Target: Food and Drug Administration
Goal: End the sale of all pet treats made in China to prevent further pet deaths
Over the past 18 months, Chinese-made jerky treats (particularly of the chicken variety) have been linked to 2,200 illnesses and caused the deaths of at least 360 dogs and one cat in the United States. Treats made of sweet potato, duck, and fruits or vegetables wrapped in chicken and duck are also suspected to be harmful.
The symptoms in affected animals have included loss of appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, decreased activity, and fanconi syndrome which causes kidneys to lose the ability to filter out toxins. This results in increased water consumption and urination.
Despite the high amount of deaths and reported illnesses, the FDA has refused to ban or recall any Chinese-made animal treats. They have begun to conduct studies, but due to an inability to identify what ingredients are specifically contributing to sickness, they have simply left all these products on the shelves.
This has allowed the spread of sickness to continue in homes of pet owners who are ignorant of the situation. The FDA has merely issued an advisory statement saying, “The FDA is reminding pet owners that jerky pet treats are not necessary for pets to have a fully balanced diet, so eliminating them will not harm pets.” They also suggest avoiding products not made in the United States.
This borders on inaction and is not enough. The FDA has sent inspectors to five Chinese plants that produce the treats identified as causing sickness, however Chinese officials have not allowed them to bring treat samples back for lab inspection. So far, the only route being considered is testing for the effects of irradiation on treats as it may be affecting animals.
The Australian government banned irradiation for sterilization of cat food in 2009 after it was reportedly causing paralysis. However, irradiation has been in use in the United States for some time, including in human food. It is necessary that the FDA immediately ban the import and/or sale of these products as quickly as possible, at the very least, issue recalls until harmful ingredients are identified.
Dear Food and Drug Administration,
You are aware of the 2,200 illnesses reported over the past 18 months linked to the consumption of Chinese-made jerky treats. 360 dogs and one cat have died in the United States because of these products, yet you failed to do anything to end the spread of sickness which currently continues to plague countless pets. You have cited the inability to identify a specific ingredient or cause within said treats as a reason for allowing these products to continue to sit on shelves for unsuspecting consumers.
You have issued a general advisory to avoid Chinese-made treats, but despite this and your efforts to inspect Chinese plants, as well as following up on suspicions of irradiation as a factor, the fact that these treats are still being sold every day is unacceptable. Please, issue a recall if not a complete ban on these products as soon as possible. The deaths of innocent pets must end.
[Your Name Here]
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