This month marks the ten year anniversary of the 2007 pet food poisoning… the largest product recall in American history, and the cause of my Ollie’s death.
The FDA estimates roughly 8,500 American pets were killed, and the Banfield Veterinarian Clinic puts the likely total much higher. Many thousands more suffered varying levels of kidney damage and lived shortened, compromised lives.
The US government took swift action to enact laws designed to prevent a recurrence of this slaughter of our pets via the food we lovingly, naively purchased for them. But are they actually safer today?
Sadly, no, they’re not. Susan Thixton, of Truth About Pet Food, discusses the progress – or, more truthfully, the dismal LACK of progress – that has taken place over the last ten years in her article, 10 Years Later, Remember Them.
She also encourages us to take one or more of the following actions. In memory of the innocent and beloved pets who died, let’s ALL act! Take a few minutes this weekend and make at least one of the following communications:
Write an email to your representatives in Washington DC. Example email:
Ten years ago today was day one of the deadliest pet food recall in history. Thousands of pets died, hundreds of thousands of pets suffered permanent kidney damage. Based on that recall, founded on the many lives that were lost in 2007 – Congress promised consumers safety standards would improve through laws of the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act (FDAAA).
We were promised regulations for pet food ingredient standards (Section 1002) – to date we do not have pet food ingredient standards.
We were promised regulations for pet food processing standards (Section 1002) – to date we do not have pet food processing standards.
We were promised regulations for updated standards of pet food labels (Section 1002) – to date we do not have updated pet food labels.
Has Congress, has FDA forgotten those pets that died and suffered in 2007? I haven’t. As my elected representative in Washington DC, I would like your response to why none of this significant pet food safety work has been completed by FDA. We are 7 1/2 years past the deadline.
The requirements of FDAAA need to be completed. Now. Please assure me you will take an active role is pressuring FDA to complete these pet food safety tasks. I await your response.
Pick up the phone and call your representatives in Washington DC. Phone call example script:
My name is ___________ and I would like to register a complaint with the [Senator/Congressman/Congresswoman] regarding FDA not completing requirements of pet food safety. Ten years ago we experienced the deadliest pet food recall in history – thousands of pets died, hundreds of thousands of pets suffered permanent kidney damage. In 2007 Congress wrote the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act requiring FDA to establish pet food ingredient standards, improve pet food ingredient definitions, and update pet food label requirements to give consumers more information. This work was required to be completed by September 2009. But none of it has been completed. In section 1002 of FDAAA, item (a) – tasks 1, 2, and 3 have been ignored. Pets died for those laws. Pets suffered permanent kidney damage for those laws. I expect them to be completed. I am asking your office to personally address this issue with FDA. I would like a response back from your office as to what you have done to assure me these laws – which again, pets died for – will be implemented. Thank you.
[end of example phone script]
And tell the FDA that those pets that died and suffered in 2007 will not be forgotten. Example email to FDA:
Dr. Marcia K. Larkins –
FDA was required to complete by September 2009 several significant updates to pet food – including (but not limited to) establishing pet food ingredient standards and updated pet food labeling laws. This work was required of FDA based on the 2007 pet food recall – the deadliest recall in pet food history. Thousands of pets gave their lives for these laws, these pet food safety updates. Hundreds of thousands more paid for them through permanent kidney damage they suffered with for years.
FDA has NOT established pet food ingredient standards, has NOT updated pet food ingredient definitions, has NOT updated pet food labeling laws giving consumers the information they need to purchase a safe and quality pet food. FDA seems to have forgotten those pets that died in 2007, forgotten the 2009 deadline of FDAAA.
I have not forgotten those pets that died and suffered in 2007. I have not forgotten your deadline. There is no excuse you can give me, give those families that will suffice. I respectfully ask FDA to accomplish what FDAAA required you to accomplish 7 1/2 years ago. Get it done.
Below is the contact information for the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine Ombudsman (individual that handles complaints about the agency).
Marcia K. Larkins, D.V.M. (CVM)
FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine
Remember Ollie. Remember all of those pets that died and suffered 10 years ago. Send your emails, make a few phone calls. Your kitties NEED you to fight for them!