Trick of the Trade
We educate consumers to risk ingredients, so pet food works out a plan…they just won’t list all those risk ingredients on the pet food label.
Recently I received a call from an employee of a pet food manufacturing plant that was quite concerned at the company’s new initiative. This pet food company has decided to NOT list all ingredients used to make the pet food on the label even though pet food regulations require them to do so. I was told the “recipe will remain the same” but the pet food label – the list of ingredients – will be different. In other words, the pet food will tell consumers their pet food is ‘New and Improved’ – but actually it won’t be any different than in the past.
I do not have permission to share the pet food name, this employee was concerned over losing their job – ramifications for sharing what they discovered about the company.
I was not told what ingredients have/will ‘magically disappear’ on the pet food label. All I was told was that this pet food plans to STILL use the same ingredients they always have…their plan is to NOT list them on the label. They are going to willingly deceive consumers and regulatory authorities.
To their credit, this is close to a perfect crime. FDA or State inspections happen once every ten years or so. Who’s going to know? Even with inspection, authorities give pet food manufacturers advance notice of inspection (plenty of time to cover their tracks). As well, it is doubtful that authorities would perform a detailed inspection auditing all ingredients received comparing to products sold. The chances of getting caught…slim.
But it’s not a perfect crime…
Using the example of the lawsuit Purina brought against Blue Buffalo – Blue Buffalo advertised their pet foods contained no by-products. Purina tested Blue Buffalo pet foods and discovered Blue Buffalo did indeed contain by-products. How did Purina know to test a competitor’s food to see if they were using the quality of ingredients they were claiming to use? How did Purina know that some pet foods claim they use one ingredient but actually use another? My guess is that this is a common trick of the trade.
And then there’s the numerous studies published over the past few years proving that many pet foods claim to use one ingredient when they actually are using something different. (Dr. Jean Hofve has highlighted some of these studies, click here to read).
On the various occasions when a pet food employee finds me, reports an issue like this to me – I encourage them to report the issue to FDA or their State. The only people with the power to stop consumers from being deceived is FDA and State Department of Agriculture. I can tell you with absolute certainty, when these individuals have had the courage to go to authorities, not one time did the FDA or State Department of Agriculture do anything about what they were told. I have shared several of these issues privately with FDA and various States, but – not one time did any authority do something. And with Dr. Hofve at the helm, consumer advocates brought this issue to AAFCO’s Enforcement Committee in August of 2015…to date, nothing has been done to properly hold pet food manufacturers accountable.
And now we know with certainty that one manufacturer is openly and deliberately planning on deceiving consumers.
Consumer advocates had a meeting with AAFCO several weeks ago; our complaint was the lack of enforcement (federal and state laws being ignored). The AAFCO representatives told us we should help educate consumers to avoid risk ingredients. How can we successfully educate consumers when regulatory authorities don’t do their job? Consumers are more than willing to help educate other consumers, but we need authorities to enforce laws, and fully investigate every pet food manufacturer. Not once every ten (or so) years, every year. Full inspection, full audits of ingredients.
Unfortunately, there is no method to predict which pet food companies are being honest and which are not. It boils down to trust. Do you trust your pet food manufacturer? Do they respond promptly to your emails? Return your phone calls? Do they answer all of your questions or do they neglect to respond to some?
How does your pet respond to the food? Does your cat or dog turn their nose up to the food sometimes?
All of these questions are significant. You are trusting your pet’s life with a company/pet food product. If something ‘feels’ off about the pet food – listen to your gut. If your pet senses something isn’t right – listen to your pet.
To ‘that pet food’ whose employee called me – you won’t get away with this forever. One of these days…
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
What’s in Your Pet’s Food?
Is your dog or cat eating risk ingredients? Chinese imports? Petsumer Report tells the ‘rest of the story’ on over 4000 cat foods, dog foods, and pet treats. 30 Day Satisfaction Guarantee. www.PetsumerReport.com
The 2016 List
Susan’s List of trusted pet foods. Click Here
Have you read Buyer Beware? Click Here
Cooking for pets made easy, Dinner PAWsible
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