SEE SPOT EAT, SEE SPOT DIE: THE PET FOOD RECALL OF 2007 (.pdf file - 109.11 KB)
by Kate Paulman
When dogs and cats across the country fell inexplicably ill in March of 2007, their human companions became sick with worry. Veterinarians eventually determined contaminated pet food was the source of these illnesses. Melamine, an industrial chemical used in cookware, furniture, and industrial fertilizers, contaminated wheat gluten manufactured in China and utilized in many pet food brands in the United States and Canada. This contamination led to a recall of more than 200 brands of pet food—the largest in American history. This comment explores the reasons behind the contamination and the ensuing recall. The author identifies inadequate domestic regulation as the primary reason behind the contamination and notes these inadequacies permitted pet food distributors and manufacturers to skirt responsibility during the recall. The comment highlights changes instituted in light of the recall and suggests further changes to the FDA and its regulations so that this heartbreaking situation can be avoided in the future.