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2012-08-23

No more Milo's Kitchen dog treats at Safeway

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

Executives with a major grocery store chain have announced their stores will no longer carry Milo's Kitchen dog treats after the product has been anecdotally to dog deaths and illnesses.

With last week's announcement, Safeway became the first nation-wide grocery chain to discontinue offering the allegedly suspect treats. While Safeway doesn't operate grocery stores in the Hill Country, Milo's Kitchen products are carried by Wal-Mart.

The Safeway action, which was announced to an NBC news affiliate in California, is strictly a voluntary decision. No formal recall of chicken jerky products produced in China and sold under the name Milo's Kitchen has been enacted.

Company officials indicated they would leave the remaining stock of Milo's Kitchen chicken jerky dog treats on the shelves. After the treats sold out, they would place no additional orders.

In related news, administrators with the Federal Drug Administration also announced the agency would expand its investigation into possibly tainted dog treats. Although the FDA hasn't issued a recent recall of dog treats, products now included in the investigation - in addition to chicken jerky treats - are sweet potato jerky treats and duck jerky treats.

Due to an increasing number of consumer complaints, Waggin' Train treats from Nestle and treats sold under the name Kingdom Pets are now under scrutiny. FDA investigators revealed that their agency had received the most complaints about these brands.

Decisions by officials with both Safeway and FDA was prompted by literally thousands of complaints from pet owners in the United States and Australia, who reported that their dogs had become seriously ill or died after eating certain chicken jerky treats imported from China.

In response, Nestle officials noted that their products undergo extensive safety tests. On its website,

http://waggintrainbrand.com/quality_video.html,

Nestle posted a video showing pet owners how the Waggin' Train treats are made.

Kingdom Pets also posts testing data on its site,

http://thekingdompets.com/news.php?kb=1048.

The website notes that the company's chicken jerky treats are purchased from the "same suppliers for KFC China and McDonald's China" and "not one sample has tested positive for known contaminants."

For its part, the FDA said complaints from pet owners have increased in the past nine months. No recalls have been issued because, to date, FDA testing has been unable to link consumption of chicken jerky treats to illnesses in pets. However, according to reports, the agency will continue to test samples for potentially harmful chemicals.

Pet owners should be aware the most common symptoms listed in these complaints include vomiting, diarrhea and lack of appetite.

For more information on FDA testing of jerky treats for dogs, visit

http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/SafetyHealth/ProductSafetyInformation/ucm295445.htm.

For a 97-page report recently released by the FDA on their testing, visit

http://media.nbcbayarea.com/documents/pettreatsnew.pdf.