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Don't Think So!

Exposing the Fraud (new! 5/21/08)

FDA "public" meeting - COMMENTS NEEDED by June 13, 2008 (updated 5/14/08)

More Dangerous than the Food?

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Research papers that document illness or death in animals as a result of pet food

Rebuttal to Pet Food Institute's comments by Dr. Hodgkins

Testimony of Dr. Hodgkins to Senate appropriations committee

Misleading or incorrect information by pet food industry

Making pet food


More Dangerous than the Food?

Has the aftermath of the Pet Food Crisis of 2007 not taught us anything in regard to the ingredients in pet foods?
I believe that the following statement and its variations should be removed from all advisory literature, broadcasts and websites (such as the Food and Drug Administration's website):
 "For the appropriate amount and type of food to give your pets, ask/consult your veterinarian"
This "advice" promotes a serious conflict of interest as it does not advise to see a Holistic veterinarian or Nutritional Specialist who would be knowledgeable of nutrition and diet.
Before dismissing, consider: 

  • There are veterinarians in practices which sell and profit from certain pet foods;
  • What foods these are, and the ingredients;
  • The fact that these particular doctors have (or utilize) no formal nutritional training, as they are merely influenced by the companies from which they receive monetary incentives.
"Prescription formulas only available from a veterinarian" which some doctors of medicine are prescribing is NOT medicine; The ingredients listed right on the labels clearly illustrate this fact.

Here are the first/main Ingredients of a food "prescribed" for my family's dog by a veterinary practice which sells it:
Ground Whole Grain Corn, Powdered Cellulose, Peanut Hulls, Chicken by-product Meal, Chicken Liver Flavor, Soybean Meal, Soybean Mill Run, Dried Egg Product, Soybean Oil, Corn Gluten Meal...
Is there a creature or ailment on earth which could, possibly, require a prescription of that?
Benefits?  Nutritional value?   
It's one thing for companies to advertise with heartwarming, convincing commercials, but another thing altogether when somebody in the medical profession, whom we entrust with our pets' health and well-being, is telling us we "should" feed this.
Think about it. Do Opticians sell Big Macs in their lobbies and prescribe us low-grade diet pills at inflated prices because we have Cataracts?
Why is a doctor of medicine even "prescribing" and "advising" something which is, clearly, not medicine?
Veterinarians are retained by pet owners because we trust them with the health and well-being of our pets, are they not?  
This especially came into doubt  -- regarding just a percentage  -- with the pet food catastrophe. How many people were rushing their suddenly sick pets which were eating "prescription formulas" back to vets who had sold it to them? Could a vet actually blame the food they sold? Did they? Can they now, even after pets have died and the owners are suing the manufacturer of these foods?  And what if the pet's allergic to corn and soy?
The Big Question: How many clients paid the manufacturers of these foods for their trusted advice and guidance? (Just see various online message forums for samples of distressed pet owners during the recalls which strongly indicate what appears to be a fatal -- and excessively costly -- conflict of interest.
Many more examples: )
Felines are an obligate Carnivorous species, yet check out the ingredients in the cat foods. And how many owners are aware that these animals are not exactly engineered by nature to digest the dry food, and that a diabetic cat's demise can be accelerated on such dry food diets? All this can be easily confirmed and verified by Feline Specialists who would NOT have a conflict of interest selling said foods.

Dr. Elizabeth Hodgkins -

Dr. Lisa Pierson -
With all the fancy advertising and appealing labels, it's quite the challenge trying to persuade my own relatives to feed some of the many healthy alternatives available. Virtually impossible, however, swimming upstream against that statement/advice being issued, uttered, posted or printed almost anywhere pet food is mentioned.
Incidentally, my own dog's chronic ear infections have magically disappeared since he's been eating foods which actually contain ingredients nutritionally beneficial to a canine. No more expensive visits and ear drugs for him!
Whether or not it is a conflict of interest for veterinarians to be selling this food can be debated (as it's a big source of income for them).
But to be advised by trusted and influential sources to consult a veterinarian -- whose job is to medically diagnose and treat--  regarding food is another thing. As the ingredients listed right on the labels will attest, many have (obviously) not formally studied or trained in regard to nutrition and diet. Am I wrong to request that such advice should be removed  from any FDA literature or websites, as well as, all other advisories issued?
-D.M. McGowan


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