From the NY Times...
And an article from wxpi.com in Pittsburgh -Local Woman Says Wal-Mart Treats Killed Dog
The Food and Drug Administration said yesterday that it was checking dog treats recently withdrawn from Wal-Mart’s shelves but had not yet detected any chemical or biological contamination in the Chinese-made products.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.
PITTSBURGH -- 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 -- 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.