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Response from Senator Marco Rubio


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  1. Batzion

    Marco Rubio – mark this traitor.

    1. Debi Cohen

      A total Pariah, and another politician that could care less what “we the people” have to say……….about anything.

    2. sharon

      Right. About all I can say to that is “WHAT?”
      Guess I am tired of cooking for the dogs but don’t see any end to it.
      Maybe some of these people should have to eat this junk that we are expected to feed to the pets that live in our home and often sleep beside us or our kids.

    3. Nancy

      Jump on the bandwagon, Republican, Democrat???? Really?? Why don’t we all send each and every one of these candidates a letter, tell them what the problem is and see what happens.
      To tear down just one……it makes everyone look like idiots! Something that will not help this situation at all. Something that cheapens blogs and people alike! My dog was one that was poisoned by Blue Buffalo’s food that was not recalled, nor people made aware of this situation.
      $4,000 plus, an ongoing situation of having to be very careful now of what she eats. Don’t cheapen this fight by such stupid thoughts! Please!

  2. Terrence

    Typical Republican…those burdensome regulations that put such a strain on CORPORATIONS. Susan, I pity you having this buffoon for a Senator. I think he also wants to gut the Clean Air Act.

    1. Ann*

      I think it is a mistake to make this a bipartisan political issue. We must all pull together to exert enough influence to bring change to this bad situation. In case you haven’t noticed, human food regulations are being weakened all the time as well, by both Democrats and Republicans. Republican presidents had their canines in the White House and they were loved and treated as family members every bit as much as any Democrat president.
      Please think before you speak (or write) and don’t alienate people because of your own stereotypes.

    2. KACS

      Please don’t say, “Typical Republican”, I’m a republican and there is no greater animal lover than me. What you should have said was, “Typical Politician”. Our politicians have been allowing BIG companies like Monsanto to slowly poison us humans with our food supply, so is it any wonder that they don’t give a darn about our pets. Washington DC is filled with greedy narcissists and I honestly don’t trust any of them anymore. How Sad Is That!!!

    3. Michelle Scheffler

      Both parties are oblivious to this issue. Both are in the pockets of business. Very sad.

  3. Mary Sue

    It looks to me as if a form letter addressing “environmental and natural resources” was sent in reply. They probably don’t have a form letter for pet food concerns so someone in the office picked the one with “animals” in it and thought it was close enough.

    I often get form letters in response to letters of concern I have sent to Senators and Representatives and the form letters do not address my concerns. Maybe the responses are even automated, based on some key words. I don’t know that for sure.

    1. Mark Morton

      You are right on; the crap about “environment and natural resources” is totally irrelevant to the issue Susan inquired about. A form letter sent by a staffer for sure. I doubt the Senator ever saw Susan’s letter.
      As George H. W. Bush used to say – “not prudent” – not for a Presidential hopeful!

    1. china


  4. Jean-Pierre


    You already know the answer to your question! After all, legislation allows for pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, synthetic and carcinogenic colors, preservatives, etc. into the human food supply. As a former CEO who did extensive lobbying across some states and in DC, what matters is the money they can raise so they can keep their jobs and the power that comes along with them. It is up to us, as individuals, to make the “correct” choices. Easy? No, not by any means. In fact, quite restrictive as food manufacturers (is it really “food” if it’s manufactured?) have become very adept at hiding the facts and the media no longer does proper investigation. Are chips tastier than broccoli? You bet! For that matter, how do we know how that broccoli was grown and harvested? How was it transported? And on and on. Home cooked foods is the best solution but even that depends on quality ingredients and without really knowing the source (as a former owner of a pet food company, I investigated the providers of the labels that allege we’re buying “non-gmo”, “fair trade”, etc. and let me tell you, most of these labels can be had for the right price) we’re still flying (cooking?) blind.

    Let’s remember we live in a capitalistic society. Again, as a former CEO I reminded people that companies have a responsibility to their employees, their family, their community and the planet in general. My “gospel” pretty much fell on deaf ears, including that of my Board of Directors. As consumers, we have accepted the premise that companies must do whatever it takes to maximize their profits. We have the power to change it.

    Jean-Pierre Ruiz

  5. Renee Kraft

    Great letters from you Susan, however, I can smell the disinterest of Senator Rubio up here in Canada. Since most of the popular pet food is produced in the USA we are very much dependent on your food regulations and the FDA. If more people knew about the Senators lack of concern in this matter perhaps come election time they could vote with their feet.

  6. karyn zoldan

    This is truly frightening. And it’s not just happening to dog food but to people food to remove the label of origin for beef, pork and chicken.

    And it’s not just Republicans voting for this dumb downing as two Democratic Arizona House of Representatives (Ann Kirpatrick and Kristen Sinema) voted to approve this bill.

    As Susan has been saying: Follow the money. Sooner or later all these politicos throw us all under the bus.

    1. Elizabeth

      It’s Rubio. What do you expect. He’s the great hater of regulations.

  7. Linda Saslow

    he didn’t read your letter. he never had my vote anyway. how frustrating

  8. Ronn

    Marco tenia siquiera leer lo que Susan ha enviado?

    There is the law…. then there is what is right.
    There is Balance…. then there is what is right.
    There are Voters…. Let us do what is right

  9. Karen

    Thank you, Susan. Well at least the prick was honest about his evasiveness and pandering to business interests (his REAL constituents). I gave up on commercial pet food a long time ago, EXCEPT for Newman’s Own dry crunchies for one of my cats. At least the chicken in that one is organic. I only feed Tropical Traditions pet steaks to the dog and the cat. If I can’t get those, then I buy organic ground meat and make their food. Occasionally, if we are out of town, I make it easier on the pet sitter to feed Castor and Pollux organic line. I give my dog local eggs to supplement and I’m trying the new V-Dog for his a.m. feeding. I do not want to contribute to factory farming or Big Ag meat hell if I can avoid it at all. My dog doesn’t care, but I do.

  10. Chris

    Maybe they could spur economic recovery by making American pet food a quality product (or at least allowing to be able to rely on the package labeling) so millions of us would no longer feel the need to buy from Canada. Maybe we could impact the economic recovery by having fewer pets will illnesses so the $$$ spent on veterinary bills could be spent somewhere else. I don’t see that happening any time soon – big business continues to take precedence over basic honesty and fairness to the consumer.

  11. lynn

    I just sent him my response to his silly reply.

    I asked how he foresaw the whole economy of the United States falling apart if we regulated honesty from pet food manufacturers.

    Of course I might agree with him if we were talking about regulating honesty within the US government 😉

  12. Edogayla

    I did not like the response Susan received but to call Senator Rubio a traitor and buffoon shows ignorance. Senators and Representatives all have aides and I’m sure the aides many times answer the letters. If you ever written to your elected official you should know you everyone gets the same response. What is recorded is how many letters, emails, phone calls are received. Instead I ask Susan’s permission to send her letter to my Senators and everyone needs to do the same. Whether you like your officials or not it’s what you got to work with. To alienate them by name calling will not get us anywhere. Instead let’s show them that this is an issue worthy of their time.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      You have my full permission to copy my letter and write your Representatives in Washington. Please do – and thank you!

    2. Peter

      I disagree. Representatives are responsible for communication and the correspondence between themselves and constituents, including that which, as some have suggested, is sent out by legislative aides.

  13. ks

    Typical political response. I personally will not be voting for Mr. Rubio!

  14. Dick McWay

    This is not at all surprising. It is so stacked against us. Look on the human side. The AMA, FDA, CDC, big pharma, big ag, are all involved and intertwined and have so corrupted this country that I think we’ve lost the battle. To expect positive changes from DC is wishful thinking. I’m as frustrated about this whole pet food/feed situation as everyone else here. I keep thinking if we had a nationally known “personality” that could help us raise awareness we might have a chance to turn things around. Maybe not. If not nationally, then local grassroots efforts to harass our local authorities into doing something. But we’ll just run into more bureaucracy I suspect. All these local agencies are underfunded as it is. The walls that Susan runs into with AAFCO and FDA are seemingly unsurmountable. Where and how can we as a group of concerned consumers become more effective? Maybe time for new strategies and some group brainstorming. How about an ad in USA Today showing a pet food label of all the nice stuff and next to it pictures of 4D meat, moldy grains, buggy veggies that are what is really in the food and one of Susan’s lab reports. We are going to have to play a little dirty I think. Then the lawyers will come on down our throats. OK, have to have a plan for that too. OK, I’m done rambling.

    1. barbara m.

      Regarding media news to bring public awareness to the pet food industry – this is something that I’ve been dreaming of for years. Sad to say, media’s primary source of income is corporate advertising. Some advertisers spend billions annually: Nestle Purina, Proctor and Gamble and so on. Of course, they will receive preferential treatment. Publishers depend on these revenues, esp the ones with higher spending power. If a couple of planes dive into some buildings in NY, this is news. The health and safety of pet products just doesn’t seem to cut the mustard. BUT We can all hope for a huge scandal to break out…

  15. James Hayward

    Please don’t tell us you’re surprised by Sen. Rubio’s response. This response coincides with the wishes of the Republican party’s base and wealthiest supporters. It’s not just Rubio, it is the mantra of the RNC.

    I applaud you for exposing the Republican’s on this issue by printing the response.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      To me, this is not a Republican issue – they all are guilty of ‘hearing’ their largest financial supporters over consumers.

      1. James Hayward

        Without a doubt you are correct in one assertion, our re-election laws cause elected officials to become pawns of their ‘handlers’. However, the phrase including……”not placing burdensome regulations on businesses “……has long been a key phrase of Republicans in wanting smaller government, which really means less regulations of the kind you want.
        This spraying the blame among both party’s, clouds the reality when voters go to the pools. The two party’s do not vote the same on issues of public/animal welfare.
        In Alabama there is a war over spay-neuter clinics. This Republican strong hold is well on the way to outlay free spay-neuter clinics because they take money away form veterinarians. The end result, more dogs have to be executed in Alabama so the strong vet lobby enjoys a monopoly on spay-neuter.

  16. Angela

    Unfortunately, Rubio’s response was a boilerplate reply sent out by his PR firm. Glad you sent a follow-up letter.

    1. Jeanette Owen

      Send him another letter.

  17. Kristi Johnson

    God bless this country’s true religion – unregulated capitalism.

  18. Nina Wolf

    Idiotic auto-response by some intern, no doubt, and as mentioned, does not even address the topic. Ridiculous. He’s been on the news today with some other stellar statements re: healthcare and marriage. These statements were similarly idiotic – I don’t blame the intern, in other words. The poor kid had nothing to work with!

  19. Janie

    Hi Susan:
    After reading Rubio’s response, I sent this response to him:

    Dear Senator Rubio:

    I recently read your response to Susan Thixton regarding the pet food industry. I was completely disappointed in your very generic answer to Susan’s letter.

    As a republican and conservative, I feel it’s important that you understand that all conservatives don’t believe that pets are less important. We love our dogs as part of our family. Your said:

    “It is also important we strike an appropriate balance between the protection of our environment and natural resources, while at the same time not placing burdensome regulations on businesses that could undermine our nation’s economic recovery.”

    Your response lacked heart and compassion and came across loud and clear as to where you stand.

    I will share this response so that others like myself understand that you care more about simply employing Americans than employing Americans in companies that are credible and responsible.

    I also think that it’s important that you understand that I am not an environmentalist, but, I care deeply about the welfare of animals.

    Perhaps you need to rethink that “appropriate balance” you so casually mentioned.

    Janie Knetzer

  20. Dawn Beattie

    Very inexcusable response.

  21. Dawn

    I like truth about pet food but I am very disappointed that this conversation has mainly turned into a political bashing. I am a republican but you don’t hear me bashing the democrats. Can we please support our animals??

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      It was not my intention to bash any political party – personally I think all politicians are the same on this issue.

      1. Jo Singer


        Actually there are a group of politicians who work hard to protect animals and are deeply involved in animal welfare.

        Here is a list of several senators who scrored high marks in this area. Do you think that reaching out to them may be of help?

        1. Trouble

          That score card thing is pretty cool! Do they have something like that for every state, or is that a Massachusetts-only thing? I’d like to see what it looks like for other states as well (particularly mine – Michigan, lol).

  22. Tracey

    Senator Rubio is obviously pro business and does not care about the welfare of animals. I do not appreciate his comment. It shows his lack of concern for animals. From his comment, he would rather help big business and big pet food flourish, and animal welfare does not matter. I have news for you Senator Rubio, animals do matter and they cannot speak for themselves. Do you honestly believe that the so called big pet food with its animal by products and other vile crap is acceptable for any animal to consume? It is not, and as an elected official, you need to do the right thing. To hell with big business. Do the right thing, and stand up for the animals.

  23. Jeanette Owen

    What a pathetic response! They are pathetic! We need the Pope on this!

  24. cb

    Susan, I’d love to see if any of the (seemingly dozens of) Presidential candidates would answer your letter.

    I sent a letter regarding pet and people food safety to Obama in 2008 and all I got in response was requests for donations LOL.

  25. Cheryl Mallon-Bond

    What a pitifull response from Rubio!

    “It is important we strike an appropriate balance between the protection of our environment and natural resources, while at the same time not placing burdensome regulations on businesses that could undermine our nation’s economic recovery.”

    What the hell! He categorizes our family member’s (our pets) as “enviorment and natural resorces” REALLY!!!??? Then he thinks that if we hold these companies accountable for their deceitful & law breaking ways, that somehow the economy will collapse…REALLY!?

    This MORON!!! (that is putting it nicely!) didn’t even make any sense in his reply to Susan! I am just SICK of ALL politician’s! The ONLY WAY that they will ever vote in favor of doing right by the average person/consumer, is when political reform happens, & big corporations cannot give them the millions upon millions of dollars to finance their campaigns!

    This country is in the shi*@#%! & the average (non-millionaire) person is paying the ultimate price! & our poor fur-babies!

  26. Samantha Cuellar

    I bet if we all stopped buying pet food and treats, it would put a fire under this guy Marco Rubio, along with alot of the other senators in all the other states to do something about. Wouldn’t they all lose the kick-backs they get from the manufacturers?

    I may be on the wrong track, but I’ve stopped buying any kind of pet food and snacks and am serving my dogs fresh and good foods, and am personally getting everyone I know to do the same. I did what I could as far as the petitions getting signed.

  27. Kelley

    Rubio’s response: “It is also important we strike an appropriate balance between the protection of our environment and natural resources, while at the same time not placing burdensome regulations on businesses that could undermine our nation’s economic recovery.”

    Part of Michael Moore’s documentary (Bowling for Columbine) points out differences between US and Canadian politicians, showing how Canadian politicians actually accomplish stuff in favor of their population. In fact the Canadian perception of Americans is that they are always in conflict with one another and with other countries. Now I get it. America is the land of freedom, opportunity, democracy, resources and responsibilities. But our government holds a partisan stance to the exclusion of compromise.

    Rubio’s (campaign office because I doubt he even read the letter) is a typically bureaucratic politically correct response that just happens to be completely illogical. Individual phrases stuck together are hard to argue with just off topic. Like “appropriate balance” (why would balance ever be inappropriate?). Or “protection of environment” (meaning we’re in favor of destroying it?). Or “burdensome regulation” (are we discussing gun control OR pet food?). Or “undermine nation’s economy” (how does making a product safe threaten the entire economy?).

    First suggestion, send the letter to EVERY Presidential Candidate and compare canned responses to demonstrate nobody recognizes the basic issue. So break it into tiny little pieces. If the FDA can’t enforce its existing PF regulations then why do they exist? All these candidates pledging to “fix” complicated issues can’t even understand the most obvious of fundamental problems!

    No doubt PF is seen as a non-issue because the Industry is big corporation owned. Big corporations sponsor political candidates.

    So what if PF is based on waste ingredients, dogs raid garbage cans, eat dirt piles in the yard, gobble up Roadkill and live out their lifespan. There are millions of pets and PF doesn’t seem to be “killing” them. (Well not outright). Except that when they get ill and because Vets are not trained to be PF detectives the cause of illnesses are not documented and statistically coordinated. There’s no central, objective reporting portal (like the CDC). Most people don’t connect the animal’s health problems to food. They’re reluctant to pay for a Vet. And owners aren’t in shock when an aging pet dies of cancer, renal failure and liver disease. In other words there is no inquiry, and certainly no better expectations. The problem is ….. until the issue (certainly the need for investigation) is brought to the attention of the public, data can’t even be systematized. In the meantime instead of the PFI being monitored and tested they put the burden of clarity (proof) on the consumer. Then they discount whatever the consumer presents! While the government continues to protect them from disclosure and accurate product definition (feed versus food). Is this crazy reasoning or not?!

    Part of the answer is to sign the petition which visualizes how many people are being made aware of this issue. Please continue to circulate it.

  28. Donna

    No surprise. The recalls of 2007 opened my eyes, not only to the problems with commercial pet foods (feeds), but also to human-grade foods. I have home-cooked since that time and how often has it been said to me “you feed human/real food to your dog?” Yes, I do. But those same people, including the veterinary community, do not consider that most every pet food advertises it has ingredients just like we eat. So, why is it such a surprise?

    It’s all about money. Safety is no concern as long as the revenue streams are not hindered. The Senator put into words what we already know. One has to look no further than the recent decision concerning meats no longer having country of origin because two other countries thought it put them at an economic disadvantage. And our government is going along with that. They are protecting economics, not ‘we the people.’

    As always, thank you for your diligence.

  29. Jo Singer


    Sadly I am not at all surprised at Rubio’s response. This is not a man who cares about animal welf or the environment. He does care about the rights of hunters however- gets high marks in his ratings on that score. He is violently opposed to governmental interference at all- and any regulations that may interfere with big business making money is something he abhors.

    Here are his ratings in 2014

    I have heard rumblings that he is pro horse slaughter also. So I supposed horsemeat is something he would highly recommend to be used as pet food. Putting the cruelty and inhumanity of horse slaughter aside ( I am strongly anti- horse slaughter)- these animals have been treated with dangerous drugs- and there is no way to document what drugs these horses have been given.

    So I applaud you for your taking the opportunity to write to Rubio- but I am afraid that it will not make a difference in his way of thinking- as it is with so many of his colleagues. Their views are certainly not pet-friendly- it’s the profits that big business that is their main concern.

    With the passage of Fast Track many more dangerous issues concerning the food our pets will be fed is coming down the pike. The pending results scare me to death. If it no longer will be necessary for meat packers to label where their products originate we are going to be in a lot of trouble – even if we decide to make our own pet food. I just hope that the raw food companies will continue using the products that are safe for our pets. Frankly this is just a nightmare for us.

    Thanks again,


    1. cms

      Right and he eats babies; loves zombies and of course imports dog meat for his picnics. Get a grip! And please, give us a source for the ‘horse slaughter’ comment!

      1. Jo Singer


        the only source I can find right now (have a very sick kitty and off to the vet right now- will find more for you ASAP) comes from the Facebook Page Horse of my Heart- an anti slaughter group.

        This is the quite from there- and I will find more for you.

        The Marco Rubio Connection to illegal slaughter farms in Florida. What is the association of this pathetic fence straddler. He has never in his years in office done anything to shut them down, He will not voice an opinion on horse slaughter in the US and went as far as to send a reply on the new S.541 saying it had expired,

        He didnt have a clue of the new S.541 Bill He was speaking on the old bill.

        This was posted on the site in 2013.

        Very upsetting.

  30. Bob Milnover

    This is one of the worst responses to your sincere and reasonable questions and statements possible.
    What a worthless man, this Rubio. Totally in the pocket of money interests. And totally worthless especially as a human being.

    1. Nancy

      Stop the republic democrat nonsense!!!! This blog just lost a reader because of this trash. Get Whin

  31. Michelle

    I think it was just an auto generated reply. It sounded to generic.

  32. A Better Dog

    When I was reading your letter to the Senator (and already knowing that he did respond to you), I had it in the back of my mind that his response wasn’t going to be a personal response directly addressing your concerns… instead it would be a ‘boilerplate’ style general response. And………. (sadly) I was right.

    What does it say about the state of our society when profits are allowed to trump matters of health and safety? Is it any wonder people drive around with bumper stickers that proclaim, “The more people I meet, the more I love my dog”

  33. No Time to Waste! (Reminder!)

    Please circulate the petition: 100,000 signatures are required by July 5, 2015. Click here –

    Should Pet Food manufacturers be required to disclose quality of ingredients?

    PF can be made from real food ingredients just like what you’d purchase in the grocery or it can be made from an inferior quality of ingredients known in the PF Industry as feed grade, pet grade, or inedible ingredients. The trouble is the consumer can’t tell the difference between food or feed grade. Yes, inedible ingredients are allowed in PF by the FDA! Including expired retail MEAT that isn’t even stripped of its packaging! Per FDA Compliance Policies MEAT is sourced from diseased, dead, or dying animals. Chemical or pesticide contaminated vegetables and fruits, and mycotoxin ridden grains, are used.

    If you agree that PF consumers deserve to know the difference before they buy, then the FDA must require the quality of ingredients to be labeled as feed or food grade.

    As of June 27 there are only 8 more days to sign the petition and reach (at least) 5,000 signatures. We are at 3,400 today. Please circulate this reminder asking even more people to pass it forward! Thank you.

  34. cms

    Not a defender of Rubio, but I doubt he read your letter. And, the response was most likely done by an intern pushing a few computer keys and popping out a “boiler plate” response.

    1. Amelia Johnson

      It sounded like a form letter to me also…sent out by a staffer…and still no response from the other politicians.

  35. Gitta

    Running for president requires LOTS and LOTS of money. Can’t upset potential donors by siding with the ordinary people and their small wallets.

    More and more I see elections as pacifiers for the masses. Big money rules what career politicians do or don’t do. After all, their “careers” depend on regular and substantial “donations”. The revolving door between “career” politician and “career” lobbyist is spinning like a helicopter.

    I really don’t believe change will come via “government”. Change will come when educated consumers reach a critical mass cutting into the bottom line of junk producers. Money is the only language they speak and understand.

  36. Keep it in Perspective

    This is NOT a political party issue!!! But every comment arguing on that point detracts from the issue of Pet Food Advocacy which is what TAPF articles are designed to exemplify. In this case, it is the failure of the FDA to enforce its own regulations. That’s pretty dumb. This is about the Consumer’s RIGHT to buy a Pet “Feed” or “Food” product instead of the PFI being excused from Truth in Advertising! Does anybody want to defend that position?? This is a FREE Country, people “should” have freedom of choice to go along with that, so NOBODY is arguing failure is one-sided. Its a government oversight problem. The politician named just happens to be that particular State’s Representative, and just happens to be a presidential candidate. I think we can all agree it’s a “boilerplate” response and that’s EXACTLY how issues get ignored!

    Stop taking everything so personally!

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