Congressman Takes Aim at FDA for Lack of Action in Pet Jerky Treat Poisonings

“By allowing the treats to stay on the market as the years-long investigation drags on, the FDA is guaranteeing more pets will die. Why?” said Kucinich.

Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) has released the following statement criticizing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for failing to adequately protect domestic pets.

“After a weeks-long investigative trip to China and thousands of reports of sick and dying dogs, the FDA still has no answers and offers pet owners no protection,” said Kucinich.

Constituents reported illnesses in their pets after feeding them chicken jerky snacks, including ‘Waggin’ Train.’ Kucinich then wrote to the FDA demanding strong action and a briefing on their investigation.  The FDA, which had known about problems with the snacks since 2008, issued a warning in November of 2011 about the instances of illnesses, but did not issue a recall.

After Kucinich demanded stronger action, the FDA sent inspectors to plants in China to investigate the conditions in which the treats were manufactured.  The FDA failed to reach a conclusion, releasing their raw data with little context.

“The FDA is waiting to request a recall until it has full scientific certainty about which contaminant or chemical in chicken jerky pet treats is causing deaths of pets all over the country.

As the FDA waits, it has to decide who pays the cost of the uncertainty.  Will it be the dog treat manufacturers, who refuse to issue a recall on their own and make even more money in doing so?  Or will it be beloved dogs and cats who pay with their health and their lives and whose owners receive no real warning about the danger posed by dog treats?

By allowing the treats to stay on the market as the years-long investigation drags on, the FDA is guaranteeing more pets will die. Why?” said Kucinich.

79 thoughts on “Congressman Takes Aim at FDA for Lack of Action in Pet Jerky Treat Poisonings

    1. Completely agreed. It’s not even that difficult. I recently made some for mine with pumpkin puree, oatmeal, flax meal, and an egg. They then baked at 350 until firm, but not crisp (unless that’s what your dog prefers). My dogs go nuts for them! There’s so many good recipes out there for dog food and treats.

  1. I have thrown all mine away, full bags. I have also approached people in the stores to warn them, have them look it up on the internet before buying the treats. I now make my own dog jerky and treats.

    1. Return them to the store opened so they can’t be resold and explain to the retailer that the products are subject to government investigation and may be poisoning their customer’s pets!

  2. So they’re holding off on pulling them till they can figure out “which contaminant or chemical” is killing the dogs? I don’t need to know which one it doing it! Pull them!

  3. Thank God someone is stepping in! This should have been stopped a long time ago! These companies should pull them anyway!

    1. Andrea be aware many items have the ” made (or manufactured) in china” is buried way down in the back in microscopic font, if in doubt throw it out.

  4. Since the FDA hasn’t felt the need to do their job I’ve been using word of mouth. Sad that they are protecting CHINA but not our pets. Boo to them.

  5. I completely agree! After the last round in the news about the tainted treats I started giving my Boxers veggies for treats! carrots, snap peas etc… Or I buy a whole chicken and dehydrate it myself for them!

  6. I saw this at walmart AGAIN! & now they have them in snack size for 99cents ppl were getting some & I told my husband out super loud “why do they still have this out!? It’s killing dogs!!! (my husband was a little embarrassed lol)

  7. Make your own! Dogs shouldn’t be eating ANY chemicals, nevermind the contaminated ones! China or not, the treats in the stores are trash.

  8. Like thisalot! The labeling on some of these things is very deceiving! I wonder if the sides will be able to agree on this quickly or will it be business as usual. If it does pass, keeping my fingers crossed, they should put a very short time frame when it must take place— not years from now!!!

  9. donti even give my dogs or cat manufactured treats. i give them healthy treats outta my kitchen. a piece of turkey is better than an manufactured treat even if it is made in the usa. a baby carrot is better than some treat that has who knows what for ingredients. as long as you dont give them anything thats bad for them, stuff out your own food supplies are better than the garbage they allow in pet products. just dont over feed

  10. About 90% of the treats sold at the large pet store chains, come from China! Make sure to read the labels & be on the safe side! “Distributed” by a US company simply means, not made here, just distributed by! If it doesn’t say Made In the USA, it wasn’t, don’t buy it!

  11. Thanks Dennis;I knew someone had to have some good feelinhgs and want answers to some tough questions.

  12. because the careless ppl keep buying them… as long as they are making money.. you know how that goes… sad so sad……….. get these off the market!!

  13. i cringe whenever I see a particular brand of dog treats (made in China) displayed on the shelves of Sam’s Club (and other pet stores). I’ve long been examining packaging on treats- and have called the company- to find out where made. Problem is the packaging may say it’s made in the USA, but the ingredients could possibly come from elsewhere.

  14. To “The Underground Dog Rescue” above: WhenI called one large dog treat/food company they told me that US companies have to post on the packaging if it’s not made in the USA (China, for instance); however, if it says “DISTRIBUTED BY” a company in the US, that most likely means that the product is made in the US. However, where do the ingredients come from? Possibly chickens from China …

  15. Ban them for what reason? There is absolutely no definitive proof that chicken jerky treats from China, or anywhere else, cause illness in dogs. I give them to my 3 on a daily basis (albeit NOT the ones from China) with no issues whatsoever: treatswww.snopes.com/critters/crusader/dogtreat.asp

    1. you say you don’t feed the treats from china to your dogs yet you criticize those who want those specific treats recalled/pulled from shelves until a cause is identified? if your so confident, switch and see how many bags of china treats you get thru before one of your dogs ends up at the vet. is it worth the risk?

  16. Finally! They sell these almost everywhere! We’ve gone to strictly newman’s own. Almost lost her!

  17. READ Dog Owners! 🙂 That’s why I don’t buy from CHINA! duh! Thank goodness we have MADE IN AMERICA options… So nice to see our FDA hard at work protecting our pets, not too mention the lead they allow in childrens toys and jewelry! Just amazes me importing and profits are more important then HEALTH & SAFETY of children and pets! WAY TO GO FDA for not doing your job! If you wait long enough wont be anyone to complain, you ll poisonous all! Of course also its election year they might be waiting to see if the other guy is elected. If so they will continue on and do nothing, we know how much he cares about animals! BUY AMERICAN NOT CHEAP CHINA JUNK! Its not a savings if your pet dies! HELLO!

  18. once again money gets in the way of animal rights! Why do we alow these products in this country?I have warned stores that have these made in china-chicken products about the problem-told them to look it up on the internet but they are all still on the shelves.How do you make a dry chicken strip?I would love to know as this is my dogs favorite-she has not had any in over a year and we have moved on to people treats for her.

  19. I have been ranting about these treats and informing other shoppers every time I’m in the pet treat section. Until this is cleared up, I don’t want my dog eating ANY treats that are made in CHINA. PERIOD!

  20. I only buy treats that say Made in USA. Interestingly enough, Pup er Roni treats do not say where they are made but they give you a toll free number to call if you have “questions”.

  21. I read the package and if it says MADE IN CHINA I don’t buy it. If everybody did that, it wouldn’t make any difference how long it took the FDA to act up on it.

  22. i make my own!..so many are not even aware, i have had to let some know in the stores not to buy..very scary, and must read the labels carefully on where it is made

  23. Well Janet, if you want to continue to risk your dogs, that’s fine.
    But the thousand others who have been sickened would probably argue with you and with Snopes-who simply says it’s undetermined, not false.

    Go Congressman!

  24. about damn time; really need to be banned permanently for always & forever, because you’ll never get any guarantee that any of this low standard Made In China stuff will ever be safe…

  25. I only feed my dog pork hide treats now. I’ve heard so much about rawhide and how dangerous it is. Pork hide is said to be MUCH easier to digest too. Of course if anyone knows different, feel free to share. I don’t want my dog, or anyone else’s hurt.

  26. About time!! The damn junk should be banned. I won’t buy anything made in China for my furbaby. Simple as that.

  27. After almost losing my dog to liver failure from these china chicken flavored treats we only give carrots as cookies. I know where those come from. No more shady labeling.

  28. I wish pet owners would understand also how bad rawhide bones/chews/jerky is. The dog’s body can’t digest or breakdown the rawhide properly and can and does cause blockages.

  29. I’m tempted to print out the warnings and then tape to the grocers shelves by the products. Especially those in high traffic stores. Not everyone is informed of these dangerous so called “treats”.

  30. Yeah, I have been pretty upset that HEB still carries the Chinese jerky treats in Texas. When I asked the manager why, I was told that since the FDA had not issued a recall they would keep selling stuff that could your dog. Nice HEB. I was shopping at HEB because I am boycotting Wal-Mart for that and worse. The fact is they will NOT act in your (or your pet’s) best interest unless a government nanny tells them too. And that is just sad.

  31. You know, i was in Petsmart the other day and i bought a bag of mixed rawhide treats and after feeding my dogs about half the bag i noticed it had these jerky treats in them. At first i was like… i thought these were recalled?? Then I assumed since they were selling them at Petsmart then they must not be recalled anymore. Little did i know they never DID recall them! I had only heard by word of mouth about these up until i saw this article. Thank you for posting this… when i get home i am throwing the rest of that bag of treats away! Luckily they have only eaten 2 pieces of the chicken jerky and that was a week or two ago… no one has come up sick so i hope we are okay! They ought to be FORCED to recall this crap if more than just a few dogs die from eating it!

  32. At Petco they offer discounts on these Canyon Creek Ranch/Waggin’ Train treats. I made the mistake of buying some, which my dog loved. Thankfully he didn’t get sick. But I threw the rest away. Better safe than sorry – the FDA should follow this philosophy, whether it’s food/medicine for pets or humans.

  33. During the last Vet visit, I noticed a letter posted on their info board. It was from Canyon Creek or Waggin Tails, stating their treats were fine and no evidence has been found to link them with deaths or illnesses from the treats. That company has a lot of nerve sending that letter out but i’m just as disappointed that the Vet would post it in their office, essentially giving their approval.
    We won’t be using that Vet anymore.

  34. You have to wonder… if it was people that were dying, would they be waiting to figure out which contaminate was causing it before pulling it from the shelves?

  35. Too bad even the stuff that says ‘made is the USA’ is usually made over seas, they are allowed to label it that way if the company is American.

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