Pet food consumer advocates confront congress

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Susan Thixton, pet food safety advocate and author of Buyer Beware and truthaboutpetfood.com, has been a leader in the world of pet food for many years, studying the ingredients and the regulations that govern them. When her beloved Rottweiler, Sam, died as a result of chemical preservatives in her food – produced by one of the most trusted companies in the U.S. – Thixton was both shocked and heartbroken. Today, the chemical that killed Sam is still used in many pet foods and treats, and the company remains one of the most popular pet food manufacturers in the country. This, and the death of many other innocent pets as a result of contaminated food, is the inspiration behind Thixton’s goal – to make pet food safe for dogs and cats.

For years, her efforts have been largely ignored by the FDA and congress, and few changes have been made to improve the quality of pet food. Forced to take further action, Thixton announced yesterday that she is going directly to Washington, D.C. to meet with members of Congress and the FDA. Determined that things must change in pet food, Thixton, along with veterinarian Dr. Karen Becker, have scheduled meetings with three Senator’s offices and authorities at FDA headquarters.

“I can tell consumers this – we are serious,” writes Thixton. “This is no social visit. The evidence will be presented – exactly what pet food consumers are forced to deal with because we have a regulatory system that ignores law and an industry full of law breakers.”

In an effort to avoid another disaster like the 2007 recall that killed thousands of pets, Congress unveiled The Human and Pet Food Safety Act. It required the FDA to:

  • Write quality standards for all pet food ingredients
  • Strengthen labeling rules
  • Establish an early warning system and post searchable online recall lists.

So far, however, the FDA has not met these requirements.

“FDA and each State Department of Agriculture allows pet food to violate federal law,” adds Thixton. “Labeling laws are ignored, ingredient quality laws are ignored. The list of laws being ignored is long and it must stop.”

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