Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Calling Michael Moore To Expose Global Pet Food Scam

Hey Mike,

Why do pet owners feed their carnivorous dogs and cats cooked, starchy kibble, instead of raw meats and meaty bones? Hmm, that doesn't make sense, right? Why do 85% of dogs and 70% of cats have rotting teeth and gums by the age of three years? The short answer is commercial pet foods that coat pets' teeth with gummy sludge that harbor bacteria, that infect gums and drain into the blood stream, creating chronic diseases of major organs.

The longer answer is a tale of global food giants investing $ billions to buy the loyalty of small animal medicine, control government regulators, and silence animal welfare organizations. Pet food players are household names, because they manufacture processed foods for people -- Mars, Proctor & Gamble, Nestle, Heinz, and Del Monte.

Thanks to generous funding of veterinary schools' research and training, small animal vets are taught to recommend and sell manufactured foods to pet owners. Pet-food companies fund research they want, pay hundreds of vet as consultants, and support all manner of small animal medical events. AAFCO, the major regulatory agency, is funded and staffed by pet-food companies. Animal welfare organizations depend on pet-food companies to support their activities.

Okay, so how is this scenario fodder for Mike' treatment? Major pet-food payers are global food giants, Mars, Nestle-Purina, Proctor & Gamble, Heinz, and Del Monte. Pet food is where they dispose of waste from their human food businesses. The synergy is obvious and very profitable. Grain fractions and other starches go directly into pet foods. Waste animal parts, 4-D (down, dying, dead, and diseased) animals, and euthanized pets, go to the rendering plant. Rendering plants cook and dry animal fats and protein fractions that are used in food-animal feeds and in pet foods.

Don't get me wrong. Animal by-products are not necessarily bad nutrition, despite their origins. It's disgusting to think about what goes into rendered by-products, but if animal waste were not rendered, communities would be innundated with rotting carcasses. The scandal of using euthanized pets in pet food was exposed some years ago. Drugs used to kill the pets, which are not destroyed by cooking, are harmful to pets who eat them. Pet food companies promise they do not use pets in pet food, but it's very hard to track what goes into rendering vats and where it ends up.

So, returning to our global pet food companies, picture executives at Mars, Nestle, P & G, Heinz and Del Monte explaining why cooked starches are good diets for dogs and cats. Really? The rationale for manufactured pet chow is ridiculous on its face.  They can't make meat and bones out of starches, rendered fats, proteins, and nutrient fragments.

Think of Deans of veterinary schools explaining why they don't teach the evolution of carnivorous pets and their natural diet of whole prey (not kibble). Why do pet-food company representatives teach pet nutrition courses? Why are the textbooks on pet diets written by pet-food company employees? Why do vet students become employees and representatives of pet-food companies from day 1 of their training? What do Deans have to say about the pervasive influence of pet-food companies on vet education?

Let's see the American Kennel Club CEO explain why the premier organization devoted to welfare of purebred dogs and their owners pushes junk pet foods that make pets sick, instead of raw-meaty-bones. Does Eukanuba come to mind? Why does the AKC partner with Royal Canin (a Mars brand) to produce training materials on pet diets for vet students? Collusion is extensive and begs to be exposed.

And think of AAFCO, the primary government regulatory body for pet food, revealing its membership and sources of support. Embarassing! The fox is in charge of the hen house.

There are a lot of Rogers out there in pet-land with a lot of explaining to do. GM is big, but global pet food is bigger -- a $50 billion a year business that is growing faster than human food and beverage businesses. In 2008, pet food was a bright spot in these companies’ annual reports.  Commercial pet food is spreading into developing markets, replacing homemade meals for pets.  Remember the Nestle scandal of infant formula, marketed to developing countries to replace breast-feeding?  A lot of babies died.  Replay the tape for pet food.

Pet owners are bombarded with false advertising to feed "100% complete and balanced" pet foods that are primarily extruded starches, sprayed with manufactured nutrients. Labels such as "natural", "meaty", and "healthful" conceal the obvious fact that kibble is primarily starch, extruded from machines. Picture the product blowing out of giant extruders and being sprayed with manufactured nutrients to make it sustain life at all.

Starches are not appropriate food for carnivorous pets that need meaty bones to stay healthy. Pet-food claims of complete and balanced nutrition are endorsed, however, by AAFCO, small animal vets, and animal welfare groups, whose loyalty has been purchased. They’re all in this profitable scam together.

Pets and their owners suffer the consequences -- pets with poor health and shorter lifespan, and owners who spend $ millions to treat illnesses from the pet foods vets recommend and sell.

Mike, you’ve tackled GM, hospitals, doctors, and capitalism. You’ll have a ball examining pet food operations at Mars, Nestle-Purina, Proctor & Gamble, Heinz, and Del Monte.

Please, pets around the world need your help.