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Thousands of Pets Died, Nothing has Changed

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  1. Holly

    The fox watching the hen house. 🙁

  2. David Boothman

    Its a mistake to think the FDA can solve this problem, they just don’t have anyone with the intellectual capacity necessary. It may not look difficult to you but I think you are perhaps assuming ability where there is none. If you look at the weeks of thrashing around while oats were dying you see that there science was limited to googling for answers. The answer was not accessible by computer because it was real US science documented long ago on paper. The Chinese crooks knew this science well and created the fake gluten. The answer didn’t come from the FDA or from any US scientist but from the Vet school at Guelph in Canada. Most of the US activity was in the political arena trying to protect asses and look good

    1. Reader

      Very good point about the FDA. Love it! You’d expect the FDA could demonstrate WHY they need a bigger budget, instead of hiding behind a lack of one, as their excuse for not doing the complete job! Which only demonstrates their diluted sense of responsibility, while collecting FULL salary. But after all, the Government’s working formula is: Bureaucracy + Regulation -/- Complication and Confusion = Indefinite Conclusion!

      So it’s been a long time since having read about the Melamine crisis. But it wasn’t just the Melamine (to increase the protein percentage) which wasn’t an uncommon practice. But was it accidentally mixing it with acetaminophen! True incompetence brought to us by our famously ethically challenged overseas import buddies (and you know who they are!). That’s what made the problem so unexpected, hard to figure out, and lethal. The lesson was in the absence of sampling, testing and screening imported ingredients.So the PF Reformation Act, should’ve included the requirement of iron clad import control and costly penalties, if not a permanent ban for two time offenders.

      This Political Cycle has made it perfectly evident that the “truth” is never a headline! Only a good story. So there has never been a better opportunity to show why our Political Leaders need to be called out! Because if elected Officials can NOT get their hands around responsibility and fulfillment (or else suffer the consequences) then it puts everyone at risk! And while the issue of PF might seem inferior to other pressing matters in this Country, STILL a commitment was made to the Voters!

      When we don’t hold real individuals accountable, then “we” are the ones to blame for this Government’s apathy!!

  3. Desiree

    Done, emailed my reps and Marcia K. Larkins, D.V.M. Ombudsman. Thank-you for all your hard work Susan!

  4. Kay Henn

    No genius is required to implement existing laws and stop overseeing the use of contaminated material including euthanised pets as pet “food” ingredients. Hey, if the European Union could manage it, the US surely can.

  5. J Regueiro

    Thank you for the great work and dedication to this cause, God Bless You!!!
    I wonder if these people at the FDA have animals that they love like we love ours, and if they do, why aren’t they fighting for these animals that are family, because we have two Corgies, and we adore them like our children as I’m sure all your readers do.

  6. Pacific Sun

    I wrote to Barbara Boxer and Tom McClintock. Thank you Susan, for putting so much information together, for reminding us of this sad anniversary of an unkept promise, and for providing all the resources so we could send our letters!

  7. Marisa Latora

    All we can do is pass on the information & hope we open up everybody’s eyes…I bake my dog organic chicken & he only drinks bottled water…I still see Alpo & Benefit in the supermarket & it devastates me that there are uninformed consumers who still purchase this garbage?

  8. Mary Marseglia

    The FDA, AAFCO, will never do a thing! Don’t hold your breathe. All we can do is educate, tell the truth, and hope & pray to God that people will open up their eyes & ears and listen to the people that have done the research, that continue to do the research, who teach that ALL DRY KIBBLE is the WORSE Processed Foods you could ever feed your pets, and most canned foods are as well(there are a good dozen or so that are higher quality, grain free “as low in starches as possible including veggies as most veggies in these foods are actually “starch” veggies, and they all turn to SUGARS” The best thing you can do is feed a complete raw diet, made primarily from herbivore/ungulate animals, not poultry, pork or fish. And make your own “real meat” treats, either baked or dehydrated

    1. Pet Owner

      A lot of research goes into these articles. They look effortless and obvious. But that’s a reason why they’re so much work. Cross referencing and validation, reviewing studies, speaking with subject experts, reading Government websites, decoding policies,. And publishing the result is not even a SALARIED job! Doing all of this so a pet owner can be convinced that pet “feed” is a bad idea. Nobody forces the Author to do this, but is a person who’s decided to use a special talent for explaining the truth to a deserving public..

      In following the site for nearly 10 years, people’s opinions have evolved. From very combative and. angry about their belief system in jeopardy, to testing every argument in-between.. Now it’s mainly gratitude for having been enlightened and protected. Appreciating an Advocate who is holding people up to scrutiny.

      Unfortunately the evolution of opinion is turning the audience into taking things for granted. That’s because there’s been such a history of problems that they seem insurmountable. Exactly as the comment above says, they will never change. So people rest on the idea that finding personal solutions is the only solution. Incorrect and a bad idea. Because our voice must challenge what the PFI is going to the Bank on, which is apathy.

      The question is: who believes that people paid for by the Tax Payers and voted into their exceptionally high paying positions honestly deserve a cop-out? I don’t know about other people. But having worked in the private sector, if somebody was getting away with lies and intentional incompetency (impacting my work life) there would be protest! In fact it would involve a group protest. Because most everything requires a consensus of opinion to make the point stick. I also know someone working in the Federal sector, who’s faced with workers who scam the system. It deflates moral, sinks efficiency, threatens audit compliance, and totally stresses out honest workers. But discussion is never enough, unless action is taken to address it!

      The Author provides a very concise opportunity to send 3 letters to Responsible Parties. It’s already written!! No cost, just SEND. Not like the days of US Mail pounding campaigns. So SHOULD we recuse ourselves just because it’s easier to think the FDA will never change? Or make it clear with as much publicity as we can make, that they’re in the wrong! A law was passed, that failed to meet any deadline at all! It means time, labor and money (so far) was wasted, all of which should impact everyone!

      So wouldn’t it be a sweet miracle if Legislature Representatives got a letter from every State? Maybe even two from each. And for the FDA to get a copy of all those letters. That would be 100 more complaints than they had yesterday. Like when they were feeling pretty darn confident about hog-washing their Constituents! But guess what. We’re not all that dumb. And t’s time to wake up Americans to that fact. We’re paying attention AND it does matter!!

      Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with the website in anyway. Nor am I ever encouraged or prompted to express any
      opinions.

  9. Peter

    For decades the FDA has been described as held in “regulatory capture.” That is, created as a state regulatory agency to act in the public interest, but instead advancing commercial or special interests that dominate the industries it was charged with regulating (such as pet food production). As a “failure of government,” regulatory capture ultimately encourages a business model wherein the large agribusiness conglomerates (who have bought up the pet food companies as a way to dispose of their garbage) impart negative economic and moral social costs on the consumer, who is the 3rd party in the relationship.

  10. Fla Gal

    You know, Susan, since I have read your emails and website for several years, I have learned a wealth of knowledge of what is good and bad about pet food.

    Although we may be at the same juncture with the FDA, I have, with your guidance, learned to research, read the labels and buy the better, more holistic foods, small batch manufacturing, from two specialty stores in my area. The big box stores don’t carry some of these foods, but a couple of smaller holistic pet food stores have popped up in my area, and that is where I go.

    I am lucky enough to have a vet who is really into holistic foods and says, as you do, that good safe food is the basis of the pet’s health. I pay more for these foods, but I will pay it in vet bills or in food, and I would rather do the good food.

    In addition, for my two cats, I get the low-sodium deli turkey ( vet says its ok in small quantities ), the occasional sardine snack and in my case, no dry food for the cats ( one is diabetic and since we went to only canned foods, he is back to normal sugar )

    I think that if we continue to educate ourselves on all this, and make different choices for our pet food, we will hit the Big Pet Food companies where it hurts, the wallet, they will start paying attention.

    I think that people who really understand the whole pet food thing is a smaller group, relatively speaking, but we are growing daily and in the end, we will win, as we all turn away from the big box pet food over time.

    Please keep up the good fight. We are all behind you and I will definitely write to my politicians as you have recommended. But the most important thing is, to me, to avoid buying this crappy food from the big pet food companies. I know its a challenge financially for many of us, myself included, but at least we have to look at the options and act as best as we can.

  11. Holly

    This morning (Aug. 31, 2016) on the TV show, “Dr. Oz”, someone from Consumer Reports was talking about misleading labeling of processed foods (for people), the use of “natural” and “certified humane” language on labels. Susan, would you be the person to be a guest on “Dr. OZ” to talk about dog food?

  12. Sonia

    Any chance this information can be forwarded on to the news media?? Surely this is information that should be broadcast to every pet owner in the United States.

  13. Interested, still

    The title of this article should’ve been, “Thousands of Pets died but People haven’t changed!”

    I’m sorry but the Country is in the state that it’s in because there’s no mechanism for holding people accountable! The public has an attention span of 10 minutes. True, pets may not be the biggest priority among issues. But the Politicians who do nothing about everything anyway, are getting away with it. Yet people vote Parties because they mistrust the opposing side. They’re busy choosing the lesser of two evils. And then they walk away from it. Figuring it doesn’t matter anyway. Instead of demanding responsibility from people they’ve supported! Otherwise, why even vote??

    Only 15 comments. I thought all kinds of people would be writing a letter about this subject. If anything, JUST so politicians know there actually IS an Advocacy Group out there! One letter or 20 letters won’t do anything. That’s right, people probably give up thinking that way. But in the days when we’d campaign for an animal rights issue in our State, we networked among all kinds of groups, and generated hundreds of letters! There was visibility and loud voice! People cared. And you know what? Local Politicians noticed and decided they didn’t want to lose their Voter backing, because they could SEE the opposition! Publicity is the secret.

    So change isn’t going to happen immediately. But we can. We can change our attitude. To realize that momentum is what counts. Otherwise, how discouraging for the Author to put so much effort into a subject, and action plan, and show concern – only to see this much apathy.

    Very sad, because the pets who have no voice, are the ones suffering.

    1. Peter

      I disagree that the situation is engulfed in “apathy,” and I also disagree that “people haven’t changed,” the pet food market is slowly changing, grain-free foods are gaining market share and that is a tangible expression of consumer awareness regarding the 2007 “melamine crisis.”

      1. Holly

        Grain free foods, in my opinion, have nothing to do with the melamine problem from 2007. The reason there are more grain free foods is because TV commercials are comparing dogs to wolves and people now want to feed their dogs like wolves The problem is,. if you’ve noticed, many of the grain free foods take out the grains but add a tons of starches in their place. Hill’s Ideal Balance, grain free is a perfect example.

        1. Peter

          Well, that’s just not true. The consumer market has changed substantially since 2007, owing to advancing consumer awareness. Not a national shift from a TV commercial. It is the ad that is in response to consumer awareness. The market shift has produced some winners, and growth in premium foods. It also represents a major threat to the entrenched players that rely on consumer ignorance. Industry trade papers focus on these issues often.

  14. Jan

    Susan, as a pet parent of three rescued dogs, I am so appreciative of the research you conduct, the meetings you attend, and your persistence in demanding accountability of regulators when it comes to ensuring safe pet food. I will use the templates you graciously provided to send letters. Given that I have worked for federal agencies for more than 20 years, I believe that there are many hurdles in this situation, but none of which should prevent FDA’s having missed deadlines and following up on their initiatives. Based on my observations from working in federal agencies, some of the problems may include (1) if the head of FDA does not have a personal interest in pushing these efforts, these efforts will likely stagnate and be replaced by other items on their “to do” list; (2) if FDA cannot even assure consumers that their “human” food is safe, they will likely not be concerned about pet food; (3) if the FDA is currently cutting the number of inspectors of human food plants and cutting the number of onsite safety inspections due to budget constraints, they likely don’t give a hoot about pet food; and (4) corporate interests (like everything else in DC such as big oil, chemical companies, etc.) seem to always get regulators’ attention and backing. It also seems that not enough consumers are educated about pet food and/or cannot even afford to purchase pet food that would be safer even if they knew the scoop. Some pet owners can barely afford what is available at Walmart and probably don’t even take their pets to the vet, which is probably how large companies like Purina continue to make so much money. My guess is that consumers at Walmart and the Dollar Store are not looking at the labels on pet treats to see if they are made in China–it’s just not something they even think about. Remember the Blackfish video wherein information about Seaworld was disseminated widely and repeatedly on TV (just about everyone watches TV) and Seaworld experienced a drop in their attendance and market shares? This approach may be the only way that the issue with pet food will take a true front seat in the court of public opinion. Again, thank you for being the champion for all pets and pet parents. I will continue to do my part in signing petitions and sending letters in the hopes that maybe someone in DC will have a light bulb moment and decide to do the right thing. Many kudos to you.

    1. Pacific Sun

      This is an excellent summation of the obstacles facing pet food advocacy work! If you’re new to TAPF then you’ll be surprised to learn Susan has been plugging away on this issue for nearly 10 years! I believe (unless corrected) she has been a very unique advocate for pet owners (until relatively recently!) So when meetings occur, it is vital that many pet food consumers speak up!

      “Blackfish” was indeed a novel and a very well needed expose on captive animal exploitation. I applaud those Producers for their diligence and responsibility, because they really did make a difference!

      By contrast, television Media is reluctant to touch the negative aspects of pet food manufacturing because it conflicts with sponsorship. Just recently, The Dr. Oz Show had a very lightly offered piece, at least asking the question, “Do you know what’s in your pet’s food?” To begin a discussion was a milestone although we were disappointed it was so superficial. It would also seem that Blue Buffalo and Purina’s public battle over the issue of By-Products has presented a questionable ingredient to the general public. But nobody is actually explaining “why” (except here on the TAPF).

      As you mentioned about this issue, there are 3 kinds of pet owners. Those who honestly treat pets like family. Those who believe they are conscientious but are still too uninformed. And those who don’t care and/or are in denial due to the power of advertising.

      For now, Social Media is an access point. And the TAPF continues to be shared, especially when subjects are particularly controversial. Exposure must continue.

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