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Whether sold in a small independent shop, a grocery store, a national chain or online, pet food is big business. The market is worth an estimated $30 billion in the U.S. and around $100 billion worldwide.
A lot is happening in the world of pet food, what with contaminated kibble recalls, suspicions that some dogs are dying of a heart condition because of what they're fed, mounting evidence about the risks of feeding raw meat, and an ongoing mystery related to jerky treats.
If there's something you want to say about how pet food is regulated in the United States, the federal Food and Drug Administration's Center for Veterinary Medicine is prepared to hear you out.
The agency is holding a virtual listening session on Sept. 24 from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern. There is no charge to participate.
The online session is meant to "provide an opportunity for stakeholders to share information and insight on this topic with FDA," the agency says. It wishes to "better understand various perspectives on topics such as the FDA's oversight of pet food labeling, ingredients, contaminants and safety to help inform resource allocation and any potential future policy development process."
Anyone who would like to speak must request to do so by Sept. 3, no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern.
Those wishing only to listen in must register by Sept. 20, no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern.
Further details and a link to the registration form are available online.
A bit of background: The FDA regulates ingredients, manufacturing and labeling of pet foods, including treats, whether it be for dogs, cats, gerbils, snakes or whatever the companion animal.
Unlike drugs, pet foods do not need approval by the FDA before they're sold. Federal law requires, however, that food for pets, like food for people, be safe to eat, produced under sanitary conditions, free of harmful substances and truthfully labeled.
More information is on the FDA's Regulation of Pet Food webpage.
VIN News Service commentaries are opinion pieces presenting insights, personal experiences and/or perspectives on topical issues by members of the veterinary community. To submit a commentary for consideration, email firstname.lastname@example.org.