Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Pet Food Safety: Don't worry, the FDA has everything under control.

This current month marks the mandatory deadline for the FDA not just to present updated pet food regulations but also have them in working order. This was ordered by the Congress last year following the deadly pet food recall, in short: The FDA was told to clean up its act.
It will be interesting to see what the result is going to be. I for my part along with many others am skeptical of the outcome to be expected. Why? Generally speaking, some interpretations on the FDA’s point of view on pet food safety pretty much reflect a view that all US pet foods are safe and everything is under control. How much under control? Well, I think based on the FDA’s actions taken so far this can be argued. But see for yourself:
Principally I want you to keep in mind that according to the FDA everything is under control. Hopefully this strong response will satisfy you and you go away with your strange questions.
Remember that it is the Chinese who are to blame for the 07 deadly recall. It was in no way the fault of any US company. There is nothing wrong about the manufacturers profiting from these questionable ingredient imports. Some of these profits don’t realize anyway, because there was a settlement entered into under which a lot of that money goes back to the pet owners.
At the same time, it is not necessary to restrict ingredient imports. Neither is it necessary to advise the consumer on pet food labels that ingredients originated there. Because the FDA has been advised by the Chinese that they have taken steps to prevent similar disasters in future. Hence, these imports can be trusted. This especially since a whopping 1% of all imported products are inspected by the FDA.
Pet owners don’t have to worry about sick, diseased cattle and other animals being processed into pet food. The FDA currently considers sick, diseased cattle to be so called Specified Risk Materials to spread mad cow disease. The FDA is furthermore aware that cats around the world have contracted the feline version of this disease. Yet, amazingly enough, the FDA does not believe that using these ingredients in pet foods is a problem. (I see: Problem doesn’t equal Risk!) In addition, it is very expensive to destroy these risk materials. The most cost effective solution is using them in pet food. This is what the pet food industry leaders and shareholders said and they must know. After all, that’s their business.
The Fish & Wildlife Agency has reported of over 100 Bald and Golden Eagle deaths due to the ingestion of euthanized animals. Animals are euthanized with Pentobarbital. A lengthy study on this drug performed by the FDA concluded Pentobarbital to be safe for pet consumption over a lifetime. With regards to the same drug, the FDA does not know how it gets into some pet foods. However, even within the FDA organization there is an awareness that euthanized animals have been rendered and used in pet food. After finding out, testing procedures to determine the source species for the drug were developed. What did the tests reveal or better said accomplish? It quieted the rumors about what I just said here. We still don’t know how the lethal drug gets into the pet food. And the industry’s stakeholders have assured the FDA that they are not coming from euthanized cats and dogs. Hence, there is no reason for pet owners to be concerned about this issue.
The FDA also believes that there is nothing wrong with the current pet food labeling. And it is perfectly ok that a pet owning consumer has to be a detective in order to find out what is really in his pet food. Most consumers don’t have time to go through all this trouble. So for that reason, everything is ok with the labels. The consistent misleading of consumers with tricky statements on pet food packaging is perfectly fine.
Underlined every statement is the fact that the FDA consistently states she has everything under control.
And if one gets really critical and to the bottom of the issues on hand, then he will be referred to the AAFCO. Because that is the agency the FDA refers most of the pet food issues to. They are in charge of pet food, that’s their job. No problem that they have no legislative rights. And we pet owners are definitely safe and protected under the AAFCO umbrella. Because their advisory board is made up of a sufficient number of pet food industry stakeholders, and they must know. Should you as a pet owner still have any problems, please be considerate and give all of them credit for what they are doing. What do you expect? Because if none of the explanations they provide are satisfactory to you, the FDA and AAFCO is quick to respond that insufficient funding and man power is the root of all these minor problems.
I would like to thank Susan Thixton for inspiring me to this writing after reading her opinion expressed at the Natural News website. She is someone who speaks my mind and definitely does her part in untwisting some people’s logic.

No comments: