US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a federal agency responsible for protecting public health, does not recognize the risk of endotoxins in pet food produced from dead bacteria such as salmonella. The FDA only considers pet food to be adulterated if it contains live salmonella bacteria.
When gram-negative bacteria such as salmonella is killed the dead bacteria produce endotoxins. Salmonella bacteria is acceptable to the FDA provided it is dead but as mentioned dead bacteria can produce toxins which can harm the health of your cat.
Susan Thixton a consumer advocate and an expert on pet food says that endotoxins can cause inflammation and science has linked endotoxins to obesity and diabetes. She stresses that both live and dead salmonella cause health problems in pets but the FDA are apathetic to her pleas.
“Thus, any level of endotoxin can damage the liver. Exposure to endotoxin should be minimized as much as possible.” (Donald R Strombeck, DVM, PhD, Prof Emeritus, University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine)
Apparently dead animals which have not been slaughtered in abattoirs and which are used to manufacture pet food can contain dead salmonella and therefore also endotoxins. The FDA says that these carcasses represent a billion-dollar trade and therefore they cannot be taken out of the pet food process without financial difficulty.
In addition, the FDA says that they need more money from Congress if they are to run research and change policies with respect to dead salmonella causing ill-health in cats and dogs.
Susan provides a counterargument in her video which you can watch below. Susan says:
“the FDA state they will NOT enforce law with pet food”.
The FDA refuse to acknowledge the dangers of endotoxins in pet food despite hard scientific evidence supporting Susan’s claims.
Susan asks consumers to take action. She said that consumers should email the FDA (AskCVM@fda.hhs.gov) and your State Department of Agriculture (https://www.aafco.org/Regulatory) requesting that they establish a “No Significant Risk” level for endotoxins in pet food.
In addition consumers can ask the FDA to supply pet food manufacturers with advice on how to prevent bacterial contamination. Susan wants the FDA to become a proactive agency rather than simply recalling products which are contaminated.
This is an overview and I would urge you to read Susan Thixton’s article on her website for more details.