Pet food safety advocates have sent a letter to the chairman and president of all Walmart stores, asking them to remove chicken jerky pet treats manufactured in China from the shelves of all Walmart and Sam’s Club stores. Those treats have been linked to more than 360 pet deaths and 2200 illnesses since 2007.
In March 2012, the FDA cautioned consumers that chicken jerky products imported from China, and those made with ingredients from China, may be associated with pet illnesses. The three brands associated with the problematic treats were named that month. In August, the FDA went to China to inspect facilities that make the treats. The FDA has not taken action to stop the importation of these products even after they were not allowed to test ingredients in China using third party labs.
The letter states, in part, “while we believe the quickest way to resolve this matter is for FDA to issue an Import Alert against these products from entering U.S. commerce, the next best solution is for good corporate citizenship and for retailers to stop carrying these products voluntarily until there is a concrete cause for these illnesses found. This is not the first time that China has been implicated in a pet food scandal. As you may recall, thousands of pet owners contacted the FDA in 2007 after reporting that their pets either became ill or died after they ate pet food that was contaminated with melamine. The wheat gluten imported from china with which the pet food was made was intentionally spiked with melamine in order to give a false reading of the level of protein in the ingredient.”