I haven’t said anything about pet food in a while, but plenty is happening with it since my pet food books came out—Pet Food Politics (2008) and Feed Your Pet Right (2010).
A few items I’ve collected over the past month or so.
- FDA regulations: The FDA finally issued its proposed rule for processing standards for all facilities engaged in manufacturing, processing, packing or holding animal feed and pet food. These include Good Manufacturing Processes (GMPs) and risk-based preventive controls (formerly known as HACCP), among other provisions.
- Safety tips: Food Safety News lists ten ways to make pet food safer—pay attention and follow food safety procedures diligently, for one thing.
- Double standard: Bill Marler complains that the FDA is constantly announcing recalls of Salmonella-contaminated pet foods, even though few of them result in cases of Salmonella in pets or humans, whereas foods for humans take forever to get recalled even when they cause illness.
- Pet food recalls: The FDA certainly lists plenty of pet food recalls, and even has a web page for them.
- FDA oversight: The FDA is on the job and testing. Bravo issued recalls because of potential Listeria contamination. It did so because the FDA says an independent lab detected the bacteria in a sample.
- Marketing wars: Pet Food Industry, the excellent publication for manufacturers, has a juicy story about the marketing claims war between Nestlé (no relation) Purina PetCare and Blue Buffalo. Each has sued the other. Blue Buffalo has already been called on its advertising claims, perhaps in response to a complaint from Hill’s Pet Nutrition.
- The ongoing mystery: Pet jerky treats, mostly imported from China, linked to at least 3 human illnesses and more than 1,000 dog deaths and 4,800 dog illnesses, mostly from gastrointestinal problems, liver and kidney disease, and neurological and skin conditions. The FDA says it still can’t figure out the cause, despite 7 years of trying. symptoms in their pets,” said FDA.
If we can’t get pet food right, there’s not much hope for human food either.