Veterinary Practice News has an article about the FDA looking into expanding the use of third party certification programs for food products, including pet foods.
"The FDA would like to know what domestic and foreign third-party programs for suppliers are in use by U.S. companies and, significantly, how do these programs ensure independence and avoid the conflicts of interest inherent in accepting fees from the very companies seeking certification."The FDA needs the public to advise them on this? They don't already know? O yeah and that conflict of interest thing didn't seem to serve the public too well during the pet food recall of 2007 - hello AAFCO?
"It would also like to know if existing certification programs already ensure compliance with FDA requirements and, if not, how the programs would need to be modified to ensure compliance. Many of the existing programs are designed to meet foreign government requirements, which may or may not meet U.S. standards."Just having a guess - I'll go with "may not".
"The government also wants to know what’s preventing the majority of U.S. firms from participating in existing certification programs."Since I'm guessing, here's a few ideas -
- Because they are not legally required to do so
- Because there are no significant legal or financial consequences for companies who sell tainted pet foods (which is probably why they keep doing it)
- Because we can't pass County of Origin Labeling across the board which allows sneaky manufacturers to respond to the inquiring public with smarmy answers like "Sorry, we can't tell you where our product ingredients are sourced from and/or made - that's proprietary information."