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Letter to the FDA - Page 2

post #31 of 97
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willowy View Post

I kind of think it's more the fault of the AVMA or whoever likes to tell people not to feed their pets "table scraps" or meat. Not really the FDA's thing. Back when kibble first came out, I think most people gave their pets the meat trimmings. Of course, most people eat junk now, too, so their table scraps wouldn't be healthy.

What does the AVMA have to do with it? Their job is to treat the cats who get sick after eating bad food, not tell owners what to feed their cats so they won't get sick. And there is obviously a reason no cat food has chocolate, onions, mushrooms, grapes, or macadamia nuts.

post #32 of 97
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDG View Post

Well, problem number one isn't worded right. If 4D animals are allowed in pet food at all, they HAVE to be rendered. I think the problem is that they're allowed in pet food.

So the whole purpose of rendering is to let them use 4D animals! Thanks Laurie.

 

OK how about this: "Dead, dying, diseased, and downed (4D) animals are used in pet foods."

post #33 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by EmilyMayWilcha View Post

What does the AVMA have to do with it? Their job is to treat the cats who get sick after eating bad food, not tell owners what to feed their cats so they won't get sick.
Whether it's their job or not, vets are frequently very vocal about what to feed your pet. . .and usually their advice (among non-holistic vets anyway) is not to feed real food, "because it's dangerous". So, yes, I think they bear some responsibility.

I always thought the USDA handled animal feed. Does anyone know exactly what role the FDA plays in pet food?
post #34 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willowy View Post

Whether it's their job or not, vets are frequently very vocal about what to feed your pet. . .and usually their advice (among non-holistic vets anyway) is not to feed real food, "because it's dangerous". So, yes, I think they bear some responsibility.
I always thought the USDA handled animal feed. Does anyone know exactly what role the FDA plays in pet food?

Briefly, how Pet food is regulated:
Quote:

A. FDA

Pet food, like human food, is regulated under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (hereinafter “FFDCA”).[27] The FFDCA defines food as “articles used for food or drink for man or other animals...” and requires that all foods be free of adulteration and misbranding.[28] Without further analysis, one could conclude from this definition that all pet foods are regulated and approved for human consumption. This could not be further from the truth. In fact, the website of the Center for Veterinary Medicine states that “animal feeds provide a practical outlet for plant and animal byproducts not suitable for human consumption,”[29] a statement seemingly contradictory to the regulations of the FFDCA, which apply equally to human and animal foods.[30]

The FDA’s involvement also extends to the processing and packaging of animal foods. All pet food manufacturing plants are subject to FDA inspection.[36] Canned pet foods face further oversight in the form of the low acid canned food regulations.[37] in addition, the United States Department of Agriculture (hereinafter “USDA”) offers a voluntary inspection of canned foods through its Food Safety and Inspection Service.[38] Manufacturers utilizing the voluntary inspection service may attach a USDA “seal” to their product labels signifying that the product is a USDA Certified Product for Dogs, Cats and Other Carnivora.[39]

Manufacturers violating FDA regulations face penalties ranging from prison and fines to product seizure and warning letters. The FDA often sanctions companies through its informal enforcement powers such as detention authority, recalls and negative publicity. The December 2005 recall by Diamond Pet Foods illustrates the speed with which a manufacturer will recall its own product once harmful effects are discovered. In that case, the manufacturer initiated their recall before the FDA even began an investigation. The Diamond dog food was discovered to contain aflatoxin, a toxin produced by fungus found on corn and other crops that usually develops as a result of hot, arid weather.[40] The risk of bad publicity and losing market share is often enough to force manufacturers to right their own wrongs. Unfortunately, even Diamond’s relatively quick recall came at the expense of the lives of over 76 dogs, plus dozens of others left with permanent liver damage.[41]

B. CVM

Within FDA, the Center for Veterinary Medicine (hereinafter “CVM”) is responsible for the regulation of “animal food (feed) products.”[42] Although this sounds as though the CVM would set standards for pet foods, AAFCO (discussed below), an organization almost entirely independent of any governmental control, bears this responsibility. The CVM, in fact, is only responsible for the regulation of animal drugs, medicated feeds and food additives.[43] In relation to pet foods, this means that unless a food contains drugs, additives, or proffers “health claims” on its label, the CVM, and thereby the FDA, has virtually nothing to do with whether that particular pet food can be sold to the public. There is no requirement of pre-market approval for pet foods.[44]

C. AAFCO

1. Overview of AAFCO

The FDA chose to fulfill Congress’ mandate of pet food regulation through cooperative agreements and partnerships, rather than forming its own binding regime of rules and regulations. One such agreement exists with the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). As the FDA explains “continued partnership with AAFCO is vital to the continued regulation of pet food products because FDA has limited enforcement resources that are focused on human food safety issues.”[58] In other words, because the FDA, like most regulatory agencies, is understaffed and overworked, they are forced to rely on another organization for the majority of pet food regulation. It is important for pet owners to recognize that the FDA has made a choice: to focus its attention on human foods, and leave the pet foods to someone else.

The origin of AAFCO asserting its role in this area remains unclear.[59] Early animal feed regulation consisted of laws governing only the weights and measures of the feeds.[60] These early forms of regulation were not in place to protect the animal, but rather the consumer from a deceptive merchant.[61] Later, when feeds were made with ground grains, fats and protein, rather than the traditional whole grains, consumers needed additional regulation to ensure the new feeds met certain standards.[62]

In relation to its responsibilities regarding pet foods, AAFCO sets model regulations for pet foods including labeling requirements, ingredient definitions and nutritional requirements. But AAFCO does not determine permissible sources of protein or other essential nutrients – AAFCO’s only requirement is that the manufacturer comply with AAFCO’s extensive list of ingredient definitions.http://leda.law.harvard.edu/leda/data/784/Patrick06.html
post #35 of 97
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willowy View Post

Whether it's their job or not, vets are frequently very vocal about what to feed your pet and usually their advice (among non-holistic vets anyway) is not to feed real food, "because it's dangerous". So, yes, I think they bear some responsibility.
I always thought the USDA handled animal feed. Does anyone know exactly what role the FDA plays in pet food?

Vets are usually not trained as well as medical doctors in nutrition. In fact, the authors of Feed Your Pet Right are not vets. Why is this true? It could be corporate influence on the universities or just the simple fact that there is not time to study everything about every domestic species. Neither of these reasons, if true, can be blamed on the AVMA.

 

Five years ago, the FDA investigated complaints about products made by Menu Foods being tainted with melamine. They even went to China to see what was going on there. Since the, I always assumed the FDA must have some responsibility for pet food safety because otherwise it would have been the USDA investigatng melamine poisoning reports.


Edited by EmilyMayWilcha - 6/29/12 at 8:44pm
post #36 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by EmilyMayWilcha View Post

OK, here is the run-up to my complaints about how commercial pet food is produced. Does it look accurate?

 

Maybe after each one put a short description of what should be in cat food? I got a bit confused, especially with #4. smile.gif

post #37 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willowy View Post

I always thought the USDA handled animal feed. Does anyone know exactly what role the FDA plays in pet food?
More information from the FDA Site:
Quote:
Pet Food

FDA Regulation of Pet Food
Labeling

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates that can of cat food, bag of dog food, or box of dog treats or snacks in your pantry. The FDA’s regulation of pet food is similar to that for other animal foods. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) requires that all animal foods, like human foods, be safe to eat, produced under sanitary conditions, contain no harmful substances, and be truthfully labeled. In addition, canned pet foods must be processed in conformance with the low acid canned food regulations to ensure the pet food is free of viable microorganisms, see Title 21 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 113 (21 CFR 113).
FDA Regulation of Pet Food

There is no requirement that pet food products have pre-market approval by the FDA. However, FDA ensures that the ingredients used in pet food are safe and have an appropriate function in the pet food. Many ingredients such as meat, poultry and grains are considered safe and do not require pre-market approval. Other substances such as sources of minerals, vitamins or other nutrients, flavorings, preservatives, or processing aids may be generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for an intended use (21 CFR 582 and 584) or must have approval as food additives (21 CFR 570, 571 and 573). Colorings must have approvals for that use as specified in 21 CFR 70 and be listed in Parts 73, 74, or 81. For more information about pet foods and marketing a pet food, see FDA’s Regulation of Pet Food and Information on Marketing a Pet Food Product.
Labeling

Pet food labeling is regulated at two levels. The current FDA regulations require proper identification of the product, net quantity statement, name and place of business of the manufacturer or distributor, and proper listing of all the ingredients in the product in order from most to least, based on weight. Recent legislation in the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007 requires FDA to establish by regulation – (1) ingredient standards and definitions with respect to pet food; (2) processing standards for pet food; and, (3) updated standards for the labeling of pet food that include nutritional and ingredient information. FDA is working on this legislative mandate. Comments concerning this initiative can be made at http://www.regulations.gov to Docket No. FDA-2007-N-0442. Some states also enforce their own labeling regulations. Many of these regulations are based on a model provided by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). For more information about AAFCO,disclaimer icon please visit its website. For more information about labeling requirements, see Pet Food Labels - General.

FDA also reviews specific claims on pet food, such as “maintains urinary tract health,” “low magnesium,” “tartar control,” “hairball control,” and “improved digestibility.” Guidance for collecting data to make a urinary tract health claim is available in Guideline 55 on the CVM portion of the FDA internet site.

CVM DOES NOT recommend one product over another or offer guidance on individual pet health issues that are normally provided by the pet’s veterinarian. Questions regarding your pets' health and/or the specific use of any veterinary drug, pet food, or other product should always be referred to your veterinarian.http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/Products/AnimalFoodFeeds/PetFood/default.htm
post #38 of 97
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhollyCat View Post

Maybe after each one put a short description of what should be in cat food? I got a bit confused, especially with #4.

I will worry about that after I read the books Feed Your Pet Right and Not Fit For A Dog! All I am doing now is putting thoughts on my monitor.

 

About Problem #4: Other TCS members were discussing the fact that a can needs only 3% chicken to have chicken in its name. Therefore it's really mostly plants with a little bit of chicken in some cans. Others need to have 25% chicken. What about the other 75%? So yeah, often our little obligate carnivores are eating more plant than animal proteins.

post #39 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by EmilyMayWilcha View Post

I will worry about that after I read the books Feed Your Pet Right and Not Fit For A Dog! All I am doing now is putting thoughts on my monitor.

 

About Problem #4: Other TCS members were discussing the fact that a can needs only 3% chicken to have chicken in its name. Therefore it's really mostly plants with a little bit of chicken in some cans. Others need to have 25% chicken. What about the other 75%? So yeah, often our little obligate carnivores are eating more plant than animal proteins.


Gottcha, now I get it. biggrin.gif Oh yes, depending on the wording of the labels (the 95%, 25%, 3%, and 'Flavor' rules) it can be that there is hardly any real meat in there.

post #40 of 97
In the human food industry, the FDA allows a certain percentage of insect parts in food. Some dyes originate from insects. So if they allow this in food meant for human consumption, I can't imagine what the allowable percentages are in the pet food industry. I think it would be naive to think that the human food industry is the gold.standard by which we judge the pet food industry. Labels are misleading. A food that is labelled 'low fat' has to have a certain percentage of.fat to be labelled as such. Foods labelled as 'light' has a different requirement to be called 'light'. Plus there is leeway in terms of the calories that the label says the food has. A low fat yogurt for example can have 25 calories more or less than what is stated on the label. I also love the labels that say 'sweetened with fructose'. Sugar basically. Or when the ingredient list says 'natural flavour' but it's really monosodium glutamate. Which has other names I believe. It's scary that this does not stop me from eating
post #41 of 97
Human food labeling is just as deceptive as pet food labeling. A food can be labeled as 'whole grain' even though the grains are not whole grains. Have you looked at how fast food restaurants produce their hamburgers? Did you know the fat content of food can is listed one way when the calories are determined another way so that when you look at 'calories from fat', it is not an accurate calculation of how much fat is actually in a serving? Pressed oils all clog arteries, it's the food industry that has convinced you that olive oils are better than vegetable oils, when in fact, they are all pure fat, even olive oil. 'Fat Free' cooking sprays are only 'Fat Free' when you spray once for 1/3 of a second....take a look at a can of Pam, there are 700 servings in that can....when was the last time you got 700 uses out of a can of Pam?

The foods humans eat are making them fat and sick. Low fat isn't really low fat. Whole grains aren't really whole grains all the time. People are just as uneducated about their own diets as they are their pets diet. If we don't care about what we are putting into our own bodies enough to educate ourselves on how to read OUR labels, why do we think 95% of the population cares about what they are putting into their pet's diet enough to read their labels? McDonalds doesn't even use real meat (they had to stop using the pink paste), but people are still waiting in line to eat a McDonalds hamburger. Do you really think they are thinking through the content of their cats food?

I love my animals and feed them the best diet I can based on research. I am part of 1% of the population that does this or even cares to do this. I am now a very small part of the population that eats a plant based diet for myself once I educated myself on labels and the food industry. I'm sorry to say but processed human food and fast food and meat quality humans eat is deplorable. Every day, animals are mutilated, over-crowded, diseased and producing food for humans. If the egg you had for breakfast wasn't taken out of your own coup this morning, the conditions it was laid in were terrible. If the hamburger you ate last night came from the cow you allowed to roam on your propery until mature and then slaughtered in your own slaughterhouse, then the cow it was produced from suffered long and hard to provide you with your dinner.

The food industry is nasty. What goes into pet and human food is horrible. But, it's not the FDA or USDA or AAFCO's responsibility to do this for us, it's our responsibility to understand, educate and make informed decisions. We live in a 'special interest' group world, those are the people you should be writing, the ones that actually make the products. The regulatory agencies are merely implementing the laws, it's the special interest and our government that make the laws.

But, I maintain, as long as McDonalds is soaking meat In nasty chemicals to make it edible and people STILL stand in line for it, getting better pet food is only a small, small part of our problem.
post #42 of 97
Thread Starter 

I totally understand the arguments against telling the FDA pet food labels need to change. It has always been more obvious for human foods. But if you want to explain your reasons for being a vegetarian, I would prefer to discuss them in the IMO forum because the rest of this board is just about cats. Facts and opinions about the human food chain have nothing to do with pet food labeling, so getting past that is straying from the topic, which is feline nutrition.

 

Now I can change the addressee to the AAFCO and delete the paragraph about melamine poisoning recalls, which would increase my chances of being listened to. I am not going to rush writing this letter. I will make sure the right person reads it.

post #43 of 97
Thread Starter 

OK, I changed to address the AAFCO. It goes straight to the point quicker.

 

     I respect the AAFCO’s willingness to try to ensure all pets in America are fed healthy and safe foods. However, I have major concerns about how this is done. Many animal lovers strongly agree the AAFCO, despite the fact its job is to guarantee health and safety of all pet foods on the market, has only caused a lot of harm by failing to stop and prevent terrible practices in pet food production and labeling.

     I apologize for offending you if any of my statements seem to be inflammatory. Such statements only are made because thousands of animal lovers are very passionate about these issues. If there were no proven facts to back up my statements, I would not complain about anything.

     There are two major problems with pet food: production and labeling. Together, they make cats and dogs everywhere suffer in a variety of ways unnecessarily, often resulting in premature deaths.

 

My next step is do research on the subject.

post #44 of 97
I would most definitely be willing to send a letter to the AAFCO as well, Emily. The pet food industry is really driving me up the wall lately.
post #45 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by EmilyMayWilcha View Post

OK, I changed to address the AAFCO. It goes straight to the point quicker.
 

My next step is do research on the subject.
Emily, the AAFCO is only responsible for the labeling though.... The FDA is responsible for ensuring the safety our pet foods..... Also, the FDA acts on a Federal level, the AAFCO acts more on a State level.... I would get that right on your letter before sending it out.....
post #46 of 97
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carolina View Post

Emily, the AAFCO is only responsible for the labeling though.The FDA is responsible for ensuring the safety our pet foods. Also, the FDA acts on a federal level, the AAFCO acts more on a state level. I would get that right on your letter before sending it out.

I can send one to the FDA for my production concerns and other to the AAFCO for my labeling concerns if that would work better.

 

What do you mean "works more on a state level"? The AAFCO is a national organization.

post #47 of 97
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittylover23 View Post

I would most definitely be willing to send a letter to the AAFCO as well, Emily. The pet food industry is really driving me up the wall lately.

It drives all BARF feeders up to the ceiling for sure. Who would have guessed the AAFCO is to blame for many indoor cats suffering diseases like cancer and diabetes just because their owners had no idea there was only 3% chicken in the can?

post #48 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by EmilyMayWilcha View Post

I can send one to the FDA for my production concerns and other to the AAFCO for my labeling concerns if that would work better.

What do you mean "works more on a state level"? The AAFCO is a national organization.
Yes, but some States have different regulations, and that is with the AAFCO, not with the FDA, when the labeling is concerned.
As I Already had quoted, according to the FDA:
Quote:
Some states also enforce their own labeling regulations. Many of these regulations are based on a model provided by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). For more information about AAFCO,disclaimer icon please visit its website. For more information about labeling requirements, see Pet Food Labels - General.

And:
Quote:
Several different groups at various levels of authority regulate pet food. Pet food is regulated by the FDA at the federal level under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. More specifically, within the FDA, the Center for Veterinary Medicine regulates “animal drugs, animal feeds, food additives and ingredients.” A non-governmental organization, the Association of American Feed Control Officials, sets nutritional standards, label requirements, and feeding trial protocols for pet foods. Additionally, each state may have its own animal feed regulatory agency which regulate pet foods sold or manufactured within their state.http://leda.law.harvard.edu/leda/data/784/Patrick06.html

For Example:
Quote:
D. State Regulation

Each state, if it so chooses, has the power to enact its own regulation regime for pet food manufacturing in the form of Feed Control Laws, Food and Drug Acts, and Weights and Measures Acts.[100] If in place, such regulations apply to all foods sold or manufactured within the state. This includes foods sold in veterinary offices, feed stores and grocery stores.[101] Many states simply adopt the AAFCO regulations in their entirety.[102] Other states adopt parts of the AAFCO regulations while also enacting their own pet food regulations for labeling and ingredients. Massachusetts, for instance, adopted the AAFCO ingredient definitions in their entirety but enacted its own separate regulations for pet foods which contain some distinctions from AAFCO.[103] For example, the Massachusetts pet food regulations require that the labels of pet foods prominently display the words “Dog Food” or “Cat Food,”[104] but until recently the AAFCO regulations proposed no such requirement. Massachusetts also requires that all manufacturers register with the Department of Food and Agriculture prior to distributing commercial pet foods within the Commonwealth.[105] The Massachusetts regulations are fairly comprehensive and comparable to those of AAFCO, but not all states have been so diligent. At least Florida, Alaska and Nevada have no pet food regulations at all.[106] Some states without specific pet food regulations consider pet food to fall within their general animal feed regulations. [107]http://leda.law.harvard.edu/leda/data/784/Patrick06.html

Emily, have you Read this paper yet? I posted several times, please read it :http://leda.law.harvard.edu/leda/data/784/Patrick06.html
post #49 of 97
My point in mentioning some of the human food industry's faults, was in response to your apparent belief that it is the gold standard. It is only a bit better than the pet food industry. I am not against you writing the Aafco! I rather applaud you for it. But I think that believing that the human food industry's mission to make us all healthy is evidence that you have been misled. As RAFM said, the misgivings of the pet food industry is but a tiny fraction of the problem.

Ok so now back to the original topic...
post #50 of 97
The deception is immediately apparent, look at the front of the labels! Pictures of whole chickens, fruits and veggies, with happy animals prancing around in fields. "The potatoes in this cat food are a great source of fiber for cats!" What malarkey! The deception just oozes out of the labels.

Something else I think everyone is forgetting is that labels only have to list minimums and maximums, not actual percentages (which you have to email the manufacturers to actually find out), and actual percentages can be Way different than what's on the label. Also, when a formula changes, the manufacturer has usually several months before they even have to change the label.
post #51 of 97
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetPea24 View Post

My point in mentioning some of the human food industry's faults, was in response to your apparent belief that it is the gold standard. It is only a bit better than the pet food industry. I am not against you writing the AAFCO! I rather applaud you for it. But I think that believing that the human food industry's mission to make us all healthy is evidence that you have been misled. As RAFM said, the misgivings of the pet food industry is but a tiny fraction of the problem.
Ok so now back to the original topic...

I was not trying to imply that in any way. There was a misunderstanding. The reason I seem to express it is worse for pet food is all pet foods, no matter who makes them or what kind of pet they are for, have this problem. Therefore we can't just say, "This food is bad, so I will try that." Trying a different food is feeding a cat something that is not as bad, not changing from bad to good, unless you switch from cooked to raw. If I want to switch from bad to good, I can do that without just eating raw food my whole life.

post #52 of 97
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Minka View Post

The deception is immediately apparent, look at the front of the labels! Pictures of whole chickens, fruits and veggies, with happy animals prancing around in fields. "The potatoes in this cat food are a great source of fiber for cats!" What malarkey! The deception just oozes out of the labels.
Something else I think everyone is forgetting is that labels only have to list minimums and maximums, not actual percentages (which you have to email the manufacturers to actually find out), and actual percentages can be Way different than what's on the label. Also, when a formula changes, the manufacturer has usually several months before they even have to change the label.

What makes me even angrier is "complete and balanced."  LDG started a 6-page thread about that crap.

 

And what about "recommended by veterinarians"? I bet those vets are people who earn commissions for selling that company's food even if it is not what they want their patients to eat.

post #53 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carolina View Post


So, you don't think it is deceptive how the labeling and marketing of "Chicken Cat Food" "Chicken Formula Cat Food" "Chicken Dinner for Cats" and "Cat food with Chicken" when they are side by side on the shelves? You don't think the rules used in labeling/naming those foods are used in any way shape or form to confuse the consumer and sell food in a deceptive manner?
Let's remember that not everyone is on TCS..... And when those cans are on the same shelf, all with pretty darn similar name, the customer thinks they are buying cat food made of chicken.... All the while you have 95% chicken, 25% and 3% chicken in there. The rest is fillers.

 

I've been following this thread a bit.  I think deceptive is the wrong term to use here but that is just my opinion.  What does the "name" of the food have to do with the labeling of the ingredients?  Why on earth would you care what the name of the can of food is?  It's like saying the Banquet Hungry Man Dinners is deceptive or the "Jumbo" sized hot dog labeling is deceptive.  Maybe I don't understand what point you are trying to make.  To me labeling and marketing are 2 completely different issues. 

post #54 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by EmilyMayWilcha View Post

OK, here is the run-up to my complaints about how commercial pet food is produced. Does it look accurate?

 

#4 should be reworded.  Emily, I truly admire this passionate endeavor you have undertaken.  This is just a suggestion to help your letter get to an actual person that will read it instead of being put in a pile somewhere and ignored.  Do more research on the message you are actually trying to convey.  Be specific and cite sources of your research.  Learn the difference between labeling and marketing.  They are 2 completely different ball games and there are several different agencies that will deal with marketing complaints vs labeling complaints.  Using the word deceptive will most likely not get you anywhere when it comes to labeling.  You may want to go more on the lines of something like "vague" or some word which implies the same thing.  Deceptive implies a deliberate attempt to mislead and or defraud a consumer in my opinion.  Not being critical here, trying to help.

post #55 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by NutroMike View Post

I've been following this thread a bit.  I think deceptive is the wrong term to use here but that is just my opinion.  What does the "name" of the food have to do with the labeling of the ingredients?  Why on earth would you care what the name of the can of food is?  It's like saying the Banquet Hungry Man Dinners is deceptive or the "Jumbo" sized hot dog labeling is deceptive.  Maybe I don't understand what point you are trying to make.  To me labeling and marketing are 2 completely different issues. 
Mike, because implies the food is chicken (or beef, or tuna, or whatever protein they are marketing) , when it isn't - when some have only 3% of chicken (or said protein) in it..... That to me is being deceptive. Specially when the 95%,25% and 3% rules make it possible to label the food so closely. I am sorry, but I do think to say "Why on earth would you care what the name of the can of food is?" is an attitude that is completely off here IMHO - if the food says chicken in it, it is giving the understanding that the food is made of chicken..... Then the majority of it is meat by-products, corn, flour, and 3% is chicken? Sorry, if you don't care, I am sure plenty do.

Furthermore..... If you got that same banquet Hungry Dinner - one that said "Chicken Dinner" on it, and took a bite only to find out that was a big mess of meat by-products or spam..... How would you like that? Would you care? I bet you would.
Edited by Carolina - 7/1/12 at 12:36am
post #56 of 97
Here is what you get with a Hungry Man Chicken Dinner: http://caloriecount.about.com/calories-swanson-hungry-man-dinner-classic-i115930

I would say the labeling is misleading on the chicken dinner.....you are not getting protein, you are getting fat and carbs. And this is my point, just as mentioned above, human food labeling and quality is only minusculey better than pet foods For me, getting all fired up about this for animals, not understanding the complexities and wanting to write a letter without understanding what each governing body does and how they do it will get Emily nowhere fast. There are people that have dedicated their lives to improving food labels for humans and yet we continue to see deceptive marketing. If Emily really wanted to make a difference, start at the local level, start with volunteering at a shelter and consulting with adopters on pet nutrition. If you want to see big changes, start with small steps, understand where your voice will be heard the loudest and above all else, make sure the voice is accurate. Yes, writing letters to all these agencies sounds exciting but if that is all that is done, what has really been done?

Emily, I realize this is all very frustrating and upsetting to you but step back and take a couple of months to research the problem, understand what is all involved, who is involved and what their level of involvement is. There are numerous researchers, nutritionist and pet-centric scientist that have already spent years and millions of dollars researching and understanding, learn from them, put together a solid letter filled with facts targeted at each individual agency and you will see a much better return on your time investment than you will by simply firing off a half-cocked letter filled with emotions.
post #57 of 97
Thread Starter 

RAFM, I guess you missed the part where I said I will do a lot of research. The books Feed Your Pet Right and Not Fit For A Dog! are in my Amazon shopping cart for this purpose. I also have nutrition sites on my AOL Favorites list that were linked here, including the Harvard paper Carolina quoted, and copied a lot of posts on the subject to emails. So I am definitely prepared to learn everything about the crap called pet food labeling.

post #58 of 97
Thread Starter 

Does this look better?

 

     I respect the AAFCO’s willingness to try to ensure all pets in America are fed healthy and safe foods. However, I have major concerns about how this is done. Many animal lovers strongly agree the AAFCO, whose job is to ensure pets get everything they need and nothing they don’t, does more harm than good.

     I apologize if any of my statements berate or offend you or seem to be inflammatory. They should be taken as a display of how passionate I am about improving the health of cats and dogs everywhere.

     To be clear, I understand not enough is known about nutrition for any kind of food to be perfect. That is not an excuse, however, for intentionally misleading caring pet owners to make them believe they feed a perfect diet to their cats and dogs. If you really care about cats and dogs, you have no reason not to do whatever it takes to make sure they are eating the right foods every day.

     I am not accusing anyone of lying or trying to cause illness. Instead, my complaint is your rules for all pet food labeling directly or indirectly cause many cats and dogs to suffer and sometimes die of diseases by eating nothing but junk food their whole lives. Proven facts learned through scientific research, not my personal experiences alone, back up this complaint. Let me explain further in detail.

 

I tried to make sure the reader is interested in reading the whole letter and don't know how I can do that better than this.

post #59 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by NutroMike View Post

I've been following this thread a bit.  I think deceptive is the wrong term to use here but that is just my opinion.  What does the "name" of the food have to do with the labeling of the ingredients?  Why on earth would you care what the name of the can of food is?  It's like saying the Banquet Hungry Man Dinners is deceptive or the "Jumbo" sized hot dog labeling is deceptive.  Maybe I don't understand what point you are trying to make.  To me labeling and marketing are 2 completely different issues. 

Mike, maybe you're not aware of the pet food labeling regulations? dontknow.gif

Chicken Cat food. A food with this label means that at least 95% of the product consist of the named ingredient (not counting water added for processing).


Chicken Dinner. A food with this label means that just 25% of the product consist of the named ingredient.


Chicken Formula with chicken. A food using "with" means that just 3% of the product consist of the named ingredient.


If a consumer doesn't know this (and who does? dontknow.gif ) do they think there's a difference? They think they're getting a chicken cat food.
post #60 of 97
Thread Starter 

And that is justs the beginning. Equally deceptive is the word chicken itself: the AAFCO never said it must be the muscle meat.

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