FDA and Pet Food



at FDA the safety of food for animals including our pets is just as important as the safety of food for people in fact Congress directed FDA to protect articles used for food or drink or man or other animals under this law we are determined to make sure the food and treats we give our dogs and cats of course but also companion animals like horses hamsters birds and fish is safe for the animal to eat hello my name is Bill Burkholder and I'm a veterinarian at the Food and Drug Administration's Center for Veterinary Medicine according to law companies producing can pet food must follow a specific set of regulations to eliminate harmful bacteria inside the can these are the same regulations that manufacturers of canned foods for people must follow pet foods and treats must also be truthfully labeled and federal regulations require labels on pet foods and treats to have for specific pieces of information number 1 the label must contain a list of the ingredients everything that's used to make the product must be listed on the label and manufacturers must use only those ingredients that have been determined to be safe if a manufacturer uses ingredients that aren't considered safe any products containing those ingredients can be declared to be adulterated declaring a product adulterated here government officials legal grounds to make actions to prevent the product from being sold the ingredients must be listed in order of their predominance in the pet food by weight the weights are determined according to the condition of the ingredients as they go into the product and the names of the ingredients used must be the common or usual name of the agreement for example sugar must be listed as children not as sucrose and corn must be listed as corn not maize the rules for listing and naming ingredients allow purchasers to know what was used to make the product and to compare ingredients in one brand of food to another number two the label must properly identify the product a product can't be called a complete diet unless it supplies all the nutrients the animal requires there are many other product identity rules enforced by FDA in the States you can learn more about them by going to FDA's website number three a pet food label must include a net quantity statement this tells you how much product is in the container this can be important because containers can hold different amounts of product even though they appear to be the same size and finally number four the label must include the manufacturers or distributors name and address this information indicates who has the responsibility for making sure the pet food is safe and properly labeled FDA doesn't work alone to protect the safety of pet food and treats each of the 50 US states has their own comprehensive sets of laws and regulations designed to ensure the safety of pet food products both the States and FDA can inspect pet food manufacturing facilities to make sure the appropriate regulations remain you and labeling products are being followed the majority of pet food manufacturers strive to make safe and accurately labeled products still problems can arise tons of pet food are manufactured and consumed everyday in the United States FDA in the States don't have enough personnel to watch each can or each bag of pet food as it's being made once in a while some pet food product causes a problem you can find out about recalled pet foods and treats by going to FDA's website and looking for the section labeled recalls and alerts what should you do if you suspect a problem with the pet food or treats you bought if your pet is showing signs of illness the first thing to do is call your veterinarian no one else is in a better position to help treat your sick pet not FDA not the company that manufactured the food and not the store that sold it after your pet has been treated report the problem to FDA every state in the US has a consumer complaint coordinator looking for the box labeled report a problem click on the link to report a non-emergency situation that's where you'll find a phone number for your state coordinator or you can file a complaint electronically through FDA safety reporting portal the document you'll fill out for the portal has several questions about the specific product and about any signs of illness your pet may be showing you should try to answer all of the questions the more information you provide the better FDA will be able to take quick action to eliminate the problem we review all complaints that we receive before I finish I want to add one other point yes the law gives us tools to protect the safety of pet food products but we bring more to the task than that we also bring dedication we do our job to make sure that food and treats are safe because we care about animals and just like you many of us at FDA are pet owners who consider our pets to be members of our families so protecting the safety of their food is extremely important to us as we know it is to you thank you you

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