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The Next Question to ask your Pet Food Manufacturer

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  1. Yvonne McGehee

    More disheartening things to worry about and that are outside our control for the most part, unless we make our own pet food.

  2. Lori S.

    Another great article. Thank you!

  3. Barbara


    Are you saying that even if we make our own dog food the chicken we are using might now also include formaldehyde like the fish???Does that include organic chicken as well??

    This is so scary for both animals and humans.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      Yes with the formaldehyde fish. This was just discovered – one in four pieces of fish purchased in grocery stores were found to contain high levels of formaldehyde. And next will be the concern of chicken processed in China. We don’t know what chicken will be processed in China at this point. But if it falls the same way fish processing did – it will be the majority of all chicken in the near future.

    2. Susan Thixton Author

      And I don’t know if it will include organic. It probably could. We just have to keep asking questions – it will not be marked on the label (processed in China).

  4. Sandy

    Good lord, what will it be next. Anything China touches may not be fit for human consumption so the animals do not have a chance.
    Good reason to be a vegetarian and be educated about what you are feeding your pets and yourself.
    Thank you Susan.

  5. Dianne

    Maybe we will not have to work to get country of processing on labels.

  6. Peter

    Good reporting, and the effort to disseminate this disturbing information is appreciated.

  7. Cindy

    My understanding has always been that freshly caught fish is dipped into formaldehyde to prevent bacterial growth. I think, but could be wrong, that even non-organic chicken processed in the US may have been dipped in chlorine for the same purpose. Chlorine and formaldehyde are both toxins.
    Can they be washed off, if we have the entire unprocessed piece? I have assumed so. But processed food, including kibble, containing these products may be another story.

  8. Jackie


    Are you talking about chicken that is being processed or raw chicken that is just being deboned in China? Are we shipping chickens for full processing to China? Would that not harm major food companies such as Tyson who processes 200,000 chickens per day in Arkansas alone or are they the ones behind the Chinese doing their processing rather than do it here in the old US of A? I have heard that Tyson is planning on expansion. Is this going to involve their branch in China? Is that where they are planning their expansion? So much research is needed regarding human and pet food! Organic too! This is information that we must know. Thanks for all your work on this. Hope to hear more soon.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      I don’t know exactly what the future is going to bring with the chicken processing, but I’d have to imagine it will be similar to the processing of fish. My guess: poultry will be slaughtered with a small amount of processing (probably removal of intestines), frozen, shipped to China. Thawed and from there a variety of options – raw refrozen poultry shipped back, or this poultry could become chicken tenders or nuggets and shipped back. We just don’t know exactly how this will play out yet.

  9. Reader

    Question. I may be jumping to a quick conclusion. Is the NY Post article saying that “whole” (completely intact) chicken carcasses are going to be frozen and shipped to China for “retail processing” – meaning into all finished products, that will only be “packaged” by the US Company brand name? The first being (1) chicken that is completely deboned to produce chicken “nuggets” and fillet meat? And (2) grinding up the poultry meat for all canning purposes (in soup, broth, etc.)? And (3) producing ground poultry meat for human and pet food? And (4) producing boneless chicken breasts? And (5) producing bone-in products (thighs and drumsticks, etc.)?
    So is the real point, the fact that a dead whole chicken is now going from the farm, to be frozen, to be shipped to China, to be “dressed” into all these formats, and then shipped back to the brand manufacturer for packaging, and then shipped to Supermarkets, to be sold retail? Meaning that what we will soon see in plastic packages will NOT have been completely prepared through a USA (for example) Foster Farms manufacturing plant, but that the plant will only be receiving the
    RE-frozen “dressed” poultry meat from China, to then be put into packaging?
    Second question. If the definition of “organic” means that nothing artificial is involved with the product, then wouldn’t it be a contradiction (or against regulation) for the application of any chemical preservatives or treatment (formaldhyde or chlorine) to be used, especially any and all required to preserve (quick freeze) for the long delay required to ship poultry overseas back and forth? What could possibly be the very least in turnaround time, given no problems in the pipeline?
    I currently use Coleman’s Organic Chicken from Costco, so how can I find out if it EVER goes overseas to China? Do people realize that soon they can only be assured of product integrity by buying from local ranchers and farmers? Can you imagine what will happen to with all those fast food products handled in China. One mistake and who know how many could get sick.
    The reason I go into such detail is because this regulation has an gextraordinary impact on our food processing system, both putting people out of work, introducing new and unnecessary chemicals, and putting a major food ingredient in great danger. None of this for consumer’s benefit. But only to increase profit for mega-corporations. That people aren’t outraged is sad indeed.

  10. Eileen

    This is very alarming….if chicken processed in China have killed thousands and thousands of dogs here in the USA then what is going to happen to the population here, through lack of knowledge …we will all be in danger….this must not happen! I heard Tyson processes their chicken in China!! Ahhhhhhh!

  11. Pacific Sun

    If China can’t process safe CHINESE CHICKEN JERKY TREATS, then what in the world would make us believe they can “process” chicken of any type, period?
    Will a USDA Inspector be on foreign soil to certify US Standards of safety and industrial compliance? Will workers be stripping chicken in refrigerated areas? In sterilized areas? Who’s going to certify safe transporation (both in and out of there) at constant temperatures?
    I was taught that you can’t refreeze meat (particularly over and over again). So what has happened to that rule??
    Shouldn’t the media be reporting on this? It’s bad enough buying Made in China goods putting workers out of jobs, but EATING chicken that’s been handled over there, is just insane! We are being set up for a disaster. Because no one is ever going to be made accountable for mistakes.
    I think we should sign a pledge to BOYCOTT all (non-organic) chicken in every form (including Fast Food!) until the “Country of Processing” is at least labeled! Just like the “Country of Origin” is put on fruits and vegetables (at least here in California). Can’t we start a petition to copy every major manufacturing plant as well as our legislators?
    Unless we take a stand here and now, we can’t keep complaining.

  12. Jay Smith

    It IS possible for manufacturers to source fish and chicken from US processors. For instance, we KNOW where our salmon comes from, because it’s processed here, in Southern California by our hand-selected processors that service Food Service & Restaurants in California. American Fish & Seafood is proud of their processing capacity, and we’re proud to use them.

    And, the same is true for poultry processing. It’s possible to visit the small suppliers that provide chicken and turkey. Farms like Diestel Family, Petaluma Poultry, and even Foster Farms in the United States still process poultry here, humanely, and cleanly.

    1. Pacific Sun

      Thanks Jay. I think you’re the maker of “Fresh Fetch” PF, correct? You earn high reviews so I trust your knowledge. I also live in Northern California. If Foster Farms is a trusted provider of poultry for your business, then I’ll be happy to switch.

      1. Jay Smith

        Hi Pacific!

        We use products from all of these providers, and we do use products from Foster Farms (California farms) chickens when supplies run short from other ranches. The ability to visit the ranches and plants to trust-but-verify our partners is important to us.

  13. Daniel

    Hello Susan,

    Once I heard this on the human food side, I knew this would ultimately end up resulting in the same happening for pet food manufacturing.

    Here is my problem with this question, and the majority of the questions one can ask a food manufacturer.

    What obligates them to give an answer, yet alone a truthful one?

    The answer is absolutely nothing. The biggest manufacturers simply WON’T answer, and the smaller and middle size manufacturers have no reason to be truthful if they do answer, as there is virtually no way to find out where they are sourcing their ingredients in the first place. In my experience very few manufacturers will let you know whom they source ingredients from, and I’ve yet to see a manufacturer put their suppliers contact information out into the public or online, so consumers can follow up and question them. And again, EVEN IF we could get a hold of that information, they are not obligated in any way to be truthful.

    Personally, the more I see within the pet food industry, the more I’m realizing that we won’t be able to help our pets as far as food goes, until we start fixing our own food first. The fact that our government has sold out our health as a nation (allowing Chinese involvement, lack standards as far as human food production goes, the overwhelming majority of genetically modified, , chemical laden processed food in our supermarkets, a dependance on antibiotics, the promotion of corporate farming etc)shows just how little it cares about our pets, although they could never admit it.

  14. Allison

    The USA is in so much debt to China that I don’t think they could ever say no to them… I’m happy I live in Canada and buy fresh raw chicken from local farms for my dogs. This is a serious problem for not only pets but people too…I will seriously reconsider buying any food products from the USA. I need to know where my food comes from and where it has been. Is that not our right?! I can’t wait to see some lawsuits start over this.

    1. Rhiannon

      I live in Canada too but we are not as protected from this practice as you think. Highliner frozen fish here in Canada is all processed in China. It says right on their website. Also, I just saw some frozen fish at Safeway that said that it was Alaskan caught but also had ‘product of China’ written on it due to the fact that it was sent there to be processed by them. So we’re no different from the U.S. when it comes to fish processing. Maybe chicken will be next for us too!

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