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Chinese Imported Chicken Jerky Dog Treats

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Chicken Jerky Dog Treats from China in the Spotlight
September 2007

Preliminary information from The Pet Hospital, Banfield, in the US suggest that there is an association between dogs consuming chicken jerky products such as the “Waggin Train” product and gastrointestinal illness.

The dogs are experiencing vomiting, diarrhoea and blood in their stools. Dogs that are falling ill also have symptoms such as loss of appetite, lethargy, vomiting, increased thirst and increased urination. Tests carried out so far may indicate kidney failure. Although if caught early dogs can recover from the illness, some have sadly died already.

As yet the FDA have not issued a recall on the chicken jerky from Import-Pingyang Pet Product Co. and from Shanghai Bestro Trading. One dog owner said:

"Isn't this just like the FDA? They must protect the companies first ‘til they find the exact cause and to heck with the animals that may get ill."

Vicki Stone from California said her five year old Shih Tzu called Doc became ill after eating strips of the chicken jerky. Her vet, Dr Chris Holmes, said that the dog went into kidney failure and may not survive. He said:

"The dog is experiencing obvious kidney failure due to this melamine from Bestro chicken strips, the same brand that has been recalled before, and we have had problems with other animals being poisoned by melamine from a previous recall of pet food in March."

Dr Holmes is referring to the largest pet food recall in America 's history. Pet food ingredients from China were deliberately contaminated by the industrial chemical melamine causing the sickness and death of thousands of cats and dogs across the US. There are many stories emerging of dogs suddenly becoming ill, for example the Walmart story is covered

Dog Food Dangers

FDA are currently testing both products...

On August 23 rd 2007 it was announced that the FDA were testing both products but as yet had found no chemical or biological contamination. Wal- Mart has withdrawn all chicken jerky strips from all Wal-Mart stores and said that 17 tests made by them showed traces of melamine. The FDA are reviewing Wal-Marts lab reports that show 20 parts per million of melamine. FDA spokeswoman, Kimberly Rawlings said:

"This level of melamine would not be expected to result in animal illness ."

This is what first puzzled scientists investigating the last pet food recall. It seems that although melamine at such levels is not expected to cause sickness, it does and it is!

China has responded in defence of the safety of its products and has retaliated by claiming that American soybean exports contained poisonous weeds, pesticides and dirt. This almost childlike form of communication was also China 's response to the last contamination of their exported pet food ingredients. It may seem that the FDA is reluctant to take any official steps towards recalling yet another product from China if America 's soybean export is going to come under the spotlight.

Soybeans are the biggest single export to China with contracts totalling $2.07 billion. China purchases 40% of the US global exports of soybean. What are the lives of a few dogs compared to such a lucrative market for making money?

Chicken Jerky Ingredients

To manufacture chicken jerky the ingredients are sterilised by using irradiation to give a long shelf life. Food irradiation is a process by which food ingredients are exposed to ionising radiation to destroy bacteria, viruses, micro organisms or parasites. It is a form of sterilisation that does not require the food ingredients to be exposed to high temperatures to give a long shelf life.

High dose applications are used to sterilise packaged meat and other products that are to be sold on shelves without refrigeration. The label on Waggin Train Brand Chicken Jerky Tenders reads, “Irradiated food” and on Bestro's brand it says, “Irradiated, not for human consumption”.

There have been over 400 scientific studies submitted to the FDA linking irradiated foods to kidney failure and testicular cancer in animals. Effects from feeding irradiated foods in general are slow to emerge. The chicken jerky treats manufactured in China have been irradiated using a leftover bi-product of spent nuclear rods called “Cesium 137”.

Strangely this highly unnatural process of sterilising food products carries a symbol of a green circle with a green flower in the middle.

Dog Food Radura Symbol of Irradiation Called the “Radura” symbol, it is an FDA mandated warning that must be displayed on the packaging of all products that have been irradiated. The symbol's central dot portrays the radiation source, the two oval segments (leaves) are the biological shield to protect the workers and the outer ring represents the transport system. The symbol automatically brings to mind green pastures and
green products when nothing could
be further from the truth.

Whether or not the irradiation process or melamine is proven to be the cause of chicken jerky contamination remains to be seen. What is sure is that the same pattern is emerging as with the last pet food recall. As yet there has been no public announcement in the US, no official recall and the safety of food products from China continues to be a very worrying issue.

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