Unhealthy Food for Dogs – Questions for AAFCO

Unhealthy Food for Dogs – I feel that just about every dog owner who reads this blog wants to feed nutritious, healthy dog food.  The same goes for the cat food of our cats.  But we have all heard horror stories of the ingredients that go into our pet food.

Why does this have to be so difficult?  The FDA tries to assist humans know the quality and nutritional level of the food we eat.  Why are there not proper regulations regarding pet food?

I read an article on unhealthy food for dogs.  It is written by Susan Thixton and is entitled “Our questions to AAFCO.”  Ms. Thixton has been granted a meeting with AAFCO officials.  This article lists the questions she will be asking these officials.

I consider this meeting very important.  We, as pet food consumers, deserve to have the answers to these questions.  These answers must be honest and to the point.

I do not intend to criticize AAFCO at this point.  AAFCO and consumers should be on the same side.  Both should demand clearly worded and defined quality and grade of pet food ingredients on each label.  Then the consumer can make well informed decisions on the pet food to buy.  If they want to buy unhealthy food for dogs, that is their choice.

AAFCO does have enforcement responsibility for state laws and regulations regarding pet food and other animal feed.  They do not have regulatory responsibilities.  They probably hide behind this fact.  However, if AAFCO does not assume the responsibility of providing consumers with the quality and nutrition of dog food and cat food, then why do they even exist?

If they do not give honest and informative answers to these questions, then we have big problems.

Here is a quote from the article:

2.  Most of my questions are specific to pet food, however in regards to all animal feeds – why does AAFCO allow waste ingredients into animal food?  Ingredients such as expired grocery food, poultry litter, rendered euthanized animals.  How can any waste like this be considered nutrition?

4.  Can AAFCO provide consumers with improved ingredient definitions?  For the consumer that does not want waste ingredients to be in their pet’s food – the way things are now, we have to do extensive detective work to learn about our pet food.  AAFCO can keep existing ingredient definitions, but why can’t there be ingredients, as example, a ‘chicken’ ingredient that will assure the consumer the chicken is USDA inspected and approved chicken meat?

5.  With regards to the pet food ingredient poultry, the definition is so broad that a pet food containing a ‘poultry’ ingredient could include bone and skin with virtually no meat.  Does AAFCO have plans to improve this definition?  Health conscious pet owners want to purchase a pet food made with meat, not skin and bone.

6.  Would AAFCO consider requiring country of origin of ingredient information on pet food/treat labels?

7.  Since the 2007 recall, a growing number of pet food consumers have lost faith/trust in pet food regulatory authorities.  How does it make you feel that consumers don’t trust AAFCO and believes AAFCO places the concerns of industry over the health of pets?

8.  I’m sure you are aware, several years ago, past AAFCO President Hersh Pendell did a video interview and told the reporter that euthanized pets could be in the pet food ingredient meat and bone meal.  Are you aware of any pet foods or pet treats that contain ingredients sourced from euthanized dogs and cats?  If through DNA testing, any pet food or pet treat was discovered to contain dog or cat, what action would State Department of Agriculture representatives take?  If you can’t speak for all State Department of Agricultures, what would you do in your state?  According to current AAFCO regulations, are euthanized pets – any euthanized animal – allowed to be the source or part of the source of a pet food ingredient?  Does AAFCO require renderers to follow regulations or procedures to assure no euthanized pet becomes a pet food ingredient?

The entire article can be read here.  As you can see, only a few of the questions are listed.  There are several more.  Ms. Thixton is doing a great job.  So you should read the entire article.

You are probably aware of unhealthy food for dogs and cats.  I highly recommend that you feed only the best quality dog food from a vendor you can trust.  I thank you for your comments.


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