Tainted pet treats from China linked to the deaths of over 1,000 - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Tainted pet treats from China linked to the deaths of over 1,000 dogs

Tainted pet treats from China linked to the deaths of over 1,000 dogs

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WJRT) - (06/17/14) - The Food and Drug Administration says more than 1,000 dogs died after eating pet treats from China.

Now, lawmakers are looking for answers not only about the pet treats but also about food imported from China.

A congressional hearing was held on Capitol Hill Tuesday on the matter - and ABC12 was there.

The problem is with chinese jerky treats and thousands of other pets have also fallen ill.

"For Franklin and Reggie, our dog and our cat, we buy food that's made in the U.S., and pet treats," said Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown, of Ohio.

Brown chaired Tuesday's hearing on tainted pet treats and processed chicken from China. He questioned whether China's food safety regulations are effective.

Witnesses from the Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration couldn't give a straight answer. These officials admitted they're not 100 percent sure where some of the ingredients even in products labeled "Made in the USA" are actually coming from.

The witnesses said they're still having trouble securing Chinese visas for FDA workers charged with making sure the plants we rely on for our food and pet products are safe.

"I'm still a bit perplexed that so many U.S. drug makers, and so many U.S. food processors, and so many U.S. pet companies outsource their production when this is all about human health. They should know better," Brown said.

Lawmakers are concerned about new rules that could allow chickens raised in the United States to be shipped to China for processing before being returned to and sold in the U.S.

That's just another reason Senator Brown thinks American companies using cheaper Chinese labor might soon be paying a big price.

 "They're going to get a lot more lawsuits because they haven't done their job in managing the supply chain. If they're going to go overseas and make their pet treats, they better know all the ingredients, where they came from, what villages they came from, how they were made, under what conditions they were made. I don't think those U.S. companies have done that, and that's why they should move their production back home," Brown said.

Meanwhile, major pet stores have announced that they would stop selling dog and cat treats made in China.
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