Attendees included professionals working in pet food nutrition, ingredient and processing technologies, packaging, food science, R&D, product development, food safety, QA/QC, purchasing, import/export and regulatory compliance.
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"There is no required testing of product by pet food manufacturers…. Pet food manufacturers are responsible for taking appropriate steps to ensure that the food they produce is safe for consumption and properly labeled," the FDA said in a statement e-mailed to CNBC.
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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates pets food as animal feed—the same regulations for animals produced for meat and eggs—instead of overseeing the sector as it does food for humans. While the FDA has oversight of pet food, they let the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), a private group, set the standards for ingredients and labeling.
Dog Food - Drs. Foster and Smith
This material is slowly pulverized into one big blend of dead stuff and meat packaging. It is then transferred into a vat where it is heated for hours to between 220–270 degrees F. At such high temperatures, the fat and grease float to the top along with any fat-soluble compounds or solids that get mixed up with them. Most viruses and bacteria are killed. The fat can then be skimmed off, packaged, and renamed. Most of this material is called “meat and bone meal.” It can be used in livestock feed, pet food, or fertilizer. It joins that you might prefer not to see in your pet’s food.Many pet food manufacturers, including , say that they are not using rendered pets to make a cannibal of your dog. But how would they really know? There is no simple way to look at a shipment of meat and bone meal and tell exactly what species are in the mix. The protein percentage of a load of cats and dogs looks basically the same as a shipment of carcasses from a poultry farm. The rendering industry even in otherwise highly technical documents.There is essentially no federal enforcement of standards for the contents of pet food. FDA technically has authority, but the agency has passed this off to a set of partnerships and nongovernmental organizations that encourage mostly voluntary compliance with the few federal standards. The Association of American Feed Control Officials takes the lead in setting and maintaining standards, but it conducts no testing of food and has no enforcement authority. In practical terms, regulation of the contents of pet food is largely accomplished by those individual states that bother to get involved. Some states, such as Florida and Nevada, have no regulations at all. Others, such as California, require that rendered pets be labeled as “dry rendered tankage” rather than meat and bone meal. However, even California allows rendered pets to be processed and sold out of state for pet food as meat and bone meal. The city of Los Angeles alone sends about 200 tons of dead pets to a rendering plant each month. There is no inspection of pet food or meat and bone meal shipped in from other states.Given the existence of a food system that produced this much waste, what else should we be doing with all of this excess animal protein? The alternative would probably be to toss this material in landfills. Turning it into pet food is at least a form of recycling.