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From: TSS ()
Subject: Pet Food Industry Blasted for Suggesting Self-Regulation
Date: April 13, 2007 at 11:24 am PST

Article Posted: 04/13/2007 11:13:02 AM
Pet Food Industry Blasted for Suggesting Self-Regulation

Pet Defenders, the political action committee representing pet owners nationwide, called today's Senate oversight hearing into the national pet food recall a good first step towards regulating the pet food industry, but blasted the response of the pet food industry's public relations machine as uncaring and reckless.

While the Senate oversight hearing today to examine the recent pet food recall is a victory for pet owners nationwide, the Pet Food Institute, an industry group that represents the nation's pet food manufacturing companies, called any proposal for deeper federal regulations of the industry "presumptuous."

"The industry has been operating under its own set of self-imposed regulations, and that is precisely what led to the terrible contamination of pet food that has killed possibly thousands of our pets. It's preposterous that the industry continues to say that this is sufficient and continues to fight increased government regulation. The pet food industry remains reckless and more interested in profits than our pets," said Pet Defenders President Marty Stone. "Many pet owners believe that there is criminal neglect here and it is up to the government to investigate not a 'PR-firm created government- industry partnership,' the National Pet Food Commission."

Stone said more federal oversight of the pet food industry is necessary in the wake of the pet food recall. Recent reports indicate that FDA had never inspected the plants where contaminated pet food originated. Cases of kidney failure in pets have increased by 30% since the tainted food hit the shelves in early March.

Pet Defenders is also collecting testimonials from pet owners about sick pets and plans to deliver these stories to pet food executives and members of Congress.

"Pet owners who have lost their pets due to contaminated food deserve more than rhetoric on why the FDA failed to properly regulate the pet food industry," said Stone. "They deserve justice. That's why we're taking this issue directly to elected officials and industry leaders."

Founded in 2004, Pet Defenders is committed to candidates who support pet- friendly legislation at the local, state and federal level. Pet Defenders provides a voice in the political process to pet owners and their pets.

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Terry S. Singeltary


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