There are signs that the federal agency charged with protecting the health of the public and their pets, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is acting in a biased way when reporting on bacterial contamination of pet food at pet shops.
If this is true, is it because they are being lobbied (hassled to put it crudely) by the pet food manufacturers? It wouldn’t surprise me because nowadays there is a lot of information on the internet which explains the ins and outs of cat food. Cat owners are much better informed than they used to be and dry cat food is criticised regularly for its inadequacies.
Obviously the FDA has to act in a completely neutral manner. How else can they do their job properly? But a person ‘in the know’ and with connections within the pet food business, Susan Thixton, states the following:
When FDA representatives go into pet stores to inspect the food they employ sloppy procedures. For example, they reuse sample containers, don’t wear sterile gloves, don’t use a sterile tool to remove a pet food sample and puncture packaging to obtain a sample rather than open the product properly.
Using these apparently sloppy techniques the FDA has come up with a very low incidence of Salmonella contamination of 1 case in 250 samples for dry pet food. In contrast, of 196 raw pet food samples there were 15 positives for Salmonella and 32 positives for Listeria.
These figures are not reflected in pet food recall data for the past five years. For raw food there were 27 recalls for bacteria contamination and for dry pet food the number is 78.
Thixton recommends that pet store owners keep an eye on FDA inspectors the next time they visit their store. If needs must she suggests that the retailers film the activities of the inspectors.
Is something fishy going on? Perhaps I am being too skeptical and the title is deliberately provocative. I don’t trust government agencies. They have power over the success and failure of products and businesses and are therefore open to lobbying and worse by manufacturers. This risk applies to all government agencies.
Associated: Vets underreport to the FDA.