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The Romance is Over

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  1. Carla

    There should be a separate agency for pet food from FDA that regulates “feed,” and there should be a separate agency from FDA that “inspects” puppy mills, but everyone always screams about less government and how inept government is. But you can’t trust industry to regulate itself, greed is too powerful a motivator.

    1. dc

      Carla-AAFCO determines what labeling and ingredients should be in pet food. Dog food companies sue each other when one ignores label specs. The problem is they pay fines or settle. USDA regulates commercial dog breeders but there are also state and humane agencies that do so as well, specifically to investigate animal cruelty. The problem is that passing inspection from the Feds means you get a license. So what? Educating the buyer is the only hope.

  2. Wolf

    did the answer to q35 in any way reference that this practice was illegal?

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      Nope – it didn’t. ‘They’ don’t consider it illegal. They don’t read the laws often enough I guess.

  3. Donna Ploss

    Wish I could get my hands on the list of cat foods with 4D meats.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      We all deserve to know – and not only cat foods – dog and cat foods and treats too.

  4. Ellie

    It is sad that no one will ever know which companies use these 4D “meats.” Even sadder that most consumers are totally unaware and never even stop to consider why they are feeding their pets some dry brown substance that can sit on a shelf for months at a time.
    Most Americans pour themselves a bowl of highly processed breakfast cereal every morning that in no way can be considered actual food and then just as blissfully pour their pets a bowl of an even worse form of manufactured food replacement. Then they will read some news item about the monumental cost of healthcare in this country, never considering why the once most affluent country in the world is also the most diseased.
    The human and pet food industries in league with the FDA have deceived the public for decades and now it is acceptable to slowly poison yourself and your pet’s to death with chemicals, genetically engineered fruits, vegetables, grains, bad meat, and foods so far removed from their original nutritious state that they may as well be eating cardboard! It is so engrained in the American mind set that no one even considers it strange to consume items full of sugar and ingredients that they cannot identify. Any nutritionist will tell you synthetic vitamins cannot replace the true nutrition contained in healthy foods but very few take any heed to such truths for themselves or their pets.

  5. Peter

    This site is not a “blog,” and the term “pet food blogger(s)” is a dismissive and derogatory term, hurled by those with a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.

    The problem for pet food manufacturers is that consumers really would shy away, from a cat or dog food labeled “slaughter house waste flavor.” Revealing the truth is a real problem for the industry. Your question as to why, since the FDA asserts that there is no research demonstrating the potential harm in using these materials, what is preventing revealing the companies that use them, is an important one.

  6. Irene Lester

    I believe in providing all information, lest to give the impression that some of the information might contradict the argument.
    The FDA’s answer to question 35 IS important in this discussion. Here it is :
    “35. Q: Can a renderer accept an annual statement of age (such as an affidavit) from a feedlot certifying that dead stock coming from their facility are all under 30 months of age?
    A: Nothing in the rule prevents this type of documentation if it meets the requirements in 589.2001(c)(3)(i) (A) or (B).”

    Reference documents (589.2001) can be found here:

  7. Irene Lester

    Further reading of the FAQ revealed another interesting FDA statement:
    40. Q: Can renderers that harvest skeletal muscle and hides from dead cattle (4-D operations) continue to remove skeletal muscle from cattle carcasses to supply to mink farms and/or greyhound kennels?
    A: Yes. Skeletal muscle contains no CMPAF and therefore could be removed from the carcass and used in feed for non-ruminant animals, INCLUDING FOOD FOR PETS or mink. However, under the rule 4-D operations meet the definition of a renderer and are therefore required to ensure that CMPAF from the remainder of the carcass is properly excluded from animal feed. Such operations are also required to have written procedures in place describing the processes they use to comply with the rule.

    In other words, as long as it is skeletal muscle, any CATTLE MATERIAL PROHIBITED IN ANIMAL FEED (this includes 4D animals) can be incorporated in pet food.

  8. terri janson

    This makes me SO mad!! I would love to shove some of this food down their throats (everyday) and see just how long “they” survive.

  9. karyn zoldan

    Racing greyhounds are regularly fed RAW 4-D meat mixed with a little charcoal. It doesn’t seem to matter whether or not the FDA is against it. The greyhound racing industry has gotten away with murder for many years. Why stop now?

  10. Sharon Buchanan

    Susan, I began my search over a year ago for the best kibble I could find to feed a new pup right here on your blog. I knew you preferred raw but I also knew that just wasn’t going to work. I paid for your 2013 list of foods as well as subscribed to your ingredient list. I switched my cats to a better kibble, found a good kibble for the new pup and then a better one and helped my husband get our older dog on the best kibble he could find at the commissary in Korea.

    In January of this year, I couldn’t take any more of the reports on kibble and switched the dog to raw. Since the four month old Maine Coon was stealing food from the dog, I switched him over as well. The four older cats are now eating cooked meals with the idea of transitioning them. Our older dog died from thyroid cancer in January and my husband adopted two more, one with heartworms. We immediately switched them to raw as well.

    I foster kittens, all of whom I collect from our county lockup at 4-8 weeks of age. They are all fed raw and I use it as an opportunity to teach adopting parents about the dangers of kibble. I can’t stop them from feeding it, but I can certainly warn them and let them know their kitten has been given the best start possible. I share your website with each and every one of them.

    So, I just wanted to say, Thanks! Articles like this are exactly why I finally made the switch to raw. I continue to share articles like this on Facebook so my family and friends will stop looking at me like I’m nuts – and hopefully, they’ll reconsider the junk they feed their dogs and cats.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      What a great story Sharon – thank you for sharing. One thing…for me, I don’t have a preference for raw – I have a preference for lightly processed.

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