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Old February 3rd 04, 11:22 PM
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FACT: What is says on the ingredient list of a bag of pet food might
not even be in the bag. Yes, the association that is supposed to
police your pets food, the AAFCO require manufacturers to meet the
ACTUAL ingredient lists ONLY ONCE every six months. (More on who the
AAFCO in a moment).

The pet food industry has begun to tell us to ignore ingredient lists and
to instead concentrate on the percentages of nutrition listed on a bag.
Percentages are important, but I want to know what exactly is in the
bag today, not just percentages as I would imagine most folks do.
Imagine going to someone's home for dinner. You are served a
gelatinous form. You ask what is on your dinner plate and all they
will tell you is it contains 9% protein and 16% fat. This is
unacceptable for us and it should be unacceptable for our pets too.
All we have now as pet companions in the way of information and
guarantee is actually nothing but industry assurances.

Why even make an ingredient list if it isn't a guarantee of what is
in the bag? And what about the real quality of those ingredients? I
I want to know what is in that bag today, not six months
from now. As consumers what do you have on a label of pet food that
assures you of what you are getting? Percentages according to the pet
food industry. Percentages are not enough!
Enough is enough. We need to start making these companies responsible
for what they produce. The example above is just one of many example
of it's type. It's what normally goes on in the pet food industry.
There are many issues involving pet food that we as consumers have
no control or knowledge of. It's time to change that.

The pet food has slowly changed the primary ingredient of our pet food
from meat to grains. In fact you can take some of today's most
well-known and most expensive bags of cat and dog food and the
ingredient list will be nearly the same as the ingredients in a bag of
chicken feed. The pet food industry has begun a campaign designed
to have you ignore the fact that your pet is being served an expensive
bag of cereal in favor of you simply looking at percentages of fat and
protein. This is wrong.

Pet food companies have increased profits by switching to grain based
diets but at what cost to your pet? Cats and dogs are designed to eat
the same types of foods as you. Cat in fact are true carnivores
meaning they need to eat meat proteins to thrive. Yet the primary
ingredients in the top five selling cat foods are all grain based.

Protein can be extruded from cereal grains as pet food companies
are now doing, but not in the biologically correct percentages necessary
for your dogs and cats long-term health. Is it no wonder why our animals are
now suffering from human-like diseases that did not exist in animals
forty years ago? In humans we see what too many grains in the diet does
to our health. Is it no wonder why dog and cats are becoming obese at levels
never before seen?

FACT: When you read "Our pet foods are made following AAFCO
guidelines and must pass stringent testing" on a pet food bag, know
that this statement has little to do with the health of an animal over
a lifetime.

What is the AAFCO? As of now the industry polices themselves with
an organization called the AAFCO which is an association, not a
government regulatory board. It's members consist of nothing more than
pet food manufacturers and scientists who work for those companies.
The AAFCO 'acts' like a government agency.
Also know that a pet food need not be approved by the AAFCO to be
sold. This might not sound good but let's see how 'stringent' the
guidelines are. Maybe then you'll realize why some pet food companies
choose not to be part of the AAFCO's approval process.

To be approved by the AAFCO you must start with 8 dogs older than 1 yr.
of age. At the start all dogs must be normal weight & health.
A blood test is taken from each dog at the start and finish of the
test. For 6 months, the dogs must only eat the food being tested. In
that six months of time, the dogs finishing the test must not lose
more than 15% of their body weight. So in six months time a dog weighing
60 pounds cannot loose nine pounds. In addition, during the test, none
of the dogs used are to die or be removed because of nutritional
causes. In the end, six out of those eight dogs starting must finish
the test. That's all there is to this 'stringent' test. Now you see
why some of the pet food manufactures don't bother with this test.

It's kind of like you eating nothing but a cheeseburger, french-fry,
and chocolate shake meal for six months. You will not die in six
months as a result, and I'm sure you will NOT loose any weight.
Problem is, what happens to you if you eat that same meal for years?
Pet food companies need to have tests that address the lifetime of a
pet, not a few months out of it's life. To say that a pet ate food for
six months and didn't loose any weight is no way of telling us a food
source is good or not.

Enough is Enough!

I am starting a non profit organization whose goal is to make the
public aware of what is going on in the pet food industry.
Specifically the goal is to create change in the industry. A letter
campaign demanding change will help a great deal. We are setting up a
website this week. We need to let both the FDA and our local
politicians know that we demand accountability from pet food
manufacturers. We need sweeping change in the industry and we need it
now. Our website will make it very easy for you to be part of that

The website will list the contacts and sample letters that you as a
pet companion need to write or email in order to create pressure for
immediate change in the practices of the pet food industry.
We will also reveal the common practices of the industry that might
not be in your best interest. There are too many unanswered questions
and no real accountability in regards to our pets food. Enough! We as pet
companions need assurances and regulations that will protect our
interests and not the pet food industry.

We need REAL accountability. We need to voice our concern about our
pets health. Why must we guess at what to buy in a pet food store?
Standards need to be set that are better than the self-policing
policies of the pet food industry. And most of all, we need more of a
guarantee that what we feed our pets is good for them. Disease in pets
is sky-rocketing and we need to put an end to the dietary factors that
are part of this.

We will send out mass mailings for the website as soon as we are up and
running. Together our large voice can change the industry practices
today. Many are fed up and have had enough. My group has just received
a large endowment from a private party who loves animals and wants to
see something done. As a group we all talk and talk about pet foods
and how little we really know about what is in the food, how little we
know about what goes into the food, and all of the problems that are
coming to light regarding such issues as rendered pets in pet foods.
There is a lot of misinformation out there and we need to stop the
myth and to find the truth.

Imagine, because of the lack of information by pet food companies and
distrust of the pet food industry a movement to make home-made meals
for pets has begun. It's growing increasingly larger and more vocal
each year. To think with all that is available out there in the way of
pet food that many (including myself) have decided we'd rather make
our own than take my chances with processed pet foods. Others are
either beginning to do so or wising they could do the same.

Now is our chance to do something. The only way to make change in our
system is to let our voices be heard. There are more pet owners than
any group in this country. U.S. consumers spend more than $11 billion
a year on cat and dog food. Together we can make a difference. Let's
be the catalyst for that change.

No one in your family has or ever will give you the kind of love your
pet has given you. We need to organize an awareness campaign to make
sure the pet food industry truly has our best interests in mind.
The pet food industry needs to be held accountable for what they produce
and they need to be honest with consumers.

Consumers need more information on every bag of food they
buy. We need information that is accurate and realistic, and lots more
of it. Most important, we need regulation and assurances that we are
indeed getting the best for our pets. Let's work together to make that
change now! Stay Tuned...

Contact me for more information at .

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