A senator from California and one from Illinois are pushing for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to step up its policies for overseeing the manufacturing of pet foods. In the wake of an important lawsuit that is accusing a major pet food maker of producing dog food that contains dangerous toxins, these members of the senate are looking for change.
Senator Dianne Feinstein, a democrat from California, and Senator Dick Durbin, a democrat from Illinois, sent out a letter last month asking the FDA to investigate the claims of the lawsuit against the Nestlé Purina Pet Care Company, and requiring them to respond with an update on how the organization is implementing laws that require contamination-prevention methods in pet food.
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In the letter they stated that the food safety system, which was developed by the Congress nearly 8 years ago, has not yet been implemented by the FDA. The letter was specifically addressed to Margaret Hamburg, the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration.
The Nestlé Purina Pet Care Company did issue a statement back in February that claimed that the lawsuit was baseless and, that like lots of other social-media driven material, the information contained unsupported, misleading, and false facts.
Frank Lucido, the man that filed the lawsuit, stated that dangerous substances like propylene glycol and mycotoxins were used in one of the brands pet food lines. The lawsuit also documents more than 3,000 online complaints from consumers stating that the dog food made their canines ill as well.
The letter that was sent to the FDA last month stated that neither of the senators had any knowledge of the FDA issuing any warnings, investigations, product recalls, or consumer guidance to address the issue. It also sites legislation that was passed in 2007 in response to thousands of pets dying from pet food that was contaminated.
This legislation required a few changes including improving the regulations for pet food safety, creating an early warning system for contaminated products, strengthening the labeling requirements for pet food companies, and setting standards for how the food is processed as well as standards for the ingredients that the companies use.
In the letter the senators state that most provisions of this law have not yet been met. Now, eight years later, the protections that Congress enacted are still not in place, and America is dealing with another epidemic of tainted pet food.
The senators are pushing for more to be done about this issue so that pet owners do not have to worry about the foods that they are feeding to their pets. They believe it is the right of consumers to be able to trust the information provided on the packaging and the ethics of the company that is producing the food.