Ingredients present in the pet food you may have been feeding your dog might surprise you. If you have a Pit Bull, then you will need to buy dog food at some point. When any parent buys food for their children, four-legged or two, they expect the food to be safe. It is not the parent’s job to inspect where or how the food is processed or what is in it. We have agencies for that and it is their responsibility to ensure that the food we buy is safe for consumption.
Reading the Label Only Works When What is on it is Factual
However, in Cleveland, Ohio, there is an ongoing investigation into the ingredients being used to make dog food. This investigation could have widespread ramifications that could reverberate from coast to coast.
FOX 8 News of Cleveland, Ohio, is investigating a little known Ohio law with a shocking truth: deceased animals, including your dog or cat, can legally be used in pet food.
It has long been known that many of the companies who produce dog food were profit first companies. This was limited to the lesser known brands either. There have been numerous dog food recalls due to additives used in the production of dog food.
Additives like Propylene glycol and Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), which are known carcinogens, have been found some dog foods. These types of additives have been scientifically proven to cause cancer and other health issues in lab animals.
How Far Can Greed Take You?
DanaMarie Pannella is an associate attorney with Holland and Muirden, a firm seeking and advocating for better protection of animals.
“We get lots of calls claiming that pet food has either injured or killed their pet,” said Pannella.
Ohio Revised Code (ORC) 941.14 refers to the disposal of dead or destroyed animals. It lists legal ways to discard deceased animals including burial.
Is There a Limit to How Far a Company Will Go to Increase Their Profit?
In November 2017, FOX 8 reported how many of those dead animals end up in landfills.
“It’s legal to dispose of animals as raw rendering material and what that means is it’s meat unfit for human consumption,” said Panella.
“That material is legally allowed to be sold to dog kennels and pet food manufacturing facilities, so essentially your dog and cat could be eating euthanized dogs and cats.”
Loopholes and Interpretation Appear to be the Name of the Game
According to ORC 953.26, pertaining to the processing of animal parts and by-products regulates the sale and transfer of, raw rendering material, which is unfit for human consumption. The law allows the sale of raw rendering material to pet food manufacturers and others.
A spokesperson with the Ohio Department of Agriculture told FOX 8, officials who vet rendering facilities say euthanized pets are not in pet food, based on inspections they conduct.
Notice the way the question was answered: “Based on inspections they conduct”, is a statement that could be true and yet what types of inspections and procedures taken are not disclosed.
So, is This a Mere Speculation or Cause for Alarm?
If what is speculated is true, is it that they do not care or is it that the bottom line is the only thing that matters?
Christine McCoy is the owner of the Natural Pet Enrichment Center in North Royalton and says she holds the food in her store to the highest of standards.
“Diseased, dying, disabled and dead — those are the four Ds that can be put in pet foods today,” said McCoy.
How Widespread is This, if it is True?
A Report from Fox 8 state that the documents obtained from the Ohio Department of Agriculture show some of the companies licensed in Ohio to purchase raw rendering material.
According to the information provided, some supply materials for major pet food corporations. A list of materials includes carcasses and other items.
There is a possibility that the effects of this could reach every corner of the country. The sad part about this is, if it is indeed true, who’s to say it isn’t already taking place at other facilities already.
This is Not the First Time a Dog Food Company Has Been Accused of Such Things
If it is not fit for human consumption, shouldn’t those same standards be held for our pets?
Our pets are our family, and as a result, we should ensure they are treated as such. At the moment, these are just accusations, but where there is smoke there is fire.
Even the documents that were discovered or disclosed, were hidden in secrecy as if there was something to hide.
Hopefully, the Truth Will Shed Some Light on This Situation
“The company names were sometimes unclear as to where and how that meat is being collected,” said Pannella. “What is being collected and how it’s being used? Who it’s being sold to?”
“Many pet foods have animal byproducts or animal fat, or rendered products in them,” said McCoy. “It doesn’t describe what the animal is; you have a right to know what you are feeding your pets.”
Ms. McCoy is right and you surely have the right to know what you are feeding your pet.
So, What is the FDA’s View of This Situation?
When asked, an FDA spokesperson sent out this statement:
“The FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) received approximately 8,060 complaints for pet foods (including pet treats), between Jan. 23, 2013 and Jan. 23, 2018. This includes reports received through FDA’s Safety Reporting Portal, as well as through the District Offices and a small number other ways, including our adverse drug event reporting forms.”
“Pet food reports received over the past five years include illnesses and/or product problems without reported illness, such as the presence of foreign material, or mold in the product. Among the wide variety of pet illnesses reported to FDA’s CVM, gastrointestinal signs (such as vomiting and diarrhea) are reported most commonly. In some cases, the product fed may not have been responsible for the reported signs; complaint numbers are provided without the demonstration of a causal association to the reported product.”
Does the FDA Advocate for the Consumer?
According to Pannella, many pet owners do not file complaints with the FDA when their pets get sick because they simply don’t have the information they need.
However, she advises that it starts with saving the bag that your pet food came in.
In addition, she stated that the two things you need to look for are the production code and the barcode. The FDA’s website states the packaging contains important information needed to identify where and when the food was made.
This is an Ongoing Situation With Far Reaching Ramifications
This is something we should all take notice of and act on. I know that at the moment, this is an investigation in Ohio. Keep in mind that they are investigating companies that sell products to companies who are possibly selling products in your state.
It may or may not start in Ohio, but if it is true, it won’t end there.