Last spring, North America was gripped in the largest pet food recall in history. News outlets reported tens of thousands of dogs and cats becoming ill, and many dying, as a result of ingesting contaminated pet food. Several pet owners have filed lawsuits against the manufacturers and distributors of the pet food products. I think this is an excellent real-life science story to use with students to show science investigation in action, and to discuss the intersections between the role of regulatory agencies and the public.
In order to understand the case, you first have to know the facts. We'll begin with a timeline; unless otherwise noted, all dates occurred in 2007. Below each significant date are questions that can be explored with students.
Miller, R. (2007).The pet food recall puzzle: Who, what, why, and how much. Science Scope, 31(2), 10-12.
National Science Teachers Association
Food Science Commons, Science and Mathematics Education Commons, Veterinary Toxicology and Pharmacology Commons
This article was originally published in Science Scope, volume 31, issue 2, in 2007.