Since late December 2020, hundreds of pets have died due to contaminated pet food.
According to a press release from Truth About Pet Food.com, these deaths could have been prevented through proper monitoring of ingredients and pet foods.
In the same timeframe – but only after pets died – 60 million pounds of corn-based dog and cat food were recalled containing deadly levels of aflatoxins, which are poisons produced by molds on agricultural crops.
According to the FDA, “At high levels, aflatoxins can cause illness (aflatoxicosis), liver damage, and death in pets.”
The FDA allows pet food to include inferior quality corn, states the Truthaboutpetfood.com press release, including corn rejected for human consumption due to high risk of mycotoxin producing mold. Increasing the risk, most substandard corn is stored outside exposed to moisture and animal infestations – creating ideal conditions for mold and mycotoxin production.
“It’s one of the most dangerous threats to pets,” related consumer advocate Susan Thixton, who has been advocating for pet food consumers with regulatory authorities for more than 15 years. “Seven hundred thousand tons more corn is used in pet foods than any other ingredient.”
Also according to the release, pet owners across the U.S. are telling the FDA that recalls are not enough, and that, unless ingredients and pet foods are tested, mycotoxins will wind up in pets’ bowls leading to sickness and death. While many manufacturers follow Good Manufacturing Practices, some do not.
“We have asked the FDA to investigate more aggressively and issue alerts in a similar manner as the agency has investigated other issues,” stated documentary filmmaker Kohl Harrington in the press release. “We need action taken immediately.”
Harrington produced the documentary film Pet Fooled about the pet food industry. He is currently working on a sequel.
Those requested actions include:
- Veterinarians and pet owners report any pet illness or death over the last 12 months to the FDA for pets fed any type of corn ingredient pet product;
- Identify the toxic corn suppliers and trace all customers over the last 24 months;
- Implement random mycotoxin testing for pet foods and treats that contain a corn ingredient over for the next 12 months; and
- Issue monthly updates to pet owners providing the number of mycotoxin adverse events received and test results.
Manufacturers of corn included pet foods are asked to:
- Provide pet owners aflatoxin test results on the brand’s website for every batch of pet food produced;
- Provide aflatoxin test results on the brand’s website for every load of corn (corn-based) ingredient(s) received.
“We cannot wait months and months, as with the melamine recalls in 2007 where 10,000+ cats and dogs died from 150 contaminated brands. Action is necessary now,” said Thixton.
Dr. Laurie S. Coger is an integrative veterinarian and founder of Check Your Pet Food, which provides a means of independent pet food testing for both safety and nutritional integrity.
“Proper monitoring of hazards and prevention is vital to pet food safety,” said Coger. “More immediate and consistent action needs to be taken by the FDA, veterinarians, and corn-inclusive pet food manufacturers.”
For more information, please visit:
SOURCE Truth About Pet Food
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That is really scary and totally unacceptable.
This is so scary. It would be nice to think anything you purchase at a store would be safe.
I agree. And add on the fact that it’s not like most pet food isn’t cheap, quality ingredients should really be the norm.
I don’t hold much confidence in U.S. Food and Drug Administration decisions on matters in which consumer health interest — including that of pet animals — competes against corporate (lobbyist) interest.
For example, in the case of the FDA’s approval of Aspartame, then-commissioner Arthur Hull Hayes Jr. permitted the artificial sweetener to be used in foods and drinks prior to his leaving the FDA for a lucrative job with the public relations firm owned by the Aspartame patent holder and producer, G.D. Searle Company.
This, despite being urged by credible health academics to refrain from immediately granting FDA approval of the sweetener—a chemical concoction discovered accidently in 1965 while G.D. Searle Company chemist James Schlatter was testing an anti-ulcer drug.
Although I doubt it will be forthcoming, strong laws/rules could be passed to prevent former officials from benefiting from their employment with government regulatory bodies. It could be something like the starter measure taken by my home province’s (B.C.) government disallowing lobbying by former cabinet ministers and political staff for two years after leaving their jobs, from which they typically take valuable inside information that can enrich lobbying firms.
Thank you for the comment and insight! Unfortunately, I think there are probably a number of examples similar to the Hayes Jr., example. I’d like to see regulation passed preventing officials and former officials from the type of financial gain you mention. I also wish that wasn’t even necessary and that officials would be guided ethically in such situations. Especially when human and pet lives are at stake.