28th April 2007, 09:52 PM
TRULY enlightening/disturbing article re. Pet Food
This was posted on another list, and I found it extremely enlightening, albeit extremely disturbing... I felt it was worthwhile to post here.
IS ANY COMMERCIAL PET FOOD SAFE?
by Robert Jay Russell, Ph.D., Coton de Tulear Club of America, President
April 27th, 2007. Since March 16th, I have written more than 150 pages of information about the mass poisonings of pet foods on the CTCA's CotonClub e-ZINE. I have been fairly good at predicting where this crisis would go, and what potential pet foods would be declared deadly. But tonight, the U.S. government and the pet food industry achieved a new low that even I did not see coming. Namely, the ingredient labels on the cans and packages of pet food may be total fictions. Further, the advertisement and web site declarations of the pet food companies may be utter lies.
[unsubstatiated accusations edited out by Karlin. This man may wish to take responsibility for potential lawsuits based on his statements but I am not willing to take that responsibility here.]
The "voluntary" list of pet food companies that claim all "safe" ingredients but that have substituted cheap Chinese protein glutens is likely growing by the minute. There is some question, of course, whether or not the individual pet food companies that relied upon the very few actual producers and canners left in America really knew that the canners and packagers had been substituting cheap, poisonous Chinese crap for their much touted "healthy" pet foods. But who knew what and when is irrelevant to the dead and dying pets and their grieving owners out there in the real world.
Tonight, there is not a single ingredient label on any processed food -- pet or human -- that should be trusted by any sensible consumer. Indeed, the FDA actually allows food packagers six months to change their ingredient labels once they change ingredients on their unsuspecting consumers. I wonder just how many people with Celiac Disease have died terrible deaths when their supposedly gluten free packaged food had its ingredients switched for cheap, imported glutens? We are beginning to see how many pets may soon be dying of kidney failure because of bogus ingredient labels, and that toll may be unimaginable in the end.
Remember: even an "honest," health conscious, pet-loving, pet food company owner may have no idea what the canner he/she uses is actually putting into the food he/she markets and sells. Remember: this administration' s FDA is not working on behalf of your family's safety.
When you censor, then fire scientists from government protective agencies (e.g., NOAA, EPA, USDA, FDA), when you place corporate lobbyists in positions of agency power, when you cut funds such that inspections are no longer possible, when you trash manufacturing and import rules and product regulations... you are left with snake oil salesmen to supply America with food and drugs and only rumor mills and blogs to protect citizens from them.
Late breaking news: there is an unconfirmed internet rumor, probably far more reliable than anything a company web site or the FDA is telling you, that some pet stores are quietly pulling every Natural Balance pet food product off their shelves. No explanation given.
29th April 2007, 03:10 PM
Many things have happened that are scary and have come up during the past few weeks as investigations have continued.
But I like to remind people to be skeptical and cautious about anything that is posted to the net. I know this is all a particularly emotional issue, but remember, just because someone posts an opinion does not mean what is stated is true.
I agree wth much of what this man says but some of this is quite over the top. To begin with, I have removed a couple sentences that are potentially libellous as I have seen no evidence to back up his accusations and what he is saying about specific companies is potentially (and quite seriously) defamatory; and a bit irresponsible (or naive) I think coming from someone who runs a dog club to post publicly (though I realise many people do not realise that posting to the net isn't in some situations simply sharing your opinion -- it is *publishing* with all the consequent liabilities and responsibilities).
And to be honest, only a fool would believe *an internet rumour* is more reliable than what the FDA is telling you, and I don;t think he truly means this. Even if you don't trust the FDA -- internet rumours are amongst the worst that go around and necessitate whole websites just to debunk them (eg Snopes.com). There's no evidence I've yet seen that the FDA has covered up anything in the pet food case -- they have been quick to get new info up on their own website -- and the situation with the undisclosed protein has been noted as a situation the pet food companies were unaware of as well, in the cases where the ingredient wasn't listed (as he finally notes at the end). The idea that dozens of pet food companies were all secretly sticking in extra ingredients, especially several companies I would believe to be very reputable, is IMHO bordering on the conspiracy theorist territory and a bit silly.
One area where I very much agree with this man: it IS true that the government in the US has over the past several years dropped many scientists and closed down divisions of some key agencies, and also placed people with strong business and political connections into key positions. I think it would be most productive to direct demands not just to food companies but also to government representatives and the current administration to ask why so few remain in such agencies able to pressure and keep an eye on big business -- for the problems that are ongoing come partly as a result of huge conglomerates owning many smaller companies. There are very few independent manufacturers left -- almost any brand you buy, from clothes to food, is owned by a large conglomerate. Fruit and veg and meat are produced by enormous farming conglomerates, not small producers. In addition, consumers, by demanding ever cheaper prices, push manufacturers to opt for the cheapest suppliers. The fact is that people don't want to pay $5 more for a pair of jeans or a dogfood. That sets a huge economic shift rolling -- as does expecting high returns from investment funds -- companies now are expected to have continuous strong quarterly results, and to pare down that bottom line, that means moving manufactruring offshore or bringing in cheaper suppliers. It's all complex and interconnected and in part does cone back to the demands we as consumers make on the pricing and ease of access side (eg no one wants to visit 10 shops to do their shopping, they want it all from a supermarket, and they want it rock bottom cheap, which in turn puts pressures on suppliers to cut costs, and we are back to that same circle. In 20 years the whole food supply chain has altered enormously.
Absolutely, do demand responsible manufacturing and demand better oversight by having people who actually know their business and aren't paid by big business, working in federal and state agencies. But then, also realise consumers have to change too. We tend to get the systems and the government we asked for -- and people have the ability to force change as well... but may have to change themselves in their perceptions and notions of what they really want.
In memory: Lucy
30th April 2007, 08:52 PM
I'm so sorry, Karlin.... as I certainly didn't mean to post anything that might cause problems - and definitely don't want to cause problems with potentially libellous or defamatory information on this wonderful board. I guess I wasn't thinking it through completely when I posted this message to a public forum (just because I copied it from a public forum, didn't mean it shouldn't have been there, either).
I don't believe in everything this man says, either - but I thought it was an interesting & thought-provoking article that would spur insight and discussion.
Thanks for looking out for all of us, Karlin!
Consider this one "lesson learned!"
We all appreciate your phenomenal moderation more than you will ever know!