Tuesday, June 30, 2009

HBH Pet Products taps social media for product promotion

HBH Pet Products announced a contest to kick off its Twitter and Facebook pages, along with promoting its new line, No Grainers Dog Biscuits & Treats.
By entering the “Treat Your Entire Family Contest,” dog owners who upload a picture of their pooches with a bag of No Grainers are eligible to win a first place prize of a $200 gift card to Wal-Mart and a year's supply of dog treats. Second and third place winners will receive $50 and $25 gift cards and an HBH gift basket.
In addition, the first 200 dog owners who follow HBH on Twitter will receive free training clicker/whistle and product combos.

Evanger's files with FDA to resume petfood shipments

Evanger's Dog and Cat Food Co. filed a formal request with the FDA seeking a reinstatement order allowing it to resume interstate shipping of its canned petfood products, according to the company’s blog.
Earlier in June, the
FDA ordered the firm to halt interstate distribution of the products, saying it was not in compliance with some food processing rules.
“Our company has been working closely with the FDA and we have already addressed many of their questions,” says Joel Sher, vice president of Evanger’s. “No Evanger’s product has been recalled, nor is there any indication that Evanger’s products are unsafe or contaminated in any way.”

Monday, June 29, 2009

Poll: 50% of Americans treat pets like humans

A new AP/www.petside.com poll released June 23 showed that about 50% of American pet owners consider their pets to be a family member.
survey revealed that 66% of single women said that their pet is a full member of the family while 46% of married women shared the same viewpoint. In comparison, 52% of single men consider their pet a family member, compared to 43% of married men.

Friday, June 26, 2009

PFI reviews petfood legislature

At its meeting in March, the Pet Food Institute board of directors reiterated its legislative priorities: petfood specific proposals, including taxes on petfood; food safety legislation; and expansion of the legal standing of pets.
Below are updates on legislation the PFI has fought against.
S.B. 250, which reiterates existing California requirements that all dogs be licensed and that the licensing fee for intact dogs be double the fee for spayed/neutered dogs, is currently under consideration in the California Assembly. PFI is arguing for the commercial exemption that would free petfood companies operating kennels in California from the licensing requirement.
proposed 1% sales tax increase in Maine was defeated. However, the Joint Standing Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry is setting up a working group that will meet outside the legislative session later this year to explore funding options for the state’s Animal Welfare Program, possibly bringing the petfood tax back for consideration.
proposal to require petfood companies to register and provide their product recipes to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture was defeated.
A proposal to tax $57.50 per ton of petfood to fund a spay/neuter program was defeated in Washington.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

NSF, American Society for Nutrition to administer new program

NSF International and the American Society for Nutrition announced their joint roles in administering a new nutritional front-of-package labeling program, the Smart Choices Program.
The program will provide manufacturers and retailers with a front-of-pack icon plus calorie information that helps consumers recognize smarter food and beverage products within product categories.
The goal is to bring consistency and clarity to the US marketplace, while providing an opportunity for manufacturers to communicate with consumers about better-for-you products.
"NSF International’s core business is certifying products and writing standards for food, water and consumer goods in order to protect public health,” said Nancy Culotta, NSF vice president. "We look forward to working with ASN to administer the program and ultimately help educate consumers on nutritional labeling."

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Couple, company plead guilty in melamine case

Husband and wife Stephen and Sally Miller, along with their company, ChemNutra Inc., pleaded guilty June 16 to distributing a tainted ingredient used to make petfood that reportedly sickened or killed thousands of pets, according to The Associated Press.
The federal indictment alleged they knowingly brought wheat gluten tainted with melamine into the US and proceeded to sell it to petfood manufacturers.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Free seminar on FDA regulations

East-West Logistics Inc. is hosting a free seminar on June 29 from 2-5 pm PST during which FDA officials will explain and address questions about agency regulations.
“Avoiding FDA Issues and Improving Your Bottom Line Seminar” will take place at the Holiday Inn, 14299 Firestone Boulevard, La Mirada, Calif., 90638.
For more information, e-mail Deatra Wheeler at
deatraw@2eastwest.com or call +1.714.690.3700, ext. 146.

Monday, June 22, 2009

New Canadian petfood import regulations

Canada's new import requirements for petfoods, treats and compound chews become effective July 1, 2009. These commodities will only be allowed entry into Canada with a valid import permit held by the Canadian importer.
US facilities that wish to continue exporting petfoods, treats or compound chews with bovinae ingredients (except ingredients identified by the OIE as essentially BSE risk free) must be inspected and approved by APHIS’ Veterinary Services (VS), and each shipment of petfood with bovinae ingredients must be certified by VS.
The CFIA Questionnaire for US Bovinae Pet Food Facilities must be endorsed by VS and the originals given to the facility for submission by the Canadian importer to CFIA as part of the import permit application process. See the Guidelines for Bovinae Pet Food Facilities for more information.
US facilities that only desire to continue exporting pet foods, treats or compound chews with no bovinae ingredients must complete the CFIA Questionnaire for US Non-Bovinae Pet Food Facilities. See the Guidelines for Non-Bovinae Pet Food Facilities for more information.
US facilities that export pet chews to Canada present special challenges if the companies are importing finished pet chews from third countries for re-export to Canada or are importing ingredients from third countries that are not substantially changed in the manufacture of pet chews for export. See the Guidelines for Pet Chews Facilities for more information.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Wenger announces processing technology seminar

Wenger Manufacturing announced the company's annual three-day Pet Food Processing Technology Seminar will be held November 10-12 at the Wenger Technical Center in Sabetha, Kansas, USA. The course, which includes both classroom and hands-on training, is open to all plant management and operations personnel involved in the petfood industry.
Wenger expanded the course to include two curriculum tracks: one for operations/maintenance personnel and one for R&D/engineering personnel.
For more information or to register, click here.

Natura helps dog shelter recover from fire

Natura Pet Products announced teaming up with local businesses to help the German Shepherd Rescue in Tehachapi, California, USA, recover from a fire that destroyed its facility.
In late April, the no-kill shelter for dogs caught fire. First responders were able to retrieve the German shepherds, but the blaze destroyed the shelter’s facility and owner’s home.
Natura partnered with Gil’s Bike Shop and Canine Creek Pet Wash & Boutique to donate and raffle a mountain biker at a local farmer’s market in August. All raffle proceeds will be used to purchase petfood for the German Shepherd Rescue.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Research firm: Pet industry to grow in 2009

The pet industry is expected to generate $51.6 billion this year, an increase of 1.3%from 2008, according to US industry research firm IBISWorld.
The firm predicted petfood production, which makes up 30% of the pet industry, to generate $15.2 billion this year and grow steadily in the next five years.
Over half of all pet owners have shown concern in what their pets are eating, according to IBISWorld, causing a shift in demand for premium, natural and organic petfood.
“Americans consider their pets as members of the family, making businesses that cater to our four-legged friends a stable, growing market,” said George Van Horn, senior analyst at IBISWorld.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

FDA suspends Evanger's permit

The FDA announced the suspension of a petfood manufacturer’s temporary emergency permit to ship its products due to a lack of compliance with the permit’s mandates.
FDA inspections conducted earlier this year determined
Evanger's Dog & Cat Food Company deviated from the prescribed production of the company's thermally processed low-acid canned food products, possibly resulting in under-processed petfood.
Evanger’s vice president Joel Sher responded June 15 in the company’s
blog, stating that the permit suspension stemmed from miscommunication between the FDA and his company.
Sher said the company’s processing authority told the FDA he intended to file a single heating process that would cover all petfoods using the most rigorous heating process, with the intention that the heating process would add an additional layer of safety.
The FDA disagreed, stating Evanger’s failed to provide documentation on all formula types that the company intended to include under the same heating process.Evanger's must document corrective actions and processing procedures in order to resume shipping in interstate commerce, according to the

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Mars Petcare to close two more plants

Mars Petcare announced the decision to close its Le Sueur, Minnesota, and Allentown, Pennsylvania, facilities in the USA by the end of 2009 in addition to the closing of the Portland, Indiana, plant.
The company cited reduced customer demand as the reason for the closures.

“The decision to close the Portland, Le Sueur and Allentown facilities was a difficult one and made only after careful review and analysis,” said Debra Fair, director of corporate affairs.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Natura requires all distributors to be AIB certified

Natura Pet Products recently announced all of its distributors will be required to pass certification with the American Institute of Baking International.
AIB Certification specifies rigorous standards for food safety. To receive certification, an organization must pass independent inspections, training and audits that demonstrate its ability to protect the safety of the food supply chain. As part of Natura’s new partnership agreements, the company is requiring all distributors to pass AIB Certification.
“The AIB certification requirement is part of Natura’s ongoing efforts to ensure our petfoods and treats meet the strictest standards for safety and quality from our manufacturing plants to our customers’ pet bowls,” said Don Scott, president of Natura.

Scientists discover quicker test for melamine

A group of scientists from Purdue University have discovered a faster way to detect melamine levels by utilizing infrared spectroscopy in laboratory tests, according to a report in The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
The Food and Drug Administration currently utilizes a time-consuming analysis to detect melamine levels, so researchers have been trying to find a more efficient way to spot melamine contamination.
Last year and in 2007,
cases of melamine contamination emerged from Chinese-produced infant formula and pet food, due to its properties as a cheap but illegal substitute for protein.

Friday, June 12, 2009

AFIA announces petfood regulations course

The American Feed Industry Association released details of a two-day event this fall that will focus on the latest regulations affecting the feed and petfood industry.
Regulatory Training Short-Course: What's What in Feed, Ingredient & Pet Food Regulations, scheduled to occur at the Westin Arlington Gateway in Arlington,Virginia, Sept. 28-29, is designed for professionals in the livestock feed and petfood industry who wish to learn more about how the industry’s products are regulated by states and the federal government.
For more information or to register, click
here. Early-bird registration ends Sept. 1; regular registration ends Sept. 23.

Directory rates 30 petfoods on ‘green’ scale

Greenopia, an online directory for everything green, recently released its independent ratings of 30 popular petfood brands sold in the USA.
The only brands receiving the coveted Greenopia Four-Green-Leaf Award were
Karma of Natura Pet Products and Raw Advantage.
Greenopia collected data from manufacturers and independent sources about each brand's ingredients, packaging, sustainability reporting, supply chain, animal testing policies and green building design.
Companies were given additional points for their adoption of environmental initiatives. One-third of the brands evaluated earned zero-leaf ratings, revealing them to be below Greenopia's minimum green threshold.
"Sometimes it is hard to know which brands are safest and healthiest for your pet," said Gay Browne, Greenopia's founder and CEO. "We've combined analysis of sustainability issues and health considerations to make it clear to our readers which products are better for the environment and their pets."

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Australia suspends irradiation of cat food

An outbreak in neurological disorders in cats has lead Australia to cease sterilization of cat food by irradiation. Scientific studies have suggested food irradiation as the source of the illnesses afflicting cats, but exactly how irradiation is causing food to be toxic to cats is unknown.
Ninety cats in Australia were afflicted with neurological disorders after they ate
Orijen imported dry cat food, manufactured by Champion Petfoods, according to Dr. Georgina Child, a neurologist familiar with the cases.
Only Australia, which requires irradiation of pet food, has reported issues with Orijen cat food; all other countries who imported non-irradiated Orijen cat food reported no problems.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

HBH Pet introduces grain-free dog treats

HBH Pet Products announced the release of its new product, No Grainers dog biscuits and treats, which is a 100% grain-free, protein-infused alternative to treats with corn and wheat fillers.
“Some dogs have trouble processing foods that are grain-based, which can wreak havoc on their systems,” said Colette Dahl, manager of new product development at HBH Pet Products. “Because No Grainers understands the importance of having protein as a staple in a dog’s diet, we developed these … treats.”

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Australian animal health company issues voluntary recall

Australian animal health pharmaceutical company Virbac has voluntarily pulled its VeggieDent treats off the shelves after they were possibly linked to several cases of mysterious illnesses in dogs.
A Virbac spokesperson said that the products in question were pulled as a precautionary measure and no causal link has been established for the VeggieDent product line, which is only commercially available through veterinarians.
This is the third petfood contamination case in Australia in the past six months. In light of the situation, critics of Australia’s regulatory system overseeing petfood safety are calling for stronger measures to ensure the safety of Australia’s dogs and cats.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Company to plead guilty in melamine case

ChemNutra Inc., a feed ingredient company, and its owners Stephen and Sally Miller intend to plead guilty in connection to 2007’s melamine-tainted petfood case, according to an article from The Associated Press.
In 2008, the Millers and ChemNutra were charged with selling contaminated ingredients to petfood manufacturers after pets fell ill or died from eating the contaminated petfood.
The Millers’ attorney recently filed legal documents in Kansas City, Mo., which stated the Millers agreed to plead guilty after negotiating with prosecutors. The company will also enter a guilty plea at a hearing June 16, according to the documents.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Planet Dog receives editor's choice award

Planet Dog, a developer of premium dog products, announced receiving an Editor's Choice Award from Yankee Magazine.
Editors named the Planet Dog store located in Portland, Maine, the "Best Store to Woof About."

Thursday, June 4, 2009

CVM addresses questions about GRAS program

David Fairfield of the National Grain & Feed Association (NGFA) shared with the Pet Food Institute (PFI) answers to questions he raised with FDA regarding the GRAS notification program for animal feed announced earlier this year.
Geoffrey Wong, leader of the ingredient safety team at the
Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM), provided the answers.

David Fairfield: Is there a planned date for when the program will be launched?
Geoffrey Wong: CVM plans to start the pilot program late summer of 2009. However, this date is not definite and will be impacted by a number of factors, such as receiving proper authorization to publish a Federal Register notice that will announce the pilot program.
DF: As I understand, this program is being characterized as a “pilot” project. I am curious as to what this means, such as will the agency initially be limiting the scope of the program to certain ingredients and to a certain timeframe?
GW: The program is considered a pilot program in the sense that the
April 17, 1997 proposed rule has not yet been finalized. We intend to be operating under an interim policy similar to the one described in Section VIII of the April 17, 1997 proposed rule. The scope of the program will include substances intended for use in food for animals.
DF: Will there be an established timeframe for the agency to respond to industry GRAS notice submittals?
GW: CVM does not plan to have formal statutory deadlines of when the agency must respond to a firm’s GRAS notification. Our timeframes for reviewing the notices will be largely impacted by the resources available to CVM to implement the program.
DF: Will animal feed ingredients that receive a “no questions” review from CVM be listed in the
Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) Official Publication?
GW: The FDA evaluation process for AAFCO feed ingredient definitions is very different from FDA’s process to evaluate GRAS notifications and these processes result in agency conclusions which are not equivalent.

In the AAFCO ingredient definition process, CVM serves as a science advisor to AAFCO to establish ingredient safety, evaluate utility of the ingredient for specific use (claim), and determine if the manufacturer’s process in under control and analytical methods are acceptable. As part of the review, FDA often evaluates proprietary safety data, utility data, and manufacturing data submitted by the firm.
In contrast for GRAS notifications, FDA reviews summarized data and information submitted by the notifier and data and information otherwise available to the Agency, to determine whether there is a basis to question the notifier’s view that the technical element (evidence of safety) and both facets of the common knowledge element regarding the use of the substance are satisfied – i.e., general availability and general acceptance (consensus).
CVM intends to have discussions with AAFCO to understand the manner in which state feed control officials will recognize a response letter from the agency stating that it has no questions regarding the rotifier's determination that the substance is GRAS under the intended conditions of use in animal food.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Maine committee rejects 1% petfood tax proposal

The Joint Standing Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry stripped L.D. 964 of the language that would have established an additional 1% retail sales tax on petfood in Maine and then voted the bill out of committee, reported the Pet Food Institute.
When the Committee favorably voted for the tax on May 19, it did so without providing advance notice to the public that a higher sales tax on petfood was up for consideration.
Lobbying efforts brought the bill back to the Committee for reconsideration, where it was decided to cut out the tax increase proposal.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

UK company sponsors dog training manual

UK-based dog food manufacturer Fish 4 Dogs announced the sponsorship of dog trainer and behaviorist Carolyn Menteith’s latest manual, 4 Paws Training Plan, which was launched at the recent Ultimate Pet Show, according to an article from GleeWire.
The company explained the sponsorship as a link between food nutrition and dog behavior.
"There is a lot that responsible dog owners can do to improve the health, fitness and behavior of their dogs by improving their diet and nutrition," said Jill Angell, Fish 4 Dogs founder.

Monday, June 1, 2009

PetSmart gets product ideas from consumers

Edison Nation, which works with manufacturers and retailers to find and deploy product innovations, is now taking submissions for pet products from everyday people on behalf of PetSmart Inc.
Now through July 9 on Edison Nation’s Web site, anyone with an innovative idea for interactive pet toys and products can submit to PetSmart’s “Live Product Search” query.
“We specifically hope to discover interactive pet toys and products that help keep house pets of all ages, shapes and sizes entertained by their pet parents or while they are temporarily away,” says Bruce Richardson, PetSmart spokesman. “There’s a huge demand for products that will keep pets happy, occupied and distracted from possibly more destructive behavior.”