For the past few years, we've had our dog on Foster's and Smith's Lifestage vitamin supplements. A year or two ago, we switched her to their senior formula. It contained little extra's like alpha lipoic acid, milk thistle, lycopene and a few other nutritional ingredients not recognized as "essential" by the AAFCO. It also contained 75 mg of essential fatty acids, which is essential for our dog given her joint issues. (We've also had her on a joint formula since she was a pup that also contains a good supply of EFA's.) Every one of these nutritional elements have been shown to assist senior dogs with age-related issues such as memory and arthritis. Their former label even remarked as such.
Upon receiving our order yesterday, I noticed something: missing ingredients. Those little extra goodies were no longer included. Also troubling was the reduction of the EFA's from 75 mg. down to 11.2 mg. Equally as disturbing to me was realizing we were now receiving less ingredients at the same price. And there was nothing in their catalogs to indicate this change.
So I phoned them up, spoke with a CSR, was told a return call would be forthcoming w/in 24 hours. Didn't happen so I phoned up again and spoke with another CSR. Left another message. Today, one of the companies Veterinarians contacted me, which I appreciated. I explained the situation and asked what was going on. He informed me it was complicated in terms of "legalese", but essentially, they said there had been changes in federal law and they felt it best to remove these particular ingredients, which he said the AAFCO claimed had no nutritional value. I was a bit confused by what he told me and said "why can't you just include them and claim the AAFCO doesn't recognize these items like you did with your old label", to which he replied that again, it was complicated. The whole legalese thing.
I think I got the basic idea though: The AAFCO wouldn't endorse their products, at all, if they contain these more "alternative" ingredients.
When I pointed out we were paying the same price for fewer ingredients, all he could say was "yes". Or perhaps he said "uh huh". Basically all I received was a confirmation of yep we're screwin' ya! He said the milligram change wasn't that significant, to which I replied: "Changing the EFA content from 75 mg to 11.2 is quite significant when we're talking about a being the size of a dog." Again, all I received in that comment was another "uh huh".
So I'm to trust the AAFCO, this same group of folks that is allowing animal by-products into the pet food supply as well as other nasty toxic preservatives, corn, corn fillers, etc. etc. etc. Well, I learned that the AAFCO refers to itself as a "corporation", but it's board of directors is made up of government personnel (many of whom work for, surprise surprise, the Department of Agriculture). Business and government once again intermixing.
The AFFCO said it's ok cause WE said it's ok. Nothing to worry about little pet owner. We got your back.
Sure ya do. Just like the FDA, DEA, DHS, etc.
Well, despite appreciating the personal call from one of their vets, who was pleasant albeit it not too forthcoming with real information, the bottle is still sitting in a box awaiting a return shipping label, paid for at their expense, authorized by the very nice CSR who agreed with me that this felt like we had been deceived. It will be shipped back and I will no longer be giving Foster's and Smith my business.
So now I'm in search of a good senior dog supplement. I'm thinking of trying out Missing Link. Any recommendations?
Of course, all of this reeks of government intrustion into our personal lives. Uncle Sam has been chomping at the bit to take away our right to ingest whatever we want by wanting to further regulate the vitamin and nutritional supplement industry. In short, they want to push the pharmaceutical toxic shit and take away the more natural stuff.
Kind of like with this swine flu business. Here take this anti-viral drug that may not even work created by a pharmaceutical (pharma-who-gives-our-government-lots-of-money) and don't fall for the natural remedies of garlic, oil of oregano and other "straight from nature with minimal processing" products.
Keep it simple. Go natural and minimally processed whenever possible.