"Nutritionally Complete" assurances for our pet food?

Willowy

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Melesine, how much hunting do your cats do? Would you say they probably average at least one mouse a week? If so, I think that would supply enough taurine, so you probably don't have to worry. Although I would most likely give my cats some commercial canned food, too, if I were in that situation.
 

melesine

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Melesine, how much hunting do your cats do? Would you say they probably average at least one mouse a week? If so, I think that would supply enough taurine, so you probably don't have to worry. Although I would most likely give my cats some commercial canned food, too, if I were in that situation.

They are strictly indoors and both are less than a year old, I really doubt that we have any mice in our house. I wish they did hunt, I think it would be healthy for them, but that would mean I'd have to let them outside and I don't like the other risks involved with that
 

melesine

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If you feed frankerprey - not ground, my understanding is that you don't need to supplement.....
Also, when you supplement, you base the qty on the weight of the food - then you feed according with the with what each cat's need - you don't give the supplement to each cat as a vitamin - you supplement the food, not the cat. That's what I know about it, anyways. So - you would mix only one batch for all the kitties..... and feed them different qtys per their weights..... of course larger cats will need more food than smaller..... But as pointed out before, Taurine is water soluble, so there is not much you have to worry about with overdosing....
If you don't want to supplement, you can always feed a commercial raw diet that already fits the AAFCO Taurine recommendations - those are calculated "as fed", and come ready to go.... You don't need to do a thing besides feeding the proper amount of food per kitty... There are plenty out there available for the pick.
Or.... you can just keep on commercial food - wet/dry......
I chose to transition all of my to commercial raw

We feed prey model to our dogs, and right now the cats get pieces of raw meaty bones along with commercial grain free foods. My ideal feeding plan is prey model raw for the cats too. Dogs just seem so much easier to me to feed a raw diet, because their natural food sources are much closer to our own. I don't eat mice lol. I've considered rabbit for the cats, but it was much more readily available where we used to live. Not sure where I'd get it here. 

As far as supplementing the food not the cat. That is the problem. With raw meaty bones the only way to supplement is to topically dress the food, and I don't think my cats will like their meat sprinkled with powdered stuff. I'd love to be off commercial food completely, I am not a fan of commercial raw for the same reasons I'm not a fan of commercial canned or dry foods. Plus I don't think that ground food is healthiest as a full time diet. I suppose I could switch to commercial raw for taurine supplementation instead of the canned I'm giving for that purpose. Like I said, I really need to do more research.

Sorry if I'm taking the thread OT. I'll be quiet now LOL. 
 

carolina

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We feed prey model to our dogs, and right now the cats get pieces of raw meaty bones along with commercial grain free foods. My ideal feeding plan is prey model raw for the cats too. Dogs just seem so much easier to me to feed a raw diet, because their natural food sources are much closer to our own. I don't eat mice lol. I've considered rabbit for the cats, but it was much more readily available where we used to live. Not sure where I'd get it here. 

As far as supplementing the food not the cat. That is the problem. With raw meaty bones the only way to supplement is to topically dress the food, and I don't think my cats will like their meat sprinkled with powdered stuff. I'd love to be off commercial food completely, I am not a fan of commercial raw for the same reasons I'm not a fan of commercial canned or dry foods. Plus I don't think that ground food is healthiest as a full time diet. I suppose I could switch to commercial raw for taurine supplementation instead of the canned I'm giving for that purpose. Like I said, I really need to do more research.

Sorry if I'm taking the thread OT. I'll be quiet now LOL. 
IMHO more research will help to set your mind at ease.... Prey style feeding does not require taurine supplementation..... Your babies would be just fine..... But yes.... We do have a Raw Feeding Sub Forum - why don't you open a thread there?
 
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Willowy

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They are strictly indoors and both are less than a year old, I really doubt that we have any mice in our house. I wish they did hunt, I think it would be healthy for them, but that would mean I'd have to let them outside and I don't like the other risks involved with that
Oops, LOL, for some reaason I was mixing you up with the poster in Africa who can't get a proper diet for her kitties. . .my mistake. Carry on :D.
 

auntie crazy

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Originally Posted by MeuzettesMom


I suppose if we let the companies know we are an educated public, you think they would be better?
Vote with your wallet, and let your voice be heard, and YES, some of them will change!! They have already begun to do so. 


AC
 

just mike

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Hmmm.

1) Susan Thixton does NOT have a pay per click site. And her book, Buyer Beware, costs less than $14 a copy!

2) Ms. Thixton is recognized by those in her field to be one of the leading experts on the pet food industry's manufacturing processes and ingredients sourcing and labeling practices. The amount of research she has conducted, including interviews with top government, USDA, and AAFCO, and PFI executives is extensive, and the vast majority of her discoveries are publicized for free on her site. As are her frequent notifications of recalls.

3). Ms. Thixton's motivation is no secret to anyone who has spent any time on her site - like me, she's lost a beloved family member to pet food contamination.

4). Ms. Thixton's information is only one of many, many sources being used to explore this topic. A quick scroll through this thread will give you post after post with links directly to AAFCO and other related organizations. In fact, it was the limited nature of AAFCO's feeding trials that prompted the start of this thread.

5) That study you two are referencing in such negative terms is a heavy metals research project conducted by the Spex CertiPrep company, which has absolutely no association with Ms. Thixton. And it is only one of many studies, papers, and documentaries discussed in this thread.

The pet food industry's blithe assurances that all is well, that every one of their products bearing an AAFCO "complete and balanced" stamp of approval is both 100% complete and balanced and perfectly safe to feed to our cats day after day, year after year is blatantly, egregiously false.

Regards.

AC

1. Actually it is.  Her sponsors reimburse her.

2. I am sure Thixton has many followers and I don't doubt her research but her findings tend to be biased in my opinion. Very biased in some cases.

3. The loss of a pet is terrible to any of us.

4. I have scrolled through the thread. I don't believe AAFCO is infallible but without them we would have very little help.

5. Then why is she publishing it on her site?  To stir fear in my opinion.

I would be careful how you state the last paragraph AC. If you know this for a fact you need to post verifiable proof and documentation regarding your claims.  From an unbiased third party, not Susan Thixton.

Regards and respect,

Michael
 

just mike

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Sorry, I thought you were accusing people posting here in the thread of fear-mongering (which I never understood why
). Personally, I don't know much about Susan Thixton or TheTruthAboutPetFood.com. Perhaps she could or should have asked the questions we did.
But it's her blog to do with as she pleases. Honestly, I don't really care one way or the other. Seems to me someone with passion, whether intentionally fear-mongering or not, is just an off-set to the complacency the AAFCO (or in this case the FDA?) would have us feel about the quality and/or safety of our pet food.
Again - as with any opinion-based information, it's up to people to do their own research and make their own decisions. IMO.
I agree LDG. I think it is up to all of us to research nutrition issues that are important to us and make the most informed decisions I can.  I don't take opinion too seriously when it comes to the health and well being of any of my animals.  Or myself for that matter.
 

auntie crazy

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Originally Posted by NutroMike

Originally Posted by Auntie Crazy

Hmmm.
1) Susan Thixton does NOT have a pay per click site. And her book, Buyer Beware, costs less than $14 a copy!

2) Ms. Thixton is recognized by those in her field to be one of the leading experts on the pet food industry's manufacturing processes and ingredients sourcing and labeling practices. The amount of research she has conducted, including interviews with top government, USDA, and AAFCO, and PFI executives is extensive, and the vast majority of her discoveries are publicized for free on her site. As are her frequent notifications of recalls.

3). Ms. Thixton's motivation is no secret to anyone who has spent any time on her site - like me, she's lost a beloved family member to pet food contamination.

4). Ms. Thixton's information is only one of many, many sources being used to explore this topic. A quick scroll through this thread will give you post after post with links directly to AAFCO and other related organizations. In fact, it was the limited nature of AAFCO's feeding trials that prompted the start of this thread.

5) That study you two are referencing in such negative terms is a heavy metals research project conducted by the Spex CertiPrep company, which has absolutely no association with Ms. Thixton. And it is only one of many studies, papers, and documentaries discussed in this thread.

The pet food industry's blithe assurances that all is well, that every one of their products bearing an AAFCO "complete and balanced" stamp of approval is both 100% complete and balanced and perfectly safe to feed to our cats day after day, year after year is blatantly, egregiously false.

Regards.

AC

1. Actually it is.  Her sponsors reimburse her.

2. I am sure Thixton has many followers and I don't doubt her research but her findings tend to be biased in my opinion. Very biased in some cases.

3. The loss of a pet is terrible to any of us.

4. I have scrolled through the thread. I don't believe AAFCO is infallible but without them we would have very little help.

5. Then why is she publishing it on her site?  To stir fear in my opinion.

I would be careful how you state the last paragraph AC. If you know this for a fact you need to post verifiable proof and documentation regarding your claims.  From an unbiased third party, not Susan Thixton.

Regards and respect,

Michael
What sponsors? Who are they? Why are they hidden and how did you get this secret information?

Simple common sense, not to mention logic, dictates - if all the facts are not known, then any assurance of "100% Complete and Balanced" can not be accurate. Scientists are a very long way off from identifying all that is needed to make this claim; for goodness' sake, they lack the knowledge to make high-priority baby formula as nutritious as a baby's "natural" diet, and you would have us believe they know all there is to know about feline nutrition?

If common sense, or logic, isn't enough, how about these quotes: Cat Owners Home Veterinarian Handbook (2008), pg. 492, "The basic nutritional requirements for cats are listed in the table below. ... Not every column has a number because values have not been determined for every nutrient in every category." and pg. 501, "There are two ways a food can meet AAFCO guidelines... The calculation approach is limited in its usefulness because current knowledge is not complete for all nutrients cats require."

Or this note in the National Research Council's latest production (2006) of the Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats, "An extensive amount of new research conducted since the previous National Research Council publications on dogs and cats was available for this NRC report, yet several gaps still exist in our knowledge of requirements for specific nutrients."

As for safe? How about the taurine cat deaths prior to the 1980s, the thousands of cats and dogs dead in 2007 for chemical contamination, the inadequate thiamine cat deaths in 2009, the many dogs killed by aflotoxins in 1995 (Nature's Recipe), 1999 (Doane Pet Care) and 2005 (Diamond) and by Vitamin D toxicity in 2010 (Blue Buffalo) to name just a few - industry-admitted! - instances. This doesn't even touch on the five dozen or so recalls in the last two years alone, including two on the Nutro products you sell, one for the presence of blue plastic in canine kibble and another for incorrect levels of zinc and potassium in feline kibble.

And if all of that is not enough, we have the many authoritative anecdotal reports of cats recovering in part or wholly from a large variety of ailments when those cats are taken off commercial pet foods (not to mention the hundreds of personal stories relating the same improvements - some of them right here on TCS):

Dr. Elizabeth Hodgkins, author of YourDiabeticCat.com, in her book, Your Cat: Simple New Secrets to a Longer, Stronger Life:

“I have never seen a single case of serious obesity, diabetes, urinary tract disease, or IBD in a cat fed meat instead of commercial dry foods. Many other people have seen the same results. Further, I do not see nutritional deficiencies in cats fed properly balanced raw-meat diets. I want to emphasize a point here. The incidence of these problems has not just declined on a raw-meat diet, they have entirely disappeared. These results are too dramatic to ignore.”

Dr. Jean Hofve, author of LittleBigCat.com in her article Homemade vs. Commercial Food for Cats (and Dogs!):

“The weight of practical experience by owners, breeders, and the holistic veterinary community, is on the side of natural diets. Very few problems have arisen; compared to the legion of allergies, skin disease, dental disease, obesity, bladder infections, diabetes, and other health problems encountered by animals on commercial diets.



The most impressive evidence for homemade diets is the testimony of dozens of pet guardians, breeders, and veterinarians. Not only have I personally seen the improved health and well-being of pets on good homemade diets, but I have received dozens of first-hand reports from pet guardians citing increased health and vitality, as well as rapid disappearance of medical problems, from itchy ears to seizures.”

Dr. Will Falconer, Certified Veterinary Homeopath, The Cats are Talking… About Chronic Disease:

“Interestingly enough, the diseases that are quite common in cats now were virtually unknown in the late 70′s when I was in veterinary school. We had two donated diabetic beagle siblings who lived in the hospital and taught us about this strange disease. It was something we never saw in cats, and it was pretty uncommon in dogs for that matter. We learned of hypothyroidism from several canine cases, but cats didn’t have thyroid problems, and hyperthyroidism was not in the books or the exam rooms. We saw horrible skin allergies in dogs, with crusts and scabs and red feet and unending itchiness, but we didn’t see cats with this disease, either.

Well, if you’ve been observant in recent years, you know that these chronic diseases are fairly commonplace now in the feline population. As are heartworm (again, a dog disease originally), asthma, kidney failure, inflammatory bowel disease, dental calculus and decay, heart disease, and cancer. Why? Could it be that the cat is now following the same road that the dog has gone down? I think so, and what’s more, I think we need to redefine what is the best way to raise a healthy animal.”

Dr. Andrea Tasi, a frequent lecturer and feline-exclusive veterinarian since 1991, Feeding raw: a veterinarian’s view:

“I have seen diabetes, asthma, lower urinary tract (bladder) problems, chronic vomiting and/or diarrhea (inflammatory bowel disease-type symptoms), skin and ear problems and other health issues either markedly improve or completely resolve when raw diets were introduced. Every cat will respond in their own way, but I now view real, fresh, raw food as the “best medicine” for many of my patients.”

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

So I repeat, the pet food industry's blithe assurances that all is well, that every one of their products bearing an AAFCO "complete and balanced" stamp of approval is both 100% complete and balanced and perfectly safe to feed to our cats day after day, year after year is blatantly, egregiously false.

And I add - if we want this to change, we must be the motivation. We are the guardians of our pets, not the pet food industry! It's their job to make money, and ours to protect our littlest family members. I believe there can be a meeting of the two, but that's not where we are today, and it won't happen without action on our part.

Best regards.

AC
 

auntie crazy

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So how do we make a change from the bottom up?

First, speak with your wallet... purchase from manufacturers who use clean, wholesome ingredients and develop species-appropriate food products. Ask your preferred manufacturer to join the Pet Food Recall First Alert program; if they're already a member, sign up for an alert and email the company thanking them for their participation.

Second, talk to pet food representatives. Write to pet food food companies and tell them what you want - and what you don't want!

Third, write to your representatives at all levels of the government, including your State Dept.s of Agriculture, explaining your concerns about current pet food manufacturing processes, and ingredient sourcing and labeling practices and regulations. Send letters to AAFCO and the FDA.

Fourth, bring diet into the discussion when a pet's illness requires a veterinarian visit, contact the manufacturer when you or your veterinarian thinks there's a connection between a beloved pet's illness and its diet, and submit a report through the FDA's Safety Reporting Portal.

The greater the numbers of educated and concerned pet parents who become actively involved in what they feed their pets, the greater the impact we will have and the quicker the changes we desire will be made!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Speaking of which, AAFCO's annual January meeting is this week. Susan Thixton will be attending the meeting and has been granted an interview with several officials on the 18th. Below are the questions she will be asking them; if you think these questions represent your concerns, why not pop over to TruthAboutPetFood.com and show her your support?

1.  What are your goals this year with AAFCO?

2.  Why are no consumer representatives on the Pet Food Committee?  Various industries are represented, shouldn't pet owners be represented too?

3.  Most of my questions are specific to pet food, however in regards to all animal feeds - why does AAFCO allow waste ingredients into animal food?  Ingredients such as expired grocery food, poultry litter, rendered euthanized animals.  How can any waste like this be considered nutrition?

4.  Can AAFCO provide consumers with improved ingredient definitions?  For the consumer that does not want waste ingredients to be in their pet's food - the way things are now, we have to do extensive detective work to learn about our pet food.  AAFCO can keep existing ingredient definitions, but why can't there be ingredients, as example, a 'chicken' ingredient that will assure the consumer the chicken is USDA inspected and approved chicken meat?  

5.  With regards to the pet food ingredient poultry, the definition is so broad that a pet food containing a 'poultry' ingredient could include bone and skin with virtually no meat.  Does AAFCO have plans to improve this definition?  Health conscious pet owners want to purchase a pet food made with meat, not skin and bone.  

6.  Would AAFCO consider requiring country of origin of ingredient information on pet food/treat labels?

7.  Since the 2007 recall, a growing number of pet food consumers have lost faith/trust in pet food regulatory authorities.  How does it make you feel that consumers don't trust AAFCO and believes AAFCO places the concerns of industry over the health of pets?  

8.  I'm sure you are aware, several years ago, past AAFCO President Hersh Pendell did a video interview and told the reporter that euthanized pets could be in the pet food ingredient meat and bone meal.  Are you aware of any pet foods or pet treats that contain ingredients sourced from euthanized dogs and cats?  If through DNA testing, any pet food or pet treat was discovered to contain dog or cat, what action would State Department of Agriculture representatives take?  If you can't speak for all State Department of Agricultures, what would you do in your state?  According to current AAFCO regulations, are euthanized pets - any euthanized animal - allowed to be the source or part of the source of a pet food ingredient?  Does AAFCO require renderers to follow regulations or procedures to assure no euthanized pet becomes a pet food ingredient?

9.  Considering that pet obesity is at epidemic levels, why does AAFCO use the Modified Atwater system to report calories instead of food industry standard Atwater?  On one dog food, the calorie difference for a 30# dog was 35,000 calories over a year - AAFCO's Modified Atwater resulted in 35,000 less calorie reporting.  Isn't this contributing to pet obesity?
On the same topic, why is protein and fat listed as a minimum on pet food labels?  Again, considering the number of obese pets, shouldn't the fat percentage (at least) be listed as maximum?

10.  Why can't pet food labels provide nutritional information just like human food - using the FDA Nutrition Label?

11.  Could the Guaranteed Analysis be modified to provide protein percent from animal ingredients and protein percent from other ingredients?  Along this line, so many pet owners are concerned that cat foods are allowed to contain such high levels of grain ingredients; cats being obligate carnivores.  Why are so many carbohydrates allowed in cat foods?

12.  What is the AAFCO stance on silent recalls or product pulls (where pet foods or treats are removed from store shelves without notice to consumers)?

13.  Does AAFCO monitor prescription pet foods for therapeutic effect?  In not, who does?

14.  When will AAFCO establish maximum levels for all vitamins and minerals in pet foods?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Best regards!

AC
 
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ldg

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ldg

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1. Actually it is.  Her sponsors reimburse her.

I've read a couple of her blog posts but don't know the site very well. I just popped over there... and cannot figure out what you're talking about. There's one ad - and one ad for her book. What sponsors? What click through?
 

emilymaywilcha

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 Bumping this thread up because there is so much information worth reading . . .


I am copying a lot of quotes, links, and comments to emails and sending them to myself. Eventually they will be organized by poster.


The more I read about this, the more I want to do something about it. What pet food makers are doing and allowed to do is shocking.
 

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AAFCO's latest move might prove interesting to those reading this thread.
"Kohl Harrington, one attorney/one law firm represents both the regulators of pet food and the regulated industry. Attorney John Dillard of OFW Law firm represents both the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO – an organization of regulators of pet food) and the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA – a trade association of animal feed and pet food manufacturers). One attorney, one law firm representing both sides of the pet food fence – the Regulators and the Regulated." - Thixton



And about those pet food safety laws

 
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