The most recent FDA jerky treat update included findings of a new drug in the treats. Questions were sent to FDA asking why consumers weren’t given the same consideration of information sharing as manufacturers and importers were. Here are their answers.

After the recent FDA jerky treat update, the following questions were sent to FDA.

In FDA’s most recent update on the jerky treat investigation, it states the agency found the drug “amantadine”. The report stated this drug is an adulterant, and that the agency notified Chinese authorities of its presence and notified US importers of its presence. This is so very concerning that everyone else except the consumer was alerted to this illegal drug. What treats (brands) was this drug found in? Lot numbers? Can someone explain why a recall was never issued? Can someone explain why the public was not notified of the adulterated treat names just as Chinese authorities and US importers were?

The FDA responded:

Hi Susan,

FDA does not believe that the amantadine discovered during recent testing of jerky pet treats from China contributed to reported illnesses because the known side effects or adverse events associated with amantadine do not seem to correlate with the symptoms seen in the jerky pet treat-related cases. Amantadine is an antiviral that is FDA-approved for use in people. It has also been used in an extra-label manner (using an approved drug in a way that isn’t listed on the label) in dogs for pain control, but FDA prohibited its use in poultry in 2006. However, amantadine should not be present at all in jerky pet treats, and we have notified the Chinese authorities that we consider the presence of amantadine in these products to be an adulterant. Chinese authorities have also assured us that they will perform additional screening and will follow up with jerky pet treat manufacturers. We have also notified the U.S. companies that market jerky pet treats found positive for amantadine of this finding.

In FDA’s most recent update on the jerky treat investigation, it states the agency found the drug “amantadine”. What treats (brands) was this drug found in? Lot numbers?

The brands that tested positive for amantadine included Milo’s Kitchen, Waggin Train, Beefeaters, PCI, and Dentley’s. FDA contacted the manufacturers to tell them of the findings and confirmed that these products are no longer available.

Can someone explain why a recall was never issued? Can someone explain why the public was not notified of the adulterated treat names just as Chinese authorities and US importers were?

The tested products were associated with illnesses reported to the FDA and were purchased by the owners of those pets a year or more ago.  These products are no longer available in US stores or online. FDA is in the process of conducting a survey assignment of both domestic and imported jerky pet treats for amantadine, as well as other antivirals. Of the 13 samples analyzed thus far, none have tested positive for antivirals.

Megan Bensette
Communications and Public Engagement
Office of Foods and Veterinary Medicine
U.S. Food and Drug Administration

I responded to FDA…

Thank you Megan for this explanation.

I would like for it to go on record – from Association for Truth in Pet Food (pet food consumer association) – that in the future, consumers deserve the same information that manufacturers and importers receive and in the same time frame. While this amantadine information was – as you explain – dated, consumers still deserved to be alerted as manufacturers and importers were. By not being forthcoming with consumers in the same fashion FDA was with industry – even though it could have been an innocent scenario on FDA’s part – this does give the appearance that consumer safety is last on the FDA’s agenda. Association for Truth in Pet Food urges FDA to give consumers equal consideration as industry.

Thanks again for your answers –
Susan Thixton

 

Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,

Susan Thixton
Pet Food Safety Advocate
Author Buyer Beware, Co-Author Dinner PAWsible
TruthaboutPetFood.com
Association for Truth in Pet Food

What’s in Your Pet’s Food?
Is your dog or cat eating risk ingredients?  Chinese imports?  Petsumer Report tells the ‘rest of the story’ on over 2500 cat foods, dog foods,  and pet treats.  30 Day Satisfaction Guarantee. www.PetsumerReport.com

 

Listimagesmall

 

2014 List
Susan’s List of trusted pet foods.  Click Here

 

 

Have you read Buyer Beware?  Click Here

Cooking for pets made easy, Dinner PAWsible

Find Healthy Pet Foods in Your Area Click Here