The China Threat: Fido Edition

FDA stumped by mysterious canine deaths and diseases


Mysterious canine illnesses and deaths linked to Chinese produced jerky treats have slowed since two brands were pulled off the market earlier this year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said Tuesday.

Since 2006 the FDA reported that 3,000 dogs have sickened and 600 have died from mysterious illnesses. What the cases have had in common was the consumption of jerky treats from China. The Oregonian reports:

In its years-long investigation, FDA officials have inspected two manufacturing plants in China. They’ve also conducted extensive toxicology tests on the treats, looking for mold, heavy metals, Salmonella and other toxins. Many of the tests came back negative. Others were inconclusive.

New York authorities found low levels of antibiotics in some chicken jerky treats, prompting voluntary recalls in January. Del Monte pulled Milo’s Kitchen Chicken Jerky Treats and Chicken Grillers and Nestle-Purina recalled Waggin’ Train and Canyon Creek Ranch dog treats.

The number of complaints dropped after those recalls but did not come to a standstill. Hartogensis said the FDA still receives about 20 reports a month.

In a word, the agency remains stumped.