The American Food and Drug administration still can’t identify the contaminants in the Chinese-made jerky treats that killed 600 pets, and sickened almost 4,000 others. The fact that investigators had an easier time figuring out that the KGB used ricin to off Bulgarian dissidents speaks volumes about the state of Chinese food safety. Washington Post reports:
The FDA says it has tested more than 1,200 jerky treats in recent years, looking for salmonella, mold, pesticides, toxic metals, outlawed antibiotics, nephrotoxins and other contaminants. Federal officials have inspected factories in China that manufacture chicken jerky products for U.S. companies and sought input from academics, state and university research labs, foreign governments and the pet food industry. The agency even made its own jerky treats to try to duplicate the commercial process. Still, it hasn’t figured out the cause.
FDA investigators say that the illnesses overwhelmingly affect dogs but that some cats have been made ill. The majority of complaints involve chicken jerky but also include treats in which chicken or duck jerky is wrapped around dried fruit, sweet potatoes or yams. Officials said there’s no clear pattern based on breed or geography — pets have been sickened in every state, as well as in countries such as Australia — and the problems don’t seem specific to any particular brand or manufacturer.
Until the agency is able to zero in on a specific toxin, officials say, it can do little more than warn people about the potential dangers of jerky treats. “Unless a contaminant is detected and we have evidence that a product is adulterated,” the agency said in one update, “we are limited in what regulatory actions we can take.”
So basically, steer-clear of Chinese-made doggie treats, and Chinese-made “any type of food imports” for that matter.