    Do you think that a petition through the Care website could help?

    Why should the FDA care about pet food when they don’t care about what people eat? I think GMO-free labeling has finally gained permission to add such to food. After seeing poignant videos about factory farming, I feel sick just thinking about eating any flesh, yet I do feed it to our dogs.

    I will do anything that I can to help.

    1. Cheryl Mallon-Bond

      This information is BEYOND INFURIATING!!!! Once again confirming that the FDA is NOTHING BUT CRONIES FOR THE BIG CORPORATION’S THAT ARE TRYING TO POISON US ALL!!!! PEOPLE & ANIMAL’S. I 100% agree! That a petition on Care2 needs to be started by Susan and forwarded to as many ppl as possible!!!!! These petitions need to be networked also to animal rescue sites, such as “Long Island Animal Alliance” on their email & FB page, VAS “Vaccine Associated Sarcoma” support group (A Yahoo group), as well as Tue many many other groups/organization’s here in the USA. This is beyond reeking of foul-play!!!!! What has transpired & we will NOT STAND FOR IT!!!!!! This is big time PAY-OFF FROM BIG PET FOOD MANUFACTURER’S! & IF THEY ARE SO STUPID TO THINK WE ARE NOT IN ON IT!, THEN THEY ARE SADLY MISTAKEN!!!!! We ALL need to take a stake in this, & speak to EVERY ANIMAL LOVING PERSON WE CAN!!! & Educate them on the TRUTH ABOUT PET FOOD!!! As an animal rescue person, I am committed to educating every person I adopt to, this TRUTH!, there is so much information though, & it can be very overwhelming to try to share all of this. SUSAN, could you please put together an informative, concise (max 2 pgs) of information that WE could all use to help inform as many ppl as we can?; this seriously is the only way we can truly spread this information like wildfire! Now that the regulation’s are even more lax, the truth of the matter is, that the pressure will ONLY be in the consumer $$$ spent. When, & ONLY when the pocketbooks of the big manufactufacturer’s take a “hit”, will anything ever change!!!! Grassroots education is the only way for this to change. Most ppl just do not have the time to even keep up on all the ongoings on “T.A.P.F” site…that is why a comprehensive 2 page handout/email forward, is a good & strong approach to reach as many ppl as possible about the main issue’s/ingredient’s to be for warned about. As a separate aside, a petition aimed at ALL pet food/supplement maker’s needs to be written up in regards to the issue of CARAGEENEAN additive. I am HORRIFIED! that HIGH END manufacturer’s are STILL using this in their food & supplements! I recently bought a “Fast Tract G.I. supplement made by the very well respected Vetri-Science brand…& after reading the recent post about carageenan, checked every product I use, & low & behold, it had carageenan in it!!!!! Here I am trying to help a gastrointestinal issue!, & (paying good $$$ mind you!), & I am basically making the problem WORSE!!!!! This is EXTREMELY UPSETTING TO SAY THE LEAST!!!! I am not sure I trust 98% of manufacturer’s of pet “food”…(FEED!) & supplement’s at this point in time! I am TRULY DISGUSTED!!!!!!!!!

      1. Terri Janson

        I found carrageenan in Merrick Canned as well. I was shocked!

  8. darcy flynn

    Have you heard of the Change.org site – I seem to get a lot of pet related emails from them..Would a post on that website raise the awareness of the public enough to require the FDA to be responsible for their actions? I have no idea how effective that site is, if it all. Just throwing it out there.

    1. Jude from Maine

      Something changed the way Walmart pays their staff, and I believe it was the outcry from citizens via a petition site.

  9. Mandy Barberio

    Wow! What a blow to pet food consumers AND companies like the Honest Kitchen too! It’s bad for everyone but big pet food.

  10. rebecca

    The FDA doesn’t care about us, so why would they care about our pets? The more corporations/gov try to hide, the more transparent they become. Reputable food manufacturers should capitalize on our demands for quality, profit and leave the greedy in the dust, hopefully. There’s power in numbers, which is why the fight must go on. Squeaky wheels get the grease and this may be veering more to the local level in obtaining food, knowing the sources and having them be accountable.

  11. Regina

    ugh, it’s like the FDA isn’t even TRYING to pretend to make anyone think they are anything more than a mouthpiece for who ever will put money in their pockets. Is it any wonder folks don’t think too highly of the government???

    What the hell is the use of having a federal agency to protect us if they don’t even try to protect us?

    F.D.A. = Feed Dross to Animals

  12. Hope Williams

    First, can you come up with a different term for all of us to use besides Big Pet “Food”? It ain’t food and as long as we continue to say it’s “food” it will continue to be confusing to the average consumer. The sooner we use a new term the better.

    Second, I’ve got to say that this issue goes even larger than our pets. What the animals eat that we eat–both humans and pets–is a HUGE issue! So feeding feed grade to any animal is both dangerous and objectionable!

    Last, keep up the fight Susan! You are a mighty leader when it comes to this awe important issue of real food for our pets! Thank you so much!

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      Good point Hope – I will think on this. It does need to be something that does not have ‘food’ in the name.

    2. T Allen

      Look up “food” in a thesaurus. I’m partial to “slop” myself but Big Pet Chow has a nice ring to it. 😉 Actually using “feed” would provide the opportunity to explain the term to new people.

  13. A Rech

    We’ll be there, just say the word, Susan.

    This news is positively infuriating!

  14. Michelle

    Susan, Thank You for keeping us informed. The FDA is more interested in having its hands in more pockets than actually doing their job. Allowing this to pass is a disgrace! I am here to help with anything you need.

  15. Teresa Reid

    Will send this to everyone I know on my cat communities. Am sure everyone wants the best for their pets and this is definitely a true set back. Let me know what I can do. You have my full support.

  16. Cheryl Wild

    I agree with Darcy’s suggestion about the Change.org website. They seem to be able to get a lot of public exposure for issues like this. I have personally signed quite a few of their petitions that went on to have a positive effect.

  17. Candence Griffin

    Well, this only strengthens my resolve to continue to feed my dogs what I eat myself. I’ve been cooking for my Basenjis for six years now. I’ve also purchased Susan’s book ‘Dinner Pawsible’ and plan to buy the newest one. My guys are healthy, shinny coats, good weight and I know exactly what they are eating – no pre-prepared foods. It’s expensive, granted but it’s bought 6 additional years for our Basenji girl, Promise, now in her seventh year of LSA remission. No more chicken jerky – nothing from China.

  18. Grateful

    I don’t have the slightest doubt that BPF is behind this. Someone has a much fatter wallet today. Disgusting.

  19. Kelly

    This is UNBELIEVABLE but sadly, I believe it! State agriculture can’t be the right way to go. It’s underhanded and undermining the entire food system, human & pet food.

    I propose using the term “Big Pet Feed” since that is what it really is.

    Change.org is working for others. I think we should give it a shot. I don’t feel qualified to start this petition but I will certainly sign it and share it often. https://www.change.org/start-a-petition . If it’s compelling enough it will go viral like the Soi Dog Foundation did for stray dogs being slaughtered for meat in Thailand. We need a celebrity to endorse this in video. Betty White comes to mind. Ellen Degenerous (vegan though) is active. Kristin Bell, Willie Nelson, Ke$ha, Rachel Ray (has her own line of kibble), Russell Simmons, Bob Barker, Pamela Anderson, Rickjy Gervais & Paul McCartney (not American). Here’s a way to get in touch with animal over 700 celebrity animal advocates https://www.looktothestars.org/celebrity?cause=animals&sort_by=cause_connection

    Perhaps the FBI should be involved, look at what happened over the past 24 hours with the world soccer organization FIFA uncovering 20+ years and $150 million in bribes. This is definitely bribery, it reeks of it.

    Susan, Our pets need a fearless leader like you! Thank you for your tireless work! Tell us what you need from us!

    1. Laura

      I’m not sure about the others, but Betty White and Pamela Anderson should be avoided because they’ve endorsed the ASPCA and PETA, respectively, two organizations with horrendous track records: http://www.nathanwinograd.com/?page_id=166 There are links to articles about both of them plus the HSUS and Best Friends on the right side of that page.

  20. Laura U

    Maybe a huge outcry from people who care about their pet’s food content will be an answer. The FDA obviously doesn’t care and my guess is that they are swayed by big companies with big money. Those companies may become less powerful when eventually their food doesn’t sell. This cannot be allowed to slide by.

    Question: a company using human grade ingredients may not be able to put it on the label but if asked, could they verify to a consumer that they purchase ingredients certified for human consumption to make their food directly to the consumer? I really hope that companies who are using great ingredients now won’t decide to use lesser ingredient.

    This is simply sickening. Why have an FDA if they continue to not really do their job of protecting consumers? They don’t do a great job with humans either.

    Laura

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      Yes – they would be able to tell consumers directly they use food ingredients.

  21. Batzion

    I’m in. I suspect that this is the precursor to what “they” will put into human processed food products which are lethal enough as it is. BUY ORGANIC.

    Thank you for this heads up, Sue.

    1. Jude from Maine

      What “they” will put into human foods? That’s already a done deal. Carcinogens are throughout the majority of prepared food and products. Think Twinkies!

  22. AnnS

    My first thoughts are on the millions of pet owners who are completely in the dark about he FDA’s sneeky closed door decision that could mean life or death to millions of pets. It seems to me our most effective tool is the media. Isn’t there any news outlet or journalist that would find this action by the FDA a worthy news story? The FDA needs to be bublicly shamed on a massive scale.

  23. Luka

    This is why I switched my girl to a species appropriate, balanced raw diet. I know what’s going into her and it sure as heck ain’t 80% fillers with a bit of meat-flavor.

  24. Laurie Matson

    I strongly suspect that Big Pet Food is Paying off the FDA or certain high ranking individuals within it!!!

  25. SandyRay

    I wrote Fromm about their food being human grade and this was their reply.

    The term “human grade” is not recognized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) or The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). Terms that are recognized are “edible” and “inedible” and these terms only apply to the human food safety system. The terms “edible” and “inedible” do not relate to the quality of a specific ingredient, instead the terms designate a specific ingredient’s safety as it pertains to human safety and consumption. At Fromm we are dedicated to sourcing quality ingredients and making the best product possible. Our meats and fish come from USDA-inspected human food processing plants and we choose them based on quality, as we do with all of our ingredients. Our fruits and vegetables are farm fresh and we even use real Wisconsin cheese. All of these ingredients are prepared in small controlled batches in our own facility before they are shipped out to stores.

    1. AnnS

      SandyRay I am just curious, how long ago was your email exchange with FDA when they sent you this answer?

      1. SandyRay

        The comment I pasted was written by Fromm. I wrote them asking if their food was human grade. This was March 2015.

  26. Ann

    I think we can spend all day long trying to change the PFI’s and the FDA’s approach to a PF product we all depend upon. But at the end of the day, if we decide to feed “kibble” then we have to accept that this is simply a livestock feed for another species of animal that we happen to call our “companion. pets” Big business PF doesn’t get it, they don’t care, they never will. And the FDA is giving them a pass at every opportunity. So to be pessimistic (unfortunately) since 2007 if the PFI and the Regulatory Agencies ~wanted~ to reform them, then they would have done so by now. Instead, it becomes our job, as informed consumers, and in gratitude for what Susan has taught us, to educate the public that what pet owners are really feeding their pets, which is waste material barely edible ingredients so highly processed as to make it visually “appealing” as a meal. Somehow this “slop” is reformed by the addition of artificial minerals and vitamins. The select few companies who’ve been allowed to declare “human grade” ingredients or those who use USDA inspected and passed ingredients, should be acknowledged, celebrated, treasured and supported with our business and by word of mouth. We have to figure out how to catch consumers buying (yes really) 55 lb bags of Pedigree (this I saw at Costco) and somehow let them know that what they’re feeding their pets is just like what ranchers and farmers are feeding their livestock! Such maintenance feeding is designed to keep the animal alive alright, for a specific time period, but it has never been formulated to make the animal thrive and combat chronic illnesses as they age! Because Livestock never grows old! There’s a reason why companion pet owner’s end up at the Vet regarding their older pets, only to be prescribed very expensive SD remedies, when what they’ve needed all long, is wholesome nourishing food!!

    I absolutely despise cooking. For myself I can eat a quick Tuna sandwich instead of pulling out a pot or pan to cook. Or eat a bowl of steamed veggies in the evening. Nothing fancy, because I abhor preparation and clean-up. But my pets depend upon me for their protection. Reluctantly I’ve returned to home cooking. It isn’t fancy. I bake beef for one dog, and sauté ground turkey for the other, added to a few steamed veggies/and a little starch to make a good binder for consistent stools. If they keep weight on, have energy, no physical symptoms, and don’t throw up, then I feel I’m succeeding well enough. It might not be the most perfectly balanced diet in the world, but the ingredients being used are fresh, whole, and bio-available with no artificial substances interfering. Dogs in the wild scavenged on whatever, and survived on a varied, but fresh diet period! My 16 year old (thankfully) has no chronic illnesses and my youngster has more energy than I can keep up with. I wish he would calm down!

    I think the only way to IMPACT the PFI is to contact them, saying you’ve lost faith in their product and no longer believe the advertising. In other words, all the money they’re spending trying to keep you as a consumer, just isn’t working anymore. If they got a hundred thousand of those complaints they might rethink things. We need a one-on-one, individually drafted campaign, reminding companies that you’ve chosen home cooking, and all their your dollars will no longer be going their way. Social media is very powerful. If one person can convince just one more person to go along with them, think of the impact over time. A “trend” is what PF manufactures will be watching for.

    Or …… you can keep on hoping that the “kibble” you’ve chosen … is for some reason ……“different” than a million others out there. Or that the FDA will save the day!

  27. Kathryn

    first – Susan — I know how bad this hurts – must have been like a kick in the stomach after all the hard work you have put into trying to get this mess fixed.
    secondly — I feel so bad for HONEST KITCHEN – they worked, like you, so hard to get their label approved – no matter the ‘wording’ USDA Inspected / Approved for Human Consumption I will continue to use their products, as well as purchasing the majority of our FOOD from my butcher and Green Grocers;

    I think the idea of going public with CHANGE.org might be a way to at least reach the ‘uninformed’ – many say that ‘bulk’ petitions do not sway lawmakers, but that may not be exactly true when ENOUGH people get involved — don’t know if ‘we’ could actually make a difference – but if we don’t ‘try’ we sure won’t get anywhere.

    It’s simply a matter of not wanting/being able to manage the number of inspections required -there’s not enough money on a national or state level to really do the inspections/verifications.

  28. lili

    Why is the FDA helping big pet food this way and what are they trying to achieve? What would follow if there really was truth in pet food ingredients and labelling? What would happen to the processed food industry if many, many pet owners began to make their own pet meals or only bought human grade pet foods?

    Well, processed foods have actually decreased by 10-30% in real dollars over the last number of years. Big pet food and large human food processors have long worked hand in glove. They are now under one umbrella, because owning the pet food arm allows them to make more money from their waste. Where I think the FDA governmental aims dovetail is the environmental and economic impact of food waste. Composting organic waste costs money for the food processor. This would increase their costs and processed food prices would increase, which would drive up the consumer price index, and damage the economy through inflation. People would pay substantially more for food, and have less money for shelter and consumer goods. Processed food prices would increase, possibly dramatically, because the waste would not be worth as much, and would possibly become a liability to the processor instead of a commodity from which further value can be derived. So, while the decrease in demand for traditional waste-quality pet food would positively impact the cost of feed for industrial agriculture animals, it would increase the cost of food for people (if you count processed food as “food”).

  29. JimC

    Umm, sorry to voice a different opinion here, but I will… I work for the federal government, not in the FDA or in any agency that has any regulatory mission at all. Do y’all have any idea what our budgets have been doing the last few years, and what the Congresscritters who control them would LIKE to do to those budgets? If an agency is forced to choose between a part of their mission that directly affects human health and safety, and a part of their mission that doesn’t – which one gets cut first??? That is *exactly* what most of the civilian side of the gov’t is facing nowadays.

    While I can appreciate everyone’s concern over this issue, perhaps your energies would be better spent in making noise to your Congressional representatives to adequately fund the FDA so they actually have the resources to carry out this part of their mission… Cronyism is far more likely in Congress than in the managerial structures of the FDA or any other agency.

    Jim

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      No problem with a different opinion Jim. I actually agree that FDA is not funded as it needs to be, neither is each State Department of Agriculture who will now be responsible for even more work (and work out of their expertise). In the meantime, Big Pet Feed is misleading consumers (and it could get worse) making billions on the back of our pets. I do believe a fix to this will involve improved FDA funding – however history has told us that rarely does FDA (in years of budgets) ever properly protect pets and regulate pet food. So even if they got the funding, my concern is pet food/treats will still be last in line of priorities.

      1. JimC

        I just get really really *really* aggravated when something like this happens and it turns into a “dump on the Feds, they must all be corrupt”-fest… Some of the people I work with around the country are A-holes, most are nice – but I have never experienced any corruption or cronyism. I know it does happen, but it’s sure as H*ll not common.

        Jim

        1. Susan Thixton Author

          Perhaps JimC you are not familiar with what your “Feds” allow in pet food (this is not a budget issue).

          First, the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act defines food as: “(f) 1 The term “food” means (1) articles used for food or drink for man or other animals, (2) chewing gum, and (3) articles used for components of any such article.” http://www.fda.gov/RegulatoryInformation/Legislation/FederalFoodDrugandCosmeticActFDCAct/FDCActChaptersIandIIShortTitleandDefinitions/ucm086297.htm Pretty clear that ‘pet food’ would fit under this legal definition of food, do you agree?

          Next is a quote from the same Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act to what constitutes an adulterated food: “342. Adulterated food
          A food shall be deemed to be adulterated (a)(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;” http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCODE-2010-title21/pdf/USCODE-2010-title21-chap9-subchapIV-sec342.pdf

          Now we get to – your words – “corrupt fest”…I am quoting here the FDA Compliance Policy for what is allowed – by FDA – into pet food (this one is specific to canned pet food): “Pet food consisting of material from diseased animals or animals which have died otherwise than by slaughter, which is in violation of 402(a)(5) will not ordinarily be actionable, if it is not otherwise in violation of the law. It will be considered fit for animal consumption.”
          http://www.fda.gov/ICECI/ComplianceManuals/CompliancePolicyGuidanceManual/ucm074710.htm

          You might not agree, but most pet food consumers believe the FDA openly allowing pet food to violate the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act to be corrupt. This particular issue has absolutely nothing to do with budget. This is the FDA – a tax dollar supported agency – picking and choosing which laws they will enforce. We educated consumers are angry over this – and we have every right to be. Oh, and by the way – the FDA and every single State Department of Agriculture does not require the consumer to be informed if the pet food they are purchasing is sourced from “a diseased animal or of an animal which has died otherwise than by slaughter”. Every regulatory agency allows images of actual food on the pet food label – misleading the consumer – when inside the bag or can is “a diseased animal or of an animal which has died otherwise than by slaughter”. Perhaps now you might understand our anger and finger pointing. The FDA wrote the Compliance Policy – it was their decision to do this. Who else would we point at?

          1. JimC

            You could point the finger at individuals. Just like a corporation, an agency does not do things. Individuals within the corporation and the agency do things. Sometimes those things are illegal, or stupid, or short-sighted, or beneficial, or smart. Sometimes those things are stopped by higher-up individuals, sometimes not. For many possible reasons… But, in the end, each and every action is performed by individual employees.

            I’m not saying the agency is free from corruption. It is, after, staffed by imperfect human beings. NO large institution *anywhere* is any different, except in percentages. I am saying that corruption is individual, not organizational.

            Jim

          2. Susan Thixton Author

            Yes – corruption can be individual. However in the example that I provided (and this is just one of many), the FDA agency itself – as a whole – needs to be held accountable for this. We don’t know the author of this Compliance Policy (and the many others) – all we can do is show our frustration to the entire agency who upholds these policies. I have met and spoken with many at the FDA – they are not bad people. But what the agency is doing is bad (with pet food).

          3. JimC

            ok, put pressure on them is fine, and the best way to change things.

            But I still hate to see comments that take a huge group of people, some good and some bad, and tar them all with the same brush. Yours are more specific, but look at the whole string and tell me you don’t see some comments implying everyone’s corrupt, or incompetent, or has some hidden agenda… I’ve put my views out there for all to see, just balancing those views.

            Now it’s time to drop this side topic, probably, and refocus everyone’s energy on finding effective ways to find out why the change was made, and how to restore the program. Better than continuing this back&forth…

            Jim

        2. Ann

          Within a corporation or a bureaucracy people go to work to earn a paycheck. To earn that paycheck employees do what they are told to do. Seldom do employees expect to change the world by righting a wrong. They fall in line with the status quo. What’s being expressed here about the FDA is this. At some point in time a group of people responsible for policy making got to together to write the “rules”. The compliance policy being referred to is flawed and contradictory. It doesn’t even make sense within the context of the overall rules. As it has been pointed out, there is no effort to change it for the better. Policy doesn’t write itself or just land on the books. In fact it’s a very lengthy cumbersome process. But it’s dictated for a reason. The question is so why does it favor substandard processing except to accommodate businesses most likely to profit from it, and certainly NOT to benefit the consumer. Wouldn’t you say that this is just a tad bit preferential (if not corrupt) because it doesn’t serve the best interests of taxpayers? The people who most expect this agency to offer them protection and information? I’m sorry if JimC doesn’t see corruption in his area of responsibility, but the overall perception is that the people who they are supposed to be serving are nearly totally ignored, and certainly never invited to be stakeholders. JimC is very brave for even trying to defend them.

          1. JimC

            Umm, you don’t need to be sorry that I don’t see corruption in my area – I said right up front that I don’t work there. I am in a completely different agency, one that does science and has ZERO regulatory mission.

            And I still stand by my belief that policy – no matter how flawed it may be – is created by individuals. Someone had to draft it up. Someone else had to review it. Someone else had to approve it. Someone had to run it thru the gauntlet of procedures required for getting approval. Any of those individuals may have their own agenda, and may have done things that are unethical or illegal, but in the end it’s people who did it. Find and pressure the people who can change it, don’t tar everyone with the same brush.

        3. Ann

          Absolutely WRONG, corruption (if and when it exists) IS totally organizational and NOT individual. Individuals within an organization are virtually powerless. If a person with criminal or negative intent tries to infiltrate an ethical group, they will be out-ed. Morality conquers deciept. Otherwise corruption is a collaborative effort. It is observed by superiors, and permitted, allowed, condoned, and perhaps even encouraged in order to support a common mindset (trend) and objective! It so happens that “you” (lucky you!) happen to be ethical and working within an ethical group of “government” coworkers, which is fine and dandy, but irrelevant to this discussion. Because you can only speak from your own perspective and personal experience. But you can not speak for the FDA (and certainly which you don’t claim to be doing) and especially because you don’t even work there. However (and this is a big but) it IS clear from much research and inquiry and revelation that the FDA does not have the best interests of companion pets in mind. Period! The FDA is tasked with protecting the health of humans, and that goal is their only driving force. That is exactly how they write policy. So if we are agreeing to drop this side-bar topic, then let’s end it on a note of realism and NOT try to suggest that corruption is an exception within our government. Corruption exists when the best interests of the stakeholder (in this case the buyers of pet food) are ignored and even (intentionally) disadvantaged!! Otherwise full disclosure by all companies would be required so that every buyer could make an honest and informed decision about which products to buy. And let the free market prevail. It’s that simple. Now… we can conclude the discussion on this point.

          1. JimC

            Sigh… I will certainly agree that you are entitled to your opinions. And I am equally entitled to mine, so let’s just agree to disagree.

  30. Hope Williams

    Concerning all the comments in defense of the FDA employees, etc., I have to ask the question, what are the backgrounds of the individuals serving on the FDA’s governing body? Do they have “Big Pet Feed” connections via former jobs with those companies? Are there any top of the chain FDA paid officials with “Big Pet Feed” connections as in former jobs with the conglomerates that owned/now own the Purinas and Diamonds and Naturas of the world?

  31. Trouble

    I found this particular Act (Lanham Act) mentioned in another article on here. It is certainly worth mentioning, in light of the FDA removing their approval seal for human grade ingredients.

    Wouldn’t this prevent companies from saying that their ingredients are human grade? It states, “word, term, name, SYMBOL (couldn’t this include pictures of human food on the pet ‘feed’ bags?), or device”… These companies are misleading to consumers with pretty much everything they put on their packages, right down to the “Made in U.S. facilities” statement – leading consumers to believe that their product is a U.S. product, when really it’s a China product, simply made in a U.S. facility. (“U.S. facility” could technically include facilities owned by U.S. companies that are in other countries….. like China. Hey, it’s still a U.S. facility…Technically.)

    A class action lawsuit of such magnitude…. would include almost every pet food consumer out there. Because at one time or another, before companies like The Honest Kitchen came around… all there was to buy was the crappy commercial pet foods. So, at some point or another, we’ve all been affected by the false advertising, the misleading claims that these companies make. This would certainly be a lot bigger than simply pets getting sick or dying – this includes those people, those pets AND those that haven’t gotten sick (yet), those people who haven’t lost their pets (yet) and also those who have learned the truth (thanks to Susan!!) and have since switched to better foods.

    I hope I’m not naively hoping that this could lead somewhere. But, it’s something…. I hope.

    TITLE VIII – FALSE DESIGNATIONS OF ORIGIN, FALSE DESCRIPTIONS. AND DILUTION
    FORBIDDEN
    § 43 (15 U.S.C. § 1125). False designations of origin; false description or representation
    (a) (1) Any person who, on or in connection with any goods or services, or any container for
    goods, uses in commerce any word, term, name, symbol, or device, or any combination thereof,
    or any false designation of origin, false or misleading description of fact, or false or misleading
    representation of fact, which—
    (A) is likely to cause confusion, or to cause mistake, or to deceive as to the affiliation,
    connection, or association of such person with another person, or as to the origin,
    sponsorship, or approval of his or her goods, services, or commercial activities by another
    person, or
    (B) in commercial advertising or promotion, misrepresents the nature, characteristics,
    qualities, or geographic origin of his or her or another person’s goods, services, or
    commercial activities,
    shall be liable in a civil action by any person who believes that he or she is or is likely to be
    damaged by such act.
    (2) As used in this subsection, the term “any person” includes any State, instrumentality of a
    State or employee of a State or instrumentality of a State acting in his or her official capacity.
    Any State, and any such instrumentality, officer, or employee, shall be subject to the
    provisions of this chapter in the same manner and to the same extent as any
    nongovernmental entity.
    (3) In a civil action for trade dress infringement under this chapter for trade dress not
    registered on the principal register, the person who asserts trade dress protection has the
    burden of proving that the matter sought to be protected is not functional.
    (b) Any goods marked or labeled in contravention of the provisions of this section shall not be
    imported into the United States or admitted to entry at any customhouse of the United States.
    The owner, importer, or consignee of goods refused entry at any customhouse under this section
    may have any recourse by protest or appeal that is given under the customs revenue laws or may
    have the remedy given by this chapter in cases involving goods refused entry or seized.

    Link: http://www.uspto.gov/sites/default/files/trademarks/law/Trademark_Statutes.pdf – Page 34 is where this info – Title VIII, is located. 🙂

    1. Regina

      Trouble, your second paragraph here is right on the money. There are all kinds of ways of misleading folks into believing their pets’ meals are made here in the USA.
      People think “American company” means made in America, makes me wonder what rock they’ve been living under.

      Unless it says “made in America, using American food, and packed in America” you really don’t know where it’s from/been.

      I was looking at a new product (I just enjoy reading labels, trying to see all the points of deception). Natural Balance has a new line out that’s high protein, wolf on the front of the bag, and of course, it still has Dick Van Patten’s name on it (how many times has it be sold/bought????). Well, it said “proudly packed in USA” — So it could be made anywhere, but just poured into the bag in the USA.

      Would Dick Van Patten still proudly put his name on something, not knowing where it even comes from?

      1. Sandra Murphey

        Personally, I don’t think “made in the USA” is any guarantee of quality. There are some pet foods made in Thailand at plants that produce human food, and these pet foods are ranked pretty high on the list.

  32. JJT

    I don’t really understand the difference between human grade food and non-human grade food ingredients. I mean, all food is edible. I mean, you’d have to pretty much put cardboard into pet food for it to not be human grade. All meat is human grade. Just because you might not want to eat liver or sheep intestine doesn’t mean it has any less nutritional quality. Seriously, not trying piss anyone off, but what is difference?

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      Briefly human grade food is legal food. Non-human grade food would include rejected for use in human food ingredients such as meat from diseased animals or animals that have been euthanized or died in the field. Here is a post I did explaining it: http://truthaboutpetfood.com/the-pet-food-consumers-mantra-food-not-feed/ There is a huge difference between the two.

    2. Trouble

      I’d say from a consumer perspective, the most basic way to explain the difference is… Human-grade ingredients: They’re safe for human consumption – we won’t get sick from eating it. Non-human grade ingredients are anything that could potentially make us sick, which could very likely make our pets sick as well.

      The idea of “If I wouldn’t eat it, why would I feed it to my pet?”, in my opinion is about what is safe for us and them to eat. So, I guess we should be saying, “If it’s not safe for me to eat, then how is it safe for my pet to eat?” It’s not about what we find gross and unappetizing… I actually had a friend post on facebook, a joke about eating dog meat (not cool, in my book), but then someone commented on it, totally offended and horrified that he’d make such a joke. Stating that dog meat wasn’t something people eat… But it is, in other countries. It may not be appealing to people in the U.S., but it is appealing (and safe, provided the meat is from the right source) to some people in other countries – specifically in Asian cultures.

      Obviously I don’t agree with the practice, but it’s a good example of what different people find appealing – some people like organ meats……some don’t (like myself, lol).

      I probably added way more than necessary… Lol. But again, it’s about what’s safe for us and them to eat, not about what we find appealing and tasty. 🙂

  33. Terri Janson

    This is just crap. I will continue to home make most of my 5 dogs food (even though I don’t even trust ‘our’ food). I am very dishearted about the FDA’s answer to this matter. I think a petition and contacting our congressmen and women is a good place to circulate this information. We need to keep spreading the word….it is getting around.

    Thank you so much Susan for all that you do for us. I’m proud to belong to this group!!!

    1. jb

      This one is just for fun. Why is it that cheese is understood to be food, but American cheese specifically has to be labeled “cheese food”, as if food is not implied by the word cheese in that case.

      One more thing to worry about.

      1. Regina

        Excellent point, jb! I never really liked “American Cheese” back when my family bought it. This was before I was such a “label reader” buying food for myself. Once I had “real’ cheese, I never went back to “American cheese” — I guess I just knew instinctively what was real food, whereas my family . . . well, they still eat “American cheese” yuk.

        Thanks for the trip down memory lane, jb

  34. jb

    Real food is leftovers. Dog food or dog feed is a product of the industrial revloution, less than 200 years old. Modern dogs were developed without it. It’s like saying everyone needs Weight Watchers, or Chipotle is better than Freebirds. Fear the steak from your table less than melamine from cheap feed sources. Dog food is mostly about marketing the ideology to you.

    If you have any doubts, it’s working.

  35. Andrea Thompson

    I work at a shelter. Although I appreciate the push to move the industry toward better ingredients I’m concerned what will happen to the price of pet food if the standards are increased. We already have more pets that we can handle and more requests for food from people that are having difficulty paying for their beloved four legged family members meals.

    If standards increase and inexpensive brands go up in price, we are likely to have more animals in our shelter because people cannot afford to feed the. I would never feed a grocery brand from one of the big manufacturers to my own pets, but most of the families that I see have no choice. Isn’t it better that these pets be in a loving home.

    I support your cause, but let us also consider the potential of what we are doing.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      Hi Andrea –
      It is not so much the standard of ingredients we are asking to be raised – it is the disclosure to consumers of the quality of ingredients used. Personally, I don’t care if a manufacturer chooses to use inferior waste ingredients in a pet food and I don’t care if they choose to transport those ingredients in a hot dirty trailer. What I do care about is hiding this truth from the consumer. Waste ingredient pet foods show images of real food on their labels misleading consumers. If these pet foods are so proud of their products, and firmly believe in their safety – why are they hiding the truth to their quality of ingredients from consumers? Why are they misleading consumers with their labels?

      And all the above happens when actual food ingredient pet foods are not allowed to disclose to consumers (on the label) the true quality of their ingredients. Real food pet foods show those same images of real food on their labels, but their labels are accurate. Trouble is, how are consumers to know which is which?

      This is what we are asking for – we want to know which is which. Which pet food is made with feed grade/pet grade ingredients and which pet food is made with food (held to every legal requirement of food)? Consumers just want the truth – they deserve the truth.

    2. Ann

      The potential of what “we” are doing has nothing to do with tinkering with the affordability of feeding rescued pets. It is simply about disclosure. The PFI will never reform the standard of processing regarding their products. They won’t suddenly be making a more expensive product based on the perfection of ingredients. So what consumers really want is the opportunity to choose a product based on value and purpose. This can only happen with the accuracy and understanding of true labeling.

      It is unfortunate to think that quantity of care involved with rescues should impact the quality of delivery, but economics are a reality. Hopefully, with full disclosure, the best decisions could be based upon the greatest availability of information. I think we’re still all on the same page.

  36. Sandra Murphey

    I was searching the terms “organic” and “natural” in relation to pet food, and found a site called Voyce.com or MyDogsVoyce.com, which sells a special dog collar that monitors health, but on their blog, I saw this statment: “Unlike natural and organic, the AAFCO doesn’t allow the phrase “human grade” on dog food packaging, specifying that it would mislead customers.” This post was dated Jan 29, 2015.

    I wonder how long this law has been in effect. When I first read your information, I thought it was something new, so I must have mis-understood. Can you clarify?

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      It’s not that AAFCO has a law against the claim of human grade on pet food labels, AAFCO has never defined human grade ingredients in pet food. So without a definition, the claim is not allowed per AAFCO. This lack of a AAFCO or state law definition of human grade ingredients in pet food is what led to the lawsuit that Honest Kitchen pursued. The state of Ohio said ‘there’s no definition of human grade ingredients, so you can’t have that on your label’. This pet food took the issue to court, and successfully proved to the court and FDA each and every ingredient in their pet food was human edible. In turn FDA gave this company their ‘No Objection’ to the human grade claim. FDA ‘no objection’ overruled state law and the human grade claim was allowed. AAFCO remains firmly in the Stone Ages believing that all pet foods are feed grade (actually AAFCO uses the term inedible – food is edible, feed is inedible) – and they have adamantly refused to step into the future and define this classification of pet food ingredient quality. At the next AAFCO meeting (August 2015) they will have their first discussion on the topic.

  37. Dayna

    Susan,

    First, thank you or everything you do. This issue is one very near & dear to my heart so please add me to your list of those ready to join in whatever battle may ensue.

    My nearly 15-yo Nugget is still with me because he has eaten “human food” (the whole concept of segregation is infuriating) most of his life (once I became educated). Our yogurt and broth-based lickable snacks are 100% human grade in both ingredients and production and we’re going forward with printing this fact on all packaging because it is true and we can prove it. Let the industry’s big lawyers come after us if need be. I’m thinking the more they battle this publicly the worse they will look and the better chance the truth will come out. Reason why HK and others with clout need to stand their ground and not back down on labeling. Hopefully their lawyers will agree.

    I also think Darcy’s suggestion to consider change.org is worth considering.

    Sign me up to help as needed!

  38. Ann

    Personally I believe there should be animal food product options. They should be certified, controlled and monitored.

    However …… looking a the big picture ….IF (which is a big one) we were to give credit to the FDA and AAFCO for thinking a potential strategy through, my guess is that both agencies don’t want to blur the line between animal feed (related to livestock feeding) and animal food (related to feeding people.)

    Obviously “we” get it very clearly, meaning what is the difference, and what is the SIGNIFICANCE of the difference, and the benefit to our pets!! But if PF companies are not already manufacturing their products carefully, accurately, quality testing, nor are they marketing their products truthfully, then imagine how much worse if would be if the concept of animal food was also introduced into the PFI? Then they would have to defend the reasoning (reality) of feed versus food. As a legal classification (which is a actually a permission) then “we” would “assume” the classification would be very clearly defined, and therefore very clearly regulated!

    But the FDA can’t regulate what they already have on the books. We know that PF companies mix DNA species ingredients without labeling. We know that advertising is deceptive. We know they take liberties with wording of “natural” and “organic” and “balanced.” We know that Compliance Policies undermine the intention of the Food and Drug Act (which is intended to protect consumers). So if the concept of “Animal Food” (meaning truly human edible) was also introduced and companies were permitted this enhanced definition of ingredients, then then think how they would abuse the opportunity! And if they couldn’t completely comply (or wanted to take shortcuts) then they would begin to use euphemisms to communicate something just as good as the real deal.

    And if they FDA can’t adequately monitor and enforce current PF regulations, then they never would be able to oversee human food processing standards and enforce those regulations either!

    Now this is all fine and curious, except that permitting the idea of “human edible” ANIMAL food suggests to a naive consumer that the product is the same as truly human edible food (or worse, could be interchangeable!). We’ve already heard stories of very indigent people eating “cat food” instead of “canned tuna.” As far fetched as it would seem to us, if people started getting hold of (what they perceive to be) human edible animal food then they could be eating cans of dog food too, thinking it’s as good as beef hash or spam! The problem is, the only mission that really survives the test of the FDA’s purpose is the safety of food sources and the health of consumers. Because we already KNOW how animal feed is processed, how ingredients are sourced (they are NEVER first quality) how they are stored, what falls into those great vats, etc. then if people started getting ill from eating human edible pet food, guess what agency would have a big problem on their hands? It’s the same reason why they object to RAW feeding (they don’t care about the reasoning or the benefit to the pets) but they fear the accidental misuse and exposure of the product (and yes, I know all the arguments)) within a household. Like you forget to pickup yesterday’s raw food meal in a dish, and the toddler crawls over and picks up a handful. (Ick!) It’s about contamination by careless exposure and ignorance. The FDA does not want this problem on their hands!

    Last point. We “know” the owners of THK, how they’re doing everything right! But what if there came a day when THK was sold to foreign investors or a corporate business. Then who is going to continue to track their due diligence. THK has been built on their very unique reputation, and would survive quite awhile on the same (thinking of Natural Balance’s namesake founder) but it could eventually drift from the original integrity and consumers would never realize until exposed. It’s just another problem the FDA doesn’t want to have to chase down. Or a whole knew program of certification that they would want to develop and manage.

  39. Kim Willis

    As always the FDA is hatching plan after plan to muck up the picture for consumers. They have one hatching all the time. This is but one more way to mess up the order and make sure Susan is working on something while they hatch another. Yes the FDA works for all Big Food organizations. There is ample proof of this. Federal agencies are suspect in all ways. But the states do not work for the federal govt. The federal govt. works for the states. We can put pressure on the FDA through our states, but also we can all get together and do a class action suit ourselves with the same firm that did The Honest Kitchen. We can also sue for the right to run a consumer based verification program or just do the it with the blessing of the states, which they so nicely decided to give the ball to. Susan get states approval to run it, get funding from them and take over. The FDA has put it in our hands with the states. So we need reps for each state to do the leg work. Or we can find a kind lobby firm to assist.

    I guess that is simple and requires money but as always I will volunteer to assist in any way I can. I educate every single one of my clients to NOT feed any commercial dry food, and get about 50%. The ones that cannot for their own reasons I send them to foods I have thoroughly checked out utilizing Susan’s hard work. And I tell them not to feed any others.

    With this new ruling I think this should be the catalyst that sends Susan to be on Doctor Oz. The vet he had on there last time did not tell it like it is sadly telling people not to feed a raw diet. Doc. Oz is also apparently clueless so it is time for Susan to educate him.

    I would love to see all the good pet “food” companies out there come together to sue the FDA, add to it us suing the FDA as consumer, they would not be able to handle all the crap coming their way. We need to put as much pressure on them as they do on us.

    An additional strategy would be a celeb voice. They love their pets. Research pet celebs that are looking for exposure and bring them on board. Heck get a few and start a string of fund raising “Quality Pet Food” advocate events. The funds can be used to fight the FDA with real lobbyist on the state level to insure we have a new system in place to verify fairly all pet foods out there.

    If anyone can do this Susan can do this. We will all be here to back her up.

    Kim Willis, Master K9 Trainer
    Retired VB Master Police Officer/Detective
    Federal Govt. K9 Contractor
    (All Current Volunteer Work Below)
    City of Chesapeake Community Emergency Response Team: K9 Operations Leader/Trainer, Operational K9 Team, Disaster Therapy Dog Trainer/Coordinator, Animals in Disaster Coordinator
    State Certified Professional Ground Searcher
    Man Tracker Level I
    North American Police Work Dog Association member, Executive Committee Member SAR Liaison
    Chesapeake Community Animal Response Team “CART” (co-founder), Supported by Virginia State “SART” &
    co-founder and member of Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue
    Federal Disaster Response Registry
    FEMA’s National Preparedness Coalition
    Association for Truth in Pet Food member
    Owner http://www.kustomk9training.com
    kustomk9training@cox.net

    1. Sandra Murphey

      Kim,

      Thank you for your wisdom! I think it’s a great idea to enlist celebrities to speak up for disclosure in pet food, and to sponsor raw feeding. What I’ve found so far is that celebrity pet food ingredients have a lot to be desired, so there’s plenty of room for a knowledgeable spokesperson. I wonder about Tippi Hedren who has the (big) cat sanctuary, or some of the celebrities “used” by USHS. An organization that I find untrustworthy for various reasons.

      I have my doubts about Dr. Oz being open to this. There’s just something about him my gut instinct doesn’t trust.

      1. Laura

        Even though Dr. Oz is a doctor he knowingly pushes weight loss products that don’t even work, so yeah he’s not trustworthy at all.

  40. Jane Eagle

    Why do we still pay for an FDA? They do nothing in their job descriptions.
    We see many class action suits (Nutro being the most recent) for ingredients not matching what the package says; what’s new??? FDA has never bothered to make sure that claims and ads were truthful. “Right now pet feeds are using images of real food on their labels to mislead consumers – not one regulatory authority is enforcing existing regulations to protect consumers against these misleading food images.”
    THIS IS WHY I NO LONGER BUY “PET FOOD”. We eat human food only here.
    Now, there is no longer verification; so what’s new? Nothing.
    So, if a pet food manufacturer claims that their food is made with “human grade ingredients” I would email them (to have a paper trail) and ask them to confirm that their human grade product is safe for me and my children to eat…right? That’s what “human grade food” is.

  41. Anthony Hepton

    Just a couple of points. When attempting to attach the label of “human food grade” all of the ingredients must qualify, or the ones which are would be deemed contaminated by the ones that are not.
    Another area of concern extends beyond the materials being fed to pets. I know that is the primary area of focus for Susan, but when you read her excellent review of endotoxins in pet food, remember that just a third of the products from rendering plants go into pet products, the other two thirds is putting other animals at risk. FDA, USDA and University Vet schools do not want to address this subject as it might throw a wrench into the whole carcass disposal business.
    My third point, I just tried to sent a message to FDA as an independent researcher, they make that such a chore, they want details about the product, the pet, the vet, dates of purchase etc.etc. I just wanted to share with them the results of an exercise in “Root Cause Analysis”

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