Every morning before I go to my office, I take a very brisk 1 mile walk on the gravel road that borders our farm. I feel I have the major responsibility in preventing my body from becoming a hood ornament. If I jump directly in front of a speeding car that I know is approaching at take-off velocity, I deserve what I get.
Each day, no matter how inconvenient it might be to get prepared for my walk, I put on bright cloths so the drivers can see me in any type of weather situation. I walk on the best side of the road for the type of limited visibility drivers will have on the hills and I am alert for the sight and sound of approaching vehicles. The driver of the occasional vehicle that speeds by is obviously responsible for maintaining control of the car, truck or tractor; but I make sure I take charge of my overall safety. Giving a pet a specific type of treat is the pet parents total responsibility; making the choice, feeding the choice, and monitoring the results, are not the responsibility of the pet, or the company making the treat unfortunately. The manufacturing company of the pet treat is like the drivers of the car that pass me each day, they are responsible to maintain a safe car and drive within the guidelines of the federal and state laws. Accidents do happen and treats can cause injury to a pet. Careless driving habits and irresponsible choices can also happen with many drivers and pet treat manufacturing companies. The worst kind of “accident” is done when the pet treat manufacturer deliberately uses an ingredient that is known to be harmful.
Most potatoes produce a mixture of amylopectin and amylose starch. Industrial uses for pure amylopectin starch have required extensive separation techniques that were costly in terms of energy and time. BASF has created a GMO potato that has a gene which turns off the production of amylase, resulting in a potato with only the amylopectin starch; it is called the Amflora potato.
According to the BASF website; “A statement by the European Food Safety Authority, Amflora is as safe as any other potato for humans, animals and the environment.”
BAFS lists the advantages of using the Amylopectin:
• Amflora makes printer paper glossier and makes it absorb printing inks better
• Amflora makes concrete adhere better to the wall.
• Amflora makes yarn stronger
The flashy BASF website also states; “Amflora is harvested and stored separately before being processed at the starch factory.”
According to New York Times, BASF has a second application pending for use of Amflora’s potato pulp as animal feed. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/24/business/worldbusiness/24spuds.html?_r=1 This article goes on to say:
“Many experts and even some of Europe’s environment ministers continue to dispute the European food agency’s scientific opinion that Amflora is safe for cultivation. One concern is that it contains a gene for antibiotic resistance that could get out of the potato and into the environment, making bacteria that infect man and beast more difficult to treat.”
Since New York Times first published this article in July 2007, pulp from the processing of the potatoes is being used for animal feeds, with the Amflora starch finding its way into pet products that require unique bonding properties.
The next time you visit your pet treat suppliers store or web site and see treats that are amazing to the eye; chicken strips wrapped with bacon, rawhide wrapped in chicken, chewable toothbrushes as hard as plastic, super-dense 100% cowhide, formed by “welding”, vegetable look-a-like chew treats and filled artificial bones; ask yourself if you want to walk out in front of a car while walking your pet?
By: Dr. Gary Pusillo