Anniversary blues: The pet food recall's year-end review
OK, so here’s the obligatory year-end review post on the largest pet food recall in history and what its angry public aftermath ultimately means for you and your pets.
In a couple of words?…not much.
Naughty, nasty companies. Let’s punish ‘em good. Never buy their food again. Make sure they shrivel up and die for what they did to our babies—or might have done.
One year later, though, I’m still asking what my clients are feeding and they’re still rattling off the names of the major manufacturers involved in the recall.
And these are the same folks that reported dutifully for bloodwork in the weeks post-recall…the same clients who researched recipes and turned their kitchens upside-down for a month afterwards…even the ones who swore up and down they’d sue for the stress of it all.
Back to kibbles,…
…pouches and cans of the same old s---.
Is it that we’re so convinced everything’s changed in the wake of the industry’s negative publicity? Chinese official hangings? New laboratory procedures? Indictments?
Call me cynical but in my estimation it’s business as usual for the pet food manufacturers. Why? Because there have been no major developments at the regulatory level when it comes to pet foods.
“The reason is simple: None of the changes that might prevent a repeat have been implemented. Inspections of pet food plants haven't improved; the patchwork of state, federal and industry manufacturing standards and regulations haven't been overhauled; transparency and accountability haven't increased - not even something as simple as printing the name and contact information of the actual manufacturer on pet food labels - and pet food labeling laws haven't been revised. The FDA still does not have mandatory-recall authority.”
Any of last year’s positive changes we’ve observed in how foods are labeled, tested and manufactured have been voluntary on the part of the pet food companies. And how long will that last? At least until public scrutiny of our pet food’s safety dies down.
And that’s what really scares me. Based on my clients’ attitudes consumer apathy has been in full swing as of a few months ago.
So what does this mean for the safety of our pet food? Unless we can pull our heads up out of the cozy, kibble-lined hole we like to hide in, it’s back to the same old blind-eyed ways for the corner-cutting multinationals feeding most of our pets.
…until the FDA bucks up and convenes the blue-ribbon panel it’s been promising us. ‘Till then I’ll just keep holding my breath. Promise me you’ll pick me up off the floor if anything ever comes of it.