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  • teewong 8:57 pm on December 4, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , raw meat, Superbugs   

    “MEAT” Superbugs 

    Antibiotics controversies

    In North America, about 23,000 deaths are reported every year due to superbug infections (antibiotic resistant infections). Antibiotics are given as drugs to treat bacterial infections. When the bacteria become resistant to three or more types of antibiotics, they lead to the rise of superbugs (Consumer Reports, 2015). Many factors can contribute to the cause of these antibiotic resistant superbug infections, one of which is the abuse of antibiotics in animal farm practices. Consumer Reports did a 3-year investigation on raw meat products revealing superbugs present in four major types of raw meat: turkey, chicken, beef, and shrimp. Samples taken in for testing showed superbugs present in: 84% of turkey samples, 57% of chicken samples, and 14% for both beef and shrimp samples (Consumer Reports, 2015). There may be a big gap between certain meat types, but this study was done over three years, and the sample size ranged from 168 to 304. As it is shown above, the presence of superbugs in raw products indirectly proves the overuse of antibiotics in animal farm, which leads to the death of superbug infected patients.

    On the other hand, according to the Consumer Reports, the meat and poultry industries claim that drugs (antibiotics) were not widely overused and the use of drugs are important to ensure animal’s health, welfare and food safety to a certain extent. However, the science behind it suggests otherwise.

    How does antibiotic resistant occur?

    DNA mutations often occur naturally in bacteria, but when a gene that is responsible for the bacterium’s survival is mutated, antibiotic resistance may appear. Antibiotic resistance happens when a pathogen manages to escape from being killed by antibiotics and therefore, is able replicate in numbers. However, it does not need a daily routine of antibiotic applications to encourage superbugs to flourish as there is also another mechanism in promoting the multiplication. Gene transfer is a common mechanism that happens as a DNA of an organism is passed onto another organism that is nearby; consequently, infecting neighboring organisms.

    image: http://www.bbc.com/news/health-34857015

    Will it cause extreme harm?

    No, as long as you cook the meat to the appropriate temperature, harmful pathogens should not be able to survive and infect us. However, if we do get superbug infections from eating meat that were not cooked properly, it would become a life-threatening situation since superbugs are resistant to all known antibiotics. If there are people who are very concerned with superbugs in the meat, switching to meat products that are labeled “Organic” or “No Antibiotics” will minimize the chances of superbug exposures.


    Main article for this blog: British Columbia,. (2015). Superbugs found in a lot of meat, chicken and fish. Retrieved 5 December 2015, from http://bc.ctvnews.ca/superbugs-found-in-a-lot-of-meat-chicken-and-fish-1.2663299

    Consumerreports.org,. (2015). Making The World Safe From Superbugs – Consumer Reports. Retrieved 5 December 2015, from http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/health/making-the-world-safe-from-superbugs/index.htm?utm_source=hootsuite

    • Michelle Ebtia 9:55 pm on December 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I was not surprised to learn that the use of antibiotics in animal farming contributes to the prevalence of antibiotic resistance. To avoid contracting infections cause by such pathogens I always choose to buy meat from organically raised animals. However, I did a quick research in the present literature and surprisingly came across several articles that report the presence of antibiotic resistant pathogens in organic meat, with levels similar to those of conventionally raised animals (LeJeune & Christie 2004; Luangtongkum et al. 2006; Millman et al. 2013). This could be due to cross-contamination post-slaughter or due to the fact that “organic chicks can receive antibiotics via in ovo injections and during the first day of life” (Millman et al. 2013)!!

      Works Cited:
      LeJeune, J. T., & Christie, N. P. (2004). Microbiological Quality of Ground Beef from Conventionally-Reared Cattle and”Raised without Antibiotics”Label Claims. Journal of Food Protection®, 67(7), 1433-1437.

      Luangtongkum, T., Morishita, T. Y., Ison, A. J., Huang, S., McDermott, P. F., & Zhang, Q. (2006). Effect of conventional and organic production practices on the prevalence and antimicrobial resistance of Campylobacter spp. in poultry. Applied and environmental microbiology, 72(5), 3600-3607.

      Millman, J. M., Waits, K., Grande, H., Marks, A. R., Marks, J. C., Price, L. B., & Hungate, B. A. (2013). Prevalence of antibiotic-resistant E. coli in retail chicken: comparing conventional, organic, kosher, and raised without antibiotics. F1000Research, 2.

    • shinnie 4:15 pm on December 10, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Hello! I have actually read an article on New York Times that a lot of newborns in India have been dying as a result of superbugs infections. This is largely due to an uncontrolled usage of antibiotics that lead to the massive growth of multi-drug resistance bacteria. The lack of sanitation and hygiene forced health agencies to look into increased use of antibiotics. As we have learned in class, babies/young children are the most susceptible to diseases because they have not yet acquired a strong immune systems or micro-flora that helps them combat other pathogenic bacteria. It is even more frightening to note that the routes of transmission… are everywhere! This includes the water, sewage, animals, soil and even humans may b e carriers of these superbugs.

    • Susanna Ko 4:58 pm on December 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I guess since antibiotic residue testing is not part of regulations in India, or is not highly regulated, that this is able to happen. It’s dangerous to have antibiotic residue because the effects of the metabolism/degradation of these residues in human bodies is also unknown. As we’ve learned in class, it could lead to health issues as well as the development of antimicrobial-resistant strains of microorganisms. Why do they suggest that cooking will help? Is it because cooking will denature these antibiotic compounds? What if they become carcinogenic or mutagenic from heating?

      • Susanna Ko 5:05 pm on December 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Sorry India is in response to Shinnie’s post. And I mean that the antibiotic residue testing may not be part of the routine testing in North America.

    • WinnieLiao 8:11 pm on December 14, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Wow! Thanks Shinnie and Susanna for the discussion! In my opinion sanitary and hygiene controls are especially important for us as consumers when handling food. Public education on prevention of superbugs may be helpful in reducing the infected population; in fact, knowing about this may assist mothers to become more aware of the disease. Additionally, how animals are raised and in what environment they are raised in may also contribute to the safety of our daily diets. I had a couple of questions in mind after reading the article: I wonder why turkey would be on the top of the list? How does shrimp acquire the superbugs? Can fish be potentially contaminated as well?

    • mustafa akhtar 12:09 am on December 19, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      As a vegetarian, I am once again appalled by this. I find this especially concerning as such meat products could potentially harness growth of stronger and potentially much more dangerous pathogens in the farm environment. It seems like as of now, the only regulations in North America for drug resistance genes are visual quality checks that only scrape the surface, and there is room for more research in this area.

  • MarinaMoon 3:30 pm on December 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Animal, cloned meat, Cloning, , meat   

    (Meat) European parliament votes to ban cloning of farm animals 

    What is your opinion on human cloning? Have you ever thought about having another identical self? Not only the surface but genetically identical? To certain extent, many would feel leery even thinking about it.

    Then what are your opinions on animal cloning of animals? Unlike human cloning, there seems to be distinct split opinions between different countries. Some countries suggest a positive perspective toward the idea of cloning animals for meat productions. In 2008, FDA has ultimately concluded that meat from cloned animals and offspring of clones are safe to be consumed by consumers. They added that it is as safe as those foods from conventionally bred animals. Since then, products of cloned animals, which include cow, goat and pig, are allowed to be sold in the market without any labelling that differentiate cloned animals from conventionally bred ones.Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 11.10.41 PM

    How did this issue on cloned animals arise in the first place?

    The history of cloning started with a female domestic sheep named Dolly in Scotland in 1996. Cloning of animals is a technique that involves use of adult somatic cell by replacing the nucleus of unfertilized ovum to nucleus of the somatic cell and produces an embryo. After its first introduction from Scotland, cloning of animals has been studied and practiced ever since.

    Ironically, in 8th of September 2015, the European Parliament voted to ban animal cloning completely including all farm animals, their descendants, and products derived from them that include imported products into the Europe. With issues regarding animal welfare and ethical considerations, the European Parliament has decided to fully ban the practice of cloning animals. In addition, despite FDA’s claim that cloned animals are safe to consume by human, there are several concerns associated with consumption of cloned animals. Cloned animals tend to have problem delivering live young and produce lameness and in order to overcome this issue, they are treated with hormones and antibiotics. With consumption of these heavily dosed cloned animals, number of health risk may arise such as allergenicity, development of antimicrobial resistant microbes, toxicity, carcinogenicity and much more. To add to this notion, European Food Safety Authority has stated that there are still uncertainties in the risk from the lack of studies and evidence available for information on safety of cloned animals except cattles and pigs.

    WiScreen Shot 2015-12-02 at 2.09.54 PMth two very different opinions toward consumption of animals from North America and Europe, it is hard to choose which studies are true. The controversy of having cloned animals for meat production and other consumption is still unresolved as no one possess enough evidence to fully back up their opinions.

    How do you feel about animal cloning now? Did this persuade to change your mind to be against cloned animals or not?

    Let me know on the comments below!



    Main article for this blog:  E.U parliament votes to ban cloning of farm animals.. Retrieved on Nov 25th, 2015 from http://news.sciencemag.org/europe/2015/09/e-u-parliament-votes-ban-cloning-farm-animals

    Are We Eating Cloned Meat? Retreived on Nov 28th, 2015 from http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/are-we-eating-cloned-meat/

    Center for Food Safety. Retrieved on Nov 28th, 2015 from http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/issues/302/animal-cloning/about-cloned-animals#

    European Food Safety Authority. Retrieved on Nov 28th 2015 from http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/topics/topic/cloning

    European Parliament News. Retrieved on Nov 29th, 2015: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/news-room/content/20150617IPR67269/html/Ban-not-just-animal-cloning-but-cloned-food-feed-and-imports-too-say-MEPs

    U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved on Nov 25th, 2015 from http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/SafetyHealth/AnimalCloning/

    • csontani 9:41 pm on December 3, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I’m not necessarily against animal cloning but I wouldn’t want to eat meat from cloned animals. It is still so strange for me cause it just seems like it’s not real meat. Plus, we don’t even know what illness it can cause and what other side effects are there. It might potentially be a good idea in the future when earth’s population increased significantly and there’s less food source but I think that they should only do that once they’re certain that cloned meats are perfectly safe and if they can process it with less additives and hormones.

    • cvalencia 10:38 pm on December 3, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      What is the primary purspose of cloning animals? I think that it shouldn’t be done unless there is a great benefit that outweighs the risk of having adverse consequences to human health (if they are for consumption).. I wouldn’t eat meat and any products from cloned animals, just because of the uncertainty that goes along with it.

    • BarbaraCorreiaFaustino 12:50 pm on December 4, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      That was a very thought-provoking article! I agree with the above comment, that I wouldn’t want to eat meat from cloned animals because of the uncertainty of whether consuming it might lead to health consequences. I believe that there should many more studies to determine if the consumption of this kind of product is really safe, so that we can form a more informed opinion about this issue.

    • KristinaRichmond 7:45 pm on December 4, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      It seems like there are a lot of ethical and safety issues that need to be explored further in this case. This is a very interesting article though, and with ever increasing technology it makes me wonder about what food production will be like in the future. I know there are things like lab grown burgers being developed. However, I think cost would be a huge consideration, as I imagine the lab techniques could be quite expensive.

    • Jasmine Lee 2:57 am on December 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I support Europe’s decision to completely ban cloning of farm animals for meat consumption. There needs to be more research studies, i.e. randomized control trials, on the potential complications. Furthermore, there are an increasing number of studies, which indicate a strong association between food choices and human health. Aside from the nutrients in the meat, microRNAs, which are non-protein-coding RNAs, are present in animal tissues. From my FNH 451 research project last year, several articles have claimed that specific microRNAs may be correlated with altering the gene expression of certain regulatory proteins, which will affect disease development in humans. Hence, frequent consumption of cloned foods with certain levels of microRNAs may potentially and negatively expose individuals to the progression of particular diseases.

    • RainShen 9:19 pm on December 10, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      It is a interesting post! I never know that cloned animals for meat consumption is allowed in North America. For me the meat from cloned animals is like those GMO products we have in the market now. I do not know if they are safe or unsafe, since it is still a debatable issue in food industry, but it has to be clearly labelled on the food products to let the customers know. The meat from cloned animals sold in the market without any labelling that differentiate cloned animals from conventionally bred ones is not acceptable for me. As mentioned in the post, they are treated with hormones and antibiotics, so by consuming the meat it may cause antimicrobial resistance, toxicity, and carcinogenicity for the consumers. With that many potential dangers, it should be labelled “cloned animal” to notify customers that consumption of the meat may take some level of risk, since the research is still ongoing.

    • yichen25 2:17 am on December 11, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      This is such an interesting post. I never thought that animal cloning could be applied in food production. I am pretty sure that this idea will not be acceptable by the majority as there are many ethical and safety aspects to be considered. Firstly, cloning an animal requires complicated genetic modification procedures and as far as I have known, there is a potential for mutation and/or unstable consequences leading to that. Also, there are not many scientific evidences that have proven the safety aspects of the consumption of cloned animals and the side effects of consuming cloned animals are still fairly unknown. Therefore, more research should be done on the safety aspects on the consumption of the cloned animals before authorizing this practice.

    • JorgeMadrigalPons 10:15 pm on December 12, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I personally don’t think there is much benefit in cloning animals for meat consumption, considering that it involves very complicated procedures, but I do not disagree with it. For meat production, it should be better to just clone a specific tissue (Tissue culture engineering), it is much more efficient than cloning the whole body to just kill it after. Cultured meat has a great potential to improve the nutritional quality and safety of the product, since it can be manipulated in vitro. Also, there is no need to kill animals.

    • EmilyChow 2:17 am on December 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Wow! I can’t believe that the meat sold in North American supermarkets now could be from a cloned animal. Since this was FDA approved back in 2008, there must be an exponential number of offspring from breeding of the original clones. Who knows how much of the meat nowadays are from a cloned animal? I think cloning is a major scientific field of research and this concept can potentially solve the food scarcity issues; however, there is concern due to the lack of scientific studies and evidence. There could be dangers of consuming cloned meat that we are yet to be aware of. Although the concept of cloning is controversial, it is also innovative. With more research and evidence in this field to confirm its safety, I believe cloning could give rise to solutions for many food-related issues in the future.

    • CandiceZheng 3:12 pm on December 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Interesting topic! Cloning animals, like all the genetically modified food commodities in the market, are of great concern currently. I believe there are certainly benefits of using the gene techniques such as keeping the beneficial traits while reducing the possibility of the bad traits to produce animals and plants that would bring more health and economic benefits to human being. In this way our food products would be cheaper and more affordable for the general population. However, there are definitely lots of concerns regarding genetically engineered products, too. Although FDA has claimed that meat from cloned animals and offspring of clones are safe to be consumed by consumers; that genetically modified salmon is as safe to eat as non-GE salmon (http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm472487.htm), there might still be some undiscovered adverse health effect that we don’t know yet.

  • Mandy Tam 6:29 pm on December 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , pets   

    (Meat) Pet Food Safety is As Important As Human Food Safety 

    Cute Cat

    Surprise! Human is not the only species on earth that consume meat. Cats and dogs we have at home consume meats as well. As raising pets in the family become more and more popular, pet food becomes a high demand in the market. Industrialization comes along and a lot of companies try to lower their price by using many different methods.


    Chemical Structure of Melamine Cyanurate


    One of the method was to lowering the protein content by substituting meat with wheat gluten. Wheat gluten itself does not cause any harm to animals, however, the additional of melamine and cyanuric acid does. Melamine contains 66% nitrogen and it is used for plastic production (Suchy et al., 2009). Cyanuric acid is a bleaching agent and it contains non-protein nitrogen like melamine (Suchy et al., 2009). The combination of melamine and cyanuric acid forms melamine cyanurate and it is an insoluble compound that can block renal function (Suchy et al., 2009). Eventually, it causes renal failure in animals and eventually death (Suchy et al., 2009).


    At late 2006 and early 2007, gluten suppliers in China decided to add melamine and cyanuric acid into the wheat gluten to higher the nitrogen value (FDA, 2009). Most protein analyses were based on amount of nitrogen in sample so a higher nitrogen value could trick buyers by claiming a high protein value for their product (FDA, 2009). Buyers would not know that they were buying wheat gluten with non-protein nitrogen chemicals like melamine and cyanuric if the chemicals were not listed out. Pet food companies purchased the wheat gluten and added into their pet food products without knowing the danger of it (FDA, 2009).


    “cut and gravy” style pet food


    In many affected brands, Menu Foods Limited had the highest impact. Menu Foods Limited was a company based in Canada and it sold pet foods across Canada and United State (Smith, 2007). The company “cut and gravy” style pet food was first reported to cause renal failure and death (FDA, 2009). It was also the first company began to recall and had the largest recall in comparison with other companies (Smith, 2007).
    Although there were 8500 animal deaths reported to FDA in related to this incident, there were no specific number of affected animals according to FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) because of lack of surveillance network (FDA, 2009; Heavey, 2007).


    After the incident, FDA developed a network called Pet Event Tracking Network (PETNet) to improve surveillance (Dangin et al., 2015). The database allows FDA and state agencies to share information about potential outbreaks and pet-food related incidents instantaneously (Dangin et al., 2015). The system was finally finalized at 2011 (Dangin et al., 2015). You might think surveillance would improve after this tragedy, however, nothing has really changed.



    Jerky Dog Treat That Required to Be Recall at 2015


    In September 2015, a jerky dog treat has reportedly contaminated with amantadine and required to be recall (FDA, 2015a) . Amantadine is an antiviral drug to treat Parkinson’s disease (FDA, 2015b). Certain farms and plants used it to treat avian flu (FDA, 2015b). Although it is allowed to use as a medication for animal in certain countries, it is not approve to be in pet food in the U.S. (FDA, 2015b). This is not the first time that happen in human history. In 2014, there were more than 4800 complaints in regarded of jerky pet treats (Desk, 2014; FDA, 2015b). More than 1000 dogs were reportedly dead because of jerky pet treats from China (Desk, 2014; FDA, 2015b). Although there is no definite correlation with amantadine and the 2014 incident, it is one of the potential cause (Desk, 2014). In term of the source of illness, it is still unknown according to a report given out by FDA in February 2015 (FDA, 2015b). Moreover, complaints in regard of jerky pet treat is still continuing in 2015 (FDA, 2015b).


    Dogs and cats cannot choose what they eat. Human have a great responsibility on what they provide to their pets. In 2015, nothing has really improved in term of pet food safety. In the future, we should really make sure that no more poor animals are dead because of our greediness; therefore, we should continue to improve our regulations and surveillance program to protect them.





    1. View on the incidents
    2. Do you think people are simply over reacting or should there be more regulation?
    3. Is globalization good for the food industry or not?


    Here is a news report summarizing what happen at 2007:


    Here is a news report about jerky pet treat:


    Dangin, A., Murphy, J., & Melluso, C. (2015, October 5). PETNet: An Information Exchange for Pet Food Related Incidents. Retrieved November 30, 2015, from http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/Products/AnimalFoodFeeds/PetFood/ucm278278.htm

    Desk, N. (2014, May 20). FDA Update: 1000+ Dog Deaths Potentially Linked to Chinese Jerky Treats. Food Safety News.
    FDA. (2009, October 7). Melamine Pet Food Recall – Frequently Asked Questions. Retrieved December 2, 2015, from http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/SafetyHealth/RecallsWithdrawals/ucm129932.htm

    FDA. (2015a, September 23). Enforcement Report – Week of September 23, 2015. Retrieved December 2, 2015, from http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/enforcement/enforce_rpt-Product-Tabs.cfm?action=select&recall_number=V-261-2015&w=09232015&lang=eng

    FDA. (2015b, February 19). FDA Issues Update on Jerky Pet Treat Investigation. Retrieved December 2, 2015, from http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/NewsEvents/CVMUpdates/ucm434865.htm
    Heavey, S. (2007, May 4). U.S. petfood recall widens on cross-contamination. Thomson Reuters.
    Smith, J. (2007, March 16). Huge pet food recall launched. Toronto Star.
    Suchý P, Straková E, Herzig I, Staňa J, Kalusová R, Pospíchalová M. Toxicological risk of melamine and cyanuric acid in food and feed.Interdisciplinary Toxicology. 2009;2(2):55-59. doi:10.2478/v10102-009-0010-6

    • Winston Liang 7:56 pm on December 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I remember a couple years ago, the government is taking my initiatives on ensuring consumers are more aware on whats coming into the country – including proper labeling. Do you think enough is being done? What opinions do you have to the government or consumers to ensure more transparency of what is going into our pets mouths?

    • Jasmine Lee 11:14 pm on December 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      It is terrible to hear that a few pet food manufacturers are only concerned about lowering costs and maximizing profits. They are not considering any repercussions that may result from substitution with ingredients of lower value, even if the product is intended for pet consumption. Additionally, this matter may be worrisome for some members of the human community. I have read that a few individuals consume pet food as part of their diet for the purpose of losing weight or to gain nutrition due to the unaffordability of what is generally accepted as “human food”. These vulnerable individuals will be unknowingly exposed to these harmful substances as they are solely relying on the package labels. I agree that there is an urgent need for better regulations and surveillance programs of pet food quality.

    • elaine chan 1:03 am on December 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      A nice take on this food blog by talking about animals as victims from consuming food products! I agree with Jasmine’s comment above, it’s certainly disheartening to hear that there are companies out there, that are willing trading their soul for some extra money. The purchasers of this gluten product, and the customers of the pet food products are definitely innocent victims. More specifically, the purchasers ordered this product thinking that it will supply the stated about of nitrogen, so it can meet the consumers’ requirements and produce a nutritious product. And on the customer’s end, they purchased the pet food hoping that it would provide the nutritional value required by their pets. In a situation like this, it’s definitely hard for customers to determine what’s best for their pets because they can only know so much about a product by reading the label. However, on the purchaser’s end, hopefully they can implement more strict raw material testing procedures to help ensure that their final products are safe for consumption by pets.

    • Jenny T 9:36 am on December 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Very informative piece Mandy! This topic on pet food and safety is rarely talked about but is equally important for pet owners to know. This reminded me of the baby formula incident a while back, but pet versoon. Both the pet owners and pets are the victims here because as much as we all want to choose the best product, we place our trust in the FDA and the manufacturers to do their jobs right and ethically. What is worse is that pets won’t be able to tell us what is wrong until it might be too late and they are so reliant on us. I hope the PETNet proves to be effective and FDA does more thorough testing in preventing further incidents like this. Thanks for making us more aware of this issue with this post!

    • ColleenChong 12:51 pm on December 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you for sharing this information. I also remember the incident in china where melamine was added in to baby milk formulas, which caused many health problems to infants. Similar to this incident the compound was added in to the formula to increase the protein content to add value to the product. I agree with Jenny how pet food safety is not considered as important in public. Before reading this blog post I was no aware that this also happens in the pet food industry. I think government regulatory organizations needs to be more proactive in pet food inspection to prevent any alternation of foods that is deemed unsafe to the consumers.

    • dgozali 6:29 pm on December 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Its so sad to hear that pet food safety is not a topic that has been widely discussed or treated as seriously as human food safety. As i have pets myself, I can really identify with this issue as I would try to look up the nutritional content on pet food packages to make sure that the food is healthy for my own pets. I definitely think that it is worth it to create more regulations in order to prevent pet food manufacturers from adding dangerous ingredients. Especially since there are so many pet owners out there and lots of people who support animal welfare causes, they would greatly support the implementation of more regulations to ensure pet/animal safety.

    • Silvia Low 4:07 pm on December 3, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I had a close encounter with contaminated pet food products before! My sister had purchased a bag of treats for our dog in the past (which he loved) and when he finished it, she asked me to go buy another bag of it. So i went to the store and looked all over for it but couldn’t find it. I asked the sales associate and they said they didn’t sell the brand but that was strange because my sister had bought it from the same store. What i did next is what everyone does… i googled it. And i found out that there was a massive recall on the product just a couple months back because the product was contaminated in the factories they originated from in China. So my dog may have consumed the same contaminated products without us even knowing! But he turned out okay so I’m happy. 🙂

    • cheryl lau 3:12 pm on December 4, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Great article! As a cat owner, the content of this article is very disconcerting. I agree that it is up to us pet owners to determine if the food is safe for our pets to consume. However, I also think it is important for pet food producers to do their own testing on their raw materials as well. After this incident, I assume that the pet food company has reassessed their procedures on approving suppliers. Although it is quite common in the food industry to choose cheaper raw materials and sacrifice the quality, the consequences can sometimes be very severe, as shown in this article. The protein supplier may have wanted to lower the costs as profit margins are quite low for raw material suppliers, but there are other less harmful ways to do so.

    • AngeliMalimban 9:28 pm on December 14, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      This definitely hits close to home since I have my little dog at home, who just loves to eat everything and anything. I think a lot of companies and people do not realize that what is bad for us is [most likely] bad for dogs, and that there are so many things that we consume that are not good for them either! There definitely should be more regulation for pet food… it really does surprise me that they are only doing something about it now and it was only recently finalized. It sickens me that the companies would add more nitrogen to trick the people into getting more protein… just because it has a higher nitrogen content does not mean the proteins are complete or good for the dog (or even just protein in general). I hope pet owners are smarter than that to believe those tricks. I definitely should check out the ingredients on the label, especially since my dog is becoming old.

    • DeniseZhang 7:08 pm on December 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I was quite surprised by these contaminated pet foods cases. I haven’t heard of any related cases before. I do believe we need to pay the same amount of attention on these pets foods, as we live with our pets and there might be a chance that these contaminated pet foods can affect human beings as well. After reading above comments, as an animal lover, I can’t believe this issue was that close to us. I hope officials can work on improving surveillance on pet foods and even farm animal feeds in the future.

    • Ya Gao 11:19 pm on December 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      This is a tragedy to see. I personally have two dogs accompanying me. When I tried to buy treats for them from Amazon, I saw those comments about avoiding dog foods from China at all cost. I didn’t look into specific details until now I know. It is such a pain to see people putting someone else’s pets on danger for money. Because for us, as pet owners, they are part of the family. What I saw in the article above is not just number, I saw heart broken families who lost their beloved family members. This is not one of food borne outbreaks that are sometimes unpredictable. This is an intentional crime!!! The company that added chemicals to pet foods that are known to cause harm on animals should pay for this.

    • MichelleLui 10:35 pm on December 17, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I agree there are much improvement needed in regulating the pet food. Many pet owners now read the nutrition label for wholesome ingredients or choose reputable brand. Some even cook for their pets. Consumers will have to voice out their concern when it comes to the food safety of pet food. Pet food industry will need to work on controlling the quality and food safety of the ingredients. They need to come from an approved source (e.g. federally registered meat establishment) with certificate of analysis (e.g. heavy metals, pathogens).

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