Senate to Hear Pet Food Recall Testimony

The hearing is slated for April 12 and might be televised on C-SPAN.

Key witnesses and pet industry experts are expected to testify before a Senate appropriations subcommittee tomorrow on the recent pet food recall that, so far, has affected nearly 100 brands.

The pet food recall hearing was called by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), 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.

“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,” Durbin said.

The public hearing takes place at 2 p.m. April 12 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.

As of April 10, Sen. Durbin’s office said it was working with C-SPAN to consider broadcasting the hearing. A webcast also was being considered.

Elsewhere on Capitol Hill, presidential hopeful and Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich wrote Sundlof requesting answers to a list of questions about the FDA’s investigation into the pet food 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.”

For more CatChannel articles on the pet food recall, click here.

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