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Response from American College of Veterinary Nutrition

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  1. Ted Bartlett

    Thanks for your persistence, their response was sad.
    Ted Bartlett

  2. Diane

    So many people that know better recommend this crap, I was at the universes ofTennessee and they recommended pedigree to someone. Apparently pedigree gives them food for their dogs for recommending pedigree to their clients, once the Dr left i edicuated them on pet food.

  3. Annie

    Thank you Susan. Pretty weak response from an organization whose mission statement is: “The primary objective of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition is to advance the specialty area of veterinary nutrition and increase the competence of those who practice in this field by establishing requirements for certification in veterinary nutrition, encouraging continuing professional education, promoting research, and enhancing the dissemination of new knowledge of veterinary nutrition through didactic teaching and postgraduate programs.”

  4. Jackie

    What we also must consider in our pet foods is the slaughter of large animals which sometimes are euthanized through the use of various highly-toxic chemicals injected to cause death in large “downed” animals which cannot walk onto the slaughter truck. These chemicals can stay in various parts of an animal’s body, mostly the organs which have been fed by the bloodstream. The “unwanted” parts of these animals might be sold to pet food companies and labeled “meat by-products”. I have a friend who directly bought the meat of lungs from a slaughter facility and lost four of her six northern-type dogs. Her vet suspected the “lungs came from euthanized animals”.

  5. Pacific Sun

    Well I think they should get credit for at least responding, and for acknowledging the topic of rendering.

  6. Jane

    I am glad that you saw hope in that one sentence. What I read was that the ACVN is too busy making money charging tuition to be bothered to actually teach nutrition. Money is their goal, not teaching. As far as I can see, they should lose their accreditation.

  7. Jane Anderson

    This is a start indeed, and I am hoping for more action from an organization who recognized the need for collegial discussion abong industrial nutritrionists, academic nutritionists, and veterinarians. Further learning is a honor to achieve everywhere – and it should be for helping animals too. When the FDA says that animals that are diseased and die with the toxins inside their bodies too toxic to put in a landfill – so let’s put it in pet food – then someone that is respected must step up to keep our pets safe.

    Granted, ACVN doesn’t have any authority over veterinarians or animal nutritionists. Neither does Harvard, Dartmouth, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Princeton, and Yale over their students. But graduating from these universities shows their graduates have been instructed properly, and are more likely to have doors opened for them. ACVN – don’t you think a veterinarian would be proud to display in their office, an association from ACVN? I know I would be more likely to patronize such a place.

    Pet owners are becoming more and more concerned about their pets welfare and safety. Times change, people change, and today people are more attached to their pets than ever in history. Yet the commercial food offered for sale is the most toxic it ever has been. ACVN may be the only organization today that can lead the charge in saving the lives of millions of dogs and cats. And also of making their lives longer, and worth living because they will free of those toxins that are too poisonous to put in landfills “so let’s put it in dogs and cats.”

  8. Jane

    I went to their website and left this comment:
    In regards to the letter sent to you by Ms. Thixton in which she asked, on behalf of thousands of pet food consumers, “Does ACVN believe rendered dead/non-slaughtered animals or condemned animal material recycled into pet food – sold to unknowing consumers – is ‘protection of animal health’? Does ACVN consider this material proper nutrition for companion animals? Does ACVN believe dead/non-slaughtered animals or condemned animal material recycled into pet food is safe to be brought into homes, perhaps handled by children?” and you rather insipid response, found here:

    What I read was that the ACVN is too busy making money charging tuition to be bothered to actually teach nutrition. Money is your goal, not teaching. As far as I can see, you should lose your accreditation. Your graduates may be raking in dough from the poison pet food manufacturers, but you and they have lost all credibility with informed consumers; and we are a growing demographic. This is why I no longer buy the garbage in a pretty bag labeled pet “food” which is actually feed. I cook human grade food for all my dogs, and recommend to every dog owner I speak with that they do the same.
    Shame on you.

  9. Beth Marousek

    I agree that there was some positive nuance to the response. However, I am left wondering why their efforts to “oversee the training programs for, and certification of, veterinarians in the specialized field of veterinary nutrition.”, do not include the verification of the safety and health benefits of pet “food”… aka, nutrition… or did I miss something?

  10. Constance Slawecki

    I don’t see the the parenthetical sentence (as diseased animal material and material from dead/non-slaughtered animals is illegal) in the letter from Dr. Dzanis. That’s a key statement and great to hear.

    Thank you, Susan, for all you do in support of our furry friends!

  11. Eileen Crosby

    Wow, what a lot of words that say absolutely nothing. I wonder how much money they get from pet food companies to keep this charade going?? Shame on them. When is the public going to wake up and start feeding their dogs people grade food. We don’t need dog or cat food and we certainly don’t need a ACVN if they are too busy to protect our animals.

    1. Debby Williams

      Eileen Crosby, I am inquiring if you have some cat recipes you would share-

  12. Marion Calhoun

    It’s not a matter of opinion, it is a matter of NUTRITION, duh!

  13. Brenda

    So they are politely backing out. Apparently it means nothing to have DVM, PhD, DACVN, behind your name.

  14. Sharon J.

    I’m grateful for your persistence! Do you see any potential value in having the Association of Attorneys General file a lawsuit against individual pet food companies? There would be little monetary benefit to consumers, if any, because in class-action lawsuits the attorneys get paid first. The benefit would be, media coverage in all states, changes in disclosures made to consumers and possibly changes in ingredients. For what it’s worth . . .

  15. Peter

    The ACVN does dishonor to the veterinary profession with its refusal to engage in this issue.

  16. T Allen

    I’d be willing to bet that the ACVN is heavily subsidized by the PFI. Wonder how we get ahold of their financial records? Doesn’t really matter now that they’ve said that they don’t have the time or money to spend on such a minor concern as proper nutrition for our pets. It’ll be up to us to educate enough people so that it trickles down to the college kids getting ready to go to vet school. Once they start questioning their instructors then things will start changing faster. In the meantime feed homemade!

  17. guest

    Thank you Susan, Thank you Jane, etc

    We have absolutely NO respect for vets with DVM and only use a vet for emergencies.

    We now treat holistically. We buy nosodes instead of vaccines for parvo, distemper, rabies, lyme, ehrlicia, etc.
    This way we spend much much less at vets as vets no longer care about the health of our pets.

    We are always on the lookout for a real holistic vet, but many vets take advantage of customers, saying they are holistic and then I find out I know more about holistic than the vet does, so why should I pay them $$ if I know more about it then they do.

    I would love to hire a REAL holistic vet to guide us, a vet that really cares about the health of my pets.

    Conventional vets just care about the commissions for selling vaccines that cause allergies, severe itching, obsessive licking, disease, illness and cancer. so inturn, vaccines cause all these severe health issues that make the conventional vet even more money. We do not respect these vets. And we dont respect human animal doctors either, as all they sell are chemical poisons masked as medication that causes more illness and disease.

    We would love to hire a REAL holistic doctor for our own health.
    Oncologist sell chemo poison the their customers, but oncologists and their families use holistic doctors as they know chemo poison kills but it makes the oncologists and the medical industry billions to live luxurious lifestyles.

    The oncologist here has a beach cottage, he tells customers, but did you know it is 20,000 sf beach cottage, not to mention the mountain cottage, almost 20,000 sf, but yet he does not believe in chemo poisoning for his own family, they believe in holistic care for their immediate family. We have seen the cottages and yes they are in his name on the public records if you look it up. Doctors and veterinarians are in it for the money, thats why we all call them the white coats or the white coated salesmen and saleswomen. Everyone at the F DA are paid off as the FDA use to be called the Chemical Association whose goal is to increase profits in selling chemicals to the masses at great profits. The F DA does not care about human or animal health now or ever. The F DA loves money!

    We no longer buy any commercial pet food, no commercial dog treats, etc
    We feed raw, dehydrated raw and grind up whole raw organic eggs, cold salmon oil, greens, chlorella, spirulina, brewers yeast, raw green tripe, etc.

    Make sure to check that any raw food you buy is NOT radiated. Studies on radiated food, show that radiation kills the natural enzymes and nutrients needed for health in raw food.

    We make our own dog treats with dehydrated sweet potato slices, banana slices and apple slices we dry ourselves with the $20 dehydrator. We use frozen berries as treats too, frozen blue berries make for great dog treats.
    We buy real meat and cut into tiny pieces for dog training, trick training, etc.

    An employee at petsMart offered to trade me her 20% off employee discount but I had to turn her down as I don’t buy anything at petsMart anymore that I can use. There prices are way overpriced and I usually buy better quality pet stuff from small USA family companies who have specialty use items that petsMart does not carry.

    Our dogs are so much healthier now. We prevent many common ailments with supplements, nutrients, etc. so by researching ourselves, we have very little need in spending money with vets anymore. We may still buy pet insurance to cover us in an emergency to pay the vet and we have the care credit card to make payments to vet interest free. Pay a vet for an annual bloodtest, then research to find the holistic cure for any ailment.

    All we can all do, is spend our money only on holistic care, holistic treatments, real Holistic vets, buy raw, dehydrated raw, or feed ground up organic eggs, with the egg shell for the natural calcium.
    Only spend money with a conventional vet for an emergency, or for a blood test. Then go research and find the alternative real holistic treatment to treat whatever ails your pet.

    I went the conventional route the first time with my first dog and that ended in disaster and high vet bills, pain and suffering caused outright by the conventional vets. This time, we avoid paying vets for anything except for an annual bloodtest, then we treat anything holistically with research.

    We have learned so much about pet health and one must be a health guardian for your pets and for yourself and your family as in America, the medical industry is all about extremely high profits and the medical industry, for both animals and people, no longer cares about health, as health is not profitable. Allergies, illness, diabetes, high cholesterol, and CANCER is where the money is,

    We have changed our own diets, eating healthy food now, and finding there are great tasting foods that are real foods for health.

    Its up to you to feed your pets real healthy food and avoid the commercial junk food. Hoping as more of the masses learn the truth, that all the media news are lies, and they must learn to research the truth on everything. Just like the fake elections, are not real, there is a selection, not an election, to fool the masses into thinking they have a choice. No, the masses do not have a choice and voting is a waste of time, as the powerful rich zionists new world order make the decision on who will act as ceo of america to raise even more taxes and to raise healthcare to steal even more money from the brainwashed masses.

  18. barbara m.

    The terms: ‘4-D’, ‘dead/non-slaughtered animals’ or ‘died otherwise than by slaughter’, ‘condemned animal material’, ‘downed animals’, ‘inedible’ are phrases that although sounding negative, are antiseptic words. “Slaughterhouse waste”, is more to the truth, as they are waste, parts that are removed from the carcass during the separation for human edible.
    So, what exactly are they? Cancerous growths, liver flukes, tapeworms, abrasions, pus, tuberculosis, mad cow disease, and anthrax, to name only a few. These choice items are in by-products, meat and poultry meal, animal digest, animal fat, etc, but no consumer will ever know, unless they read 1800 pages of law written in Title 9 of the CFR, code of federal regulations. Your veterinarian may not have read them either.

  19. barbara m.

    One thing I forgot to mention is that this “slaughterhouse waste” is (probably) in almost all pet food, regardless if it has the aforementioned by-products, meat and poultry meal, animal digest / fat. This is the scary part. And the raw food scare about washing your hands, cutting boards, etc, stands true, because there is no way of knowing whether it has been contaminated with these ‘wastes’. It is another reason to feed only human grade meats and poultry to your pets. There are good reasons to be careful.

  20. Lisa P.

    So let me see if I understand this right: The American College of Veterinary Nutrition DOESN’T WANT TO GET INVOLVED WITH WHAT GOES INTO PET FOOD BECAUSE OF THEIR LIMITED RESOURCES??? You have to be kidding me. What DO they do? Who funds them? Hmmmmm? Big label crap pet food manufacturers? I have no words. Thanks, Susan, for always writing succinct and really good letters and posts.

  21. Reader

    If you compare how the AAVN responded to Susan’s letter with the objectives of the AAVN website, it makes Dr. David A Dzanis, DVM, PhD, DACVN, and ACVN Secretary look utterly ridiculous.

    This is all the more sad because her letter was actually read, although not understood, because the importance of it was entirely discounted by the response.

    First, the AAVN is IGNORING its stated responsibility for identifying the Role of Ingredients in PF. And second, for failing to engage in any discussion about it. And third, by failing to examine the differences between minimal vs. optimal vs. safe upper limits vs. toxic levels (in pet food).

    While the AAVN’s MISSION STATEMENT (see below) is clearly stated, the AAVN is willfully choosing to ignore the subject Susan has presented.

    • (Expected) Nutrition-Related COMPETENCIES of Veterinarians (include being) able to perform the following functions competently upon graduation. (1) Understand the functions of nutrients and the ROLE OF INGREDIENTS and nutrients in health and disease. (2) Understand the nutritional concepts of (or the differences between) minimal vs optimal vs safe upper limits vs toxic levels.

    • The OBJECTIVES of the Academy are: (1) To provide a concerted means of DISCUSSION and exchange of information on matters of common interest as applied to the field of nutrition in its relationship to animal health. (2) To promote greater veterinary interest in and better understanding of current development in nutrition as affecting animal health. (3) To promote research in fields where nutrition may have a relationship to disease. (4) To promote closer cooperative relationships with those who share with veterinarians the responsibility of maintaining optimum animal health through adequate nutrition

    Oh but wait … just to be helpful of course ….the AAVN website has provided pet food nutritional resources listed below:

    Hill’s – also
    Iams – also
    Milkbone – Nestle
    Royal Canin –
    Nestle Purina – and

    Should any Reader wish to PROTEST this absurdity directly to the AAVN, the address is provided below.

    For appropriate email addresses see

    American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition
    721 Inverness Drive
    West Chester, PA 19380

    [ I am not affiliated with this website in any way, nor with the author, or any PF interests. ]

    1. Cheryl Bond

      “The OBJECTIVES of the Academy are: (1) To provide a concerted means of DISCUSSION and exchange of information on matters of common interest as applied to the field of nutrition in its relationship to animal health. (2) To promote greater veterinary interest in and better understanding of current development in nutrition as affecting animal health. (3) To promote research in fields where nutrition may have a relationship to disease. (4) To promote closer cooperative relationships with those who share with veterinarians the responsibility of maintaining optimum animal health through adequate nutrition”

      Thank you for taking the time out to type out exactly what their “supposed” objectives of the Academy.. After reading that, it clearly shows they do not uphold what it is that they say they are teaching in their curriculum. If they truly don’t know what exactly are the components of the ingredients that make up pet food /feed, than how in the world can they properly teach their students & truly uphold what their curriculum agenda is? They completely contradict themselves!

      Another commentor said that maybe if the ACVN were to understand about the issues w/ mycotoxin’s etc, that maybe the ACVN could relate to it from a different perspective. I highly doubt they REALLY want to know any of that, because they are all en-meshed with the petfood companies, as they even mention them & their links on their own website…BUT it can’t hurt to present them with all that information and then see how they respond, eh, “dance-around” that topic, when presented to them. It would be interesting, in the least, to see what their official response would be anyway.

      With the mentioning of the 3D & 4D By-products, what also needs to be addressed to them, is the topic of companion animals that have been euthanized in shelters making their way into the pet feed chain. I just watched DEAD PET’S DON’T LIE” I swear! I nearly vomited after watching it! Is this why manufacturers use the wording “meat- by- products,” vs specifically stating what exact animal was used for the protein source?! Besides the euthanizing drug phenobarbital ending up in said protein source, (which we all know is toxic); cats & dogs eating other cats & dogs is NOT ok! aka “mad-cow disease”. The more I find out, the sicker this all makes me, as well as infuriated! It’s a sad state of affairs!!!!

  22. Reader

    Readers can’t help but make emotional comments. So I tried to be factual and useful (see above). But this IS going to be my emotional response.

    Organizations in this Country are operating without conscience. Two thirds of the political party rhetoric lately is about WORDS without an action plan. One third has tried to present non self-interested reform. Maybe it’s true, that only the Millennials will be able to see it through. They’re young enough to have hope. And energy enough to push it forward. But somehow all of us have to help enable them to succeed.

    What does this have to do with Pet Food?

    The kind of people we elect ultimately influence (meaning guide, motivate, inspire, monitor) the organizations and agencies that the population depends upon for SAFETY. Pure and simply. It takes a top down hand to make sure that organizational managers operate with conscience and integrity. Or that they will have to answer to a meaningful consequence!

    When you read Barbara’s comment (above) about 4-D meat which is truly spelled out, then ask this question!

    If it is considered too TOXIC for landfill waste then why does it belong inside your pet?

    The answer is because no consumer will ever know the difference, unless they read 1800 pages of LAW written in Title 9 of the CFR, code of federal regulations. You, your veterinarian, your legislator, your agency bureaucrat, part of the government, elected officials, all haven’t read it either. And that’s a fact.

    So what exactly does this mean?

    It means that cancerous growths, liver flukes, tapeworms, abrasions, pus, tuberculosis, mad cow disease, and anthrax, to name only a few, are “choice” items put into by-products, meat and poultry meal, animal digest and animal fat. IS THIS NOT BEING SPECIFIC ENOUGH TO SAY TO A LEGISLATOR OR OTHER APPROPRIATE PARTY, THAT THE LAW NEEDS TO BE CHANGED NOW! TO PROHIBIT TOXIC MATERIAL IN PET FOOD.

    After nearly 10 years of TAPF information, kindly discussions, tons of meetings, all respectful letters, evidence, studies, articles – when is the PUBLIC going to care? This isn’t about making PF perfect. That’s another discussion for a different day. This is about STOPPING by-products that don’t require full disclosure as to exactly what they’re made of.


  23. Yvonne McGehee

    They say “the primary function of the College is to oversee the training programs for, and certification of, veterinarians in the specialized field of veterinary nutrition. Our activities associated with fulfilling this mission take up the vast bulk of our time and resources.” Then, they say ” As a result, we have a limited ability to take on many other projects.” Well, this is contradictory; they are saying they can’t address the question of illegal material in pet food, implying that would be to take on a project, while at the same time they say they oversee training programs for, and certification of, veterinarians in the specialized field of veterinary nutrition. Huh? Would not the overseeing of such training and certification not naturally include training about the ingredients used in pet food?

    Well, where they go on to say that some of their certified veterinary nutritionists might agree with you and some might not, that tells something about the philosophy of the training. I would bet that protein is regarded as protein, and where it comes from is regarded in their training as irrelevant. I think you would have to point out the connection to mycotoxins in proteins derived from animals dying other than by slaughter, for it to make any sense to them. Otherwise, all they think of is amino acids, and if the amino acids are from an animal source, that’s all they need to know. This is how nutrition is taught.

    Where he says, “I can confidently say that all would agree that full compliance with applicable standards as set forth by authoritative bodies is paramount to the protection of both human and animal health, but otherwise cannot speak for the College as a whole.”, this may give you an opening to explain the contradiction between regulation and enforcement. However, he follows this with “Regardless, we do not hinder or otherwise attempt to control Diplomates from freely expressing their viewpoints through any means or venue they see fit, provided they do not do so on the expressed behalf of the College. Thus, any issue you may have with public statements of individuals, Diplomates or not, would best be addressed to that individual.”, which cuts you off from addressing with his organization anything any of their Diplomat5es may say unless they are explicity representing the ACVN. So, it would appear that all you can do is pursue dialogue with them about the regulations vs the lack of FDA enforcement of the regulations. I think that, since to them an amino acid is an amino acid and that’s how they look at food, it will be a hard go to get them to consider anything else. But, if the mycotoxin situation is clearly explained as the reason for concern regarding the inclusion of animals that die other than by slaughter in pet foods, maybe that will be a foot in the door.

  24. Dr. Laurie Coger

    Hmm… I remember Dr. Dzanis.

    Dr. David A. Dzanis

    Dr. Dzanis is CEO of Regulatory Discretion, Inc. Prior to starting his first consulting business in 1998, he served in the US Food and Drug Administration for eight years. During his tenure at the agency, he had primary scientific oversight of all pet food-related issues, including service as FDA representative on the AAFCO Pet Food Committee. Dr. Dzanis also is a Diplomate, past-chair and current secretary of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition, past-president of the American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition, an adjunct professor in the University of Southern California Regulatory Science Program, and contributor of a monthly column for Petfood Industry magazine. As a board-certified veterinary nutritionist, Dr. Dzanis advises clients in the animal feed and supplement industries on matters relating to nutrition, ingredients, labeling and regulation. He received his DVM from Purdue University, followed by a PhD in veterinary medicine, veterinary physiology and nutrition from Cornell University.

    1. Cheryl Bond

      I knew it! I knew someone here was going to uncover something about Dr. Dezanis. Like always, all ya gotta do is “follow the money trail They are all “in bed” w/ one another, they all help cover each other’s asses & lies! There is just ZERO moral compass with the whole lot of em!

      1. Dr. Laurie Coger

        I should have added I remember him from Cornell — he actually taught a couple lectures in a course I took.

  25. Mr. Beaujangles

    “the primary function of the College is to oversee the training programs for, and certification of, veterinarians in the specialized field of veterinary nutrition” but they’re “too busy” to study and provide an opinion on “rendered materials”??? Hmmm… lots of words to basically say: “We don’t care! We’re busy making money.”

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