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Food & Water Watch responds to FDA update on jerky pet treat investigation

Food & Water Watch, a group whose goal is to ensure sustainable and safe food for consumption, issued a statement following the October 22 release of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)'s update to its investigation into pet illnesses and jerky treats from China.

According to Food & Water Watch: "[October 22], the Food and Drug Administration posted a long-awaited update on the agency's investigation into unsafe imported pet treats and illnesses in dogs linked to these treats. Food & Water Watch has urged the agency to update the public with more information about this situation for many months, and we appreciate the new information the agency posted today. But America's pets are still at risk from these potentially deadly treats.

"Since 2007, thousands of American dogs have fallen ill or died after eating jerky treats made in China. Today's update from the FDA showed a drop in reported illnesses since the decision by Nestlé Purina and DelMonte in January to recall their chicken jerky dog treats produced in China. This drop in reported illnesses indicates that there is likely some connection between illnesses and jerky treats imported from China. A recent Australian study described in FDA's update also points to strong links between pet illnesses in Australia and consumption of imported pet treats from China.

"But the source of the problem has still not been identified. And there are imported pet treats from China made by other companies still being sold in the United States. FDA should focus its inspection and laboratory activities on those imported pet treats and require more data from the companies to prove that the products are safe.

"Finally, the Obama administration needs to release the proposed rule on preventive controls for animal feed, including pet food, under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act. This proposed rule has been held up by the Office of Management and Budget for nearly two years."

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