Need for pet food safety regulations grows stronger

The OlympianNovember 4, 2013 

Pets are like family members to many Americans. So it stands to reason they would want the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to pass long-awaited rules to make pet food and animal feed safer.

TONY OVERMAN

YAY: PET FOOD RULES

Pets are like family members to many Americans. So it stands to reason they would want the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to pass long-awaited rules to make pet food and animal feed safer.

The need for pet food safety regulations has grown even stronger in recent weeks amid reports that some 600 dogs might have died from eating contaminated pet jerky imported from China.

Stronger guidelines to make pet food safer is good for pet owners too because some food-borne illnesses in pet food can transfer to humans.

BOO: CANCELED POLICIES

Just when one might think the federal health care roll-out couldn’t get any worse, a surge of medical insurance policy cancellations are hitting what could be millions of individuals and businesses whose existing coverage doesn’t meet the new law’s standards. It just adds to the confusion and debate over the new health care law.

YAY: LACEY SOLDIER

Lacey resident Sgt. Craig Warfle has received the USO Soldier of the Year Award for his heroic actions on the battlefield in Afghanistan in 2010. Warfle, who was injured in the firefight in the Logar province, played a key role, holding back Taliban fighters long enough for a fatally wounded partner to be evacuated. His actions also bought time for his Ranger team to call in ordnance to kill the Taliban fighters. Warfle, 23, has deployed to Afghanistan four times in his five-year Army career.

BOO: E-CIGARETTES

It’s high time the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulate electronic cigarettes the same way it does tobacco products. Forty state attorneys general have sent a letter to the FDA urging action in response to the growing popularity of e-cigarettes. The attorneys general also decried marketing tactics that they say appeal to children, including the use of cartoon characters and offering fruit- and candy-flavored e-cigarettes.

YAY: DEADLINE MET

Some hopeful news from the Mideast: An international chemical weapons watchdog reported late last week that Syria met a key deadline for destroying its chemical weapons production and mixing plants. The Assad regime still has much work to do to eliminate the almost 1,300 metric tons of chemical weapons in its possession. They are supposed to be destroyed by mid-2014, another important milestone.

BOO: TAINTED SPICES

The FDA sure has a full plate of unfinished business. The agency charged with safeguarding U.S. food supplies released a study last week revealing that 12 percent of imported spices it inspected were tainted with insect fragments, animal hairs and pathogens, including salmonella. The study identified 14 outbreaks of illness from 1973 to 2010 traced to contaminated spices, affecting 2,000 people worldwide. Spice companies need to clean up their act.

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