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What They See, What We Need

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  1. Hannie

    We can dream, can’t we? I think all of us would love to be able to walk into any store & pick up any food on the shelves knowing full well that they are healthy & good for our fur babies. Not in my lifetime……

  2. Cannoliamo

    I’ve spoken to a number (15-20) of States. Most of their concerns and agency expenditures involve feed products, not pet food. A number of states don’t even have a single person dedicated to pet food labels, ingredients, suppliers and manufacturing processes. Some states have huge loophole exclusions (Check Arkansas and Simmons Pet Foods – the largest manufacturer of in-store-labelled pet foods). Their testing is always coded, confidential and designed to protect the specific manufacturer brands. Most of them emphasized that as long as the ingredients were included in the state-approved lists, the specific ingredients for each product may or may not be what is shown on the label. All of them stated that they rely on AAFCO standards but these standards are not enforceable. They deferred to FDA on any non-compliance issues relative to specific labels. They’re all nice people with little or no legislative or regulatory authority or responsibility and very limited budgets and they were all sympathetic to my product quality concerns and wished they could do more.

  3. landsharkinnc

    States don’t work together on anything else, why on earth could/should we expect them to work together on PET products?? Drivers licenses are all different, Voting registrations regulations are different, Licenses to be a Physician, Attorney, Real Estate Agent, Veterinarian, Barber/beautician, dog groomer WHATEVER! are all different –there is no hope that until these are unified, and regulated we’ll ever see FOOD products regulations on the same page —

  4. Debbie

    Great idea. Maybe states don’t work together well yet,but cities are starting too. Let’s try to move the trend forward with pet food labels ! I will send the letter. It plants a seed.
    Seeds can grow.

  5. Linda Vick

    An interstate label approval system would be a huge step toward pet food, not feed. The system you describe already exists in the alcoholic beverage industry. The reason it exists is revenue; Federal Excise Tax owed to the US Treasury Department for every drop of alcohol sold in the US. There is substantial cost to support the infrastructure of the current system which includes an online system for ingredient approval, formula and label submission and approval. Laboratory and field testing as well as periodic on site auditing of manufacturing facilities completes the regulatory process. Individual states follow the lead of Feds, requiring yearly licensing and label submission/approval at a price. Unfortunately, while the Feds were working to bring their integrated system online, so were individual states. The proactive states have outrageously expensive systems developed in-house that do not integrate well with the Federal system or other states. States that waited for the Federal model appear to have invested in software that integrates at the Federal and state level.
    The model for state-to-state continuity of preapproval for ingredient sourcing, formulation, manufacturing, labeling, distribution, sale and monitoring is in place. Realistically, unless individual states can be convinced that implementing a cooperative system of pet food regulation is in their best interest and won’t break the bank, resistance will continue. Only the Federal Government has a big enough sledge hammer to make that happen. And here we are…..back to square one.

  6. T Allen

    Another great article. Thanks Susan!

  7. Lisa

    I can think of another benefit from having one national task force rather than individual state agencies handle this enormous task. Maybe with the money pet food/treat manufacturers save, paying one agency instead of paying multiple states, they could afford to use better quality ingredients and pass that savings on to pet owners. I would dare any and all manufacturers to boldly be the first to honestly claim and advertise real, human grade ingredients at a savings to consumers because they really care about our pets.

  8. Tim Cunningham

    Pause for thought. Thank you for the detail and outlining the inefficiencies associated with this process. The true center of gravity to implement the changes are the pet manufacturer Sr. Leadership should lean in on these opportunities. Lobbying the Federal Govt. if necessary as the cost and resource time is equally distributed.

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