USA Today Claims Pet Food Is As Safe As Human Food

USA Today LogoWe had no major problems with a USA Today article until this part:

Q: So pet food might not be as safe as human food?

A: Actually, it probably is. Dogs and cats naturally eat raw foods, and their systems are better able to withstand potential contaminants that might harm humans. And dog and cat foods may be safer than many foods consumed by humans because most dog and cat foods are canned or cooked, which kills bacteria.

Wait, they’re kidding right? When was the last time someone recalled 1% of the human food supply? Or when did more than 76 customers die (as in the case of Diamond Pet Foods in 2005)? When did the FDA leave a contaminated plant running after people died? Also, their reasoning that pets can withstand more contaminants is not indication that the food is safe. That’s like saying “Car A is just as safe as Car B because Car A’s occupants wear helmets.” Even if the end result is the same (which it isn’t) the food is still more dangerous.

We would like to know how the authors, Elizabeth Weise and Julie Schmit arrived at this conclusion.

3 Responses to “USA Today Claims Pet Food Is As Safe As Human Food”

  1. MLO says:

    I can’t really disagree with USA Today because, well, the human food supply is NOT safe. Especially if you are eating processed foods.

    I belong to a small, but (unfortunately) growing population of people with food allergies. We are keenly aware of manufacturing processes - probably more aware than the organic community is. Even some organic processes are not “safe” for us.

    The growth of centralization and industrialization of the food supply has brought us closer and closer to - maybe even to a darker point than - Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle. The things written are practically sanitized compared to how things are moving worldwide in the production of ALL foodstuffs.

    Remember, GM Starlink Corn? Do you really believe that it was removed from the food supply? (Hint: Corn is an wind pollinator. Scientists are being blinded by their own science.) What about the introduction of GM Potatoes? Suppressed studies show that kidney damage was done to rats eating them.

    The increased use of pesticides and pesticide resistant modified plants are destroying pollinators (bees and honeybees). This is massively underreported. This means the quality of harvests is going down which, in turn, forces farmers to ‘force’ crops - again lowering quality.

    Factory farming increases the use of antibiotics creating drug-resistant forms of almost every zoonotic disease. Pharmacists as far back as the 1980s were warning against this - but the interests of industry made sure there was an increase in the use of antibiotics and even growth hormones in livestock. Is this really a good idea?

    Oh, and the use of corn, wheat, and soy by-products in the food supply is correlated in an increase in several diet related diseases in both pets and people.

    I’ll stop. I can rant all day about the damage to the food supply. Even the option of growing one’s own food has been jeopardized by the practices and lobbying of big food producers (think Monsanto and ADM types).

    Our pets, being smaller than us, tend to feel the effects of our idiocy faster than we feel them. They are the proverbial canary in the coal mine. And, do not believe for even one minute that we are not next for a rash of deaths that can too easily be brushed off as a gastrointestinal bug. Autopsies are rarely performed on humans to determine death. How many have died from food-related disease and we will never know it?



  2. G.K. says:

    Canning and cooking might destroy bacteria in the food- but it doesn’t destroy a great many of the toxins (myco and otherwise) these foods can become contaminated with through the use of sub-par or poorly handled/maintained ingredients.. which you ARE more likely to find in pet food. I mean, there’s a reason we have a distinction between ‘human grade’ and ‘feed grade’, no?

    Not to mention, the processing standards are so much lower. When I used to work at a major chain pet store, shipments of certain brands of dry food and treats were contaminated so frequently (whether with insects- predominantly moths- or fungus), I found myself in the habit of closely inspecting all the packages before leaving the stockroom. (Partly because I’d gotten sick of loading pallets of the stuff every other week, only to have to cart it all back to the stockroom fifteen minutes later and dispose of it, and partly because we had a number of customers who’d have fed it to their pets anyway. (”Do you have any more bags of ___? I didn’t see it on the shelf. I thought you were supposed to be getting a new shipment!” “I’m sorry, we received the shipment, but it was infested with bugs. We’ll be getting a new one in on..” “Where IS it? I am NOT coming back on Monday. I want my two bags NOW! It’s okay.. Fluffy doesn’t mind the bugs, really.”)

    Yeah.. not buying it. Either way, both the human and pet food industries are in trouble. Maybe this will prove the kick in the pants necessary to institute some change to both before headlines are also reading ‘550 children die of organ failure after eating substance X, cause still unknown’.

  3. Lynette says:

    Even prior to this recall, a few of us have been campaigning to persuade people to write their US Senators, complaining that the FDA regulation of the pet food industry is woefully inadequte - in fact, virtually nonexistent. Why is it that the FDA scrutinizes the nutraceutical industry, making sure they all caveat their claims for herb’s benefits… yet they allow pet food companies to declare their pet food “complete and balanced nutrition” if SIX of eight animals complete a six-month trial without dropping dead? Why is it they spend time investigating a small raw food company for salmonella (a bacteria for which there is ONE documented case of a cat dying from - a sick, 15 year old unneutered male owned by a hoarder) - but they never found time to visit the Kansas Menu Foods plant? After nearly 80 dogs died from moldy corn in Diamond Pet Food’s dry food, there still isn’t safeguards in place for contaminated grains?

    If you would be so kind as to join in our campaign, I have details up here:

    Other state Senators’ addresses may be easily obtained at

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