By Green Dog Pet Supply
The Chinese Chicken debacle continues. The FDA has issued 3 separate warnings to the public about the danger of consuming these treats. Almost 2000 pets reported so far that have been sickened or have died from consuming Chinese chicken jerky, which we know is only a fraction of the true number. When we hear from customers that they had purchased these treats in other stores and their dogs had acted sick after consuming them, the first question we ask is “Did you report it to the FDA or to your vet, or to the store you bought it from?” and the answer is invariably “No”. Message boards all over the internet are full of stories of problems with these treats. It’s very clearly a much larger problem than is reflected in the reported numbers.
The FDA continues to maintain a position that they should not issue a recall until a contaminant is found, but there is clearly a significant problem. As Representative Dennis Kucinich said Monday, “By allowing the treats to stay on the market as the years-long investigation drags on, the FDA is guaranteeing more pets will die. Why?”
Craig Wilson, Costco vice president of food safety and quality assurance says, “We test these things the same way we test human foods. We look at a complete microbial screen for pathogens and spoilage organisms including salmonella, listeria and e. coli. We also test for chemicals and heavy metals and the items are fully irradiated,” said Wilson. “There’s no data to support the link between these [sick] dogs and the treats.” These are the same things that the FDA is saying. If they’re testing free of pathogens and metals, then the trouble lies elsewhere. You can’t find out what the contaminant is if you’re not testing for it, so testing should continue for other potential problems.
Dogswell just issued a recall for some of their chicken jerky products for cats due to the presence of Propylene Glycol, which isn’t listed on their label. Propylene Glycol is toxic to dogs in large quantities, but especially toxic to cats even in small quantities. If this ingredient is making it into their treats, this is a contamination of the product that the company has been telling us isn’t possible due to their rigorous safety protocols and testing. Yet there it is.
Cosco says all of their chicken jerky is irradiated, yet for me, the jury is still out on whether irradiation is safe for pets. Cats are known to have significant problems with irradiated foods – in 2008 About 90 cats fell ill and 30 died after consuming irradiated pet food in Australia; irradiation was required by Australia for certain imported foods, and they insisted it was safe for the animals eating it. What if the problem lies with the combination of Propylene Glycol and irradiation? No one is doing that sort of testing that we know of, including the FDA.
It’s upsetting that Cosco would say that there is no data to support the link between these sick animals and the Chinese chicken treats. They should tell that to Rachel Chambers, a woman who had two dogs sickened after eating Chinese chicken. In an article from NBC: “Dachshund-mix Liz had diarrhea and wouldn’t eat and chihuahua-mix Jack stopped eating and had to undergo weeks of veterinary treatment for his liver. But it was Shepherd-mix Cali who couldn’t be saved. Cali died after her stomach twisted, ruptured, and exploded. “It was violent and she did not deserve the way that she died,” said an emotional Chambers.
Chambers says she only fed Cali one or two treats, and her smaller dogs, Jack and Liz, were given a single treat each. “We did not give them the entire bag of treats. Even if I gave them the whole bag, if you eat a whole box of Ding Dongs you’re not gonna die,” said Chambers.”
Read more of this article: http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/FDA-Dog-Treat-Warning-Necropsy-Results-on-Bay-Area-Dog-164094206.html
Please urge retailers who carry Chinese chicken jerky treats to post the FDA warning (which can be found in the above article) near their treats, or to pull them altogether. Forward it to your friends and encourage them to forward it to their friends. Please write to the FDA and urge them to issue a recall now, before more pets die unnecessarily, and to continue testing until they find the cause. And certainly, if you don’t know where the chicken was made, don’t buy it. If you can’t find an alternative, why not make your own?
2013 Updates: Many of the Chinese chicken products have been recalled in 2013 due to residues of antibiotics that are not legal in the United States. The companies all claim that there is no risk to animal health due to the presence of these antibiotic residues, but this very interesting article makes a very strong case for the fact that these residues may be responsible for the mysterious link to kidney failure in pets.
Here are the 2013 recall announcements as of 08/13:
January 9, 2013 . . . Nestlé Purina PetCare Company and its wholly owned subsidiary Waggin’ Train, LLC today announced it is voluntarily withdrawing its Waggin’ Train and Canyon Creek Ranch brand dog treats sold in the United States until further notice. The Company is taking this action after learning this week that the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets (NYSDAM) found trace amounts of antibiotic residue in samples of Waggin’ Train and Canyon Creek Ranch chicken jerky products. These antibiotics are approved for use in poultry in China and other major countries, including European Union member states, but are not among those approved in the U.S. Antibiotics are commonly used globally, including in the United States, when raising animals fit for human consumption. Waggin’ Train and Canyon Creek Ranch products are safe to feed as directed. However, due to regulatory inconsistencies among countries, the presence of antibiotic residue is technically considered an adulteration in the United States.
January 9, 2013 – Milo’s Kitchen® Chicken Jerky and Chicken Grillers home-style dog treats from retailer shelves nationally. No other Milo’s Kitchen® products are affected.
On Monday, New York State’s Department of Agriculture informed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Company that trace amounts of residual antibiotics had been found in several lots of Milo’s Kitchen® Chicken Jerky. After consultation with the New York Department of Agriculture and FDA, the company decided to voluntarily recall Milo’s Kitchen® Chicken Jerky and Chicken Grillers, which are both sourced from the same chicken suppliers.
Jan 11,2013 IMS Trading Corp today announced it is voluntarily withdrawing its Cadet Brand Chicken Jerky Treat products sold in the United States until further notice. The Company is taking this action after learning this week that the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets (NYSDAM) found trace amounts of antibiotic residue in samples of Cadet brand Chicken Jerky Treat products. These antibiotics are approved for use in poultry in China and other major countries, including European Union member states, but are not among those approved in the U.S. Cadet Brand Chicken Jerky Treat products are safe to feed as directed and have not been linked to ANY illnesses in dogs or humans. However, due to regulatory inconsistencies among countries, the presence of antibiotic residue is technically considered an adulteration in the United States.
Jan 12, 2013 Publix Super Markets is issuing a voluntary recall for Publix Chicken Tenders Dog Chew Treats because it may contain trace amounts of antibiotic residue.
Jan. 25, 2013 — The Hartz Mountain Corporation is voluntarily withdrawing its Hartz ® Chicken Chews™ and Hartz ® Oinkies® Pig Skin Twists wrapped with Chicken for dogs in the United States because they contain trace amounts of unapproved antibiotic residue.
July 27th 2013 – “During routine testing of our products, the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets (NYSDAM) discovered that a sample of our Dogswell Happy Hips Chicken Breast Jerky contained trace amounts of an antibiotic residue that has not been approved for use in the United States.