Fido & Fluffy’s Food: Get The Facts

by Mary Haight on January 16, 2009

Dog food at a supermarket in Brooklyn, New York.
Image via Wikipedia

Susan Thixton, author of  the book “Truth About Pet Food”, has put together a living online project, Petsumer Report, giving a “just the facts” presentation on a thousand different brands of cat and dog food and treats.  And around 40 new products are added every month–better than a book!

Subscribers are treated to a listing of hard to come by information regarding pet food ingredients: anything from China, dangerous by-products and chemical preservatives known to be agents of cancer and tumors, whether ingredients are of  the pet or human grade category, what if any ingredients come from outside the US, and more. 

You might be wondering about the distinction between “pet or human grade” foods.  Anything designated “pet grade” can legally contain known carcinogens, and what Thixton refers to as the 4 D’s: dead, disabled, dying, and diseased animals. Others have reported that research animals full of drugs are also included in this category.  This grade of food, also known as “suitable for use in animal food” is not allowed to be fed to livestock meant for human consumption due to concerns over mad cow disease. 

Thixton also has a free newsletter available and quality information about the problem of industry-written labeling laws.  These laws stop consumers from knowing what they are feeding their best friends, and effectively muzzle conscientious manufacturers from listing the food grade category or anything else.

Thixton makes the point that before March 2007, no one knew that wheat and rice gluten from China was being used in pet food.  Even with the scramble to find the cause while thousands died, cooperation on labeling is not forthcoming.  Petsumer Report is something that will work for consumers who just want to keep their pets safe.    

Thixton has an international following for her 16-year study of pet food, hundreds of pet industry articles,  is a frequent speaker with regular radio guest segments in North Carolina , has recently given an additional 70 radio interviews across North America, and has a spot booked on BlogTalkRadio coming soon.

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