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Montana Ag Network: Pulse growers urge FDA transparency over canine DCM disease

Montana Ag Network: Pulse growers urge FDA transparency over canine DCM disease
Posted at 7:24 AM, Sep 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-28 09:25:11-04

BILLINGS — An upcoming symposium hosted by the federal Food & Drug Administration will address an FDA study linking pulse crops in dog food as a possible cause of enlarged heart disease in some.

The FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine has been investigating the causes of canine dilated cardiomyopathy or DCM. And the investigation has been of significant interest to the pet food industry, pet owners and its supply chain which includes farmers like Gordon Stoner.

“The pulse industry is funding a six-month study looking at diet and the impact. Every indication, the early analysis of those studies suggests that DCM-dilated cardiomyopathy- is a very complex disease and most likely cannot be attributed to any one factor” said Stoner. “I don't want to get ahead of the science. But we within the industry are very confident that the research will show that the FDA's position is unsubstantiated.”

U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-MT) and Steve Daines (R-MT) have joined other senators from pulse producing states in sending a letter to FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn urging transparency regarding their study on the possible linkage between grain-free diets and canine DCM.

“It's critical that federal agencies are transparent and utilize sound science when making decisions that impact Montana farmers and ranchers” said Daines. “So, that's why I called on the FDA to be fully transparent regarding these alleged connections between grain free diets and canine DCM to ensure Montana's pulse crop producers are treated fairly in the marketplace.”

The FDA symposium is scheduled for September 29, 2020 at Kansas State University.

According to the USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council, pulse crops have been in pet food formulations going back more than 30 years.