Concerns grow over jerky treats from China
You’d think, scientific technology being what it is, that the Food and Drug Administration would have determined by now what it is about chicken jerky treats from China that seems to be continually sickening, and sometimes killing, dogs.
But after more than four years, the FDA still has not found a contaminant in the jerky products, or established a clear link between them and reported illnesses.
Nor has it taken steps to have any of the 15 companies selling them issue recalls.
A lot of customers, following the story, have stopped using them, including me — not that I bought them in the first place.
Instead, it was a neighbor and one of Ace’s admirers who bought a big bag of them from a discount store to dispense when Ace dropped by. And, boy, did Ace love them — by which I mean both the treats and the neighbor. The mere sight of the jerky treats, though, made my dog act like an addict in dire need of a fix.
Ace became ill in the month that followed, with what seemed to be a stomach ailment. I have no idea if the treats were the cause, and the vet diagnosed nothing in particular, but my neighbor and I — both having read of growing suspicions about the treats, and he having checked the label to find they were from China – declared a moratorium on them.
(Al still dispenses Ace the occasional treat, including the slice of pizza he brought home for himself the other day, but fed to Ace before he got out of his car — possibly so that Ace, who can sense a pizza a mile away, would let him out of his car.)
Concerns about the treats go back at least to 2007. The FDA has run numerous tests on them, all of which were inconclusive. (There’s an in-depth piece recounting all this in Food Safety News.)
So far the only step the FDA has taken has been to caution consumers. The latest FDA notice, last November, warned dog owners who purchased chicken jerky to monitor their pets for decreased appetite, decreased activity, vomiting, diarrhea, increased urination or increased water consumption, and to take their dog to a vet if any of those symptoms lasted more than 24 hours.
Since then, Food Safety News says, the FDA has received more than 600 reports from dog owners who say their pets have fallen ill because of chicken jerky products from China, and that calls for a recall are gaining momentum.
In February, Ohio’s Sen. Sherrod Brown brought the issue to the Senate floor, and later held a press conference, urging the FDA to accelerate its investigation into the chicken jerky treats.
Also last month, a Facebook group called “Animal Parents Against Pet Treats Made in China!” started up, quickly growing to about 2,500 members. And a petition demanding the ban of jerky treats from China has acquired more than 3,000 signatures.
Blogger Mollie Morrissette, who has been following the chicken jerky issue on her website, Poisoned Pets, says she continues to hear horror stories from readers.
“I get letters every day from broken-hearted pet parents — people who had to put down their beloved family dog or five month-old puppy,” she said. “They all fed their dogs chicken jerky.”
(Photo courtesy of Food Safety News: Sarge, a seven year-old chow-corgi mix who fell ill after eating a single chicken jerky dog treat. After nearly two weeks of treatment, Sarge was put down.)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 9th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, animals, chicken, chicken jerky treats, china, chinese, dogs, fda, food and drug administration, food safety news, health, jerky, jerky treats, made in china, ohio, pets, recall, safety, sarge, senator, sherrod brown, treats, warning