In terms of recent pet food news, China and dog chicken jerky treats produced in that country have been in the spotlight, again. Plus, I received a reply from Merrick in response to an e-mail I sent them in regard to a dog owner who claimed he found small nails in a bag of dry dog food produced by that company.
Here’s what's going on in these and other developments.
U.S. Agency Chastises FDA Due to China Dog Jerky Treats
In late August, the U.S. nonprofit food and water safety agency Food & Water Watch took the Food and Drug Administration to task for allegedly not doing enough to protect dogs in regard to jerky treats produced in China.
According to a report on Pet Food Industry.com, Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter issued a statement claiming that the FDA had "shirked its responsibility to keep U.S. citizens and their pets safe" by neglecting to block the sales of these treats in this country.
Hauter also pointed out that, since 2007, thousands of dogs have allegedly become sickened or died after ingesting these treats.
Furthermore, the FDA did attempt to conduct an investigation in China in spring 2012, but reps were denied access to the plants in which the jerky treats are produced. Meanwhile, the FDA took four months to divulge this info.
Hauter concluded the statement by saying: "Enough is enough. It's time for the FDA to issue an import alert on all pet food manufactured in China before more animals and the humans that love them suffer needlessly."
As followers of this site now know, I have been covering this for a long time.
For more information, please see my articles:
- FDA Issues China Jerky Treats Warning
- U.S. Pet Jerky Company Warns about China-Produced Treats
- China Jerky Treats Update
- Bereaved Dog Mom Organizes China Jerky Treats Protest
- Safeway to Stop Carrying Milo's Kitchen Dog Jerky Treats
Update: In January 2013, I interviewed pet safety bloggers Susan Thixton (Truth About Pet Food) and Mollie Morrissette (Poisoned Pets) in regard to a conference call they held with some FDA officials about this: Dog Jerky Treats Made in China News.
While I was writing that article, a bunch of treats were voluntarily recalled. So I interviewed veterinarian Dr. Cathy Alinovi, who came up with some interesting theories about the jerky treats: A Veterinarian on China Dog Jerky Treats.
In October 2013, the FDA announced that the agency was launching a probe to determine the causes of the pet illnesses and deaths related to jerky treats, which you can read about here.
China to Host First Pet Food Forum
And speaking of China, that country will host the inaugural Pet Food Forum 2012 on Friday, Oct. 12 at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Center, in conjunction with the pet trade show Pet Fair Asia.
The forum will cover everything and anything having to do with pet food manufacturing, packaging, pet nutrition and more.
As I mentioned in my article World Pet Market Trends, China is one of the world's fastest growing pet markets. This is the first such forum to ever be held in that country.
For more info about the forum, click here.
Merrick Responds to Nails in Pet Food Claim
As I mentioned in my blog on Aug. 23, an unnamed doggy daddy claimed he found small nails in a bag of Merrick dry dog food he had purchased from a Petco in Philadelphia, Pa.
I contacted the company about this and received the following reply from Merrick CEO Greg Shearson on Aug. 30:
"We take pet health very seriously, and our number one priority is to ensure that we are doing everything we can to help in the care and well-being of pet family members. After receiving this report earlier this week, we conducted a thorough investigation and found that it would be virtually impossible for the nails shown in the photo to have entered the bag during our production process given our safety measures and quality controls, and that the product in the photo does not appear to be from Merrick.
Our manufacturing processes have numerous safeguards in place to prevent the potential for metals, including those much smaller than the nails in the photo, to enter the dry dog food we produce. The kibble in our Merrick 5 Star line is round and larger rather than the triangular shape of the product shown in the photo.
We have been in touch with the customer for several days, with the common goal of ensuring Cooper's health and safety. We appreciate everyone's concern, and are committed to seeing that our customers are happy and feel supported."
Thanks for the reply.
Purina Unveils New Be Happy Pet Food Line; Nestle Plant in Hungary Expands
Happiness as a marketing tool never goes out of style. With this in mind, Purina just debuted a new line of dry dog and cat food called Be Happy.
The new pet food brand, which comes complete with cute, kitschy logos, is available in Deep Sea Duos Crunchies with Ocean Fish and Salmon Flavors and Poultry Pair-adise Crunchies with Chicken and Turkey Flavors for cats, and Beef and Chicken Chicken Flavors for dogs.
The company is also embarking on a big interactive social media promotional campaign on Facebook and Pinterest, with fans able to make e-cards, produce artwork, download apps and engage in other happy pet-centric pursuits.
And speaking of Nestle, the folks that make Purina, the company is in the process of expanding its pet food company in Bük, Hungary, which will add about 150 more jobs. The expansion, which will cost approximately cost $56.3 million USD, is slated to be completed by March 2013.
That’s all the pet food news that's fit to print for now, folks. You can rest assured there will be a lot more. As always, stay tuned to this site for the latest updates.