The FDA has made a big announcement of their launch of Pet Event Tracking Network, otherwise known as PETNet. The new program will allow the FDA and State Agencies to share information about pet food related incidents. But…it is almost 3 years late and pet parents will never see what is being reported.
Can you imagine what would happen if your Boss gave you a serious task to complete in one year AND you didn’t get this done until 2 years and 11 months later, plus only half completed the task? Almost everyone in the real world who turned in a half-completed project 3 years late would be out of a job. That is unless you work for the FDA.
In 2007 Congress signed into law the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act (FDAAA). Below are excerpts from the federal law with notes of when or if the law was abided by…
“(a) Processing and ingredient standards”
“Not later than 2 years after September 27, 2007, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (referred to in this chapter as the “Secretary”), in consultation with the Association of American Feed Control Officials and other relevant stakeholder groups, including veterinary medical associations, animal health organizations, and pet food manufacturers, shall by regulation establish –
“(1) ingredient standards and definitions with respect to pet food;”
“(2) processing standards for pet food; and”
“(3) updated standards for the labeling of pet food that include nutritional and ingredient information.”
“(b) Early warning surveillance systems and notification during pet food recalls
Not later than 1 year after September 27, 2007, the Secretary shall establish an early warning and surveillance system to identify adulteration of the pet food supply and outbreaks of illness associated with pet food. In establishing such system, the Secretary shall –
(1) consider using surveillance and monitoring mechanisms similar to, or in coordination with, those used to monitor human or animal health, such as the Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet) and PulseNet of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food Emergency Response Network of the Food and Drug administration and the Department of Agriculture, and the National Animal Health Laboratory Network of the Department of Agriculture;”
Completed August 1, 2011 – almost 3 years late.
The FDA announcement of PETNet states…
“PETNet grew out of discussions held with State and federal government public health officals at an August 2008, FDA sponsored meeting, “Gateway to Food Protection” (also known as the 2008 “50 State” meeting).”
This is simply NOT TRUE. As quoted above, Congress wrote into law that FDA develop an early warning surveillance system for pet food and required it to be completed by September 27, 2008.
Ok, sure, they did it – at least it is completed. Right? Yes, but…knowing that federal law required pet food ingredient standards be updated, pet food processing standards be updated, and pet food labeling standards be updated – and NONE of this has been completed…knowing that the FDA was almost three years late completing the early warning surveillance system (PETNet), how comfortable are you with the fact that no consumer will be allowed access to the information being shared on PETNet?
Why isn’t the ‘Secretary’ of the Health and Human Services and the Top Dogs at the FDA held to the same accountability as any other employee would be? Why aren’t these people fired – just like any other employee would be if they turned in a project 3 years late and half completed? Does anyone in Congress actually follow up with laws they write – making sure they are enforced?
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
What’s in Your Pet’s Food?
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