There is no excuse. No pet food company should make misleading or false statements to consumers on their website. Some examples of false statements from Hill’s Pet Foods.
There is so much misinformation about pet food. ‘They’ blame those pesky bloggers (pet food trouble makers) but actually much of the misinformation comes directly from pet food companies hoping to sell their products to consumers. Found on the Hill’s pet food website…
Hill’s suggests to consumers that the Association of Animal Feed Control Officials – AAFCO – “verifies” that pet foods are complete and balanced. This is not true.
AAFCO does not ‘verify’ pet foods at all, they have no regulatory authority. AAFCO is an independent association consisting of State Department of Agriculture and FDA members. AAFCO is responsible for writing “model bills” which become state laws (when/if accepted by individual states) governing pet foods/animal feeds. AAFCO also is responsible for defining pet food/animal feed ingredients. State Department of Agriculture or FDA might verify the complete and balanced claim, but AAFCO does not.
Hill’s also suggests to consumers that AAFCO tests pet food; “AAFCO testing procedures”. Again, this is not true. AAFCO itself does not test any pet food, does not verify any complete and balanced claim, does not verify anything on a pet food/animal feed label. Testing and verification is done by State Department of Agriculture and/or FDA.
Another very misleading statement on the same Hill’s webpage is this:
Wrong. If you see the words “…for all lifestages” on a pet food package, it means just that…a pet food suitable for all life stages – puppy/kitten and adult. The AAFCO definition of this claim is: “means gestation/lactation, growth, and adult maintenance life stages.” The claim is NOT limited to puppy or kitten foods as Hill’s tells consumers.
Yes…the above misleading statements from Hill’s are minor twists of the actual facts/regulations – they are not life threatening. But they are a problem – part of the bigger problem of many pet food websites completely out of control. Everything from misleading images of beautiful human grade foods implying the pet feed is made with this quality of ingredient to twists of the facts causing an unknowing consumer to believe the pet feed is tested and highly regulated – pet food websites have become the wild, wild west of deceit.
Regulatory authorities MUST begin to regulate pet food websites. Legally, they are considered an extension of the pet food label – thus it is the legal responsibility of FDA and each State Department of Agriculture to monitor misleading claims on pet food websites.
If a pet food company wants our respect…wants our trust…wants us as a customer, start with honesty. If regulatory authorities want our respect…start with enforcing the law(s). Pet food consumers deserve better than this.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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