by Dennis Kucinich
Washington, Aug. 24 2012
Five Year Investigation, Thousands of Sick and Dead Dogs, Tainted Jerky Still on the Shelves – FDA Refuses to Exercise Authority
Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today asked the Inspector General to review the Food and Drug Administration’s handling of an investigation of tainted jerky treats for dogs made in China. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been investigating consumer complaints for five years while the death toll rises. The FDA has issued three low profile warnings, unbeknownst to the vast majority of dog owners. Dangerous products are still on the shelves and sold in markets across the country.
See a signed copy of the letter here.
In April of this year, after meeting with Congressman Kucinich, the FDA sent investigators to the manufacturing plants in China where the jerky is produced. The FDA was not allowed to fully investigate the factories and was denied the ability to take samples. In response, the FDA buried the inspection reports on their website after a four month delay without explanation and with little context.
“The FDA has the legal authority to ban these imports, but they have abdicated their responsibility,” said Kucinich.
In another discreet update to the FDA website, the FDA uploaded a list of complaints of illnesses and deaths registered by pet owners and veterinarians. The document includes detailed stories that should be essential reading for any pet owner.
“The Chinese manufacturers won’t test the raw materials they use. They won’t allow samples to be tested in the United States and they even deny receiving consumer complaints. It’s absurd and it is unacceptable.
“What in the world is going on at the FDA when over 2000 incidents of poisoning by an unknown substance and stonewalling by Chinese manufacturers does not result in a product recall or import ban? We know two things. There are sick or dead dogs and the FDA is either sick or dead. Have we reached the point where the FDA can’t be trusted to protect the public interest?” said Kucinich.
“The FDA has also defended its failure to act by claiming it cannot act on complaints alone. If, after five years of investigating, the FDA still has no more clues about the chemical or biological culprit than the original consumer complaints, the competency and/or integrity of the investigation is called into question. I do not make this statement lightly,” wrote Kucinich in the letter to the Inspector General.
“After five years, there have been well over 2000 potential incidents of illness or death of beloved pets. The lack of cooperation by manufacturers is glaring. The FDA has clear authority to act. Their actions have created the appearance of impeding Congressional oversight. Dog owners deserve to know why the FDA is refusing to put a stop to the accumulation of dog illnesses and deaths. It is stunning that the FDA continues to allow these products to be sold without so much as an effective warning. I urge you to investigate the FDA’s handling of tainted jerky treats,” concluded Kucinich.
Tell the FDA to stop allowing tainted pet food from China
Dogs are getting sick from eating chicken jerky dog treats imported from China. This is just one more example of how broken our food safety system really is, and it’s time for Margaret Hamburg, the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration to do something about it.
Please take action below to ask her to immediately recall the tainted pet treats, ban all pet food imports from China and help implement new food safety laws to keep pet and people food safe.
Heidi and BJ were both healthy dogs that passed away within days of eating chicken jerky dog treats from China. Rita and Terie, their owners, are calling on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prevent this from happening to other pets by stopping the sale of potentially tainted Chinese pet food in the U.S.