Thursday, August 23, 2007

FDA testing Dog Treats - More deaths - Other Retailers selling treats

It's not clear from the comment in red below (my emphasis) whether they mean that other retailers are selling the same brand, or are selling the same product under a different name.

From the NY Times...

U.S. Is Checking Dog Treats Wal-Mart Says Are Tainted

The Food and Drug Administration said yesterday that it was checking dog treats recently withdrawn from Wal-Mart’s shelves but had not yet detected any chemical or biological contamination in the Chinese-made products.

A spokeswoman for Wal-Mart Stores, the world’s largest retailer, said it was aware of other companies’ selling the suspect products to pet owners.

And China, on the defensive over the safety of its products, lashed out at the United States yesterday by claiming that American soybean exports contained pesticides, poisonous weeds and dirt.

Wal-Mart, based in Bentonville, Ark., said this week that it had stopped selling Chicken Jerky Strips from the Import-Pingyang Pet Product Company and Chicken Jerky from Shanghai Bestro Trading in July, after customers said the products sickened their pets.

Wal-Mart said 17 tests showed trace levels of melamine, the same pesticide byproduct that led to a widespread pet food recall in March after an unknown number of dogs and cats died.

An F.D.A. spokeswoman, Kimberly Rawlings, said yesterday the agency was actively investigating Wal-Mart’s products in light of the store’s removal of the items from its shelves.

She also said in an e-mail message to The Associated Press that the agency had reviewed Wal-Mart’s lab report that mentioned 20 parts per million of melamine. “This level of melamine would not be expected to result in any animal illness,” she said.

A Wal-Mart spokeswoman, Deisha Galberth, said that with such small amounts of melamine found, its laboratory recommended more testing.

Ms. Galberth said Wal-Mart was aware of other retailers that were selling the products, but she declined to identify hem.

More than 150 brands of pet food were recalled this year after American inspectors said wheat gluten from China that had been used to make the food was tainted with melamine. An unknown number of dogs and cats died.

Since then, other Chinese products, including tires, toothpaste, seafood, juice and toys decorated with lead paint have been recalled or come under scrutiny.

And an article from wxpi.com in Pittsburgh -Local Woman Says Wal-Mart Treats Killed Dog
A local woman said her dog died from eating tainted dog treats.On Wednesday, Wal-Mart announced two brands of dog treats sold at its stores contained the chemical melamine.Those products were pulled from store shelves in July, but have not been recalled.Jodi Zeremski said her Chihuahua, Taco, never had health problems until she bought chicken jerky dog treats from Wal-Mart in early July.Soon after eating the treats, Taco reportedly became ill and had to be put down.A veterinarian said he died of kidney failure."Those were the only treats we bought. That was the only other thing that dog ate,” Zeremski said.Gretchen Fieser, of the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society, said, "Melamine typically causes kidney failure. Some of the signs of kidney failure are depression. They can become very lethargic, not having very much energy, lying around and vomiting."Wal-Mart has released a statement: "We will continue to work with the supplier to assure that the highest safety standards are met. Our thoughts are with anyone whose pet may have become ill."
And another one, from the record-bee.com -National Wal-Mart pet treat scare appears in Lake County (emphasis is mine)

LAKE COUNTY -- Vicki Stone of Cobb never knew that the dollars she hoped to save by purchasing her dog's favorite treat, Chicken Jerky Strips, at Wal-Mart in Clearlake could cost her favorite pet his life. "He's such a picky eater, but he loved the strips, he'd gulp them down," said Stone.

In July, Stone's husband saw a deal on chicken strips at Wal-Mart, so he picked up two packages. A week and a half later, their five-year old Shihtzu named Doc started having problems. They did everything possible, according to veterinarian Dr. Chris Holmes, but still the dog went into kidney failure and may not survive. If he does, his kidneys will only function at about 20 percent, and Doc will likely not live another two years.

The brand of food the Stone's fed Doc are one of two Chinese brands of dog treats sold at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., the world's largest retailer, that the company claims they pulled off the shelves in July after customers said they made their dogs ill.

Tests on the products, Chicken Jerky Strips from Import-Pingyang Pet Product Co. and from Shanghai Bestro Trading show traces of melamine, a chemical agent responsible for a previous massive pet food recall in March, a spokesperson told the AP Tuesday.

"We didn't know until today that Stone was feeding those treats, but when we did it immediately clicked," said Dr. Holmes on Wednesday from Wasson Memorial Veterinary Clinic in Lakeport.

"The dog is experiencing obvious kidney failure due to this melamine from the Bestro chicken strips, the same exact brand 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," said Dr. Holmes.

"Doc started having problems at the end of July, we did blood work which came back fine, and found mild elevations in the kidney parameters, then we sent him to an intro-medicine specialist who did an ultra-sound down in Rohnert Park," he said.

"We looked into all the causes of kidney failure and knew that it was some toxin other than anti-freeze, which is the most common. The dog got much worse so last week we put him on IV fluids for 48 hours and he's doing much better, but we don't know how long he has. We have to wait and see," said Dr. Holmes.

According to Dr. Holmes, three dogs under his care died from the recall in March. A biopsy of one of the dog's kidneys was conducted and it was confirmed the dog had died of melamine poisoning from the tainted dog food products.

"I know corporate Wal-Mart did a recall, and Vicki Stone said they pulled all the stuff off the shelves in Clearlake yesterday. We do have other animals that will be affected by this, but we haven't proven that it's melamine. That can only be proven in a biopsy of the kidney," said Dr. Holmes.

Stone said, "I'm very, very upset. They said they pulled the products off their shelves but I'm going to make a trip there to be sure. I have a burning desire to know why the public wasn't notified about this."

"If it had been baby food it would have been all over the papers and media. I think that if Wal-Mart knew about this, and they waited to pull it and inform people, how negligent is that? This whole thing is about lack of responsibility," she said.

"People's pets are getting killed by this product. It's not like this is some American brand that hasn't had problems, this brand has killed dogs before," said Stone, who plans to take the $6,000 vet bill to the store to demand reimbursement.

"I'm going to take this all the way because I think it's hurting people, especially in this area where people can't afford to shop in a fancy pet store," said Stone.

Dr. Holmes said, "We're going to be seeing lots of problems, this is here in Lake County. These are companies that have had problems in the past, and Wal-Mart is not doing the necessary testing. I would not buy any food product from them."

Clearlake Wal-Mart manager Will Bacon told the Record-Bee on Wednesday that he could make no comment. Phone calls placed to the corporate headquarters and regional spokespersons were not returned Wednesday.

Wal-Mart spokesperson Deisha Galberth told the AP on Tuesday that Wal-Mart stopped selling the products July 26. Galberth said customers should return the products to the store for a refund.

7 comments:

Terry said...

Hi Kim,

I just read this latest update. It really is unbelievable that this news STILL hasn't hit the National news...at least not in any meaningful way.

It just kills me to know that so many poeple are probably still givng their dogs these treats.

Thanks for all your hard work and I will continue to send people your link.

Steve Stern said...

Kim,
I thought the two following news releases might be helpful to your readers, as well as the Waggin' Train blog at http://www.waggintrainblog.com. We represent Waggin'Train.
Are Your Dog Treats Safe? They Are if the Treats Are Waggin’ Train!
RENO, Nev., Aug. 23 /PRNewswire/ — Safety has always come first for Waggin’ Train Brand, the largest selling chicken jerky brand of dog treats in the country. Waggin’ Train Brand Chicken Jerky Tenders have an unblemished safety record and have consistently supplied millions of pounds of chicken jerky treats each year to US dogs.

“Waggin’ Train Brand has not been pulled from store shelves and is not and never has been part of a recall,” stated Jerry Peters, President of ADI Pet, Inc. However, news that was released earlier this week about a competitive brand of treats has concerned dog owners and caused them to wonder if what they are feeding their dogs is safe. The pet-owning, pet-loving owners of Waggin’ Train Brand understand these concerns, even if their company isn’t involved in any recall, and wants to make information available to consumers with questions. This information is posted on their website, http://www.waggintrainbrand.com/, and you can contact their customer service department at waggintrainbrand@adipet.com if you have additional questions.

Waggin’ Train Brand is completely safe and has never had a single incident of bacterial or other chemical contaminations, including melamine. This record results from the stringent quality control procedures in place to prevent such issues.

“We are proud of our company’s safety record and understand, at a time like this, consumers are looking for information. Our company is now looking into new methods of supplying product testing information to consumers so that they can go online and check the excellent safety record of products that they just purchased. This would be revolutionary and we want to be the first pet supplier to offer this service,” said Peters.

Annually, Waggin Train Brand processes over 80 million pounds of fresh, white meat chicken in our “human grade” facilities. “We only sell products that we are confident feeding to our own beloved pets. My dog Dudley loves the chicken jerky and it’s great for training. We feel that one of the reasons for our safety is the high quality ingredients that we use,” states Peters.

ADI Pet products as well as facilities are regularly inspected by our retailers and SGS, one of the world’s largest and most respected inspection companies.
For more information contact Waggin’ Train customer service at waggintrainbrand@adipet.com
Website: http://www.waggintrainbrand.com/
________________
Waggin’ Train Brand Chicken Jerky Tenders Proven SAFE Over and Over Again
RENO, Nevada, Aug. 21 /PRNewswire/ — Waggin’ Train Brand Chicken Jerky Tenders is the largest selling chicken jerky brand and has an unblemished safety record and has NOT been recalled now or ever in the company’s history.

ADI Pet, Inc., the makers of Waggin’ Train Chicken Jerky Tenders, wants to clarify news/media reports that “chicken jerky” has been pulled from store shelves without mention of the affected brand name (Bestro), thus confusing and alarming Waggin’ Train consumers unnecessarily.

Waggin’ Train Brand is completely safe and has never had a single positive laboratory test nor incident of bacterial contamination. This is a record to be proud of considering the fact that we make over 20 million pounds of Waggin’ Train Chicken Jerky Tenders annually with approximately 80 million pounds of fresh chicken tenderloins. “We take product safety very seriously and implement the appropriate steps to insure a continuation of this exemplary safety record,” states Jerry Peters, President, ADI Pet, Inc.

The brand pulled, Bestro, and the manufacturers, Shanghai Bestro Trading or Pingyang Pet Products, which have been named in news articles surrounding “chicken jerky” pulled from store shelves are in no way associated with nor supply product for the Waggin’ Train Brand.

Peters further stated, “We start production by selecting premium chicken tenderloins and then produce and package Waggin’ Train Chicken Jerky Tenders in a sanitary facility to human grade standards. Our facilities are managed utilizing stringent safety and quality guidelines and are regularly inspected by our retailers and SGS, one of the world’s largest and most respected inspection companies.”

In addition to our strict handling we further sterilize every package of Waggin’ Train Brand Chicken Jerky, after it has been packaged and sealed, using irradiation methods that meet USDA standards and follow the World Health Organization recommendation for sterilization of food for human consumption. While not required by law we feel this extra measure of safety, in addition to our human grade handling and processing, is essential in assuring safety for all of our beloved pets.

For more information contact Waggin’ Train customer service at waggintrainbrand@adipet.com

Website: http://www.adipet.com/

Thanks,
Steve Stern
Stern And Company
http://www.sdsternpr.com

labmomnj said...

Please do not think that the Waggin Train Chicken Jerky is safe . . . Hopefully ADIPet will wake up and admit that they also have a problem. Please google Waggin Train Chicken Jerky and illness or Waggin Train Chicken Jerky and death . . . you will find many reports of illness and death where owners suspect the Waggin Train Jerky as the cause.

Kim said...

Thanks for your comment labmomnj - I've got lots of those Waggin Train reports referenced here on my site. See
http://petfoodtracker.blogspot.com/2007/08/many-online-reports-of-non-recalled-dog.html

Top cat food brands said...

So what cat food do you recommend ? What are the best cat food brands ?

dog obedience trainer said...

nice blog.. liked it very much....can someone give me some other related blog address..???
neways appreciated..!!!

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Volunteers Needed! Get food off shelves...

howl911.com, itchmo.com, thepetfoodlist.com, petconnection.com, petfoodtracker.com and spockosbrain.com have joined together to ask for your help.
Update 6-10: Recalled food was purchased from a
California store on 5-29th – this stuff is still out there!
We need Volunteers to help get recalled food off store shelves. Read this post at Spocko’s Brain for instructions. Print a list (or two) on this site. Visit stores, then report safe stores here at Itchmo.com.

Printing Information:
1. Print the main FDA Pet Food Recall page http://www.fda.gov/oc/opacom/hottopics/petfood.html – this will be handy to show retailers who haven’t heard anything about the recall. (3 pages)

2. Print the list of 14 Major National Brands - it includes flavors and date information where applicable so you can tell if specific products for these brands have been recalled. The brands are: Alpo Prime Cuts, Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul, Doctors Foster and Smith, Eukanuba, Gravy Train, Hill’s Science Diet, Iams, Jerky Treats, Lick Your Chops, Mighty Dog Pouches, Natural Balance, Nutro, Pounce, Royal Canin. (It’s 7 pages and includes FDA contact information.)

3. Print the List of All Brands – it will remind you what products have been recalled - but it does not give you date and flavor information, there is just too much to put in one document. (7 pages, but the 7th page is links to more detailed information so you don’t need to print it)

If you want, and are going to a store that you know has store brands that have been recalled (such as Walmart), go to that recall information at the links on the summary or at the FDA site and print it out. Some of the information is formatted in ways that make it difficult to read (one of the main reasons for this site), but it’s better than nothing.

Note: The FDA is the official source for all recall information and recalled products. This is an unofficial volunteer effort to help get the word out and get recalled foods off of shelves. We’re doing the best we can but can’t guarantee these lists are completely accurate. Again, here is the official recall site: http://www.fda.gov/oc/opacom/hottopics/petfood.html