The American Food and Drug Administration has tallied up some 600 deaths and 3,600 illnesses among pets who have consumed jerky treats manufactured in China. The exact source of the contamination is still unknown, but many are speculating that the treats had been laced with unapproved antibiotics.
The pets have been experiencing kidney and urinary diseases after consuming the jerky, and all signs point to China, as NBC News reports:
The agency has repeatedly cautioned that the treats are not necessary for a balanced diet, but the warnings stop short of a recall, Hartogensis said. The agency is still validating tests to detect the same kind of antibiotic residue that New York officials found earlier this year. […]
“I think that what it tells us is that the intoxicant is something that we’re not used to dealing with as a toxin in North America,” she said. […]
That doesn’t sit well with pet owners like Robin Pierre of Pine Bush, N.Y., who contends that Waggin’ Train chicken jerky treats were responsible for the sudden death in 2011 of her previously healthy 2-year-old pug, Bella, who developed kidney failure. She has long called for FDA to crack down on treat makers — and manufacturers.
“I am disgusted that our government continues to protect corporate American and China,” she told NBC News. “They need to start protecting the American consumer so that this does not happen again. As soon as a product is in doubt, a warning label should be placed at the point of sale so that consumers can make an educated choice.”