VinNews.com reports that Laura Alvey, deputy director of communications with the FDA stated Nutro Pet Food is not under investigation. The FDA has as well issued a public statement it is not investigating Nutro. However, Lisa McCormick of ConsumerAffairs.com states an anonymous source told her the FDA does have an ongoing investigation on Nutro Pet Food. What’s going on?
In an interview with VIN News, Lisa McCormick explained the recent article published on ConsumerAffairs.com was written after receiving a letter from FDA Public Affairs denying her Freedom of Information Act request for information on Nutro lab results and complaints. The FDA March 30th letter states “the denial was issued because such documents could reasonably be expected to interfere with law enforcement proceedings.” McCormick says she followed up with the FDA and was told by an anonymous source “that her request was denied because there is an ongoing investigation.” http://news.vin.com…
The VIN News story also states the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is monitoring the Nutro Pet Food situation. “Dr. Kimberly May writes on VIN discussions boards: Based on previous experiences with consumeraffairs.com, they don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story. They were one of the sites propagating the ‘microchips cause cancer in pets’ rumors a few years ago, without any science whatsoever to back up their statements.” (To the contrary, a search on the Consumer Affairs website shows no report on cancer in pets from microchips. However the Washington Post did report such a story. From a September 2007 Washington Post article titled ‘Chip Implants Lined to Animal Tumors’, “a series of veterinary and toxicology studies, dating to the mid 1990s, stated that chip implants had ‘induced’ malignant tumors in some lab mice and rats.’ http://www.washingtonpost.com...)
The FDA issued a statement on April 28, 2009 regarding Nutro; “FDA is clarifying that Nutro Products, Inc. is not currently under investigation. FDA does not typically confirm or deny the existence of an FDA investigation. It has recently come to our attention, however, that a media report incorrectly concluded and reported that Nutro Products, Inc. was the subject of an investigation.” http://www.fda.gov…
Government agencies can definitely be a source of frustration for consumers. Based on our futile letters to Congress effort last year providing evidence the FDA allows the Federal laws of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to be violated with pet food, I reported the violations to the Inspector General’s Office in Washington, D.C. (following the exact instructions told to me by an official of that government agency). Two weeks later, I phoned the Inspector General’s office to follow up, and it was as if suddenly I was from Mars.
“Hello, I spoke with your office a few weeks ago and following your instructions I sent you detailed information regarding the FDA allowing Federal law to be violated; I’m calling to follow up on that letter.”
“We can’t discuss this with you because it could interfere with our investigation.”
“Oh, ok, I understand that, so you are investigating this issue?”
“Ma’am, I cannot tell you that.”
“But you just stated you can’t discuss anything because it might interfere with your investigation – does that mean you are investigating this or not?”
“Ma’am, I cannot discuss this with you.”
“Ok…can you tell me if you received my letter?”
“I cannot discuss this with you.”
“What? You can’t even tell me if you received my letter?”
“Let me get this straight…I called you and received specific instructions on how to file a report with the Inspector General’s Office; I follow your instructions step by step, sent you everything you told me to send you, and you can’t even tell me if you received my information?”
“You don’t have to share with me that you are investigating the FDA, I understand that you can’t share any details with me, however, at the very least, I need to know if you received my letter. Do I need to send the information again? Do I need to send it registered mail? How will I ever know if you have even received the information I’m asking you to investigate?”
“Ma’am, I cannot discuss this with you.”
(Grrrrr) It is no wonder we have so few whistle blowers in pet food.
Whether you agree with the Consumer Affairs story on the FDA investigation of Nutro Pet Food or not, the confusion has probably caused major media reporting on pet food issues to back off even further. CNN initially reported on the Consumer Affairs story, they have since reported a clarification; ““The FDA tells CNN that Consumer Affairs is wrong and it’s not investigating Nutro.”
The best advice I can give you is to keep asking questions of pet food manufacturers (country of origin of ingredients, grade/quality, safety protocol, ect.), report any problem with a pet food to the FDA and State officials, and examine every product you provide your pet before you feed it to them – make sure it looks and smells like the last one.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
What’s in Your Pet’s Food?
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