Saturday, March 10, 2012

Kill Your Dog For (Their) Profit

It's not that long ago — less than five years — that pet owners around the country were upset because a few thousand tainted pet products from China got into the market here, and some dogs died. Chinese manufacturers have a pretty poor reputation for meeting our safety standards in general, and that reputation was acquired largely as a result of the poisoned chew-sticks and toothpaste and lead paint that made the news all around the same time.

Why I care.
One result of the flap was that China suddenly started enforcing the standards that it supposedly had been enforcing all along. (And how long did that last?) Another result was that some pet owners — me, for example — refuse to buy chewsticks made in China.

So how does our government, which exists to "promote the general Welfare," respond to the problem of untrustworthy products?

It changes the package-labelling rules, so that pet products no longer have to state the country of manufacture.

Who does that help?

Complain. Complain to your pet-shop manager, and to the grocer that sells pet products. Complain to your senators and representatives. Complain to the FDA, which regulates the pet-food industry in this country. Complain to Nestlé, which now owns Purina; complain to Del Monte, which now owns Heinz; complain to MasterFoods, which owns Mars, Inc., and manufactures a number of pet-supply lines; complain to Procter and Gamble, which makes Iams, and to Colgate-Palmolive, which makes Science Diet; and complain to the other manufacturers of pet supplies. Complain often.

Here's a list of dog-food manufacturers; most of them make cat food, too.

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