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Panel Discussion of the Pet Food Recall
Tuesday, May 8, 2007


  • Gina Spadafori and Christie Keith from PetConnection.com
  • Ben Huh from Itchmo.com
  • Therese Kopiwoda from ThePetFoodList.com
  • Kim Duke from PetFoodTracker

    PHAbymom: Good evening, everyone. I'm Moira O'Connor, the Chat Coordinator for PetHobbyist.com. On behalf of Jeff Barringer and all of us at PetHobbyist.com, I'd like to welcome you to our special guest panel discussion of the ongoing pet food recall.

    PHAbymom: Ever since the first recall of contaminated pet food was announced on March 16, a group of bloggers has been in the forefront of investigating and reporting the story. The scope and implications of the problem have continued to grow, and now the threat to human food safety has also been recognized.

    PHAbymom: Joining us tonight are four of the bloggers most active in covering the pet food recall story from the beginning: Ben Huh of itchmo.com, Kim Duke of petfoodtracker.blogspot.com, Therese Kopiwoda of thepetfoodlist.com, and Gina Spadafori and Christie Keith of petconnection.com.

    PHAbymom: We'd like to thank them all for being here tonight.

    PHAbymom: Our panelists will begin with their opening discussion, and then we'll announce when they're ready to take your questions. Please do not chat openly in the room.

    If you want to ask a question, please type ? into the room, then wait to be called on by the host when it's your turn. Please have your question typed and ready to send when you're called on, to keep things moving.

    PHAbymom: Our panelists will introduce themselves now, and begin their discussion. Panel?

    Christie_nr: I'll jump in and go first

    Christie_nr: I'm Christie Keith, and I am a contributing editor at Pet Connection

    Christie_nr: I also work here on PetHobbyist.com, and I've been covering the pet food recall, with Gina Spadafori, at petconnection.com

    Christie_nr: I think for me personally, the biggest motivation in the beginning was the personal losses I was hearing about from so many pet owners

    Christie_nr: now I'd say I'm being motivated more and more by anger, and the many ways in which this has not been handled well by regulatory agencies, and some members of the media and the pet food industry

    Christie_nr: although there are people in all those arenas who have gone a good job, the overwhelming impression I have is of a lot of spin and CYA and evasion and trivialization

    Christie_nr: My particular focus currently is the FDA and issues related to the investigation of the food contamination

    Christie_nr: and my belief that we all have the right to walk into a store and buy food that does not contain poison

    Christie_nr: Now, maybe we can hear from one of the others... Ben, do you want to go next?

    Itchmo: Sure

    Itchmo: I'm Ben Huh, the co-editor of Itchmo.com. Weve been covering the recall, starting with uncovering Menu Foods website they tried to remove and their financial documents. Our goal at Itchmo has been to cover news for pets and pet parents.

    Itchmo: It has evolved into a more comprehensive report on the recall.

    Itchmo: And we realized that there was a lot of missing pieces to the puzzle.

    Itchmo: And that lots of parents needed to be informed.

    Itchmo: So we concentrated on getting emails out to parents

    Itchmo: and keeping a timeline.

    Itchmo: We're focusing now on how to prevent this from happening again.

    Itchmo: Therese?

    Itchmo: Do you want to go next?

    Therese: sure...

    Therese: I'm Therese Kopiwoda, the owner of PetsitUSA.com and The Pet Food List. Originally The Pet Food List started out in response to many visitors to the site emailing to ask if we knew what to feed their pets. In an attempt to help I started a list of foods that weren't on the recall list.

    Therese: As the site grew and attracted a lot of attention, it was moved to its own domain. The goal, with the information on the site, is to give people a place to start their research.

    Therese: We're still working with pet food companies to bring pet owners info about foods so they can make informed decisions.

    Therese: Because it's such a huge task to find out about these companies, having the information in one place makes it a bit easier to compare different foods.

    Therese: Kim....go ahead

    PetFoodTracker: I’m Kim Duke, with petfoodtracker.com A little over a year ago I realized that pet food killed 5 of my cats in 7 years, so I knew I was going to do something about it eventually.

    PetFoodTracker: My original plan for the pet food tracker was to give people a tool to use to transition their pets to higher quality foods.

    PetFoodTracker: But when the recall broke, and I realized that the high quality foods weren't any better, I scrapped that idea.

    PetFoodTracker: What drove me to set up my lists is how hard it was to find information in one place...

    PetFoodTracker: and that the information couldn't be printed.

    PetFoodTracker: So that's my goal - give people the information they need in ways that are easy to use. And to make it easier for people to get recalled food off the shelves.

    PetFoodTracker: Gina - go ahead. :-)

    GinaSpadafor_nr: I'm Gina Spadafori, and Christie and I are the primary PetConnection.com bloggers. We are also part of a team that writes a syndicated newspaper feature, through Universal Press, along with Dr. Marty Becker of "Good Morning, America." We've been covering this for eight weeks, as part of a team of bloggers who just kind of came miraculously together, all taking different piece of this. We opened a database to collect reports of sick and dead pets, and challenged the "official" counts being repeated. We also fed our information to big media, and helped hook them up with sources. We took a lot of heat for not following the "party line" on the story, but we kept at it. We believe the media is not supposed to be a lap dog or a n attack dog, but rather a watch dog. This belief has guided our work. That, and our responsibility to pets and th epeople who love them.

    GinaSpadafor_nr: Let me say this:

    GinaSpadafor_nr: We are not "anti-pet food," "anti-industry" or "anti-capitalists" at PetConnection.com. We DO however, believe that people should be allowed to get the information they need to make good choices for themselves and their pets.

    Christie_nr: Thanks, everyone!

    Christie_nr: I'd also like to mention that David Goldstein of horsesass.org is here observing, David is another blogger, one of the first who started focusing on this from the non-pet blogosphere

    Christie_nr: with an important early post he made at huffingtonpost.com

    Christie_nr: thanks for coming in, David

    Christie_nr: anyway, we can go to questions now, since there are so many. But ONLY on the pet food recall. Not other issues. Thanks.

    Christie_nr: Who is first? :)

    NYC_NYIfan: I'm transitioning my cats to no-grain foods but am wondering how much good that will do once the contaminated chickens etc hit the pet-food companies (Cats were not eating a recalled brand)

    Christie_nr: NYC, that's a good question, and given the lack of investigation and inspection that's been going on, it's not possible to answer at this time

    Sandy_nr: Hi everyone--Unfortunately, I have to agree with NYC fan

    Christie_nr: although the FDA has its theory of "dilution effect"

    NYC_NYIfan: thanks, g/a

    Christie_nr: that so little contaminant went into the gluten/flour and so little of that went into the pet food and on down the line into the meat

    GinaSpadafor_nr: May I add?

    Christie_nr: it would be nice if they would actually test the muscle meat

    Christie_nr: Gina, please

    GinaSpadafor_nr: In the short term, you might consider locally sourced, organic meats. They're likely a good option, at least until we know more. Right now, though, we know little.

    Itchmo: I'll add to Gina when she's done as well.

    GinaSpadafor_nr: Know your supplier! GA

    Christie_nr: itchmo, please ga

    Itchmo: We don't know how little or how much is needed in order to interact with cyanuric acid.

    Itchmo: The newly discovered fish information is interesting

    Christie_nr: if by interesting you mean HORRIFYING

    Christie_nr: LOL

    Itchmo: since fish can hold toxins in the body far more easily than mammals.

    Itchmo: Yes

    Itchmo: Very true.

    GinaSpadafor_nr: interesting = scary as hell

    Goldy_nr: The fish information is horrifying, and expected. Remember, 81-percent of US seafood is imported, 40% of this farmed, and much from China.

    Christie_nr: Goldy, and it was just slipped out to the media in such a lowkey way

    Christie_nr: but it has profound implications

    paula_nr: will we ever see quality meat in the pet food supply

    Christie_nr: Paula, define "quality meat"?

    paula_nr: not by-products etc

    Christie_nr: The pet food industry developed as a way to utilize the wastes of other human industries

    paula_nr: not other eutahnized animals

    Christie_nr: only consumer demand will cause it to change

    Itchmo: I don't think every pet needs the same quality steak we get from a top notch steakhouse, but it's worrying how many companies can't or won't tell you what it DOES use.

    Goldy_nr: I'd worry about "quality", particularly in regards to cotaminated chicken. It's the organ meat that will be particularly contaminated, (ie kidney, liver), and that is what predominates pet food.

    Christie_nr: the market for natural, high quality, organic, and "super premium" foods is the ONLY strongly growing segment of the pet food industry right now

    GinaSpadafor_nr: It'll be there if you insist on it being there -- and if labels are changed so you can understand what's in the can, where it's from, etc. You must also be willing to PAY for higher quality.

    paula_nr: thanks

    Itchmo: I would suggesting calling the company and find out what is being used.

    paula_nr: they lie

    Itchmo: If you don't like the clarity of their answer, go elsewhere.

    Therese: pet food companies will have to listen if we keep on them. Keep questioning them...keep telling them what we want...and back that up with what we buy

    Itchmo: Imagine going to the local butcher.

    paula_nr: no i thank them very much itchmo

    Christie_nr: and part of the investigation teams

    paula_nr: not them but the pet food companies have been ok thanks

    jeffb: For all the panelists - tainted chickens, pigs and now fish by the millions and nary a word on drudge - why is the mainstream media with a few exceptions hiding from this story - conspiriacy or too busy covering Paris and Britney?

    Christie_nr: Well, Drudge is not "mainstream media"

    PetFoodTracker: Jeff that's the big question, that has me tearing my hair out.

    Therese: Good question Jeff.

    Itchmo: I think the infamous "16 deaths" really mislead a lot of people.

    Christie_nr: I hear from a lot of reporters who feel their editors aren't taking this story seriously

    GinaSpadafor_nr: It's not true they haven't covered it. They've covered it badly, with a few notable exceptions.

    PetFoodTracker: Afraid of losing advertising?

    Itchmo: Many people think it's just a handful of pets to this day.

    GinaSpadafor_nr: But I think the "16" number and the fact that it was "just" pets slowed it down.

    Christie_nr: Yes, I think the early repetition of only 16 deaths was one of the most damaging things that affected the perception of this story

    Itchmo: The FDA is directly to blame for that.

    GinaSpadafor_nr: However ... that fact that EIGHT WEEKS Friday after the first recall we are still covering this says the story isn't going away.

    jeffb: anyone know Jon Stewarts phone number?

    jeffb: :)

    Goldy_nr: That's why I've been hounding the human food side of the story, because I've felt from day one that this is what would get the MSM interested.

    Goldy_nr: Drudge is not mainstream. That said, the "MSM" views itself as "objective", not confrontational. It is my bias, as a liberal blogger, that leads me to look for scandal and ask tough questions. Much of what we have learned is obvious in hindsite, and should have been revealed weeks ago if only the media cared enough to pursue it.

    Therese: It's not going away for us, but for some I think it's already gone. And ufortunately the 16 made it pretty much nonexistent for some to begin with

    Tink_nr: comedycentral.com Jeffb

    Rouen: will you (any of you) begin preassuring the FDA to announce the stock food (poultry, swine, cattle, fish) companies that are selling the contaminated feed as you have with the dog and cat foods?

    Christie_nr: Rouen, we already have been

    Itchmo: We have pressured them.

    Christie_nr: We have asked them repeatedly

    Itchmo: But at this point, the politicians really have to set up to the plate.

    Rouen: any sign of them giving in and telling which feeds to avoid?

    GinaSpadafor_nr: I think who needs to apply the pressure is ALL of US ... to our ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES in Congress.

    Goldy_nr: Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA) is on the House Energy & Commerce Committee. He needs to hear from voters that this is an issue they care about. He's a good guy, but has irons in many fires.

    Christie_nr: I agree with Goldy, that only by hitting on the human threat would the media take this seriously

    GinaSpadafor_nr: Write a letter, make a call. Don't be silent.

    Christie_nr: and only if the media would take it seriously would people know about it

    GinaSpadafor_nr: Sen. Durbin has been able to move the FDA in ways we cannot, as media.

    Christie_nr: awareness of this is still very low outside of the pet world

    GinaSpadafor_nr: Rep. DeLauro, too.

    Christie_nr: Rouen, the FDA will not name companies or brands

    Itchmo: They are citing legal reasons yet to be clarified.

    Christie_nr: their supposed mission is to protect the public

    Christie_nr: but they really act as if they are protecting industry

    Rouen: their mission is to protect the companies, they aint foolin nobody, thanks GA

    Diohgee: I have 2 Service dogs

    Diohgee: I'm feeding Candae, Felidae and Canine CD any and all opinions welcome please ty

    Christie_nr: Diohgee, definitely go to thepetfoodlist.com and read what those a company has to say there

    Christie_nr: that is the best place to start

    GeriR: I noticed that chickens were being held at farms because of contaminated feed. As raw feeders, are we going to have to worry about feeding chicken? Also is there 1 site we can send people who are looking for different foods.

    GeriR: What can we do at the grass roots level

    jeffb: clean safe food

    Diohgee: I have

    maddy_nr: there isn't an "elsewhere to go" what is safe? is up for grabs as we await another recall and additional questionable (fish meal) foods ?

    paula_nr: i do

    Christie_nr: maddy, yes, that's the reality

    Christie_nr: Therese and Kim, did you want to weigh in on evaluating specific brands and products?

    Therese: Oh boy...that's tough Christie. So far we've seen that some of the so called premium brands don't seem so premium....

    PetFoodTracker: And those that are premium act in ways that make us want to avoid them

    Christie_nr: Therese, but what info can people look for?

    PetFoodTracker: (some of them anyway)

    Itchmo: And I think that in the end ALL pet food needs to be safe.

    Therese: I think the best advice I can give anybody is to study the brands you're interested in....ask questions...evaluate what the label says...what the company says...and base your decision on that.

    Christie_nr: I agree, we can argue relative quality all day long, but high end or low end, there shouldn't be actual poison in the food

    GinaSpadafor_nr: By the way, it's too bad we can't ask these questions of food execs and FDA directly. If our blogs are any indication, they're in this room now. Hi guys!

    Therese: As much as I'd love to say "X" brand is the best, with the lack of info some of these companies are giving it's sometimes hard to say

    PetFoodTracker: And trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable with a certain company, don't buy from them, regardless of what anyone says.

    Therese: I'll second that Gina....hiya pet food folks!

    Christie_nr: LOL Gina

    Christie_nr: yes, you should see the IP addresses we get hitting our blogs

    Christie_nr: it's very amusing

    Itchmo: I agree. Instincts, ironicall, are a good guide at this point.

    Itchmo: Because it's about trust.

    Goldy_nr: Now that we know that "wheat flour" was sold and used as "vital wheat gluten flour" and "rice protein concentrate, we really can't trust the ingredients list on any product.

    Christie_nr: No, the ingredient labeling issue has to be resolved with improved regulation

    Itchmo: Especially with AAFCO's lax standards on labeling.

    PetFoodTracker: Exactly. What David just said. Labels mean nothing right now.

    Christie_nr: pet food labeling has to be at least as clear and accurate as human food labeling

    Itchmo: Absolutely.

    Therese: I don't think we "know" anything right now. The only thing we know is what we're being told but whether it's right or not is another story

    GinaSpadafor_nr: AAFCO is NOT a government agency, by the way. It's run by the pet-food industry.

    lealerios: What are you guys doing to stay on top of the legal remafications against the menu foods, FDA, and other manufacturers and China to address the millions of problems that are known and unknown at this point? How are we going to address te unknown association to the contamination?

    Christie_nr: lealerios, well, that covers a lot of ground.... we are all looking at pieces of the big picture

    Itchmo: It's horrible that to save a few bucks on packaging that the fod companies can just swap ingredients and mislead the public.

    Christie_nr: and as we learned about AAFCO during the congressional hearing on the pet food recall, it has ONE full time employee

    Ted_nr: AAFCO doesn't lack standards, they lack enforcement.

    GinaSpadafor_nr: But she's very good!

    Itchmo: We are hearing that many manufacturers flaunt the rules from AAFCO.

    Trudysmom: I am homecooking now with salmon, steak and lamb. When will the US stop buying from CHINA

    PetFoodTracker: When we stop buying food that came from China.

    Christie_nr: Trudysmom, that's not a question we can answer.

    PetFoodTracker: And we can't do that until we KNOW it came from China.

    Itchmo: Southe Africa's pet food association said that their manuf. should avoid chinese ingredients

    Christie_nr: China holds billions of dollars of US Treasury Bonds

    Itchmo: That's a good start.

    GinaSpadafor_nr: Trudy'sMom ... the answer is probably "never." We are dealing with a global economy now, and must deal with that reality.

    Christie_nr: I agree, if labeling were clearer, people could know. Without KNOWING...

    Christie_nr: the first step is good information so we can make informed decisions

    Trudysmom: We have to stop buying things that will kill us and our pets.

    Heather_nr: Hi, my question is what kind of meat is best for a home cooked dog and cat food and safest vegetable to combine and a few good recipes as cat food is hard to formulate

    Christie_nr: Heather, a couple of resources are www.balanceit.com, www.petdiets.com, and the books Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats by Richard Pitcairn DVM PhD, and Home-prepared Dog and Cat Diets by Donald Strombeck DVM PhD

    Itchmo: But Christie's been doing it for years.

    Itchmo: I think we need a nutritionist for heather's question.

    Christie_nr: LOL, we don't need a nutritionist

    Christie_nr: I've been home feeding for over 21 years

    Christie_nr: check out those sites and those books

    Itchmo: LOL

    GinaSpadafor_nr: It's not as difficult or dangerous as we've been told, but you do have to do your homework. Once you have the basics down, you're golden. After all, you do manage to feed yourself, yah?

    Heather_nr: what kind of protein is safest for home cooked food?

    Itchmo: Correct that. Decades!

    Christie_nr: check out the books, they will address those issues for you.

    fireladie: yay! How far reaching do you believe the recall is? how much of an impact will it have now, and in the future of the pet food industry, and what we feed our pets?

    Itchmo: Far more reaching than what we know today.

    Christie_nr: Fireladie, today I'm somewhat pessimistic

    Christie_nr: I think that it will be very wide reaching but it will be a ripple effect

    Itchmo: The FDA is tryng to find old ingredient samples to see how far this goes back.

    Christie_nr: and that our pets will not, in fact, be the primary repcipients of the change

    GinaSpadafor_nr: Home-feeding isn't a bad short-term solution, but we'd like to see the problems with commercial foods fixed so people can use them with confidence in the long-term.

    Christie_nr: once this became, as it always should have been, a FOOD story rather than a PET FOOD story, it then became a HUMAN FOOD story

    Itchmo: Not only are we looking at poisoning, but since melamine is not protein, also protein deficiency in pets if it has been going on for years.

    Christie_nr: and our pets will no longer be the focus

    Christie_nr: that is my opinion

    fireladie: wow that is something

    GinaSpadafor_nr: It has truly been from Day One a FOOD story, not a PET FOOD story.

    Christie_nr: it does make me sad to see pets ignored in the beginning and relegated to the sidelines now

    Goldy_nr: Good point Itchmo on the protein. Wheat flour is about 14% protein. Gluten at least 75%. That's a huge nutritional deficit.

    Christie_nr: but I don't suppose there's really any cure for that

    debboraann_nr: how do we stop this let alone not let it happen again and where is the recalledpet food going

    Christie_nr: I'm just sitting here absorbing that, Goldy

    Christie_nr: deboraan, they say the recalled food is being stored until they can figure out what to do with it, but they say it will be destroyed

    beanie_nr: ?

    Itchmo: The symptoms of protein deficiency aren't as clear as poisoning.

    GinaSpadafor_nr: On itchmo's forums -- itchmo.com -- are a lot people trying to come up with ways to make a difference. Check in there.

    debboraann_nr: I wonder if it will be sold in discount stores

    Itchmo: It should be illegal to do so

    GinaSpadafor_nr: Also, and I can't state this enough: Write and call your congresspeople.

    Christie_nr: Forums on itchmo.com have GREAT organizational efforts and calls to action!

    Itchmo: if someone can declare it illegal. Too bad there is no such law.

    Lauri_nr: ?? Is there any idea who the third company is that the invisible "cereal recall" mentions? Thanks to ALL of you for keeping us informed when the press is NOT!

    Christie_nr: Lauri, stay tuned on that, I think there will be info on that in the next couple of days

    roxygirl_nr: I did sales for one of the pet food companies on recall. You need to know I was trained to lie to the public AND

    roxygirl_nr: All they do is send a recipe to a place like Menu Foods and there is NO PROOF whatsoever the recipes are followed

    Christie_nr: roxygirl, yes, some of the things Kim and Therese have been told and found out wasn't true shocked even me!

    Itchmo: That's correct. Menu Foods and the like are called "dial a formula" companies

    roxygirl_nr: And the public is so uneducated as to what byproducts really are

    roxygirl_nr: I have an email from one company saying horse hair is acceptable waste

    Itchmo: In fact, the fastest way to get a product to market is to say "make mine like X"

    Christie_nr: Therese, Kim, do you want to weigh in on this?

    Christie_nr: I will say this, though: The quality of pet food ingredients is an issue that can turn the focus off the issue of CONTAMINATION

    roxygirl_nr: The point is without some very stiff regulations, we have little hope

    GinaSpadafor_nr: Roxygirl: The issue is not what legally in pet food, but rather what's illegally there now.

    PetFoodTracker: Roxygirl - I'd love to talk to you more offline

    roxygirl_nr: YES, and if no one is watching the hen house how do you know

    Christie_nr: Pet food needs to be clearly and accurately labeled

    Therese: The pet food compaines are definitely skirting around the issues, and giving half truths. I can say though that some of them who have been listed on thepetfoodlist.com have later come back to offer info that they claimed was confidential at first...

    Itchmo: The pet food industry has to stop the race to the bottom.

    Christie_nr: with the actual correct ingredients

    Christie_nr: and country of origin

    Itchmo: It should be a race to top of safety and quality.

    Christie_nr: and contact info for the ACTUAL manufacturer

    Christie_nr: then people can choose to give their miney to the good companies and products

    Christie_nr: and the market can drive quality upward

    GinaSpadafor_nr: There's a market for top-quality, but it has to be REALLY about quality, not pretty pictures on the bag and higher prices.

    Christie_nr: right now, people have to guess

    PetFoodTracker: And not about marketing!

    roxygirl_nr: I thought I was I bought food with NO byproducts and still got poison

    Christie_nr: and respond to marketing messages and reassurances instead of information and facts

    Itchmo: Sadly, that's the marketing that sells, not what's inside. Until we, the parents, get educated.

    Goldy_nr: Race to the bottom... read the McCall's (note: actually Macleans) piece on Menu, and how Walmart has pushed its margins. This is a systemic problem that reaches beyond just Menu.

    Itchmo: Absolutely. It's a FOOD problem.

    Itchmo: As Christie likes to say. :)

    Christie_nr: We can try to influence companies and the goverment, and we can probably do some good in that direction. But we also have to educate ourselves

    Christie_nr: both

    Christie_nr: LOL Itchmo

    Christie_nr: McCall's (Macleans) piece is quite brilliant

    roxygirl_nr: Which Month's Issue of Mcall's (Macleans) do we want

    Christie_nr: roxygirl, just Google McCalls (Macleans) Menu Foods, you'll find it

    5cats_nr: Some previous questions have touched on this. I have 5 cats that were eating 4 different foods (3 were recalled -all cats are well though thankfully). The FDA has proven they are hopeless, but do you have any feel if some of the pet food companies have had a wake up call and will be trustworthy? Or is this going to be a long term problem with pet foods from now on? I almost feel like I need to get a nutrition degree to figure out what to feed my cats!

    Itchmo: I would like to say yes, but I have yet to see any real evidence.

    Christie_nr: 5cats, I have been feeding homemade to my cats and dogs for over 21 years and do not have a nutrition degree, it's not that hard

    Christie_nr: don't let yourself be told it is

    GinaSpadafor_nr: Goldy ... you mean the Canadian newsweekly Macleans, right? Not McCalls, which is a women's mag.

    Therese: I do think some of them have had a wake up call, but at this point it's really hard to say exactly which ones. As time goes on I think we'll see some more ethical companies emerge

    Itchmo: It's amazing how many comanies are still mum on whether they will continue to use the same companes that got them into this mess.

    Christie_nr: Ooops yes, it's Macleans

    Christie_nr: it's late

    PetFoodTracker: I think some are still waiting to see if it will blow over.

    Christie_nr: I think some ethical companies are out there

    Therese: I'm certain of that too Kim...and they'll just continue to do biz as usual

    Christie_nr: and if you don't think this was a very unpleasant wake up call for some of the better small companies... well, it was

    Goldy_nr: Right. Macleans. Remember, I'm doing this from a bar.

    Christie_nr: I think we'll see some good things

    Christie_nr: and some marketing

    Christie_nr: LOL Goldy, good excuse

    GinaSpadafor_nr: Here's the link to that article:

    GinaSpadafor_nr: http://www.mac leans.ca/article.jsp?content=20070430_104326_104326

    Itchmo: I also think that rather than purposeful downward spiral, many of these companies have just been asleep behind the wheel.

    Christie_nr: Thanks, Gina!

    Therese: drink one for me goldy!

    PetFoodTracker: Goldy - pass the tequila.

    Christie_nr: I think also that a lot of the smaller "boutique" companies just didn't do the sophisticated quality control they should have been doing

    Itchmo: No one wants to kill their customers. But once you think you job is to make money, not make good product, that's a slippary slope.

    GinaSpadafor_nr: I agree with Christie: We'll see some good companies step up.

    Christie_nr: to support the kind of claims they made and their image

    PHAbymom: for those interested in homemade diets http://www.connectedbypets.com/articles/HomemadeDiets.html

    Christie_nr: some of them really could have and should have known some, not all, but some, of what is coming to light now

    Itchmo: In fact, one company said they will build their own wet food plant.

    PetFoodTracker: Lots of misplaced faith in their manufacturing companies

    Christie_nr: and some companies haven't been ALL good or ALL bad

    Itchmo: Which is the first annoucement of its kind that we saw.

    Christie_nr: but a mixture

    Christie_nr: It's very possible that without Iams, for isntance, this would never have come to light

    PetFoodTracker: and much too great a tendency to 'let others take care of quality'

    Christie_nr: just as an example

    Therese: And then we might have 18 dead pets, right Christie?

    GinaSpadafor_nr: Actually, a lot of them have seemed rather blindsided by the whole thing. A wake-up call for the industry as well as for us all.

    Christie_nr: which doesn't mean Iams did everything right, or everything wrong. Nor did any other company

    Christie_nr: Therese, exactly!

    GinaSpadafor_nr: With more recalls possible, no one can say.

    Christie_nr: I think companies who actually grasp what is needed here and meet that need will be successful

    Christie_nr: but they will never be successful on a supermarket scale

    Therese: That's what we're all working (and sometimes fighting) to find out kenter

    Christie_nr: because they'd cost more than people are mostly willing to spend

    Christie_nr: but the work Therese and Kim are doing will help pet owners get the info they need to KNOW what they're really buying

    Christie_nr: and that means we can all make informed decisions

    Christie_nr: which today, we can't

    Christie_nr: because we don't have the information, the labeling, the regulation, or the inspections to do so

    kenter: ? Is there ANY safe dry dog foods?

    kenter: Bil Jac?

    Therese: kenter, that's not something any one of us can tell you. You really need to do your own research and make the decision you're comfortable with

    PetFoodTracker: you'll know as soon as we know.

    Itchmo: The stunning fact is, most pet parents planned to change little. That's a problem.

    PetFoodTracker: That's a huge problem.

    Mocha_nr: Do we need to be worried about organic chicken?

    Christie_nr: Mocha, you need to check on the standards being used to organically certify in your area

    GinaSpadafor_nr: Most foods on the shelves are fine now, but the problem for us, as journalists who care about and write about pets, is that we don't want to be the ones to say something's "safe" and have it recalled tomorrow.

    GinaSpadafor_nr: We've been there before ... three times? four?

    Christie_nr: not all organic certification is equally reassuring

    Goldy_nr: Organic SHOULD be safe. Er... safer.

    Itchmo: Theoretically.

    Christie_nr: there are providers I trust

    Itchmo: But again, it's not about the lable.

    Itchmo: But what the company can tell you.

    Itchmo: Organic is a lable, until you can trust the company.

    Christie_nr: Folks, we're not going to tell you about specific foods, please stop asking

    Christie_nr: we can't

    Mocha_nr: I'm talking about the cureent contaminated chicken. I heard it impacted organic chickens. True or not?

    Christie_nr: ITchmo, exactly

    Christie_nr: I wouldn't feed any chicken that I wasn't 100 percent sure had not been fed contaminated feed to my pets, nor eat it myself

    Christie_nr: what it will take to make you feel sure it wasn't will vary from company to company

    Mocha_nr: does the FDA not know who owns those chickens? We have a right to know!!

    Itchmo: They do know

    Christie_nr: I think it's unscientific for the FDA or USDA to issue statements something is safe without evidence to support that contention

    GinaSpadafor_nr: Mocha ... we AGREE with you.

    Christie_nr: evidence they do not have

    Itchmo: they just won't tell us.

    Christie_nr: Exactly

    Itchmo: It's very telling how they will evade questions about the chickens being eaten by the public.

    Christie_nr: I have asked, as have other journalists, publicly, for the FDA to tell us the names of companies they KNEW were selling contaminated foods

    GinaSpadafor_nr: It goes back to who is the FDA supposed to be protecting? Us, or the companies?

    Christie_nr: they refuse

    Mocha_nr: I find it criminally negligent that they don't let people protect themselves. I do not want to eat plastic and acid, thank you!!

    Therese: It looks more like it's the companies...and the Chinese businesses Gina.

    Itchmo: That's like saying, we know which cars have a defective brake, but we won't tell you

    Itchmo: if you crash your car, you should be able to sue them for not telling you.

    PetFoodTracker: Exactly Itchmo.

    Itchmo: It's their responsibility.

    Mocha_nr: EXACTLY Itchmo!

    Cori_nr: Thanks! What do any of you think in general about the foods on the Whole Dog (or Cat) Journal "approved" lists?

    Christie_nr: Cori, well, some of them have been recalled

    Itchmo: No one has a crystal ball right now.

    Itchmo: Their lists are based on a critera that didn't factor in the recall.

    Therese: I think they need to be scrutiinzed just like any other pet foods right now

    Christie_nr: I agree

    Cori_nr: The editor has started visiting pet food manufacturing plants in person, I believe.

    Itchmo: Absolutely.

    Christie_nr: it's about getting the information you can, and judging for yourself

    Itchmo: Unless that editor can go to China and inspect all the sources, nothing is foolproof.

    PetFoodTracker: No company gets a 'free pass' based on any recommendations issued before the recalls

    Christie_nr: I have an interview with the publisher and it should be on the blog at petconnection.com soon

    LadyWillow_nr: My ragdoll cat of 2 1/2 years died of complete renal failure after eating Hill's Prescription Diet Feline Z/D Low Allergen dry cat food. I have spoken with the FDA 4 times, they want samples of the cat food. There are multiple deaths reported on petconnection and Itechmo ... how come this product is still on the shelves of Vet offices? I have spoken with Hill's Prescription 7 times and I have taped the conversations they refuse to give me the batch reports of my cat's food and refuse to say that she was or was not killed my melamine in their food. They say it is competitive information ... my cat is dead she is not trying to compete with Hill's ... I want that product recalled, I have already spoken with Dorothy Miller of the FDA and still it is on the shelves. What is going to be done about Hill's Colgate?

    LadyWillow_nr: What is going to be done about FDA regulations? I live in Canada ... and Health Canada has done nothing! What is to be done to stop these money hungry companies from doing this? And I work in the natural pharmaceutical industry ... inhaling, eating melamine for humans is cancerous! Imagine for our pets! Is Hill's the third company? Like Hill's is waiting till it blows over while cats die of their food? I also hold Vets responsible for this nutrition disaster! I do not want to hold another ragdoll cat like I did Sapphire and feel her life go out of her! I hold Hill's totally responsible for Sapphire's death![/b]

    Christie_nr: Lady Willow...

    GinaSpadafor_nr: I'm so sorry ... such a young one, too!

    Itchmo: Wow

    Christie_nr: LadyWillow, I am very sorry for your loss

    Itchmo: Same here

    Christie_nr: Do you still have the food itself that you fed her?

    Christie_nr: You can have it tested YOURSELF

    LadyWillow_nr: thank you I have been very busy on your sites and i thank you for your sites

    Christie_nr: there are at least two universities that will test it

    LadyWillow_nr: yes i do and the FDA has asked me to keep the food

    Itchmo: And it should be tested for more than just melamine.

    LadyWillow_nr: i have called guelph they are too busy

    Christie_nr: email me, I'll send you the information

    LadyWillow_nr: itchmo yes i agree

    LadyWillow_nr: yes christie thank you

    Itchmo: We'll point you at the right sources.

    Christie_nr: I would test the food myself, pay for it myChristie_nr: and then talk to us

    PetFoodTracker: LadyWillow - I'm starting a list of 'foods suspected of causing illness but not recalled', adn will be pulling info from itchmo petconnection etc. I'm also goign to keep track of which foods people are having independantly tested. That doesn't help you today, but eventually it should help us get some of this other food off the shelves.

    Christie_nr: LadyWillow, email me and we'll get you the info you need to move forward

    LadyWillow_nr: i have emails from as far as the canary islands of cats dying from this food

    GinaSpadafor_nr: Bless your sweet Sapphire. We've heard from so many like you ...

    Christie_nr: and on our blog is a story from a vet, Dr. Louise Murray, that reflects closely on your story

    Annette_nr: ty - could the farm animal milk formula that was recalled be the mysterious 3rd company?

    GinaSpadafor_nr: She talks of survivors ... three-year-old cats with the kidneys of 17-year-olds.

    Christie_nr: Annette, no, I have investigated that and I'm pretty sure that's not related, as sure as I can be

    GinaSpadafor_nr: Chronic renal failure will be a big part of this story going forward, I fear.

    Christie_nr: which is not perfectly sure, of course

    Christie_nr: but pretty sure

    Annette_nr: ty

    Itchmo: We may be back her in a few years.

    Itchmo: Talking about what we knew back when.

    Christie_nr: Spocko is another blogger who has been very active on this issue

    Therese: oh...I gotta do it...SPOCKO!!!

    Christie_nr: from spockosbrain.com

    Christie_nr: LOL

    Christie_nr: although he seems to have left us, LOL

    Christie_nr: CatByte, who is next, and maybe he'll come back

    PetFoodTracker: Spocko helped get all of us bloggers together. :-)

    Christie_nr: Spocko has been a real motivating force in this whole investigation

    Itchmo: He was the anti-conspiracy organizer

    Christie_nr: and very amusing

    Christie_nr: We have to go see who slipped out a recall while we were all in here

    Itchmo: We can take a few more questions.

    Therese: I can stay awhile...but I do need to step away for a few minutes and let an old dog outside

    PetFoodTracker: HUSH Christie!

    Therese: Christie....SHHHHHHHHHHHHH

    Christie_nr: Well, FDA said today there may be more recalls of pet food

    Christie_nr: of course, when they say there won't be, there are

    PetFoodTracker: LOL was going to go check petconnection to see if they'd posted new recalls. LOL

    Christie_nr: so maybe them saying there may be means there won't

    Itchmo: What do we call that? The Dump and Run?

    Therese: yea, how many times have we heard that?

    Christie_nr: not that I'm cynical or anything

    GinaSpadafor_nr: And they told us that AFTER the media briefing.

    PetFoodTracker: I'd bet anything there will be more. sigh.

    ITeachComputer: As far as contamination-tainted-goes-Are the foods that are being put out on the shelves now.....any safer than the recalls that were taken down from the shelves? And if they are, how do you know that? BTW, I have a one year old sample of natural Balance dry for the FDA :)

    Christie_nr: Don't hold your samples for the FDA

    Christie_nr: get them tested yourself

    Itchmo: I think they probably don't have melamine.

    Itchmo: Since most ingredients are being held at the border.

    Christie_nr: I believe that some foods might have - and note I am saying MIGHT - low or baseline levels of contamination, because as the NY Times reports, use of melamine, cyanuric acid and other compounds is a widespread "Open secret" practice in China

    ITeachComputer: I feed ANtural Balance Ultra Pot and Duck Allergy free-no grains and it was not on the recall list...

    Goldy_nr: Gotta go! Thanks for inviting me.

    Therese: I've wondered that myself Teach, and I honestly don't know the answer. We're told everything on the shelves is safe but we've heard that before. I'd like to believe theyr'e safe though, like Itchmo says

    Itchmo: But the problem is cross-contamination

    Christie_nr: Night GOldy!

    Itchmo: By David

    Christie_nr: thanks for coming!

    PetFoodTracker: bye David

    GinaSpadafor_nr: Bye Goldy!

    lillulu_nr: sorry, I hit the send key too soon. How do we KNOW what chicken is safe? The fDA said it is up to us to investigate our OWN food supply. If the companys lie and the packaging cant be trusted. HOW do we know about hte pet food OR our food? Sorry about your Saffire Ladywillow. We lost 2 beautiful 5 mo. Siamese and I know how you feel -I am MADDDDD. This goes WAY beyond losing pets. a couple in Japan hung themselves after their puppy died, another blogger has high blood pressure and can't blog anymore. I have chest pains listening to all this. It is just TOO much.

    Christie_nr: But I think that some foods had very high levels of contamination

    Itchmo: We don't know that the chicken is safe.

    Therese: by David

    Itchmo: FDA says it is, without any real scientific testing.

    Christie_nr: and those jumped out at us

    Christie_nr: and alerted us to this problem

    Christie_nr: which has probably been going on in the background for a long time

    Christie_nr: however, I'm just speculating

    Itchmo: FDA only has samples dating back till mid 2006

    Christie_nr: every day we learn more

    GinaSpadafor_nr: So many questions unanswered. More with every media briefing by the FDA, it seems!

    LadyBeryl: Recalls are voluntary as a result of encouragement from the FDA so there are many contaminated products still on the shelves. The average person does not research on the internet. They are motivated by pointless "Beneful-style" commercials so animals continue to suffer. I don't see anything changing until it hits the pet food industry in the wallets in a big way -- e.g. class action suit. Thoughts on consumer litigation?

    Itchmo: It wouldn't surprise us if we tested older samples to find melamine.

    Christie_nr: LadyBeryl, I think that consumers should pursue justice however they can get it

    Christie_nr: but it's not my personal crusade

    Christie_nr: Itchmo, I agree completely

    Itchmo: Find a state that will allow for emotional damange

    Christie_nr: I'll tell you

    Itchmo: if pets are treated just like furniture, there is a lesser incentive to prevent this from happening.

    GinaSpadafor_nr: I don't think legal action will help much. I think political action will. But that's just me.

    ITeachComputer: I have head just that.that it has been gooing on for along time. I had my babies bloodowrk done and she is finem, but this bag from A YEAR AGO is going to be gone soon and I am beside myself as to where to go next, And I DO study ingredients!

    Itchmo: I think legal action will punish those who screwed up

    roxygirl_nr: Itchmo, you need only prove fraud in any state to collect emotional damages, and in many cases, we have proven fraud

    Christie_nr: if anything will ever break the somewhat ethically problematic relationship between the pet food industry and the veterinary medical establishment, it will be the day this issue introduces emotional pain and suffering into the legal arena for pet loss cases

    Itchmo: Political action will prent it

    Itchmo: prevent

    Christie_nr: and that's a prediction from Christie's crystal ball

    GinaSpadafor_nr: I would really like to hear Beowulf's question, since he/she is from the industry? Possible?

    Christie_nr: Sure, Beowulf, please go ahead

    Beowulf_nr: As a rep for what I would consider to be one of the good companies. I sometimes find the pet blogosphere to be quite frustrating as there are plenty of us who willingly answer any and all questions directly and truthfully… and yet, in the climate of mistrust that is spreading through the public eye, our willingness to actually step forward and take on questions often only puts us in the crosshairs of those who want only to tear down any and all aspects of the “industry” in general. My question is to the forum moderators who have gauged the best idea of the public’s inquiries: What CAN we do to really let you know we’re safe and healthy? Because the fact of the matter is that companies DO have control over their recipes, and we ARE aware of our sources… if we want to be… but how the heck can we prove it?

    Itchmo: Ah

    Beowulf_nr: sorry, my copied post was too long :)

    Itchmo: Publish where your ingredients are coming from

    Christie_nr: Beowulf, the biggest problem I have, not with YOU, but in general, some of the language

    Itchmo: adhere to a higher standard than your peers and be transparent

    Therese: Do you have documents that can prove where your ingredients come from?

    Christie_nr: You don't have my trust automatically, you need to earn it

    Christie_nr: do country of origin labeling

    PetFoodTracker: Disclose EVERYTHING.

    Itchmo: It will make you THAT MUCH BETTER than the rest

    Christie_nr: don't say "sourced in the US" to imply "Grown in this country"

    Christie_nr: when you just BOUGHT it in this country

    GinaSpadafor_nr: Give us what we need to make an intelligent decision and choose your food.

    Christie_nr: but don't really know where it was grown

    Itchmo: tell us in writing that it started here and ended here.

    Christie_nr: make statements with no wiggle room

    Christie_nr: in writing

    PetFoodTracker: Exactly, you need to know everything, and tell us everything.

    Itchmo: Most pet food company letters just say, trust us, we're safe.

    PetFoodTracker: Plain, simple, unmistakeable language.

    Itchmo: That's not good enough.

    Christie_nr: don't ask us to trust, give us REASON to trust

    GinaSpadafor_nr: And we WILL buy your food!

    Christie_nr: and don't ask us to trust the guys YOU trust

    Christie_nr: it's too much, I don't want to trust the guys you trust, it's hard enough for me to trust YOU

    Itchmo: Boy, we're sure at a loss for words on this one. :)

    Christie_nr: LOL

    PetFoodTracker: exactly. Recognize that if you don't make it in your own place, we're not going to trust it.

    Itchmo: But as you can see, we're saying the same thing.

    Christie_nr: "not that we have an opinion or anything"

    Therese: Do what we're doing toinight...get in touch with people...hold a chat, set up a blog...talk to people...reach out

    PetFoodTracker: NO matter what, if you don't make it in your own place, there is nothing you can do that will make us trust you.

    Itchmo: Do realize that pet parents WANT to trust you.

    GinaSpadafor_nr: We WANT this to be fixed, but "trust us" ain't going to cut it any more.

    Christie_nr: I find the language some companies use VERY misleading

    Itchmo: It's not that hard if you are honest.

    Christie_nr: "ingredients sourced in the US" is my personal pet peeve

    roxygirl_nr: Identifying the company he is with would be a start

    Beowulf_nr: Rock n roll, That's what I thought and was getting the best impression of, I think a lot of us are working on this now, can we expect to see a link for sources, etc. upcoming on your online lists?

    Christie_nr: because all the companies that bought from ChemNutra and Wilbur-Ellis "sourced" in the US

    PetFoodTracker: Yes, what Itchmo said - we really want to trust at least one company.

    GinaSpadafor_nr: it's a HUGE opportunity for industry leaders.

    chloeandneal_nr: I have a concern as a veterinary technician (I am also a human nurse) that until animals are seen as feeling and thinking beings and not as "possessions", that the relative guilt and responsibilities of these companies will not be felt.

    Therese: Mike...you know where to find me!

    PetFoodTracker: I'd love to have one food I feel safe buying.

    Christie_nr: What do you mean, a link for sources?

    Itchmo: If you publish a letter that we feel is honest and legally binding, I would post it.

    GinaSpadafor_nr: Us, too.

    Itchmo: No one has yet to say that they are using ingredients that start and end in the US.

    Christie_nr: Mike, start with Therese

    debboraann_nr: comment to Beowulf SAY WHAT YOU DO AND DO WHAT YOU SAY

    ITeachComputer: I will post it also

    Christie_nr: stop using the legally allowed labeling loopholes

    Christie_nr: meet human labeling standards

    Itchmo: Absolutely.

    chloeandneal_nr: The vast amount of specialty pet stores that sold organic or US sourced products went up astronomically following the news of the recall

    Itchmo: What's outside the box should be inside the box.

    Itchmo: Or can.

    GinaSpadafor_nr: well said, itchmo!

    PetFoodTracker: exactly.

    PetFoodTracker: "If it's in our food, it's on the label. No matter what"

    Itchmo: In fact. If I were you, I'd put the same human nutritional lable on the pet food

    Itchmo: as is on human food.

    Therese: None of this...we ran out of X but we're using the same label anyway even though we replaced x with y

    Itchmo: And stick with the same human standard.

    roxygirl_nr: Excuse me for interrupting, but byproducts is acceptable by AAFCO without any further breakdown

    Christie_nr: I am looking at Beowulf's site now

    PetFoodTracker: me too

    Christie_nr: and the statement that is there is the kind of useless stuff I"m talking about

    Christie_nr: ALL the contaminated ingredients were bought from "human grade suppliers" and were human grade ingredients

    PetFoodTracker: EXACTLY.

    Christie_nr: many of the recalled foods were not "associated" with Menu Foods

    Itchmo: That's scary

    Christie_nr: and had never been recalled

    GinaSpadafor_nr: Christie ... Jeff ... maybe we can have a Round Two chat?

    Therese: i'm game for another chat!

    Christie_nr: This is the statement: http://beowulfs.com/menufoodsnote.asp

    Itchmo: Using low-grade human food is just another name for we're skirting the issue.

    Beowulf_nr: Thanks guys, keep up the good work, I'll be dropping a transcript of this chat on da boss's desk in the AM... and for the record, I want everything that you guys are looking to get done, I'll clear the way for further questions... there's no possible way for me to keep up with the speed of this chat so any site moderators etc. who would like more specific info, please email me at mikew@beowulfs.com

    Christie_nr: there is NOTHING in that statement that would reassure me at all

    PetFoodTracker: I'm up for it too.

    PetFoodTracker: Thanks for being here Mike.

    GinaSpadafor_nr: Thanks, Mike!

    Christie_nr: I think we may be getting low on time

    Christie_nr: and energy

    Itchmo: Heck, maybe we can have an FDA-style press confrence.

    Christie_nr: but we should do this again

    Christie_nr: ITchmo... that's not a bad idea

    Itchmo: Except we'd actually answer questions.

    Christie_nr: a joint media release

    Therese: Thanks, Mike. I wish more pet food companies would come forward. (hear that you other guys who are in the room???)

    PHCatByte: fifteen or so, christie

    Christie_nr: LOL Itchmo

    GinaSpadafor_nr: I'm in!

    GinaSpadafor_nr: LOL, Itchmo!!

    Itchmo: Me too

    Beowulf_nr: lol

    Christie_nr: we could do a statement of what we want to see from pet food companies

    Christie_nr: let's talk :)

    GinaSpadafor_nr: As we wrap up, may I mention I have done this entire chat with an 8-week-old kitten on my shoulder?

    Christie_nr: SPOCKO!

    Christie_nr: spocko, go ahead! we called on you before and you weren't there

    spocko_nr: Sorry stepped away.

    PHGinger: LOL Gina -- join the club

    Itchmo: Gina: Show off. :)

    Ann2_nr: Since some of the mfg companies are not being truthful in labeling what they are putting in the products they are making, there is no way to be sure. When a mfg says chicken meal instead of chicken and claim it is because they only want to remove the water content, is that true or is it just their way to add other things without adding to the ingredient list? And since organic brands are involved in the recall, what are we to buy to be safe? I also am soooo maddd about the media chosing other so called important non stop stories over coverage of the pet food recalls. They will end up reusing the tainted products in something else, especially knowing that they have in the past knowingly used hazardous products like dead animals, old meat, packaging, everything but the kitchen sink to save money. I have been making my own food instead of buying any canned food since this started, but I am still afraid everytime I buy dry food, I

    Itchmo: Where are the pix, Gina?

    PetFoodTracker: Spocko - what was your question?

    Christie_nr: Ann2, that's the whole problem, isn't it? We don't have the information we need to make our decisions. It's exctremely frustrating.

    Ann2_nr: sorry I kept trying to post my question but it was too long

    Christie_nr: LOL, Spocko?

    Itchmo: It is true that pet food companies are allowed to change ingredients without changing the ingredient list.

    GinaSpadafor_nr: We share your frustration.

    Itchmo: That needs to be stopped. ASAP.

    Ann2_nr: what about chicken meal instead of chicken

    Christie_nr: We want to see clear, accurate labels, meaninful inspections and regulations

    Itchmo: Imaging buying a 4 bedroom house only to find out it had 3 bedrooms.

    Christie_nr: Ann, as long as the label is clear and people understand, that's a personal decision

    PetFoodTracker: LOL Itchmo. Great analogy

    spocko_nr: I was really hearted by Beowolf and I want to see more of that engaging by the industry. Their are steps they Can take and there are communications methods that they can use. If Beowolf is still here please feel free to contact me (or others for) for further answers. I would like to ask if any other pet food companies have contacted you four and what they have said. I have some contacts with the chicken industry

    GinaSpadafor_nr: And accurate public reporting of adverse effects.

    Christie_nr: spocko, yes, I've been contacted by people in the pet food industry

    Itchmo: I believe they require certification from the Pope

    Christie_nr: I refer them off to Therese

    Christie_nr: LOL ITchmo

    Christie_nr: I am personally most interested at this point in regulatory issues

    Itchmo: Haha

    Christie_nr: and, you know, TRUTH

    Therese: I'm getting more and more emails from pet food companies wanting to be listed on The Pet Food List.

    GinaSpadafor_nr: I wish someone would try to buy us off. After all, we've been accused of profiting on this!

    Christie_nr: LOL

    Christie_nr: yes, I want my check

    PetFoodTracker: me too!

    GinaSpadafor_nr: And I could get all journo-indignant on them!

    Therese: LOL Gina

    Christie_nr: folks, I think we're going to need to wrap this up...

    Christie_nr: but we'll do another one of these

    GinaSpadafor_nr: Thank you all!!

    Itchmo: It's amazing how many millions we've made from this.

    Christie_nr: in the meantime, please visit the forums at itchmo.com, or here on pethobbyist.com where this is being actively discussed

    FurNFeatherz: Christy Kim and Theresa What do you feed your pets? Should we be making our pet foods.. I have customers feeding pets table scraps becasue they are scared.. P.s. Beautiful pic's in front of names.. Thank you all your wonderful... My heart goes to everyone.. we are alll effected by this... I lost my Shepherd.. Fred... I am reading the book Food pets die for ... I am learning more about pet food then I really wanted.. But must know! Teaching me how to read ingr. on food packages so far.. I think that is one big thing we all need to know.. What they really mean..

    PHMeowzers: No more questions folks! We are out of time!!!

    MaryNY: thank you all

    Therese: Thanks to all of you for coming!

    fireladie: awwww shucks

    Midask9: thanks bloggers and hosties

    Itchmo: Thanks everyone.

    PHMeowzers: But Thank you soooo much for coming and to our guests tonight

    Christie_nr: FurNFeatherz, I have fed homemade for over 21 years, and I haven't changed.

    PHKeeper: If we didn't get questions answer is there a place we can asked them

    fireladie: thank you panel!

    generalmatt_nr: Tammy Bruce should get some credit this evening. She has been covering this issue ad nauseum even though she's not a pet-foods blogger. She was the one who told me about this chat tonight. http://tammybruce.com/menupet_food_re call/

    Aqua_nr: Thank yoou for setting up this chat. I'd like to see a Round Two. I gathered a lot of very good links and leads this evening.

    fancybutton_nr: I never got to ask one question was passed up been here since 10pm

    Fritz1423: thanks for the informative chat

    cannonbawlfranci: Thank you all for coming its been interesting

    CIL_nr: First - thank you for everything you are doing, It sounds like it is time to request a Freedon of Information Act request to get the FDA to open up. I emailed my representative (Shaddegg- R AZ), on Sunday, no response and he is on the House Commerce Committee. We also need letters to the editor, can you all post some templates? This is massive, with issues of deregulation, anti-trust, low bidders, too few suppliers, no container inspections and "Brownie is doing a heck-of-a-job."

    Christie_nr: Tammy had me on today!

    Therese: I feed mostly raw to my guys

    Christie_nr: on her show

    GinaSpadafor_nr: matt ... thanks ... we'll check the link

    ITeachComputer: If it says by-products I don't feed it.... I want human grade food to feed my babies and I WANT to TRUST my supplier of food but when someone tell sme they can't or won't tell me something about the food, then how can I trust them. I am a person who spends every day on-line educating list members about foods and yet, I can direct them to no *Safe* food! That is just sad!

    PetFoodTracker: I just startted cooking for mine...

    PHKeeper: Thank you all for the information

    PHAbymom: On behalf of Jeff Barrington and PetHobbyist, thank YOU all for coming tonite!

    Christie_nr: LOL Barringer

    ITeachComputer: Thank you all :)

    Itchmo: Thanks PH and Jeff.

    GinaSpadafor_nr: Thanks for having us, Jeff!!

    Therese: feel free to come on over to the forums at www.thepetfoodlist.com if you want to rehash any of this!

    Christie_nr: We'll do a follow up chat

    GinaSpadafor_nr: and all the wonderful hosts. You guys are awesome.

    Christie_nr: and visit Therese and Itchmo's forums

    Therese: Yes, a BIG thank you to Jeff!!!

    PetFoodTracker: I'll help answer questions at Therese's forums tomorrow

    Christie_nr: Goodnight everyone!

    Itchmo: Check the Make a Difference forum on ItchmoForums.com if you want to make change happen.

    GinaSpadafor_nr: Goodnight!

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