AAFCO President Chad Linton provided a response to my questions of where is all the meat and bone meal going (rendered animal waste).

Almost five billion pounds of meat and bone meal – one of the worst of the worst animal feed ingredients, linked by FDA testing to contain euthanized animals and the lethal drug used to kill them – is produced in the United States each year.  When the numbers didn’t seem to add up (number of pet foods listing the ingredient meat and bone meal on the label), I emailed the Rendering Industry representative that was quoted and the president of AAFCO Chad Linton.  Below is AAFCO’s response…


I contacted my Feed Ingredient Committee chair with your question and he had the following response back to me, with some of my thoughts included also.

I don’t think I have the information to address the question. There are a lot more brands than  indicated that show Meat and Bone Meal (MBM) on their label. Almost all of the high-volume economy diets use it. Ingredient usage by brand is not tracked by any one I’m aware of at this time. Almost all of the MBM produced in the North West is exported. That has to be factored in.  We also import lamb and venison meal from other countries. Names Meat and Bone meal could be listed on a feed label: Animal Protein Products (collective term), Meat Meal ( if minerals are lower), Animal by-product meal (if it doesn’t meet constraints of MBM), Meat & bone Meal Tankage (if blood is added back in, Meat Meal Tankage (if blood is added back in) . You don’t know how tight the terminology was the article was using.  AAFCO Official Feed Terms allow collective terms that recognize a general classification of ingredient origin, which perform a similar function, but do not imply equivalent nutritional values. When a collective term is used, individual ingredients within that group cannot be listed on the label.

Possible different data sets. This article does not discuss the volume of pet food produced in the U.S.; Only an industry guess as to what percent goes into pet food.  I  have no information to calculate percentage of the diet being MBM. I think a logical leap was made that is not backed by facts in the article.

I would contact the author of the article to answer the math questions, and ask the Pet Food Industry for the facts about your questions.

I apologize for not being able to directly answer your questions, but there are numbers that I have no prior knowledge of how they were calculated and would only be guessing if I tried to answer your question.   Please let me know if this helped or we can do anything else for you.

Chad S. Linton
Assistant Director
West Virginia Department of Agriculture
Regulatory and Environmental Affairs Division
1900 Kanawha Blvd.; East
Charleston, WV 25305″

Well, I did contact Kent Swisher of The Rendering Industry.  His full comment was previously posted, but here is an excerpt: “I was not stating that the majority of meat and bone meal production goes to pets but that the majority goes to poultry and pets.  Actually poultry is the larger market of the two.  However, it could probably be stated that the majority of processed poultry protein meals go to pet food production.”

To me, the numbers still don’t add up.  But – as many of you noted in comments on the previous article – the big picture is this…

Meat and bone meal – an ingredient that FDA Compliance policies allow to be included in pet foods and animal foods despite Federal law that prohibits it – contains the worst of animal waste…including euthanized animals and the lethal drug used to kill the animal.  Thus, unless you feed your pet certified organic meat (and internal organs) pet foods (or home prepared), they are still consuming remnants of meat and bone meal; of specific concern is the euthanizing drugs which do not degrade with rendering.  Oh and by the way, unless you consume only certified organic meat…you are consuming the lethal drugs used to euthanize animals too (from poultry that consume meat and bone meal feed).

It remains a crime.  Federal law (the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act) prohibits a euthanized animal to become food.  However, the FDA doesn’t agree with federal law; the FDA stands in firm defiance of Federal law by means of Compliance Policies.

Feed your pet a variety of food – be that commercial pet food or home prepared (cooked or raw).  Variety of food will hopefully vary the amount of toxins consumed.  If you can afford it, purchase foods that contain 100% organic meats and internal organs.  Until the FDA puts an end to illegal Compliance Policies, the only thing we can do is try to feed (and eat ourselves) organic meat and vary the diet.