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The Latest on Chicken Jerky Pet Treats from China

By Dr. Becker

There’s an ironic twist in the ongoing  problems with pet food, pet food ingredients, and especially treats made in China.

Chinese pet owners who can afford to are arranging  to import American-made pet food and treats to avoid tainted  products made in China. This, while pet owners in the U.S. continue to wait  – for nearly 5 years and counting -- for the FDA and retailers to ban potentially  deadly China-made chicken jerky dog treats from store shelves.

At least a dozen pet food manufacturers in  the U.S. currently export  their products to Hong Kong to meet the demand  of well-to-do Chinese pet owners who don’t want to risk giving the family dog  or cat food or treats made in their own country.

U.S. pet  food companies have even been instructed not to translate their formula  ingredients to Mandarin because it could make Chinese consumers suspicious of  the real origin of the ingredients.

Chicken Jerky Pet Treat Update

According to media sources who are in contact  with members of the U.S. congress,  including MSNBC.com,  the FDA has sent inspectors into plants in China that make chicken jerky pet  treats. Their goal, one would hope, is to finally discover the ever-elusive  link between the treats and hundreds of sick and dead dogs in the U.S.  and other countries – a situation first identified in September 2007. It’s not  known how many inspectors are on the job in China or which pet food plants are  being looked at.

A spokesman for U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich  from Ohio  says the congressman is “… expecting important new information soon.”

I certainly hope that’s the case.

Meanwhile, there is growing public pressure  to recall suspect treats and pull them from store shelves. (If you’re not  familiar with the symptoms exhibited by pets who’ve fallen ill from chicken  jerky treats, you can get more information here.)

However, U.S. pet food companies producing  some of the treats linked to pet illnesses and deaths -- specifically Nestlé  Purina PetCare (Waggin’ Train and Canyon Creek Ranch jerky treats or tenders)  and Del Monte (Milo’s Kitchen Home-style Dog Treats) -- along with stores that  sell the treats (Petco, Petsmart, Walmart), continue to assert there is no  direct connection between the treats and sick and dead pets. 

Therefore, they will continue to  manufacture and sell the treats. (What’s the likelihood employees of these  companies are still feeding their own pets the chicken jerky treats they  produce and sell?)

Nestlé Purina and Walmart are, as of  mid-April, involved in a class  action lawsuit brought by an individual “on  behalf of all consumers who purchased certain dog treats manufactured,  marketed, distributed or sold by defendants.”..

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