The Romance is Over
Right from a document on the FDA website – confirmation that meat from dead, dying, diseased or disabled animals (4-D) are used in pet food. It is a violation of law that no regulatory authority seems to care about. And no pet food consumer is told about (which pet foods use 4-D meats).
To prevent the spread of Mad Cow Disease, the U.S. government developed law that restricts the use of certain risk materials from being fed to cattle and other animals. Back when these laws were being implemented, FDA issued guidance documents to animal rendering facilities and slaughter facilities. Dr. Jean Hofve found one of these FDA documents titled “Questions and Answers BSE Feed Regulation” and forwarded to me.
The document is set up like a Frequently Asked Questions section for renderers. We can assume that just like FAQ sections on any website, the FDA themselves wrote each question and each response based on what they believed industry would need further explanation on. Pet food consumers concern is Question 35…(bold added)
“Q35. In addition to providing rendered, non-prohibited product for feeding to ruminants, my firm grinds 4-D meat (meat from dead, dying, diseased or disabled animals) primarily for pet food markets. The 4-D meat is usually ground and frozen but not heat processed. What are the clean-out guidelines fro processing these products?”
The FDA’s response to Q35 in this document doesn’t matter. What matters is that 4-D meat in ANY food is a violation of federal law and no federal authority seems to care.
The federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act defines food as: Title 21, Code 321 Definitions; generally “(f) The term “food” means (1) articles used for food or drink for man or other animals.”
And the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act defines an adulterated food as: Title 21, Code 342 “(5) if it is, in whole or in part, the product of a diseased animal or of an animal which has died otherwise than by slaughter”.
4-D animals are not slaughtered. They are animals found dead in the field, feed lot, poultry barn. They are diseased or disabled animals that are euthanized. 4-D animals are a 100% without a doubt violation of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act to be included in any food including pet food.
The inclusion of 4-D meat in pet food is openly discussed and accepted in regulatory circles, but it is NEVER disclosed to the consumer. Never will a pet food consumer find on the pet food or treat label “Ingredients: meat sourced from diseased or disabled animals that were rejected for use in human food.”
The regulatory authorities know 4-D meats are used in pet foods, they probably even know which foods and treats include 4-D meats. And the manufacturers and ingredient suppliers know. But the consumer does not.
Consumers are sold through what AAFCO refers to as “romance copy” – otherwise known as marketing. Pet food romances the money out of our wallets through cute commercials and beautiful images of steak and roasted or grilled chicken on the label. But what is inside that bag or can of pet food displaying images of grilled chicken or choice steaks could be 4-D meat – and no one is going to tell you if it is or isn’t 4-D.
It’s wrong. It’s illegal. Companies are making millions of dollars in profits selling trusting pet food consumers pet food made with illegal 4-D meats and other wastes no animal should consume.
FDA has told me for years, the compliance policies that allow loopholes to federal law for pet foods to use 4-D meats were established because they have no scientific evidence 4-D meats are harmful to pets (no kidding – I’ve been told this many times).
My question to authorities…if regulatory authorities feel so strongly that 4-D meats do not harm any pet…then why not tell the consumer which pet foods or treats contain 4-D meats?
The industry and regulatory authorities wonders why there is such a lack of trust and confidence from consumers. They blame it on us ‘pet food bloggers’ – those trouble makers. The real reason is the industry as a whole doesn’t tell us the truth. The romance is over. Pet food consumers deserve to know what they are buying.