Pet parents may lose the right to feed their pets a raw food diet
Image courtesy of ANSWERS™ Pet Food.

The FDA, AAFCO and participating states are seeking to remove raw food from the pet market despite scientifically-proven benefits of these minimally processed foods.

It’s your right as a pet parent to choose what you feed your pet… right? Unfortunately, this previously accepted truth is currently up for debate. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Association for American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), and participating states are taking it upon themselves to decide what consumers can and should feed their pets, according to a recent press release sent out by ANSWERS™ Pet Food. These governing bodies are working to take away Americans’ freedom to feed their pets a healthy, safe raw commercial diet – and the raw pet food industry isn’t backing down without a fight.

Raw pet food industry vs. the FDA

In response to the FDA’s actions, ANSWERS™ Pet Food filed a Declaratory Judgment Complaint and is currently seeking Injunctive Relief against the FDA. In other words, they’re attempting to get a court order that will stop the FDA’s pursuit of their goal – to adopt a nationwide, zero tolerance standard for Salmonella presence in pet food.

“Pet Food is regulated by the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act that Congress passed and it clearly states that FDA must do a health evaluation before they can mandate a recall to prove the food is a health hazard,” says Jacqueline Hill from Answers Pet Food. “A health evaluation includes determining if there is enough salmonella to cause illness and if the salmonella that is present can cause illness (out of 2600 different types of Salmonella only around 10 cause illness – some Salmonella is even considered probiotics). Doing a health evaluation takes time and money so in 2013, the FDA wrote a Non-Binding Compliance Policy stating they are following a zero tolerance to Salmonella and other potential bad bacteria. The Compliance Policy directly goes against the law.”

Discriminatory and selective behavior

In their complaint, ANSWERS™ asserts that the FDA is unlawfully targeting the raw pet food industry in a discriminatory and selective manner. This bias against the commercial raw pet food industry isn’t new – in fact, the FDA has been quite forthcoming about it in recent years. Many scientists and veterinarians agree that the benefits of raw and minimally processed pet foods largely outweigh the risks, but this hasn’t stopped the FDA from attempting to portray it as dangerous.

“The majority of reported illnesses and deaths occur in connection with the feeding of cooked and heavily processed commercial pet foods,” states the Answers press release. “The FDA has chosen to define when a product is adulterated without following federal law and without proper science.”

What’s happening now?

A date has been set in October for Answers Pet Food and the FDA to appear in front of a federal judge to determine how to proceed. “Between now and then we suspect the FDA will submit a motion to dismiss,” says Jacqueline. “We have a very strong case and don’t expect they will be successful. We need signatures on our petition to show the federal government this is important to the people that they, not the FDA, will determine what they feed their pets.”

It’s your right as a pet parent to choose what you feed your pet… period. Visit to defend this right by signing the petition.