Your concerns about the pet food crisis are undeniable. Here’s a sampling of what you have to say, comments and questions you asked.
“I emailed several pet food companies concerning a diet for my cat, and never received a response.” E. B., Tigard, OR
“You said pet food companies are forthcoming with nutritional information and my experiences have been drastically different. Although some companies do share information, others play games. They’re not getting back to people. I have two diabetic cats, one insulin dependent and it’s very important for me to be to feed my girls low-carb diets. I have very little faith in the pet food industry, partly due to the fact that so many of these companies act like their nutritional information is top secret.” C. G., Waterford, MI
“I purchased one of the recalled brands (of cat food). Luckily my cats are fine – but they (the pet food company) are in hiding. They don’t answer phone calls or email, and they don’t even have honest and up to date information on their website. This is wrong, and it should be against the law.” S. H., Nashville, TN
I most certainly understand and agree with these sentiments, and empathize with your frustration. In my view, the pet food companies who are the most responsive to the public and the most honest, offering complete availability and transparency will rebound the fastest. If a company doesn’t respond, perhaps you should no longer give them your business.
“I am appalled that we went to a pet superstore several days after the recall – and still saw recalled products.” G. C., Schaumburg, IL.
“I have a friend who doesn’t watch TV and she can’t hear the radio or see a newspaper; she has macular degeneration. And she doesn’t have a computer. She didn’t know about the recall for a week, and even then what good was listing over 90 brand names on an Internet site she can’t see. She went to purchase foods, and she unknowingly re-filled on the recalled foods. Her little pooch is her very best friend. I think this dog gives her something to live for. So, luckily, he’s fine – but something needs to be done for people who can fall through the cracks.” D. H., Ocala, FL
I absolutely agree! If ever a massive recall happens again, I suggested personally to Illinois Senator Dick Durbin of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee that toll free numbers are set up, so people without Internet access have an alternative source for credible information. The Senator himself has suggested one official website, which arguably must be more efficient and user friendly than the current FDA website. I’ve also suggested a law to compel retail outlets to post notices on shelves indicating recalled food, and also compel them to remove recalled items on a timely basis. If you agree, contact your Congressional representative, and also your state Senators.
“Couldn’t there have been a disgruntled employee who decided to screw over the company, and who hates animals. Has this been investigated?????? And if not, why not???????? How do we know this won’t happen again? We’ve love to hear what you have to think.” R. G., Cyberspace
“Don’t you believe this was terrorists who wanted to practice on pets first?” S. G., Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
“(The contamination of pet foods) must be a pre-meditated act, perhaps an un-named animal rights group. It sure does seem the AR groups are having a field day with the pet food recall issue.” B. D., Cyberspace
True enough about the animal rights groups tossing out allegations every which way. Somehow saying that the pet food companies intentionally wanted pets to become ill is as probable as any business wanting to commit suicide. Unfortunately, the pet food industry is likely to take some financial hit. Only time will determine how significant that hit will be. Sorry conspiracy theorists.
If you buy into what the FDA tells us (and I do believe them) about the melamine (the contaminant) imported from China with wheat gluten, the whole contamination effort seems rather too complex to occur on purpose. What’s more, scientists still haven’t exactly figured out why melamine made pets so ill. According to the toxicology textbooks, melamine isn’t supposed to be quite this dangerous. If a person or company had intent to kill animals, it would seem they would have used something with a proven history of being potent.
“My cat is gone forever – so, now what? What happens so the pets didn’t die in vain?” B. S., Chicago
This is the best question, and one I wish I had a perfect answer for. I’m not jumping off the manufactured pet food ship. I do believe (and there’s some data to back me up) that our pets are living longer better lives than ever, and carefully manufactured pet food is one explanation. Having said that, I think Dr. Elizabeth Hodgkins, who spoke at the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on April 12 in Washington D.C. is on to something, calling for essentially the same safety standards for pet foods as we have for our own foods, with better defined proof of specific nutritional claims. I think Senator Durbin is right when he says this contaminated melamine might have just as easily tainted human food, so naturally preventing that from happening is paramount as well.
Most of all, I am so very sorry for your loss, and anyone else reading this who loved a loved one as a result of the pet food tragedy.