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Pet Food Safety Advocate and Author, Susan Thixton is constantly at the Pet Food Investigator's Desk looking into Current Situations to keep you both warned and informed. Find Susan at TruthaboutPetFood.com and the Association for Truth in Pet Food. "Learning the truth about your pet's food can save their life."
The Association for Truth in Pet Food [ATPF] is a stakeholder organization representing the voice of pet food consumers at AAFCO and with the FDA. Your membership helps representatives attend meetings and voice consumer concerns with regulatory authorities. The association is solely supported by pet food consumers. Click here to become a member!
Be a part of the team that is changing the future of pet food!
Join the Association for Truth in Pet Food (ATPF). The ATPF’s mission, in partnership with TruthaboutPetFood.com, is to change the future of pet food. We have a vision of honestly labeled pet foods, proper enforcement of law, and accountability for those that ignore or violate law. We see a future where consumers can trust their pet’s food as they do their own food. We will battle any foe that ignores the best interests of our pets. We battle for our pets. This association is solely supported by pet food consumers.
The ATPF represents pet owners' in interactions with governmental pet food regulatory authorities. These authorities include The Food and Drug Association and the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). As an official stakeholder organization, the ATPF acts in an 'advisory position' on the AAFCO Pet Food Committee and the AAFCO Ingredient Definitions Committee.
Join the Association for Truth in Pet Food (ATPF) today! Membership is only a nominal $10, $25, or $50 per year, and members get access to secured information only published on the ATPF and TruthAboutPetFood.com's websites. It's well worth the money to (a) become more informed via secured information, and (b) to have people representing your voice in governmental regulatory meetings.
Read more about the ATPF, and register a new account at http://associationfortruthinpetfood.com/join-us/
Stories in this section are Significant and will be kept here for quite a while
Susan Thixton, from TruthAboutPetFood.com, has just released another important story: "Staffing shortages or shutdown of slaughter facilities related to COVID 19 is causing some livestock producers to euthanize animals. The concern is where those euthanized animals will end up – and what health consequences pets could suffer consuming pet food that contains an euthanized animal." Read this story here.
7/27/20 Pet owners can listen to the meeting for no charge or for a fee you can ask a question. The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) is a private organization that writes pet food laws. Each year the organization hosts two meetings (one in January, one in August) to discuss and vote on new regulations and definitions for pet food/animal feed. AAFCO members – which consists of state and federal government employees – are the only individuals allowed to vote on any new rule or definition. During the meetings, attendees are allowed to ask questions regarding the discussion topics. Read more here
7/24/20 Our attempt to educate and encourage this celebrity to do the right thing.
In my pet food news feed today was this notice: “Miranda Lambert is expanding MuttNation with a new food line..." "Looking at the pet food ingredients you can quickly see it is another pet feed with misleading images on the label. Another celebrity giving their name to a pet feed more than likely without having a clue of what the ingredients are within the product" Read more here
7/23/20 Some pet foods are using dried powdered meat labeling it as ‘Made with Real Meat’. And no regulatory authority is doing anything about the deception.
Pet owners are all too familiar with the marketing on many pet food labels and websites alluding to whole fresh foods included in their pet food. Below are just a few examples… Read more here
7/20/20 There is a lot to consider when comparing prices of pet food, probably more than you ever considered. A deeper look behind the prices of pet food.
Pet foods – all labeled as complete and balanced, can vary in price dramatically; from $0.40 a pound to more than $10.00 a pound. Many pet owners believe expensive pet foods are price gouging – lining their pockets with money rather than providing an affordable quality pet food. However, when you understand the costs of producing a high quality pet food, you might change your attitude as to who is really doing the price gouging. Read more here
7/13/20 The state of California has begun an attack on human grade pet foods, shutting down one manufacturer thus far. Consumer help is needed.
Of all U.S. states, California has the strangest system of regulation of pet foods/animal feeds. The California Department of Agriculture regulates livestock feeds and raw pet food, but the California Department of Public Health regulates all “processed” pet foods (kibble, can, cooked, etc.). And just like all other states, the California Department of Public Health pet food regulations DO NOT prohibit diseased animals or animals that have died other than by slaughter as processed pet food ingredients (with no warning or disclosure to pet owners). Read more here
7/8/20 Over the past 5 years, $52 million of your tax dollars were sent to 23 states to regulate pet food and animal feeds. Unfortunately, your money was not spent on enforcing law. Starting in 2008, the Food and Drug Administration began a cooperative agreement with U.S. states to uniformly regulate manufactured foods. The agreement- Manufactured Foods Regulatory Program Standards - provided federal funding to states that agreed to develop state laws similar to federal laws, train regulatory staff to proper inspection and enforcement procedures, and update state laboratories for uniform testing of manufactured foods. Read more here.
7/8/20 A recently issued FDA Warning Letter to Blue Ridge Beef provides rarely seen transparency and FDA’s same old Enforcement Discretion song and dance.
The FDA recently published a Warning Letter to Lea-Way Farms Inc. dba Blue Ridge Beef (issued June 26, 2020). The FDA Warning Letter provides pet owners with transparency about the quality of ingredients and conditions at this pet food manufacturer – this FDA Warning Letter provides pet owners with information we deserve to know about every pet food manufacturer. Read more here
7/2/20 Guess who’s promoting a drug in social media and on their website? [The] FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine... sent out [a] tweet on July 1,2020 [, and] when you click on the FDA link (go.usa.gov/xwuvm) provided in the Tweet, you are taken to [a page that is an] entire FDA CVM post... about one single drug. Actually, the entire FDA CVM post is promoting one single drug. Read more here
6/30/20 "All too often pet owners get the blame for spreading false information about pet food. A recent article published on VeterinaryPracticeNews.com is another one of those instances where pet owners get the blame when in truth the veterinarian is the guilty party for spreading pet food misinformation." Read more here
6/26/20 Obtained through FOIA request are some concerning incident reports of FDA inspections of pet food. From October 1, 2018 through October 1, 2019 the FDA performed inspections and found 7,841 “incidents” at manufacturers of human food. ‘Incidents’ are a found during an FDA inspection, and the incidents are recorded by the agency if FDA believes the manufacturer violated law. Most manufacturers had multiple incidents. Some incidents were serious, some resulted in a recall or FDA Warning Letter and some were minor paperwork infractions. Read more here
6/22/20 Did FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine unjustifiably alarm millions of pet owners without fully investigating the DCM problem? It appears so.
The FDA first announced to pet owners there is a potential link to canine heart disease with grain-free pet foods in July 2018. In this first announcement from FDA, the agency did not share how many reports of sick pets they had received. But FDA did set off alarms with pet owners and veterinarians stating “Diets in cases reported to the FDA frequently list potatoes or multiple legumes such as peas, lentils, other “pulses” (seeds of legumes), and their protein, starch and fiber derivatives early in the ingredient list, indicating that they are main ingredients.” Read more here
6/17/20 A new lawsuit has been filed against Nestle Purina challenging the company’s ‘Natural’ and ‘No Preservatives’ claims. The FDA or any State Department of Agriculture rarely (if ever) bothers to validate pet food marketing claims. But thankfully, lawsuits have become a means for consumers to see some type of regulation over pet food. In this lawsuit, two Non-Profit organizations are challenging Nestle Purina’s labeling claims of “Natural” and “No Preservatives“. - Read more here
6/15/20 A new study published June 12, 2020 found two of ten dog chews were not ‘rawhide free’. Published in the Journal of Histotechnology, titled “Microscopic examination of dog chews: correlation of histological findings to product labeling” – this new study of dog chews is concerning for pet owners wishing to avoid rawhide treats. The study is not published for public view, thus we cannot share it with pet owners.." Read more here
6/11/20 The pet food industry thinks pet owners are confused about by-products. The problem is lack of transparency, not confusion.
A recent post on the pet food/animal feed industry website PetFoodIndustry.com states “for years, there’s been a disconnect between the pet food industry and consumers about the value of byproducts.” The industry feels the bad sentiment from pet owners against byproducts is “wasting the potential of human food stream leftovers.”
If they are listening (and if they care about consumers they should be), here’s the truth about how most pet owners feel about byproducts… Read more here
6/9/20 Do you know about this common pet food preservative? You should.
My personal history with ethoxyquin:
In 1991 I was a typical pet owner, giving my dogs the most popular pet food sold. Almost overnight a tumor appeared on my dog’s pelvic bone. With a trip to the vet, we learned the worst news – bone cancer. My vet – who knew more about pet food in 1991 than most vets do today – told me her cancer was probably caused by a chemical preservative used in the pet food. Read more here
6/5/20 Two make false statements about human grade pet food, one says nothing.
When a pet owner sees the words “Human Grade” on a pet food label, it means that all ingredients are human grade or edible and the pet food was manufactured per the same safety standards as human food. This is a significant difference because most pet foods (unfortunately) are feed grade. Feed grade pet foods are allowed by all regulatory authorities to include inedible (even condemned) ingredients and allowed to be manufactured under far lesser safety standards than human grade. Read more here
6/3/20 Little to nothing. Thirteen years later, after tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of pets died in 2007 – today pet owners face the very same challenges.
On March 16, 2007 the deadliest pet food recall in history began. Because this pet food crisis was so deadly – Congress held a special hearing specifically about the existing regulation of pet food in April 2007. Below are two excerpts from that hearing... Read more here
5/26/20 A new DCM (dilated cardiomyopathy) study - published May 15, 2020 from multiple scientists at University of California Davis School of Veterinary Medicine is concerning, but probably not in the way you think. Why was the study criteria set up in the way it was? But most importantly, why did the researchers miss a HUGE error? Read more here
5/22/20 Only 10 of 27 pet products tested were close to label claims of CBD, several contained heavy metals. The study – “Cannabinoid, Terpene, and Heavy Metal Analysis of 29 Over-the-Counter Commercial Veterinary Hemp Supplements” – was a joint effort between Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine and ElleVet Sciences, a manufacturer of pet CBD products. Putting the potential bias of one CBD pet product manufacturer testing the products of its competition aside, the results of this study are concerning for pet owners. Read more here
5/19/20 Take a guess…how many pounds of pet chews were imported into the U.S. from China in just six weeks?
Import records show, in just six weeks – from 4/1/20 through 5/15/20 – the US (and a few to Canada) received 7,072,807 lbs. of “pet chews” from China. That’s equal to the weight of the Brooklyn Bridge (14,680 tons)…times 235.
The import classification of ‘pet chews’ does not include raw hide treats. This category appears to be mainly jerky treats, with some jerky and rawhide combination treats. Read more here
5/14/20 China, Thailand, India,… Import records tell us what ingredients and foods are being imported, but the pet food industry succeeds at hiding most of the manufacturers names that are sourcing ingredients outside of the US.
Few pet food manufacturers are transparent with consumers regarding the country of origin of all ingredients. Some manufacturers have provided pet owners their ‘Pledge’ to ingredient quality and country of origin (Click Here), but in most cases pet owners are forced to become a private detective to learn where the ingredients in their pet’s food are sourced from or forced to trust the pet food with no country of origin information. Read more here
5/11/20 Attention all freeze dried and dehydrated pet food manufacturers: do the right thing…put an alert on your label.
There is a serious concern with dehydrated or freeze dried pet foods that needs to be openly addressed. These are great pet food options, but ONLY IF the pet food is properly hydrated before feeding it to your pet. A pet owner brought this issue to our attention, her cats suffered blockages from eating some dehydrated food before water was added. Read more here
5/7/20 The FDA recently sent out promotional material on part of its pet food adverse event system. Does this benefit pet owners?..." "This system can be effective at holding manufacturers accountable for a risk pet food, and certainly more pet owners need to report all pet food suspect illnesses to FDA. But there are a few drawbacks pet owners need to be aware of." Read more here
5/4/20 On Friday May 1, 2020, Blue Bell Ice Cream plead guilty "to two misdemeanor counts of distributing adulterated ice cream products and pay a criminal fine and forfeiture amount totaling $17.25 million.” What does criminal charges against an ice cream company have to do with pet food? It’s undeniable evidence that regulatory authorities hold food and feed to two completely different standards. Read more here
4/29/20 "Pet owners are often led to believe owning a pet is like owning a bacterial time bomb – especially if you feed raw pet food. Now we have scientific evidence to the contrary. For years the FDA has issued warnings about the health risk to pet owners of raw pet food. FDA's concern: "Owners who feed their pet a raw diet may have a higher risk of getting infected with Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes.” FDA offers "Safe Handling" instructions for pet owners feeding all types of pet food, but raw pet food has been their biggest concern; “If you choose to feed raw pet food, you should be aware of the risks.” A new study is proving that pet owners actually do wash their hands and/or the FDA warnings were knee-jerk, unscientifically based reactions. Read more here
4/23/20 Another selective enforcement issue allowed by FDA that misleads pet owners.
If you were at a restaurant, and ordered mashed potatoes and gravy, but they delivered to you mashed potatoes and water… You’d probably send the mashed potatoes and water back to the kitchen or demand a refund. After all, water is NOT gravy. Except in pet food. Read more here
4/21/20 Somebody who regulates pet food did the right thing; prohibited is prohibited.
Menadione Sodium Bisulfite is a commonly used pet food supplement – a synthetic source of vitamin K. This supplement has been used for years in cat and dog foods…as it turns out…illegally.
The supplement Menadione Sodium Bisulfite is ONLY approved for use in poultry feed. Menadione Sodium Bisulfite has NEVER been proven safe for use in cat foods or dog foods. No supplement supplier has ever bothered to provide regulatory authorities scientific evidence to the safety of this supplement for pets, no pet food manufacturer that uses this supplement has ever bothered to provide regulatory authorities scientific evidence to the safety of this supplement in cat and dog foods. For years (and years) regulatory authorities have just looked the other way, allowing this supplement to be used in pet food when it had never been proven safe for cats and dogs. Read more here
4/20/20 Millions of pounds of illegal pet foods are allowed to be sold to unknowing consumers each day. How can government regulatory authorities allow law to be violated? They are paid to. When U.S. federal law says one thing: "The term “food” means (1) articles used for food or drink for man or other animals“... and "A food shall be deemed to be adulterated” (in part) “(5) if it is, in whole or in part, the product of a diseased animal or of an animal which has died otherwise than by slaughter”… Read more here
4/14/20 False information on the AAFCO website is misleading pet owners. Is it intentional?
When a pet owner visits the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) website, there is a menu item titled "Consumers". When you visit the Consumers page, there is a category listed titled “AAFCO Talks Pet Food“, explained as “The AAFCO Talks Pet Food site contains a treasure-trove of information for consumers.” Read more here
4/13/2020 The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) are two different federal agencies with very different perspectives of what is safe for pets to consume. Both agencies regulate food, but each has its own jurisdiction. The FDA regulates products that contain 3% or less raw meat and the USDA regulates products that contain 3% or more raw meat. But, for some unknown reason, the FDA regulates pet food (even though most products contain more than 3% raw meat). It’s very unfortunate that the FDA has been given jurisdiction over pet food. Read more here
4/7/2020 The FDA’s 2020 FDA Investigations Operations Manual confirms pet food is allowed to violate law.
Each year the FDA compiles a “Investigations Operations Manual”. Per the 2020 manual’s foreword (bold added) “The Investigations Operations Manual (IOM) is the primary operational guide for FDA employees who perform field investigational activities in support of the agency’s public health mission. Accordingly, it directs the conduct of all fundamental field investigational activities. Adherence to this manual is paramount to assure quality, consistency, and efficiency in field operations.” In other words, this manual is the FDA’s official guide for it’s employees on how to properly handle investigations, how to regulate pet food/animal feed. Read more here
4/3/2020 Having a little fun with the crazy world of pet food…
The FDA commonly uses acronyms. As example, Agency representatives refer to the Food Safety Modernization Act (laws) as: FSMA pronounced fiz-ma. We thought it might be fun to come up with a few acronyms of our own. Read more here
3/31/2020 Especially when they don’t want to give you the information. A real life example of FDA’s stall tactics.
One of the most important things that pet owners (and veterinarians) need to know – but don’t have access to – is the definitions of pet food ingredients. FDA has access to those definitions, in fact they co-author the definitions and utilize them in regulating pet food. In 2017 we filed a Freedom of Information Act request with FDA for those definitions. The Agency still hasn’t provided the information they are legally required to provide; here’s how they have stalled for twenty-eight months. Read more here
3/26/2020 Following a recall and a FDA consumer warning, FDA issues a Warning Letter to Bravo Packing on March 16, 2020. Bravo Packing – not the same company as Bravo Pet Food – recalled their Performance Dog products, a frozen raw pet food, in September 2018. A year later, September 2019, the FDA issued a consumer warning regarding Performance Dog Food; “cautioning pet owners not to feed their pets any Performance Dog frozen raw pet food after a sample tested positive for Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes (L. mono).“ Read more here
3/24/2020 Pet owners can take comfort that there are no expected shortages from human grade ingredient pet food manufacturers, AND that independent pet food stores are taking measures to keep their clients safe and pets well fed. It could vary from state to state, but U.S. Homeland Security has issued guidance declaring pet food stores and pet food manufacturers as “essential” businesses that will remain open during the many COVID-19 business closures. Read more here
3/22/2020 The differences between these two categories of pet food can be dramatic. The documented differences between feed grade and human grade. All pet foods (and treats) fall into one of two categories – feed grade or human grade. Most human grade pet foods are clearly marked on the pet food label (raw pet foods are not allowed to make the human grade label claim). No feed grade pet foods are marked. In fact, the entire feed grade category is intentionally hidden from pet owners. Read more here
3/19/2020 A personal message to pet owners. - Science has shown that our pets mirror our stress. From a Swedish study: "Dog owners experiencing long bouts of stress can transfer it to their dogs.” The same can be said for our cats – they mirror our emotions.." "In these very challenging times, the last thing we need is for our pets to absorb our stress and potentially suffer health consequences from it." Read more here
11/13/2019 I had the tremendous honor to speak at the 2019 Raw Feeding Veterinary Society (RFVS) annual Conference this past weekend in Bristol, UK (my first international speech, first trip to Europe). To be surrounded by so many forward thinking veterinarians was beyond words. RFVS is an international organization of veterinarians that fully understand minimally processed pet food (not excessively processed feed) is of significant importance for the health of pets. Once a year they gather together, inviting like minded individuals to share their science and knowledge. It was my honor to be included this year. Read more here
CPS is a non-profit research and consumer advocacy organization dedicated to companion animals and consumer safety. CPS studies pet products and establishes criteria and test protocols to measure whether pet safety products provide the protection claimed by advocates and intended by manufacturers.
Here are several websites where you can obtain current product recall information.
Go to KittyCatter.com.
The article Cat Food Recalls, Alerts and News (Updated for 2019) includes the subjects of:
Here are websites which have entire sections devoted to cat food recalls:
Finally, should you need them, here are two places on the U.S. Food & Drug Administration's website which may help you regarding product recalls:
7/3/20 "The J.M. Smucker Company on July 3 issued a voluntary recall of one of its Natural Balance cat food formulas due to elevated levels of choline chloride. The recall is of Natural Balance Ultra Premium Chicken & Liver Paté canned cat food in 5.5-oz cans, with the best-by date of Aug. 4, 2021. The UPC code is 2363353227 and lot code is 9217803." "This product was distributed in pet specialty stores throughout the United States and Canada, as well as through various e-commerce platforms. "Pet owners who have purchased this cat food are encouraged to stop feeding the product and dispose of it immediately." - Pet Food Processing® -
7/3/20 "The J. M. Smucker Company today announced a voluntary recall of one lot of Natural Balance® Ultra Premium Chicken & Liver Paté Formula canned cat food due to health concerns likely associated with elevated levels of choline chloride." "Ingesting impacted product may cause nausea with excessive salivation, constricted pupils and poor vision, diarrhea or vomiting to more severe symptoms including difficulty walking, muscle shaking, tremors, irregular heartbeat, difficulty breathing, possible cardiac or respiratory failure and, in extreme situations, death. Pet parents are encouraged to contact their cat's veterinarian immediately if their cat is displaying any of these symptoms." - CISION
7/4/20 "A warning for pet parents! The J.M. Smucker Company is voluntarily recalling one lot of Natural Balance canned cat food due to potential deadly health concerns. The company said it received reports of pets having adverse reactions to 5.5 oz. cans of Natural Balance Ultra Premium Chicken & Liver Paté Formula. The concerns are likely due to elevated levels of choline chloride, the company said." - CBS New York
6/12/20 "Health Canada has recalled Carnivora Fresh Frozen Patties for Dogs and Cats due to a possible E. coli contamination that could be spread after handling the pet food. The recall affects six varieties of the Carnivora brand raw pet food sold between January 13, 2020 to June, 2020. Approximately 1,803 units of the affected product were in Canada." - CTVNews
6/13/20 "Health Canada has recalled Carnivora Fresh Frozen Patties for Dogs and Cats due to a possible E. coli contamination that could be spread after handling the pet food. The recall affects six varieties of the Carnivora brand raw pet food sold between January 13, 2020 to June, 2020. Approximately 1,803 units of the affected product were in Canada. Health Canada says the recalled pet food may be contaminated with E. coli and consumer are at risk of cross contamination and illness after handling the pet food. As of June 12, the company has been made aware of four reports of illness stemming from the product." - NewsTalk610 CKTB
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