Pet Food Recalls / Pet Food Safety
On June 3, 2014

Update on chicken jerky treats

FDA releases latest information, but not the only determining factor in products’ fate

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has provided updated information on the continuing saga of suspected contamination of "jerky"-type dog treats, primarily made from chicken and typically manufactured in China. Coincidentally at least two major pet retailers have recently announced their commitments to stop selling pet treats manufactured in China.

The latest update  by FDA was issued on May 16, 2014 (see link in “For More Information”). Briefly, it reports in question-and-answer format on the number and types of complaints it received regarding injury to dogs (as well as cats and a few people) after consumption of the treats, how it is following up on these complaints, and how it is working with other agencies on the matter. The update describes its inspection and laboratory testing efforts, as well.

Although some unapproved substances have been found in some samples, to date FDA has not been able to make a connection with their presence and the reported signs of adverse effects. Despite all this, no definitive answers have been found. The update goes on to advise the pet owner on signs to look for, what to do if he/she suspects a problem and how to file a complaint.

A few people  in the petfood industry have complained to me for years that this whole issue is simply a case of mass consumer hysteria, i.e., that the reason FDA can't pinpoint an etiologic factor is because there is no cause. As mentioned before (and for which I received some…

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