The Two Percent of Pet Food that is Hated by Regulatory
How can regulatory authorities (federal and state) hate and attack 2% of the pet food market while openly allowing much of the rest (98%) to violate law and mislead/lie to consumers? The vendetta against raw pet food continues.
Raw pet food makes up less than 2% of the total pet food market in the US. Yet raw pet food is scrutinized (outright attacked) by regulatory more than the other 98% – much more. Authorities warn of the dangers of raw pet food, yet there is no documented human illness linked to raw. And raw pet food has been tested far more than kibble even though kibble pet food is the largest segment of pet food sales having the potential to sicken/harm many more people. Why does regulatory authorities hate this 2% of the market – raw pet food – so badly?
What ‘they’ (regulatory) have done to the raw pet food market…
The FDA has openly warned consumers NOT to feed raw pet food stating “FDA does not believe raw meat foods for animals are consistent with the goal of protecting the public from significant health risks, particularly when such products are brought into the home and/or used to feed domestic pets.”
On the page titled “Avoid the Dangers of Raw Pet Food” the FDA states “Compared to other types of pet food, raw pet food is more likely to be contaminated with disease-causing bacteria, such as Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes.”
Raw pet food is the ONLY style of pet food that the FDA has warned consumers about. There have been NO warnings against kibble pet foods. When you look at the actual statistics, it makes one wonder why FDA has ONLY warned consumers of the dangers of raw pet food. Over a five year period – June 2010 to June 2015 –
17,685 pounds of Raw Pet Foods were recalled for Salmonella
19,407,827 pounds of Kibble Pet Foods were recalled for Salmonella
Statistically, kibble pet food poses a much higher risk to consumers than raw. But again, no warning from FDA on kibble.
The Centers for Disease Control has recently chimed in on the ‘We Hate Raw’ band wagon with a warning of their own. The CDC tells pet owners “You may be considering a raw food diet for your pets because you have heard that it is healthier. But raw food diets can make you and your pet sick, and for that reason CDC does not recommend feeding raw diets to pets.”
Interestingly – the Centers for Disease Control’s website ONLY includes one case report of human illnesses linked to a pet food – and that was not raw pet food. In 2012, 49 people became ill confirmed to be linked to – caused by – Diamond Pet Foods, a kibble pet food. There are zero documented cases of human illness linked to a raw pet food. Zero.
The CDC openly tells consumers not to purchase raw pet foods, but the agency does not make the same bold statement on raw meats for humans. With meat for human consumption the CDC only advises consumers to keep raw meat ‘separate’ from other foods; “Even after you’ve cleaned your hands and surfaces thoroughly, raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs can still spread illness-causing bacteria to ready-to-eat foods—unless you keep them separate.”
Pet food raw – do not purchase.
Human food raw – keep separate.
This certainly doesn’t sound like a consistent safety message from CDC.
Regulatory authorities – both FDA and State Department of Agriculture (some states are worse than others) continue on an all out testing vendetta of raw pet food – and to my knowledge it remains ONLY raw pet food. They suspiciously forget the 19 million pounds of kibble pet foods recalled for Salmonella – and the other 98% of the pet food market.
Which makes more sense…
Frequently test a product that has a significant history of risk AND has the potential to endanger millions of consumers (98% of consumers)?
Or test a product that has the potential to endanger only 2% of consumers?
It seems common sense doesn’t prevail with regulatory authorities.
While state and federal pet food authorities are busy bee’s warning all consumers about a potential risk that is actually only a risk to 2% of consumers – they do absolutely nothing about the illegal ingredients used in much of the other 98%. As example…
Evanger’s Pet Food used a meat supplier that recycled dead animal carcasses. Recycled dead animal carcasses (non-slaughtered) into any food is a direct and certain violation of federal law (and state law in 14 states). The Evanger’s Pet Food and at least one private label they co-packed for (Party Animal) did not include meat from slaughtered animals as law requires, this meat supplier sourced beef from dead cows and horses – some of the animals were euthanized. While Evanger’s used this dead animal carcass meat supply, the pet food company touted on their website their ingredients were ‘human grade’ (for years).
So many violations of law, but…
FDA never stopped Evanger’s for using illegal meat sources, FDA never prosecuted Evanger’s for introducing an adulterated product into Interstate Commerce, and not one State Department of Agriculture ever once bothered to verify the Evanger’s human grade claim on their website.
All regulatory authorities simply ignored the illegal activity. But even more so – one regulatory authority gave a license to – it’s permission to an ingredient provider to sell illegal goods. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture – the governing state over the Evanger’s meat supplier (Bailey Farms) went so far as to issue a ‘license’ to the ingredient provider – a license to sell illegal adulterated product to pet food manufacturers. Meat sourced from non-slaughtered dead animal carcasses is a direct violation of federal law…but Wisconsin Department of Agriculture ignored that law and issued the company a license to commit a crime.
This is just one example. There are many more examples of outright illegal activities going on in pet food…but FDA and each State Department of Agriculture openly ignores all of it. As allowing illegal activity makes absolutely no sense, we have no option but to assume regulatory is openly protecting their ‘friends’ in pet food (the 98% – most of which are Big Pet Food making billions in profits each year selling illegal ‘pet feed’ to unknowing consumers).
No doubt about it – regulatory authorities hinder the raw pet food industry in every way they can (with legal and illegal activities). Why does regulatory hate raw pet food so?
It could be many of regulatory are ‘fuddy duddies’ (the fuddy duddies fought human grade pet food too). They are old school regulatory – and long for the ‘good old days’ when feed was simply feed – brown and round or in the can. The fuddy duddy hates change, hates that so many consumers are not listening/heeding to their antiquated words of warning.
Beyond the fuddy duddies, it could be regulatory hates raw pet food because of a territory issue. Raw meat is the territory of USDA. Many raw pet foods (but not all) are manufactured completely in another regulatory body’s turf – many are completely manufactured under USDA authority. FDA and State Department of Agriculture work well together (they are great at a coordinated plan of attack on raw and great at ignoring law together), but USDA does not participate in the AAFCO process (State Department of Agriculture and FDA). Perhaps FDA and the States attack raw – dislike raw – because they don’t have full control over raw. Perhaps they hate when they lose control.
Regardless as to why – what can consumers do?
Complain, complain, complain.
Contact your State Department of Agriculture – http://www.aafco.org/Regulatory – and ask for an accounting of what types/styles of pet food your state has tested over the last year. Ask them if your state issues licenses for dead animal processors or renderers of dead non-slaughtered livestock – if they do, ask them why your state ignores federal law. Ask them why there is no enforcement of illegal dead non-slaughtered animal products or diseased animal products in pet foods in your state.
Contact FDA – https://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/ContactFDA/default.htm – and ask for an accounting of what types/styles of pet food FDA has tested over the last year. Ask why FDA does not enforce federal law with pet food. Ask them why there is no enforcement of illegal dead non-slaughtered animal products or diseased animal products in pet foods. Ask them why they have not updated pet food ingredient definitions, established pet food ingredient standards and updated pet food labels as Congress required them to be completed by September 2009 (yet still not completed).
Ask them both – how many pets have to die until they will finally enforce law?
If you are a pet food retailer selling raw pet foods – make sure you don’t have old raw pet food stuck in the back of the freezer. Guess what regulatory authorities try intentionally to find? Almost every time – they are searching for almost expired pet food. If a regulatory authority comes into your store to purchase raw pet food for testing – ask them if they will be heading over to Petsmart or Petco next…to purchase an equal amount of kibble pet foods for testing.
Ask them. Question them. Until authorities hear from a significant number of consumers (not just the few consumer advocates) – they are not going to change their illegal ways.
Salmonella or Listeria or E.coli are dangerous bugs – no argument about that. But those bugs are just as prevalent in kibble pet food as they are raw. Regulatory authorities need to STOP the outright attack on the 2% and equally focus on the full 100% risk. Enforcing all laws on all pet food, not just on the 2%.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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