Pet Food – What’s the FDA up to?
Lately there has been a buzz in the air with regard to the lack of safety of pet food product. The term “dog food products” refers to dog food and dog treats as well. Most of the Jerky treats that are have been causing illness and deaths came from China. This is not a recent phenomenon. This has been going on for too long. It is not uncommon for food products from China to be problematic within the human food industry. Chinese facilities just don’t seem to make the grade. Many American dog food manufacturers are using ingredients from China and our government is just realizing that something must be done. Dog food products which use ingredients originating within the United States are problematic as well, but the food coming from China raises huge red flags.
According to NBC article, more than 3,600 pets have become sick (including illness of the kidneys) and nearly 600 have died from toxic pet food products. The numbers are likely to be much higher.
Remember that those statistics reflect what people have reported. Many people uninformed consumers might not have made reports. Think of those people who are not aware that these tragedies can be reported and many don’t know where to make reports. This is pretty scary to say the least.
The FDA hasn’t had any jurisdiction over the pet food industry. In other words, the FDA has had no control over the safety of animal food products. The only responsibility the FDA has taken is enforcing recalls when a product is found to have issues due to hazardous chemicals, fatal microorganisms, and other contaminants resulting in illness and/or death of pets. It is only when there are a high volume of reports of pet deaths and illness that the FDA investigates. If contamination is found, the FDA takes steps to notify consumers and to require manufacturers to enforce a recall. What it hasn’t yet done is the implementation of regulation for manufacturers to adhere to.
Finally the need for regulation has been acknowledged. Only days ago the FDA proposed plans to require manufacturers to adhere to specific guidelines from the beginning of the manufacturing process to the completion of the final product. Hopefully this will help prevent problems before these products hit the store shelves.
Check out this recent article: FDA Bids to Regulate Animal Food, Acting After Recall and Deaths.
Not only is the FDA going to intervene to set guidelines to avoid sickness and deaths in pets, but they are also going to take impose regulations over the balance of nutrients in products. You might not be aware, but since there hasn’t been regulation, pet food manufacturers can misrepresent their products. It is not uncommon for that the ingredients and essential nutrients of poor quality or left out completely. The labels might say otherwise, but remember that the pet food industry has not had regulation.
The FDA is also planning on keeping a watch on pet food that comes in from overseas to regulate pet food products from overseas. The pet food industry needs some revamping.
The reality of the FDA’s control over the pet food industry is not merely a vision. There have been proposals only days ago to get the ball rolling. Safer pet food is on the horizon.
Stay informed and updated. Keep your eye on recalls.
Follow this link: Updated Recall Lists, but remember that salmonella should never be included in these recalls when identifying poisons that affect dogs. Please read Salmonella: What’s the Truth to better understand the how the FDA has misguided consumers with regard to the safety of salmonella for dogs.
|Nguyen, Vicky, and Staff. “FDA Looks to Vets to Help Solve Dog Treat Mystery.” NBC Bay Area. N.p., 22 Oct. 2013. Web. 1 Aug. 2014. <http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/FDA-Looks-to-Vets-to-Help-Solve-Dog-Treat-Mystery-228841181.html>.Report on Carcinogens. 12th ed. Research Triangle Park, N.C.: U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, National Toxicology Program, 2011. Print.
Tavernise, Sabrina. “F.D.A. Bids to Regulate Animal Food, Acting After Recall and Deaths.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 25 Oct. 2013. Web. 1 Aug. 2014. <http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/26/health/fda-moves-to-regulate-food-for-animals.html?_r=1&>.