FDA Pants on Fire?
Some very startling information regarding the FDA statement on Chinese imported jerky treats has reared its ugly head. Did the FDA make a HUGE error when they reported to the world about their 7 year jerky treat investigation…or did they lie to millions of concerned pet food/pet treat consumers? You decide.
In late October 2013, the FDA released a massive ‘update’ on their almost seven year investigation into the thousands of pet deaths and illnesses related to made in China jerky dog and cat treats. Among the numerous documents the FDA released, the agency provided a 21 page document detailing the many tests the agency claims has been done on the Chinese jerky treats including the results of said tests. Of specific interest were the test results from “New York State Laboratory” – who found illegal antibiotic residues in the imported jerky treats resulting in many of the treats being pulled from store shelves (January 2013).
FDA told the world – in their October 2013 jerky treat investigation update…
Page 8 – under “New York State Laboratory”
- The highest Tetracycline product result was 0.04 ppm (tolerance 2 ppm)
- The highest concentration Sulfaquinoxaline detected was 0.041 ppm (tolerance 0.1 ppm)
- The highest concentration Sulfaclozine detected was 0.257 ppm (no tolerance level exists)
- The highest concentration Enrofloxacin detected was 0.132 ppm (FDA made no statement of tolerance level)
- The highest concentration Tilmicosin detected was 0.005 ppm (FDA made no statement of tolerance level).
But…the above information does not match – agree with – or seem to be the same as – what the New York Department of Agriculture (New York State Laboratory) is reporting…
In a blog post on the Association for Public Health Laboratories website – about two weeks after the FDA released the update quoted above – Robert Sheridan, Chemist for New York State Department of Agriculture wrote…(bold added)
“In all we found six antibiotics including Sulfaclozine, Sulfaquinoxaline, Sulfamethoxazole, Tilmicosin, Trimethoprim and Enrofloxacin. The concentrations of these drugs ranged from 1.0 to 2000 ng/g (ppb). Not every jerky treat contained one of these drugs and many contained more than one. Almost every bag had several pieces that contained at least one of the six drugs. (Sulfaquinoxaline is approved by FDA to be used in chickens bound for consumption as long as residues in chicken meat are below a set level. Several jerky treats with that antibiotic exceeded the FDA maximum allowable level. The other drugs are not allowed by FDA at any concentration in chicken.)”
Changing parts per billion (ppb – how New York stated concentrations) to parts per million (ppm – how FDA stated concentrations)…The New York Department of Agriculture found concentrations of drugs ranged from .001 to 2.0 parts per million.
Let’s make this very clear…
Quite a difference huh? Also –
|FDA told the public NY found||Sulfaquinoxaline below legal tolerance|
|NY reported they found||several treats exceeded Sulfaquinoxaline legal tolerance|
And there is another confirmation that the information the FDA told the public doesn’t match with the actual New York Department of Agriculture results…
After the NY Department of Agriculture found illegal drugs and illegal amounts of drugs in the Chinese jerky treats, Veterinary Information Network (VIN) News did a Freedom of Information Act request of New York Department of Agriculture for the actual test results of the jerky treats. In April 2013 VIN News reported (bold added) “the lab detected five antibiotics: sulfaclozine, sulfaquinoxiline, tilmicosin, trimethroprim and enrofloxacin. Levels range from a few parts per billion to, in one instance, 1,596 ppb.”
Converting what VIN News reported as NY Department of Agriculture results to parts per million (ppm) to match how FDA provided results…VIN News is saying New York Department of Agriculture test results found levels ranging from very small amounts to almost 1.6 parts per million (ppm). So again, we have a dramatic discrepancy…
Further, VIN News stated “The amount of sulfaquinoxaline detected by the New York lab exceeded the regulatory tolerance of 0.1 ppm (100 ppb) in at least one sample.” But remember – the FDA told the public in October 2013 NY found “The highest concentration Sulfaquinoxaline detected was 0.041 ppm”.
I requested from NY Department of Agriculture and FDA the test results and all correspondence between the two agencies (relating to this testing). This Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request was sent to both agencies on November 3, 2013. Somehow, the NY Dept of Ag FOIA request was lost – resent on November 22, 2013. Per Freedom of Information Act laws, the request must be answered within 20 days or the requester (me) must be provided with a reason why there would be a delay. The FDA’s 20 days have passed and the agency has not provided me with a response as to why they have not responded. I also asked VIN News for a copy of their test results they received through FOIA request – they would not share.
Big question #1
Did the FDA lie to the public or did they simply make a HUGE error in reporting the test results of the jerky treats?
Big questions #2
How is it going to make you feel when you see Waggin Train jerky treats back on store shelves?
Import documents acquired by Association for Truth in Pet Food show more than 4.5 million pounds of jerky treats are on their way from China to U.S. pet stores – right now! Click Here to view import records.
With other recalled or withdrawn from market pet products that are put back on store shelves (as example a pet food that was recalled due to high vitamin content or bacteria contamination), the FDA oversees that the manufacturer has corrected the ‘problem’. Such as a vitamin error or bacteria contamination error, FDA and/or State Department of Agriculture representatives oversee the correction before the products return to store shelves.
But with Chinese jerky treats…the ‘fix’ would have to come from thousands (possibly hundreds of thousands) of poultry producers in China. Illegal antibiotics were found in the jerky treats. The illegal drugs were fed to poultry in China (included in their feed). The fix to prevent future jerky recalls in the U.S. – prevent future deaths and illnesses of U.S. pets – would take every single poultry producer in China to change the type of drugs they use in poultry feed.
Did I miss the press release from China stating that the entire country is using different/safe/legal in the U.S. antibiotics in their poultry feed to assure that U.S. pets won’t die? I didn’t think so.
I didn’t think the jerky treat madness could get any worse…but it just has. I’m not the biggest fan of the FDA, but I didn’t think they would ever blatantly lie to millions of U.S. consumers. Sadly, I am not totally sure they didn’t do just that. Purina/Waggin Train…how could you? I just don’t understand how no one is willing to stop this Chinese jerky treat madness. Just how many pets have to die?
Fellow pet food safety advocate Mollie Morrissette will be asking FDA face to face about these discrepancies in lab results tomorrow. Mollie is representing Association for Truth in Pet Food members and speaking at the final Food Safety Modernization Act proposed regulations meeting in California. She will provide us with full details soon. When or if the FDA ever provides us our Freedom of Information Act request – it will be provided to all.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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