Thursday, October 23, 2008

FOI Request - Terms of Reference

Here are two documents that are part of an Freedom of Information request I filed.

It's really a travesty that publicly funded institution would have such an incestuous relatioship with a major multinational. Royal Canin is owned by candy bar giant Mars, a fact that the corporation has made great efforts to conceal from the public. They don't want candy bars associated with pet food in the public's mind.

It truly is pitiful that the government allows the universities to sell out our educational institutions and professional associations to multinational corporations in order to get funding for nutritional research and continuing education.

If all research funding monies went to a central independent or government controlled nutritional research funding body and this group included non-industry influenced academics and people with real nutritional knowledge to review research grant proposals, the process would not be tainted as it is now.

There would also be money for continuing educational programmes as well.

What a unique concept -- the government controlling the multinational's distribution of research and professional
association monies. The government acting in the public interest, instead of being at the behest of the multinational corporations. The multinationals could contribute but in a hands off manner -- their contributions could be recognized but
they would not be allowed any control over how the monies were spent or to influence research towards their own product lines.

In these documents there are also a gushing emails with a handwritten note on an April 15, 2008 letter to the RC CEO Xavier Unkovic from Joanne Shoveller, Vice President of Alumni Affairs. "We are delighted to be moving forward with this new Chair. Thank you for your support and vision."

Vision? And exactly what kind of vision would that be? The production and false marketing of massive amounts of species-inappropriate prescription diet kibble products?

Note in Appendix B how they refer to certain illnesses in cats as "naturally occurring", such as diabetes. Diabetes is not a "naturally occurring disease" in either humans or cats. See Dr. Hodgkins article: where she states, quite clearly and eloquently, that FD is the result of the highly processed kibble products currently inundating the pet food market.

Take a look at these documents. Feel free to email me if you need to see originals and I can photocopy and mail them to you.

This agreement has nothing to do with feline health or correct nutrition for obligate carnivores and everything to do with massively obscene profits for Royal Canin. Any academic associated with this should be ashamed of themselves for selling out their academic integrity and ethics if they agree to be part of this in any way.

Office of the Dean

Terms of Reference

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Endowed Chair in Canine and Feline Clinical Nutrition at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph.

1. The Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Chair in Canine and Feline Clinical Nutrition was established through a gift endowment of $2,500,000 (“Endowment”) made to the University of Guelph (“UofG”) by Royal Canin Canada Company (“Royal Canin”).

2. It is agreed that the purpose of this Endowment is as follows:

To establish the Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Endowed Chair in Canine and Feline Clinical Nutrition (the “Chair”). The Chair will be filled by a canine and feline clinical nutritionist, who will be hired as a regular full time tenure track faculty member at the Ontario Veterinary College (“OVC”), for the purpose of veterinary and graduate student teaching and research in canine and feline clinical nutrition.

3. The expendable income from the Endowment should be sufficient to pay the appointee’s full initial term and prospective reappointment salary and benefits. The expendable income is determined in accordance with the UofG’s policy, “General Endowment Fund Management Policy” (see Appendix 1), as may be amended from time to time. If available, additional expendable income could be used as an expense allowance for research and appointment-related travel costs.

4. From time to time, Royal Canin will provide additional support to the Chair including research grant support (students and program funding). This research and student support will be considered as part of the overall package available to the appointee.

5. The UofG, OVC, and Royal Canin will collaborate with each other for their mutual benefit and the benefit of the stakeholders. This will include, but not be limited to, discussion on the needs for nutrition education and research and ways to meet those needs.

6. An Advisory Committee will be created to support the Chair and to assure that the canine and feline clinical nutritional educational and research programs and activities align with the mission mandate of the UofG and Royal Canin. The members will be approved by both parties and will include 2 representatives from the UofG and 2 from Royal Canin. Terms of reference will be developed by this Committee for approval by the UofG and Royal Canin.

7. The appointees will be hired as regular full time tenure track faculty member by UofG and be subject to its policies and procedures. It is acknowledged that as a tenure-track faculty member, the appointee has the academic freedom to pursue interests in addition to the mission and mandate of the Chair. The Chair will not participate in any outside consultation or media activities that create a conflict of interest with the UofG or with Royal Canin.

8. Research carried out through the Chair will be consistent with Royal Canin’s Research Policy (see Appendix B). If in future, a conflict arises between UofG’s policies and procedures and Royal Canin’s Research Policy, the conflict will be referred to the Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee will provide advice to UofG and to Royal Canin on possible resolution of the conflict.

9. The Chair will be expected to establish a successful teaching program in canine and feline clinical nutrition for veterinary students and graduate students. The Chair might also participate in undergraduate education as time permits. The Chair will maintain a superior program of research (as evidenced by publications and external grant support), and will play a leadership role in facilitating world-class research in feline and canine clinical research.

10. The home department for the Chair will be the Department of Clinical Studies. The Chair will have an appointment in the OVC Teaching Hospital (OVCTH) in canine and feline clinical nutrition. The Chair will provide learning opportunities for veterinary students, interns and graduate students in the OVCTH and will provide nutritional consultation for clinicians from other clinical services within the OVCTH (e.g. critical care, internal medicine, oncology).

11. The professional rank of the appointee may be at the assistant, associate, or full professor level depending on the available funding from the Endowment for salary and benefits and the qualifications of prospective candidates. The first appointee, based on available funding, will be recruited as an assistant professor.

12. Faculty searches follow normal procedures for the UofG. Designates from Royal Canin will have an opportunity to meet with the candidates during their interviews and will be invited to the candidates’ interview presentations.

13. In the event that the appointee leaves the UofG, UofG will fill the position as quickly as possible.

14. If the expendable income is insufficient to meet continuing appointment and expense costs, the Dean will consult with the Advisory Committee, the Provost, the OVC Director of Advancement and Royal Canin. A decision may be made to leave the position vacant intermittently, supplement the income from other sources, and secure additional investment or some combination of these measures.

15. During the period when the Chair is not permanently occupied such as when a candiate search is in progresss, after consultation with the Department Chair, the Advisory Committee, and the Provost will use the Endowment’s income to maintain the continuity of the research and teaching programs in canine and feline nutrition.

16. The capital gifts contributed to this Endowment shall be held in perpetuity.

17. This document may be amended by mutual consent in writing by UofG and Royal Canin.

Signed by the parties hereto this 22nd day of April, 2008.

Dr. Alastair J.S. Summerlee
President and Vice-Chancellor
University of Guelph

Xavier Unkovic
Chief Executive Officer
Royal Canin Canada Company

Appendix B
MediCal/Royal Canin (MCRC) Veterinary Diet Research Policy

Excellent nutrition contributes to the quality and longevity of a companion animal’s life. To maintain excellence, ongoing research is necessary in the field of veterinary nutrition. It is our mission to continue to evolve in the acquisition of knowledge in this field as it pertains to wellness and disease prevention in dogs and cats.

To this end: MCRC is governed by the following guiding principles:

1. Dogs and cats are important members of the family and they will be treated with respect and humaneness at all times.
2. There will be no involvement in studies requiring and resulting in the euthanasia of dogs or cats.
3. There will be no involvement in studies requiring creation of disease by inducing organ manipulation or damage.
4. All clinical studies will investigate diet efficacy in naturally occuring disease (for example, diabetes, osteoarthritis, urolithiasis, food allergies, obesity).
5. Studies will only be conducted to prove efficacy if existing research cannot answer the hypotheses generated from the research and development team.
6. The result of research trials must contribute to the health and well being of dogs and cats.
7. Clinical trials will be performed, if at all possible, on client-owned dogs and cats. The pets are kept in the home environment under the care of their owners. The client’s veterinary clinic of choice will be involved in the clinical trial to provide ongoing monitoring and care of the pet as required. A veterinary internist (ACVJM diplomate) will be available through MCRC for consultation on any aspect of the clinical trial.
8. The collection of blood, urine and feces and the obtaining of radiographs will be carried out in a humane fashion, meeting or exceeding the standards established by animal welfare guidelines.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

July pictures Manu and Makena

Okay you cat photo gallery fans here are a couple of the latest pics. See how healthy kitties on a natural raw meat diet look?
Great fur, shiny and soft. Strong and muscular. Active and alert -- these kitties are no couch potatoes.

Makena can jump up to 6 feet in the air and also jump 13 steps in a single bound. They usually get active around 9 pm -- hunting time -- and chase each other up and down the stairs vigorously. They do get fresh air every day -- supervised of course -- in a safe location where they get to watch the birds and squirrels in the trees.

Makena and Manu's gourmet dining

Rabbit is the number one favourite for Makena and Manu. It's always a special treat. I rotate the food I give my kitties to ensure that they are getting a good variety. Cats of course, being natural gourmets, appreciate that. It's also so they don't get tired of their food -- would you want to eat the same thing every day? Well neither do they.

In the summer I find they eat less. Feeding a natural raw meat diet with minimal supplementation to them costs me no more than it did to feed species-inappropiate, corporate multinational expensive vet kibble.

At the moment, my cats eat a total of 3.2 ounces a day of food, divided between 2 meals.

When you first start to feed cats real food, they will eat a bit more initially, anywhere from 6-8 ounces divided between two meals. After a while, which is different for every cat, it will then level off.

I do also give them treats almost every day too, such as dehyrated chicken hearts or bits of lamb and goat with bone.

Makena's name means "happy one". Yes she is a happy kitty. Happy that she lives in a home that will never, ever feed her commercial cereal and additive-laden vet (or even supermarket) kibble.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Eat Wild

For those of you looking to deal directly with a farmer who doesn't use hormones, antibiotics or chemicals in your kitty's food supply, here's a great link:

There's a directory of farms across Canada and the US here --

Friday, June 20, 2008

University of Guelph accepts funds from Hills

Twice already this year -- The University of Guelph gets the Poison Kibble award.

The University of Guelph just can't get enough of the pet food companies -- their money, that is. They've just accepted $5 million dollars for a "new primary health centre" to be built on campus. That's right, directly on the campus.

"Skills like communicating with clients and proper pet nutrition will be the new focus of the primary care centre." Like training vets in how to sell and prescribe untested and unregulated pet food products?

Once again, the University's Dean, Dr. Elizabeth Stone, insists that "we will retain academic freedom to teach the same way we do now."

Well I would venture to point out that that is the very problem. There is no academic freedom when a major multinational company gives this kind of money to a publicly-funded institution. Again, the University of Guelph is allowing their silence to be bought. Teach the same way they do now? Again, that's the problem -- vets prescribing and selling species-inappropriate, unregulated and untested pet food.

How is it that they are not seriously considering the major class action lawsuit launched by Maltzman Foreman in the US against Hills for misleading advertising? This lawsuit is currently headed to court. How can the university accept such a large donation when a company like this is being sued? Have they just chosen to ignore all these lawsuits and take the side of the pet food industry?

It's scandalous and the public should be outraged that their tax dollars are miseducating vets to be perpetual kibble pushers.

What many people are choosing to do is change vet clinics -- and send their vet a letter when they leave, letting them know that they will only be entrusting the care of their beloved pets to vets who do NOT sell these species-inappropriate, misleading advertising, prescription diet formulas.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Update on Florida class action lawsuit

In the many daily email updates I receive on the pet food issue, this one stands out:

The impact of this particular lawsuit will have major implications for the industry. The PFI has already attempted to have this case dismissed, but thankfully the judge refused to dismiss the lawsuit.

With Menu Foods settling, could it possibly be that this sets a precedent for the other class action lawsuits? It seems we now have what are called "cross border" settlements with respect to different jurisdictions in North America for dealing with these kinds of class actions. Another curious by-product of globalization.

"The defense claims the allegations in the lawsuit castigating the entire pet food industry are culled from the Internet."

What? Like all the blogs, discussion forums and websites talking about the illnesses caused by long term feeding of untested and unregulated commercial pet food products? And what, exactly, is their point?

That the public is talking about this openly on the internet? Well mainstream media certainly isn't covering the topic anymore, are they?

Mainstream media serves to only air all those glossy high production value ads claiming that pet food products are now being "reformulated." In these ads, the PFI are still blathering on about their formulations being "healthy and balanced" despite the fact that there are only short term acute toxicity studies, at best, being done on these products.

Mainstream media has dropped the story from the crawlers (which incidentially, seems to be the only form of reporting breaking news these days on cable news networks).

Is the defense claiming that the information "culled from the internet" means, in some way, that the issues being raised are not credible? That people's pets have not gotten sick from commercial pet food? That dry food isn't causing feline diabetes, chronic renal disease, cancer, inflammatory bowel syndrome, and urinary tract infections in cats? That people are learning that no cat should eat any form of dry food?

As people start to understand this, as they are on the blogs and discussion forums, dry food will start collecting dust on the shelves of health food stores, veterinarian clinics and supermarkets.

U.S. District Court Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga says in this article:

"Defendants do not assert that the FDA or any other regulatory body has specifically approved the advertisement or statements at issue in this action, and nothing in the AAFCO standards authorizes defendants to engage in false advertising," Altonaga wrote in her order.

Keep it kicking, judge. It would be fabulous if this case would set a precedent.

All of these lawsuits demonstrate a desperate need for genuine accountability in the industry. But maybe if that happened, they wouldn't be able to continue to dump massive quantities of corn and wheat to produce grain-based kibble, which is the main "species inappropriate" ingredient in commercial pet food.

The PFI should not be regulating themselves. Governments in both Canada and the US need to be able to issue product recalls. FDA reform will be one of the factors critical to re-shaping the industry over the next two years, as decisions resulting from these lawsuits emerge.

Then again, people can make other choices -- like refusing to purchase any commercial pet food product.

If you need proof of how healthy a cat can be NOT eating commercial food, and only eating a raw meat with ground bone (and minimal supplementation) diet, take a look at Makena, who is now one year old.

Now, isn't she a gorgeous picture of health and happiness? Wouldn't you want any cat guardian you know to have the same kind of healthy kitty?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Royal Canin's spin

Take a look at this article, published in the local Guelph paper. Royal Canin, owned by the multinational Mars candy bar company, has targeted Ontario as its base of operations for North America. It's building a brand new factory in the same town as the University of Guelph. Coincidence?

Royal Canin maintains that they will have "quality control" infra-red technology in place to spot contaminants. But this doesn't address the fact that all dry food is made with grains and cats cannot digest grains. Are they going to test products made of grains for grains? How useful is quality control for species-inappropriate ingredients?

You can see how ridiculous this discussion becomes. Is RC going to re-formulate their entire product line to be grain free and not made by the process of cooking and extrusion? And even if they did, the very existence of kibble products are like being told by your medical doctor to eat only diet bars for your entire lifetime. Or sugar frosted flakes. Yes, there is nothing good to be said about kibble.

What really needs to happen is that these products need to be removed from the market entirely. These products are untested and unregulated. There isn't even an iota of oversight into the pet food industry -- even Big Pharma has to engage in a more extensive testing process to allow new pharmaceuticals to enter the market. With pet food there is nothing in place. True, we know that even if regulatory changes are implemented, the PFI will continue to cheat.

Who in their right mind would believe that any living being can be healthy eating a lifetime of meat-flavoured cookies? Who would think they could live a long and healthy life without fresh food? Well the pet food companies claim that--- by saying that cats should only eat commercial kibble for their entire lifetime.

It's predictable that the industry would now start to talk about "quality control" measures, but it's really just their way to try create spin to get the public believe that their products are "healthy and balanced".

What is even more offensive is that RC is claiming that they are "victims" of the tainted gluten suppliers. That's hardly a credible or responsible position. It shows a total lack of accountability on behalf of this huge and secretive multinational corporation, which is owned by the Mars candy bar company.

So exactly what kind of research will this Royal Canin Research chair, at the University of Guelph veterinarian school, be engaged with involving feline and canine nutrition? How to continue to brainwash future generations of veterinarians into "prescribing" untested and unregulated kibble? Validating RC claims that it's okay to feed designer kibble with antioxidants, inculcating them into the false ideology of nutritionism?

"Prescription diets" -- are they a food or a drug? If they are being prescribed shouldn't they require a prescription and thus be regulated as such? If they are a food -- well, how is it that so many of these product lines are sold only in veterinarian clinics?

Would people continue to buy RC products if they knew their cat food was made by a candy bar company? Healthy and balanced? Hello?

I see Royal Canin talking about the problems the recalls caused them -- but I don't see a single word in the story about Royal Canin being sorry for all the pain and suffering they have caused. Or apologizing.

Menu Foods Canada-US cross border settlement

So Menu Foods has settled for $24 million dollars. Better than nothing, I suppose, but what will that change? Cat and dog guardians will not receive any money for pain and suffering under this proposed settlement, to be signed by the judge May 30, 2008.

Here's the link for the US and Canadian settlement. The documents for the US settlement are all there; the Canadian ones have yet to be approved by the courts but will be posted here when they are.

The court dockets for the United States can be found here:

And, once posted, on this site for the Canadian court dockets.

Like many others, I want to read the fine print to see precisely what the terms of settlement are.

The industry will undoubtedly try to say that they now have new "quality control" technologies in place to spot contaminants. But will they detect species-inappropriate grains, which form the basis of these products?

Doubtful, since these products are primarily composed of grain, which cats, as obligate carnivores cannot tolerate. Grains, an ingredient which sounds benign to the average consumer, are the source of many of the difficult to diagnose health problems in cats. This is why there are so many reports of cats who continuously vomit dry food -- it is indigestible for them.

Plus, none of these reports address the issues of veterinarians selling these species-inappropriate formulations in their clinics. For vets to be selling commercial pet food is like a medical doctor selling cigarettes or diet bars.

The pet food battle has just begun. The emperor has proven he has no clothes and it is up to the public to keep the pressure on, not to "make kibble safer" as some people might want us to believe, but to have these unsafe, species-inappropriate products stripped of their American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) labelling and removed from the market.

These products are often untested (all manufacturers need to do is submit a "nutrient profile") and as we saw from the recalls, unregulated. The claims of "healthy and balanced" over the long term feeding of cat or dog cannot be substantiated on the basis of short-term AAFCO feeding trials.

There is no form of dry food that is safe or healthy for a cat to eat. Period.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Makena's bloodwork

Makena has been on a raw fed diet since I got her, just after being weaned by her mother at 10 weeks old. She eats chicken, turkey, duck, cornish hen and rabbit with the ground bone and minimal supplementation. For treats she gets chunks of goat with the bone, chicken wings, chicken hearts and lamb stew bits with bone. She's a true gourmet kitty!

She has never eaten commercial cat food since I have had her and never will. Since I now know that any commercial cat food is like feeding a continuous diet of junk food, why would I ever feed my cat anything that would result in illness later on in life? And with all the reports of rotten meat, toxins, mouldy grains, carcinogens and other garbage being put into pet food, how can anyone who has actually read through these reports and stories justify continued long term feeding of commercial food?

Makena’s vet told me, “well I won’t be seeing you much, as long as you keep her on raw diet.” Then proceeded to tell me I was "totally compliant" with correct nutrition for an obligate carnivore.

It’s great to have a vet that finally understands correct nutrition for the cats and doesn’t sell poisonous dry vet kibble in his clinic.

How is it that these illustrious institutions like the University of Guelph Veterinary Program can’t retrain their veterinarians out of nutritional ignorance and teach them about correct nutrition for obligate carnivores? At the very least, they should not be allowing pet food companies to give seminars and free product to veterinarian students! This is the real scandal behind the pet food recall -- the miseducation of current and future generations of veterinarian professionals. There is definitely a problem in academia.

Are veterinarian universities so desperate for cash that they have to sell their integrity to the likes of Mars bar multinational Royal Canin? If people knew that a candy bar company was making their pet food, how would that change how they thought about the alleged "nutritional" value of these products?

How the University of Guelph and other universities across North American have handed over access to veterinarian students to the pet food companies, providing their only source of nutritional information, clearly demonstrates the very real problems of private-public partnerships. The end result is to produce generations of vets that have no training in nutrition. What's even more unsettling is that there is no documentation being done on the types of inter-generational health problems these products are causing -- cat guardians are left to discover that on their own.

In effect, the University of Guelph, by accepting a donation from Royal Canin, has allowed the silence of the academic community to be bought. The academic community should be the ones at the forefront of criticizing the poor quality, species-inappropriate ingredients in commercial pet food formulations, rather than doing research for the PFI and upholding the unproven claims of these products. Did we hear a single vet at the University of Guelph speak out during the recalls? Not one came forward.

Here are Makena's lab results at age 6 months, just prior to getting spayed.
Makena's CBC

ALT = 56. U/L (reference range 12-130)
UREA= 9.4 mmol/L (reference range 5.7-12.9)
TP = 71. g/L (reference range 57-89)
Na - 162 mmol/L (reference range 150-165)
K = 5.2 mmol/L (reference range 3.5-5.8)
Cl=125. mmol/L (reference range 112-129)

WBC = 5.82 x 10^9/L (reference range 5.50-19.50)
LYM = 2.58 x 10^9/L (reference range 0.40-6.80)
MONO=0.42 x 10^9/L (reference range 0.15-1.70)
NEU= 2.43 x 10^9/L (reference range 2.50-12.50)
EOS=0.38 x 10^9/L (reference range 0.10-0.79)
BASO = 0.00 x 10^9/L (reference range 0.00-0.10)
%LYM = 44.3%
%MONO = 7.2%
HCT=38.6% (reference range 30.0-45.0)
RBC=9.6 x 10^9/L (reference range 5.0-10.0)
HRB = 14.5 g/dL (reference range 9,0-15.1)
RETIC=27.5 K/uL
MCV = 40.1 fL (reference range 41.0-58.0)
RDW = 19.9% (reference range 17.3-22.0)
MCHC=37.5 g/dL (reference range 29.0-37.5)
MCH=15.04 (reference range 12.00-20.00)
PLT = 479.K/uL (reference range 175-600)

University of Guelph accepts funds from Royal Canin

And the poison kibble award goes to -- the University of Guelph!

I'm sure that the folks at Royal Canin just want everyone to forget about the pet food recalls or all the class action suits against them. They seem to have convinced one group that you thought would be educated enough to know better: The University of Guelph Veterinarian College.

Royal Canin Canada Commits $3 Million for OVC
Some excerpts:
"Guelph - The University of Guelph today received a $3-million commitment from Royal Canin Canada Company to establish the Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Endowed Chair in Canine and Feline Clinical Nutrition and support independent research and graduate scholarships at the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC).

"This generous gift is a wonderful example of the importance of private sector-university partnerships," said U of G president Alastair Summerlee. "Royal Canin Canada's investment in an endowed chair allows us to develop the area of feline and canine nutrition."

Unbelievable. A publicly-funded institution accepts money from a company that is being sued in a national class action lawsuit here in Canada (see and also numerous class action lawsuits in the United States for allegedly excessive vitamin D toxicity, melamine and cyanuric acid in pet food, misleading advertising and "unjust enrichment." Never mind that the words "nutrition" and "Royal Canin" represent an oxymoron in the same sentence.

If you think that this is as outrageous as I do, send letters to the Dean and the President of the University of Guelph.

Here are their emails:

Dr. Elizabeth Stone -
University of Guelph President
Alastair Summerlee -

Take a moment to also send an email letter to the new Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, who is responsible for doling out funding for this public institution.

MPP John Milroy -

There needs to be a continued pressure on these individuals with respect to these issues. The dean as much acknowledged that there are "questions" now being raised about pet food, but accepting money from Royal Canin is hardly the solution.

There is no effective regulation of the pet food industry--they regulate themselves --- and even that is a completely voluntary endeavour. But this incestuous link between the industry and the education of the next generation of veterinarians is something that needs to be exposed and changed.

What kind of Dr. Jekylls of veterinary medicine will this research chair produce? It's bad enough that most veterinarians in Canada are pushing these carbohydrate-laden, expensive, poor quality kibbles that are producing so many illnesses in cats and dogs, now they want to justify it by hiring yet another PFI academic iin order to buy the silence of the university? It's an absolute scandal.

Let's not be deluded into thinking that there is some kind of "academic freedom" in place when a pet food company gives money to the University of Guelph for a research chair position named after the corporation.

The bottom line is that the research chair is bankrolled by a company with a strongly vested interest in ensuring nothing bad is ever said or concluded about its product lines.

Does anyone really think that any academic appointed as Royal Canin chair would ever criticize these species-inappropriate product formulations for pets?

What would Royal Canin do in the (unlikely) event that a Royal Canin research chair began to speak out about the truth of its product lines? Would Royal Canin say, "oh well, if our products are harmful, we can accept that being taught at the university?"

How can a university, a publicly-funded institution, be accepting funds for an academic research department from a pet food company that is being sued for allegedly excessive toxic and poisonous ingredients in its product line?

What kind of "research" will this chair be doing anyway? How about research into how commercial pet food is causing illnesses and intergenerational health problems?

How much research is really needed to understand that cats are obligate carnivores and should not be eating highly processed, "ergonomic" kibble (yes that's a Royal Canin term).

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Pets for the Environment

The non-profit NGO Environmental Working Group has taken up the issue of pet food safety.

No one likes eating flame retardants and mercury. They currently have a campaign on to:

--test 10 brands of canned wet cat and dog food for chemicals like mercury, lead, and bisphenol A
--test 10 brands of dry dog and cat food for chemicals like flame retardants and nonstick chemicals
--protect pets and humans by pressuring Congress for better standards

The full report is here:

Did you know that as our cats and dogs are tested for contaminants, these tests are revealing high levels of toxic industrial chemicals?

"Cats: notably high levels of fire
retardants, high levels of plasticizers,
and grease-proofing chemicals
46 chemicals detected - 96% at higher levels
in cats than people"

See the site for the full study.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Centre for Science and the Public Interest White Paper

The Centre for Science and the Public Interest in Washington, DC, has put out a sensible and realistic set of recommendations needed to reform the FDA.

"Building a Modern Food Safety System" discusses five points that need to be addressed for creating an effective food safety system for both human and pet food. It's obvious that the FDA is broken and needs major reforms. According to the authors, this would include:

-- Recalls -- The FDA currently doesn't have the power to issue product recalls (these rights have been left exclusively in the hands of the multinational corporations that make products);
-- Traceback -- The FDA has been unable to find the source of the tainted glutens in the pet food recall -- authority needs to be put into place to allow them to be able to quickly trace the source of contaminants
-- Detention -- If a product doesn't comply with regulations, then it should not enter into the food supply system (sounds obvious but there is no regulation governing this)
--Civil and Criminal Penalties -- Food companies must be subject to swift civil and criminal penalties if they violate food safety laws. Citizens who have suffered harm as a result of any violations should have the power to launch civil actions
--Whistleblower protection -- Federal employees should be able to report violations without the threat of loss of employment or any penalties

Friday, April 11, 2008

GMOs in pet food

Greenpeace Canada has put out a really valuable GMO Guide, available on this link.

So guess which pet food companies are on the list for including genetically modified organisms in pet food?
The list includes:

Colgate Palmolive
Hills Prescription Diet Pet Food
Hills Prescription Diet Pet Food
Science Diet Pet Food

Effem Inc.

Alpo Chomps (dog)
Alpo Snaps (dog)
Dental Diet (cat)
Fancy Feast (cat)
Friskies (cat)
Friskies Alpo (dog)
Friskies Alpo Chew-Eez (dog)
Friskies Alpo for Puppies
Friskies Senior (cat)

Take a look through the list to make sure that you aren't purchasing any other products for your household with GMOs.

If you want to learn more about GMOs, see this film:

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Citizens continue with pet food product testing

Even though there have been 160+ class action lawsuits in the United States and more than a dozen in Canada launched since the pet food recalls began last March, 2007, tainted glutens from China are still entering the food supply in the USA in both pet and human food.

This group has started on testing products and posting the results online. As you can see, as of January, 2008, there were still PFI products being tested positive for melamine and cyanuric acid. These glutens were destined for both human AND pet food products. Do you really want to be eating melamine?

How will the tentative settlement with Menu Foods address this issue?

How will the FDA change its regulatory policies to ensure the safety of the food supply for both pets and humans?

If you haven't already submitted your comments to the FDA, I would urge you to do so. This is part of a process that is supposed to result in new regulations within the next two years. Hopefully between the class action lawsuits and regulatory changes we will see unsafe products and ingredients stopped before entering the food chain.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

FDA wants public comments about pet food

After endless months and delayed launch dates, the form is finally ready to receive public comments on the FDA website.

I suggest that you print out these step by step instructions; or open up a separate page of your browser so that you don't get completely lost trying to find the comment form. It took me several hours of trying to find it, over several days.

It's important that we all let the FDA know what we think needs to happen on the regulatory front, since the Pet Food Institute is lobbying hard to keep its self-regulatory powers intact. As we all can see so evidently, self-regulation is NOT working.

Meeting Being Planned to Obtain Public Input for Ensuring the Safety of Pet Food
Docket Number 2007N-0487


In the Comments box type in "pet food"

This page will come up:

Type in the docket number: 2007N-0487

Another page will come up

Click on: "Send a Comment or Submission".

You can type your comments in here. You might want to get them ready in advance and either just send as an attachment, or copy and paste the info.

You will also want to sign up for the "Notification" part so you can keep updated on the submissions of the Pet Food Institute and other corporate multinationals who have taken the position that it's fine to continue to let the industry regulate itself.

Alternatively, you can email your comments to:

Walter Osbourne -- he's the head veterinarian at the FDA in charge of collecting these comments

UPDATE April 8, 2008: Mr. Osbourne has informed me that due to instructions on posting being distributed online and by email, if members of the public want their comments posted they have to notifiy "Dockets" of this.

"My contact at Dockets has explained to me that individual comments from
consumers are not routinely posted for Internet viewing because the
agency has found itself having to remove them once commenters learned
that 'the whole world' can view them via the Internet. So, when
consumers specifically request that their comments be posted, Dockets
will honor that request. This morning, I have asked that your original
comment be posted, per your request. I suspect it should be viewable by
the end of the day."

A public forum for comments? Wasn't that the purpose of this to begin with? And shouldn't members of the public be able to see all these submissions from both individuals and the industry with respect to this important issue?

Friday, April 4, 2008

FDA allows contaminated glutens to enter into USA

See this report:

Are 160+ class action lawsuits not enough? The Pet Food Industry must think that class action lawsuits are cheaper to settle than actually changing the suppliers and ingredient formulations in their pet food; and the FDA is seemingly turning a blind eye.

Wheat Gluten
Rice Gluten
Rice Protein
Rice Protein Concentrate
Corn Gluten
Corn Gluten Meal
Corn By-Products
Soy Protein
Soy Gluten
Soy Meal
Mung Bean Protein

Poisonous or Deleterious Substance
Unfit For Food
Unsafe Food Additive

"Despite its investigation into the matter, FDA has
been unable to determine who, in fact, the actual
manufacturer(s) are."

"As of April 26, 2007, FDA had collected approximately 750
samples of wheat gluten and products made with wheat gluten
and, of those tested thus far, 330 were positive for
melamine and/or melamine related compounds. FDA had also
collected approximately 85 samples of rice protein
concentrate and products made with rice protein concentrate
and, of those tested thus far, 27 were positive for melamine
and/or melamine related compounds. FDA's investigation has
traced all of the positive samples as having been imported
from China."

"The samples of vegetable proteins that have tested
positive for the presence of melamine and melamine
analogs have, thus far, been traced to two Chinese
firms, Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development
Co. Ltd. and Binzhou Futian Biology Technology Co.
Ltd. Records relating to the importation of these
products indicate that these two firms had
manufactured the ingredients in question. There is
strong evidence, however, that these firms are not the
actual manufacturers. Moreover, despite many weeks of
investigation, it is still unknown who the actual
manufacturer or manufacturers of the contaminated
products imported from China are."

"All of the contaminated wheat gluten has thus far been
traced to Xuzhou Anying. According to the General
Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and
Quarantine (AQSIQ) of the Chinese government, Xuzhou
Anying purchased its wheat gluten from 25 different
manufacturers and Xuzhou Anying may just be a
supplier. Press statements by Xuzhou Anying state
that it did not manufacture the wheat gluten it had
shipped to United States that has been associated with
the outbreak, but that it received that wheat gluten
from other sources not named in the press statements."

One point that hasn't been made in the mainstream media is that although these glutens are imported from China, some of these companies are reputed to be American-owned operations who have set up operations in China. From this report, it's even unclear who are the real manufacturers of the wheat gluten. Where was the wheat or corn grown? In China? or the US? Was it GMO wheat and corn, as has been suggested by some veterinarians critical of the PFI?

Now, do you think that would stop Fox News from blathering on (as they did last year during the recalls) about "communist wheat gluten" if they simultaneously reported that these companies were owned by Americans?

China's contaminated products are an ongoing problem to be sure. But if US companies are going to continue to do business with them by setting up companies in China and importing these contaminated products, the risk to our health, and our pet's health continues unabated.

I'd like to see the list of companies who were waiting to receive these shipments. And how many of them are American-owned.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

How will the US class action settlement with Menu Foods affect the industry?

Press releases and news reports abounded yesterday with the April Fool's Day announcement that Menu Foods had reached a tentative agreement to settle the 116 class action suits in the United States.

According to a press release from the Menu Foods Income Fund:

"The definitive terms of settlement, together with a motion for preliminary approval thereof, are scheduled to be filed with the U.S. District Court on May 1, 2008, with the hearing scheduled to occur at 11:00 a.m. on May 14, 2008. The scheduling for Canadian court approval has not yet been determined, but is expected to occur in a similar time frame.

The settlement amount will be funded by the defendants, including Menu Foods and its product liability insurer. Menu Foods' estimate for recall costs remains unchanged at Cdn.$55 million."

Let's see what further details emerge over the next few weeks, if the negotiated settlement is a joke or if there is any real justice for the thousands of pet owners who were deceived by claims of "healthy and balanced" pet food products. You can see what my kitty Makena thinks of Menu Foods (her pic is above).

Will it result in a change of pet food formulations? Set the stage for changes to FDA regulatory changes involving the listing and inspections of ingredients at pet food company plants? Will it stop the formulating of carbohydrate-laden, species-inappropriate "formulations" that are being pushed by veterinarians so aggressively that have caused so many illnesses in our cats? Or will it merely mean that Menu Foods will be getting their glutens from another supplier?

If you haven't read the third amended legal brief by the Florida law firm that launched the US national class action on the basis of misleading advertising, you can read it here.

Really, as Don Hamilton, DVM and author of "Homeopathic Care for Cats and Dogs -- Small Doses for Small Animals" says, raw diet is really the "only solution" for feeding safe and healthy food for your beloved pet.

The industry has failed us. Just because they are being forced to pay for the pain, suffering, illnesses and deaths caused to thousands of pets doesn't mean that everything is fine on the pet food front.

If you haven't switched to a good veterinarian that is trained in homeopathy, now is the time to do so. At least you won't have to argue with your vet about feeding a raw meat diet -- homeopaths understand the importance of diet in pet health and longevity, unlike many mainstream vets who unquestioningly believe the biased and untruthful pet food industry propaganda training they received in vet school.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

What's really in cat food -- wet or dry?

Commercial cat food products are filled with the garbage and remnants that the leading multinational pet food companies need to dispose of. The pet food industry is an industry that "regulates" itself. How effective has that been?

Since there is no effective or comprehensive regulation or inspections concerning what goes into pet food, companies get away with using pet food as a dumping ground for contaminated and cheap ingredients.

If you haven't read Justine Patrick's article, read it here. Take an hour or so and make your way through it -- it's a thoughful, provocative piece that points out precisely where the regulatory problems are.

Justine Patrick is now a lawyer with a Pittsburgh law firm. This was part of her graduating thesis from Harvard.

Cat guardians have learned -- often the hard way -- the dangers of feeding grain and carbohydrates to obligate carnivores such as cats -- over the long term, they develop FD, CRD, IBD and cancer since there are no long term tests done on any of these commercial products, which are laden with questionable preservatives and chemicals to make them "shelf stable." Feeding tinned foods for a lifetime can cause hyperthyroidism, which is documented in this article in the Science Daily.

The globalized, multinational companies that constitute the the Pet Food Industry want to convince members of the public that they should never, ever consider just feeding basic ingredients: ie a raw natural diet. They have spent extensive money lobbying against natural diets. In fact, at the time of the tainted pet food recall in March, 2007, the PFI, along with the FDA, was targeting the small and burgeoning raw food industry.

Tins themselves carry Bisphenol A which causes cancer. Aluminum poisoning is also an issue with eating anything from a tin over the long term. Cats are extremely sensitive to chemicals in our environment -- anything we can do to prevent their exposure to toxins, additives and chemicals is critical for maintaining a healthy and happy cat.

What's even worse are the ingredients in wet cat food and many jerky products: 3D and 4D meat. What is that, you might ask?

3D = dead, diseased, dying animals -- this can include (yes) roadkill, cats and dogs or any other animal
4D = decaying

Now any cat, in their natural habitant in the wild, would refuse to eat dead, diseased, dying or decaying (rotten) meat. But after the PFI gets through cooking it and adding chemicals in the lab to trick a cat into eating it they do.

Other poor quality ingredients, routinely dumped into wet food and cooked:
--stale bread (with the plastic and styrofoam wrapping still on it)
--wood chips

In tests done on pet food products during the recalls the following ingredients were identified:

--e. coli
--cyanuric acid
--lethal amounts of glycoalkaloids
--BSE (mad cow disease)
--BHA and BHT -- preservatives used in packaging, rubber, petroleum products
--ethoxyquin - a rubber stabilizer

Note that the FDA asked the pet food industry, in 1997, to reduce the use of ethoxquin, which studies have linked to sterility, deformed offspring, cataracts and lesions of the liver, bladder and kidney in animals. Of course, reducing this toxin was only VOLUNTARY on behalf of the manufacturers. It has never been tested for safety in cats.

Commercial cat food is full of adulterated chemicals, additives, toxins and contaminants.

The price may be cheap -- 50 cents a tin -- but how cheap is it to feed your cat something that in the long term, causes health problems such as cancer? The vet bills alone are staggering, as the thousands of people affected by the class action suits can attest to.

Mainstream vets do not think of commercial food as a leading cause of illnesses in cats -- but they are happy to keep running the bill for test after test, or string you along with ineffective and costly "treatment" plans. Remember, vets are trained by pet food companies and the only nutritional information they receive as vet students are that from these corporate multinationals. Obviously veterinarian curriculum needs to be revamped -- PFI companies should not be tallowed any access to or way to influence veterinarian students. Since veterinarian colleges are publicly-funded institutions -- this is where the public has a role in writing letters and raising concerns to your local vet college or university.

A lawyer for one of the class action suits here in Canada was astounded by the veterinarian bills that resulted from the pet food recall. Note that these recalls are still ongoing. This is a firm that charges $750 an hour. Now, can you imagine? A lawyer being astounded by high bills?

I know people who have run up vet bills in the range of $5,000, $8,000, $10,000, $40,000. All trying to save their cat from the effects of poisoned cat food -- wet and dry.

My own bills for trying to save my beautiful 10 year old Siamese came to more than $5,000. Nothing the vets told me to do worked. None of them identified poisoned pet food as the cause of her illness and subsequent death.

Here's some info from Stats Canada on the Pet food industry:

"Canadian pet food imports substantially exceed exports and supply roughly one-half of the total Canadian pet food market.  Total imports of dog and cat food (HS230910) in 2004 amounted to US$290 million.  Imports from the United States alone totaled US$286 million, which accounted for 98% of the import market in 2004.
Total exports in 2004 of dog and cat food were US$137 million.  The United States is Canada’s largest export market for dog and cat food, with exports to the U.S. totaling US$102 million in 2004.  Japan was the next closest country for exports at US$9 million, followed by the Czech Republic at US$7 million and Germany at US$2 million."

Due to NAFTA, anything can get across the border into Canada. Virtually anything. Most of the pet food we have on the shelves here in Canada comes from the US.

Do you really want your cat eating 3D or 4D meat that is in most tinned foods? If you knew that, would you even buy it?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Raw Food Recipe with Real Bones for Cats - Chicken, Turkey, Duck, Cornish Hen, Rabbit

I've been told by many people visiting this site: great blog -- would love to see the recipe.

The recipe I am using comes from Anne at

Anne's website completely changed my thinking about what I was feeding my cats. After reading her site, I stopped feeding all commercial cat food products. That was more than 1 year prior to the pet food recall scandal of March 2007. Obviously many cats have been getting sick from commercial pet food for a lot longer than when the companies finally, reluctantly, started recalling tainted pet food from their shelves.

If you can find a local butcher who will grind up a whole chicken, turkey, duck, hen or rabbit for you -- great. If not, you'll need to invest in a grinder to be able to make your own food at home. Getting a grinder is also relatively inexpensive. I have the Tasin 108 from It's a strong enough grinder to handle grinding the bones.

The time and money you invest in feeding fresh real food to your cats will pay off in the long term. There is a bit of organization and a new routine to ensure your cat is always eating fresh -- or fresh unfrozen food -- but you will be amazed at the results. Your cats will be strong and healthy and will not suffer from any of the difficult to diagnose illnesses caused by commercial pet food. You will not have big vet bills and a sick cat to deal with, nor any of the attendant stress that goes along with that.

Remember there are no long term studies guaranteeing the safety of commercial cat food. There is no regulation of pet food ingredients in either Canada or the US.

By feeding a raw diet, all you need to do is look to nature: 40 million years of cats eating and thriving as obligate carnivores clearly makes the point. Cats do not need -- and cannot tolerate -- rice, soy, corn, wheat, fruits or veggies. Any cat food that has these items in it -- or anything called gluten -- is not something that they would search out and consider to be food. To counter this, the PFI companies spray chemicals and meat-flavoured digests on kibble to get cats to eat it.

Print out a copy of this recipe and put it on the counter every time you get ready to make food. Get all your supplements ready and at hand before grinding the meat -- that way you are organized and ready. I can make this recipe in less than 1 hour and that includes travel time to and from the butcher.

Remember if you are using this recipe to make rabbit, adding extra taurine is essential. Don't leave it out -- it's an essential amino acid for cats and rabbit is low in taurine.

Here's the recipe.

Raw Food Diet Recipe Made WITH Real Bones for Cats
2 kg [4.4 pounds] raw muscle meat with bones (chicken thighs and drumsticks or, better, a whole carcass of rabbit or chicken amounting to 2 kg; if you don't use a whole carcass, opt for dark meat like thighs and drumsticks from chicken or turkey)
400 grams [14 oz] raw heart, ideally from the same family of animal (in other words, don't use beef heart with a chicken recipe, use chicken heart with chicken; if no heart is available, substitute with 4000 mg Taurine)

200 grams [7 oz] raw liver, ideally from the same family of animal (in other words, don't use beef liver with a batch you're making of chicken; use chicken liver with a chicken batch; if you can't find appropriate liver, you can substitute 40,000 IU of Vitamin A and 1600 IU of Vitamin D--but try to use real liver rather than substitutes)

NOTE: If you cannot find the heart or liver and decide to substitute with the Taurine/Vitamin A and D, then remember to REPLACE the missing amount of organ meat with the equivalent amount of muscle meat. In other words, if you cannot find heart, you add another 400 grams of the meat/bones. If you can't find the liver, add another 200 grams of meat/bone.

16 oz [2 cups] water

4 raw egg yolks (use eggs from free-range, antibiotic-free chickens if you can)

4 capsules raw glandular supplement, such as, for example, multigland supplement by Immoplex

4000 mg salmon oil (see note at bottom of recipe*)

800 IU Vitamin E ("dry E" works well)

200 mg Vitamin B complex

(optional: 1/4 tsp. kelp and 1/4 tsp of dulse -- 1/2 tsp total; skip these two ingredients altogether if you're using free-range, 'organically raised' meats, as the nutrients they are meant to supply are amply available in the bone of truly healthy, non-conventionally-raised, so-called 'organic' meats)

(optional: 4 tsp. psyllium husk powder (8 tsp. if using whole psyllium husks; see note at bottom of recipe**)

NOTE: If you will not be using the food immediately and freezing for more than a week or two, toss in 4000 mg of additional Taurine to make up for what may get lost during storage. It is also not a bad idea to sprinkle extra Taurine from a capsule on the food as you're serving it two or three times a week, just to be certain your cat is getting plenty of this critical amino acid.

1. Remove the skin from the muscle meat. Chunk up (i.e., cut) as much of the muscle meat (minus most of the skin if using chicken or turkey, but leave skin on if using rabbit) as you can stand into bite-sized (nickel-sized, approximately) pieces. Save the chunked meat for later. Do not grind it.

2. Grind up the raw liver, any skin, raw meaty bones, and raw heart. Once ground, stir this meat/bone mixture well and return to refrigerator.

3. Fill a bowl with 2 cups of water and whisk everything (non-meat) except the psyllium. If you had to replace liver with Vitamin A/D or replace heart with Taurine, add the substitutes now. Add psyllium at the end--if you're using it-- and mix well. Finally, put the three mixtures together--the "supplement slurry" that you have just mixed, the ground up meat/bone/organs, and the chunks of meat that you cut up by hand. Portion into containers and freeze.

Don't overfill the containers. The food expands when frozen and you don't want lids popping off. Thaw as you go. The food shouldn't be left thawed in the refrigerator more than 48 hours before serving. To serve, portion into a 'zipper baggie' and warm under hot water in the sink. NEVER microwave the food. Cats like their food at something approximating "mouse body temperature."

*Every two or three days, I suggest sprinkling a few drops of fresh salmon oil from a newly-opened capsule on to the cats' food. The Essential Fatty Acids in salmon oil are extremely fragile, and since we do not know exactly how much gets lost during freezing, I think it's wise to use a bit of fresh salmon oil directly on the food a few times a week. Most cats love the flavor.
**Not all cats require additional fiber (psyllium) in their diet. If your cat has been eating low-quality commercial food for several years, especially dry food, she may have lost bowel elasticity and may benefit from the extra fiber. As a general rule, I recommend using psyllium when an adult cat first gets raw food. I rarely add much psyllium to my adult cats' diet. Bear in mind that some cats seem to get constipated without additional fiber, whereas other cats seem to get constipated if they get too much fiber. Each cat is unique, and you'll have to judge what works best for your cat.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Makena at 9 months old

Makena is now 9 months old. I had her spayed in December. As much as I would like to breed Siamese cats, now is not the time.

Makena's name means "happy one." Happy that she lives in a house that will never, ever feed her poisonous dry, species-inappropriate vet kibble. Happy that she has a cat guardian who is aware of the dangers of vaccinations and will not be getting any -- and that her veterinarian is supportive of this choice.

I wanted to report that after Makena's spaying, she only used homeopathy to recover -- a homeopathic remedy combination that included arnica, staphisagria and hypernicum. In less than 36 hours she was jumping up on the desk again and back to playing. It's just more proof for me that cats and homeopathy work so well together.

Makena has recovered very well after her spaying, which is, of course, major surgery. In the days following her operation, she got special treats that included organic raw chicken hearts, raw lamb stew bits and chicken wings.

Makena cleans her teeth by eating chicken wings on "prey night", which we do once a week or so. She especially loves the wing tips. I give them to her supervised and she crunches them down, bone and all. Perfectly safe but a bit messy sometimes. If I see her dragging it around I pick her and the wing up and put her in the shower stall so she can finish eating.

I just wish that I had known about raw diet for my cats many years ago. I strongly believe that my two other Siamese cats wouldn't have died from the illnesses caused by dry cat food. That includes all these prescription diet formulas pushed by the veterinary world. Not only do these prescription diets not work, but they are causing all kinds of illnesses in cats over the long term.

Critics will argue that the Pet Food Industry does short term testing. A couple of issues with that:

--the short term tests done by the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO are 6 months, at most;
--as long as 6 out of 8 or so cats do not lose more than 15% of their body weight and pass a few blood tests, the food is deemed to be "complete and balanced";
--if, out of the 8 or so cats tested, 2 of them die, that's still considered acceptable for a food to be put on the market;
--claims of longevity, reproductive or multi-generational health cannot be substantiated by this methodology

How is it that veterinarians cannot comprehend the basic diet -- raw meat -- that felines have existed on for more than 40 million years -- is what they should be eating now? Are they really so blinded by the "bottom line" of sales of dry cat food in their clinics that they continue to remain so disconnected with respect to this fundamental basic of feline nutrition? It's really not difficult to feed your cat a species-appropriate healthy diet.

There's really no excuse for their ignorance, particularly with indictments now being handed down in the United States for a mixture of melamine and cyanuric acid in cat food.

As cat-guardians become more informed that a dry food diet is a junk food diet, the people they will blame are not the pet food company representatives or CEOs, but the veterinarians who prescribed and sold these poor quality, junk food prescription diet formulas that are making so many cats sick.

What will it take for the vets to wake up to their role in this massive consumer fraud?


Letters to vet clinics from pet owners saying they will take the business elsewhere unless the clinics stop selling this kibble and carbohydrated laden canned foods that are making so many pets sick?

Regulatory changes to the FDA to institute effective pet food company plant and ingredient inspections?

A boycott campaign?

All of the above -- and more?