This website does not typically defend any particular pet food in its battles with a regulatory authority. However in this instance, I make an exception. What FDA is doing to this pet food – this pet food category – is absolutely unacceptable.
In 2009 the Inspector General’s Office chastised the FDA for “its sometimes lax adherence to its recall guidance and internal procedures”. Nine years later the agency continues to have a ‘who cares’ attitude. Who cares what the Inspector General says, who cares about laws or proper procedure? As long as we (FDA) get our agenda accomplished, why should we (FDA) follow procedure/law?
Today – one of FDA’s agendas is the sterilization of food, especially raw pet food.
Example: Milk today is pasteurized – it is a sterilized food. But in 1929 raw milk (unpasteurized) was the ‘drug’ of choice for one of the founding physicians of the Mayo Clinic (Dr. J.R. Crewe). Raw milk from pasture fed cows was used to successfully treat many diseases such as obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease, even psoriasis was cured with a simple raw milk diet. Dr. Crewe studied and treated serious illnesses for 15 years with raw milk diets (and only raw milk diets – no drugs). He stated “The chief fault of the treatment is that it is too simple… and it does not appeal to the modern medical man.”
In 1929 milk was a miracle food. Today’s pasteurized milk is not capable of treating anything. Today raw milk (unpasteurized) is illegal in most states for human consumption. In 1929 cows ate grass. Today the FDA allows cows to be fed processed chicken poop, and recycled grocery store waste (such as spoiled lettuce, yogurt, candy) melted in their plastic containers. Instead of working adamantly to keep food clean by demanding animals eat the food Mother Nature intended, the FDA has bowed down to the demands of industry for cheap feed.
Consumers of raw pet food purchase this style of food because they want real, whole food – not sterile food. They seek out the healing properties of raw food – just like Dr. Crewe did in 1929. Consumers might be educated to healing foods, but FDA has no interest in the healing properties of food at all; the agency believes ONLY drugs can heal.
What the FDA does care about is sterilization of food…so much so that they will bully, threaten, whatever it takes to make sure that all raw pet foods will become sterile. Here is a recent example of FDA bullying and threatening…
Yesterday the FDA released a Warning Letter issued to Answers Pet Food. The Warning Letter was dated more than a month ago (March 16, 2016) – but mysteriously the letter did not appear on the FDA website until 4/19/16. Every section of the Warning Letter can easily be scrutinized – the pet food company can explain that best (their full statement below). But the part that must be addressed here is this quote: “FDA analysis revealed the products to be contaminated with Salmonella.”
Here is my issue: the FDA has NOT PRODUCED their analysis results. The agency told this pet food “analysis revealed the products to be contaminated…” but the FDA has NEVER provided this pet food with said analysis proving it was ‘contaminated’. For six months, Answers Pet Food has asked FDA to provide them with their “analysis” and for six months FDA has refused. And for six months FDA has pressured Answers Pet Food to cave – submit to a recall (with no evidence).
Quoting Answers Pet Food response letter to FDA: “Lystn never received any results and is not aware of any testing on October 5, 2015.” (Note: Lystn is the parent company of Answers Pet Food.)
Why? Why would FDA not provide this pet food with their analysis? I can only think of one reason…the FDA does not have that analysis. The FDA was trying once again to force a raw pet food to sterilize or we’ll make you regret it.
It is FDA policy to provide any manufacturer with “analysis” and with chain of custody (the handling of the product from point of sample taken to point of analysis). But FDA has refused to provide the analysis and chain of custody. Again…why? I was told by several raw pet food manufacturers – forced to (bullied to) recall last year – they too did not receive their FDA analysis and chain of custody from FDA. (Working to gather that data now – and will file Freedom of Information Act request to obtain documentation from FDA.)
In other words, FDA does whatever it wants – no matter what it takes – to achieve its agenda. In this case, the FDA agenda is sterilized raw pet food.
Hypocrisy: The FDA openly allows some pet food and animal feed manufacturers to violate federal law. The FDA openly states diseased animals recycled into pet food – not a problem. Bacteria contaminated dead non-slaughtered livestock (later producing dangerous levels of life threatening endotoxins) rendered into kibble or canned pet food – not a problem for FDA. Cows eating plastic and chicken poop, chickens eating rendered chickens with a side of plastic – not a problem. But provide the scientific evidence that a raw pet food manufactured in a USDA facility using 100% human grade/edible ingredients is adulterated…now we’ve got a problem. FDA says ‘no can do’. ‘Trust me, it’s adulterated – I know, I’m FDA.’
Three cheers for this pet food – they fought back. They did not cave to the bullying efforts of a federal agency that does little more than protect the profits of Big Business (Big Pharma, Big Ag, Big Pet Food). This fight is to me as significant and future changing as the fight Honest Kitchen Pet Food took on in 2007. Honest Kitchen was a human grade pet food and had to fight (in a court of law) to be able to tell consumers their pet food was human grade (not feed grade).
The future of pet food changes ONLY when brave companies stand up and question the status quo. Thanks to Honest Kitchen Pet Food’s battle in 2007, today pet food consumers can look at a package of pet food and read the words “Human Grade”.
Answers Pet Food is fighting a similar battle now – for their own company and for their customers. They are fighting for the right to produce human grade non-sterilized pet food. They are standing up to the bully. I look forward to the future change this battle will produce – it will be nothing but good for all pet food consumers.
Below you will find three documents, Answers Pet Food press release and two responses they provided to FDA. Please read them – you will be shocked at the bullying tactics of FDA.
It is more than a pity that raw milk cannot be the drug of choice today treating illness as it did in 1929; more than a pity FDA feels there is a need to sterilize food to such an extent it no longer heals. It is unacceptable that FDA protects some of the wealthiest producers of pet food in the world – allowing them to openly violate federal law making billions in profits while bullying true pet ‘food’ producers with no evidence.
This battle is not over. I will be sending Freedom of Information Act requests to FDA specifically seeking to find who else FDA did not provide analysis results to; who else did FDA bully into a recall with no proven evidence. Also – the fight to protect the integrity of raw pet food (the integrity of all human grade pet food) will be taken on by a new association (that consumer involvement will be welcomed in). Our friend Dr. Cathy Alinovi has developed a new trade association to protect quality minded small pet food manufacturers such as Answers Pet Food – it’s called the Next Generation of Pet Food Manufacturers Association. Dr. Cathy through Next Gen PFMA will take this battle on with FDA as well. As I collect more information, send Freedom of Information Act requests, send FDA questions – I will keep all posted.
One more time…three cheers to you Answers Pet Food. Your fight to protect the integrity of pet food is an example I hope more will follow. Fight for what is right.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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