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Jerky Treat Freedom of Information Act Request

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  1. pugsrus

    I stopped giving jerky treats a couple years ago when the reports of illness first started. My dogs have done just fine without jerky treats! I still have 6 lbs of Waggin Train Chicken Jerky just sitting in a box on the shelf.

    1. Pacific Sun

      Why? Take it back and demand a refund. A retailer is almost bound to accept back a pet product that is dangerous or is harming your pet. Believe it or not those returns are usually tracked, so it’s the distributor/manufacturer which takes the loss, not the store. That way, you’re acting as a continuing reminder that these products are not acceptable in the marketplace. Other customers may take note of your actions as well.

      1. Lorie

        Take them back for sure.!! They charged a small fortune for these Jerkey.! I called this company regarding their chicken and the reason they gave me for using China for their chicken was>……China only uses dark meat so they get a huge discount for the breast meat!! !~!!! What a crock.!! Crooked Bastards!! Trying to make a buck not worried in the least about the welfare of our pets.

  2. Tattie Bellucci

    Susan,

    I cannot begin to express my depth of gratitude for all that you do for our beloved pets.

    It is indeed mind blowing that, as I sit here next to my shihtzu, Livvie that he has no clue what lengths you go to protect him. Clueless, absolutely clueless.

    He will thank you someday, somehow. Before then, I hope my bountiful gratitude suffices.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      Thank you! Give Livvie a hug from me.

  3. Mollie Morrissette

    Makes you wonder, doesn’t it? People may pooh pooh the amounts as minimal and inconsequential, but anyone with an allergy can tell you these amounts are anything but. To obfuscate the truth by minimizing the number of positive test results and the residue levels found can only have been done to preserve the U.S. trade relationship with China. There simply is no other rational explanation.

    Except maybe that Toonces is at the wheel or someone forget to fact check their documents.

    Either way – it spells bad.

    Personally, I hope the attorneys have a field day with this information, because, after all when the PF feel the pain in their wallet, perhaps then they will think twice about screwing over the American consumer.

    Even if the courts award consumers a nominal amount, the shame and disgrace this brings to these companies will surely have a much greater negative financial effect than any settlement or award would ever could bring to their bottom line.

    Yet, one has to wonder then what in hell are they thinking by continuing to important millions upon millions of tons of dehydrated poultry product from China – even after years of bad press?

    Are they counting on the American public to have a sudden case of collective amnesia and be overcome with a feeling of warmth and forgiveness for the careless and irresponsible US corporations that continue to poison their pets?

    Help me out here – because I haven’t a clue.

    1. Tattie Bellucci

      I was reading a book not too long ago about the testing that goes into our pharmaceuticals. It explained that though there is considerable testing and much research what ultimately happens is that when the results get back, that they’ve paid millions for BTW, they simply fudge the reports so that the drugs look great in spite of the testing and research.
      I feel strongly that only the rich profit from capitalism. I hate our system that allows so many to suffer in the name of a dollar.

      Thanks Mollie and Susan, sooo much.

      1. Yvonne McGehee

        Agreed.

    2. Peter

      Yes but while the amounts may be “minimal” it is the cumulative effect that can cause illness and even death. Lousy food and adulterated treats fed over the lifetime of the dog are not “inconsequential.” It is a slow poisoning, and places a burden on the immune system of the dog over its entire lifetime. And that burden may perhaps overwhelm the dogs ability to fight other illness or disease. Who knows how this many manifest? You have correctly identified the problem… and you make a good point about “bad press.” But Del Monte made a choice to go cheap. When we make the choice to go cheap, we must accept the results and the cost.

      1. Pacific Sun

        Well said Peter. That’s the underlying problem with commercial PF. It isn’t designed to enhance our Pet’s nutritional foundation to preserve longevity. It’s formulated just to sustain the pet for an expected averaged lifespan. Because it’s built on the model of “livestock feed” which again only serves a “food producing animal” for a limited number of years. IF commercial PF is so spectacular then why aren’t these companies producing long term records and comparison studies about companion animals living super long, healthy lives? Well they probably DO have the studies … except the public would be horrified to know the truth. Purina (the original Checkerboard Square business) had been doing animal trials for decades. Hmmm, they kind of handed over their business … didn’t they. Thanks for the great comment Peter!

        1. Peter

          The gruesome nutrition “studies” that Iams conducted years ago were exposed and P&G was embarrassed and vigorously denied and attempted to cover-up. Look into the parameters for dog food development and testing and the wondrous AAFCO seal of “approval.” The “truth” is that long-term testing of these products has NEVER been done: it is the dog guardian himself who conducts “lifetime” testing with his own pet. These foods don’t even “sustain” our dogs. These so-called “convenience foods” are a recent phenomenon: dry foods materialized only in the last few decades. During that time, the average lifespan of dogs has declined by 18%; and the cellular lifespan (how long cells live and reproduce/replace themselves) of dogs is nearly double the actual average lifespan. If modern dog foods are as nutritious as advertisements claim they are, why do dogs die so young?

          1. Mollie Morrissette

            Not only that, but it is believed that the diseases of the musculoskeletal system in dogs are linked to malnutrition; malnutrition resulting from decades of highly processed, grain-based commercial pet food diets.

            Susan sent me a fascinating article about a book that has concluded that, despite 30 years of research into the genetic cause of hip dysplasia in dogs (CHD), no genetic correlation was found, but in fact only began to occur widely in many species of dogs around the time of the Depression when cheap pet food became widely available. The problem is thought to be caused by a lifetime of inadequate nutrition (malnutrition), especially during the early years of a dog’s life when the formation of bones occurs.

            The book written on the topic, “The Thirty Years’ War 1966-1996”, has been suppressed by two European kennel clubs and Waltham. Incredibly, the article says that “the Bundestierärztekammer (BTK) (Federal German Veterinary Authority), the VDH (German Kennel Club) and the Waltham/Effem company boycotted the book on the basis of cartel agreements and suppressed reviews and reports in the veterinary literature, the societies and the media.” They somehow managed to convince a judge the book should be banned.

            What were they so afraid of?

            The authors believe that breeding programs and industrially produced dog food in its present form cannot hope to bring about any fundamental improvements in the incidence of canine hip dysplasia because CHD is not heritable and because existing dog food does not prevent, but is in fact the original cause of CHD. In these authors’ view, canine hip dysplasia is induced solely by malnutrition.

            Read the article here: http://www.naturalcanines.com/gpage1.html. It’s a fascinating read, more of which I am sure Susan will educate us about.

          1. Regina

            That was an excellent article on Hip Dysplasia! Thanks for sharing it, Mollie!

  4. Regina

    First of all, Susan and Mollie, Thank you for everything you do for our furbabies. We can never thank you enough.

    I cannot believe this Chinese Jerky story is STILL dragging on.

    I can’t believe how many people still buy treats from China. Anything (food, toys, etc.) that goes in my furbabies’ mouths is from the USA. There have been too many stories about problems with stuff from China.

    I was talking to a fellow customer in a pet store not too long ago. He mentioned that he could not find his dog’s favorite treats any more. I told him that that brand had been pulled from the shelves because of the Chinese jerky being contaminated. I told him I find it easiest to only buy things from the USA, and to avoid anything from China, because I don’t want to take any chances with my pets. Well, I’ll be danged, he picked up a bag of treats, didn’t look to see where they were made, and took his dog more treats from China, good old “Dogswell” brand.

    I will never buy anything from Dogswell. Some of their treats have the flag on the front, proudly claiming to be from the USA, while the rest of their treats still have “made in china” in small print on the back. I’m sure there are people out there who assume that since some of their stuff is from USA, that it all is.

    Just for kicks, I just went to the Dogswell website, and here’s what I found after clicking on the button “jerky pet treat notice”

    (this is just the first paragraph)

    The FDA Jerky Pet Treat Ongoing Investigation – What You Should Know

    You may have heard that the FDA has been conducting an ongoing investigation over the past few years into claims that certain jerky treats may have caused injury to pets. During that time, they have tested over 1,200 samples and have not discovered anything that they believe would cause a pet harm. On October 22nd, 2013, the FDA posted an update on this matter and requested help from veterinarians who encountered dogs that had health issues that might somehow have been connected to jerky treats. Numerous news outlets ran stories related to this recent FDA posting despite the fact that the investigation has been going on for years without any conclusion.

    here’s the url: http://www.dogswell.com/qualityassurance

    I hope there’s a good supply of water for when their pants eventually burst into flames.

    1. Mollie Morrissette

      Thank you Regina. Don’t forget processed meat is exempt from COOL laws – so Made in the USA is largely meaningless. Not only that, there is no law requiring manufacturers to label the COO of the ingredients in their products.

      Unfortunately, Dogswell and others continue to use the FDAs lack of action as an excuse for keeping them on the market. There has been a conclusion – drug hypersensitivity syndrome – the FDA tells me they need more scientific data proving it. Meanwhile, it stays on the market and pets continue to get ill and die.

  5. Peter

    Freedom of Information statutes may vary slightly from state to state, but generally, the “respondent” (in this case, the FDA) is required to respond within 20 days and if does not provide the requested documents, state the reason(s) that it cannot or will not provide them. Since the FDA has not responded, you could file a complaint with your state’s FOI Commission, and 1) ask for the Commission to direct compliance, (they would docket and schedule a hearing) and 2) ask for civil damages. One issue you may have is that some states specify a specific filing timeframe, that is, for example, 30 days from the specified “violation.”

    1. Peter

      In the case of a federal agency, it is called an administrative appeal. I’m not clear just how long they are able to take to “respond” or claim that they need more time, but in either case, that is done in writing. There is a public liaison that can provide the information.

  6. April

    Hello Susan, Thank you for following up on this serious issue. I just read the NY Times article, “Wal-Mart Recalls Donkey Product in China After Fox Meat Scandal” and there is a statement that will baffle you further: “Yum has struggled to recover sales in China more than a year after a chicken supplier to KFC in the country was found to have used excess levels of antibiotics.” ANTIBIOTICS!!!! Does that mean the chicken meat that was rejected by Yum Brands/KFC ended up being sold to a chicken jerky treat manufacturer? Here’s the link: http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2014/01/02/business/02reuters-walmart-china.html?hp&_r=0

    1. Mollie Morrissette

      What it means is there are no rules.

      The mass drugging of animals kept in captivity is an endemic problem worldwide – not just in China. Drug residues are mostly problematic in countries with poor quality control, where corruption and bribery are a part of the fabric of the culture.

      But more importantly, the real reason it occurs with such abandon is animals cannot survive the horrific conditions in concentrated feeding operations – where disease, filth, malnutrition, stress, severe crowding and confinement – without massive amounts of antibiotics.

      China is simply slaughtering the chickens before withdrawing the medicines. It happens here too, but to a lesser extent.

      And in China they have the added problem that many of the manufacturers operate within a cottage industry, where there is little to no oversight, where they can and do almost anything they like.

      It’s very sad.

      1. Peter

        A quick and concise summary of the issues revolving around CAFOs (confined animal feeding operations), otherwise known as “factory farming” or more simply put, the ordinary business of food production. We should all be ashamed. Thank you for commenting on this!

  7. April

    Hello Susan, I looked up sulfaquinoxyline, it’s a sulfa drug added to animal feed specifically for chickens, turkeys and rabbits. It worries me on so many levels that these poultry farmers overseas are not following the prescribed dosage, may be selling chicken that was not quarantined for 10 days or possibly be feeding egg-producing chickens sulfa drugs. Below are the links. Thanks again!
    http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/cfrsearch.cfm?fr=558.586

    “Jerky Pet Treat Investigation Report link: http://www.fda.gov/downloads/animalveterinary/safetyhealth/productsafetyinformation/ucm371485.pdf

    “FDA Progress Report on Ongoing Investigation into Jerky Pet Treats” link: http://www.fda.gov/animalveterinary/safetyhealth/productsafetyinformation/ucm371465.htm

  8. Susan

    THANK YOU for posting this – we lost a dog to what might be these AKC Treats (severe kidney failure at age 6, healthy before, three types of rat poison found in tissue biopsies) and never heard back from the FDA or AKC. I still have an unopened bag I purchased at the same time – where can I get it tested? I don’t trust the FDA. Thanks!

  9. Eileen Sedlacek

    MAKE YOUR OWN JERKY. Easy….

    Slice chicken breasts fairly thin….lay on foil in your oven on racks.
    BAKE 250F for about 3 hours. Pit in plastic bag in fridge or freeze for a month or so. They love it and there is nothing but the chicken in it…be sure not to use imported Dyson chicken from China.

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