There are now over 1,800 reports of dogs being sickened and even dying from chicken jerky treats made in China due to kidney failure. The FDA finally released their test results after msnbc.com reported that they were denied the requested information. Without confirmed contaminants, however, the FDA is unable to force a recall. There have been three federal warnings regarding possible safety issues since 2007 with the Chinese-made treats.
Kidney Failure and Even Death
Barbara Pierpont of Stewartstown, PA lost her 7-year-old shelter dog Honey to kidney failure in April, three weeks after starting to give her Waggin’ Train jerky treats. It was the only change in her diet. “Just because they haven’t found something doesn’t mean it isn’t there,” she said.
New Tests in Development
Spokeswoman Tamara Ward for the FDA says that they continue to be aware of and are concerned about the problem. New methods are being developed for testing for compounds in the jerky treats that could cause illness. It could take months to develop and validate the tests, however.
The main complaints center around Waggin’ Train and Canyon Creek Ranch treats which are produced by Nestle Purina, and Milo’s Kitchen Home-style Dog Treats, produced by the Del Monte Corp. These products are typically sold at Target, Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, and Costco.
Distributors Taking Action
Many dog owners are frustrated that the makers and distributors of the treats have failed to recall the products voluntarily but one distributor, Costco, is launching their own investigation into the issue.
Craig Wilson, Costco’s vice president of quality assurance and safety says that, as of yet, they have detected nothing that could explain the reports of illness in dogs. FDA officials and Costco representatives will travel later this fall to the Chinese plants that make the Costco treats. According to Wilson, “Our testing program is very solid. We actually test these at a higher level than some human food.”
This is a troubling situation for sure. While it makes sense to buy treats made in the USA, the news is full of recent recalls of American manufactured pet foods as well. But at least the process for rectifying those problems seems to be quicker. Some people are creating their own dog treats in response. I wouldn’t be surprised if new treat companies are launched in an effort to satisfy the market demands for healthy, wholesome treats.
Have any of our readers experienced trouble with chicken jerky treats?
For more information go to NBCNews.com.
Photo courtesy of Scot Campbell.