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2015-05-21

My View - Wal-Mart's private label jerky linked to 23 sick dogs, 3 deaths

By Susan Thixton Truthaboutpetfood.com

WSBTV.com, an Atlanta television station, has reported that a Wal-Mart private label brand of jerky treat, which is imported from China, is linked to 23 sick dogs including 3 deaths. When will this madness stop?
To date, jerky treats imported from China have been killing and causing serious illness in dogs and a few cats for more than eight years. Officials with the Federal Drug Administration continue to tell pet food consumers they are investigating, but for some reason the FDA can't seem to find the cause. Only with instances reported to FDA - a small percentage of the actual amount - jerky treats imported from China "are suspected in 4,800 pet illnesses and 1,000 dog deaths."
WSBTV.com stated this Wal-Mart private label jerky treat was brought into stores in 2014. Why, with eight years of reports of pet death and illness linked to Chinese-manufactured jerky treats, would Wal-Mart go to China to source their own private label brand?
Wal-Mart provided the television station with the following comment (bold added): "Exhaustive FDA tests have been performed with no conclusive connection linking specific brands or types of chicken jerky treats with claims of illness or injury. We require our pet food and treat suppliers to meet the highest of food safety standards and remain committed to providing our customers and their pets with safe and affordable foods. If consumers have questions about these products, we encourage them to reach out to the FDA or the manufacturers of these products."
I sent the following statement to Wal-Mart:
"In a statement to WSB-TV about your private label brand of jerky treats, Golden Rewards, being linked to numerous pet deaths and illness, a Wal-Mart spokesman told the television station, 'If consumers have questions about these products, we encourage them to reach out to the FDA or the manufacturers of these products.'
"As a pet food-treat consumer advocate, I can tell you with 100 percent certainty that consumers have begged and pleaded with FDA over the past eight years regarding the safety of jerky treats imported from China - while these treats have continued to kill and sicken pets. All of our pleas have gone ignored.
"Your statement that consumers should 'reach out to the manufacturer' is disturbing. These treats are manufactured in China. Exactly who should we call in China when our pet dies linked to these treats?
"Your spokesman also stated to WBS-TV, 'We require our pet food and treat suppliers to meet the highest of food safety standards ...' Wal-Mart should be aware this is an incorrect statement. The brands of pet foods sold in Wal-Mart stores are not held to any 'food' safety standard.
"The correct and accurate statement that should have been provided to WBS TV is 'We require our pet food and treat suppliers to meet the highest of feed safety standards ...' For your information, pet foods are held to feed safety standards, which is completely opposite of food safety standards.
"The FDA allows feed to include meats sourced from diseased animals and other horrendous non-food ingredients, feed ingredients such as meats sourced from diseased animals are not required to be held or transported under refrigeration or under clean conditions.
"To be painfully honest, actual feed safety standards are almost non-existent."
How can a Chinese jerky treat outsmart the FDA for eight years? Chinese jerky treats-4,800 pet illnesses and 1,000 dog deaths, FDA-0. It is difficult to understand that jerky treats manufactured in China can continue to kill pets yet somehow elude the FDA to the cause. It doesn't make sense.
This eight-year FDA investigation needs to end. Find the cause and get these treats off store shelves once and for all.