Food and Water Watch’s Wenonah Hauter says the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has failed to protect dogs from serious illness caused by contaminated jerky treats from China. In a scathing statement released Friday, Hauter, the organization’s executive director, blasted the FDA’s handling of a five-year probe of illnesses and deaths linked to chicken jerky dog treats from China.
Since 2007, thousands of dogs have become sick or died after eating jerky treats made in China. This week, the FDA released heavily redacted reports of April inspections of Chinese manufacturing facilities and revealed that China refused to let inspectors collect samples for independent analysis.”The FDA waited until it received 2,000 reports of illnesses and deaths in U.S. dogs before launching its investigation. Although the China investigation took place in April, it took the FDA four months to admit that they were denied permission from collecting samples from the Chinese facilities. As the FDA dragged its feet, the suspect treats remained on store shelves and put thousands of dogs at risk,” Hauter said in a statement.
“What’s more disgraceful than the FDA’s dawdling is the fact that it has full authority under Section 306 of the Food Safety Modernization Act to refuse shipments of these treats from China now. Enough is enough. It’s time for the FDA to issue an import alert on all pet food manufactured in China before more animals and the humans that love them suffer needlessly,” she said.
Although numerous tests have been performed on the treats over the last five years, the FDA has been unable to discover what about them makes dogs so sick. Private diagnostic labs have now been recruited to solve the mystery, In the meantime, consumers should not buy dog or pet food treats made in China.