Pet food label laws need tighter leash

by | Mar 5, 2013 | News

Candian labeling laws make it hard to know where pet food is manufactured (Photo Courtesy: By Ohiopetwatch (Own work)

Candian labeling laws make it hard to know where pet food is manufactured (Photo Courtesy: By Ohiopetwatch (Own work)

By Samantha Martin

Canadian pet food labeling laws are making it difficult for animal owners to know where their pet’s food was manufactured.

Many pet food products have recently been recalled in the United States and Canada for causing sickness and sometimes death in animals, according to a series of CBC articles.

Although pet food recalls involve foods manufactured in many countries, it is common for recalled pet food to be from Asia. Because of the laws enforced by the competition bureau, it is hard for people to find out where their pet food is being made.

Denis Albert, an information officer for the federal Competition Bureau, told Humber News it is not mandatory for the manufacturing country to be provided on the label of pet foods.

“The country of origin is not a requirement under the consumer packaging and labeling act,” said Albert.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency enforces the labeling laws of imported food for humans.

Job Matias, a food safety and labeling inspector for the agency, told Humber News that mandatory label laws depend on what product is being imported and that all labeling laws can be found on the CFIA website.

The website states:
“When a food product is wholly manufactured outside of Canada, the label must show that the product is imported. This information can be provided in three ways:
• the name and address of the Canadian company with the country of origin of the product,
• the name and address of the foreign manufacturer, or
• the statement “imported for” or “imported by” followed by the name and address of the Canadian company.”

Michelle Hannah, the manager of The Dog Bowl, a pet supply store in Toronto that focuses on selling natural, eco-friendly, and trusted Canadian and American brands, said the inconsistency between the two labeling laws is wrong.

“I definitely think they should have the same laws,” said Hannah. “A lot of people are misled by that.” Hannah said a lot of customers of the store are now seeking organic and Canadian made dog food.

“The higher quality the brand, the more nutrition for the article,” she said. “The more natural ingredients there is in pet food, the general health of the animal will be better.”