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The Latest Discussion on Feed Grade


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  1. Mimi

    If people want “safe” all they have to do is look on You Tube under “rendering for pet food” or “how pet food is made”. So many videos that will make one sick just to watch it. Dead, diseased, dying, euthanized animals! None of it can possibly be “safe”. jmo

  2. Sherrie Ashenbremer

    I am still a little confused about “safe”, but when I re-read this later on and look at other people’s comment’s I’m sure I will understand a little better. So much about dog food, all I can say is THANK YOU SUSAN for your List of Trusted Pet Foods, that is what I use when getting food for my five dogs. I can’t wait for your 2016 list. Thank you

  3. Pat P.

    I have many concerns about this definition.
    1. Why should the definition include anything after the word “Act”? Why should the definition include something that is considered illegal? Where is the definition of “safe” mentioned, and according to who or what? If the FDA believes that a sufficiently high heat kills all endotoxins, microtoxins, various microorganisms, or anything else that Dr. Hofve mentioned as unsafe, was according to them “safe”, how does that help the public and their pets?
    2. I understand the inclusion of an allusion to something “safe”, but the word is abstract, doesn’t say anything. It is a contradiction. 4-D ingredients are NOT “safe” for pets or farm animals. The animals that humans and pets eat would still be allowed to be fed “feed” that is unsafe (as is, presently, the case)
    3. The inclusion of “or”………….. could mean that the Act would, most likely always, be superceded by FDA compliance policy, ANYTHING authorized by the FDA or state–as it is now.
    4. Why should our farm animals be fed these poisons anymore than pets or humans? Although I do not eat animals, if I did I don’t like the idea that they are being fed toxic garbage, eventually consumed by those who eat them. Who wants to know that they or their pets are eating animals that have consumed sick, diseased animals, old expired meats, euthanized cats and dogs and toxic chemicals, etc.? I would prefer to know that the animals I consumed were, actually, fed “safe” foods and were healthy.
    5. They, probably, exchanged the word “nutrition” for “function”–which would cover the additive of drugs.

    Would there be clear labels on the containers of pet foods that mention “feed grade” ingredients? In addition to other slop, “unfit for human consumption”, rendered products are in pet foods. How will we know which ones?

    Finally, what is the definition of “pet food grade”?

    I know that I am not being very helpful–that I’ve gone astray from the original intent of just refining the definition of “feed grade”, and that I am expecting too much for the FDA to use a concise, clear, specific and accurate definition–and one that is really “safe” for both farm animals and pets–and, ultimately, humans.

    The deceit and the games they play really angers me!

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      pet food grade will have the same definition as feed grade – same for ‘suitable for use in animal food’.

      1. Jane Eagle

        I agree with everything the above commenter wrote. Is there any way for pet “food” to be labeled as “pet feed”??? – which is what it is? Is should be illegal to call a product food unless it is fit for human consumption. And if they are allowed to call it food, there should be the FDA definition of feed grade on each package.

        “my concern is that it has a ‘feel’ of approving FDA Compliance Policies – which are not law. A definition of feed grade that will ultimately become state law…that seems to endorse or approve FDA Compliance Policies (specifically the ones that allow diseased animal carcasses and chemical contaminants into pet food/animal feed) seems problematic.” ~ perhaps we are putting the cart before the horse? Should we (YOU) do what is possible here, and then work on state levels to get a legal definition of feed grade and how it must be labeled? It is so bizarre and unconscionable to have to hire a semanticist to use words correctly and clearly.
        Thank you for this tedious and crucial work.

  4. Anthony Hepton

    The new definition is moving in the right direction, but it still contains too many options for legal maneuvering, I would be more comfortable if it insisted that the product were “proven to be safe”, i.e. there must be data showing the product is safe, as is currently required for GRAS. I would like the product to be nutritionally functional, often the products are analytically adequate, but that does not translate into meeting the needs of the animals being fed. With regards to the various regulation cited, I would replace all of the “or’ options with “and”, otherwise lawyers for the manufactures will just pick the regulation that suits their needs while totally ignoring the others.

    1. T Allen

      Good points, I agree!

  5. Kathryn

    seems you could NAME the excluded product types: any food stuff not approved for human consumption? or
    list specific conditions – dead, diseased, down, dying of causes other than being specifically killed/slaughtered for human consumption; vegetables/fruits/grains – food stuffs but not specifically meat products will be suitable for human consumption. I have no problem with ‘meat’ including body parts and pieces — offal — I personally consume offal – organ meats that are not usually found in meat markets except perhaps on special order or in ethnic markets. I do have a problem with restaurants/grocery stores re-selling their produce / bakery items for inclusion in animal feeds. If it’s too decomposed for me to eat – then it should be turned into fertilizer, compost, heating fuel pellets, etc.

  6. Nina Wolf

    “functional Foods” have a different meaning to some of us. It might be confusing to people only causally aware of Dr. Jean Dodds work, for instance. Her book Canine Nutrigenomics discusses “functional foods” in depth, but she means something entirely different than additives.

    Just a heads up.

  7. Mollie Morrissette

    I think it is fair as well, however, I am very concerned about the inclusion of the compliance policies. I would like to see that removed. As policy is not law, including it as a legal definition is assuring that the compliance policies become law.

    1. T Allen

      I agree. If the compliance policies are in opposition to the regs and laws then they should not be included. Next step is to bring them into compliance or do away with them. Another letter to the FDA.

  8. lili

    “Feed grade: material to be avoided at all cost.” Or, “Feed grade: waste material intended to allow animals to gain weight and survive, not thrive.”

  9. lili

    Susan, I worry that if the group of consumer advocates agrees to this definition, industry will be able to say that their food is approved by pet food consumer advocates. I understand that you have fought to be part of this process, but now I wonder that you will unwittingly be putting your stamp of approval on toxic, disease-causing garbage, and that this will be used against you.

    Sometimes, being brought into the process is not what a protest movement should do. I really do not think you should be involved in any way, shape or form in acquiescing to this definition. Give you input, your opposition, in a true “stick to your guns” fashion, but do not try to see things from their side. Do not give your approval to anything that bunch will come up with. Remain the objecting minority or risk losing your integrity. Examine your role: I do not think it is to help industry put garbage in pet food.

    1. Sherrie Ashenbremer

      Very good point

  10. Anthony Hepton

    Just an after thought on compliance policies, perhaps a general reference to “and meeting all Federal and State regulatory requirements” would suffice.

  11. Marsha

    It is very confusing. Manufacturers should just put on the label – Diseased, euthanized, road kill, dying animals, parts of animals not used in human food, (none of these are for human consumption), on their packages.
    I have a Florida Pet Treats License and I have to put exactly what is in them, to sell them. Like: Purdue
    Chicken Breast for my Chicken Jerky Treats. My dry treats t\have to have the same labeling.

    Manufacturers should want to step up to the plate and purchase human food for Dog and Cat food. For one they could charge more, like Orijen does, and we pay the price. so far they are the only manufacturer that I could find online that does not put salt in their food. My dog has Congestive Heart Failure and he can not have slat. We pet owners only want the best for our pets. That is why so many buy raw or only the top quality Dog and Cat food.

  12. Jane

    I’m wondering if the definition could include examples of what should not be in the food, for example:

    …material that is safe (i.e. the food does not contain ingredients not considered safe for human consumption such as, but not limited to, dying or diseased animals, rendered products, rotting products, waste foods, etc.)

    I also agree with Pat P.’s item number 3, to eliminate the word “or” and replace it with “and”

    “3. The inclusion of “or”………….. could mean that the Act would, most likely always, be superceded by FDA compliance policy, ANYTHING authorized by the FDA or state–as it is now.” —-Pat P.

    As for the following ideas, I don’t know if you have already considered these, but I want to bring these items up:

    –Do you work with a lawyer already, or maybe there is a lawyer who could do pro bono work to use better legal-speak for the definition?

    –With all the celebrities involved with animal issues, is there any way to bring them awareness of the problems with pet food, since they have many followers and often have foundations with all kind of people involved (including lawyers) who might want to lend a hand and bring awareness of the issues to the public?

    –Do you have a Facebook page and Twitter feed? Social media is extremely important to reach the masses nowadays.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      I have asked a lawyer friend for input. With celebrities, I’ve been trying to get a celebrity to be on board with us since the beginning of – so far, no luck. And yes – Facebook page is Truth about Pet Food, Twitter is @TAPF.

  13. Cheryl Mallon-Bond

    “But at the same time, we would like for the definition of feed grade to be descriptive enough for consumers to know that feed grade could include these illegal ingredients”.

    “I would be more comfortable if it insisted that the product be proved safe … ie: that there be data proving that the product be safe, as is currently required for Gras.”

    First off, I don’t think that “pet food grade” & “pet feed grade” should be housed under the same definitions, because it becomes much more confusing to the general public what the differences actually are between “feed ” or “food ” grade.

    Secondly, (referencing the first quote above) It just makes no sense to me that ILLEGAL ingredients should be allowed in ANY “feed” How the hell can euthanized cats & dogs be allowed?!!!!!! How can animal protiens other than what is on the label be legally used?!

    The second quote talks about having the legal definitions ” proven safe ” I assumed that it was (besides false labeling claims) ILLEGAL to use cats & dogs for pet feed or food consumption! How can manufactures PROVE that the chemical used to euthanize animals (phenobarbital) is safe!? Let’s not also forget the many denaturing agents used, like KEROSENE!!!! among many others, there all TOXIC!!! Come on!!!! How do they get away with this crap?!

    I also can see exactly what Lilli is saying about you Susan, agreeing on the legal definitions, (very astute of you Lilli) that had never dawned on me! I bet the manufacturer’s big legal teams could definately find a way to turn this around & that would be a horrendous nightmare! making things worse! & now even more confusing than EVER for the average consumer!

    I also can’t believe that not one celebrity will step up & help this cause!!! Possibly because it is such a “political ” movement, but there are many celebs who are involved in many other “political” movements & issues. There has to be someone! What about Betty White, or Joaquin Phenoix? Anybody else have any ideas about who might help?

    Marsha brought up a good point, why is it that she, (as a licensed pet treat retailer) is required by law, to list EXACTLY, verbatim, what her ingredients are in her product, yet the same is not required by law for big pet feed manufacturer’s?! Why is the law, not the law, across the board, for everyone?!

    Manufacturer’s KNOW, that if people read straight out, the TRUTH, of ALL the disgusting ingredients in the “feed” that manufactures are selling out there, that they would be as disgusted as we are (that are in the know)

    The BULLSHIT lies that they are all spewing, saying that making labels clear for the average consumers to understand, (based on Susan & Co’s, critiques & suggestions), that it won’t help clarify, or make any significant difference for the consumer to make their choices, is just maddening! beyond words.!

    I have posted before, stating that the the only way to really “blow the door open ” on this whole nonsense, is for there to be undercover operatives in all the major manufacturer’s & rendering businesses. Then an expose documentary should be made. I am forgetting the name of the guy who did the documentarys on the fast food industry, corporation expose, etc. Maybe you should consider contacting him Susan. This issue needs the blow-up BIG-TIME! in order for it to really garner the mass attention it deserves!

  14. Shirley

    Are you thinking of Michael Moore re the documentaries? If so, this used to be his email addie (don’t know if it still is or if he receives email at it): “Michael Moore”

    How about Robert Redford, if anyone has his email addie? He’s big on protection of the earth including
    ‘its animals’. He’s still active – I got an email with a message from him recently but it didn’t have a specific email addie for him – came through another organization. Anyone know how to find his email addie?

  15. Shirley

    Here’s the email addie for Michael Moore in a format that hopefully works for this list:

    mail (no space) list at michael moore dot com

    ‘or’ you can try sending it to:

    Michael Moore at michael moore dot com.

    Sorry – hope you can make sense of this!

    1. Anthony Hepton

      Shirley, There are a number of people who could put together a credible expose on the apparent collusion between the rendering industry, the major pet food manufacturers and some of the regulators. This could be in the form of a national TV spot on a program that will focus on the issues, or a movie that will address the issues or even a YouTube detailed report that we can make go viral by sharing with all of our combined friends. I have been personally approached by a film producer who would do this pro bono, but the timing of such an undertaking is important, as it will take the cooperation of quite a number of people.

      1. Cheryl Mallon-Bond

        Anthony, Wow! this is super exciting to think of this project exposing the dark sides of this industry coming to fruition! If this happens, it will REALLY blow the doors open wide! They’ll be no-one able to deny the truth any longer! I can’t wait to hear about this actually happening!

        1. Anthony Hepton

          Cheryl, You will be one of the first to know.

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