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6 years of deadly jerky treats looks more like a glycerin cover-up than antibiotics.  Is FDA putting Chinese trade $$$ above American safety?


March 2013

Nel Liquorman, Health & Nutrition Editor


recalled treats included chicken jerky treatsThe FDA started receiving reports regarding dogs getting sick from Chinese chicken jerky treats in 2007 – the year of the melamine pet food disaster.  Was FDA too chicken-hearted to act?  Why the recall delay?  By September 2012, FDA reported 2200 dogs and cats got sick from eating these products, while 360 dogs and 1 cat died, as the investigation unfolded.


Finally, in January 2013, chicken jerky recalls/withdrawals were sparked by the NY State Department of Agriculture and Marketing (NYSDAM) when they notified makers of some brands that their products were adulterated with an antibiotic that is banned from use in the USA.


Nestles Purina was asked to remove Waggin’ Train and Canyon Creek Ranch chicken jerky treats, brands of their subsidiary Waggin’ Train, LLC, from retail locations in the state of NY.  Finally, now the company is doing a nationwide voluntary withdrawal, citing differences in US and Chinese regulations.  After a request from NYSDAM, Milo’s Kitchen, a Del Monte subsidiary, recalled their chicken Jerky and Chicken Grillers home-style dog treats.


So, the chicken jerky was not food grade as it should have been.  This bit of information should have become explosive news for mainstream media.  Should we speculate that the sweet trade deal that China seems to have with the USA stands in the way of FDA/CVM action that would protect our pets?  Or could it be protection for US pet food makers who import Chinese ingredients along with finished products?


Predictably, both companies assured us that traces of the banned in the USA antibiotic contamination will not harm dogs!  But here’s a bit more information and it is pretty pertinent!


China’s jerky manufacturer had advance warning that an FDA inspector would be making a visit, so there was plenty of time to prepare!   And, they were ready for the inspector, throwing up objections and making excuses.  He was never allowed to take samples.   That FDA inspector’s report indicates that the Chinese factory used glycerin from drums labeled FOR INDUSTRIAL USE ONLY, in the making of the jerky.


It is not surprising that the recall continued to widen.   Publix, a grocery chain, was notified and there is a recall notice on their website.  Along with the Publix private brand chicken jerky treats, they also list Cadet, a brand which is from IMS Trading, a company that re-packages products.  But, only the brands from the two major companies were listed on the FDA’s initial update of the ongoing investigation regarding these dog treats from China.  Is the FDA unwilling to mention that China also make some private brands for grocery store chains?


Surely the FDA realizes the scope of risk, since their update stated the following:

“Human consumption of poultry in China largely consists of dark meat, leaving a large amount of light meat poultry products available for export. From 2003, when China first approached the USDA about poultry exports, to 2011, the volume of pet food exports (regulated by the FDA) to the United States from China has grown 85-fold.   It is estimated that nearly 86 million pounds of pet food came from China in 2011. Pet treats, including jerky pet treats are currently considered the fastest growing segment in the pet food market.”


The FDA inspector got the runaround at every turn, but still managed to make it to the glycerin manufacturing source in Malaysia.  There he was told that they make only food grade glycerin, but that they label it for industrial use only, allowing them to avoid filling out a health certificate.  They were also willing to lay the blame on their customers, contending that they wanted the labels.


A believable explanation?   It is certainly believable that the same people, who sent us the melamine in gluten, would use a low grade industrial glycerin in their pet food products.  Do we really have confidence in pre-announced inspections or the samples sent to the FDA by the glycerin company?


Wouldn’t the real evidence be the dead dogs?


To make matters worse, glycerin is used in the manufacturing of some chicken jerky and other dog treats being made in the USA.   It was shocking to discover that in July 2012, the FDA sent letters to industries stating: FDA Notification to Industry {Ref #1 FDA Investigation}

"Products using oils, glycerin, or protein that were derived from the Jatropha plant may have toxic effects."


There have been pressures from consumers, dog food writers, and even Senators, to end the importing and sale of deadly chicken jerky treats.


Jatropha seed oils were intended for use as biofuel, but proved not to be economically suitable.  Since we do not know if glycerin products can be trusted, manufacturers need to state plant origins for oils, glycerins, and proteins used in pet food, human foods and skin care products.  We cannot depend on China to do honest labeling of ingredients or products, and it appears that we cannot depend on brand owners, retailer, or even the FDA.


It is apparent to consumers that all is not well in the pet food industry.  Current pet food problems appear to be evolving just as the melamine toxin did, leaving many pet owners afraid for their dog and cats, as well as for themselves.


Yet, this recall appears to have nothing to do with FDA investigators’ reports of what was found when they made inspections at the Chinese manufacturing facilities.   A risk for antibiotic residue, plus a risk for toxic glycerin is not acceptable, and even the FDA can’t convince us that imported chicken or glycerin is safe, so don’t bet a dog’s life on it!


Referenced and Related Article:  {1} FDA Investigation  ~  Ban Deadly Jerky Treats From China EST 2002 © 1303166.2010





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