US pet owners have believed that Chinese companies are solely to blame in the numerous cases of tainted pet foods over the last several years. New information provided to TruthaboutPetFood.com tells a slightly different story. It has been reported that one US pet food and pet treat distributor instructed a Chinese manufacturer to add melamine to dog treats.
I was one of those US pet owners; I believed the deaths and illnesses of thousands of US and Canadian dogs and cats were due to reckless Chinese manufacturers. The more Chinese recalls that occurred (toothpaste, tires, drywall), the more it seemed to me that China had no quality control of any type of product manufacturing.
This morning I received an email from a Chinese pet treat manufacturer; the sole supplier of dog and cat treats for a US company most pet owners would be familiar with. The US company sells many different types of dog and cat treats and several different varieties of dog and cat foods. I corresponded several times with this representative of the Chinese manufacturer; he answered every one of my questions directly and openly. Knowing more information than I can report (because of lawsuit risks) of the US pet treat and pet food company, I believe the Chinese manufacturer. Below is a direct quote from his emails; the US company name and company owner has been XXX-ed out due to legal threats. You decide who you believe.
Subject: XXX is unsafe and not as advertised
Question/Comment: My family has been producing the XXX brand of dog treats in China for the past 4 years and recently they terminated our contract after we were told to report all irradiated pet food products to the Chinese government. This was an unfair blow to our business after following exact directions by the owner and founder Mr. XXXX, to 1. Irradiate the chicken and product as needed, 2. for financial reasons, use only 65% chicken and the remainder to be non-fowl filler … including
melamine, peanuts, bone fragment powder, etc … and 3. even though they advertised to use vitamins and herbs for stronger bones, etc., we never were allowed to include these because the cost would be too much.
XXX recently acquired 80% of the company for almost $20mm USD in December of 2008, and knew the product produced was in fact not as advertised. XXX was the lead investor for XXX and he was fully aware of the false advertising and potentially dangerous products being used. As early as January they were
informed of the full ingredients used and in fact informed our factory to continue shipping up until this past week when our contract was wrongly
We followed our directions from Mr. XXX and now we are paying the price so he can retain his face and destroy the reputation of our family. XXX is and has been a false product from the beginning. Please feel free to communicate with XXX and XXX further as we are being threatened to keep quiet by legal means.
Reply from my follow up questions…(The first sentence is response to my question if his family was at risk from Chinese government action due to putting melamine in the dog treats. I told him I know little of China other than media reports in the US and was concerned that by reporting this issue to the FDA, USDA, and my reporting on the issue, my concern was if perhaps he and his family would be at risk.)
We are not at risk and we have full documentation from XXX and XXX informing us to apply the fillers, irradiate the chicken and not add any vitamins and herbs to the product.
The Chinese government is the one who asked us to come forward. XXX and XXX informed us that they would destroy our family’s business opportunities in the future in the United States if we did talk. To be honest, we would rather this be told to the public than worry about what might happen to us. The US manufacturer instructed us to produce what we did and they sold that product for many years and made a lot of money from a false product which we do not want to be associated with. The current inventory for XXX made by our company will be on the shelves until at least July (2009).
The US company that sells this dog and cat treat (as well as other treats and a line of foods) emphasizes the word ‘natural’ in their advertising. If it is true what the Chinese manufacturer reports (again, from what I know of this US company, I believe it to be completely true), the dog and cat treats sold as ‘natural’ all over the US should be relabeled as ‘deadly’. The ingredient list is apparently completely false, and the treat is very likely permanently damaging the kidneys of countless dogs and cats as you are reading this.
I urged the Chinese company to report this to the USDA and to the FDA; they agreed and shared with me they will report it immediately. I have reported the US company to the FDA as well, forwarding all of the correspondence between myself and the Chinese company to the FDA.
I am not able to report to you the name of this US company nor the name of the treat because of legal threats. Until the FDA investigates (if the FDA investigates), or until the Chinese media reports the story and provides the documentation publically, the best advice I can give you is to continue to avoid all pet foods and treats with ingredients from China. However, this time when I give you that advice, it’s because of an apparently unscrupulous US company, not a Chinese company.