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The Failed Trust of the Canadian Pet Food Regulatory System

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  1. Terri Christenson Janson

    So sad…..I will continue to homecook for my dogs…

    1. Barbara McNulty

      Do you have a recipe that you homecook that I could cook for my two 50 lbs dogs? Thank you kindly, Barbara

  2. Donna

    I purchased 2 Canadian dog foods based on Dog Food Adviser reviews. Both 5 star foods. The first one was recalled within a month of my purchase. The second one I know of no recalls but I decided to home cook after 6 months of that food. I guess DFA is unreliable due to no fault of their own.

    1. Patricia Bresson

      Would you tell us which ones, please?

      1. Donna

        I miss spoke about it being 2 food from Canada. The recall was EVO which is one of the companies owned by Natura Pet, which in turn was bought by Procter & Gamble. I didn’t do a lot of research pass DFA on EVO because I was in a rush to get dog food as I was not a dog owner and this little boy was kind of dropped in my lap so to speak.

        Orijen (Canadian) was the other one. I called the company before I purchased this product bc of the EVO experience. I was on the phone with a representative for over 45 mins. I asked lots of questions and of course was assured the product was sourced locally, safe, and made with human grade ingredients. It was not recalled in the 6 months I fed it to my boy. I was researching home cooking while feeding Orijen bc I was paranoid about all the trash ingredients dog food contained I had been reading about. I believed Orijen was better than what he had been eating since he was a rescue with an unknown history.

        In the end, I cook for my boy and 2 others that I have since unexpectedly acquired. I will not give any of my babies anything I would not eat myself, even treats. They get beets, green beans, chickpeas, and other vegetables for treats.

    2. Silvermane

      As with most pet food “rating” sites, DFA looks only at the ingredient panel in determining their star rating. It is then up to the consumer to do their own research. One of your best options is to avoid big box and franchise pet stores and find yourself a great, local, independent retailer and ask for their advice. They have no store brands to push, or incentives from manufacturers to sway their opinion and most do exhaustive research on the foods they sell.

      Having said that, DFA is likely the best rating site out there, as the reviews are done by a small number of people who freely list their qualifications and the limits of their reviews. They don’t pretend to be any more than an ingredient panel screener.

    3. Louise

      DFA actually does ask some very hard questions of manufacturers about the products they evaluate. At the end of the day though, all evaluations and ratings are just someone’s opinion about what is the best food out there. If you have questions about the standards of Canadian Manufacturers and their products, why not call them and ask? Most of them manufacture to the standards of the EU which are far higher than any in North America.

  3. Derek Drushel

    The last thing you want is federal regulations. You said it yourself, these regulatory agencies do nothing, don’t respond to consumers, etc. Why would you want these people to gain more power? The whole reason big pet food gets away with what they do is BECAUSE of the regulatory agencies.

    They’re big pet food’s mafia muscle that terrorize small raw food makers and protect the big guys from small startup competition.

    All regulations do is make it too expensive and risky for small companies to ever challenge the large and fraudulent pet food conglomerates.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      To me, the whole reason big pet food gets away with what they do is because regulatory doesn’t enforce law. To me we do need regulation and enforcement.

      1. Jane Democracy

        I agree with you wholeheartedly. Without regulations the consumer has no idea who they can trust, it is all marketing, lies and false perception. But without enforcement the regulations are meaningless. They both go hand in hand without one the other is useless and both are essential to producing manufactured food for people and pets. Trust is not enough for big and small manufacturers alike. I am so amazed and happy a CFIA Veterinarian spoke up and reached out to you.

        1. David Boothman

          Absolutely, in reputable industries there exists a network of suppliers, labs and auditors, non of who will cheat or lie since it would make them a pariah and they would instantly lose all their business. Perhaps the reputable pet food manufacturers need to get together to establish standards and build the network of reputable manufacturers and suppliers. When you see CSA or UL in the USA, on a product you are assured it meets high standards of safety for an electrical consumer product. Those standards are set up by committees of members of the industry and anyone not meeting the agreed standards loses their certification for a product. All the Government does is make it illegal to sell an electrical product without the seal of approval. Right now we have the AAFCO, a waste of time, last time I contacted the pet food committee I found the Chairman was a dairy farmer. I was questioning the asterisk stating EPA and DHA were non-essential. This us what brains are made of. The AAFCO appear to be nutritional and metabolic morons.
          Perhaps there is an unfortunate connection here. If you are deficient in DHA and EPA it leads to neurological problems.; you become thinking impaired.

    2. cupcakesandkale

      We don’t want more regulations, but we certainly want them to enforce the ones that exist!

  4. Leanne S.

    There isn’t much more protection in Canada’s human food system. We wait until a lot of people get sick, then look for the cause. Mostly, the CFIA relies on US recalls to alert them that there is a problem. The CFIA mostly exists to protect companies that make people sick; when there are violations that they catch before they become public, they do their best to keep it secret so the companies don’t suffer.

  5. Nancy Holland

    What about the Canadian made foods that are required to meet European Union standards in order to export their products? These kitchens are inspected twice a year to ensure compliance. It has been noted that the European standards for pet food are higher than AAFCO. Would this be helpful to consumers looking for assurance of the ingredients? I have emailed several companies to ask if their products include any 4D meats and only purchase those that reply positively.

    1. Jane Democracy

      Don’t assume the food that is for export is the same as the food distributed here. They may not be… The EU approved ingredients are often much,much more expensive, are difficult to obtain and need to be segregated as well the finished product needs to be segregated. So it is possible for them to purchase the ingredients, segregate, designate a day for manufacturing and then ship all of that product to Europe.

  6. Barby Wolfish

    I have passed this along to a Member of Parliament here who is a staunch animal advocate

  7. David Boothman

    This is a bizarre situation and remains so due to corruption. I own an iron foundry in Canada, yes that’s iron, and in our business we would not survive without holding an ISO 9000 certificate of quality compliance. To maintain this certification we are audited regularly by an international company based in Switzerland. Our customers simply would not buy from us unless we adhered strictly to all aspects from sourced materials right thorough the process and including quarantine of any production found to be out of specification. Some pet food manufacturers simply lack the intellectual capacity to run a modern business and they should be shut down by market rejection. So who are they so we can start the shaming campaign.

  8. Ellen

    I live in Canada and am well aware of the issues regarding CFIA and lack of pet food regulations, which is why I started purchasing your annual list of recommended pet foods, three years ago. Although not many of the listed brands are available in Canada, a couple are, and I feed my kitties only those brands. I have contacted CFIA in the past to express my concerns, and have received lip service in return. It is deplorable.

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