The deadline to finally remove one of the highest risk materials from pet food was only two weeks from taking effect. Instead, the FDA announced April 6, 2009 it will extend the deadline until June 26, 2009. Pet Foods can continue to be the dumping ground for Mad Cow Disease material for 60 more days. Will there ever be an end to this?
Under pressure from basically every health conscious organization around the world, the FDA finally amended the original BSE or Mad Cow Disease material ban to include all animal feed; the previous ban only prohibited ruminants (cattle) from being fed Mad Cow Disease cattle material. All BSE suspect material had to be clearly marked ‘Do Not Feed to Ruminants’, however pet food was an acceptable outlet for this risk material. The 2008 BSE Final Rule, announced in April of 2008, gave the cattle and rendering industry one full year to make arrangements to properly destroy BSE risk material; it could no longer be used in any animal feed including pet food.
One year didn’t seem to be enough time for the rendering industry. It appears complaints from ‘effected parties’ (the rendering industry) motivated the FDA to change the deadline. “The agency is taking this action in response to comments from affected parties expressing concerns about their ability to fully comply with the rule by the April 27, 2009 effective date. In addition, some affected parties are finding it difficult to identify appropriate alternate ways of disposing of material that may no longer be rendered for animal feed use once the rule takes effect.” http://www.fda.gov/cvm/CVM_Updates/BSEDelayRule.htm
The new deadline has been changed to June 26, 2009. Twelve months wasn’t enough time, but two more months will be?
Many U.S. citizens feel the FDA takes better care of industry than consumers. Despite the design of the FDA to be a “consumer protection agency”, their actions continue to show the public they have become an ‘industry protection agency’. This action, that delays the removal of all BSE risk material from all animal feed, drives the ‘industry protection agency’ point home.
The FDA is accepting comments for seven days on the deadline extension. Should you feel compelled to share your point of view with the FDA, go to http://www.regulations.gov/search/index.jsp; and enter docket number FDA–2002–N–0031 in the search box (not that a pet owner’s opinion will matter to the FDA). While you are on this page, take the time to read some of the past comments posted. You’ll find compelling statements from scientists and health conscious organizations from all over the world encouraging the FDA to completely remove BSE risk materials from all animal feeds.
Extending the BSE deadline for two months, in my opinion, is clearly a stall tactic. Industries that make money from these high risk materials will lose money should they ever be required to properly dispose of them. We have to wonder (and worry) if the FDA will ever permanently ban Mad Cow Disease risk materials from animal feeds. How sad is it that the FDA, our ‘consumer protection agency’ cares more about the profits of “affected parties” instead of U.S. citizens and their pets.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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