PET FOOD FRAUD
Re-labeling condemned foods is a multi-billion dollar dog food fraud that could kill your pet and destroy legitimate American pet food companies.
July 27, 2009
Nel Liquorman, Health Editor
We have uncovered well-known pet food brands in plentiful supply at closeout and salvage locations and due to recycling fraud, they could be on your grocer’s shelves. Even major dog food brands are under heavy scrutiny so regard unusual discounts and new brands with suspicion. Learn how to protect your pets.
In addition to putting your pet at great risk, pet food fraud could further challenge our failing economy. In the past, we have seen taxpayers stuck with the bills for cleaning up toxic waste. This could happen again due to poorly monitored recycling of condemned or recalled dog food.
When contaminated food products are recalled, how are they disposed of and who pays for it? Our ongoing investigation reveals more than one disturbing answer.
The health and safety of their pets are of great concern to owners who pumped more than $42 billion into the pet supplies economy last year. Fraud of such gigantic proportions is not something mainstream media can afford to overlook. The Dog Press has respectfully passed this information on to the Fox Network whose reputation for fearless investigative reporting is unmatched in the industry.
A new Regulatory Czar was just announced by President Obama. He is none other than Animal Rights advocate Cass Sunstein who thinks animals should be able to sue their owners. What effect will his Regulatory Post have on the pet food industry?
According to the American Medical Veterinary Assoc. there are more than 282 million pets in America, owned by nearly 60% of the population. Imagine the staggering economic ramifications if major pet food producers were added to the list of failed American corporations. Would the government subsidize them?
In April, 300 pound barrels of pet food showed up for sale via the internet. They were marketed as a well known brand name dog food. Pictures on the site showed a blue barrel with the lid off, displaying the pet food contents. Five other barrels that did not appear to be sealed were visible in the photo but there were no labels. The product was being offered by a dog breeder located in California and the ad ran for only 59 days, leaving us to wonder if they finally sold out.
A Washington DC area ad on the same site has been running since May 4th. The picture also shows an open barrel of dry food in addition to a pallet of large dog food bags with the labeled sides visible. The photo is a bit out of focus but the bags bear the name of a well-known dog food.
Even popular sites such as Craiglists and Pennysavers were used to sell the suspect pet foods and bloggers passed the information along to others.
We uncovered one closeout/salvage site that offers pallets of cat and dog food, dry and wet, for resale. Products are national name brands and store labeled brands. Warehouses appear to be in Florida and Connecticut, but goods are shipped F.O.B. Pennsylvania. They also referred to “new” pet foods at a higher price located in Texas and California.
This could be recycled pet foods or a closeout of brand name products but how can we be sure? They appear to have abundant stock so it is unlikely to be a manufacturer closeout. The site sells many types of goods including flea market items and dollar store items, typical of goods from China.
This seems like an unlikely place for grocery or pet food stores to purchase inventory. Large supplies of branded dog food sold through wholesale internet sites should raise a red flag for every pet food producer in the USA, unless of course, they are complicit in cost-management dumping of condemned cat and dog foods.
Fortunately, several bogus websites selling well known pet food brands have been recently disabled, so it appears that the manufacturers are shutting them down. Even so, the sheer number of brands suggests that there is a large and prosperous ring of counterfeiters.
The International Chamber of Commerce Counterfeit Intelligence Bureau
http://counterfeiting.unicri.it/docs/Protecting%20the%20World%20against%20the%20Plague%20of%20Counterfeiting.IACD.2008.pdf is proof that corporations are aware of this deadly trade.
There is no way to know whether these pet foods are from a recall or recycling program or the result of someone churning out counterfeit dog and cat food. If counterfeit, they are doing a good job of copying name brand labels and package designs, as in the counterfeit dog food case we reported earlier this year. How do we know the brands we trust are legitimate and safe to use if as reported, they could actually be coming from anywhere around the globe?
As with children, pets are seen as helpless and voiceless but we are a nation of pet lovers. Pet food manufacturers are at risk of getting their DOORS SUED SHUT unless steps are taken to prevent recalled cat and dog food from falling into the hands of counterfeiters.
Consumers want and deserve honest answers regarding disposal of recalled products. We already reported condemned ii dog food sold to pig farmers, thus entering the human food chain. Having uncovered this risk to pet health, The Dog Press raises the obvious question of quality control in human food products.
Pet Food Protection: Owners must source their supplier. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Your retailer should know or find out the answers. Pet food should come direct from the manufacturer with as few side trips as possible. For dry foods, compare the last product fed to its new counterpart. Pour it into a clear plastic container so you can see the product from the top and bottom. Examine it carefully. Check for signs of mold or bugs. If it does not look right or smell right, or seems to be a strange color, don’t feed it to your pet. Check canned and frozen pet foods for color and smell and try to determine if it looks like what you have previously fed to your pet. Avoid brands that are frequently in the news or have generated frequent complaints on the internet. Never buy dry food in torn bags.
TheDogPress has discovered that some retail stores are selling dry pet food by the pound. This indicates packages were torn open, thus there is no expiration date, no sanitation control, and certainly no assurance that it is the brand the seller says it is. Don’t forget the open barrels or pallets of pet food advertised by what appears to be counterfeit dog food wholesalers, or the closeout liquidators that sell to places like small stores or flea market traders.
Pass up such dog food bargains no matter how good a deal it seems to be. It is a risky way to purchase pet food, plus you cannot trace it back to the manufacturer if your pet gets sick.
Counterfeit recalled and condemned pet food is a reality but as an informed and wise buyer, you can keep your pet alive and well.
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