Lots of Coop members have cats. Most are concerned about the environment. Probably most have not thought about how feeding fish (or chicken that was fed fish) to their cat plays a significant role in diminishing the ocean's resources, further endangering large ocean mammals, like whales. Paul Greenberg, who is writing a book on the future of fish, points out this problem in an interesting op-ed in the NYTimes 3/21/09. The Coop doesn't apply the same standards to fish, poultry and meat in the pet food we sell as we do for the products for human consumption. Something to think about.
The recent peanut scare highlighted how unregulated the food industry is. Both the Wall Street Journal and the NYTimes detail how many manufacturers do not know the origin of many of their ingredients, even when they are required to document their sources.
And the LA Times weighs in about a similar problem concerning pharmaceuticals. Reporter David Lazarus was unable to track down where his generic acetaminophen was manufactured. Unlike the food industry, there is no requirement to cite the source of ingredients in pharmaceuticals, and many sold in the US are manufactured in other countries. China is a major manufacturer.
An independent lab that tests supplements, ConsumerLab, recently updated its review of fish oils. The good news is that the 52 products that they tested did not have high levels of mercury. However, the free summary on the web hinted that some of these products were more like snake oil than fish oil, i.e., they didn't contain the omega-3's the labels cited. Unfortunately, in order to read the full report you need to spend $$ and subscribe.