Below is information provided by FDA explaining a bit more on the pet food testing study that found high incident risk of bacteria in raw meat pet foods. Also, perhaps why many pet food consumers remain skeptical.
A surveillance study was performed on pet foods over two years. FDA states “The goal of the study was to help FDA prioritize its future testing efforts, rather than to conduct regulatory action.” Thus, the results of this two year study would be used to guide FDA on what types of pet food to test in the future. This goal is significantly important. Recalls cost companies a lot of money. No company – big or small, kibble or raw – wants to experience a recall.
But this study raised some questions…the terminology in the report was a bit different with description of the kibble food portion (Phase 1) of the testing than the raw food portion (Phase 2). The study stated it was ‘blinded’ but (again) the way this was worded in the research description didn’t appear that Phase 1 and Phase 2 was handled the same. And the description of the research did not define if raw foods remained frozen and/or were properly handled before testing.
Of my questions if raw food samples remained frozen, the FDA stated:
Samples that arrived to FERN MCAP labs not frozen or with torn packaging were rejected from the study. The samples remained frozen prior to testing and were thawed according to the Bacteriological Analytical Manual to ensure that all samples were handled according to protocol: http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodScienceResearch/LaboratoryMethods/ucm063335.htm
Of my questions if kibble foods were ‘blinded’ to the researchers and raw foods were not, the FDA stated:
The labs in Phase 1 purchased their own samples as mentioned in the paper, and they submitted the results to FDA blinded. FDA was not told which products tested positive or negative. The goal of the study was to evaluate pathogens in various feeds to help prioritize potential surveillance testing efforts – it was not a regulatory assignment.
Also the FDA stated:
Phase 1 and Phase 2 were completed in the same manner – the FERN MCAP laboratories analyzed the product samples and submitted the results to FDA blind. To clarify, FDA was not told the brand names of the products, only whether the samples tested positive or negative. This was to ensure that any decisions about future testing of pet food commodities would be made on a scientific basis and avoid the introduction of any possible bias.
What most federal and state regulatory authorities don’t understand is that the interest of pet food consumers are never – NEVER – shown priority over the interest of industry. Never. For decades pet food consumers have been dumped on – ‘Your pet sick? We can’t investigate.’ Your pet died? Sorry, can’t help you.’
But for industry – ‘You need a cheap protein? Sure, go ahead and use rancid, decomposing 4D meat. We’ll ignore federal law.’ ‘You want to put pretty pictures on your labels of food ingredients when you are actually using feed (waste) ingredients? Certainly…go right ahead. We don’t have the time to enforce the regulations anyway.’ And it goes on and on.
Dozens of brands and hundreds of varieties of kibble pet foods have been recalled for bacteria contamination over the past couple of years compared to a handful of raw meat pet foods. So when a ‘study’ over the same couple of years finds a 100% reversal of those results…are we suspicious? Certainly we are.
Side note. Former Virginia governor Robert McDonnell has very recently been convicted of 11 corruption-related counts. An informant told authorities of gifts (totaling more than $150,000) were provided to the governor’s family from businessman Jonnie Williams, Sr. “who was seeking favorable treatment of his supplement Anatabloc – promoted as a natural anti-inflammatory. In exchange for supporting their lifestyle, McDonnell arranged for meetings with government officials and other access to help promote the product.”
If a natural anti-inflammatory supplement company (not nearly as powerful and financially packed as Big Pet Food and their respective trade groups) can provide ‘gifts’ in exchange for ‘favorable treatment’ helping to promote a product…Can anyone honestly believe that the same hasn’t been done in pet food?
The study could be completely accurate. It could be completely accurate that only two samples of kibble tested positive for bacteria when 88 different samples of raw pet food tested positive for bacteria. It could all be true. But you’ll have to forgive us if we are skeptical. We’ve been dumped on for many years…we don’t have much trust and confidence left.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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