This Thursday, key witnesses and pet industry experts will testify before a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the recent pet food recall that embroiled nearly 100 brands.
The hearing was called by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), a member of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, to probe the effectiveness of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s role in the recall as well as other concerns surrounding the investigation.
“Many cats, dogs and other pets, considered members of the family, are now suffering as a result of a deeply flawed pet food inspection system,” Durbin said. “The FDA’s response to this situation has been tragically slow. I want to learn exactly when the FDA knew about the contamination, who is inspecting pet food manufacturing plants, and whether we need to force the FDA to update their regulations to protect our pets.”
The public hearing will take place at 2 p.m. Thursday in room 192 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building. Requested witnesses include Stephen Sundlof, DVM, director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine; Duane Ekedahl, director of the Pet Food Institute; and Eric Nelson, president of the American Association of Feed Control Officers.
At the time of this posting, Sen. Durbin’s office was still working with C-SPAN to consider broadcasting the hearing. A webcast was also being considered.
Elsewhere on Capitol Hill, presidential hopeful and Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich wrote a letter to Dr. Sundlof requesting answers to a list of questions about the FDA’s investigation into the recall.
“We must also find out when the FDA officials first learned that our nation’s pets were in danger of being poisoned by their own pet food,” he said.
As chairman of the House’s Subcommittee on Domestic Policy of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Kucinich said the committee “has broad oversight jurisdiction covering many agencies including the FDA.”