Very shocking statement from FDA at the 2019 AAFCO meeting.
The 2019 AAFCO meeting began with a slap in the face to millions of pet owners. Dr. Steven Solomon, FDA director of Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) was the Keynote Speaker of the opening session. After bragging to the mostly industry crowd that FDA “wants to do everything we can to assure the safety of the food supply” and after bragging FDA welcomes industry stakeholders “opportunity to have a voice in the discussion” with no mention of pet owners having any opportunity to have a voice – the FDA drops a bomb.
Dr. Steven Solomon told the audience at AAFCO that FDA considers the Chinese Jerky Treat investigation “resolved“. Over, done, no more investigation. Thousands of pets died, FDA couldn’t find the cause – so they are just going to stop looking and call it “resolved“. But the thing is, its NOT resolved. Dr. Solomon admitted the agency is still receiving a few complaints of sick or dead pets linked to the treats. The serious problem DOES continue. But those pet simply don’t matter to FDA. Because they determined it’s “resolved“.
It was shocking – Dr. Solomon’s demeanor was as uncaring as it gets, very ‘matter of fact’ delivering this terrible news. And then…he would not accept questions from the audience. He gets to drop a bomb like this and walk away without allowing anyone to question the madness of the FDA decision.
My sincere apologies to the many pet owners whose dog suffered or died because of those treats, this uncaring behavior by FDA must hurt a bit more for you.
FDA also dropped another bomb on the audience discussing in the extra meeting held on Sunday for the implementation of Food Safety Modernization Act laws (more on this later) sharing that pet food could spread African Swine Fever that is killing millions of hogs/pigs in China right now. They gave no explanation to what their concern is other than stating that the pet food industry needs to be extra careful (such as in providing waste pet food to pig farmers). FDA stated the disease cannot be spread to dogs or cats but followed with the statement little is known about the disease at the present time. Not comforting at all. This illness was discussed again by Dr. Solomon during today’s session, but again – FDA was very quiet to any details. If more is learned, it will be shared.
Drama at AAFCO
During the second session this morning, an industry representative complained that an alfalfa ingredient was not accurately describing the products in the marketplace. He was respectful to the Committee and simply wanted to voice his opposing position, something AAFCO used to allow in the past. But today, the AAFCO representatives were not interested in hearing his opinion and only allowed this individual 1 minute to speak. He kept being interrupted by the AAFCO representative timing him announcing “30 seconds”, “15 seconds”. After his 1 minute was up, the President of AAFCO Robert Geiger threatened to call hotel security to have this individual removed from the meeting. Besides when Dr. Cathy Alinovi was loudly boo-ed at the Denver 2015 meeting, this was the rudest moment I’ve witnessed of AAFCO representatives during a meeting. It was truly disrespectful, but speaks volumes of the law writing process of AAFCO. It’s their way or the highway.
Pet Owners at AAFCO
Two wonderful pet owners paid their $500 admission and are here attending the meeting. In the opening session each individual in attendance is asked to stand and state their name and their business affiliation. One brave pet owner stood and told the audience that she is one of a growing number of pet owners that are sick and tired of law not being enforced and pets dying. Something all regulatory authorities need to hear more often.
FDA at AAFCO
Your tax dollars paid for 45 different FDA representatives to travel and attend this meeting. Why FDA sends so many representatives here – when they constantly complain they are underfunded – is unknown.
Tomorrow (Tuesday, 8/5/19) is the biggest day of meetings – Ingredient Definitions Committee and Pet Food Committee meetings. Will report on those to everyone as soon as possible.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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