In January 2010 the FDA announced a new plan to allow pet owners to report adverse events of a pet food directly to FDA. They provided all, pet owners and pet industry, the opportunity to post comments regarding said plan. The Pet Food Institute’s, the largest lobby organization representing strictly the interests of industry, comment to FDA clearly shows they don’t believe pet owners are neither capable of honesty nor capable of knowing whether a pet food caused a pet to become ill. Buckle your seatbelt, this will get the fur flying!
In case you are unaware, the Pet Food Institute is a lobby organization representing Big Pet Food. The organization represents the manufacturers of “98% of the commercially produced pet food in the United States”.
The following are excerpts from the January 29, 2010 letter to the FDA regarding Docket No. FDA-2008-N-0546 – Opportunity for Public Input on the Pet Food Early Warning Recall Rational Questionnaire as Part of the MedWatch Portal and Rational Questionnaire Initiative (the FDA’s new opportunity for pet owners to report suspect pet food concerns)…
“Those who submit a report to FDA should be encouraged as a part of the questionnaire to contact the manufacturer/distributor of record immediately so that any potential issue could be identified and rectified without delay.”
Interpretation: Pet Food Company wishes to be notified prior to FDA just in case we need to cover up a significant problem prior to FDA knowledge.
“Secondly, submitters must understand that the filing must be complete and accurate in all its parts. Missing or untruthful information could lead to actions that would not accurately reflect the situation and which could damage the reputation of any/all companies within the industry.”
Interpretation: Pet Food Institute and its members believe pet owners will lie in completing the FDA form reporting a pet food related problem. After all, pet food couldn’t ever be at fault could it…it’s got to be something the pet owner did that caused a pet to become ill or die.
“Reviewers must be aware of patterns of submissions and their relationships to those who might want to adversely affect the industry”
Interpretation: Those pesky pet food safety advocates out there on that darn Internet…they are just a pain in our side. They dig around and find silly Federal Food Safety laws being violated, tell pet owners about risk ingredients, and on and on. These people are trouble…watch them closely!
“PFI recommends that a decision tree be in place so that the reviewer can easily classify the submission. There are four (4) key data points:
• Submitter’s contact information must be verifiable
• Product information must be complete
• Affected animal and the event must be identified
• The event must be verifiable”
Interpretation: Geez…those pet owners…they complain about everything. PFI wants the FDA to make sure the complaint is not from one of the pesky pet food safety advocates mentioned above; go visit the pet owners home. Make sure there really is a sick dog or cat (these people are being brainwashed by those pesky safety freaks). And while you’re there, make sure the dog/cat was actually eating pet food (could be the people food made the dog/cat sick).
“Every illness or bout of nausea/vomiting in a dog or cat is not tied to consumption of pet food. Perhaps the Agency could make an educational statement to that effect in the information and directions for completing the form.”
Interpretation: Again, it’s not the fault of pet food…if the dog/cat is really sick, it’s obviously something the stupid pet owner did…not us! The FDA needs to inform pet owners more than likely it’s not pet food; please provide pet owners will a lengthy list of other reasons the pet became ill.
“Fifth, FDA and the submitter should be able to cross-check all submissions against the active list of recalled products to see if the issue has already been addressed. That would allow the Agency to provide immediate response to the submitter while utilizing resources that are available to the public, and providing a “teachable moment” to the submitter.”
Interpretation: If the stupid pet owner was feeding their dog/cat an already recalled food…point that out to them! Geez, if we went to the trouble (and loss of valuable profit) to issue a recall and the pet owner was too stupid not to read our minds or the fine print on the FDA website regarding such recall – they deserve a sick dog/cat.
Now, we’ll see who the FDA listens to. The numerous pet owner and pet food safety advocates suggestions or will they listen to the PFI. I’ll keep you posted.
To read about the FDA’s Reportable Pet Food system, click here.
To read the full comment from the Pet Food Institute, click here. Click on the PDF icon to download the full PFI document.
Oh…by the way, the PFI’s letter to the FDA also stated “U.S. pet food has long been recognized as the gold standard for pet food quality, nutrition and safety.” I dare them to make that statement to a pet owner whose pet died from a contaminated pet food.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
What’s in Your Pet’s Food?
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