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Who Are The Voices That Protect Your Pets And The Food You Feed Them?

In a 29-billion-dollar pet food industry that serves 84 million U.S. households with pets, how many people do you think there is that work directly with State and Federal pet food regulators?

How many people do you think are advisors to the Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), the association responsible for crafting model laws and regulations that are adopted by almost every state in America?

Two.

Only two people in the entire United States of America.

One of those people is me, and the other person is my dear friend and colleague Dr. Jean Hofve.

You cannot imagine the crushing burden of responsibility we both feel knowing that millions of consumers with dogs and cats depend on us to be their voice. However, despite the weight, we bear it because there is no one else at AAFCO who represents consumers. Very few people have the insight and knowledge of pet food regulations like us and are willing to work long hours, for years, without pay.

There’s another burden that I hesitate to mention because it involves doing something I have a profound distaste for – asking for help. Despite my aversion to begging, the truth is I can’t do this work without your help. Just as you and your pets depend on me to be their voice, I rely on you to help me be their advocate – their voice.

The advocacy work I do is all done on a voluntary basis. I am not financially compensated for the work I do. I don’t sell any pet-related products, and I don’t have any financial arrangements with pet food companies to promote their products. I rely entirely on donations from people like you.

I’d like to say that I receive enough contributions to make this work possible, but the truth is I don’t. In fact, twice a year I have to beg for just enough money to attend the twice-annual AAFCO conferences. Sadly, there have been more times than I care to admit, that because of lack of funds, I have had to attend the meetings virtually via a conference line.

Let’s not make this another year where I must attend by listening to the conference on the telephone.

This year it becomes even more critical that we attend AACO as one of our most valued colleagues was recently removed as an advisor to AAFCO, leaving just Dr. Jean Hofve and myself as your consumer advisors.

Please, won’t you help us to help the 107 million dogs and cats in the United States that are depending on us? 47 million cats and 60 million dogs in America deserve that their voices – their barks and meows – are heard at AAFCO.

As many of you know most processed pet foods – while advertised as superior – are made from industrial waste, and cannot and will not sustain health or long life. Therefore we have made animal food safety and the enforcement of pet food regulations a top priority.

The government that regulates pet food works closely with AAFCO, and the federal and state agriculture officials that attend these conferences listen to us. Whether in private conversations or at the table during meetings they listen to us. Although there are only two of us, we have a profound impact on them.

Won’t you help us help your pets? All we are asking for is a few dollars – the cost of a small tin of pet food – will help pay for our way to AAFCO.

We’re begging. Please – I ask you – help us.

Time is running out to pay for registering to attend the AAFCO conference. Pressure is mounting as the date to register early is quickly approaching – December 22 – just three days before Christmas.

Will you give us the gift of helping pets all over the country by sending us to AAFCO?

We are making changes at AAFCO, and although the progress moves at a glacial pace, the incremental modifications to the laws that will govern food for animals are differences that will have a profound impact for decades to come.

A donation from you will make a difference to companion and livestock animals all over the country this year – and for years to come. Make this a holiday that will have a lasting effect on the history of the animal feed industry. The future of the pet food rests with you.

Join us in making the future of food for animals brighter!

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Poisoned Pets is an independent research and advocacy organization dedicated to the safety of animal food. PP studies pet food products and measures whether those products are safe, and provides the benefits claimed by the manufacturer. Although Poisoned Pets does not directly impact legislation, Poisoned Pets advocates for meaningful pet food standards leading to safer food products for animals. Importantly, I not affiliated with the pet product or animal feed industries nor do I endorse their products. To find out more on how to support Poisoned Pets’ advocacy work, visit the donation page at PayPal.

Data source

Food total is based on PFI research consultant Davenport Co, Packaged Facts Pet Food in the U.S. 2015-2020, and petfoodindustry.com 2015 Industry Report, and Euromonitor International Pet Care in the US plus new information generated by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (US BLS).

Mollie Morrissette

Mollie Morrissette, author of Poisoned Pets, is an animal food safety expert and advisor to AAFCO. Help support her work by making a donation today.

Comments (7) Write a comment

  1. Pingback: How To Get A Copy of AAFCO's Ingredient Definitions of Pet Food For Free (Or Almost Free) | Poisoned Pets | A look inside the pet food industry

  2. Just donated but wanted to let you know that the Donate Button you have with the photos of the dogs is not working – This site can’t be reached is showing up
    Angela

    Reply

  3. I think you forgot to mention someone. A person that has tirelessly fought to try and get AAFCO, the FDA, and others, to OBEY the laws they have already written. This person also works long hours detailing what is in some of the so called “foods” that we feed our pets. She also deserves recognition for all the work she does. Her name is Susan Thixton of Truth About Pet Food.

    Reply

    • It’s absolutely true Mirsades, and if you read my blog you will know that I have (and always have had) the utmost respect and admiration for my dear friend and colleague in this terrible fight – Susan Thixton of Truth About Pet Food. And as I mentioned in the article there had been one of our colleagues that had been removed as advisor to AAFCO (which was Susan). So – now there are only two consumer advisors to AAFCO. I made that clear – I was referring in the article only to the number of advocates that work directly with AAFCO and that are in the Committees and Working Groups.

      Reply

      • I re-read THIS article to see if maybe I missed it but no, her name (Susan Thixton) and her website (Truth About Pet Food) were not mentioned here. There are those that may not read your blog so wouldn’t know of the great efforts that she also goes to, to fight for the pets we so dearly love. Most people probably don’t know what goes on in those meetings and that they have “groups” and “advisors” for public comments nor who belongs to them and exactly what their expertise/influence is when addressing these big pet food manufacturers, AAFCO, FDA, and others.

        I just felt that Susan was being “stepped on” and it bothered me so I had to speak out. Thank you for also fighting for our furry family members…..fight on!!!

        Reply

        • I specifically did not mention Susan as I did not want the topic about her removal as advisor at AAFCO to be a subject for public consumption. The focus of the article was about the only two consumer advisors at AAFCO. If you want to know about the details regarding that event, I suggest you read about it on her website.

          As I said before – the plea for donations was for the two remaining consumer advocates in the U.S. at AAFCO – not about the efforts of advocates in general.

          If you were familiar with my work you would know I have written about Susan and my great admiration and support of her work on Poisoned Pets on numerous occassions.

          I’m sorry if I offended you, but in no way was the focus of this article about advocates in general but about the only two ones left that have been allowed to continue working at AAFCO.

          Reply

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