FDA issues a warning to consumers against Hare Today, Gone Tomorrow pet food. Included in this warning the FDA told pet owners a direct lie.
On January 23, 2019 – the 33rd day of the federal government shutdown when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is supposedly ONLY in operation for “imminent threats” – the agency issued a warning titled “FDA Cautions Pet Owners Not to Feed One Lot of Hare Today Gone Tomorrow Due to Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes“.
“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is cautioning pet owners not to feed Hare Today Gone Tomorrow Ground Chicken/Bones/Organs, lot 12.04.2018, after a sample of the product collected by the FDA tested positive for Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes (L. mono). The product is available in four sizes and varieties, all with the processing date of 12.04.2018 on the back of the bag:
- Ground Chicken/Bones/Organs, 1lb, Fine Ground
- Ground Chicken/Bones/Organs, 2lb, Fine Ground
- Ground Chicken/Bones/Organs, 3lb, Coarse Ground
- Ground Chicken/Bones/Organs, 5lb, Fine Ground
The FDA warning continues with…(significant issues in bold)…
“The FDA collected this sample while following up on a consumer complaint in which a kitten became sick with Salmonella after eating the recalled product. The specific lot of Hare Today Gone Tomorrow Ground Chicken/Bones/Organs that the sick kitten ate was not available for testing. The FDA collected samples from lot 12.04.2018, which tested positive for both Salmonella and L. mono. Although the Salmonella isolated from the feces of the sick kitten did not match the strain found in the product sample, Federal law requires that all pet food not be contaminated with pathogens, including Salmonella and L. mono, because of the potential impact on human and animal health.”
Is this an “imminent threat” to human or animal health or is this evidence of FDA bias?
Concern #1. The FDA could not (or chose not to) test the same lot of the pet food that the sick kitten consumed. In all the years of TruthaboutPetFood.com, I have NEVER seen the FDA issue a warning based on testing of a lot different than what the reported sick pet consumed.
Concern #2. FDA tested a different lot of pet food, but what they found DID NOT match the strain of the sick kitten’s feces. In all the years of TruthaboutPetFood.com, I have NEVER seen the FDA attempt to link a pet illness to a pet food when the evidence proves otherwise.
Concern #3. The FDA stated “Federal law requires that all pet food not be contaminated with pathogens, including Salmonella and L. mono…” This statement is absolutely FALSE.
The Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act defines an adulterated food as (in part): “§342. Adulterated food. A food shall be deemed to be adulterated- (a) Poisonous, insanitary, etc., ingredients: (1) If it bears or contains any poisonous or deleterious substance which may render it injurious to health; but in case the substance is not an added substance such food shall not be considered adulterated under this clause if the quantity of such substance in such food does not ordinarily render it injurious to health;”
No where in “federal law” can it be found that “all pet food not be contaminated with pathogens…” Where this statement is found is in FDA ‘policy’.
FDA ‘policy’ states “FDA considers an animal feed or pet food that may be injurious to health because it is contaminated with Salmonella to be adulterated under section 402(a)(1) of the FD&C Act. (21 U.S.C. 342 (a) (1))”
Note the words in this policy “FDA considers“. The policy doesn’t state ‘law considers’. This ‘policy’ is ONLY FDA opinion, it is not law as the FDA warning told pet owners.
And significantly, on the ‘policy’ “Compliance Policy Guide 690.800 Salmonella in Food for Animals“, it clearly states at the top of the document…
“This guidance represents the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) current thinking on this topic. It does not create or confer any rights for or on any person and does not operate to bind FDA or the public.“
In no uncertain terms – a Compliance Policy IS NOT LAW as the FDA warned consumers.
Why would FDA lie to the public with this statement? Perhaps they desperately believe they are right and law is wrong…I don’t know. But for certain, the agency is NOT charged with interpreting law to their whim.
Another FDA policy regarding pet food (CPG 690.300 Canned Pet Food) states:
“Pet food consisting of material from diseased animals or animals which have died otherwise than by slaughter, which is in violation of 402(a)(5) will not ordinarily be actionable, if it is not otherwise in violation of the law. It will be considered fit for animal consumption.”
Again, allowing diseased animals or non-slaughtered animals (such as euthanized animals) in pet food is NOT allowed by law. In fact it is a direct violation of federal law. FDA doesn’t enforce law as the agency is charged to do. Instead the agency acts independent of laws they are charged with enforcing.
How can any consumer have confidence in their pet’s food when law is repeatedly ignored by the federal agency regulating it? They can’t.
And by the way, this FDA warning is the second warning issued against a raw pet food company with no confirmed instance of a sick human or pet during the government shutdown. The first was issued to Answers Pet Food ten days ago.
I encourage every pet owner to email their Representatives in Congress and demand that FDA enforce law as it was written, NOT as the agency chooses. We are not asking for anything other than uniform enforcement of law across all styles of pet food. It shouldn’t be this hard.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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