September 21, 2021, the FDA CVM hosted a virtual Listening Session on the Oversight of Pet Food. In addition to the live, recorded session of oral presentations, a comment docket was opened for public submissions and closed 11:59PM EST on 10/25/2021.
In total, the docket has 137 published entries. Broken down by topic:
- ~20 pertain to the use of 4D (dead, dying, diseased, down) meat in pet foods
- ~12 are on the subject of transparency and access by the public to FDA (and/or AAFCO) meetings
- ~12 are in regards to various other issues or general opinions of the FDA
- Nearly 100 are about diet-associated (non-hereditary) dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM)
Of those, a handful are from concerned pet owners, advocates, and veterinary professionals. The vast majority, however, are the heart-wrenching personal stories of affected pet owners and their dogs, including those deceased, those continuing to battle, and those recovered. These pet owners represent only a minuscule fraction of the over 1100 complaints submitted to the FDA (as of 7/20/2020) and yet they are a poignant reminder that this issue is more than data, statistics, research papers, and debates between academia and industry.
There are real dogs, real people, real families, and such real heartbreak underlying this investigation. Many of them have called on the FDA to take more action towards this issue.