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Very Different: US Pet Food and EU Pet Food

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  1. Deanna

    As an FYI, because Hill’s makes food for the entire world, they follow the EU regulatory regulations.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      Hill’s would be required to abide by EU regulation for pet foods sold in the EU. They or any pet food is not required to do that in the US. This is the reason that many large brands have manufacturing facilities in the EU – pet foods made in the US (most of them) would not meet import requirements when made in the US. I have seen no documentation that Hill’s products manufactured in the US meet EU standards. What you say could be true, but I would need verification of that.

  2. Diane

    It sucks that the EU is more forthcoming than the USA. Money grubbing people run it and all big pet food companies to put anything in our pets food if they are paid enough. No different than congress.

  3. Laurie Raymond

    I’d like to know what verification steps the EU requires in order to approve US made pet food for importation? Also, pet industry publications are currently exulting in expanding markets for pet food in places like the Middle East (Iran) and North Africa, India, and China where, generally, both law and regulatory enforcement are lax. Given that 4 or 5 global companies are now producing over 90% of the world’s commercial pet food, does this mean that companies use more junk ingredients where they can and make a more honest product where they can’t get away with the garbage? This needs investigation and the answers would be extremely enlightening about the ways big corporations operate on a global scale. Anybody have some knowledge here?

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      To my understanding (which is limited with exports) the USDA Animal Plant and Plant Inspection Service (APHIS) has specific requirements depending on the country importing. As example, here is a link for export requirements of pet food to South Africa: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/regulations/vs/iregs/products/downloads/sf_pf_rum.pdf
      You’ll notice it states (referencing meat ingredients) “subjected to both ante- and post-mortem veterinary inspections…” (which would be USDA inspected and approved) or “animals and carcasses not passed fit for human consumption but permitted by USA law to be used in the production of pet food…”.
      It’s tricky. USA law does not allow ‘animals and carcasses not passed fit for human consumption’ into pet food, not directly allowed by law – but FDA does by not enforcing law. These are some of the things about pet food that regulatory authorities don’t want consumers to know and they make it very difficult for us to discover.

  4. Marie

    Hi Susan,
    I’ve been meaning to write you, as I had occasion to report a veterinary supplement scam from an atrocious source to the FDA. While I was talking to the nicest woman, she shared my anger at the claims this guy made about his products, relating to me that she personally had fostered 500 dogs in her life so far. She said false claims such as his were preying on the hopes of desperate people, as nothing would have saved the litter of pups with parvo. (He claimed his products would have.) So then I brought it up – why doesn’t the FDA enforce the laws? She said we do! We are trying to educate people to change the laws, and we can only enforce the laws in existence. She added that the FDA had a small audience to educate. It was a shocking revelation to hear that from someone at the FDA. It doesn’t jive at all with what I understand about their failure to enforce the law. Can you please speak to this? She was very sincere. Could it be that even though she works for the FDA that she doesn’t know? Thanks!!

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      FDA selectively enforces law. The agency picks and chooses which laws they enforce. It’s difficult to understand (or even believe) that FDA would not enforce law – which is why I made public the excerpts from my meeting with the agency – when they openly stated they would not enforce law. http://truthaboutpetfood.com/hear-them-say-it/ It could be the person you spoke with at FDA truly believes the agency is enforcing all law – it could be she just didn’t know of other FDA activities.

      1. Marie

        Wow! That makes sense. Much like the govt. being so big that one arm doesn’t know what the other is doing. Would it be okay if I sent this to her? I wonder if someone working at the FDA can help change things from the inside? Thank you Susan!

    2. Susan Thixton Author

      Certainly you can send this to her. And if she provides you with a response as to why FDA does not enforce the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act with pet food – let us know.

      1. Marie

        Absolutely! Any answers or info she provides might really help us! She’s a total animal lover, and I think if she knew, she could really make some waves within the agency. At least I would hope so. They seem pretty stodgy and unmovable. She told me there’s one of her for four states, but I still might get a reply – just maybe not right away. Sending now! Thank you again!

    3. Dianne & pets

      Is there any way you could let us know what company this is? I am on an allergy group and of course there are many people who are desperate.

      1. Marie

        Hi Dianne,
        Yes, it’s called Orthomolecular Specialties found at http://belfield.com/ but this is the one the FDA was shutting down. The vet is very senile (88 years old) and may have good intentions, but I don’t know why his site is still up. He has a no refund policy and refuses to answer any product questions. I definitely would not go to him.

        But, I did find another pet food/supplement company that looks excellent. I think it’s very much worth considering, as I spoke with the doc yesterday – what a character! He’s very dear and really love animals – calls them all his children. He eats his own pet food and his supplements are very impressive. I ordered a case of his food to start, and I’m very interested in the supplements once I see my picky cats eat the food. He’s at https://www.cornucopiapetfoods.com/?gclid=CKKl7bX3zc0CFZeEaQodL8gN7Q I believe I just read that his foods are good for allergy sensitivities.

        I always just now ran into this: http://sharktankblog.com/shark-tank-sends-pet-food-doctor-packing/ Dr. Broderick was on Shark Tank (what a hideous show!), and they write in this link that he had no proof on his supplements (but his food is real food!) and that it’s best to consult your veterinarian, so that discredits Shark Tank’s opinion in my book since most vets don’t have a clue. I hope this helps! Doc Broderick welcomes callers and his site is full of information. The only thing I saw that didn’t jive with me was feeding chicken bones only because his youtube didn’t specify raw or cooked – could be carelessness but deadly carelessness for people who don’t know cooked not okay. Or maybe I’m wrong. It’s always been my impression never to give cooked chicken bones. Otherwise, I gave him a try, and the ingredients in his food are stellar! None of his products are sold in stores so shipping was a bit pricey. I also read free shipping but perhaps that’s closer to New York where he is. I’m hoping his supplements are stellar too. The proof is in healthier pets! His feeding protocol is anti-kibble (yay!) and only meal feedings of his food – guaranteed weight loss for one of my cats and hopeful diabetic remission for another.

        There’s another resource I recently found on Mercola.com – I just ordered three things, their liquid pump of Ubiquinol (anti-inflammatory), liquid pump of Astaxanthin and their time-released Curcumin – all antioxidant and/or anti-inflammatory. Good for my 19 pound cat with joint and kidney issues, and I learned kidneys can heal with antioxidants since aging is caused by oxidation. I seem to love research but don’t always get it right the first time. But it does avoid expensive vet bills and tons of stress to use prevention, so to me, it’s a better expense even on a super tight budget.

        1. Dianne & pets

          Thank you very much.

          1. Marie

            You are very welcome! I also remember an awesome product at http://www.optimumchoices.com/Bio-Algae_Concentrates.htm If I were to use algae (also sold by Mercola), I would get it from Optimum Choices because I’ve seen it work. He has super food and bio algae, and they’re essentially the same but both have unique properties. I made the mistake of paying for a consult years ago ($90.) only to learn what I just shared. So if your sweet dogs in the group want to try both, you can’t go wrong. The idea is to increase the dosage slowly to the point where one could go bankrupt, but no one has to go that far to get allergy relief. The only thing with these products is you can’t give a capsule and be done with it. It must be given at small intervals during the day, so even though I was working at home, I found that difficult to do, and that’s if you have animals willing to eat something that many times a day. I would think dogs would be willing to eat more often than cats, but it’s not like you can put it on a treat – maybe inside cheese. Pets really do accept the taste if you take it slow. Hope this isn’t TMI. Please let me know how any of these resources work out! Love to all the precious little dogs in your group!

          2. Marie

            Hi again Dianne and pets,
            Just a PS as I remembered something else from that expensive consult with Russell from Optimum Choices. I had a kitty who threw up due to allergies (other issues too like adrenal fatigue), and part of my reason for paying so much for so little info was to find out if it was the bio-algae causing vomiting. He said no. If they get too much bio-prep or bio-algae, they’ll immediately vomit green stuff or immediately have green diarrhea – no harm done – just info to use less. I used baby food to get it in kitties – might work well for dogs too. I must say it irked me when I asked the difference between bio-prep and bio-algae that he giggled after answering because I did not have the $90 to waste. It’s extremely hard to get an email reply from him, probably because he wants to sell his time, but his reason is that he’s overwhelmed with email. Maybe. I did hear from him once that he had an emergency shipment to get out, so it seems that these products do save lives or at least that Russell is sincere. You’ll also see formulas called F2+ and F3+ and such. The higher the number (F3+ for example), the stronger it is. And if memory serves, the bio-prep is what gets results – it’s high in antioxidants, while the bio-algae is higher in nutrition. If you have any questions I can help with, I’m free to ask! 🙂 And it definitely helped my precious kitty in a huge way! I got the bio-prep F3+ and it gave my angel some much needed quality of life.

          3. Dianne & pets

            Do you mind if I just copy what you wrote instead of summarizing it and how would you like to be credited for putting it together?

          4. Marie

            Hi Diane,
            I don’t see a reply option next to your question pasted in below, so I’m getting creative. 🙂 But I do see a reply option here so doing that also.
            Dianne & pets June 30, 2016 at 1:32 am

            Do you mind if I just copy what you wrote instead of summarizing it and how would you like to be credited for putting it together?

            Absolutely just copy whatever you need – easier than summarizing it. You are so sweet, but I don’t need credit for putting it together. Just stuff I’ve learned over the years when I was desperate to help my babies. I’m happy to share it with lots of love. 🙂

  5. Mary Marseglia

    EU may enforce the law but their foods are made the same as the US So why even make them because they are still just as horrible for our pets as the US brands. Dry Kibble is still Kibble it is all processed/over heated GARBAGE. And most canned foods aren’t any good either. The best thing to feed your dogs & cats is a complete raw diet made primarily from herbivore/ungulate animals and if you need to substitute some poultry or pork, well that’s up to you or do naturally farm raised.

    1. Marie

      I may have found a canned food worth feeding! It’s called Cornucopia and is made by a vet, Dr. Broderick. It’s human grade, non-gmo and organic. I spoke to him yesterday because he came up on a google search for diabetic cat food. So I have some of his food on its way. Now to get the kits to love it. https://www.cornucopiapetfoods.com/?gclid=CLO8vPvxzc0CFQQEaQodbCkM He also asked me to read him the ingredients on a bag of “high quality” freeze dried raw food, and I had to ask the question, “where’s the rest?” There was X% protein, X% fat, adding up to 59% total. He said the so-called raw meat only diet had carbs as the rest! So I’m giving him a try!

      1. Marie

        And a PS! He said he’s putting diabetic cats into remission with his food and supplements all over the country! On the site it says “taste tested by Dr. Broderick” and he said that’s not true – he actually eats his own pet food. That’s how good it is!

      2. Marie

        Hi Diane,
        I don’t see a reply option next to your question pasted in below, so I’m getting creative. 🙂
        Dianne & pets June 30, 2016 at 1:32 am

        Do you mind if I just copy what you wrote instead of summarizing it and how would you like to be credited for putting it together?

        Absolutely just copy whatever you need – easier than summarizing it. You are so sweet, but I don’t need credit for putting it together. Just stuff I’ve learned over the years when I was desperate to help my babies. I’m happy to share it with lots of love. 🙂

        1. Marie

          Oh crap – I misspelled your name! More coffee! And Dianne and Pets, if you guys need help, and if it’s okay by Susan, I’m marie@lightspirit.org I’m no expert but happy to help. And it’s easy to share – type over 100 wpm. Explains my verbosity. lol! I’ve heard from more than one trusted person, like Susan, Dr. Cathy, and more, that diet is the first line of defense. And antioxidants are great for everything!

      3. barbara m.

        Marie. Many companies will state that they are human-grade, but have no actual proof.
        Dr Broderick doesn’t state who inspected his plants or where. Since you say that he welcomes callers, please ask him who inspects his plant: Is it the FDA or the USDA. Then ask him if he is licensed to manufacture human food or pet food. He then should be able to give you his “official establishment” number. This is important.
        The website is awesome and I would like to order from him as well, but I rarely take what is written on face value. Many companies will claim this or that, and do so because they know that there is little to no enforcement.
        Please let me know what you find out. Thanks.

        1. Susan Thixton Author

          Just for clarification – it depends on the region as to who inspects a human grade facility. As example restaurants; they are human grade, serving human grade food but they are not inspected by FDA or USDA. On the AAFCO guidance document for pet food human grade claims it allows for whatever regional body that oversees inspection of human grade. That might be county health department or it might be FDA – it just depends on the area.

          1. Susan Thixton Author

            The AAFCO guidance document for human grade claims states “The manufacturing facility is licensed to produce human food by the appropriate authority (which varies by jurisdiction). Such evidence may include, but is not limited to, facility licenses or permits for operation of edible food manufacturing facilities or results of most recent inspections issued by local, county, or state public health authorities.”

          2. Marie

            Wow! Thank you Susan! I’m so grateful you know all this stuff! I copied your comment too so I’ll be well informed when I call him tomorrow. He’s on Long Island – don’t know what their requirements are. But thanks to your clarification, I wont frustrate him with the wrong questions. I’ll have time to fully understand Barbara’s questions to ask and your clarification to ask concise questions. Gonna practice for this call, since much of it is stuff I’m still learning. He said to call him and tell him how much my cats love his food. He doesn’t know my cats, but, it’s gotta be better than Fancy Feast. I’m remembering the feeding trials to addict pets and more determined than ever!
            Do you happen to know how it works in Long Island? If not, I’ll find out! Thanks again! 🙂

          3. Susan Thixton Author

            No – I don’t know who the authority would be in the Long Island area. It’s unfortunate that so many variables apply to the human grade pet food claim – but…those are the requirements per AAFCO – so we have to deal with it.

          4. Marie

            Hi! I didn’t get a chance to talk with Dr. Broderick today, BUT the food arrived and nowhere on the can does it say human grade. I did email him the questions and await a response. Will call him on Tuesday after the long weekend. I also noted that it’s food for dogs and cats combined with what I consider to be a low protein content for cats. Last but not least, it says “made with organic ingredients” not 100% organic. He’s got some explaining to do when I talk with him. I hope I haven’t been duped, again, and if so will never trust another damn pet food maker. I’m exhausted – long week, so maybe I’m just being negative when I just need sleep. It would be awesome for other members like Barbara to call him, knowing what I’m sharing here. And if he lied to me or mislead me, which I hate more than anything, he also makes claims that his supplements prevent disease – always a way to get these guys if they deserve it. At least the FDA does that. Will offer it to kitties tomorrow – see what they say. BTW, when I asked the questions, I implied that we were all just chomping at the bit to buy, once the questions were answered. Gives him reason to think twice – big carrot at the end of the stick. Susan, I don’t know if he talked to you yet, but I know he wants to talk with you very much. I’d love to be a fly on the wall if that conversation happens. For all I know the food is wonderful – just unusual. And it is difficult to pass all the requirements to actually label “human grade” or “organic,” but that’s no excuse if he mislead me so deliberately. He hasn’t met my inner bitch yet. After some sleep, I’m going to see if he answers the phone tomorrow and perhaps I’ll introduce her.

          5. Susan Thixton Author

            Thanks Marie for the information. No – the company has not contacted me.

        2. Marie

          Hi Barbara and thank you!! You are so right! He never gave me actual proof and that’s crucial. I will call him tomorrow and ask every single question you raised, and then I’ll share his answers. I did ask where he makes his food (his own plant?), and a woman named Bonnie (on my second call) said they share a plant that also makes organic food but nothing about human versus animal grade, largely because my timing wasn’t good, as she said they were on deadline for his book. So when I call back I’ll ask all of it. I guess I go too much by someone’s vibes, as he was so angry at pet food in general (good sign), wanted very much to speak to Susan, and feels very proud of his food – very sincere guy with a warm heart. But that still doesn’t mean much if he’s not in integrity. He “seemed” to be, but you’re right that I need real answers. I’ll be back tomorrow once I get them, and I’m copying your post so I remember every one.

          1. Marie

            I’ll see what I can learn from him! 🙂 AAFCO really makes things confusing and complicated. If he’s anything like he seems (on top of things), he should have ready answers!

  6. Nina Wolf

    yes indeed – here I am in the middle of Europe. Here space comes at a premium, and yet somehow Germany manages to dispose of 4D meat and by-products without dumping into companion animals. Certainly if a country the size of PA and part of Ohio can manage this, the US can. I miss my PA home, but I don’t miss the FDA or AAFCO!

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      Excellent point Nina! That is one of FDA concerns – landfilling these types of ingredients. If smaller countries in the EU can safely dispose of this material (not dumping into pet food), the US can too.

      1. Marie

        Hi Susan and Nina,
        So what does Germany do to dispose of these non-food “items” that we could be doing? Why aren’t we doing it? Besides lack of FDA giving a crap. Or did I just answer my own question?

  7. Dianne & pets

    “Past crises related to outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease, the spread of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and the occurrence of dioxins in feedingstuffs have shown the consequences of the improper use of certain animal by-products for public and animal health, the safety of the food and feed chain and consumer confidence.” You would think that these possibilities would be more of a concern, especially since some of them may not be destroyed by heat, (I think) But that is the big problem with trade deals, EU may no longer have a choice.

    1. Laurie Raymond

      This is why it is so critical that we ALL learn the basics of how to feed our dogs and cats using whole food from the human food chain. There are too many layers of protection for profitable companies to get away with any practice that serves their interests. Even the issues we are aware of are simply the tip of the iceberg. We should be withdrawing our support by refusing to buy their products, and we should no longer accept shine-on assurances in their propaganda. While it’s true that there are many problems with whole commodity foods we buy in the grocery store, they are orders of magnitude safer than manufactured pet food is today. And it is NOT rocket science to craft a diet for a dog or cat from meals made with whole meat, fish, poultry, eggs, fruit and veggies. It’s how dogs and cats have lived with us for eons up until the last 60 years or so. Yes, the industry is terrible, yes, the government regulations are inadequate and unenforced, yes, the global economic system makes it nearly impossible to address all this. But we can feed our pets as well as we feed ourselves, and in the same way.

  8. Andrea

    I don’t believe that EU is any stricter. They allow Purina and Pedigree and have many crap foods of their own filled with corn. I have a Sharpei Health group because our breed is sensitive to so many things. The people in EU have a terrible time finding a good grain and potato free food which our dogs do better on. Sharpei are prone to inflammation so potato is so detrimental to their health. I wish they had someone like you to do a version of Petsumer Reports for their foods. It’s so difficult to help them but I do have it narrowed down to a few foods. Keep up the good work. Now we need a movement to educate vets about nutrition and not allow pet food companies to do it. It should be illegal.

    1. Dianne & pets

      I believe there was someone but she was effectively shut down because the big companies threatened to sue her, especially after she revealed that recalled pet food was having new labels slapped on them and sent to Europe. Why oh why are these companies allowed to help negotiate trade deals?

      1. Marie

        Money oh money and greed oh greed! Not to mention no hearts whatsoever. It’s positively sickening. And I sure agree about a movement to educate vets about nutrition and NEVER allow pet foods any say in the matter at all given their self-interest and lack of knowledge. I imagine an educational movement would be well accepted so long as we aren’t putting down pet food companies or naming names.

  9. Delores

    Just for informational purposes…..Orijen/Acana at the Kentucky plant is spouting they are following the European Union on pet food regulation of their pet foods. They have admitted on their Facebook page that all their dried ingredients are sourced from Europe now. Hundreds have been banned from their Facebook and posts have been deleted. Lots of USA pets are either getting sick or refusing the new foods.

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