Adventures in Pet Food

Debbie Phillips-Donaldson, editor-in-chief of Petfood Industry, shares her insights and opinions on all things pet food, addressing market trends as well as news and developments in pet nutrition, food safety and other hot topics for the industry.

Media perpetuating petfood safety myths, misconceptions

Another day/month/year, another media report on petfood safety with misleading, out-of-context or downright inaccurate information. Since the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released the proposed preventive control rule for animal feed (including petfood) in late October as part of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), it's been big news throughout mainstream media. Unfortunately, it's difficult to see how some of the news being disseminated is at all helpful to pet owners, let alone the petfood industry.
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Looking into the 2014 petfood crystal ball

I don't really have a crystal ball (and I probably wouldn't trust it if I had one). Nor can I claim to predict, with full confidence, what will happen in the global petfood industry next year. But I can make a fairly informed speculation about the issues and events that may affect petfood in 2014. In no particular order of conviction or chronology:
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Petfood industry can help shape FSMA preventive control rule

While the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) overall and, specifically, its recently proposed preventive control rule for animal feed represent a paradigm shift in how petfood will be regulated, the petfood industry has a rare -- if rushed -- opportunity to have a say in how the final rule will read. Yes, believe it or not, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants your input.
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2014 human food trends that could affect petfood

Testing sub head here.
At last week's Food Ingredients Europe in Frankfurt, Germany, an annual show described by organizer's as the "global meeting place for all stakeholders in the food ingredients industry," Innova Market Insights introduced its top 10 food and beverage trends for 2014. While not all apply to petfood (and only five of the 10 included descriptions), some might be worth considering for petfood manufacturers and marketers.
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Snapshot of petfood ingredient market shows ongoing growth

A report on the global animal feed ingredients market released last week offers a few tidbits of data and information regarding petfood ingredients, with the highlight that the overall market as well as the segment that includes companion animal food are both growing strongly. That growth is projected to continue at a compound annual rate of 5% to 7.5% through 2019.
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Petfood not a factor after all in latest non-GMO legislative failure

A ballot initiative to require many foods and beverages that contain genetically modified ingredients sold in the state of Washington to carry labels failed to pass during November 5 elections, with 55% of voters opposed to the measure. Though earlier news reports claimed petfood was being used as an example by both supporters and opponents of the initiative, petfood-related debates seemed to fade down the stretch, replaced by arguments over cost, health benefits and labeling of human foods. And unlike with a similar proposed law in California last year that was also defeated, petfood industry organizations appeared not to engage in the Washington battle with either words or money.
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Release of FSMA petfood preventive control rule had curious timing

It would be a stretch to say that US petfood manufacturers welcomed last week's release, finally, of the proposed feed/petfood preventive control rule under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Complying to the new regulations, once the final version is released next year, will require significant investments by some manufacturers. Yet after months--actually, years--of waiting to see these specific rules that apply to feed and petfood, at least the industry finally knows exactly what it's facing.
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Reaction to jerky pet treat report proves consumers are still wary, worried

The US Food an Drug Administration (FDA)'s release this week of an update on the investigation into illnesses related to chicken jerky pet treats really blew up on the Internet and social media. While one of FDA's intentions in issuing the update was to ask veterinarians for information on such illnesses they have treated, what mainstream and social media seized on and emphasized were the numbers: more than 3,000 complaints, over 3,600 dogs affected (plus 10 cats) and more than 580 deaths.
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