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FDA pushes for pet food regulation

Posted by on Oct. 26, 2013 at 9:46 AM
  • 6 Replies

FDA pushes rules to regulate pet foods


The Food and Drug Administration proposed rules Friday that would govern the production of pet food and farm animal feed for the first time.

The regulation would help prevent food-borne illness in both animals and people, officials at the agency said, as people can become sick from handling contaminated animal food and from touching pets that have eaten it.

The proposal comes six years after the biggest pet food recall in history, when a Chinese producer contaminated dog and cat food with melamine, a compound used in plastics, causing the deaths of animals across the United States.

The public outcry helped lead to the inclusion of animal food in the Food Safety and Modernization Act, a landmark food safety bill that passed with broad support in 2010 and was the first major overhaul of the Food and Drug Administration's food safety laws since the 1930s. It gives the FDA more control over food imports as well as broad new powers to set standards to prevent contamination of produce and processed food.

Jerky treats have also caused pet deaths. Since 2007, the FDA has counted about 580 pet deaths connected to chicken, duck and sweet potato jerky treats, nearly all of which were imported from China. But it is not clear whether the regulations, if passed, could have prevented the deaths because the FDA is not sure yet what the hazard is. The agency had received more than 3,000 complaints about the jerky over five years.

The proposal does not address the use of antibiotics given to animals, sometimes in feed. Public health advocates warn that it is contributing to dangerous levels of antibiotic resistance in humans.

The proposed regulations are open for public comment for 120 days. If passed, they would regulate production of feed for millions of farm animals, including cows, pigs and chickens, as well as pet food.

Much like regulations proposed for human food this year, the rules would require makers of animal food sold in the United States to develop a written plan to prevent food-borne illnesses, such as salmonella, and to put it into effect. Producers would need to install protective procedures at critical times during production where issues are likely to arise.

For example, for canned dog food, producers might have to set up a system to monitor whether the food has been cooked long enough at the right temperature, said Michael R. Taylor, deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine. They would also need to keep records to document it.

"We know from experience that when the system doesn't deliver, people get irate," Mr. Taylor said. "It's all about having a systematic plan to make the food safe."

The rules would also require producers to correct problems that arise and re-evaluate their plans at least every three years. And they would require producers to maintain standards of cleanliness for the facilities and for people who work in them.

by on Oct. 26, 2013 at 9:46 AM
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Replies (1-6):
cjsbmom
by Lois Lane on Oct. 26, 2013 at 9:46 AM
2 moms liked this

I say it's about damn time and I hope this goes through.

T-HoneyLuv
by on Oct. 26, 2013 at 10:29 AM
Me too!


Quoting cjsbmom:

I say it's about damn time and I hope this goes through.


Posted on CafeMom Mobile
KhloesMom2009
by on Oct. 26, 2013 at 10:36 AM

I hope it goes through. We buy organic dog food with the hopes that it truly is more regilated and healthier. We can't be certain, but we hope.

yourspecialkid
by on Oct. 26, 2013 at 11:22 AM

 Wouldn't it just be easier to ban pet food from China?  Why burden American producers with regs and costs (they will pass on to the consumer) when the problem keeps coming from China?

 

 

cjsbmom
by Lois Lane on Oct. 26, 2013 at 1:28 PM


Quoting yourspecialkid:

 Wouldn't it just be easier to ban pet food from China?  Why burden American producers with regs and costs (they will pass on to the consumer) when the problem keeps coming from China?

 

 

Probably. But I doubt that'll happen anytime soon. 

lovinmykiddo07
by Bronze Member on Oct. 26, 2013 at 1:29 PM
Good. Maybe Benrful and other terrible products would get pulled from the shelves. Poor dogs and cats don't deserve to get fed crap.
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