FDA Still Baffled Why Pet Treats from China are Poisoning Dogs…Again

The poor beleaguered FDA and the equally befuddled CVM once again has issued a notice warning consumers of the dangers associated with feeding dogs chicken jerky treat products imported to the U.S. from China.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues, despite mounting reports of serious illness and deaths of dogs from their owners or veterinarians associate with consumption of chicken jerky products, to merely caution consumers of a potential association between the development of illness in dogs and the consumption of the products. The products may also labelled as chicken strips, chicken tenders, chicken chews, chicken chips, chicken breasts or chicken you-name-it treats for dogs or cats.

Reports began to surface in 2006 of the serious health dangers associated with the chicken jerky products for pets manufactured in China.  FDA issued a cautionary warning to consumers in September 2007.  Yet the FDA has continued to allow them to remain on the market, despite years of reports of serious illness and even the deaths of dogs associated from being fed chicken treats originating from China. funny-dog-pictures-fda-chicken jerky tender strips treats china fanconi syndrome

The FDA’s feeble attempt to protect consumers is to issue yet another stale, worn-out notice about the possibility that the chicken jerky treats from China may be toxic. The notices are seldom read by anyone, let alone the average consumer, and are buried deep in the FDA’s colossal website.

Those who do manage to read the FDA’s notice will be enlightened by the sage advice that those “who choose to feed their dogs” this shit, pardon me, chicken jerky treat is to…and I quote, “watch their dogs closely for any or all of the following signs: decreased appetite; decreased activity; vomiting; diarrhea, sometimes with blood; increased water consumption and/or increased urination. If the dog shows any of these signs, stop feeding the chicken jerky product.” Well, duh. funny-dog-pictures-fda-chicken jerky tender strips treats china fanconi syndrome

Oh, but wait, here’s the real bummer in the notice, “Blood tests may indicate kidney failure (increased urea nitrogen and creatinine). Urine tests may indicate Fanconi syndrome (increased glucose). Although most dogs appear to recover, some reports to the FDA have involved dogs that have died.” Gee, that’s comforting.

Hmmm, let’s see… I’m struggling to comprehend why on earth would anyone in their right mind would  suggest you may “choose to” do so? Oh yeah, I want to give my dog something that could make him puke blood, cause kidney failure and might even kill him? What, are they kidding?funny-dog-pictures-fda-chicken jerky tender strips treats china fanconi syndrome

The FDA manages to horrify and reassure the public simultaneously by confessing in the notice that the, “FDA, in addition to several animal health diagnostic laboratories in the U.S., is working to determine why these products are associated with illness in dogs. FDA’s Veterinary Laboratory Response Network (VLRN) is now available to support these animal health diagnostic laboratories. To date, scientists have not been able to determine a definitive cause for the reported illnesses. FDA continues extensive chemical and microbial testing but has not identified a contaminant.”

I don’t know which is more of a tragedy – the FDA failing to take the sh*t off the market or failing to discover, in four years, just what it is in the chicken jerky treats that is making dogs deathly ill.funny-dog-pictures-fda-chicken jerky tender strips treats china fanconi syndrome

I hate to say it, but OK, here goes: for Pete’s sake, how long does it take to test chicken jerky? How can the best minds in laboratory science come up with absolutely nothing in four years?

Finally, as the FDA is aware of the products danger, why have they allowed it to remain on the market for four years? It is a disgrace that our government is so completely incompetent in protecting the American public and the pets they care for.  funny-dog-pictures-fda-chicken jerky tender strips treats china fanconi syndrome

FDA Continues to Caution Dog Owners About Chicken Jerky Products (FDA, Nov 18, 2011)
Fanconi Syndrome in Four Non–Basenji Dogs Exposed to Chicken Jerky Treats
(Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association, JAAHA, Nov/Dec 2011)
Chicken Jerky Pet Treat Alert
(Phyllis Entis, eFoodAlert, Nov 19, 2011)
Fanconi Syndrome
(Applied Veterinary Clinical Nutrition, By Andrea J. Fascetti, Sean J. Delaney, Feb 1, 2012)
Wal-Mart 2007  (Chicken Jerky Treats)
(Pet food politics: the Chihuahua in the coal mine By Marion Nestle, 2008)
Dog Treat Warning – Yup, it’s True!
Nasty Treats from China Associated with Severe Illness in Dogs – Again

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Mollie Morrissette

Mollie Morrissette, the author of Poisoned Pets, is an animal food safety expert and consumer advisor. Help support her work by making a donation today.