Toxic Treats: Chinese Dog Treats Linked To Over 1000 Deaths

blind_dogChina's flagWe have had a steady stream of tainted food and defective products from China, which is notorious for its lack of environmental and product safety enforcement. Now, more than dog deaths are believed to be linked to “toxic treats” from China and, given the under-reporting of such deaths, the number could be far higher. There have been roughly 5000 complaints since 2007 about jerky treats and pet deaths or illnesses.

Many of the cases involved gastrointestinal or liver disease and about a third involved kidney and urinary disease. The common factor appears to be chicken or duck jerky treat, or a jerky-wrapped treat from China. What is equally disturbing is that, while some treats say that they are made in the USA, they actually may contain Chinese ingredients. So, pet owners who routinely avoid Chinese products, may be unable to protect their pets by companies that use (but do not disclose) their Chinese ingredients. Under intense criticism and after New York state officials found antibiotics in their products, Nestlé Purina and Del Monte voluntarily pulled several popular chicken jerky treats made in China off the market. This included Nestlé Purina’s Waggin’ Train and Canyon Creek Ranch jerky treats as well as Milo’s Kitchen treats produced by Del Monte’s pet food division (Big Heart Pet Brands).

Dogs often show specific signs of sickness including vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy. However, the FDA continues to be stumped about the cause of the contamination.

We previously discussed this scandal but it appears to be continuing to get worse. The FDA just issued this warning.. It includes this information:

Source: Washington Post

Since 2007, FDA has become aware of an increasing number of illnesses in pets associated with the consumption of jerky pet treats. As of May 1, 2014, FDA has received approximately 4,800 reports of pet illnesses which may be related to consumption of the jerky treats (These include 1800 complaints received since FDA’s last update in October 2013). Most of the reports involve jerky products sourced from China. The majority of the complaints involve dogs, but cats also have been affected. The reports involve more than 5,600 dogs, 24 cats, three people and include more than 1,000 canine deaths. There does not appear to be a geographic pattern to the case reports.

FDA has received adverse event reports for many sizes and ages of dogs, and for multiple breeds. About 60 percent of the reports are for gastrointestinal illness (with or without elevated liver enzymes) and about 30 percent relate to kidney or urinary signs. The remaining 10 percent of cases involve a variety of other signs, including convulsions, tremors, hives, and skin irritation.

Part of the problem is that pet owners often face limited damages for the loss of pets, which are still treated as chattel. Class action lawsuits represent the best litigation option, but Chinese companies are notoriously difficult to sue.

Source: Washington Post

31 thoughts on “Toxic Treats: Chinese Dog Treats Linked To Over 1000 Deaths

  1. Nitewriter – (Love the name): Even though they have very low wages in China, it is amazing that it is still cheaper to grow the wheat here, ship it to China for processing, and then ship it back, than to keep the entire process in the US. And then we end up with a product we mistrust because it’s been handled in a country with a deservedly bad reputation for contamination.

  2. Darren – I completely agree that we should add a “not made in China” to the “made in America” labels. American consumers have an assumption that the products they buy here are safe. If China cannot live up to that expectation, then, indeed, it might be time for either a ban or a “use at your own risk” label.

    • Karen,

      If at least one company labelled a product that way, such as a dog food or treat since this industry has made much news, it would cause a real uproar in the Chinese government. Maybe they might get their act together, but it is not worth we as consumers taking the risk with products from there.

  3. I was giving our dog Abbie a jerky wrapped sweet potato dog treats made in China everyday from few months old to about 2 years old. Abbie started having sever seizures so i took her to the Vet. Our Vet first thought it was epileptic until I heard of dogs dieing from some China made treats. When i told the vet what I was giving Abbie she told me they were not on the list of unsafe treats. BUT I decided to change treats and buy USA made treats only and her SEIZURES STOPPED. I Told the Vet the seizures stopped shortly after I stopped giving them to her. The vet said she would update an online chat site a lot of vets use with my findings.

    It has been way over a year or maybe even two years and This morning I hear of a new warning. Again over 1000 dogs have died from jerky treats and this includes the jerky bacon wrapped sweet potato dog treats I was giving our Abbie that was made in China.

    Thanks you God I stopped giving Abbie the treats once I heard of the danger and noticed seizures or she would not be with us now.

    AGAIN please only give USA made treats and food to you dogs and cats!

  4. Just remember the FDA approved that China could process chicken from the US (chicken nuggets and other processed chicken) for human consumption and the companies do not have to label processed in china as processed does not need to be labeled

  5. My vote is to stop buying ALL products from China – and that includes processes and ingredients that currently preclude being labeled as “made in China”. The Chinese government has proven time and again that the U.S. is fair game for using toxic substances in their products. I was going to list some of them here, but there are too many to count. (Just google “toxic products from China” and you’ll see what I mean!). China is literally killing us and our pets – and our government is okay with this. Well, I’m not okay with this!

  6. […] The loophole in country-of-origins labels (COOL) worries many that they will not be able to choose to avoid Chinese products. Presumably, delis, schools, and stores can still alert consumers but those using the cheaper products are unlikely to do so (though presumably delis and stores could advertise that they are China-product free as many pet stores have done). […]

  7. THE LOWEST BIDDER GETS THE JOB – SO CAPITALIZUM GOES WHERE OR DOES WHAT EVER IS NECESSARY TO PRODUCE A PRODUCT AS CHEAP AS IT CAN – WHICH MOVES OUR JOBS AND INCOMES OUT OF THE COUNTRY -NOW YES IT IS ALL CHEAP AND OUR ECONOMY CANT AFFORD STUFF AND JOBS PAY NOTHING TO LIVE ON AND WE ARE SCREWED – CHINA IS NOT TO BLAME -WE ARE – WE INSIST ON CHEAP NOT GOOD – WE ARE GETTING WHAT WE WANTED AND TOO OUR GOVERNMENT CANT PROTECT US FROM ISSUES IN OTHER COUNTRIES !!!

    WORST YET IS WE ARE FULLY DEPENDANT ON OUTSIDE SOURCES AND “AT THEIR MERCY” and WE ARE VERY VULNERABLE TO BEING DESTROYED AS OUR ENEMIES CONTROL OUR SUPPLY LINES AND PRODUCT QUALITYs!!!

    WAKE UP PEOPLE ⁉️❓❗️‼️
    THIS IS BIG STUFF ❗️‼️
    DOG FOODs SUURRE BUT I RECALL TWO THREE YEARS AGO WHEN THERE WAS AN AMMUNITION ((BULLETS)) SHORTAGE – WWHHYY ❗️CAUSE IT IS ALMOST ALL MADE IN OTHER COUNTRYS NOW OR PURCHASED BY “AMERICAN” NAMED BIG BUSINESSES RUN BY THE BOTTOM LINE FOR PAYMENT TO THEIR INVESTORS – UUUSSS ❗️

    WE ARE BEING SOLD OUT – SLOW BUT CERTAINLY❗️

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