Thursday, May 17, 2007

My letter to Mr. Durbin

Dear Mr. Durbin, Thank you so much for your focus and sense of urgency when it comes to pet food safety. As an owner of three dogs and an owner of a pet care business, I take pet nutrition very seriously. I am very thankful for the steps you have taken to ensure the health and well being of the four footed creatures we love so much. However, if I may suggest, I would like to see you take the following steps. There is a dire need for stricter laws regulating the labeling of pet food. Currently, a dog or cat food can label itself as a lamb and rice diet, even if those ingredient aren't prominent by weight. Take for example Pedigree lamb and rice formula. I had a client purchase this for a dog that was diagnosed as allergic by her vet. The vet suggested steering clear of beef and chicken. My client bought this product believing that lamb was the only meat source. Hardly so. Corn is the primary ingredient by weight, followed by chicken. Lamb and rice were by weight, if memory serves correctly, 6th and 7th on the list by weight. This is very misleading to consumers and can cause serious consequences in the case of serious allergies. Secondly, I would strongly encourage you to lobby that pet food manufacturers must; in addition to ingredient lists, which are currently listed by weight, offer nutritional facts to the consumer which would include by percentage protein, carbohydrates, sodium, minerals and calories. This would enable consumers to make enformed decisions. I would further request that both the FDA and pet food manufacterers be required to post, preferably on the package, an explanation of what some of the ingredients are. By product meal, digest and the like mean nothing to the average consumer. If they knew what these terms actually meant, they might think twice. There have been cases where common commercial dog foods have been sprayed kibble, after extrusion, with drugs commonly used in anethesia for human and animal surgery. The reason simply, it tastes sweet to the dog. Well so does anti freeze, but I would balk before I fed that to one of my dear ones. Again thank you for the steps you have taken and hope you will consider taking further steps in protecting pets and their humans. Sincerely, Margot Hackett Please take the time to contact Senator Durbin with your concerns. He certainly seems to be four foot friendly!!!!

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