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  1. Dianne & Pets

    I think what is really amounts to is that Purina was losing market share to Blue Buffalo and they looked for a way to hurt them. Maybe they started with what they were doing wrong and checked to see if Blue Buffalo was doing the same.

  2. Stephanie

    “AAFCO charges $118.00 per year for anyone to view legal definitions of pet food ingredients.”

    Ridiculous. Even more so that it is a private company. Yeah, no conflict of interest there…

    1. barbara m

      You can buy an older copy on eBay. Doesn’t matter whether it is a 2018 copy. You can also get it from your local library. You have to order it as an Inter-library loan.

      1. Susan Thixton Author

        It does matter if the book is older – new definitions are added or edited each year.

  3. Denise

    Unless you make the pet food yourself, you really don’t know what ingredients these companies are putting in the pet food. That holds true for the most expensive to the least expensive dog foods.

    1. Mao

      Amen to that Denise. This is exactly why my wife and I started making/cooking our dogs meals. They’re lives are more than worth the effort and expense. Like so many other legal problems the courts seem much too indifferent or slow to punish the companies violating to help us pet owners. Which would force this industry to do what’s right. Do we have to look forward to 10, 15, or 20 years for resolve? I can’t wait and neither can my precious family, my dogs.

      1. Denise

        Absolutely Mao, I have 5 rescue dogs. I can’t afford a trip to the vet because I picked the wrong dog food that has been or should’ve been recalled. The companies make the outside packaging the food look very appetizing with beautiful wolves running in the snow, pictures of fresh chicken, veggies and fruit..etc… but in reality it’s what’s inside the bag is what matters most.

  4. Robin

    How did they come up with such a ridiculous arbitrary number $118 I want that explanation

    1. Tracey Shrout

      Back in 2008, when I first started making my own food, the publication was $100. I was forced to purchased the book so I’d know the rules of labeling and requirements. Price keeps increasing.

  5. Peter

    A 2012 study found caffeine, pharmaceuticals (including acetaminophen and fluoxetine) and residues of fluoroquinolones: broad-spectrum antibiotics banned for use in poultry production by the FDA in 2005. Despite that antimicrobials used in poultry production have the potential to bio-accumulate in poultry feathers as a “(toxicity) pathway,” feather meal itself is not directly tested as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service and National Residue Monitoring Program(s).

    Imagine… there are companies that as a business, build machines to grind poultry feathers as a pet food ingredient.
    Poultry feathers would end up in a landfill, absent intervention of the rendering business. They are highly indigestible… and have to be “processed”: ground and hydrolyzed; then, a “palatant” is added to give the mix a better taste.

    As to the question, “would you buy…?” I don’t believe consumers would ever consider any of this a possibility. They expect that government regulates the industry and “protects” them and their families. And after all, the label on the can doesn’t say “waste product” or “feather meal” or whatever, does it?

  6. Lisa P

    All that money ….. and where does it go? Do the families of the beloved pets they lost ever see any of it? The ones who spent hard earned money to feed their pets what they believed to be food food for their pets. I would really like to know where all those millions of dollars in judgements & fines get paid to.

    1. Tracey Shrout

      Yes, WHERE does that money go?

    2. Peter

      An “old” quote, but one that certainly still resonates:
      “What disturbs me is that people think The Food and Drug Administration is protecting them. It isn’t.
      What the FDA is doing and what people think they are doing is as different as night and day.” (Dr. Herbert Ley, Jr. [Former Commissioner, US FDA], Interview: The New York Times, January 1970.

      Susan’s explanation is well reasoned. There are parallel but different issues of consumer-based and criminal cases that were pursued. But in the end, consumers couldn’t get reasonable answers to how pet food ingredients are defined even if they wanted to.

      “Fines” and “restitution” (or, for example, “compensatory damages”) are different things. Typically, the “lead plaintiff” gets an agreed-upon amount which may only amount to a few thousand dollars. The remaining members of the “class” admitted by the court would “divide” the rest after attorneys fees and costs were deducted. Often, this means that the class members (the injured consumers: who may number in the thousands, and must be “qualified”) get pittance, often in the form of “coupons” for future purchase of the very product (in this case: food) that they probably wouldn’t want to buy again, anyway.

      You would be correct in your assumption that the bulk of the “award” would go to the attorneys. But that is what motivates the availability of legal counsel, and absent that potential, it isn’t likely a case could be filed in the first place, because the lead plaintiff(s) generally wouldn’t be able to afford high-priced counsel.

      One hopes that the benefit is still there… in the form of “punishment” through the exposure of “bad publicity.”

      The problem is that consumers have short memories, and the negative effect is not as long as we would hope. Manufacturers simply build in the cost of litigation into their business model as a cost of business. There doesn’t seem to be any lasting damage to BB, and Susan’s point about Purina using the same adulterated ingredients is almost “too complicated” for the regular press to explain to ordinary consumers.

      1. Mao

        A sad wow. It seems the only recourse pet owners are left with may be to boycott the industry. Which leaves many of us with the expense and inconvenience of making their food. Thanks for the info’.

  7. Linda James

    I was feeding my dog the IAMS dog food. He suddenly died after eating from a new bag of the IAMS Proactive Health Mini Chunks. Afterwards, I had the dog food tested. One thing they found in the dog food was feathers!!! FEATHERS!!! No where in the list of ingredients does it say anything about feathers!!! Susan do you think the IAMS company purchased mislabeled chicken meal? Do NOT feed your dog IAMS dog food. So many people’s dogs are still getting so sick from eating this food with some dogs still dying like mine did. And still no recall.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      First, I am so, so sorry for your loss. I’m sure you are devastated.
      The ingredient chicken by-product meal in Iams can contain feathers. And you would have never known because you are denied public access to pet food ingredient definitions. The system is set up to keep you and every pet owner in the dark.

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