Who the FDA Investigates and Publicly Shames, and Who They Do Not – Reality about Pet Meals


Disclosure assertion: Darwin’s Pet Meals has been included in TruthaboutPetFood.com’s Checklist of Pet Meals I (Susan Thixton) would feed to my very own pets for a number of years. They are going to be included once more within the 2024 Checklist. Darwin’s has supplied us verification – each yr they’re included within the Checklist – to proof human grade ingredient high quality, human grade complement high quality, natural components and meats sourced from humanely raised animals of their pet meals. Darwin’s has been clear with us for each query now we have. The a number of FDA ‘advisory’ press releases about this pet meals has not deterred our belief on this pet meals.

On October 12, 2023 the FDA issued one other “advisory” about Darwin’s Pet Meals. This warning adopted a earlier FDA warning assertion about Darwin’s issued in August 2022.

The FDA October 2023 FDA advisory acknowledged three Darwin’s merchandise examined constructive for Salmonella. Nevertheless, Darwin’s acknowledged in a public discover “the product examined constructive for salmonella solely following an incubation interval; it was not detectable utilizing typical testing strategies.”

We despatched inquiries to FDA on October 12, 2023 asking the company to substantiate or deny Darwin’s assertion that the pet meals was allowed to incubate previous to testing. We requested if the uncooked frozen pet meals was allowed to incubate, and if that’s the case, for what number of hours and at what temperature was the pet meals held at? (Comparable to, if a uncooked, frozen pet meals was held at room temperature for 3 days…after all it could take a look at constructive for Salmonella.)

The FDA has not responded to those questions.

FDA additionally acknowledged of their very public advisory “After receiving a shopper grievance, FDA collected and examined a pattern of an extra product.

Attention-grabbing. The FDA obtained “a shopper grievance” (one shopper grievance) and determined to check this pet meals. 

The FDA didn’t present a date when that shopper grievance was obtained, so we requested the company: When did the company obtain this shopper grievance? Can FDA present a redacted copy of this shopper grievance?

The FDA has not responded to those questions.

Left with out solutions, with out transparency from FDA – we determined to research FDA information of opposed occasion experiences (pet proprietor submitted experiences of sick or lifeless pets linked to a pet meals or deal with) submitted to the company. The latest information FDA has obtainable (with out submitting a Freedom of Info Act request which takes years for the company to answer) are from Could 2, 2020 via Could 1, 2021. (Information from Could 2, 2021 via June 10, 2022 included no experiences of sick pets linked to Darwin’s.)

On this one-year timeframe, the FDA obtained 4 shopper complaints relating to Darwin’s pet meals.

However in the exact same timeframe, taken from the equivalent FDA information – the FDA obtained 87 shopper complaints relating to Blue Buffalo pet meals.

In simply 4 days, the FDA obtained 5 instances the experiences of sick pets believed to be linked to Blue Buffalo pet meals than it obtained in a complete yr for sick pets believed to be linked to Darwin’s. The signs reported for Blue Buffalo have been much like the signs reported linked to Darwin’s – however the Blue Buffalo experiences have been extra critical and in simply these 4 days two pets died.

Reminder: the FDA obtained one shopper grievance relating to Darwin’s pet meals and examined the pet meals.

If FDA took an unbiased place on testing and regulating pet meals, this may imply that the FDA would have examined Blue Buffalo 87 instances – as a result of they obtained 87 shopper complaints. The company ought to have – identical to the motion they took with Darwin’s – examined Blue Buffalo with every shopper grievance they obtained. However to our data, FDA didn’t take a look at Blue Buffalo – not even as soon as.

To our data, FDA by no means investigated Blue Buffalo for any of those shopper complaints. To our data, FDA by no means inspected the Blue Buffalo manufacturing plant(s) concerned within the manufacturing of those pet meals. And with certainty, the FDA by no means issued an advisory or alert warning pet homeowners about Blue Buffalo like they did with Darwin’s.

To be truthful to Darwin’s and Blue Buffalo, not all opposed occasion experiences are immediately linked to a pet meals. Usually – although unknown how usually – one other situation may be the reason for the pet sickness and the pet meals is blamed.

However the information stay…the FDA’s personal information proof that inside a one yr timeframe, the FDA obtained 4 experiences of pet sickness believed linked to Darwin’s pet meals and 87 experiences of sick and lifeless pets believed to be linked to Blue Buffalo. The FDA has made a number of makes an attempt to publicly disgrace (or destroy) Darwin’s and the company has not even talked about Blue Buffalo.

Private opinion: Pet homeowners ought to be very involved, it doesn’t matter what fashion of pet meals you present your pet. In the event you feed uncooked pet meals, you have to be very involved that the FDA Heart for Veterinary Medication (CVM) is attempting to destroy this fashion of pet meals. In the event you feed your pet any meals manufactured by the FDA favored Large Producers – you have to be very involved what issues FDA are ignoring which may sicken or kill your pet. Both approach, now we have an enormous drawback with how FDA CVM regulates pet meals.

Be at liberty to e mail FDA your considerations: AskCVM@fda.hhs.gov.

We now have filed a Freedom of Info Act request with FDA for info of any testing carried out on any Blue Buffalo pet meals in the course of the one yr timeframe when 87 shopper complaints have been obtained. Sadly, it should most likely be a number of years earlier than the FDA supplies us with info.

Wishing you and your pet(s) the very best,

Susan Thixton
Pet Meals Security Advocate
Creator Purchaser Beware, Co-Creator Dinner PAWsible
Affiliation for Reality in Pet Meals

Grow to be a member of our pet meals shopper Affiliation. Affiliation for Reality in Pet Meals is a a stakeholder group representing the voice of pet meals shoppers at AAFCO and with FDA. Your membership helps representatives attend conferences and voice shopper considerations with regulatory authorities. Click on Right here to study extra.

What’s in Your Pet’s Meals?
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The 2023 Checklist
Susan’s Checklist of trusted pet meals. Click on Right here to study extra.

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