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?

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