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Pet Food Smart Label


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  1. Kenneth Kalligher

    I would be very wary of “good” information depending on the source of the information. Labels have a historic bad image in my mind. The ingredients are manipulated to benefit the manufacturer and provide little “real” information for consumers. TAPF’s own testing revealed a huge problem in labeling.

  2. Debra Reynolds

    Will it work with all types of Cell phones…I have just a plain old LG Wine 2, has no internet features…Will that work…if not, then what good would that be

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      I believe it will only work with smart phones – and it would require Internet to be taken to the page with label information. Agreed – it is not a good solution.

      1. Mollie Morrissette

        Actually – you don’t need a smart phone to access it – it works on plain ol’ pc’s, tablets, etc. And the mfg will have links to their SmartLabel pages on their websites too.

  3. Mollie Morrissette

    Initially I thought it might be a good idea – in theory – but when I realized it was designed by the GMA…All hope went out the window.

    All of the major (pet) food mfgs have already signed on, but I suspect that because the pages are a marketing tool (and not a transparency tool) run by the mfg themselves (all the information provided will come from the mfg) – that the SmartLabel will be useless.

    Oh, and forget about them ever telling you the country of origin of an ingredient. Ain’t gonna happen.

    For now, I give it a whopping thumbs down.

    1. J King

      The Grocery Manufacturers’ Association would like to do the same with GMO labeling so industrial food can put its own rosy spin on everything biotech. I’m not buying it there, and certainly not buying it on pet food.

    2. Batzion

      Mollie Morrissette, I agree 100%. I Would not trust anything coming out of the GMA.

    3. annie malone

      Unfortunate, but correct. GIGO Garbage in, garbage out. I was lucky, I think, in that while phoning dog food companies during the Great Chinese Melamine Poisonings of ’07, I dug up someone at the Tractor Supply Co. who got her paws on a country of origin sheet. iirc, it only took 6 or 7 phone calls around the company, as well as to the processing plants. Their 4Health dog food (the lamb and rice) only has one micro-nutrient from China. Been feeding it ever since with good results, and as much peace of mind as possible when dealing with dog food!
      I think this is an advertising scam.

      1. Kenneth Kalligher

        We must all remember that many of the dog and cat food brands are not manufactured by the outlets that sell them. We all remember Diamond Brands and the manifold problems they delivered to our pets. The infractions of the pet food industry are daily and often. My confidence level when making a direct contact for information from a brand is ZERO. Many of the people supplying the information, just don’t have a clue what is in the brands they represent. Additionally, today a reformulation can take place and it may take months for that reformulation to be reflected on a label. An ingredient may be sourced from an overseas supplier today and will never need to be reflected on a label. All perfectly legal. I can tell you from over 50 years in the food manufacturing industry that every day can and does deliver variations to the formulations produced in all recipes. Unless fresh ingredients are purchased by you and prepared by you to be fed by you to your pet, confidence is a crap shoot. If we think the beautiful cuts of meat, poultry or fish we see on the labels of pet food are in there, then who is fooling who? Notwithstanding ingredients, the element of mistakes, unintentional or intentional, and the inconsistencies in raw material supplies should make one nervous. Then we get to handling in the facility where an otherwise decent ingredient can be rendered contaminated, and usually is, what about the cans or bags and the linings, in house water supplies (hope there are no pet food manufacturers in Flint MI), I mean the list is endless and scary. We are so careful about what we buy in the supermarket: can’t have day old bread, or bruised fruits or veggies, meats for immediate sale or freezing, etc., but blindly buy cans and bags of pet food with really questionable if not dangerous ingredients. Do you really think these huge manufacturers care about the health or welfare of your pet? We are trusting and want to give the benefit of the doubt to suppliers of all food products, but, we shouldn’t be, it is a mistake. I have never heard discussions of an altruistic nature in a corporate environment, but have heard endless addresses to profit, overuse, labor and on and on and on. To elaborate, I am a raw feeder purchasing human food chain fresh ingredients only and freeze, individually, all of the ground meat, bone and organs that I prepare myself. Other ingredients such as: fruits, veggies, oils, etc. are all blended at feeding time by me. I have a home water distillation system which my animals and humans drink and all sanitation of all contact utensils, bowls and surfaces are sanitized (not chemically) immediately after use. It is a lot of work and then throw in daily exercise and I can only say I am happy to be retired. But, I cannot do it another way because you know who I trust? ME!

    4. Peter

      Thanks to Mollie, I don’t need to comment… !

  4. Regina

    I’m not sure many people will bother with it. If they are too lazy to read the ingredients on the bag, what makes us think that they will take this extra step.

    The people who still feed Purina, royal canin, science diet, and the other crap foods can’t be bothered to read the label, I don’t hold out hope that they will pull out their smart phones and look for more info.

    And really, shouldn’t the actual packaging contain all of the facts about what is in the bag??

    Here we have Susan Thixton practically banging her head against a wall trying to get to the truth about pet food, and being fought all the way by manufacturers who don’t want to be truthful. You know that if they put this thing on the bags, it will just lead to more BS (misleading info).

    They may be promoting this as some kind of public relations move, but I don’t think something like that is needed. Just be truthful on the label, and don’t send me down the rabbit hole of websites full of BS.

  5. Pat P.

    I don’t trust it to really be helpful, nor do I think it appropriate to be restricted to those who have smart phones, or even just cell phones. There are plenty of seniors and those that are financially strapped, myself included, who have pets, who also don’t use the “latest” technology!

    It think it is just lousy marketing BS.

  6. Sally Roberts

    Totally a waste I think- The companies are going to put exactly what they want us to see just like they do now on the bags, and hide what they do not want us to see – I feel this is just more crap- They need to do the right thing and make the dog food healthy !!!

  7. barbara m.

    Think of how far computer technology has come in the last decade. In another decade there may be no need to have labels at all, just bar codes. Does anyone remember the ‘Tricorder’ on Star Trek, the diagnostic device? This was 23rd century stuff, but who knows what the future holds?

  8. T Allen

    Just more PR garbage to wade through. They aren’t going to say anything that is not on the bag for legal reasons. Now if the app was coming from Susan or Dog Food Advisor I’d look at it!

  9. Kathryn

    just another ploy to mollify us – wouldn’t use it, wouldn’t trust it, don’t want it. – but I don’t feed ‘dog food’ so I don’t have any room to talk .

  10. Barby

    Check out what Open Farm is doing. You put your lot number in an area on your website, and you will get detailed information about that product

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