Friday, October 30, 2009

FDA addresses PFI meeting

The animal-related division of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) looks at what it can do to prevent a problem before it becomes a problem, FDA Deputy Commissioner Joshua Sharfstein told those attending the Pet Food Institute (PFI) annual meeting in Washington, DC.
He said the agency strives to make sure all parties affected know what the standards are and what they have to do to comply.
He also noted that if there is an issue, FDA needs to know about it. On the topic of generally recognized as safe (or GRAS) clearances, Sharfstein said he finds that area "interesting" but said FDA wants it to work.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Tyson plans to expand petfood operation

Tyson Foods Inc. announced it will spend US$6.6 million in renovations and equipment for a plant in Independence, Iowa, USA, with plans to expand its petfood operation by early 2010.
Tyson said it will hire about 60 employees when the plant reopens.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Report reviews growing segments of pet market

Senior, weight management and special needs pet products may make significant developments in the current market, according to Bharat Book Bureau.
The US dog and cat population age six or older is increasing, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Dogs six and older increased from 42% in 1996 to 44% in 2006, and cats of the same age rose from 37% to 44%.
Similarly, the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention said 44% of dogs and 57% of cats were overweight or obese as of 2008, up since 2007. And older animals had an even higher incidence of obesity.
To offer insight on this topic, the report discusses the following market segments:
*Petfood, including nutraceutical treats
*Prescription pet medications
*Devices and other non-food assistance products
*Pet supplements
The report can be
purchased online.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Magazine gives Cranimals seal of approval

Animal Wellness magazine has endorsed Cranimals, a new line of certified organic petfood supplement, with the Animal Wellness Seal of Approval.
Animal Wellness Magazine touts Cranimals – formulated with Kosher, certified organic extracts from cranberries, blueberries and red raspberries, as well as a novel source of DHA omega-3 fatty acids extracted from microalgae – as a smart choice for health-conscious pet owners.
"This is the most innovative product I have seen in a long time," said Becky Starr, regional manager of Animal Wellness magazine. "It's a great choice for health-conscious pet owners who would also like to prevent chronic degenerative disease like pet arthritis and pet cancer in a natural, holistic manner."

Friday, October 23, 2009

Wellness donates 52,000 treats to US military dogs

Wellness Natural Pet Food, in partnership with the company’s charitable arm, the WellPet Foundation, has donated 52,000 all-natural Wellness Pure Rewards Jerky Bits dog snacks to the Military Working Dog Team Support Association Inc.
The snacks will be sent to US military working dogs deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan and Djibouti.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

How to leverage wellness and nutrition in the petfood aisle

From the rapid growth of the fresh and natural format, exemplified by Whole Foods, Trader Joe's and Wild Oats, to the mainstreaming of organic and natural products in conventional supermarkets, it's clear that natural has hit the big time. So it goes in the petfood aisle, as well. Consumers are increasingly seeking a healthy way of living, and are projecting these aspirations onto their pets, since their furry companions are certainly a big part of their world.
According to BusinessWire, natural petfood is a response to a convergence of trends: the pet owner's desire for a healthy, balanced life coupled with a tendency to humanize their pets. This trait is typical of pet care—trends in human products often translate into similar demands in the pet aisle. That goes for gourmet flavors, functional foods and natural and organic foods.
It's no secret that natural and organic products represent a large growth opportunity at present, but traditional food outlets are, in general, missing out on their fair share, according to BusinessWire. Food, drug and mass outlets (excluding Wal-Mart) account for three times the market share of natural foods retailers (excluding Trader Joe's), but only pull in 40% of natural products sales, according to a recent ACNielson report. This, along with other key factors, leads to the conclusion that natural petfood, treats and care are segments traditional food retailers should be focusing on.
As the wellness trend converges with pet pampering mania, category experts are expecting natural/organic petfood to grow at more than 3 times the rate of total petfood, according to Packaged Facts. It is also anticipated that it will be the large national brands that will drive that advance. That makes perfect sense because of the brand support major brands are able to underwrite. With natural petfood going mainstream, consumers shouldn't have to leave their favorite store to find the products they desire for their pet's health and longevity.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Petfood operation found to be illegal

The Zoning Board of Appeals has ordered Sweet Meadow Farm in Sherborn, Massachusetts, USA, to cease its petfood operation after it was found to be illegal, according to The MetroWest Daily News.
After an inspection by the town zoning enforcement officer, the board ruled unanimously that the farm's petfood operation was illegal because the farm brought in products from elsewhere which were packaged and processed on the farm and shipped out.
The farm's owners are planning to appeal the ruling.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Plant runs entirely on solar power

Cardinal Laboratories, manufacturer of dog and cat care products, including dog treats, will officially convert its plant into a 100% solar-powered facility in Azusa, California, USA, on October 29.
Undertaken with the Solar Partnership Program of the City of Azusa, the conversion has taken Cardinal Laboratories off the power grid; the company is harvesting enough power from its solar collection system to send electricity back to its local utility.

Head Over Tails for Pets launches new website

Head Over Tails for Pets’ new website,, says it will easily cut the time spent on shopping for pet supplies in half. combines an easy-to-navigate site with a focus on offering products for dogs and cats — including organic petfood, healthy treats, natural supplements for pets, professional grooming tools and durable, long-lasting toys to keep pets vibrant and healthy, according to the company.
“Although there are a lot of big box retailers selling tons of pet supplies, it’s hard for the consumer to find unique specialty items for their pets,” said Rachel Rice, internet marketing manager. “We saw a real opportunity to offer the best and the brightest in the nicest, most easy-to-use format, and we accomplished that with”

Monday, October 19, 2009

Mars’ Waltham Centre explores human-pet interaction

The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development is partnering with Mars’ Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition in England to look for studies on how interactions between children and animals affect typical development and health, and whether they have therapeutic and public-health benefits, according to The New York Times.
The Waltham Centre is conducting its own research on human-pet interaction, according to Catherine E. Woteki, global director of scientific affairs for Mars Inc.
“We are a petfood company and pet care company,” Dr. Woteki said in the article, “and we’re interested in seeing that that relationship stays a strong one.”

UK pet owners spend more on premium petfood

Based on a Pet Food Manufacturers Association (PFMA) survey, 90% of pet owners know that what they feed their pet affects its health and therefore they want to feed their pets the best-quality food. High-quality premium foods are therefore a growing market sector in the United Kingdom.
M&S Pet Insurance highlighted figures from online retailer and pharmacy BestPet, tracking a 30% rise in premium food sales over the past 12 months.

Friday, October 16, 2009

UK pet insurance company gives away year’s supply of petfood

M&S Money, based in the United Kingdom, is giving pet owners a chance to win a year's supply of petfood.
Anyone who takes out or renews an
M&S Pet Insurance policy before December 31, 2009, will be entered into the prize drawing. There will be six prizes of Royal Canin dry petfood for one cat or one dog for one calendar year.

Canidae to help raise cancer funding

Canidae Pet Foods Inc. will be at the American Kennel Club Meet the Breeds event October 17-18, 2009, at the Javits Center in New York City, where it will help to raise funds for cancer research in pets.
Continuing its mission of supporting responsible pet ownership and helping animals in need, the company will have a charity raffle with all proceeds benefiting cancer research in pets. One grand prize winner each day will receive a Felt X-City 5 bicycle.
Tickets for the raffle are US$2 for one, or US$5 for three. All proceeds, including the cost of the Felt bicycles supplied by Canidae, will be donated to the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation for cancer research in pets.
The Meet the Breeds showcase is a chance to get to know 160 breeds of dog and 41 breeds of cat. Each breed will be presented in its own designated space, decorated to reflect its heritage, characteristics and unique attributes as a pet.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Wysong dry dog food recalled over mold concern

Wysong Corporation is recalling some shipments of its dry dog food from its Maintenance and Senior product lines.
The company said certain batches are “above acceptable moisture levels and may contain mold.”
Bags with the following lot numbers are in question and should NOT be fed:
Wysong Maintenance - 090617, 090624, 090706 and 090720
Wysong Senior - 090623
Moldy petfood ranges in severity,
according to reports, but vomiting and diarrhea is common, said veterinarian Lee Herold.
The above lots can be returned to retailers or replaced by the company.

Diamond recalls two cat food brands

Diamond Pet Food recently recalled two of its cat food brands after cats were reported to have shown neurological symptoms. The reports came from the Rochester, New York, USA, area.
The petfood in question is low in thiamine, which can cause brain damage, according to a
news article.
It is recommended that pet owners whose cats have eaten the food specified below contact their veterinarian.

Diamond is also asking consumers to return the potentially tainted food:
Premium Edge Finicky Adult Cat and Premium Edge Hairball Cat with codes of RAF0501A22X (18-lb. bag), RAF0501A2X (6-lb. bag), RAH0501A22X (18-lb. bag) and RAH0501A2X (6-lb. bag).
More than a dozen cases have been confirmed.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Senior, weight management pet products expected to increase

The aging pet population and the epidemic of overweight/obese pets are two emergent trends in the health product segment of the US pet market, according to the report "Senior, Weight Management and Special Needs Pet Products in the U.S." from market research publisher Packaged Facts.
The US$4 billion market for senior, weight management and special needs pet products is expected to increase 55% over 2008 sales to almost $7 billion in 2013.
“In light of the humanization and premiumization trends, it's a market segment that will only broaden in the years to come,” said Tatjana Meerman, publisher of Packaged Facts.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Iams, Eukanuba offer prebiotic petfood

P&G Pet Care has introduced prebiotic petfood formulas of Iams and Eukanuba to help maintain pets’ gastrointestinal health. Featuring the prebiotic FOS (fructooligosaccharides), these new formulas stimulate the balance of gut microflora (species of good bacteria) which in turn promotes a stronger immune system to help fight disease, according to P&G.
"There has been an explosion of new prebiotic and probiotic products in human nutrition and … consumers are embracing these products to help promote their own digestive and overall health," said Dr. Sherry Sanderson, animal nutrition expert and associate professor at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Wellness adds to hypoallergenic petfood line

In a national survey conducted by Harris Interactive for Wellness Natural Petfood, owners of dogs with food allergies are confused about how to treat them.
Fewer than half of the pet owners surveyed recognized which ingredients can aggravate their pets’ allergies: 40% were aware of wheat causing potential allergic reactions and 26% were aware of soy.
Wellness has introduced additions to its
Simple Food Solutions hypoallergenic line of dry food to cater to pets with such allergies.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Article: Treats better choice than table scraps

A recent article from South Carolina News advised pet owners to avoid feeding pets table scraps and instead feed them pet treats.
Among the reasons listed why treats are better than table scraps were higher nutritional value, better effects on pets’ digestive systems and fewer calories.

Bill would allow Chinese chicken imports

According to reports, US legislators are considering an appropriations measure that lifts an import ban of two years on Chinese poultry.
If passed, Chinese poultry that meets US safety standards could again be imported.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Registration open for petfood safety symposium

Registration is still open for Kemin’s Food Safety in Petfoods and Petfood Ingredients, to be held Oct. 6-7 in St. Louis, Missouri, USA.
The different sessions at the symposium will cover regulatory issues, quality and testing and manufacturing techniques.
For more information, visit

Mars opens 'green' plant in Arkansas

Mars Petcare US has opened a new plant in Fort Smith, Arkansas, US, that the company says is the state's first sustainable manufacturing facility and the first sustainable petfood manufacturing plant in the world.
The US$80 million, 305,000-square-foot facility has received Gold certification from Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for its water recycling and energy reduction features, plus efforts to protect against erosion and light pollution. The plant is the first within Mars Petcare US's 20-facility network to receive such certification.
"Our future is being built on the passion we have for pets and our desire to make the world a better place for them," said Luc Mongeau, president of Mars Petcare US. "This facility demonstrates that commitment, as it allows us to make our remarkable products in a more environmentally responsible way."
As part of the plant opening, the company donated US$5,000 each to the Sebastian County, Arkansas, Humane Society and the Arkansas Earth Day Foundation.
The plant will produce the company's Cesar Canine Cuisine line of dog food.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

NAVTA students to raise money for pet fund

Student chapters of the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America will be raising money during National Veterinary Technician Week, Oct. 11-17, to help boost the American Animal Hospital Association's Helping Pets Fund.
The fund helps pet owners who are struggling financially and was started in 2005.

Nutro voluntarily recalls petfood

Nutro voluntarily recalled some of its petfoods because of the possibility of plastic pieces being in bags of kibble, according to reports. The three puppy foods affected are: Nutro Natural Choice Chicken, Rice & Oatmeal Puppy in 5 lb. bags, Nutro Ultra Puppy in 4.5 lb. bags and Nutro Ultra Puppy in 30 lb. bags.
The potentially harmful food was sold exclusively in PetSmart and Petco stores with a best by date of September 10, 2010. Stores in the following states were reportedly affected: California, Arizona, Colorado, Texas, New Mexico, Nevada, Hawaii and Utah.
A Nutro representative confirmed there is a possibility of plastic pieces being in the food (
read press release).

Monday, October 5, 2009

Vick tackles yield petfood donations

Main Line Animal Rescue of Washington, DC, USA, placed an ad in the Washington Post, promising to donate 5 bags of dog food to a local animal shelter each time football player Michael Vick is tackled during the Philadelphia Eagles' match with the Washington Redskins, October 26.
"I think we just need to raise public awareness, and this is a good way to do that. It may be funny. It may be clever. It may not," Bill Smith, founder and CEO of the shelter, told the
Philadelphia Inquirer.
The ad also encourages shelter volunteerism.

Go Redskins!!!!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Nutro UK to close

In a letter posted on its Web site, Nutro UK, petfood manufacturer, announced it ceased trading Sept. 25 and will close its doors by month’s end.
The reasons listed in the letter are higher prices for ingredients and an adverse exchange rate on its product produced in the EU.

Analytical methods for melamine, triazine analogs

The following methods for detection of melamine/cyanuric acid were developed bythe Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) Office of Regulatory Affairs.

GC-MS Screen for the Presence of Melamine, Ammeline, Ammelide and Cyanuric Acid (Version 2.1), May 16, 2007

GC-MS Method for Screening and Confirmation of Melamine and Related Analogs (Version 2), May 7, 2007

The FDA Field laboratories are using LC-MS/MS methods that are capable of determining melamine and cyanuric acid at levels of 0.25 ppm in powdered infant formula and other dairy-containing food products or ingredients. These and a GC/MS method for melamine and its analogues are:

*Melamine Methodology
*Determination of Melamine and Cyanuric Acid Residues in Infant Formula using LC-MS/MS
*Interim Method for Determination of Melamine and Cyanuric Acid Residues in Foods using LC-MS/MS
*GC/MS method for melamine and analogues

For more information, contact:
Jonathan Litzau, Forensic Chemistry Center (FCC), US FDA, +1.513.679.2700, ext. 268
Greg Mercer, Pacific Regional Laboratory – Northwest (PRL-NW), US FDA, +1.425.483.4755
Kevin Mulligan, +1.513.679.2700, ext. 238

Thursday, October 1, 2009

PFI GRAS recommendations, speaker lineup

The following is a summary of the Pet Food Institute's (PFI) recommendations on self-affirmed generally recognized as safe ingredients (SA-GRAS). Geoffery Wong of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will present on this topic October 15 at the PFI Annual Industry Meeting.

1. FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) does not have the resources to review ingredients under both SA-GRAS and the Association of American Feed Control Official's (AAFCO) Ingredient Definition Committee (IDC). The firm seeking the approval should determine which way they want to submit.

2. A firm can make a determination that a particular use of a substance is GRAS and go to market. Or, notify FDA of its notification.

3. The scientific standard for a determination of GRAS requires the same quality and quantity of information in a food additive petition.

4. Proceeding with the AAFCO process has a lower data hurdle, in part because these ingredients are ones for which FDA does not have safety concerns.

5. If they notify FDA the result will be: Letter of no questionsLetter stating insufficient basisCVM does not support listing an ingredient that goes through the FDA-SA-GRAS process in the OP.If a state takes action against an ingredient that is the subject of a no questions letter and is listed on the Web site, FDA will not support the state challenge.

6. An ingredient the firm wants listed in the OP must go through the AAFCO-IDC process.

At the PFI Annual Industry Meeting, The Update Session, October 15, at 2 p.m., will feature:

*Ricky Schroeder, manager, Feed & Fertilizer Reg., Texas A&M University (AAFCO Perspectives)
*Bill Burkholder, petfood specialist, FDA, CVM (Current state of petfood regulations)
Geoffery Wong, supervisor, Ingredient Safety Team, FDA, CVM (More information on Self-Affirmed GRAS)

*Kim Young, deputy director, Division of Compliance, FDA, CVM (Reportable Food Registry)

*Kristin Schmitz, senior staff veterinarian, USDA, APHIS, VA, NCIE (Canadian Export Issues)

Castor & Pollux make Inc.'s fast-growing company list

Castor & Pollux Pet Works, based in Clackamas, Oregon, US, was named to Inc. magazine's list of fastest-growing companies again, earning the 615th spot on the 2009 Top 500/5,000 listing.
This year's rankings are based on cumulative growth over five years ending December 2008, with Castor & Pollux revenues growing 465% for the period. This is the third consecutive year the company has been named to the list, moving up from the 665th spot in 2008, and 771st ranking in 2007.
Castor & Pollux Pet Works was among the first petfood companies to comply with US Department of Agriculture National Organic Program regulations that apply to ingredients and packaging of organic human food.