The FDA did Good
Gotta give credit when credit is due… Despite pressure from big industries, the FDA held firm on the ban of BSE (mad cow disease) risk materials from all animal feeds including pet food.
The FDA announced April 22, 2009 that the original date to implement a ban of BSE (mad cow disease) risk materials from animal feeds will hold; April 27, 2009 is the end of pet food being one of the dumping grounds for some of the highest risk material there is…sort of. The FDA has provided a six month compliance time frame for those businesses that have yet to make proper arrangements to properly dispose of the risk material.
In early April 2009, the FDA must have been under a large amount of pressure from big business; they announced they would take comments regarding a possible delay of the impending deadline banning BSE risk material from all animal feeds. Over 350 comments were posted on the FDA website in about one week. Most of the comments posted told the FDA they were wrong on banning Mad Cow Disease materials from animal feeds in the first place and many requested the ban be removed completely. http://www.regulations.gov/search/search…
The Kentucky Department of Agriculture wrote the FDA a five page letter seeming only to complain that Kentucky already has ‘things’ under control. Richie Farmer’s, Commissioner of Agriculture for Kentucky (last name Farmer…becomes Commissioner of Agriculture… it was destiny) letter to the FDA read as a glowing endorsement for the state’s two rendering facilities and told the FDA they have things under control; there was no need to ban mad cow disease material from being processed into animal feed.
Nebraska Farm Bureau asked the FDA to delay the ban. The California Veterinary Medical Association agreed Mad Cow Disease is a serious concern, but disagreed that banning the risk materials from animal feed is the correct answer. Together, the American Association of Bovine Practitioners, the American Feed Industry Association, the American Veterinary Medical Association, and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association told the FDA that not only was the complete ban of Mad Cow Disease risk materials not necessary, but that the time frame for comments (1 week) was not sufficient. This group of veterinarians, feed industry representatives, and cattle industry representatives told the FDA the initial ban did not take into consideration economic concerns of effected parties (such as pet food manufacturers). The group letter from these four organizations even mentioned President Obama’s concern of BSE risk materials.
However there were several independent cattle farmers that told the FDA to NOT delay the ban on BSE risk material. Hammond Ranches told the FDA “USDA should not risk this industry with unnecessary exposure to a known disease element. This agency should be responsible in protecting our industry and the country’s economy, and especially the ability of the cattle industry to protect itself from exposure to foreign disease.”
Surprisingly, a national rendering firm, Darling International, told the FDA to make up it’s mind one way or the other; ban the risk material or don’t ban it, just do something and stick to it. Darling International explained that the FDA waffling on the ban is confusing to industry and poses more of a risk to the environment. (All of the comments can be read on the above linked FDA webpage.)
The largest majority of comments posted, as well as the comments posted when the ban was even considered in the past, has been the risk to the environment and public health when animals at risk of spreading Mad Cow Disease are refused by rendering pick-up. The expressed concern of numerous individuals and industries has been what to do with this material.
TruthaboutPetFood.com published a potential answer to that question last year in an article titled ‘Oh where oh where can the by-products go?’ http://www.truthaboutpetfood.com…
In an effort to find influential industries a replacement revenue for garbage material that historically has had no other place to go but pet food, I discovered biofuel. Why these industries affected by the BSE risk material ban haven’t done the same, I’m not sure.
To all the complaining Department of Agricultures, Veterinary Associations, Feed and Cattle Industries, and Rendering Industries – get over yourself. STOP complaining and find an alternative use for this risk material instead of animal feed! Stop threatening the FDA with the risk to the environment and complaining that the financial burden is too great. The FDA has said NO – move on. Start by looking into biofuel. With all the other waste that is associated with these industries (manure for one), biofuel could be a real money maker for each of you and do a great thing for our country.
Personally, I’m proud of the FDA with this one.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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