In March of 2007, a Canadian company issued a recall of over 60,000,000 containers of pet food that they had manufactured for many other companies that were suspected of not being safe for pets. This action caused more recalls from more companies and eventually in May of that year the FDA takes action and declares that the importation of all untested vegetable protein from China stop. This includes the following: wheat, corn, soy and rice gluten, rice and soy proteins and corn by-products. What was determined was that millions of chickens and pigs were fed contaminated feed and were then consumed by humans in the United States.1432086179dol73

Better Late Than Never

Due to pet fatalities and resulting human exposure, Congress eventually approves the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act in 2011. It was applauded for it redirection of purpose. It was designed to enact preventative measures rather than attempt damage control after the fact. With typical bureaucratic slowness, the pet food division of the act would be in place, at the earliest, in 2015. Entitled Preventative Controls for Food for Animals, it’s mission was to implement consistent expectations in the manufacturing and packaging of commercially sold pet food. Unfortunately, given the slowness with which the FDA reacted to the pet food issue, coupled with a lack of  action for the longest time, makes the consumer continue to have a lack of faith in assuming that all pet food and treats are safe for pets. As with any agency within the government, issues of cost and legislative efforts required to effect global supply make this another hurry-up-and-wait situation.

Safety From Other Sourcesdinner-time

Taking matters into their own hands, many pet food manufacturers began conducting their own inspections or hiring outside companies to verify safety of their products. While some quality control was better than none, these efforts were not recognized outside of the United States.  A European non-profit, the Global Food Safety Initiative, was founded to verify the safety of commercial pet food. While it did not have any legal authority, it’s sole purpose was to initiate the regulation of food safety in international products. Quality control performed by the GFSI includes regular testing throughout all phases of production and distribution and certification of safety by GFSI  became the standard of what is safe for pets.

 

6 comments on “Tainted Pet Food Affects More Than Just Pets

  • Good article. Most people, me included for years, take their pet food for granted. We think animals will eat anything and don’t worry about what’s in their food. We always buy the good deal of the day. We don’t realize that like humans, animals need to eat and stay healthy to live longer.

    • Hi Andres,

      Thanks for your comments. There is a direct connection between diet and health for pets just like there is for us humans. We owe it to our pets to provide them with the best possible nutrition that we can.

      Take care,

      Erin

  • this is a great article, it is truly importante try to create awareness about this and what this is causing, this may stop a big amount of pets to go to the E.R. i just wish so much more could be done about this processes that involves the production of this treats so its can truly be safe. On my end i can say that i always rejected to buy this treats for my dogs because the ones available in my country have never display a label regarding if they are safe or not.

    • Hi Maria,

      You are smart to say no to questionable treats. These days my dogs get just as excited over fresh vegetables as they would over something that has an animated dog on the package. Little do they know, not only are they safe, they are healthier too!

      Take Care,

      Erin

  • Excellent information. Like many others, I worry about my pets. Since I love them like family and value their companionship, I want them to be healthy and happy. Not to mention, it sure does save on the vet bills! It is good to know that our government has taken measures to be sure our food is safe from the ground up.

    Erika

    • Hi Erika,

      Thanks for reading my post and for your sharing your thoughts. Our pets are very important to us and it is good to know that there are processes and procedures in place to ensure that what we feed our pets is not only safe but nutritious too.

      Take Care,

      Erin

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