NOTE: We have sent the following to Sen. Durbin’s office in response to his request for feedback.
We declare that the relationship between a pet and its legal guardian is second only to that of a parent and a child. The quality of care and feeding of those who depend on us is a reflection of our society’s humanity — the more we advance as human beings, the more we care for those who cannot help themselves.
As guardians of our pets, we the consumers have these rights:
- The Right to Independent Certification:
A mandatory certification process for quality pet food as established by an independent board of experts with the power to de-certify any product or manufacturer. This organization must not be funded by the industry and must not have any conflicts of interest with manufacturers. Its role is to set a minimum or higher ingredient and nutritional guideline and to advance the cause of pet health and nutrition. Manufacturers can be certified if they meet this requirement, and must be inspected in a timely and regular basis. We believe that AAFCO does not have sufficient authority, staff, or independence to be relied upon.
- The Right to Accurate Labeling:
What’s on the label should be what’s inside. Period. The manufacturer of the food itself must be clearly marked. Ingredients from other countries of origin must be clearly marked.
- The Right to Accountability:
If a food is found liable for the death of a pet, the company responsible for marketing that brand of food must be held financially liable for economic and emotional damages.
- The Right to Fair Oversight:
Pets and their guardians have the right to one governmental organization whose only constituent is the consumer and is accountable to the public. This organization must have the tools, willpower and support to prevent, monitor and publicize problems in pet food. Information it provides must be timely, accurate and disseminated to protect the interests of the consumer — not the industry. This organization must have the power to rapidly remove products that it deems to possess a significant risk of death or injury.
If you have feedback, please let us know in the comments.