Not in Fido’s Food Either
By Consumers Union on Friday, April 6th, 2007
With the revelation that the Chinese company that supplied wheat gluten suspected of contaminating pet food may have shipped wheat gluten to the US for human consumption too, its clear that our pets are the canaries in the coal mine. Human food safety is also at risk. (The importer insists its product went only into pet food, but this has not been substantiated by FDA.)
According to the AP, FDA only inspects 1.3% of food imports, and inspections today are only 75% of what they were in 2003. You can protect yourself somewhat by buying locally or organic but we really need an effective federal watchdog in this era of global food supplies. Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) would help if there is a contaminant in human food, but Congress has delayed COOL numerous times. Even after all our problems this year with spinach, peanut butter, tomatoes and imported melons, and now pet food, the FDA did not request a budget for next year that accounts for inflation. We need COOL, and a stronger, much better funded federal food safety system.