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Pet Food Politics: The Chihuahua in the Coal Mine

Pet Food Politics: The Chihuahua in the Coal Mine
Author: Marion Nestle
ISBN 13: 9780520265899
ISBN 10: 520265890
Edition: First Paperback Edition
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication Date: 2010-08-04
Format: Paperback
Pages: 232
List Price: $23.95

"Pet Food Politics is a first class example of investigative journalism exposing one of the challenges of globalization of our food supply. It's required reading for anyone who wants to understand the implications of globalization and the importance of quality control in all our food."—Allen M. Schoen, MS, DVM, author of Kindred Spirits: How the Remarkable Bond Between Humans and Animals Can Change the Way We Live

"Provocative, well-researched, and insightful, Pet Food Politics is a page-turner and a must-read for people who care as much about the quality and safety of the food in their pets' bowls as they do about the food on their own plates. This in-depth study reads like a thriller, and will make consumers reconsider trusting the 'hand' that feeds them."—Claudia Kawczynska, Editor in Chief, The Bark

"Pet Food Politics offers the most detailed account we'll ever get of the 2007 pet food recalls—even for those of us who closely followed the story. What's more, Marion Nestle uses the specifics of this event to reveal the inadequacies of the agents and policies that are supposed to safeguard U.S. pet food. While Pet Food Politics will be fascinating to pet owners, given the myriad connections between the human food and pet food industries, this is an important book for anyone who eats."—Nancy Kerns, Editor, Whole Dog Journal

"How pet food is produced—and its parallels to the manufacturing of human food—should be of concern to everyone, not just to those who love animals.
In her expert examination of the pet food industry, Dr. Nestle tells a story as compelling as any mystery. You'll never look at the pet-food aisle the same way again—or your own food, either."—Gina Spadafori, Universal Press Syndicate pet-care columnist and bestselling pet-book author

Praise for Marion Nestle's previous work:

"Marion Nestle . . . explains what the industrialization of the food supply in this country has done to both the taste and the safety of the foods we eat."—Alice Waters, author of The Art of Simple Food

"Marion Nestle has emerged as one of the most sane, knowledgeable, and independent voices in the current debate over the health and safety of the American food system."—Michael Pollan, author of
In Defense of Food

"Pet Food Politics reads like a detective story in which each new clue points to a greater crime than the one we started out investigating. Marion Nestle makes an overwhelming case for the inadequacy of our present system of monitoring food safety."—Peter Singer, author of Animal Liberation

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review.

For author and public health professor Nestle (Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health), the March 2007 pet food recall was the canary in the coal mine that would lead to a blitz of questions regarding the safety of imported food and goods. Begging comparison with Sinclair's The Jungle, Nestle begins with a real-life whodunit, tracing an outbreak of kidney failure deaths among cats and then dogs. A major pet food manufacturer had recently switched wheat gluten suppliers, paying 20 to 30 percent less to a broker importing from China (natch). Soon, it's revealed that two Chinese suppliers were passing off cheaper, toxic additives as gluten. As Nestle demonstrates, it's the tip of the iceberg; unraveling the links among "food safety, health policy, international trade, and the relationship of corporations to government," Nestle examines continuing food scandals, as well as the Chinese toy scare. Nestle finds most fault with the FDA; "still operating under food and drug laws passed in 1906 and modified in 1938," it's a systematically underfunded organization with an ever-increasing mandate and ever-shrinking powers of oversight. Though informative, this quick, clarifying read might easily make you sick to your stomach.
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