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It is NOT Junk Science

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  1. Sherrie Ashenbremer

    Don’t let it bother you what other people say. Most of us trust that you are trying to find good and healthy foods for our pets. That’s hard to do these days. Thank you for all your hard work and love of animals.

  2. Dr. Laurie Coger

    Thank you for all you do, Susan!

    Is anyone else struck by the first line in Ms. Entis’ blog — that she had “retired’ on March 31, 2013? This consumer-funded test of a few commercial pet foods brought her out of retirement, nearly 2 years later! Wow! I leave it to readers to draw their own conclusions over why someone would committed to food safety would come out of an almost 2 year retirement and publicly release such a statement within a few days of the release of the test results…

    For my own and my clients’ pets, I advocate, at the minimum, only feeding foods fit for human consumption. And I will wholeheartedly support any company which produces such foods, in a species appropriate form. When pets are fed in this manner, the benefits are obvious. Yet the vast majority of pet foods do not meet this simple standard. And the commercial pet food industry wonders why organizations such as the ATPF exist…. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

    1. Tracey

      Her picture shows her arms wrapped around a dog….I wonder what she feeds it?

      From her blog:”Nevertheless, I’ve continued to monitor food safety stories, muttering under my breath from time to time about the quality of some of the coverage. But I have not been motivated to comment publicly on any of these stories until today’s release of a pet food safety study carried out under the auspices of The Association For Truth In Pet Food (ATPF). I decided that I could not let this report stand unchallenged and unanswered.” Very strange she would even care about some little story about pet food. I think we all know what “motivated” her to comment. We are just curious as who provided it.

      1. Ann L.

        She feeds Orijen kibble.

  3. Angela Ortiz

    I was very taken aback when I received the eFood alert rebuttel from Ms. Entis pertaining to the test results. She had to make a point that she was coming out of retirement briefly to comment. She has lost all credibility with me.

    1. Carol Lobmeier

      Same here and I sent her an email to tell her that. Probably won’t make a difference, but I had to send it. Thank you Susan for all you do for both our beloved pets and or us. Keep up the good work.

  4. D. Jones

    Keep on keeping on. You know you are pressing buttons and hitting targets by the responses we are seeing. Thanks for watching out for us and our canine and feline family members.

  5. Mirel

    Thank you for all that you do Susan and for fighting the good fight. Anyone can seen that you are doing all of this for a noble reason–the protection of our pets. For some reason, Ms. Entis is outraged by this. Shame on her. This small website, filled with honest reviews and honest comments, is a threat to the millions of dollars pet food companies invest to trick us. I hope you can withstand all the hacking attempts by these Goliaths. You have a whole community of pet owners behind you and cheering you on. We know the truth and we will pass the message along!

  6. JN

    You are doing us a great favor, don’t let these people stop you.. Thank you, for all you do. The time & effort you put in doing this, the reason why I bought the 2015 list.
    Expose these people and you will have all animal parents (yes, they are our children), who will support you.

  7. Pam Bishop

    Susan… only those afraid of the truth would reply in the manner that Ms. Entis did. Perhaps her funding comes from the pet food/feed manufactures? By insulting the professional scientists that did this testing and those professionals and pet owners that know the testing wasn’t ‘junk science’ she shows herself as afraid of the truth and scared of the repercussions.

    1. Jeri

      Bingo, Pam!! As I have told Dana Scott many times, they only fight you when they are frightened. When you are no threat you aren’t worth the time, so be flattered and pleased that you are reaching so many with the truth!! The harder the establishment struggles and screams, the more impact you – and DNM – are having. 🙂

    2. liz

      I also received the hermit’s email. It is interesting that all the info regarding pet food making our pets ill didn’t bring her out of retirement. I removed myself from her mailing list. I don’t like junk mail. Thanks Susan!

  8. radiantkd

    Would it be possible for you to post a link to your original article? Now I would like to read it.
    thanks!

  9. sharon king

    That’s not surprising. It’s easier to attack then take any responsibility or try to verify facts. It’s like what’s happening to HSUS and PETA…and ASPCA. Fake non-profit groups set up to bash the efforts of these charities. Spewing lies and half-truths. The corruption never ends. Very grateful for your efforts –please do not stop.

    1. Jeri

      I think we will have to disagree about those “charities”. They are not as pro-animal as one might wish. The ASPCA has repeatedly rejected attempts to turn “Oreo’s Law” into law, fighting it tooth and nail each time it was up for a vote, preferring to make money off the image of a dog they killed. PETA – where do I start? Known for killing and dumping (and now known for kidnapping, killing and dumping) any breathing creature they can lay hands on, and the HSUS is another “charity” which isn’t nearly as pro-animal as it would have all believe. One’s money is far better spent supporting truly pro-animal groups close to home.

      1. Jude

        I fully agree with your comment and couldn’t say it any better.

      2. Angela

        Say what you must but don’t believe everything you read…

        I would like to see all these animal organizations band together and lobby for change. Every time I turn around there’s another rescue started up to save abandoned animals from kill shelters. There are no efforts to affect any change on a broad scale at the state and federal levels. I’m not saying these groups don’t have good intentions, just that they’re single minded in their attempts.

        1. Jeri

          I believe what cameras rolling on the scene and experience show to be true regarding some of those “charities”. I would return the warning to anyone believing the hype and marketing of the large national groups: donor beware. You are better served keeping your dollars local. We agree on much-needed change to become no-kill, but do not be surprised when some of the above-mentioned “charities” shock the nation by coming out against any such legislation. They have done so in the past and aren’t likely to change their colors any time soon.

          1. Angela

            I think we are debating apples and oranges.

            Take the HSUS for example. They are not a shelter group. While most states have a local Humane Society chapter, donations made to HSUS do not trickle down to the local or state level. Hence, my suggestion that the local groups are self serving as they have the power to band together to enact change at the state level but do not!

            HSUS supports an animal rights philosophy and spends millions lobbying to enact change for animal protection. PETA is another organization that invests heavily in lobbying for animal protection, as do many others. PETA also opposes the use of dogs and cats in medical research and lobbies heavily against their fur being imported from overseas for our clothing. Their work has exposed factory farms full of sick and diseased animals. They’re essentially doing the work the USDA should be doing yet are so understaffed could never provide adequate oversight or inspections.

            Ironically, their field work is an example why we are able to have a discussion about tainted pet food, ie. rendering plants providing diseased animals for use in pet food. There are groups spreading propaganda that HSUS wants to take away your rights as a pet owner – totally ludicrous.

            Think globally, there’s always a motivation lurking behind the propaganda. It could be financed by agribusiness, big-pharma, medical science groups, etc. Ag-gag bills anyone?!

            Now off my soap-box and back to the discussion at hand. Sorry Susan!

          2. Jeri

            Again, any good those groups have done pales in comparison to what the small, meagerly-funded local groups are doing in the trenches to save animals from being killed in shelters. And it’s not HSUS that would necessarily like to remove pet ownership, it’s PETA. They believe that pet ownership = “slavery” and that by killing animals they are setting them free. Despicable. But please don’t take my word for any of this. Google objective sources (not their self-promotion materials) and find out. You will be shocked, I think.

            Ask yourself why the ASPCA, with its millions, keeps opposing the bills that would promote practices which would protect healthy animals from being killed in shelters.

            Ask yourself why PETA makes so much public noise about other issues but kills every pet and domestic animal they can get their hands on (legally or illegally!) As yourself why they are so opposed to helping ferals.

            Ask yourself why they HSUS wanted to kill every single pit bull rescued from Michael Vick’s kennels.

            No, I’m afraid there is much about those national organizations that just doesn’t add up. I will only support groups that truly are working for the good of animals — and don’t think that killing them is “courageous” or “liberating”. I will only support those groups which are TRULY pro-animal, not just posing as such. We will most definitely have to agree to disagree.

            Sorry for the long OT, Susan.

          3. Angela

            “Ask yourself why PETA makes so much public noise about other issues but kills every pet and domestic animal they can get their hands on (legally or illegally!) As yourself why they are so opposed to helping ferals.

            Ask yourself why they HSUS wanted to kill every single pit bull rescued from Michael Vick’s kennels.”

            PLEASE provide your sources! If your information is coming from ‘Humane Watch’ Center for Consumer Freedom, which espouses all your talking points, then I would kindly suggest you further your research about Rick Berman. Again, this is not just about dogs and cats. When negative information goes viral it only serves to hurt the end goal, which is the humane and ethical treatment of all animals whether our pets, on the farm, in the ocean, or in the wild.

            Rick Berman operates a public relations firm and sets up ‘non-profit’ and trade groups, allowing companies to anonymously fund these campaigns – otherwise these companies would violate IRS rules for non-profit charities. The corporations usually have public relations issues. Why would they hide their identity?

            Berman is widely known to attack animal rights groups for exposing meat packing plants, livestock producers/CAFOS and the like. Who do you think is funding the slanderous propaganda. He is widely known to support business industry over consumer safety and environmental concerns. And he is one of many.

            Sadly, we cannot know, by law, who is funding this propaganda just as we cannot know Ms Entis motivation…is she making public comments on the behalf of a pet food manufacturer?

  10. Tracey

    Interesting… From Food Safety News Oct25th 2013 http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2013/10/fda-update-nearly-600-dogs-dead-in-connection-to-chinese-jerky-treats/#.VK7aW6Z8Ic0.
    “In July 2012, FDA released an unprecedented collection of data on the 285 tests it had conducted on jerky treats up to that time. In an interview with Food Safety News, author and microbiologist Phyllis Entis criticized the agency for what she viewed as a lack of a systematic approach to solving the problem, calling FDA’s efforts at the time “scattered” and saying that the agency was not investing sufficient resources into the investigation.”

    Seems strange she would criticize someone trying to solve the problem…

    1. MaryTX

      That IS interesting, Tracey. Makes me wonder if Ms. Entis is lashing out because her WORDS in July 2012 didn’t get the attention Susan is getting from her ACTIONS…

    2. foodguy

      Tracey,

      I don’t think that criticizing people that are trying to solve problems is a bad thing, in fact it is quite natural. The reason being is that oversight is needed. If we don’t criticize everything, we get taken advantage of, plain and simple.

      This has nothing to do with the test, the results, or the response. Just saying.

      Susan’s response was probably unnecessary though. The person she is replying too either won’t read it, or won’t have her initial issues resolved by it. However, I’m happy she did respond as I seemed to have missed the initial reporting.

      Thank you Susan.

  11. Jan Beardsley-Blanco

    Susan, do NOT be led astray by this idiot lady!
    we trust you, we trust our petfood safety to you.

    know that we who count support you
    Jan

  12. Tracey

    This people that are trying to discredit your results are idiots. I believe anyone with a brain can see this. Keep at it Susan, you are doing good work, and the so called big food companies know this. That should be yet more validation for your work. The fact that they are trying to discredit the results proves that you have hit yet another nerve. We all know the big pet food companies sell crap and and try to pass it off as food. Your study proves that! I say keep being a thorn in their side!

    We appreciate everything you do! Please keep going!

    Charlie, Jake, Angel, Ozzie, Corkey and Hercules

    1. Kristen Magneson

      I would be certain that this woman is being paid handsomely to come out like this. Follow the money!

      1. Tracey

        I agree, Ms. Entis has been bought and paid for.

  13. Diane M

    I agree! You are offering a great service which I support wholeheartedly! I read everyone of your emails and articles. These types of rebuttals are to be expected. Please keep offering this valuable information. Your true supporters are discerning enough to to realize the truth! Thanks for all your hard work Susan!

  14. Wolf

    Those of us who have followed this testing effort from the beginning know tow very important things:

    1) your goal from the beginning has been to provide irrefutable results, using accepted scientific methods, and you went to great pains to ensure that the test would stand up to scrutiny. We all KNEW various authorities, groups, and people would come out to criticize, and you have been so very careful from the beginning to provide info that would withstand the critics.

    2) you have been open and transparent from the beginning, accepting feedback about how foods should be chosen, the scientists involved, how the data was interpreted and presented. You have not tried to hide anything from us, the consumers you serve so loyally.

    If everyone in Pet Food behaved as you do, we wouldn’t have issues!

    I think Entis doth protesteth too much…and agree, it only reflects on her own credibility.

  15. Dianne

    Well, this person has lost all credibility in my opinion. I would ask her if she would deign to indicate which scientists she would trust this work to. Wouldn’t it be great if she recommended the scientists used.

    However, she did insult Alltech. “Furthermore, the comparison table presents an arbitrary set of risk values generated using a proprietary formula developed by Alltech, an animal nutrition company. There is no way to substantiate the validity or the significance of these so-called risk levels.” They won’t be happy about that. She has now given pet food companies grounds to terminate contracts.

    How do we answer people who ask about the salmonella and campylobacter?

    But junk science is any research that comes up with conclusions you don’t agree with, call your own pet beliefs into question and defy current scientific dogma. Anyone doing scientific research must have a thick skin and strong confidence in their own work.

    On the bright side, in just two days, look at how far the information is spreading.

    1. Tracey

      “We did not “select” what bacteria to look for – our testing searched for all bacteria in each pet food. Salmonella and Campylobacter was not found in our testing – we didn’t avoid it as you suggest.”

      1. Dianne

        I wasn’t suggesting that you avoided it, I apologize if you thought so. I can see why you thought so though. I just wanted to know what to say to anyone who after reading her criticism brings it up.
        In any case, that is a red herring. How would not testing for it make what was done any better or worse?

        1. Susan Thixton Author

          Hi Diane – for any response you need for someone – we didn’t go looking for specific bacteria. They analyzed the pet food for all bacterial content – what was found was listed. That is why (my understanding) the bacteria is listed in percentages (percentage of bacteria found). As example – if Salmonella was in the foods, we would have found it. The testing was a full bacteria content testing. No one knew what we’d find – until we found it.

  16. Hannie

    We know where the truth lies…….just because we are pet parents does not mean we are fools, many of us have done our own research. And we have shared it w/others. So we know……..it’s just nice to see it proven. I have shared these results on FB & thru email & will continue to spread the word. This just backs up everything I’ve tried to tell my friends. We can never thank you enough for all you do & all “they” have put you through in the name of the almighty dollar. My dog is healthy thanks to all my research which is when I started to cook for her. End of story!

  17. Ann*

    Ms. Entis states her “professional” OPINIONS in an unprofessional format….but does not back them up with any scientific testing of her own. Until she conducts similar independent tests, I say Hogwash to most of what she opines. It looks to me like a case of professional jealousy of the efforts and following of Susan Thixton. It is so easy to criticize; yet she expects people to believe her when she has not made any serious efforts to scientifically counter the Test Results?
    I just made a visit to the Emergency Room last November for a sudden and very unpleasant onset of what I thought was food poisoning. After blood work and lab tests, I was diagnosed with “Gastroenteritis caused by a food borne toxin”. It was caused by a bacteria, a Staph not unlike those found in the pet food test results and took me a week to regain my strength.
    In my case, this food toxin came from a meal that I ate in a restaurant, but the same kind of food toxin can be gotten from handling contaminated pet food/feed. It was serious, very unpleasant, and expensive. No one should be exposed to such toxins, either in human food or pet feed. Ms. Entis seems to say that being so common/benign that it is not a serious problem; having lived thru it, I differ with her. I can only agree with another reader who called her an idiot.

  18. J King

    Don’t take it personally. These are the same tactics the (human) food industry uses to dismiss the findings of independent scientific studies that cast doubt on GMOs. You’re/we’re in good company, Susan.

    This is unprecidented. The nerve of mere pet people, getting together to intrude on the world of scientific analysis. What do we know? And since we’re not supposed to know much, they don’t actually have to engage industry experts to discount us — any old blogger with an ounce of perceived credibility will do. My response is: If you don’t look, you don’t find. (It’s the mantra of the GMO industry.) If pet people look once, they could look twice. And ATPF may not look for the same things next time, and maybe we shouldn’t because we may have missed things this time we didn’t look for. That’s why they’ll try to make us look stupid for even trying.

    The rejection of the press release, the unleashing of the retired blogger, the hacking of the website — it all means you’re making a noise within the pet food industry, Susan. Noise attracts attention, and Big Pet Food does not like unsolicited attention.

    Bravo Susan!!

  19. Ellie

    If you visit some of the many dog or pet related forums out there in the land of internet you will find many staunch defenders of junk food. If their vet says that is what their pet should have then that is all they have to know. They will defame anyone who opposes their position because, after all, they have veterinarians to back them up!

    This cheap backhanded attack on the recent test results is typical of those who know nothing about nutrition or science. They are so desperate to defend their own failure to feed real food to their pets and their own families that they will say anything in an attempt to make those that disagree with them look bad.

  20. Dianne

    We need twitter sized responses.

    “Food Bug Lady calls work of award winning scientist junk science. What are her qualifications to do so?”

    Now it just needs an appropriate bit.ly link.

    1. Laurie Matson

      Why Big Pet Foods of Course!!!

  21. Greg

    Interesting that the ill-informed blog post mentions what is supposed to be this site but instead contains a link to truthaboutpetfoodS.com, with an S. That domain redirects to a site about Life’s Abundance pet food. It could just be a misspelling I suppose, or maybe it is all part of a clumsy attempt at promotion, both self and for that food company.

    1. Dr. Laurie Coger

      Great catch, Greg! Did you notice in the top right corner it says “You’ve been challenged by Robert Albrecht?” Wonder if he is an affiliate, and gets $$ for everyone who orders Life’s Abundance from this page? Who is Robert Albrecht? I think we need to get Olivia Pope on it! 😉

  22. Stephen

    Susan ..

    You have “There” Attention …

    A good Sign ..

    Stay the – Truth About Pet Food – Course …

    You have “Our” Support.

    Right makes Might !

  23. Marge

    To Ms. Entis….Intelligence is like a river, the deeper it is, the less noise it makes!!

  24. Robert

    I think you struck a nerve with the extent and detail of the testing. This is something that Ms. Entis never accomplished on her own. I am Shocked and Saddened that she would come out of retirement to write a column based on junk reasoning.

  25. Woofielover

    Apparently, retirement funds must have dwindled. It seems highly likely that Big Pet Food may have offered her some financial incentive to come out of retirement long enough to write her uninformed review. Either that or perhaps dementia and senility are having a go at her. Whatever, we shall be as dismissive to her rantings as she has so ungraciously been to you.

  26. Ian

    Hi Susan, can you educate me on the test results? I’m pretty ignorant about this stuff. One thing I don’t understand is were the bacteria found in the food alive or dead? I would assume the bacteria were killed in the processing process and therefore wouldn’t be a risk at that point in the final food? But that their presence indicates that the ingredients themselves were not of good quality or were already spoiled when used to create the food? Is that the correct “take-away” from the results or were the bacteria actually living bacteria that survived the canning/baking process and were capable of infecting the pet and/or owner ?

    I also just read an unrelated article about an MIT scientist suggesting that the incredible explosion of autism is correlated to the rise in use of Roundup at the same time that GMO corn and soybeans became dominant… so in addition to the aflatoxin issue with grains I can see why avoiding non-organic corn and soy products may be beneficial in many ways, for both us and our pets.

  27. ira

    Greg, wow, thanks for pointing that out. I used to read alot of what Ms Ennis wrote, but i just checked and when you put in truthaboutpetfoods.com you are automitically directed to a site called feedthebest.com. I’m not sure how this could be done accidentally. Clearly looks like someone took the time to get a truthaboutpetfoods.com(with the “s”) domain to direct people to their site. Clearly,major creditibility issue in my mind.

    1. Dr. Laurie Coger

      So here is what I came up with on Robert Albrecht, whose name appears in the upper right hand corner when you click the link in Ms. Enis’ blog. He is an affiliate in the Life’s Abundance food company. The video will explain much more:

    2. Dean

      Ira/Greg

      Here you go this is who owns that Domain truthaboutpetfoods.com
      … and it was created about 12 days AFTER Susan’s… she can apply to have it removed because there are policies in pace at CIRA to prevent this kind of operation… particularly if she has copyright on TRUTH ABOUT PET FOOD…

      Domain Name: TRUTHABOUTPETFOODS.COM
      Registry Domain ID: 639974366_DOMAIN_COM-VRSN
      Registrar WHOIS Server: whois.wildwestdomains.com
      Registrar URL: http://www.wildwestdomains.com
      Update Date: 2014-10-21T14:45:47Z
      Creation Date: 2006-10-20T16:13:16Z
      Registrar Registration Expiration Date: 2015-10-20T16:13:16Z
      Registrar: Wild West Domains, LLC
      Registrar IANA ID: 440
      Registrar Abuse Contact Email: email@wildwestdomains.com
      Registrar Abuse Contact Phone: +1.480-624-2505
      Reseller: Cheap-DomainRegistration.com
      Domain Status: clientTransferProhibited http://www.icann.org/epp#clientTransferProhibited
      Domain Status: clientUpdateProhibited http://www.icann.org/epp#clientUpdateProhibited
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      Domain Status: clientDeleteProhibited http://www.icann.org/epp#clientDeleteProhibited
      Registry Registrant ID:
      Registrant Name: robert albrecht
      Registrant Organization:
      Registrant Street: 1406 nettles blvd
      Registrant City: jensen beach
      Registrant State/Province: Florida
      Registrant Postal Code: 34957
      Registrant Country: United States
      Registrant Phone: (734) 812-3448
      Registrant Phone Ext:
      Registrant Fax:
      Registrant Fax Ext:
      Registrant Email: email@itilink.com
      Registry Admin ID:
      Admin Name: robert albrecht
      Admin Organization:
      Admin Street: 1406 nettles blvd
      Admin City: jensen beach
      Admin State/Province: Florida
      Admin Postal Code: 34957
      Admin Country: United States
      Admin Phone: (734) 812-3448
      Admin Phone Ext:
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      Registry Tech ID:
      Tech Name: robert albrecht
      Tech Organization:
      Tech Street: 1406 nettles blvd
      Tech City: jensen beach
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      Name Server: NS23.DOMAINCONTROL.COM
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      DNSSEC: unsigned
      URL of the ICANN WHOIS Data Problem Reporting System: http://wdprs.internic.net/
      Last update of WHOIS database: 2015-01-08T21:00:00Z

      1. ira

        Thanks, if it was created a while back, I guess it is plausible she added the “s” as a mistake, but sill very annoying in my view. I think she is welcome to her view and if I remember correctly has a long background in food microbiology etc, but it really appears that she is trying to hurt as opposed to help which is unfortunate. I really liked her posts back when she had her blog.

      2. Ian

        I emailed the contact info given above for the truthaboutpetfoods.com site the following email: “Hi Mr Albrecht, I am shocked that you registered a misleading variation of Susan Thixton’s Truth about Pet Food website to direct people to your affiliate marketing link for pet food. Susan works tirelessly for pet food safety and your web redirect undermines her work. If you truly care about consumers and pet food as you claim in your sales pitch, please turn over the ownership of this truthaboutpetfoods.com domain name to Ms Thixton.”

        If I get any response I will post here.

  28. Terry

    We’ve got your back Susan! You put so much time and heartfelt research into your work…. I, for one, appreciate your efforts.

  29. Ian

    I have now gone and read Ms Entis’ story on the pet food results, and I’m saddened that her use of the term “junk science” of course makes our fur stand on end to defend Susan and all her good work. Ms Entis does also write “I acknowledge the good intentions of Susan Thixton and the Association for Truth in Pet Food”. I hope that both sides can listen to the other for the benefit of the next round of pet food testing. In my mind this first batch of tests was only that… the first batch of tests…. and something that ideally should be expanded and conducted on a regular basis. Improvements are always possible. With that in mind, listening carefully to critics and enlisting their advice in planning subsequent tests would be valuable and perhaps gain new allies for future testing. Let’s ask Ms Entis to suggest improvements for future testing rather than pillory her. I’d like to wait and also hear a rebuttal by Dr. Gary Pusillo and Dr. Tsengeg Purejav. I hope Ms Entis will be willing to post that rebuttal along with her original story.

    1. Catherine

      I have to say this is quite a reasoned reply. If she wants to complain then she ought to be willing to give feedback on what would be (in her book) “valid science”. Then we can evaluate whether to add that to the next round of testing. I do believe the only way for this testing to mean anything is if it is done quarterly. It needs to continually be out in the public’s eye and it needs to show if there is change over time. A one time glance through the window is not how science is done.

    2. ira

      Ian, very good comments, but if she deliberately put up a misleading link to another site advertising food, that is clearly inappropriate in my mind. I’m not sure how this could have been done accidentally. I did check the food’s review on dogfoodadvisor though, and it gets 4.5 stars.(up to anyone on how they value the ratings)

      1. Sage

        Didn’t look at Ms Entis’ site but reading through the comments here, I think she was definitely PAID to make inflamatory comments because whomever PAID HER knew what she said would attract attention. 1st – Big Pet Food may have used her because she was retired and they couldn’t get anyone reputable to slam test results that are obviously above reproach. 2nd – the “s” she added to truthaboutpetfood had to be an intentional ploy to direct traffic to the revenue-making site of a petfood business. So maybe she’s a DOUBLE AGENT! PAID first by Big Pet Food, then PAID again by the pet food business to drive traffic to their site. People who think no one will notice should think again. The TRUTH will always prevail and Susan is making that happen.

      2. Dianne

        The s is beside the d, so with fat fingers, a small not great keyboard, it could possibly be an error. Now as to the person who set up the website,……

  30. James Berwick

    Susan, We support you and your work! Nuff said? Keep it up!

  31. Michelle

    Thank you for all of your hard work. This testing has needed to be done for a long, long time and the truth is hard to swallow for those pocketing all of the money. Poisoning our animals is of no consequence to these people so they have to bash your results and try to make you look bad. Please Susan being they are bashing your results anyway PLEASE POST THE UNEDITED RESULTS!? They are playing dirty anyway. Please post the names of the pets foods along with the results!
    THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH! No one else has had the balls to do what you have done.

      1. radiantkd

        I realize I am coming into this discussion later than many of you. Because I have recently been doing some research about heavy metal contamination (or lack of it actually) in a food product I produce, I have been learning about methodology of some of these value assessments.

        I have a Ph.D. and would like to offer another perspective on the report.
        I have not analyzed all the data in depth. But here is something to think about. The report box for Beneful was scored as a *Risk Equivalent Quality* of 32 which put it into the dark red risk box suggesting DANGER. If we look at the lab results numbers, in fact all the numbers but one fall into the low risk range, with one just at the edge of medium. So the raw data would be read as everything falling into *low risk*.

        The translation into the REQ of 32 seems to skew the raw data in a significant way.

        Were I doing a *peer review* of the presentation of the data in this way, I would want to ask if the bias of the person presenting the report was creating an artificial score to inflate the meaning of the raw data.

        From my perspective, I think that is a legitimate question. I love Susan’s work, I think looking at pet food safety is important, AND from a scientific perspective, there might be some problems with the way the data are being presented. Rather than trashing the person who questioned the results as *junk science*, it might be better advised for us to do our own critique internally to bolster the legitimacy of the message.

        1. Susan Thixton Author

          The Risk Equivalent Quality takes into consideration the cumulative effect of all mycotoxin present. In other words, the risk to the pet is not only the level of each mycotoxin – but the cumulative effect of all. Which is what no one – including FDA takes into consideration. There is a heightened risk to the animal when numerous mycotoxin are present. If you read the analysis provided by Dr. Tsengeg – he mentions the risks with numerous mycotoxin.

          1. radiantkd

            I will go back and read the analysis. I think the critical question in the *validity* of the report is the support for his reasoning for the values and the impact of multiple exposure. I haven’t read it, so I can’t comment yet.

            But I can comment on all the personal trashing of Ms, Entis. It really is irrelevant to the power of the argument you are making. ather than being reactive to her comments, I strongly urge you to stay focused on your goal and purpose. Use your leadership to quiet down all this *ad hominum* distraction and get back to helping concerned pet owners know how to discern which products are good choices. 🙂

          2. Susan Thixton Author

            I understand your point – but our scientists know animal feed/food far better than Ms. Entis. This is what they do – have for decades (Dr. Pusillo) – and forensic examination of animal feed/food as well. I took her “trash science” as an attack on our experts and our report – I could not stand back and allow her statement to go without response protecting our results and our scientists. At the very least – Ms. Entis should have emailed me first with her concerns. We could have talked – I could have explained the expertise and experience behind our results. But she did not do that – she attacked first. I was quite surprised she would do something like this.

          3. radiantkd

            I totally understand your point, Susan. And, the discussion is out of control and talking about all sorts of things you or me or any of have NO data on, like who is paying whom for what. If the theme is *truth*, let’s stick to it in all things, not just the pet foods.

            People get to disagree with your methodology. And they can call it whatever they want. It is beholden on them to demonstrate something different. It is NOT personal to you or your scientists. All this stirred up energy is now going to *her* rather than the task of informing the public about the findings you believe are legitimate. If you trust your data, stand by it and forget the critique.

            YOUR credibility comes with creating leadership in the industry. Model expectations and focus. I think the issue is too important to get diverted like this. Taking a stands means having the courage to just ignore reactive replies and push forward with answers – ie how to chose wisely. It is what you do best.

            Keep doing what you do best !

        2. Mike L

          @ radiantkd,

          With respect, I do not agree that this discussion is out of control. My take on it is that Ms. Thixton has, in this site, created an environment of open dialogue and that, in part, makes her an industry leader. Do some comments get spicy and/or sometimes include speculation that can make some uncomfortable? Yes, of course. Is that a bad thing? I think not as the reader can take away what they will. The result is a variety of viewpoints that allow each of us to come to our own conclusions and provide opportunities to decide to pursue various lines of thought and research. That, I feel, is a good thing and while I may not agree with each and every post here I certainly do appreciate the opportunity to read other peoples thoughts/opinions. Weather “relevant” or not to the power of the argument she is making, the participants here are passionate and being allowed a place to share opinions that in no way affect the validity of the tests that have been conducted, the results of those tests and/or the perception of Ms. Thixton’s status as an “industry leader”.

          Clearly you feel strenuous editing of participants comments will in some way bolster Ms. Thixton’s place at the table when it comes to being taken seriously by ..well ..by whom? The AAFCO? Big Pet Food Industry? Bloggers? The FDA? Others, all or none of the listed? Is it possible that Ms. Thixton is in some way being thwarted because of her decision to allows her readers a venue to express opinions? I think that’s quite likely if not probable but still, even with that going against her, she manages to move forward – to press for real change and real education and that, in my not so humble opinion, radiantkd, is what makes her a maverick and a true industry leader.

          While the ex-blogger person has a right to her opinion, as do we all, it appears she has taken a cowardly route in choosing to not allow (or perhaps participate) in a forum that allows for comments by others. It also appears that she is not interested in connecting with Ms. Thixton in order to more directly address her concerns. Again, cowardly behaviour, in my opinion.

          Anyone can make bold statements, true leaders allow others to connect and express views and observations – just like the dialogue you’re enjoying here right now.

  32. Madeleine

    Not to worry. The Pet Food industry is worried or they never would have made this woman emerge from the comfort of retirement. And I would bet that she was paid handsomely for her comments. The thing is, the cat/dog is out of the bag. The report has been on Facebook, Twitter and I’m sure on other social networks. Once pet parents get merely a word of the foul toxins that goes into the pet foods we purchase with confidence with the resultant feeling of being lied to and scammed, there will be consumer retribution. And I would not be surprised if many of those foods are the causes of several diseases that plague and kill out little ones. It is no secret that Chronic Renal Failure is on the rise in cats and I would not doubt the veracity of those tests demonstrating that one or more of those foods may be the reason. I fed my guys Wellness for years with confidence that it was a high-quality food. My cats may have payed the ultimate price.

    1. Elf

      I COMPLETELY AGREE! I WISH I COULD FIND SOMETHING SAFE TO FEED MY CATS.
      You used to be able to purchase taurine (essential for pets) to add to home-cooked recipes but unfortunately it is no longer available for consumers to purchase.

      1. Sage

        ELF – TAURINE is readily available from many sources. Thomas Labs sells bulk powder which I’ve used (and tasted) for my cats home made Raw Chicken formula. It has no taste and dissolves easily. You can order it here http://www.thomaslabs.com/products/483-fel-o-taurine.aspx If you are near a Whole Foods market, they sell 500 mg Taurine capsules which you open and empty the powder contents into your cats food – dose adjusted for the amount of food you are making – also no taste or smell. Petco sells HUMAN GRADE SOULISTIC wet food for CATS which my cats love and so far it’s very safe http://www.soulisticpet.com/cans.php It’s made by WERUVA http://www.weruva.com. ORIJEN Dry is excellent until tests prove otherwise but WET is MUCH better for CATS and a balanced homemade formula is safest if you can do it. Dr. Lisa Pierson has a recipe and info at http://www.catinfo.org/?link=makingcatfood and SUSAN, HERE, has a book for home made Cat and Dog recipes on this site in addition to her List of Foods she would feed.

  33. Gitta

    Frankly, I would be more alarmed if there was nothing but silence. No smear campaign, no junk bloggers giving the appearance of being bought and paid for by big pet food.

    What this junk blogger writes smells an awful lot like slander, libel, fear and desperation. If she is determined to ruin her reputation with cheap gossip and false accusations – more power to her. But unfortunately she will have believers who are going to just swallow and believe and pass this indigestible nonsense on to others. Relying on her reputation and the appearance of a factual rebuttal.

    Seems somebody dragged her off the porch to do their bidding. It that’s the case, then we are dealing with some big cowards.

  34. Ian

    I tried to email Ms Entis directly at the contact info on her blog, but it got bounced back, and the web address given as her email server only brings up a page covered with asian characters. I also tried to comment on her info page at her blog but it wouldn’t accept a comment. Here is the content of the email I tried to send to her, in case she happens to read this page: ” Dear Ms Entis, are you aware there seems to be a link error in your story about the pet food testing, where you try to link to http://www.truthaboutpetfood.com but instead you link to truthaboutpetfoods.com with an “s” which is actually a confusing re-direct to someone’s affiliate marketing retail pet food site?

    I think you made some interesting points in your commentary; I wish perhaps some of the language had been a little less aggressive since terms like “junk science” inflame the debate and don’t really further the shared goal of making pet food safer.

    This was Susan’s first attempt to conduct independent testing and explain the results. I would love it if you would put your skills to work helping her and the consultants she employed to refine the test protocols and explanation of the results to make future testing more useful.”

    To TAPF readers, there may be a few valid issues raised in her story. For example, she points out that we value probiotics (living bacteria) in pet food and some classes of bacteria have both helpful and harmful variants, and that without identifying the specific variant you can’t tell if the bacteria present is a harmful one or a helpful probiotic.

    1. Sue

      I tried to comment on Ms. Entis’s page also and couldn’t find a “comment” place. I just feel, why should these things be found in “food” in the first place, no matter how small the evidence, it shouldn’t be in there. Maybe in smaller doses being eaten once in awhile, but these pets are eating this EVERYDAY, it’s their food. What if these findings were in human food??? Whole different ball game then, right Ms. Entis?
      I thank you Susan for doing what you do and for handling this they way you are! here here.

  35. Franny Syufy

    I know nothing about the “Food Bug Lady,” nor of her credentials. What I DO know is that I trust Susan Thixton, and her associates and followers trusted her enough to raise the funds necessary to pay for the food product testing.

  36. Allison

    Definition of junk science “untested or unproven theories when presented as scientific fact”. Considering you have tested and proven that these mycotoxins etc. are in the pet food there is no way this can be considered junk science!! I love you for what you do!! I am so happy I no longer feed my pets anything I don’t make or handle myself and that is thanks to you!! My pets are so much healthier and happier now. These idiots have no idea what they are talking about and they have not tried to test or prove anything so they shouldn’t even be allowed to comment as far as I’m concerned!

  37. Carol North

    I have one question: Who paid Ms. Entis for that attack? Certainly doesn’t sound credible to me. Susan, I have followed your work and writings for years and am a big fan! I have quoted you and your work many times. You provide a great service to pet owners and I thank you!

  38. michele

    oh dear, this food bug individual sounds as if she is somewhat intellectually challenged. her statements are bizarre and worrying. she should go back into retirement, and soon. fortunately, intelligent, thinking people will draw their own conclusions i.e. that any pathogens found in processed food is completely and utterly unacceptable.

    Susan please keep up the sterling job you’re doing. We need to know. Thank you.

    1. Angela

      Ms Entis 2nd rebuttal pertaining to the specific tests on ‘canned’ food may have some merit but just for entertainment value, let’s turn the tables and suggest the tests were conducted on human food. Her argument no doubt would support the findings.

  39. Dawn Munson-Detloff

    Hi Susan, I am so thankful for the information you put out. You have impacted my life, and my doggys lives in such a positive way that I don’t think you’ll know the impact until you reach heaven. You know when you are making an impact when others lie and pursicuite you. its all about money. Money from pet food companies and money for vets after your dog becomes sick from eating the toxic food. I only wish I found you sooner before I lost my dog Grimmy from liver cancer. A toxic liver from a so called quality Vet approved dog food. Thank you Susan for all you do.
    Dawn, Bunny and Jake. E:x

  40. Scientific Integrity

    Your intentions are good but if you do not publish in proper scientific journal format with a METHODS section that tells the reader exactly how the study was conducted, and how analysis was carried out, how bacteremia were tested etc, there is no way to scruitize the way the data was collected or to reproduce the results. Further, your results were not peer reviewed by un-biased, anonymous reviewers before you published – these people would have been able to help identifiy weaknessess and areas that need addressing in order to increase the integrity of the work. Finally, you have no reference section and your conclusions do not take into account other work that has been conducted on the topic, nor do you take time to address the strengths and limitations of your results and methods in your conclusion. You would benefit from looking into how to write a scientific paper properly: http://abacus.bates.edu/~ganderso/biology/resources/writing/HTWtoc.html

    Sorry but this is junk science (defined as “untested or unproven theories when presented as scientific fact”). Simply put, the quality of your analysis is poor, the risk of bias in the results reported is high, and your works not peer reviewed by experts in the field. Thus, the findings of your report are questionable. Don’t take it personally – you’re not a scientist and have no background or training in the area. Please don’t pretend that you do. Good scientists have to learn how to take criticism in stride and make positive use of it. Something you have trouble with, apparently.

    Science is falsibiable; that is why it works. Criticism is an essential part of vetting scientific works. That is why any credible publication is peer reviewed before it is released to the public. Results are not taken as fact simply because the authors of one “study” claim them to be so. If you were truly concerned about the integrity of your research you would take the criticism with a grain of salt, and use it to extend your work. Conduct another study and address the criticism. Don’t just assume you did everything right and have no areas that could be improved upon. I think you have the potential to do good work but you must remain critical every step of the way. The moment you stop being critical of your work, methods, conclusions, etc is the moment you cease conducting legitimate research.

    1. Dianne

      Let’s look at this another way. If your doctor runs tests on you, do you ask which lab he uses, how they prepare, handle and evaluate the results? If your dog is sick, and you go to the best vet and ask them to run tests and once you get the results you let people know what they are, would you expect to be required to have the results peer reviewed before letting anyone know about them? Would you want those results published in a peer reviewed journal before you accepted them? You could be waiting an awful long time. I don’t know about you, but I prefer to read what amounts to an executive summary rather than all the little details. Susan hired specialists to carry out the actual work and is trusting them to know what they are doing. I believe she has done her due diligence.

      In any case, this is a fact finding study, there are no theories presented to be proved or disproved.

      1. Phaedra

        The labs will test exactly how you ask them to test, including methods and a list of target organisms. If you ask to look for Salmonella, they won’t look for listeria. A study is only as good as it’s design. A saavy consumer or patient will ask questions about the lab used, the test requested and so on. If your practioner orders a fasting blood sugar test after you’ve just had a coke, that doesn’t make you diabetic. It makes your doctor an bone head. Garbage in, garbage out.

        And if your dr says you have cancer for example, yes, by having a second opinion, you are effectively peer reviewing their diagnosis.

    2. Dianne

      “Science is falsibiable; that is why it works.” What exactly does this mean?

      Also, I don’t believe that Susan actually did any of the analysis, she is reporting the results of a study she paid highly qualified people to run. I can’t recall her ever mentioning that she thought she was a scientists doing research, she did say she hired scientists to do the work. She has said who she hired and listed their qualifications.

      Now did you read the entire 52 page report and can you give any reason why she shouldn’t trust the work of those scientists?

      Your criticism has to be presented with the same rigour as you expect of what Susan has done, otherwise it is just an opinion to be given the same weight you give to this study. Don’t take it personally.

    3. Susan Thixton Author

      The thing is, this was not a “study”. This was consumers with the help of trusted scientists ‘testing’ pet foods. The testing results have been called a ‘study’ only by those that criticize it for not being a proper study. I published test results (for consumers) – not a study. The peers we are concerned with here are other pet food consumers. As well – almost all studies do not mention the names of the pet foods. Those kind of studies often have other purposes than simply providing results – which most often is not to benefit pet food consumers with information (what foods were tested). So even though the scientific community tries to discount our results – they are true results.

      1. Ian

        The issue for me …. and what Ms Entis is also questioning (in her own cranky way) is “what is the significance of the results” and how do you explain the significance to both the consumer and the scientist.

        And going forward, how do we make future testing even more relevant and even better explained.

        I’m writing only as a layman who basically skimmed and tried to absorb what I could easily. Probably what most of the general public would do.

        From what I understand, the really good news of the study was no euthanizing drugs found, and no evidence of the melamine issue…. which as I recall is in direct contrast to what the Hong Kong or Taiwan people found with their product testing, that initially started this whole TAPF study (if memory serves).

        The bad news was high bacteria levels and high cumulative doses of aflatoxins.

        I still don’t understand, were the found bacteria alive or dead?

        Entis questioned the significance of the bacteria found, including whether some of the bacteria might actually be the beneficial “active probiotics” we praise when they are sprayed and guaranteed as live on kibble.

        There have also been questions about the way the aflatoxin measurements were discussed, which might indicate it needs a little more explanation.

        I think I remember Susan saying at one point that the funds did not allow for DNA testing to see what animal proteins are actually being used in the manufacturing.

        That’s something I’d like to see going forward…. after a discussion about how do we make the next round of testing even more meaningful.

        Which is not to put down or criticize the current ground-breaking testing and results. Great job Susan !

        But just to say, OK, how we do we take the inevitable criticisms and make our next tests even stronger.

        FYI, I’m grateful at least that Entis’s apparent mistake exposed the “truthaboutpetfoodS.com” guy as a scam artist. I’ve had no reply yet to my email to his listed administrative contact for that domain.

    4. Mike L

      @ Scientific Integrity

      You are 100% correct and your well thought out explanation of how scientific studies are properly conducted and presented is a pleasure to read. There’s a basic problem with your post though – The tests and report were/are just that and only that and not a study nor the results of a study. I went back and re-read the post here that announced the results of the testing. There isn’t any place (correct me if I’m wrong) where this presentation has stated to be anything other than consumer funded tests and the resulting report.

      So, this effort is not a study to be peer reviewed and published as is the correct procedure when a scientific study has been conducted. This is a unique moment and effort that, I hope, launches more testing and reporting. I feel that you put it well when you stated:

      “The moment you stop being critical of your work, methods, conclusions, etc is the moment you cease conducting legitimate research.”

      Ms. Thixton and friends will likely take your words to heart in an ever ongoing effort to bring honest, valuable and useful information to the public to use or discard as they see fit. Seems to me that this first round of tests and results have been a wildly successful first effort.

  41. Tammy Baugh

    I woulď just ignore Miss Entis bad revirw.After all her old ass is retired for a reason
    She is old.Dors her old opinion really mattet that much to you? Not me.

  42. barbara

    The comments by readers re Dr Entis as being an idiot and in the pocket of Big Pet, are complete nonsense. As Ian said, a collaboration might be a good idea. Possibly the association could use a group of competent scientists, such as Dr Entis, to collaborate on the next testing round. The more science behind the testing, the better. Thankfully, Scientific Integrity has just commented.

    Scientists want other scientists (or peers) in the same field of study to review their methods and challenge their results. Why? Because the public and the scientific community will have confidence in their explanations only after other qualified scientists have judged their work to be valid.

    Scientists are notoriously difficult to argue with, as they’re so sure they’re right! What makes it especially frustrating to argue with a scientist is the jargon they use; if you don’t speak their language, you’re probably not going to change their mind.

    So, all this said: let them disagree with each other and come up with a plan – or not. It’s worth a try.

    1. Dianne

      Are you sure she is a doctor? This is what she has in her about section Phyllis Entis, MSc., SM(NRCM)

  43. Jeri

    Angela, I have no idea who Rick Berman is, but do you know who Nathan Winograd is? He has an advocacy group for NO KILL and has written many books in which he has documented the obstacles to our nation becoming no kill. Sadly, the groups mentioned here are some of the leading, powerful obstacles standing in the way. I urge you to read “Redemption” and “Irreconcilable Differences” (available on Amazon). “Redemption” was made into a film.

    He goes through the history of these groups and how far they have fallen from their purported mission. You can check out charity information and find out how much they spend on administration and PR. It’s a great deal more than they are spending to help animals (of course PETA defines “helping animals” as “killing them”.) Everything you will find in Winograd’s books is documented and verifiable from objective sources. I urge you to do some objective research and find out who these groups really are.

    They may have a noble public face, but that is not who they have been for a long time (if indeed they have ever been that noble). They have fooled a lot of people (including me) for a long time, but the truth is getting out and people have seen their masks slip. They will not receive one dime from me until they return to a truly pro-animal stance. Doing some good doesn’t excuse trespassing on someone’s property, kidnapping a dog, and killing her (well-known that she was a pet). Whoever Rick Berman is, he didn’t make that up. You can watch the video for yourself.

    Ditto the repeated opposition of HSUS and ASPCA to legislation which would force shelters to be held accountable. No one made that up either. It’s not propaganda, but fact. So is the HSUS’s opposition to save the Vick dogs. The truth is out there for those willing to genuinely look objectively at the facts. They aren’t pretty, I grant you, but they are the truth and the facts are verifiable from objective sources.

    Please read Winograd’s book “Redemption” and see the history of these groups in action. I doubt you’ll see them the same way afterwards.

    Now, again, I would suggest we agree to disagree on this subject in the meantime (although I really hope you will read the work referenced.) Susan is probably tired of this very OT convo.

    1. Angela

      I am surprised you have not heard of Rick Berman, then again I would not expect Winograd to mention Berman’s PR firm in his self-promotion campaign.

      “The “PETA Kills Animals” phenomenon was a hoax perpetrated by the Center for Consumer Freedom, a slick Washington public relations outfit that protects the interests of animal enterprise industries. They created the hoax to mitigate PETA’s impact on their meat and biomedical industry clients’ profit margins.

      For example, one of the Center for Consumer Freedom’s clients is Covance Laboratories, the world’s largest breeder of dogs used in biomedical research. Chances are, if you’ve ever seen an image of a beagle laying dead and disassembled in a research lab, he or she originated from a Covance puppy mill. Again, Covance is a client.

      Not so admirably, others have jumped on the “PETA Kills Animals” bandwagon to mitigate PETA’s impact on their agendas. Nathan Winograd falls into this category. Rather than address head-on PETA’s concerns about dangerous and ineffective “no kill” initiatives, Nathan Winograd uses the “PETA Kills Animals” hoax to change the conversation. Would it have been less effective if they said “PETA Humanely Euthanizes Animals”. Unfortunately, for animals in many “no kill” shelters and rescues, PETA’s concerns that the “no kill” movement is causing them harm, appear to be valid. http://www.examiner.com/article/the-curious-case-of-nathan-winograd-1

      Yes, Nathan Winograd has published 3 books…you would be well served to do some background research and to not take everything he writes as gospel. Nathan Winograd spins his words and takes license with quotes to further his agenda and pad his pockets.

      As for PETA ‘killing’ animals? Do you know the complete story about their rescue and shelter efforts along the Virginia/NC border? The communities there were among the poorest, and the rescues involved horrific cases of abuse and neglect. Many animals, supposedly pets, were so broken, they were humanely euthanized to spare their suffering. Have you seen the photos, do you know their stories? I will not post a link here as it would be inappropriate.

      As I stated in an earlier post, we would not be having this discussion if not for the efforts of PETA, the HSUS, and the like.

      I should add CCF has changed their name to the Center for Organizational Research and Education or CORE. They are operating under the guise of exposing and educating the public about activist groups funded in part by BigAg and BigPharma. Stay tuned…

      1. Greg

        It’s easy to verify that PETA’s shelter kills the vast majority of animals they take in. They have to report the numbers to the Virginia Dept of Agriculture, who posts them online. Start with this link so it’s clear that it’s the state web site. http://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/animals/index.shtml Then click on “Annual Reports from Pounds and Shelters” under the “Animal Welfare” heading. Select “Single Organization” and a year, you can go back to 2004. At this writing, PETA’s 2014 report is not online yet. The 2012 and 2013 numbers aren’t as bad as the 95% plus kill rate in 2011, so I guess that’s an improvement. But 80%+ kill rate still suggests they can’t really be bothered trying to save more of them. It’s one thing if that’s an animal control pound rate, but this is PETA, supposedly one of the first names in animal welfare. To me it suggests that PETA’s animal welfare interests don’t particularly extend to companion animals.

        1. Angela

          Au contraire Greg, again, both you and Jeri espouse all the talking points from Berman’s many websites.

          PETA’s community outreach with the local shelters in the poorest counties found that those shelters were using the gas chambers as their method of euthanasia and some still do. The companion animals you speak of were brought in by their owners when they could not afford Vet’s fees. It was either surrender their dying pets to the kill shelters where they were gassed or have them humanely euthanized. Follow the money of those websites…

          Finally, I came to ‘Truth about Pet Food’ in support of Susan, not to defend animal rights groups but when Jeri made her defamatory remarks in response to Sharon’s post – I had to weigh in.

          Off my soap-box.

        2. Jeri

          You are right, Greg, but don’t expect those who have been blinded to be able to recognize an objective source of information…. No defamatory remarks, Angela, just the truth. If you wish to ignore it that is your choice, but PETA is no friend to animals. And the other two are hardly doing “all they can” to see that no kill becomes the law of the land…The truth is not being put out by those groups, that’s certain.

          I guess we’ll have to disagree that killing healthy, adoptable animals is in any way “humane” or “euthanization”, but PETA will tell people anything and sadly, some believe it. I’m sure PETA has a nice “back story” all ready for the fact that they trespassed on a homeowner’s land so they could kill their pet. Yes, that’s some “humane” animal-loving group there. Horrible.

          You keep saying you’re “off your soap box” but you just won’t let it go. As I said (now for the third or fourth time??) it’s time to move on because we will not agree on this.

          1. Angela

            It’s very simple. (rhetoric) If you take your suffering pet to the Vet to be humanely ‘put down’, is your Vet a killer? Based on what you are reading and taking as gospel, the only answer is ‘yes’ and I’m beginning to think that even if the animal were suffering badly, you would think humane euthanasia as wrong. This is the spin of Winograd and Berman – how it influences thinking. I am not trying to change your mind Jeri, but you do a disservice to everyone who has ever had to make the difficult choice of euthanizing a four-legged family member.

          2. Jeri

            Guess you never read carefully what I wrote, Angela. I said – and I repeat –HEALTHY, ADOPTABLE ANIMALS are what I was referencing – which PETA kills regularly. How is that a disservice to those euthanizing suffering animals?? Your post makes absolutely no sense and is a complete non-sequitur to the conversation. You may gloss over all killing and try to call it “euthanasia”, but most people understand the difference. Why don’t you? You are the one who does disservice to animals by claiming all killing is euthanasia. It is not. You assume a great deal and refuse to read what has been provided by me and others here from objective sources (see Greg’s post – not a “biased” source of information.) You are free to ignore the facts, but you are not free to malign those with whom you disagree by accusing them of all manner of evil, etc… Read and learn, or don’t and stay in the dark. It’s all the same to me. I take great care of my animals, thank you – and since you appear to have gone off the deep end on this we will not converse again. I will get no more notifications of your comments – which is just as well because I will not be reading them. They simply aren’t worth it.

          3. Angela

            Objective sources? Jeri H, your source of information (Winograd) is not credible – and the fact that you never heard of Berman leads me to believe that you are ‘assuming’ a great deal without doing the proper research. Dig deeply and the truth will come out about Winograd Further, I did not malign your character – your insistence that you have the facts without being able to provide credible sources is calling the kettle black. Please choose your words carefully.

          4. Susan Thixton Author

            Angela and Jeri – I ask both of you to not continue this argument on this article. Please – no more.

  44. Joanie

    Petfood community reacts to recent consumer-funded testing

    Findings leave unanswered questions, but reaffirm petfood safety, says PFI

    Release Date: ‎1‎/‎13‎/‎2015 Comments(0)

    Recent consumer-funded petfood testing coordinated by the Association for Truth in Pet Food has drawn responses from the petfood industry, which is questioning the methods used and the relevance of the results.

    The Pet Food Institute (PFI) released a statement outlining the testing each product undergoes before it reaches the shelves, and said that simple test results don’t provide the complete safety picture. “Petfood ingredients and products undergo rigorous testing by petfood companies, FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and state regulators to ensure safety, quality and appropriate levels of nutrition,” said PFI. “The test results by themselves do not provide sufficient information to appropriately draw conclusions. Additional information is needed, such as the sampling method and laboratory materials used, measures taken to prevent contamination of samples, analytical methods employed, and test controls in place.”

    According to PFI, the testing results actually reaffirm the record of safety in petfood:
    •Mycotoxins detected were well below the levels set by FDA and were essentially at background levels.
    •Nutrient levels overall were consistent with the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) nutrient profiles. Variation from the AAFCO nutrient profiles can be validated by conducting a feeding protocol using a particular cat or dog food product. Therapeutic products are fed under the direction and oversight of a veterinarian and may be designed to vary from the AAFCO nutrient profiles as part of the approach to addressing a particular health condition.
    •The findings reported do not identify any bacterial species associated with foodborne illness or food spoilage.
    •The most common foodborne pathogens were not detected in the test results, again validating the safety of the products tested.

    Phyllis Entis, MSc., SM(NRCM), an author and food safety microbiologist, said the consumer-funded testing focused on all the wrong things. “What I find ‘shocking and sad’ is the waste of consumers’ money in a wild goose chase after low-level pathogens of minimal risk to either humans or their pets,” she said, in a post on FoodSafetyNews.com. Entis asked why the petfood samples weren’t tested for known animal and human pathogens such as Salmonella and Campylobacter, and said that without providing species-level identification of bacteria, the results were useless.

    “I acknowledge the good intentions of Susan Thixton and the Association for Truth in Pet Food, but I am appalled at the way in which this study was designed and carried out,” said Entis. “The portions of the study relating to bacterial analysis and presentation of the mycotoxin results are the epitome of junk science. The pet-loving consumers who funded this study—and their dogs and cats—deserved far better.”

    In response, Thixton said the study is in no way “junk science,” listing the scientists who oversaw the project and providing a bio of INTI Service Corp., the company the scientists work for. She also defended the pathogens tested and the information in the report. “The information provided in the full report was quoted from FDA, the Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations,” said Thixton. “I am by no means a scientist, so I relied on information from these well-known organizations to provide risk information to consumers.”

  45. Debra

    Dr. Entis should go back into retirement and shut up forever. She’s doing more harm than good.

    1. Dianne

      I have been trying to find out if she is actually a doctor (Ph.D. or M.D.) She doesn’t mention it in any of her profiles. But the link to her blog from her linked in profile is redirected to a page with oriental characters. She used to work for the Canadian Government though.

  46. Dianne

    It occurs to me that a these people criticizing the lack of methods information, expect us to blindly swallow when we are told that a manufacturer does all this intensive testing and quality control, and yet, they are not required to provide us with all the information to allow us to evaluate their methods or anything else. They do not even offer proof that the testing did in fact take place. Now if the results of this test had been that everything was fine, would the pet food companies and their “shills” demand to know everything done so that they could believe the results? No, of course not. How naïve of me to expect that degree of honesty and integrity.

  47. Phaedra

    https://efoodalert.wordpress.com/2015/01/08/still-shocked-and-saddened/

    You folks will believe what you like, that doesn’t make it true. Even very clean food for human consumption will contain a level of organisms.

    As the FSMA rules take effect over the next year or two, the expectation that animal feed will adhere to standards nearly identical to human food will be codified. I don’t understand why everyone assumes that industry is out to kill their customers. Or lie to them. The food and feed industries are full of ethical food safety professionals out to produce safe products.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      A very good friend of mine – a independent pet store owner – was told by a pet food industry representative that recalls are “good for business”. Pets die – people buy news ones along with new beds, new toys. True story. As for many people here – including myself – this industry has killed many of our pets. And many of us have been lied to as well. I think you are posting your comments on the wrong website.

      1. Sherrie Ashenbremer

        That’s horrible that pet food industry people think like that but I believe it’s true. They are all about more profits, they don’t care about our animals. Please, if they can make for money (the almighty dollar) that’s the bottom line. That’s how many things are in today’s world, it’s all about profits!

    2. Angela

      Phaedra, the pet food industry is a billion dollar business.

      ‘Americans own more than 130 million cats and dogs and spend over $12 billion per year (it’s up to 19 billion today) on commercial pet foods.

      The commercial pet food industry faces minimal substantive regulation, despite navigating several layers of regulation from various groups including the FDA, the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), and state regulators.

      The FDA entrusts AAFCO to issue regulations governing ingredients, feeding trials, labels and nutritional claims.

      But AAFCO’s rules fall short of ensuring that America’s pets receive adequate nutrition, or even foods that won’t cause chronic digestive, skin, eye, and coat problems.

      The influence by the pet food industry over AAFCO manifests itself through AAFCO’s irrational regulations, including ingredient definitions which effectively prohibit organic chickens and vegetables, while blindly permitting thousands of euthanized cats and dogs to make their way into pet foods through the unsupervised rendering industry.

      Trusting, but uneducated, consumers purchase these commercial pet foods under the assumption that the FDA or some other regulatory body has ensured that the foods contain “balanced” meals, and “complete” nutrition.

      These consumers naively believe veterinarians that endorse and sell pet foods from their offices while neglecting to mention that these “pet doctors” are often “on the take” and can earn up to 20% of their total income from such sales. This paper will examine the ways in which inadequate regulation results in confused consumers and sick, malnourished pets. Ultimately this paper seeks to reveal that multiple parties, including consumers themselves, share the blame for the current muddled state of regulation.’

      This paper is not recent but all the talking points still apply to the current pet food industry practices.

      http://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/10018997/Patrick06.html?sequence=2

  48. Gitta

    One person wrote: “Your intentions are good but if you do not publish in proper scientific journal format with a METHODS section that tells the reader exactly how the study was conducted, and how analysis was carried out, how bacteremia were tested etc, there is no way to scruitize the way the data was collected or to reproduce the results.”

    Study? Since when is a random and fairly small sampling and testing of pet foods a study that should be published in a peer reviewed journal? As if Susan had control over that to begin with. The Journals determine what they will publish.
    Where are studies on the ingredients declared safe by food manufacturers? See Susan’s latest comments about the AAFCO meeting. They demand approval within 180 days. Good luck trying to get a study published in that time frame.

    As to the earlier comment, that this discussion is “out of control” is just too (insert any politically correct word here). Baffling why this author would then go ahead and add her 2 out of control cents as well. Kettle and pot. To point out what Susan SHOULD be doing is silly enough to cause me whiplash. Discussing the report in an intelligent manner, from many backgrounds and viewpoints will help to spread the word about the report. It is my strong belief, that the vast majority of adults of average intelligence are quite capable of separating the report from the comments section where a number of people are free to share their OPINIONS. Opinions are like noses. Everybody has one, all have holes. Those who choose to disregard it and cling to what they want to believe are free to do so. Those who choose to make different purchase decisions are free to do so.

  49. S.Black

    I do not need any convincing that the large pet food companies do not care about our cats and dogs; they care only about the billions of dollars that they make because too many pet owners put their trust in them.

    In the summer of 2014 I accidently came across some sites on the internet on the subject of what is actually in kibble and canned pet food. I flipped!
    Fortunately I also saw some info on the internet on the subject of raw feeding. Initially I was sure that feeding raw was just a fad, too much trouble, crazy, dangerous to the health of my cats, etc But, I kept an open mind and read more and once I understood that “carnivore” meant raw food, I switched my cats to raw. It is easy to do, only a fraction more expensive than the grocery store canned and kibble that I was feeding them, and cheaper than the high end canned cat food. The most important point is that raw is what cats and dogs need to live a long, healthy life.
    My point is that instead of battling the giant pet food companies to do the right thing, ( a brave but exhausting fight)………. pet owners put the commercial pet food companies out of business if we all switch to feeding raw. . .. so simple.

    1. Jeri

      I agree. Feeding raw is such a “game changer” for the health of our animals. I know your furbabies are doing so much better now that they’re off the species-inappropriate stuff!

  50. Anne

    Susan:

    What is the difference between “Animal Feed” and “Pet Food”; surely you are not saying “Animal Feed” is sold as “Pet Food”? Animal Feed is for livestock and poultry: Pet Food is canned or Pellets for Dogs and Cats! so ny poor people esp poor youth can buy only dry type pellets; so I say: dry type pellets mixed with water eggs and veggie oil are ok!!(unless you want to donate canned food to dog owners who are poor)! my 2c !!! Anne

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      Yes – that is exactly what I am saying. Pet ‘food’ is regulated not by ‘food’ law – it is regulated by ‘feed’ law. Most ‘pet foods’ on store shelves do not meet the requirements (legal requirements) of food – they are feed.

      1. Anne

        Hi Susan: “got your message”; very typical USDA tactic; I did not know this and thanks for the info!

        Summary: The USDA labels Companion Pet Food as “Feed”(ie Poultry feed) thereby allowing “bad ingredients” to be in our Pet Companions’ Food !!

        Be good to see this outdated Law updated !!!
        Thank-u; Anne Conn. USA

  51. pam

    My doberman consumed a Whimzees brand dog treat that poisoned him. I have 2 of the treats left. I am very interested in finding out what exactly it is that almost cost him his life. I have a small child in my home so I have the remaining treats wrapped up and put away from being handled. 

    1. Sherrie Ashenbremer

      This is the first time I have heard anything bad about Whimzee’s. I have fed these to my dogs, I think I will stop. Thank you

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