3 big brands may be tied to chicken jerky illness in dogs, FDA records show

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3 big brands may be tied to chicken jerky illness in dogs, FDA records show

MSNBC – Stumped by mysterious illnesses in at least 600 dogs in the U.S., federal health officials have turned to consumers for help investigating problems possibly tied to chicken jerky pet treats made in China.

A log of complaints collected from pet owners and veterinarians contains references to at least three popular brands of jerky treats that may be associated with kidney failure and other serious ailments, according to internal Food and Drug Administration documents obtained by msnbc.com.

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The report, obtained through a public records request, is the first agency indication of any brands linked to illnesses that have climbed since the FDA warned pet owners about jerky treats in November. That was the FDA’s third caution about the pet products since 2007.

The internal report, overseen by the FDA’s Coordinated Outbreak and Response Evaluation, or CORE, group, is one of several ongoing assignments in which FDA regulators are seeking jerky treat samples and medical records of dogs that may have developed kidney failure, liver disease or Fanconi syndrome, which can lead to serious illness and death.

The recent complaints were filed from October through December by people in cities from California to New York, but the agency will continue to accept them.

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Ohio Democrats Sen. Sherrod Brown and Rep. Dennis Kucinich in February called on the FDA to step up investigation of tainted pet treats.

In a response sent late last week, an FDA official told Brown the agency “continues to actively investigate” the reports and to pursue testing for chemical and microbiological contaminants.

On Monday, Brown called the agency’s response “inadequate” and urged prompt release of results of 153 pending tests on the Chinese-made treats.

“I will continue to press the FDA on this issue because Ohio consumers shouldn’t have to worry about the safety of their pet’s food,” he said in a statement.

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