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    Shandi's Avatar

    "FOOD or FEED"? What's the difference? FDA hides truth-You have no "informed choice"

    Before I read this information on, I never would have known the difference, or even had a clue that there was important one. With the FDA not allowing manufacturers to state that their pet food is "human grade", we will be in the dark about how to make "informed choices".....More of the same in the effort to remove our freedoms.

    I've read that we should wash our hands after handling pet food, and wondered why. Now I know!

    May 6, 2015
    We believe we are buying food…pet food. But is it made from feed grade ingredients? There IS a significant difference between feed and food – even acknowledged by FDA. What’s feed and what’s food – and why pet food consumers need to know the difference.

    It is interesting that with almost every other species of animal – besides dogs and cats – their food is referred to as ‘feed’. Horse feed, cattle feed, poultry feed. But with our pets it is referred to as food – cat food, dog food. Food is what humans eat, so perhaps the intent was – from the very beginning – to cause the consumer to think pet food is similar to human food – nothing like a cattle feed or poultry feed. We want to provide our pets a safer, more quality ‘food’…right? Here begins the problem for the consumer.

    Pet food was a secondary product to animal feed. AAFCO (American Association of Feed Control Officials) – the organization that currently develops pet food/animal feed ingredient definitions, regulations, labeling requirements – began in the early 1900’s with regulations guiding only livestock feed. A few small mentions of pet food requirements happened in early years, but it wasn’t until the late 1950’s that AAFCO established the Pet Food Committee – whose purpose was to establish regulations over the pet food industry.

    Regulators considered pet food a specialty product of animal feed. Nothing different than adding another species feed (cattle, poultry, dog, cat). From it’s very beginning pet food has been clumped together with animal feed. Clumped together such as…

    • The very same regulations that govern cattle feed or poultry feed – govern cat and dog food (with minor exceptions such as nutritional requirements).
    • The very same ‘feed’ ingredients that are used in cattle feed or poultry feed, are used in pet foods (with the exception of a few ingredients specific to dog or cat food only).
    • There are little to no quality standards for feed ingredients – so in turn, there are little to no quality standards for pet food ingredients.
    • Even down to safe manufacturing practices and transportation of ingredients or finished product are the same for animal feed and pet food.
    So regulatory speaking, pet food was/is considered ‘feed’ for cats and dogs. But here is where numerous concerns begin.
    Livestock feed – such as for cattle or poultry – does not have the same feeding purpose as pet food. (Most) Livestock feed is designed to rapidly fatten-up the animal and is only concerned with short term health; only keeping the animal healthy until slaughter. Pet food – to the contrary – is used (in hopes) to sustain a pet for many years. Besides the nutritional requirements, there are very few differences in the regulations, the ingredients, the quality standards of ingredients (lack thereof), and the manufacturing practices to the feed that livestock animals consume and the majority of the food that is sold for our pets.

    Another significant concern to the differences between feed and food, unlike livestock feed, pet food is brought into the home, often handled by numerous members of the family. As pointed out by FDA administration at a recent public meeting, cattle feed or poultry feed is often dumped right onto the ground to feed the animal – this is expected in the ‘feed’ industry.

    To the contrary, pet food is often mixed or even served right on the kitchen counter potentially exposing an entire family to risks of feed ingredients. And again, pet food – despite it being as much of a human food item as could be (without us actually eating it) – is held to the very same manufacturing and safety regulations as ‘feed’ – which is expected to be ‘served’ on the ground with little human exposure (besides the farmer).

    Perhaps this is why we see so many Salmonella recalls in kibble? Feed quality ingredients used in pet foods being brought into the home – which, by design – feed quality ingredients are not expected to be brought into the home.
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