It's not the best food out there, but it's not the worst either. I'm a firm proponent of 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it."
What the hullabaloo refers to is a report by PETA that alleges a whole lot of abuse taking place at an external IAMS facility in March 2003. You can choose either to believe either IAMS, info on what happened is at http://www.iamstruth.com or you can choose to believe PETA's version (which has many of their facts refuted at the IAMS official site) at http://www.iamscruelty.com.
Personally while I do believe that some abuses did take place at the IAMS extrenal facility, I also believe that PETA used video and evidence of abuse of cats and dogs that weren't even a part of the IAMS study to further their campaign of lies vs the IAMS company and Proctor and Gamble. While I can see evidence of IAMS doing what it can to promote the health and welfare of pets, I see PETA supporting BSL and allying itself with terrorist organizations like ELF and such.
The truth may be some where in between, both IAMS and PETA have their own agenda of course. However, I do know the ASPCA actively and regularly does unannounced inspections of IAMS facilities now to ensure that the dogs and cats in the feeding studies are treated well and well socialized. So IAMS is actively working constantly to make sure this kind of abuse never happens again at one of their facilites. Information on the ASPCA's relationship with IAMS is here http://www.aspca.org/site/PageServer?pagename=iamsstatement
Anyway. That's the nuts and bolts of it.
***Edited By: Minniyar on 2/23/2005 11:10:06 AM*** Reason: Fixed link
There's nothing wrong with it.. I was feeding IAMS to my dog, but she wasn't too thrilled with it by the second bag, and when I started to research what was in dog foods, I was put off by everything low to mid range in dog food. I had some idea what was in food, but actually looking into it was kinda gross... Especially with the lowest quality foods.
For nearly 10 months in 2002 and early 2003, a PETA investigator worked undercover at Sinclair Research Center, a laboratory hired by Iams, and discovered a dark and sordid secret beneath the wholesome image of the dog- and cat-food manufacturer. Dogs had gone crazy because they were confined to barren steel cages and cement cells, dogs were left piled on a filthy paint-chipped floor after chunks of muscle had been hacked from their thighs, dogs were surgically debarked, and horribly sick dogs and cats were neglected and left in cages to suffer without any veterinary care.
Footage shows that Iams representatives toured the facility and witnessed dogs who were circling in their cells and sweltering in the summer heat. Iams knew the truth yet did nothing to protect the animals.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture investigated PETA's complaint and agreed that the laboratory had failed to provide veterinary care and pain relief to suffering animals, failed to provide animals with adequate space, and failed to train employees—along with nearly 40 other violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act. Sinclair Research Center paid a penalty of $33,000 for its violations.
After intense pressure from PETA and its supporters, Iams agreed to make the following significant changes in its testing program: Iams bowed to pressure and severed its ties with Sinclair Research Center. Iams ended all invasive and terminal experiments on dogs and cats. Iams agreed to begin conducting humane in-home tests for palatability studies. According to Iams, about 70 percent of the animals now in its tests reside at home with their families. In these studies, people volunteer their companion animals to participate in food and nutrition experiments from the comfort of their own homes. The human guardians can easily be trained to feed the animals and properly collect fecal and urine samples for laboratory analysis to determine the quality of the animal's food. "In-home" studies have been shown to work and have strong scientific support, as shown by the successful PetSci program, which was developed by Dr. Charles Abramson and Dr. Timothy Bowser of Oklahoma State University.
Even so, Iams still keeps up to 700 dogs and cats in its Dayton, Ohio, laboratory for non-invasive nutritional studies. They claim that this laboratory provides a decent environment for the animals, but they refuse to allow a PETA representative to see inside. Iams claims that some studies are too complex for in-home programs, but PETA urges Iams to collaborate with veterinary clinics for studies such as these. Veterinary clinics regularly see patients who suffer from ailments that a particular dog or cat food might help alleviate.
Iams has also refused to end invasive experiments on species other than dogs and cats. For one study, Iams gave Purdue University nearly $200,000 to conduct a two-year study in which experimenters taped the tails of mice to the tops of cages to keep their hind legs suspended in the air. This was done to cause muscular atrophy—the wasting away of muscle tissue. When PETA protested, the experiment was cut short.
Iams has also fought the release of information from a public university that had conducted a study funded by the company in which a painful disease was induced in dogs. What was Iams hiding?
Iams has made progress, but as an industry leader, it must send an even clearer message: No animal deserves the fate of those who remain in their laboratories. Safe, healthy cat and dog food does not require harming cats and dogs.
PETA continues to press Iams to ban conducting and funding invasive or terminal experiments on all species and to adopt 100 percent humane, non-invasive, and cage-free "in-home" testing, as many of Iams' compassionate competitors have done.
Until Iams agrees, we urge consumers to purchase dog and cat food from companies that do not test on animals. In the meantime, read about some other ways you can help the millions of animals every year who are abused and inadequately cared for?all in the name of research.