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January 31, 2023

Schweikert Introduces Bipartisan Paws Off Act to Warn Pet Owners of Common Deadly Ingredient

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Yesterday, U.S. Representatives David Schweikert (AZ-01), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), Chris Smith (NJ-04), Lloyd Smucker (PA-11), Michael Waltz (FL-06), Raúl Grijalva (AZ-07), Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-08), Greg Stanton (AZ-04), and Dina Titus (NV-01) introduced the Paws Off Act of 2023, bipartisan legislation designed to promote safe labeling requirements for pet safety.

The bill would amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to require foods containing the chemical xylitol to be considered mislabeled unless the product has a warning label specifying its toxic effects on pets if ingested. Xylitol is increasingly found in foods like mints, baked goods, desserts, vitamins, and gum. A lack of proper labeling can often make it difficult for pet owners to determine which products, including those ingested by mistake, could be deadly to their pets.

“As a lifelong dog owner, I know that our pets play a cherished role in our lives, which is why it’s important we keep them safe,” said Rep. Schweikert. “It’s proven that millions of Americans are unaware of just how dangerous xylitol can be to their dogs. Today, I’m proud to reintroduce the bipartisan Paws Off Act to increase awareness of xylitol in household food products and keep our four-legged friends safe.”

“Thousands of American families own at least one animal, and it is important to ensure that households are properly informed of ingredients that threaten the lives of their pets,” 
said Rep. Fitzpatrick. “Data from the FDA shows that the vast majority of pet owners are not aware of the presence of xylitol, a chemical that is lethal to dogs, in basic household items. I’m proud to co-sponsor the Paws Off Act, which would improve labeling and protect our pets.”

“For too long our pets have been exposed to household products that contain chemicals such as xylitol that can be harmful in everyday instances,” said Rep. Waltz. “Introducing this legislation is a step towards protecting our pets at home and educating pet owners of risks in household products.”

“Pet owners in Arizona and across the country deserve to have access to critical safety information to prevent our loyal companions from being exposed to dangerous chemicals,” 
said Rep. Grijalva. “The Paws Off Act is a commonsense bipartisan safety measure that shines a light on xylitol, a dangerous chemical found in many common household items with potentially deadly consequences. With 58% of Arizonans owning a pet, they deserve full transparency to keep their furry family friends safe.”

“Ingesting xylitol poses potentially lethal risks to our pets, and raising awareness of those dangers is essential for preventing tragic outcomes,” said Rep. Krishnamoorthi. “As a dog owner, I’m proud to cosponsor this bipartisan legislation to help protect pets through ensuring proper labeling of household products that contain xylitol.”

“As a pet owner, I know they often eat things they’re not supposed to,” said Rep. Stanton. “Some common household products that are safe for their owners—like candy and toothpaste, which both may contain xylitol––can be lethal for dogs. I’m proud to introduce the Paws Off Act to help families keep their pets safe.” 

“This commonsense, bipartisan legislation highlights an issue we can all agree on – protecting the welfare of our furry friends and family members,” 
said Rep. Titus. “I’m glad to work with my Animal Protection Caucus colleagues to make sure dog owners are empowered to protect their pets from dangerous toxins and prevent avoidable tragedies.”

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