We’ve had several jerky treat recalls so far this year. In January Chinese manufactured jerky treats were recalled or pulled from store shelves. In February American manufactured jerky treats were recalled. Two similar companies from two different countries. You’re going to be surprised when the facts of the two recalls are compared. It’s called ‘Selective Enforcement’ and it’s not good.
In January 2013, after almost six years of investigation, the New York Department of Agriculture found illegal drug residues in several brands of Chinese manufactured jerky treats. At recall time, the FDA had received more than 3,000 reports of sick pets and more than 500 reports of dead dogs all linked to the Chinese manufactured treats. Several U.S. private label importers recalled or withdrew their treats from store shelves, but the Chinese manufacturer(s) has not issued a recall. The FDA has not issued one statement since the recalls. No answer to the connection of more than 3,000 pet illnesses and no answer to more than 500 pet deaths. No recalls or press releases listing the brand names of all the other jerky treats made by these same Chinese manufacturers. Nothing.
One month later, we found the FDA really busy with an American jerky treat manufacturer. They huffed and they puffed and they blew the American jerky treat house down. Demanding the manufacturer and numerous private label brands recall.
And – not only did the FDA show regulatory muscle, they were quite public about it too. It was almost as if they wanted to use Kasel Associates as an example. Through multiple press releases and inspection reports and warning letters, it felt as if the FDA was saying…’Look out food manufacturers, we have power now, and we can bring you down.’
That’s good right? The FDA should take a strong stance with contaminated food. But did they really?…there’s more to the story.
Question: If the FDA was so darn worried about the risk the Kasel Associates treats could cause, why did they wait five months to force their hand?
The FDA inspected Kasel Associates September 19 through September 28, 2012. The letter threatening the American jerky treat manufacturer to ‘recall or else’ wasn’t issued until February 13, 2013 – almost five months later. Again, if the FDA was so concerned “that there is a reasonable probability that an article of human or animal food is adulterated” isn’t five months a long time to wait? Allowing adulterated products to remain on store shelves…five months…seriously? And this is a show of regulatory muscle?
So all the while FDA was running around displaying their regulatory muscles with an American jerky treat manufacturer, we still have the Chinese jerky treat manufacturer(s) shipping dog treats to the U.S. without FDA concern.
We learned from the April inspection reports of multiple Chinese manufacturing facilities (which by the way the Chinese had one month to prepare for – the American company had five days) that…
• Several of the Chinese jerky treat manufacturers were in violation of the Bioterrorism Act.
• The Chinese jerky treat manufacturer refused to provide samples (87 samples were provided at the U.S. company).
• The Chinese jerky treat manufacturer refused to provide full disclosure of ingredients.
Warning Patriotism Alert
My Dad passed in 2010. He was a very patriotic man. There was an American flag flying in his yard, he supported the troops, he always voted. And should any friend purchase a foreign made car, you knew you’d be subject to his grief – including graphic language (sorry Dad – but you know it’s true!). He was a proud American.
Perhaps some of that American pride has rubbed off on me. Because what I’m seeing of this dubbed ‘FDA muscle’ is Selective Enforcement. I’m seeing the FDA holding an American Company to the letter of the law (though slow). And I’m seeing a foreign company being allowed to do just about anything they want and continue to ship products into the U.S. Two exact same companies – jerky treat manufacturers – one located in the U.S. and one located in China – each handled completely differently by FDA.
Years ago, I was fired from a job because I asked to be paid overtime (working an average of 50 hours a week – other employees in the same position were paid overtime but I never had been). I was crushed, so I sent a letter to (then) President Ronald Regan. A real letter – sent to Pennsylvania Avenue. Within about three weeks I received a knock at the door. It was a Department Head of the Department of Labor. Ronald Regan – or someone at the White House – read my letter and cared. So here goes again…(though this time I sent it email – times have changed)…
Dear President Obama,
As a concerned patriotic American, I ask you how can U.S. companies compete with foreign companies if they are not held to the same standards?
Recently, an American pet treat company experienced a recall after the Colorado Department of Agriculture found Salmonella in a dog treat. As follow up, the FDA inspected this American company and took 87 samples. The FDA used its regulatory authority and ‘urged’ this American manufacturer and numerous private label brands to recall. No pet deaths have been associated with this American company.
However, recently a Chinese pet treat company was inspected by FDA. This Chinese manufacturer would not allow FDA to take any samples, would not provide complete ingredient information to FDA, and many of the required individuals of the company were not present – unavailable during inspection. The Chinese company wasn’t registered with FDA according to the Bioterrorism Act. The FDA used no regulatory authority – in fact, this Chinese company showed FDA their muscles and the FDA went running back home. Jerky treats from China have been linked to more than 500 pet deaths per FDA reports.
This is not right. How can U.S. manufacturers survive if importing companies are provided with selective enforcement? I’m waving the U.S. flag here. We have to have someone level the playing field. Please, Mr. President – provide U.S. companies that level playing field. Hold foreign manufacturers to the same standards as U.S. manufacturers are held to.
A patriotic American,
Association for Truth in Pet Food
Pet Food Consumer Advocate
I am not condoning Kasel Associates by any means. Salmonella was found in their products and certainly a recall should be issued when it is found (and it should have been done five months earlier!).
What I’m saying here is what is good for the U.S. goose – should be good for the Chinese gander (or any other foreign manufacturer).
I ask the FDA to level the playing field for U.S. companies. Hold any foreign company to the same standards you hold American companies to. Stop Selective Enforcement. If they don’t, how can U.S. companies compete with any foreign company?
I think my Dad would be proud.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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