FDA Proposes Safety Rules for Pet Food

Monday, October 28, 2013

FDA Proposes Safety Rules for Pet Food

The Food and Drug Administration is acting to protect the country’s animals from food-borne illness by regulating the process by which animal feed and pet food is produced.

The action comes on the heels of the news last week that the FDA is seeking the public’s help in pinpointing the source of an illness that has claimed the lives of 580 pets and sickened over 3,000 since 2007.

The illness, which Pet360 reported on last week, appears to come from tainted jerky treats, many of which were manufactured in China.

The new regulations, the first of its kind for the FDA, would require makers of animal feed and pet food to write a plan to prevent known food-borne illnesses, as well as enacting procedures in their manufacturing processes where problems might arise.

Animal feed and pet food manufacturers, for example, would be required to monitor and record at what temperatures their canned foods are produced and how long they are cooked.

These rules are being proposed six years after the largest pet food recall in the history of the U.S., which killed hundreds of animals. That recall was linked to melamine, found in plastics, that was used in dog food produced in China.

That outbreak led to the FDA adding animal food to the Food Safety and Modernization Act, which passed in 2010 and helped further regulate food imports, as well as processed foods. Now this additional step the FDA is taking will help protect livestock and our pets, too.

“We know from experience that when the system doesn’t deliver, people get irate,” Michael R. Taylor, deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine told The New York Times. “It’s all about having a systematic plan to make the food safe.”    

I believe it’s about time the FDA did something to further regulate the food given to animals. It is a matter of public safety for both people and animals. For our pets, it’s a matter of what to feed a member of our family.

The pet food industry needs to do more to rebuild our trust and the government needs to do more to ensure the safety of our food supply for us and our pets.

Image: Milles Away/via Shutterstock

Do you think the pet food industry needs more oversight?