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$$ & SENSE OF PET FOOD LABELING

 

Center For Veterinary Medicine (CVM) regulations should keep food and supplements safe. FDA should not exist to protect markets for veterinarians and food makers.

 

November 2013 | TheDogPress.com

Nel Liquorman, Health & Nutrition Editor

 

FDA News Release seems to suggest protection for veterinary sales of nutritional products as well as therapeutic diets.

 

FDA Announces Draft Compliance Policy Guide on Labeling and Marketing of Nutritional Products Intended for Use to Diagnose, Cure, Mitigate, Treat or Prevent Disease in Dogs and Cats.

 

“These nutritional products or therapeutic diets are pet foods that are specially formulated to address specific disease conditions (for example urinary tract disease in cats). The products were originally sold through and used under the direction of licensed veterinarians.

 

“Recently, FDA has observed an increase in marketing directly to pet owners over the internet and in supermarkets or pet stores. This shift in marketing directly to pet owners without veterinary direction, concerns FDA because these products are formulated for specific needs and may not be tolerated by all animals.”

 

While we appreciate the FDA and CVM’s attempt to show concern by pointing out that “therapeutic diets” may not be tolerated by all animals, we invite them to take a look at the many formulas of pet foods containing ingredients that are not appropriate for carnivores and are not tolerated by all animals.

 

Farm feed ingredients for ruminants show up in pet foods, along with additives like natural flavor (unknown source?), probiotics (fermentation/ nutraceutials), and rosemary extract (neurotoxin).

 

Soy permeates the supply of foods for dogs and cats, and even our own foods that are frozen, canned, or packaged, despite soy being one of 8 allergens identified by the CDC. When a pet food lists soy meal, soy oil, soy flour, soybean hulls, and SPI (Soy Protein Isolate), you might as well feed your pet a bowl of toxic soybeans!

 

It should be noted that Soybeans were replacement crops for tobacco farmers. We never imagined a food chain full of soy or the impact that it is having on our dogs and cats. {2}

 

Dog owners have complained for years about dog foods that cause rashes, itching, intestinal upset, and stools that look like “cow pies” So, clearly a lot of pet food brands contain ingredients that are not tolerated by all dogs and cats yet these foods are not restricted to veterinarian marketing, nor should they be.

 

When a veterinarian diagnoses a urinary tract problem and prescribes antibiotics over a couple of visits, he may tell a cat owner that the only option left is to cut the male open so he can urinate like a female. Veterinarians do not tell pet owners that there are natural supplements or pet foods that will relieve urinary problems for many cats and dogs.

 

Can an agency such as the FDA or the CVM (Center for Veterinarian Medicine) really be on the side of the consumer when its name indicates that the concern is Veterinarian Medicine?Can an agency such as the Food & Drug Administration or The Center for Veterinarian Medicine really be on the side of the consumer when its name indicates that the concern is drugs and veterinary medicine? The CVM has a staff of veterinarians and now they are attempting to set regulations for natural pet nutritional supplements and dietary food formulas. But wait, unless the dietary formula contains an ingredient from a pharmaceutical manufacturer, it is food!

 

Since they can’t seem to keep pet food safe, do we really want them to have so much control over supplements? They are veterinarians and they are required to follow protocol in order to retain their licenses. And let’s face the fact that it is in their best interest to do things that will not reduce veterinarian income.

 

Such attempts to control the pet food supply and natural pet supplements, while preventing veterinarians from actually using natural remedies, is unfair to vets and pet owners. And, it causes many people to have no faith in veterinarians or the FDA/CVM.

How is it possible that veterinary schools, veterinarians and the FDA do not have a clue that some problems can be cured by simply eliminating whatever causes them? Why won’t most vets (and doctors) admit that many natural remedies work just as often as pharmaceuticals and in many cases without side effects?

Could it be possible that this new FDA/CVM “policy” will be more about preserving income from sales of pet foods and supplements than it is about the protection for consumers and their pets? Do any of our government officials wonder why people are losing faith in veterinarians and the FDA/CVM?

 

Chinese chicken jerky treats have sickened dogs since 2007 and the best the FDA/CVM has done is issue warnings. It has been over 5 years since the problem first surfaced, and these potentially deadly treats are still being imported and sold to consumers. My article regarding the FDA's inspector's report revealed the true poison (industrial grade glycerin) that was killing our dogs. {3} A couple of Senators even called on Dr. Margaret Hamburg, head of the FDA, to give an explanation for the inaction.

 

In this sagging economy consumers cannot afford repeated trips to the veterinarian, nor can we afford pricey prescription foods, especially since we are not convinced that they even work.

 

It is hard to imagine sincere concern from the FDA/CVM when so many readers state that they can’t get a response from manufacturers nor the FDA when they have a pet food or pet drug experience that needs investigating. We are still waiting to hear from them regarding the July 12, 2012 Nature’s Variety News Update that appeared to be a recall that did not involve the FDA.

 

In July of 2012 I wrote to the FDA and to date no one has responded. Then I read in TheDogPress about the questionable connections between USDA’s Tom Vilsak and HSUS {4} (which has its own brand of dog food (reads like bird seed) and I have to wonder who is looking out for consumers and their pets?

 

Related reference information, dig for gold.

{1} Spilling The Beans On Soy; a cheap but risky way to raise protein ratings

{2} Glycerin (industrial waste) poisoning dogs but not recalled

{3} HSUS Political Power In Government Agencies

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