The warnings about chicken jerky treats imported from China continue to make headlines, yet these dog treats still sit on store shelves around the country – directly causing illness and even death in some 600 dogs since 2007.
The FDA has issued 3 separate warnings to the public, but have not halted this import or demanded answers from the largest suppliers of chicken jerky treats in our country.
Among the top offenders are 2 brands manufactured by Nestle Purina PetCare Co.- Waggin’ Train and Canyon Creek Ranch jerky tenders – and 1 manufactured by Del Monte, branded Milo’s Kitchen. Whether these treats stand above other brands as being worse for your dog, or more tainted, remains unknown. They just so happen to be the best selling of all chicken jerky treats imported from China.
Of the 22 top priority cases of illness and death being investigated by the FDA, 13 were Purina brands and 3 were Del Monte. A top priority case for the FDA involves an otherwise healthy dog, under 11 years of age, with medical documentation of the illness or death.
According to our reports, the FDA continues to actively investigate complaints about the treats, but is still unable to find anything wrong with them.
Still, many people are livid, and rightfully so, that nothing has been done to remove the dangerous products from store shelves.
JoNel Aleccia, from msnbc writes:
…FDA is under growing pressure from consumers and lawmakers to address rising numbers of illnesses blamed on the China-made treats. Before the warning was issued in November, the agency had logged 70 reports of illnesses tied to the treats last year. Since then, more than 530 additional complaints of illnesses and some deaths have been filed, officials said.
Consumers who say their dogs were sickened or killed have launched at least three petitions demanding recalls of jerky pet treats made in China, including one begun in December that has more than 3,400 signatures from the U.S. and around the world.
But, the anger isn’t only directed at the FDA. Manufacturers and distributors of the deadly treats are well aware of the issues surrounding them, and yet they continue to import and sell them.
Purina continues to assert that their chicken jerky treats are “safe to feed as directed, the safety of our products – and the pets who consume them – are our top priorities.”
We beg to differ.
It seems that Purina, and other importers of Chinese chicken jerky treats, are hiding behind a technicality – the FDA’s inability to pinpoint a direct cause of the illnesses and resulting deaths. If our pets were their top priority, these treats would be pulled from shelves before a single other dog is killed or becomes ill, regardless of whether an exact cause has been found.
Yet, Waggin’ Train chicken jerky packaging proudly states “Waggin’ Train is an American Owned Company,” further disguising their product as safe, leading consumers to believe their products are made in the U.S.
And further still, dog owners are angry with the retailers that continue to purchase and resell the treats. They, too, are aware of the reports and continue to let consumers purchase these treats for their dogs.
In his blog, chickenjerky.org, Bob Schumacher writes in an open letter to Costco top executives, James Sinegal and Craig Jelinek:
May I ask you, Mr. Sinegal and Mr. Jelinek, would Costco sell toys that the Consumer Product Safety Commission warns may occasionally shock children, and sometimes electrocute them? Would you sell food to children that the FDA warned occasionally made then sick and sometimes killed them? So, why do you devalue the lives of our precious pets and sell treats that the FDA repeatedly warns may cause illness and sometimes death?
Bob’s 5-year old Australian Shepherd, Skylar – his best friend and beloved companion – died an agonizing death following his ingesting Waggin’ Train chicken jerky treats sold by Costco.
He goes on to ask Costco execs,
Do you think that at the very least Costco should post a POS warning, just like on cigarettes, that the FDA warns that chicken jerky made in China may cause sickness and death in your dog? Then people might know what symptoms to look for and know when to stop administering the poison.
So, what can we do as consumers and dog lovers?
First and foremost, stop giving these treats to your dogs immediately unless you are absolutely certain that the treats you give are NOT imported from China. Don’t be fooled by clever packaging that implies otherwise.
Sign the petitions. This one, from Animal Parents Against Pet Treats Made in China, hopes to trigger an FDA recall.
Report any and all signs of illness from chicken jerky treats to the FDA’s pet food complaint site here.
Follow chickenjerky.org‘s lead and write to the buyers and executives at retailers where you still see these treats being sold.
Has your dog experienced any illness or death related to chicken jerky imported from China? Do you have any other ideas for getting the FDA, the manufacturers, and the retailers that continue to poison our dogs to actually take some action?
Tell us your experiences and your ideas!