Skip to main content

Who exactly is getting Fooled?

Related News

Comment51

  1. Woofielover

    I hope you posted this to her page or emailed it to her!

    1. Holly Rist

      My thoughts exactly!

  2. Jane

    Responses like hers always make me wonder if the person has some financial interest at stake. Why else would someone who has dedicated her life to caring for animals be willing to ignore/deny the many documented problems in the pet food industry?

    1. Jeri

      She’s allied with Banfield. See the Pet Fooled FB page. They “outed” her connection. Now we know…

    2. Melissa

      I agree with you! Must have some financial interest.

  3. Debi

    Yes Susan, please do send this to her !!!!

  4. Jeri

    Well written, Susan! (Only one typo – in the sentence “If you bothered to be involved, you would know that the legal definitions of rendered by-product ingredients in pet food are not required to be sourced from human edible sources the same was as “kidney pie, hot dogs, brats and haggas” is. ” (I think “was” is supposed to be “way”?) She is allied with Banfield, apparently, so consider the source. Taken within that context her “jaw-dropping” ignorance is hardly surprising. I’m sharing your response and will post it to Pet Fooled as well so they can react. (They are the ones who found her association with Banfield and posted on their site). So glad you are setting her straight! A dirty job but….

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      Will fix that error – thanks!

  5. jay

    Dr Wooten apparently has drunk the coolaide!! WAKE UP and smell the roses, Dr Wooten!

  6. LMK

    Excellent!!!! Thank you for the well written comments!!!!

  7. Bethany Cortale

    Thank you, Susan, for working so diligently to defend consumer advocates and their pets. I highly recommend Slaves of Our Affection: The Myth of the Happy Pet by Dr. Charles Danten. He is a former vet who gave up his practice because of unethical veterinary customs and industry ties to pet food manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, shelters, humane societies, etc. Unfortunately, there are more Dr. Wootens out there than not, whose conscience can be bought.

  8. Tom

    Great answer, Susan. I hope she at least reads it.

  9. Stormy Wynter

    I first learned about euthanized pets in pet food in the year 1992. The whole class of students in my ‘Veterinary Assistance’ class was shocked! The Vet instructors told us all about the Rendering Plant right up the road in the L.A. area (my class was in San Diego) and how dead pets were picked up from all the Shelters and Vet Hospitals/clinics in trash bags put in big drums loaded onto trucks and taken there and went on to describe the whole rendering process. All very matter of factly. Even the fact they were used to make cosmetics ie: lipstick and to make children’s crayons.

    1. Peter

      Its considered environmentally beneficial, not to “throw away” byproducts, waste, and garbage, including that from shelters, zoos, etc. This is the world we have found ourselves in…

      1. stormy

        Peter, I do not wish to have my pet become a cannibal. That’s how Mad Cow disease came into being. The euthanasia drug (Pentobarbital in the case of shelter pets) can still be found in your pets food! That’s why vets are finding pets more resistant to drugs used to euthanize.

      2. Stormy

        They can’t be disposed of in landfills because of the danger to wildlife so not allowed by Fish and Game, but okay for our pets?

  10. Betsy Dabbert

    Thank you

  11. Lisa Southern

    Thank you for this! Just one more reason you are blessing to petsumers and their pets. You could not have articulated it better. I certainly hope Dr. Wooten reads this (perhaps a hard copy should be sent to her office) and she can educate herself on what really is happening in the pet “feed” industry – she would be far better equipped to serve her clients and affect positive change in their health.

  12. Susan Thixton Author

    At the request of many – I have posted this entire article as a comment on Dr. Wooten’s post.

    1. Vicki

      Great! I did not know all this. Opened my eyes too. Thanks!!

  13. Pacific Sun

    This Vet may think she’s convincing viewers not to believe Pet Fooled, but do people realize what it takes to make a documentary?

    It’s nearly impossible, particularly with an unpopular topic! Michael Moore sold out a long ago. And as you notice is now pandering to a disgruntled segment of the political landscape. And it’s because there’s just NO profit it telling people the truth.

    And the way they’re distributing this movie is even harder. They’ll be lucky to cover expenses over the long term. So this kind of movie maker has to have a real investment in the subject matter. Just like with “Food, Inc.” the makers are up against Ag-business and Corporations. And they tread a thin line against being threatened (overtly or covertly).

    So Wooten should ask first, what are the intentions of the makers of Pet Fooled …. versus …. her own? In fact, more publicity (even if it’s to debunk Pet Fooled) has just insured an increase in viewers out of sheer curiosity. People just love to make up their OWN minds!!

    It can be said people heard it here first. Just one more Vet (and another to avoid) with vested self-interest, while turning her back on animal welfare. Hope it brings it brings you (Dr. Wooten) enough peace of mind at night …. knowing how taking that taking an oath didn’t mean anything after all. You ought’a jump on the side of ethical behavior now, while there’s still time! Because Susan is gonna to make her point, with or without anybody on the sidelines!!!

    1. Susan Hayes

      Re. Michael Moore: please keep politics out of this. He has not “sold out.” He continues to expose the lies and corruption in politics today, just as Susan does regarding pet food companies.

      1. Debbie

        LOL. I feed my dogs a Raw Diet! They are in the best of health, never get sick, and have the softest fur ever. Oh and I was a Vet Tech for many years. I will never feed my dogs any man made kibble! Way to many toxins and poisons in it! I love my dogs!!

      2. Pacific Sun

        Read my comment carefully. My point is this, whether it’s Wooten or not (whoever is taking a stand), you don’t expect to take an unpopular opinion for a media piece, and make money. In this day, everybody is disgruntled about something. (Separate fact and separate statement) …truth alone does not sell, otherwise PF advocacy work would not be the decade long effort it has turned out to be!!

        1. Susan Hayes

          Please read this carefully. To clarify my point, you chose (as an example to
          support your point about the difficulty in making documentaries), a polarizing figure.
          And it wasn’t necessary, unless you wanted to interject your political bias (which
          you’ve done in a previous post; for example, in your 14 Jul 17 post, “The lawyers
          first mistake was filing in such a notoriously liberal court.”).

          And your implication regarding the limited success of Moore’s documentaries
          wasn’t accurate; he’s done quite well (contrary to your statement that “he is now
          pandering to a disgruntled segment of the political landscape”). Again, contrary
          to your point, documentaries can be effective and lucrative when “telling people
          the truth.”

          I’m done with this. I appreciate many of your helpful and informative postings
          in TAPF, but please leave out the political bias. It’s not helpful in this forum.

          Apologies for this digression, everyone.

  14. Anthony Hepton.

    When the details are known and understood, the major pet food manufacturers consistently violate national regulations and the regulatory agencies do nothing. To hold them accountable needs more than AFCCO and more than regulations, it takes consumer advocates like Susan to continually hold them accountable to the regulations already in place and to promulgate new regulations that have pets and their owners as the highest priority.

  15. JMC

    Has anyone noticed Dr wooten equated HOT DOGS with healthy food???? really? hot dogs are healthy? anyone who feels that hot dogs are healthy, I certainly wouldnt trust their judgement on a healthy pet food

    1. Regina

      OMG, good point about “hot dogs” — I was just having a conversation just the other day with a friend about “hot dogs” and how neither one of us could ever eat them, yuk!!!!

      And, as for Haggis (this is how I’ve always seen it spelled) there are plenty of people who are repulsed by that, also!

  16. Regina

    uh, yeah, this sentence of hers right here “Because, when it comes down to it, we all want the food we are feeding our pets to be healthy and safe—so we are all on the same team.”

    I find that laughable, because when you have vets that are part of the same conglomerate that makes “feed” out of crap ingredients, I think that means you are definitely NOT on the same side!!!!! Banfield being owned by the same people that make Pedigree, Royal Canin, etc, yeah, you ain’t on MY side!!!!

  17. Batzion

    Dr.(?) Wooten does public speaking: http://www.drsarahwooten.com/ (scroll down to the bottom) How I wish we could all get together and have Dr.(?) Wooten “enlighten” us about pet food lol. I suspect it might have the potential of culminating like this Blues Brothers scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ri83v76PXdE The poor soul would have to bring her own chicken wire, though.

    Thank you, Susan. As Pacific Sun wrote, you will make your point one way or another, and we love and support you for that.

  18. Wanda Vittek

    It really is a shame that her statements have little to do with nutrition. Even mentioning what humans eat is a sign of a lack of knowledge about nutritional values. The references to truth from the FDA also shows how naive some people are.

  19. Laurie

    From the article Responding to Client Reactions about Pet Fooled, the author reports “I consulted with Joe Bartges, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, DACVN, and together we formulated some possible responses as a jumping off point.”

    Dr Bartges is someone who Dr Karen Becker has described as having ” a tremendous amount of knowledge” who “mastered the art of nutrition” and in regards to the pet food industry Dr Becker said “I don’t think there is anyone more qualified than you Dr Bartges to speak about this” See Dr Becker Talks About Pet Food with Dr Bartges on you tube.

    In Susan’s article and in all these comments no where have I seen Dr Bartges mentioned. The author makes it clear that the responses were formulated with Dr Bartges. The proposed answers to these questions are the combined effort of Dr Wooten and Dr Bartges, a veterinary internist and nutritionist whom Dr Becker greatly admires. So when i read the responses I read them in that context.

    Perhaps things could have been worded better, for example in regards to the chicken meal comment I see the response “This is not true” to be in reference to by product meal as being ” inappropriate nutrition” and not that it is not true that the product is a rendered ingredient. However, as it is worded it isn’t clear. I’m sure Dr Bartges knows that a meal is a rendered ingredient and I believe Dr Wooten knows this as well. The pertinent point is that Dr Wooten and Bartges are saying the chicken by product meal is “a good protein source”

    1. Jeri

      The fallacies do not stop with that one comment. Regardless of who Bartgas is, Wooten is apparently unaware that the law is not being followed in regards to the SOURCE of ingredients for pet food, or that there is a decided difference between what is “feed” and what is “food”. She naively assumes that because it is illegal to include euthanized and 4D meats that it somehow doesn’t happen. It does…regularly – for the simple fact that the FDA allows the latter via their “compliance policy”, and companies feel they have enough lattitude to include the former…as long as no one catches on…. As for raw food, I know that Dr. Becker is solidly behind it, so there is no argument against it as an option which could be valid. Becker has pointed out numerous times the options for pathogen-control in raw, and the NUMEROUS documented cases of pathogens found in kibble, causing illness. Yet, silence from Wooten on the latter and apparent ignorance of the former. Hmmm…. One wonders, additionally, why Wooten feels compelled to attack these two holistic vets (Royal and Becker) if, in fact, they are all on the same side. Clearly they are not.

      1. Laurie

        The response regarding 4D, roadkill and euthanized animal being in pet food is a bit simplistic.Unfortunately unscrupulous suppliers will likely always exist and companies that blindly accept product without verifying their purchase will fall prey. I really looked forward to Pet Fooled and was really disappointed. Far too many statements with no basis in fact and too many blatant errors: 4th premolar labeled as a molar, a pointer on the femur vs the pelvis, saying hydrogen is used to estimate protein content and then there is Dr Becker’s wildly inaccurate claim that the taxonomy of the dog changed from Canis lupus familiaris to Canis lupis !! Hopefully since Dr. Becker admires Dr Bartges she will heed his advicein regards to raw diets “.. issues extend beyond health issues for dogs and cats to health issues with the human beings… Clients should be made aware of the potential for problems especially infectious diseases associated with raw food.

        1. Susan Thixton Author

          But Laurie – the only documented human illness associated with pet food is with kibble, not raw. It’s weak to use the ‘potential problems’ argument against raw when documented infectious disease problems only exist for kibble. I don’t mind the warnings about safe handling with raw, but I do believe the warnings should be consistent with all pet foods regardless of style.

          1. Jeri

            EXACTLY, Susan. If those citing public health concerns want to be taken seriously they will have to address the elephant in the room that is kibble. People have been handling raw safely for their families for millennia. They understand the risks. There is no difference when handling it for pets. The real danger is kibble. The average pet owner assumes it to be “safe’ and “sterile” because it’s cooked, yet the documented cases of people getting salmonella (or other illnesses) from handling it belie that assumption. It’s time for some to stop throwing stones at imaginary giants and deal with the roaring ogres doing the real harm. Maybe then pet owners who feed raw would take them seriously.

          2. Stormy

            Absolutely Jeri! My neighbor got Salmonella from the kibble she feeds her dog (or her dog’s poop from eating kibble), and had it for several months! I had tried for over a year to convince her that raw was better than kibble but to no avail. I’m sure it would have saved her the suffering of Salmonella! But my neighbors won’t listen to me and only listen to their Vets and TV Commercials.

          3. Laurie

            Susan, It dumbfounds me to read the statement you made or this one from Dr Becker “there are also zero known reports of raw pet food causing illness in either a pet or a human” Veterinarians share this information through informal channels ( see Weeth nutrition Campylobacter, Salmonella, E coli Oh My…” and formal publications exist in regards to pet illness and death. CDC reports of a dehydrated raw treat outbreak and 2 reports with raw product for reptiles, they are pets too so I can’t agree with you when you say the only documented cases are kibble based. I do agree with you that safe handling warnings should apply to all pet consumables. The concern though lies beyond food handling to the pet itself as a source of infection. Pathogen carriage is consistently shown to be higher in raw fed pets vs their kibble counterparts, hence Dr Bartges’ concern

          4. Susan Thixton Author

            Fair enough – because there are many of us that are dumbfounded as to why raw pet food is singled out as the villain style of pet food. If you look at this by market share – the risk is far greater to humans in kibble based simply on the numbers. Raw pet food makes up only 2% of the market. Kibble makes up the largest segment of the market – poses the highest risk to a significantly larger part of human population – but is dismissed as risk. Yep…dumbfounded.

          5. Laurie

            Susan,
            I don’t see that the pathogen risk of pet foods other than raw is dismissed. In fact the Safe Handing Tips for Pet Food and Treats by the FDA doesn’t single out any one product type in regards to safety measures. It is does state that raw diets are not in line with the goal of public health and I understand that. Kibble has a larger market share and poses a very small risk to a large population. Raw poses a large risk to a small population. On an individual basis a meal of raw is much more likely to expose the animal and the household to a pathogen than a meal of kibble. After exposure it is the pet itself that spreads the organisms. Bacteria gets on the pet’s muzzle and maybe even the paws after eating and those bacteria are spread about the house. They shed pathogens in their stool and transfer occurs from that end as well. Most healthy humans will tolerate this level of exposure but others are at risk. It is a shame that Pet Fooled didn’t address the risk and Wooten and Bartges were right to point out that omission.

          6. Susan Thixton Author

            Laurie – you can continue to argue and so can I. But we are never going to agree. I will never agree that raw commercial pet food is of greater risk than kibble commercial pet food. Simply based on statistics – recall history, it is not. So let’s just agree to disagree.

          7. Laurie

            I don’t mean to argue with you and was surprised to see you saw our conversation in that light. I’m only trying to understand how you’ve come to the conclusions that you have. For example when you say based on statistics-recall history kibble is a greater pathogen risk than raw I’m a bit lost.

            Using the recall information from this site In 2017 I see 2 recalls for pathogens for raw diet and none for kibble. In 2016=-5 recalls for raw for pathogens and none for kibble. 2015- 11 recalls for pathogens in raw and none for kibble. Not until 2014 is there a kibble recall for pathogen. Considering the small market share of raw there is a disproportionately large number of recalls of raw,

          8. Laurie

            Susan, Thanks for the link.How did you take into account that there are so many more pounds of kibble made then raw? Say 1% of both kibble and raw were recalled looking at “raw” data kibble would look worse. What statistical test did you do? In the article “FDA Warns Against Raw..” you said there was statistically a 400% higher chance of exposure to salmonella when feeding kibble. What statistical test did you use for that conclusion? Someone might think you just divided 37 by 9 : ) The easiest way for me to understand is to use the FDA surveillance study. 38 of 196 or 19.4% of raw had pathogens and 1/240 or 0.4% of kibble had pathogens. So if I go to the store and buy raw I have nearly a one in five chance of pathogen but if I buy kibble it drops to one in two hundred forty. With increase use of HPP those raw percentages should drop.

          9. Susan Thixton Author

            Ok…you want to pick and choose what you wish to compare? Fair enough, but so can I. Two recalls – both for Salmonella. The amount of kibble recalled was 10,275,000 lbs. The amount of raw recalled was 2,055 lbs. Ten million pounds compared to two thousand pounds. Based on these two recalls, which style of pet food poses more of a risk to consumers? Doesn’t take a “statistical test” to figure this one out does it? In five years of actual recall history – 19 million pounds of kibble was recalled due to pathogens compared to 17 thousand pounds of raw. Seriously…you are going to continue this argument?
            Are you aware that FDA and State Department of Agriculture has not followed their own written protocol with recall procedure with numerous raw pet food manufacturers? I know this for fact. If you knew regulatory the way I know regulatory you would know that very often they protect their friends of Big Pet Food (just in case you don’t know who Big Pet Food is – most of them make kibble). I have evidence from Freedom of Information Act request that one kibble manufacturer (Mars Petcare) had a hole in the roof over the mixer – 6 foot hole. This hole existed for years. FDA and Missouri Department of Agriculture both inspected the plant. No recall was ever initiated – in fact, no regulatory even mentioned the hole, the standing water in the plant, or the risk it posed to employees or the final product. I personally asked the Missouri Department of Ag official why no recall was ever made based on such poor manufacturing conditions. He told me “It wasn’t raining the day we inspected”. I kid you not. You and I might not agree on a lot of things – but one thing I suspect we would agree on is that a six foot hole in the roof of a ‘food’ manufacturing plant directly over the mixer poses a serious health hazard to the food being made. So long story short – if you think I believe FDA surveillance study was accurate and was performed by written protocol for the raw pet food – you are wrong. I know FDA better than that.

  20. Regina

    Free time today gave me the opportunity to check out the site dvm360.com. I stumbled upon this page (here’s the link)

    http://veterinarymedicine.dvm360.com/hungry-veterinary-nutrition-products-feed?pageID=2

    you will find the following paragraph:

    If you’re on the fence about using a hydrolyzed diet for an elimination trial, think Royal Canin’s Feline Ultamino. The hydrolyzation process breaks 95 percent of the protein (chicken feathers!) down to less than 1 Dalton, so it should not spark an allergic reaction.

    Someone should show this to Dr. Wooten.

  21. Regina

    Sorry, forgot to point out the admission that they use “chicken feathers”

  22. Marta (Ozzey & Vlad too)

    Thanks so very much Susan! I moved recently from Colorado to Washington State and even here, the veterinarians are in denial. I lost two cats young to cancer in the last 5 years and then watched ‘Pet Fooled’ right after it was released. I then stumbled into Truth about pet food and subscribed – and have been attempting to educate personally every pet lover, pet business owner, friend, relative, etc etc.

    I have not found a single veterinarian or pet shop owner (even the small boutique types) that has even watched the documentary – OR subscribes to your site OR even knows about the work you are doing!

    I SO appreciate all of the hard work that you, (and Dr. Cathy Alinovi and Dr.Michael Fox) continue to do. I am completely ‘zero tolerance’ now, when it comes to feeding my current Ragdoll and Rag/American Bobtails….. The really cool thing – locally – is that the ‘Cat Man Do’ company that makes treats (dogs love them too) – are super proactive when it comes to health. They even emailed me back within a few hours when I inquired about ingredients.

    Take good care and thanks again.

  23. Mary Beth Polek,DVM

    Susan, This veterinarian says thank you for all you investigative work. Our pets deserve much better and companies need to be help to a higher standard. I am spreading the word about your site and the Pet Fooled movie to my clients. BTW your website TTAPF/2017 List is what I consider the standard by what we should feed our pets. Best regards, MB Polek, DVM

  24. Laurie

    Hi Susan, If you don’t trust FDA surveillance there are other sources as well. 21% of 160 samples of commercial raw tested in Canada were found positive for Salmonella. Similar percentage to what the FDA found. Harder to find widespread kibble surveillance that isn’t FDA but also in Canada 0% of 27 lots of dry tested positive. Alternatively you could look at “output” data. Consumption of raw is linked to higher shedding rates of pathogens in feces. There is so much information on this. Dr’s Wooten and Bartges would have been remiss not to address the issue as it wasn’t even discussed in Pet Fooled.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      Dr’s Wooten and Bartges are certainly remiss in not discussing illegal (per federal law) ingredients commonly used and openly allowed by FDA and each State Department of Agriculture. Remember – they are still illegal, still direct violations of law even though FDA and Dept of Ag practice ‘selective enforcement’. Why aren’t Dr’s Wooten and Bartges speaking out against these ingredients? Remiss? yes.

      And again – let’s look at actual recall history. From 2012 to 2015 – just data where FDA provided pounds of pet food recalled: 19 million pounds kibble recalled compared to 17 thousand pounds of raw. There is no argument here Laurie – kibble pet food poses the greatest risk to the greatest number of people. You don’t have to like it (because it’s clear you are defending the kibble industry) – but facts are facts. It’s time to accept it.

Leave a Reply