September 26, 2016

Dog Deaths Prompt Petco to Dump Treats Made in China

Petco has become the first national pet specialty retailer to end sales of pet treats made in China. The decision was prompted by continuing reports of illness and deaths associated with the products. Between 2007 an 2014, at least 5,600 dogs illnesses and 1,000 dog deaths were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The chicken, duck, or sweet potato jerky treats have also sickened 24 cats, and three people. "As a trusted partner for pet parents, we believe this is the right thing to do, and we're proud to take this step in the best interest of pets," said Jim Myers, Petco CEO. "What we feed our pets matters, and this milestone supports the company's steadfast commitment to putting our customers, partners, … [Read more...]

Omnibus Funding Bill Bans Chinese Chicken from School Lunches

The DeLauro-Pingree Amendment in the Omnibus spending bill that was just passed by Congress bans purchase of chicken raised in the United States and processed in China for school lunches. The bill was passed by the House last Thursday and the Senate on Saturday. Representative Rosa DeLauro said in a statement, "banning Chinese chicken from school meals is a common-sense step to protect our kids. China's food safety record is atrocious, yet last year USDA deemed poultry processed in China to be as safe as poultry processed here. Children are among the most susceptible to foodborne illness. We cannot take unnecessary risks with our health." Representative Pingree said, "Chinese chicken does not belong in school lunches. China has such serious food safety problems that even Chinese … [Read more...]

China Completes Paperwork for Poultry Export to U.S.

The USDA's FSIS announced yesterday that China has completed the "necessary paperwork" to certify four of its poultry processing plants so they can export processed poultry products to the U.S. The raw poultry will have to come from "approved sources", but food safety advocates are concerned. Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food and Water Watch said in a statement, "China's food safety system is a wreck. Food & Water Watch has been fighting FSIS on this issue since it first proposed granting China equivalency status in November 2005. There have been scores of food safety scandals in China, and the most recent ones have involved expired poultry products sold to U.S. fast food restaurants based in China. Now, we have FSIS moving forward to implement this ill-conceived decision, … [Read more...]

Tell USDA No Apples from China

The USDA this summer proposed to amend the fruits and vegetables regulations to allow the import of fresh apples from China into the United States. the only condition is that apples from areas in China where the Oriental fruit fly is not known to exist would include special rules. Those rules would include registration of places of production, inspection for quarantine pests and bagging of fruit and treating the apples with fumigation and refrigeration. All apples from China must be accompanied by a "phytosanitary certificate" stating that all conditions for importation of apples have been met. Food & Water Watch opposes this rule, stating that "the proposed approach for managing the threat of quarantine pests would increase the volume of imported apples that should be inspected … [Read more...]

Chinese Meat Plant Implicated in Food Safety Scandal

According to Food & Water Watch, Shanghai Husi Foods Company, a meat plant in China, is implicated in a Chinese food safety scandal. That plant passed USDA audits in 2004 and 2010. This is a problem because last year the USDA decided to let chicken processed in China be exported to the United States. Food & Water Watch has sent a letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, asking him to stop all activities that would "pave the way for China to export their poultry products to the U.S."  Shanghai Husi Foods sold expired meat and poultry products to Chinese fast food restaurants and exported some of those foods to Japan. Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch said in a statement, "it has been nearly a decade since China made its initial request to send its … [Read more...]

UC Davis Food Safety Partnership with China

The University of California, Davis will be part of a new Sino-U.S. Joint Research Center for Food Safety in China. Researchers form the university will work with officials from China’s Northwest Agricultural and Forestry University in Shaanxi province on the new project.  "We are incredibly pleased to join forces with Northwest A&F University and look forward to making discoveries and realizing solutions that will promote food safety in China and around the world,” said UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi.  "The food industry has become the largest industry in China; and food safety is a critical area for China and the U.S. to have creative cooperation and learn from each other," said Zhang Laiwu, China's vice minister of science and technology. "It not only involves technologies, … [Read more...]

Jerky Pet Treat Manufacturers Set up $6.5 Million Fund

According to NBC News, two of the largest pet jerky treat manufacturers have created a $6.5 million fund to compensate dog owners whose animals were killed or made sick by their products. Nestle Purina PetCAre Co. and Wsggin' Train LLC have reached an agreement with pet owners in a class action lawsuit announced May 30, 2014. The 158-page agreement is subject to approval by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The companies do not accept blame in the settlement. A statement released by lawyers states, "Neither Waggin' Train, Nestle Purina nor any of the consumers concede that their claims or their defenses were not valid. All parties entered into the agreement only to bring the litigation to a prompt and certain resolution." The FDA has stated that jerky pet … [Read more...]

Petco, Petsmart Phasing Out Sales of Chinese Pet Treats

Petco and Petsmart have announced plans to stop carrying pet treats imported from China after last week's FDA announcement that they can't find the cause of 4,800 dog and cat illnesses. The government has been researching this issue for seven years and cannot figure out what is going wrong. Veterinarians and the government are reminding pet owners that these treats are not necessary to a pet's nutrition or health. Safety advocates have been asking the government to ban these imported treats for years, but nothing has been done. Food & Water Watch commends Petco and Petsmart for taking this step, but say that they should remove those products from their shelves immediately rather than simply phasing them out. More than 1,000 dogs have died after consuming these treats. Three … [Read more...]

Food & Water Watch Responds to FDA Pet Jerky Investigation

Food & Water Watch has responded to the latest information released by the FDA about their investigation into the pet deaths and illnesses linked to jerky treats imported from China. Wenonah Hauter, executive director of the agency said in a statement, "this ongoing health threat to American pets illustrates how trade policy is trumping regulations to protect our health. When is the Obama administration going to show some backbone and stop the importation of these deadly products until we have some concrete answers?" At least 4,800 pets have been sickened by these imported products. At least 1,000 dogs have died as a result of their illness. The FDA does n0t have any answers, despite a lengthy investigation. The jerky treats are made from chicken, duck, or sweet potato. Some … [Read more...]

FDA Updates Jerky Pet Treat Investigation

The Food and Drug Administration has updated its investigation into pet illnesses and deaths in animals that ate jerky pet treats. FDA is collaborating with the CDC on a new case control study. The government has not been able to identify a specific cause for the reported illnesses and deaths. Since the last update on October 22, 2013, there have been 1,800 more reports of illness and death. As of May 1, 2014, they agencies have received more than 4,800 complaints of illness in pets that ate chicken, duck, or sweet potato jerky treats, nearly all imported from China. Those reports include more than 5,600 dogs, 24 cats, and three people. More than 1,000 dogs have died. The symptoms break down as: 60% gastrointestinal/liver disease, 30% kidney or urinary disease, and the remaining 10% … [Read more...]

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