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Issue 122 - January 2012 - Page 22

Chicken Jerky Dog Treats Warning

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Outline
Warning message claims that 70 dogs have died from eating chicken jerky treats from China.



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Detailed analysis and references below example.





Last updated: 29th November 2011
First published: 29th November 2011
Research by David White, Brett Christensen
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example
Re posting-WARNING!!!!! It was on Fox news earlier that 70 dogs have died as a result of eating chicken jerky treats made from chicken that has come from China. Kingdom Pets brand from Costco is one of them. Also certain Blue Buffalo brand pet foods have a recall for the same thing. Please re post and make sure all your doggie friends are aware of this.......



Analysis

©iStockphoto.com/Eric Isselée

Jerky Dog
According to this message, which is circulating via Facebook and other social media websites as well as email, 70 dogs have died after eating chicken jerky products exported from China. The message claims that the information came from Fox News and urges recipients to pass on the warning to other dog owners.

There are elements of truth to the claims made in the warning. However, as written, the warning is overblown and contains inaccurate information.

Since 2007, America's Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued several cautions to dog owners which state that chicken jerky products may be associated with illness in dogs. A caution was published by the FDA in September 2007. The FDA followed this up with a later health notification in December 2008. Then, in November 2011, the FDA published its latest statement on the issue. The FDA cautions are based on numerous reports from dog owners and veterinarians. However, although the FDA is certainly taking these reports seriously, it has not yet made a conclusive connection between chicken jerky products and the reported illnesses. In its latest statement on the issue, the FDA notes:
To date, scientists have not been able to determine a definitive cause for the reported illnesses. FDA continues extensive chemical and microbial testing but has not identified a contaminant. The FDA continues to actively investigate the problem and its origin. Many of the illnesses reported may be the result of causes other than eating chicken jerky.
Moreover, the claim in the warning that 70 dogs have actually died as result of eating chicken jerky treats remains unsubstantiated. In fact there are no credible reports that back up this claim in any way. While the FDA notes that "some reports to the FDA have involved dogs that have died", it certainly does not state that 70 dogs have died as a direct result of eating the jerky.

The figure quoted in the warning may be a misinterpretation of information contained in the 2007 FDA caution, which noted that "FDA has received more than 70 complaints involving more than 95 dogs that experienced illness that their owners associated with consumption of chicken jerky products." There is no suggestion in the FDA caution that all of these complaints involved the death of dogs. In fact, the caution notes that "most dogs appear to recover".

And, the message also falsely claims it was Fox News that reported the death of 70 dogs. Fox News did report on the issue, but the article simply mirrors the information included in the FDA caution. The Fox News report certainly does not claim that 70 dogs have died.

Moreover, as noted in a That'sNonsense.com article about the warning, Blue Buffalo, one of the jerky manufacturers mentioned in the warning, has published a statement denying that their Chicken Jerky Treats are made in China or have been recalled. The statement notes in part:
There has been a lot of ill-informed and inaccurate information circulating on the web over the past few days about Blue Buffalo and our Chicken Jerky Treats. Here are the facts:
  • All of BLUE’s Chicken Jerky Treats are made in the US and the meat is sourced exclusively from US meat suppliers.
  • We do not use meat from China, or anywhere in Asia, in any of our products.
  • There have been no reports of illness of any kind associated with any of our Chicken Jerky Treats.
  • There is no recall of any our Chicken Jerky Treats, or any Blue Buffalo products.
Nevertheless, given the amount of reports submitted since 2007, dog owners would certainly be wise to take heed of the FDA's advice:
Chicken jerky products should not be substituted for a balanced diet and are intended to be fed occasionally in small quantities.

FDA is advising consumers who choose to feed their dogs chicken jerky products to watch their dogs closely for any or all of the following signs that may occur within hours to days of feeding the products: decreased appetite; decreased activity; vomiting; diarrhea, sometimes with blood; increased water consumption and/or increased urination. If the dog shows any of these signs, stop feeding the chicken jerky product. Owners should consult their veterinarian if signs are severe or persist for more than 24 hours. Blood tests may indicate kidney failure (increased urea nitrogen and creatinine). Urine tests may indicate Fanconi syndrome (increased glucose). Although most dogs appear to recover, some reports to the FDA have involved dogs that have died.
It may also be helpful if consumers make sure that other dog owners are aware of the issue. However, reposting the overblown and misleading warning above is likely to cause unnecessary fear and alarm among pet owners and, because of the misinformation it contains, diffuse the impact of genuine alerts about chicken jerky products. And, given the overblown nature of the warning, many recipients may simply dismiss it as an outright hoax.

A much better way of spreading the word would be to provide a link to the latest FDA report on the issue, which is included in full below:

FDA Continues to Caution Dog Owners About Chicken Jerky Products

November 18, 2011

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is again cautioning consumers that chicken jerky products for dogs (also sold as chicken tenders, strips or treats) may be associated with illness in dogs. In the last 12 months, FDA has seen an increase in the number of complaints it received of dog illnesses associated with consumption of chicken jerky products imported from China. These complaints have been reported to FDA by dog owners and veterinarians.

FDA issued a cautionary warning regarding chicken jerky products to consumers in September 2007 and a Preliminary Animal Health Notification in December of 2008. After seeing the number of complaints received drop off during the latter part of 2009 and most of 2010, the FDA is once again seeing the number of complaints rise to the levels of concern that prompted release of our earlier warnings.

Chicken jerky products should not be substituted for a balanced diet and are intended to be fed occasionally in small quantities.

FDA is advising consumers who choose to feed their dogs chicken jerky products to watch their dogs closely for any or all of the following signs that may occur within hours to days of feeding the products: decreased appetite; decreased activity; vomiting; diarrhea, sometimes with blood; increased water consumption and/or increased urination. If the dog shows any of these signs, stop feeding the chicken jerky product. Owners should consult their veterinarian if signs are severe or persist for more than 24 hours. Blood tests may indicate kidney failure (increased urea nitrogen and creatinine). Urine tests may indicate Fanconi syndrome (increased glucose). Although most dogs appear to recover, some reports to the FDA have involved dogs that have died.

FDA, in addition to several animal health diagnostic laboratories in the U.S., is working to determine why these products are associated with illness in dogs. FDA’s Veterinary Laboratory Response Network (VLRN) is now available to support these animal health diagnostic laboratories. To date, scientists have not been able to determine a definitive cause for the reported illnesses. FDA continues extensive chemical and microbial testing but has not identified a contaminant.

The FDA continues to actively investigate the problem and its origin. Many of the illnesses reported may be the result of causes other than eating chicken jerky. Veterinarians and consumers alike should report cases of animal illness associated with pet foods to the FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator in their state or go to http://www.fda.gov/petfoodcomplaints.
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References
FDA Cautions Consumers about Chicken Jerky Products for Dogs
Preliminary Animal Health Notification - Chicken Jerky Products for Dogs
FDA Continues to Caution Dog Owners About Chicken Jerky Products
FDA Warns Chicken Jerky Dog Treat May Be Dangerous
70 Dead Dogs from Chicken Jerky from China?
The Facts about Blue Buffalo Chicken Jerky Treats



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Issue 122 Start Menu

Pages in this month's issue:
  1. Cancer Info From Johns Hopkins Hoax Email
  2. AT&T Phishing Scam
  3. Jon Bon Jovi is NOT Dead
  4. World of Warcraft Phishing Scam
  5. PayPal 'Your Credit Card Information Has Changed' Phishing Scam
  6. Hoax - Julia Gillard Admits Being in A Lesbian Relationship
  7. Facebook Survey Scam - Get a Costco Gift Card for Free
  8. Facebook Survey Scam - Eat for Free at CheeseCake Factory
  9. Hoax Chain Letter - The Vengeful Ghost of Carmen Winstead
  10. Craigslist Account Phishing Scam
  11. JB Hi-Fi Facebook Survey Scam
  12. Decorative Magnets on Refrigerators - Cancer Warning Hoax
  13. ABSA Phishing Scam Emails
  14. Delta Air Lines Passenger Itinerary Receipt Malware Emails
  15. American Airlines Flight Ticket Order Malware Emails
  16. Hotel Key Card Security Risk Hoax
  17. Bogus MADD Petition
  18. Hoax: HIV Infected Blood In Pepsi
  19. Hoax - Cell Phone Numbers Go Public This Month
  20. Video Of Plane With Failed Landing Gear Landing on a Small Truck
  21. Free Facebook Credits Survey Scam
  22. Chicken Jerky Dog Treats Warning
  23. Bogus Warning - 'BBQ Enthusiast' Avatar on Cafe World is a Trojan Horse Virus