By Christie Keith
November 18, 2008
Joy Drawdy, owner of Gainesville’s Earth Pets Natural Pet Market, thinks so, and so she developed a home melamine test kit:
“Pet owners should have a way to test their food at home. People coming into Earth Pets kept saying something like this was needed. I started trying to find one, but none existed,” Drawdy said. “In the past year, using my knowledge of pet food manufacturing and contaminant testing, I developed one. I have it patented and it’s done. I just need to get it marketed.”
And there’s a “Pet Connection” to this story, too:
Drawdy may have been among the first persons to link melamine-tainted gluten to the pet deaths when the outbreak was occurring last year.
She is credited on the Pet Connection – a Web site and weekly pet-care feature distributed by Universal Press Syndicate – with discovering on the Internet an obscure U.S. Food and Drug Administration alert about imported Chinese gluten.
Drawdy knew gluten was often used in pet food and posted the alert on the Pet Connection Web site.
It turned out that the gluten cited in the alert was from a company that supplied pet food manufacturers.
The test should be fairly simple and inexpensive, Joy told me.
“The FDA tests, and the companies certainly have the ability to test their own products for melamine, but what I’m trying to do is make it affordable. When you send a test to an outside laboratory, it’s several hundred dollars for one sample,” she said. “The big challenge was getting something that can be manufactured cheaply enough but still be reliable to the consumer. My main goal is that it’s something that people can just buy for a few dollars.”
The test will be available sometime in the next six months. So, here’s my question: would you use it?