Fellow pet food safety advocate Mollie Morrissette and I recently spoke with FDA this week regarding industry trade groups efforts to change the pet food safety laws of FDAAA. Here’s the update…
We sent questions to FDA when we learned of the most recent efforts of pet food industry trade groups to remove ‘ingredient standards’ from pet food/animal food safety laws. The questions surrounded information that pet food industry trade groups had been telling Congress that FDA was “confused” by parts of federal laws that required pet food/animal food ingredient ‘standards’. The pet food industry trade groups want the ingredient standards removed from the law – they don’t wish to be held to any standard. But as it turns out, FDA told us they were not confused by ‘standards’ and they are in the process of writing ingredient standards for pet foods and animal feeds right now.
The good news is – Dr. Dan McChesney of FDA (Center for Veterinary Medicine, Director Office of Surveillance and Compliance) told us the FDA is moving forward developing pet food/animal food ingredient standards – regardless to the efforts of industry trade groups trying to delay or completely remove the ‘standard’ requirement. The trade groups have been telling members of Congress FDA suffered “confusion” over ingredient standards – the FDA assured us they completely understand the intent of the law – the intent of ingredient standards.
The bad news – the task to develop ingredient standards in hundreds of pet food/animal feed ingredients is massive. Many ingredients used in pet food are also used in livestock feed. Specific standards will need to be developed for each ingredient (over 900) and for each species use. Example: a vitamin or mineral supplement could be used in dog food, cat food, poultry feed, cattle feed, swine feed, lamb feed… While we continue to wait for FDA to complete this task – we can safely assume the trade groups will continue to try to influence members of Congress to remove the ‘standard’ qualification from the law.
If you have not signed the petition or written your representatives in Washington directly – please do so. We cannot go backwards and risk thousands of pets lives by doing so. The industry trade groups are fighting diligently to change these laws – we must match their efforts by telling each of our representatives in Congress to defend our rights as a pet food consumer. To learn more about this – see an example letter to send to Congress – Click Here.
My thanks to FDA for speaking with us and for not being persuaded by pet food industry trade groups on this issue.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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