In February 2013 (more than six months ago), our consumer association provided the FDA and each State Department of Agriculture with import documentation proving that Dogswell Jerky Treats were imported from the very same manufacturer as recalled Milo’s Kitchen Jerky Treats. But no one decided to do anything about it. Six months later – surprise, surprise – illegal drug residues were found in the Dogswell treats. Oh but there is more to the story…
Sent February 18, 2013 to FDA and to each state’s Department of Agriculture (as listed in the AAFCO Official Publication) were letters asking each agency to take action to remove risky treats from store shelves. We provided a detailed spread sheet listing import documentation from several Chinese jerky treat manufacturers – Shandong Honva and Yantai Aska. We provided evidence that these Chinese jerky treat manufacturers produced the recalled Milo’s Kitchen and Hartz jerky treats. And we provided evidence these same Chinese manufacturers sold treats to numerous other private label brands – including Dogswell.
Our letter stated…“You will find import documents of recalled Milo’s Kitchen pet treats (tested by New York Department of Agriculture, found to contain illegal drug residues). You will also find import documents proving treats sold by Dogswell and United Pet Group are purchased from the same Chinese manufacturer as recalled Milo’s Kitchen treats. If New York Department of Agriculture found illegal drug residues in Milo’s Kitchen – sourced from Shandong Honva, one would have to assume that treats from this Chinese manufacturer sold to private label brands Dogswell and United Pet Group would contain the same illegal drug residues. We ask you to take swift action to remove these treats from store shelves.”
Plus we provided them with even more concerns of risky treats on store shelves: “You will find import documents of withdrawn Hartz Mountain pet treats (Hartz private testing found illegal drug residues). You will also find import documents proving treats sold by Shanghai Adam & Co (importer of record), Sales Marketing Professionals (importer of record), Petrapport, Pets Pacifica, and Pet Ventures are purchased from the same Chinese manufacturer as withdrawn Hartz treats. If the Hartz treats were found to contain illegal drug residues – sourced from Yantai Aska, one would have to assume that treats from this Chinese manufacturer sold to various private label brands (many unknown) would contain the same illegal drug residues. We ask you to take swift action to remove these treats from store shelves.”
But here we are six months later and now the treats were found to contain illegal drug residues. The drug found in the Dogswell treats – sulfaclozine. The very same drug found in other recalled/withdrawn jerky treats back in January 2013.
In my search to discover the drug found in the Dogswell treats, it seemed I couldn’t get anyone to talk at the New York Department of Agriculture. Which is unlike other experiences myself or fellow pet food safety advocate Mollie Morrissette has had with the NY Department of Agriculture. In the past, they had always been open. But this time the only individual that would speak to me was Joe Morrisey of Public Relations. He stated he would email me information about the testing. This didn’t seem too significant at the time, but then…
I made a call to Dogswell – I ended up speaking with Brad Armistead. I had some questions regarding the press release Dogswell sent out stating “As of January, we have been using state-of-the-art testing on each batch of chicken and duck jerky to ensure that they do not contain these unapproved antibiotics. All of the products that you see on the shelf have passed testing and were approved to be sold.” And Brad of Dogswell shared some interesting information….
I asked…‘If you’ve been testing your treats since January – as was stated in your press release – why didn’t you find the illegal antibiotics as NY Department of Agriculture did?’
Brad: ‘The NY Department of Agriculture tested our jerky back in January, but didn’t notify us until 7/22’.
What? The NY Department of Agriculture tested Dogswell jerky treats back in January – 6 months ago – but didn’t alert Dogswell (or the public) until late July?
Several follow-up calls and emails to NY Department of Agriculture have not been replied to. I asked them…(NY Dept of Ag did respond to initial request of what drug was found – this email was in reply to that)…
Thanks Joe. But there is another concern I’ve just been made aware of. Dogswell told me NY Dept of Ag tested their treats in January – yet only notified the company on 7/22/13 – six months later. Is this correct? When did NY Dept of Ag test Dogswell jerky treats?
What is NY Dept of Ag protocol in reporting an illegal substance – adulterated product? Was FDA notified of your test results? If so, when was FDA notified?
I don’t know when we will get a response on this. When any response is received, it will be posted. If NY Department of Agriculture does not respond, Association for Truth in Pet Food will do a Freedom of Information Act request for a copy of the jerky treat testing.
If – and it must be stated as an if – if New York Department of Agriculture tested the Dogswell jerky treats in January (as Dogswell stated), but did not notify the company (and in turn the public) until July 22 – the agency has a serious problem. Pet food consumers deserve to know what happened, what failed, and what the NY Department of Agriculture is going to do to fix this serious problem.
And one last point. Our letter to FDA and each State Department of Agriculture also provided ample evidence that the illegal drugs found in the jerky treats was the reason for the thousands of pet deaths and illnesses. (Read Mollie Morrissette’s post that explains it all Here) And to date, FDA or any State Department of Agriculture has responded to the science provided them.
Something has to change. Our pets are not expendable property.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
What’s in Your Pet’s Food?
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