One more confirmation to the horror many of us have suspected for years; an EPA document clearly states Rendering Facilities “obtain animal by-product materials” from “animal shelters.” Along with another EPA report, the evidence is mounting; current pet food regulations must be changed.
No pet lover in their right mind would ever wish to feed their dog or cat ground up dog and cat. But that is exactly what is happening. Deep within the EPA document ‘Emissions Factors and Policy Applications Center, Chapter 9: Food and Agricultural Industries, Section 9.5 Introduction to Animal & Meat Products Preparation’ is the section 9.5.3 Meat Rendering Plants. The truth is crystal clear.
“Meat rendering plants process animal by-product materials for the production of tallow, grease, and high-protein meat and bone meal. Plants that operate in conjunction with animal slaughterhouses or poultry processing plants are called integrated rendering plants. Plants that collect their raw materials from a variety of offsite sources are called independent rendering plants. Independent plants obtain animal by-product materials, including grease, blood, feathers, offal, and entire animal carcasses, from the following sources: butcher shops, supermarkets, restaurants, fast-food chains, poultry processors, slaughterhouses, farms, ranches, feedlots, and animal shelters.”
Since the first public awareness of rendered (cooked) euthanized dogs and cats, the Pet Food Industry has claimed this type of rendered material is not used in pet foods. However, to present day, there is no evidence or regulation to support their claim.
This is simply the most inexcusable horror. If no pet food or pet treat contained ingredients sourced from rendered dogs and cats, pet food regulations would clearly state such ingredients are forbidden. They do not.
In fact, existing pet food ingredient definitions and pet food regulations do NOT allow for pet foods to clearly separate themselves (those using human grade meat from those using rendered euthanized animals). There is no regulatory means for a pet food that does not use ingredients sourced from rendered dogs and cats from pet foods that do use ingredients sourced from rendered dogs and cats.
Why? The only answer could be is those that do use ingredients sourced from rendered dogs and cats don’t want us to know who they are.
Regardless of quality of ingredients (regardless if ingredients are sourced from rendered dogs and cats), existing regulations state the pet food labels must all look the same. Same ‘Premium’ or ‘Healthy’ claim, same ‘AAFCO Nutritionally Balanced’. Again, regardless if the pet food includes meat from the same quality of meat you purchase at the grocery or if the pet food includes meat from rendered dogs and cats, according to existing regulations the pet food label and advertising must all look and appear to be the same. Ridiculous.
The only way pet owners can possibly avoid using pet foods that include ingredients sourced from rendered dogs and cats is to read ingredients. According to FDA testing, “there appear to be associations between rendered or hydrolyzed ingredients and the presence of pentobarbital in dog food.” (Pentobarbital is the drug used to euthanize dogs and cats.) The FDA found the common pet food ingredients Animal Fat, Meat and Bone meal, Beef and Bone meal, and Animal Digest “could include euthanized animals.” http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/CentersOffices/CVM/CVMFOIAElectronicReadingRoom/ucm129134.htm
Because existing pet food regulations and existing pet food ingredient definitions do not allow for grade or quality statements of ingredients, because there is a slew of evidence that clearly shows euthanized dogs and cats are rendered present day, conscientious pet owners must avoid any pet food and treat that contain the ingredients Animal Fat, Meat and Bone meal, Beef and Bone meal, and Animal Digest. Until pet food regulations provide conscientious pet owners with a classification of ‘human grade ingredients’, we have no option but to assume any dog food, cat food, or pet treat that contains Animal Fat, Meat and Bone meal, Beef and Bone meal, and/or Animal Digest does indeed include rendered dogs and cats.
Pet owners MUST be provided with clear and documented evidence to grade or quality of ingredients.
In the EPA document “Development Document for the Proposed Effluent Limitations Guidelines and Standards for the Meat and Poultry Products Industry Point Source Category (40 CFR 432)”…
“Regulations promulgated under the authority of Poultry Products Inspection Act are more specific and require that all carcasses, organs, or other parts of carcasses be condemned, if it is determined on the basis of a sound statistical sample that they are adulterated because of the presence of any biological residue (9 CFR 381.80). Biological residue is defined as any substance, including metabolites, remaining in poultry at the time of slaughter or in any of its tissues after slaughter, as the result of treatment or exposure of the live poultry to a pesticide, organic compound, metallic or inorganic compound, hormone, hormone-like substance, growth promoter, antibiotic, anthelmintic, tranquilizer, or other agent that leaves a residue (9 CFR 381.1).”
Condemned animal carcasses are currently allowed (by FDA compliance policy) to be rendered into pet food and pet treats. They become the pet food ingredients by-product meal, poultry by-product meal, chicken by-product meal, beef by-product meal, meat and bone meal, beef and bone meal, animal fat, and/or animal digest.
“When the solids are disposed of by rendering, the use of organic polymers is preferred to avoid high aluminum or iron concentrations in the rendered product produced.”
As with some pet food manufacturers, not all renderers process horrendous ingredients into pet food ingredients…
“EPA also observed during site visits that some independent renderers reject raw materials that have (1) a pH below 4 SU (with 3 SU being a general cut-off), (2) ferric chloride due to its corrosive nature, and (3) other contamination (e.g., pesticides).”
But…thanks to existing AAFCO regulations (American Association of Feed Control Officials is responsible for all pet food ingredient definitions and for the lack of pet food ingredient grade classification), pet owners are not provided with information of which pet foods use by-products that include contaminants or which pet foods use by-products that are human grade quality internal organs (considered by-product by definition).
So, fine. AAFCO and FDA, you leave us no option. Because you clearly consider the profits of big business to be of more importance than the health of our pets, we have no option but to avoid all pet foods and treats that include any by-product, animal fat, meat and bone meal, beef and bone meal, and animal digest ingredient. Because AAFCO regulations do not provide a clear definition of human grade ingredients, because FDA doesn’t enforce existing Federal laws that should prevent anything less than human grade ingredients into pet food, both organizations further the great divide between pet owners and trust of pet food.
Read the ingredients of every food, treat, or chew you provide your pet. Unless you wish to feed your dog or cat a rendered dog or cat, or unless you wish to feed your pet numerous chemical residue contaminants, avoid pet foods, treats, and chews that contain any of the following ingredients…
By-Products (any variation)
Meat and Bone meal (not meat specific meal such as chicken meal, turkey meal, lamb meal)
Beef and Bone meal
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
Pet Food Safety Advocate
Author, Buyer Beware
Co-Author Dinner PAWsible
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