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Pet Food’s Corruption Gets Worse

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  1. Valerie Barnard

    Purina clearly has too much money and power. I would never buy their crap, and I tell all pet owners to avoid these big companies with too much clout.

  2. T Allen

    Contact the MO State Attorney General’s Office? Your own Congressional delegation may be able to provide insight or your Attorney General’s Office. It’s really hard to get anything done with any Gov agencies without having an attorney involved! Maybe it’s time to start a social media campaign to raise funds for that purpose? I would definitely challenge them on the fee knowing that “Each staff member that worked on this request, has a specific salary rate that must be charged for their time spent.” includes everyone including the time it took every manager up to the MO Attorney General to look at it and try to cover their you know whats. We aren’t going away and from the sudden increase in ads on TV the Industry is seeing a hit to their bottom line. Thanks Susan!

  3. Patricia Podboy

    Grrr…this just pisses me off. Perhaps the way around this is in the future is to not red flag the FOIA request by using either your name or Truth About Pet Food (since both you and the organization have been blacklisted by AAFCO and who knows whom else). I’m all for being upfront, but when dealing with lowlifes like this you might get what you want by playing a little subterfuge of your own.

  4. Christine B Giammarco

    Wow where are the news papers? Why aren’t they asking questions ? Did the taxpayers pay ..did Purina pay as a former state employee I know this is not allowed and if the department actually received a fee for an employee with oversite that is a crime. It is shameful that the news media is sleeping on this.

  5. Adriana

    Mind-boggling to say the least…thank you Susan for your tenacity and persistence! Serious food for thought…

  6. Madeleine Fisher Kern

    The large fee was to terminate your asking for more, no doubt. And I would assume Mr. Stan Cook was informed of your request for this information and determined what you received for your fee. It seems Mr. Cook and anyone else who could be held accountable determined what arrived on your desk. Mr. Cooke, Missouri Department of Agriculture representative and AAFCO President, has friends obviously. The Freedom of Information Act seems to have been neutered again.

    1. Peter

      I agree. Other states are mulling amendments to procedure for FOI requests, including fees. This creates a “chilling effect” that mutes the public’s ability to secure public information to which they have basic right of access.

  7. Anthony Hepton.

    There are so many good stories here if any new agency has the inclination, however, they all seem to put advertising dollars above the truth.

  8. Follower

    What you don’t receive, is about as telling as what you might receive! (Wink).

  9. d

    https://www.foia.gov/faq.html#appeal

    You may file an administrative appeal if you are not satisfied with an agency’s initial response to your request. Before doing so, however, you may wish to contact the FOIA professional handling the request or the agency’s FOIA Public Liaison. The FOIA Public Liaison is there to explain the process to you, assist in reducing any delays, and help resolve any disputes. Often, a simple discussion between you and the agency will resolve any issues that may arise.

    If necessary, filing an appeal is very simple. Typically, all you need to do is send a letter or e-mail to the designated appeal authority of the agency stating that you are appealing the initial decision made on your request. There is no fee or cost involved. After an independent review, the appellate authority will send you a response advising you of its decision. Once the administrative appeal process is complete, you also have the option to seek mediation services from the Office of Government Information Services at the National Archives and Records Administration.

  10. Jane Eagle

    Yes: what d said. You were specific about precisely what information you were requesting, and you were NOT sent those documents. You paid for them and were sent something different. Excellent basis for an appeal.
    Thank you for being such a fierce and indefatigable warrior.

  11. Terry Hain

    Since Greitens was elected, things have been “different” in Jefferson City. I don’t know if that has anything to do with this. I know concerns I addressed on an issue with the Public Service Commission went nowhere fast. And lately there is much unhappiness over some of the governor’s appointments. Having moved to rural Missouri from Kansas City, I had no idea how much agriculture was king in state government. Among my suggestions, find a legislator who is concerned about animal welfare and who isn’t beholden to the ag lobby. Also, you might want to contact Judy Thomas, projects reporter at the Kansas City Star (jthomas@kcstar.com) and see if this is an issue she will get behind. In addition, Thomas has a lot of experience pursuing FOIA and Missouri Sunshine Law requests in the state, so she might have some suggestions. https://www.muckrock.com/news/archives/2014/aug/29/50-states-foia-missouri/ As to the person who suggested contacting the AG, you should know that Josh Hawley is very hard even for folks in the state GOP committees to get in touch with and that was before he decided to run for the Senate. Hawley is very strong on issues related to constitutional law and I think he has an agenda for national issues over what tends to be popular in Missouri. If he could be shown there was a violation of the FOIA, he might look into it. But with his political ambitions and the state being the way it is with ag, it might be hard for him to give you more than lip service.

  12. Lee Brunovsky

    Thank you so much for your effort in spotlighting this. People like you are what makes the world better

  13. Tracey ann

    Its time for a movement for our animals.. who is Mars/ purina company.. they injure us with with crappy foods helping people to become obese and now our little babies with awful cheap products causing all kinds of illness

  14. Kristen B.

    I buy Victor pet food, made in USA, and rated 4-5 stars by dog food advisor. Sad these companies just care about profits, not the animals, and many consumers don’t know. Thanks for your courage.

  15. Jill Chambers

    Unfortunately I feel there isnt a whole lot we can do against the government that allows this to happen. Wonder if President Trump owns a dog or cat? I want to fight the government about rabies vaccine laws and how outdated they are. The only thing we can do is educate as many people as we can and boycott all commercial pet food. And break the law by not licensing your animals so you dont have to get them vaccines they dont need,

    1. Follower

      In short, am in agreement with your comment. But here’s the reality:

      Sometimes there’s just no way to fight the government. (Political specifics make no difference). If we can’t insist (demand, force) existing laws be enforced, ones that forbid the use of adulterated ingredients, what’s the solution? As Susan’s recent post demonstrates, States are beholding to their agri-business constituents. Money (and power) rules the day. Not health and safety. Even in spite of laws created for very good purpose!

      The second issue is how we think about “animals” in general. Where should the line be drawn between treating “companion pets” (cats and dogs) especially well (feeding them like family) and ignoring others. Unfortunately, and impractically, PETA is one side of an extreme. Yet there is also a basic inhumanity about “livestock factory farming” of which “livestock feed” is the norm.

      PF manufacturing (including AAFCO) is banking on the majority of the PF consumer’s ability to use blinders (remain in denial) and to compartmentalize their rationale. As in treating animals, like animals. But maybe their own, just a tad better. So advertising works very hard to make PF better than acceptable …just not exactly human edible quality.

      Consumers accept this proxy only because they’re NOT being educated about the risks (consequences) of following this practice.

      Personally, I’m for one simple message: If ingredients used to feed your dog are not human edible quality, then it’s livestock feed (including adulterated ingredients). The DIFFERENCE means that your dog, isn’t just eating garbage (unfit for retail sale) but DISEASED, cancerous, and potentially euthanized protein, which means it is not slaughtered by intention. And therefore is not USDA Inspected and Passed. Accepting material from a vendor ignoring the law, created the (documented) Evangers’ mistake which killed a dog. And countless other dogs get sick all the time from substandard feed. The bottom line is labeling products appropriately. Let consumers feed what they want, just permit consumers to make that distinction for themselves.

      I understand the Rabies argument. Which is also conditional to a dog’s genes, exposure, region and lifestyle. Certain Rabies protocols are not annualized. But (in this case) if the government removes their strict enforcement (or dilutes the message) owners won’t vaccinate at all! Which puts the population (human and canine) at risk. And in fact dogs won’t see a Vet … even occasionally. However positive certified Titers should also be an acceptable alternative. Particularly when certain dogs already have an autoimmune sensitivity or healthy risk.

      1. Jill Chambers

        Titers should be accepted, and that is what I want to see changed. Change the law so that titers MUST be performed, and if negative, then they get the vaccine.

        1. Follower

          Things to keep in mind, in terms of trying to modify the law. You can’t change the wording to “must” titer, instead of being vaccinated, because titers are too expensive ($300) for most owners, and multiple dog owners! But a titer should be an acceptable alternative. Especially for compromised dogs. The law also has to figure out the process for tracking this kind of certification, because (I believe) titer testing is currently being outsourced by Vets. (At least mine did). Everybody debating a change in the law is going to be looking at cost, first. And Vets don’t want to lose the business that mandated Rabies Vaccination brings in, so they will actively protest against it. Unless they do it themselves, and can make money doing so.

          1. Jill Chambers

            It is possible to get titers done much cheaper than $300, check out protect the pets. Also, I wouldnt want to go to a vet who is just thinking of making money, but rather, would do what is right. Hard to find? yes, but they are out there.

  16. iodogs

    I wrote to the Wisconsin State Attorney General asking about pet food regulations, and received a certified letter back
    stating that the AAFCO regulations are available in Madison, at such and such location and may be viewed any time during office hours. Period.

    1. Follower

      Regulations … or Pet Food Definitions. And do the regulations guarantee compliance. Would be another good question.

  17. Donna Pearson

    Thank you Susan for your caring and actions! I am new to this issue and getting very distressed the more I read.

  18. Debi

    AG Office

    1. Follower

      I had to do a “find” on the page for the word scripted. But whether or not he was, doesn’t matter. The point is, Cook is strongly biased in favor of protecting agri-business. If Purina was doing everything correctly (meaning safely and transparently) then bravo for the success of a big business. However, from the article (and the one in October) including the comments (experiences) here … does it seem like Purina would NOT be interested in influencing AAFCO and the FDA? And manipulating their public image?

  19. Bev

    This is exactly why those of us who feed a home made raw organic diet do what we do. No crap in our animals food, little to no veterinary bills for us (along with no more shots) and great health for our beloved animal family members. TY for all that you do to share the facts!

    1. Karen

      You can only influence with your pocketbook.

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