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Food & Health

October 26, 2013

FDA wants make animal food safer

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Amid incidents of pets dying from dog treats, the Food and Drug Administration is proposing long-awaited rules to make pet food and animal feed safer.

The rules stem from a sweeping food safety law passed by Congress almost three years ago. Like rules proposed earlier this year for human food, they would focus on preventing contamination before it begins.

The announcement comes as the FDA says it hasn’t yet determined a cause of almost 600 dog deaths believed to be linked to pet jerky treats imported from China. The agency has been trying for six years to determine what exactly is causing those illnesses.

The proposed rules would require those who sell pet food and animal feed in the United States — including importers — to follow certain sanitation practices and have detailed food safety plans. All of the manufacturers would have to put individual procedures in place to prevent their food from becoming contaminated.

The rules would also help human health by aiming to prevent foodborne illnesses in pet food that can be transferred to humans.

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