A recent CNN investigation discovered Pfizer too big to nail for selling drugs without FDA approval. Pfizer paid a fine, but escaped true prosecution literally because of the massive size of the company. With numerous multi-national mega corporations buying into pet food, is Big Pet Food untouchable just like Big Pharma?
CNN Special Investigation discovered through internal documents that pharmaceutical giant Pfizer was actively marketing Bextra, “a painkiller that was taken off the market in 2005 because of safety concerns.” In 2001 the FDA said Bextra was unsafe at higher doses such as for patients with surgical pain. “But with billions of dollars of profits at stake, marketing and sales managers across the country nonetheless targeted anesthesiologists, foot surgeons, orthopedic surgeons and oral surgeons. “Anyone that use[d] a scalpel for a living,” one district manager advised in a document prosecutors would later cite.”
According to the law, any company convicted of such a major health care fraud would be automatically excluded from Medicare and Medicaid; in other words, it would have destroyed Pfizer. Instead, Pfizer was allowed by prosecutors to set up a corporate subsidiary that would take the charges; a subsidiary that in truth never sold one drug legally or illegally. Despite having all the evidence they needed, Federal officials agreed to allow the world’s largest drug manufacturer to continue selling drugs to federally funded health programs. The CNN article states prosecutors took into consideration the ‘collateral consequences’ when agreeing to the deal with Pfizer; “disrupting the flow of Pfizer products to Medicare and Medicaid recipients, causing the loss of jobs including those of Pfizer employees who were not involved in the fraud, and causing significant losses for Pfizer shareholders.”
Now consider Big Pet Food; the most popular lines of pet food (by sales) are owned by mega industries such as Mars, Nestle, Delmonte, Colgate Palmolive, and news maker of late Proctor & Gamble. Each one of these giants of worldwide industry owns a line of pet food (if not numerous) that contain ingredients the FDA says are likely to contain pentobarbital, thus are likely to contain a euthanized animal. Any food, human or pet food, containing the slightest bit of animal that has died other than by slaughter (such as a euthanized animal) is a clear violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Thus…since the FDA’s own testing proved the pet food ingredients ‘animal fat’, ‘meat and bone meal’, ‘meat meal’ and ‘animal digest’ are probable to contain a euthanized animal, and since all of the mega corporate owned pet foods contain one or more of these ingredients in various product lines, all of these big dog corporate pet foods could be violating Federal law; yet no one does anything about it. The FDA and subcategory Center for Veterinary Medicine have turned a blind eye to pet food violating Federal food safety laws for many years. Are they too big to nail just like Pfizer?
Over the past two years, ConsumerAffairs.com has compiled a startling list of consumer complaints regarding Nutro Pet Foods owned by industry giant Mars Petcare. ConsumerAffairs.com, under the Freedom of Information Act, discovered the FDA too had a startling list of consumer complaints of pet deaths and illnesses regarding Nutro Pet Food over the past two years. http://www.consumeraffairs.com/pets/nutro.html Within the last week non-profit Pet Food Products Safety Alliance received startling laboratory results on a Nutro cat food that almost killed a one year old cat; the food tested high in Vitamin D which could be lethal. Pet Food Products Safety Alliance provided the FDA with the laboratory results, the FDA did nothing. http://www.pfpsa.org/news.html
Is Mars Petcare too big to nail? Does the FDA consider potential corporate collateral damage before taking any action against a pet food manufacturer?
With pet foods, another ‘collateral damage’ is the livestock industry; hugely powerful at the FDA. Currently, pet foods and other animal feeds is the ONLY sales outlet for left over bits and pieces of slaughtered animals (intestines, spleens, etc) and pet food is the ONLY sales outlet for otherwise unsellable waste such as cancerous meat tissues, drugged meat tissues, dead livestock, and other horrors. Without the FDA’s open permission for pet food to violate Federal law, the livestock industry would have to pay to properly destroy such waste. The livestock industry seems too big to nail as well.
Worse yet to consider, is this one of the reasons why mega corporations are becoming deeper and deeper involved in the pet industry? They become too big to nail?
Not only is pet food the very last on the list of safety concerns at the FDA and Center for Veterinary Management, now considering the silver platter prosecutors handed Pfizer simply because of corporate size, big corporations buying up pet food seems to be a huge concern for unknowing pet owners.
No average ‘Joe’ would be given the same deal that Pfizer was given if they sold illegal drugs; no average ‘Jane’ would be given free reign to violate Federal laws like pet food if they sold prohibited foods. Why should Big Dogs of Industry be given a Federal open door to crime? How many pets and people will die before someone of authority realizes that no one should be above the law. It’s sickening to consider.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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