The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Kucinich Asks Inspector General to Review FDA's Bungling of "Death Treats"

Five Year Investigation, Thousands of Sick and Dead Dogs, Tainted Jerky Still on the Shelves – FDA Refuses to Exercise Authority


Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today asked the Inspector General to review the Food and Drug Administration's handling of an investigation of tainted jerky treats for dogs made in China. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been investigating consumer complaints for five years while the death toll rises. The FDA has issued three low profile warnings, unbeknownst to the vast majority of dog owners. Dangerous products are still on the shelves and sold in markets across the country.

See a signed copy of the letter here.

In April of this year, after meeting with Congressman Kucinich, the FDA sent investigators to the manufacturing plants in China where the jerky is produced. The FDA was not allowed to fully investigate the factories and was denied the ability to take samples. In response, the FDA buried the inspection reports on their website after a four month delay without explanation and with little context.

"The FDA has the legal authority to ban these imports, but they have abdicated their responsibility," said Kucinich.

In another discreet update to the FDA website, the FDA uploaded a list of complaints of illnesses and deaths registered by pet owners and veterinarians. The document includes detailed stories that should be essential reading for any pet owner.

"The Chinese manufactures won't test the raw materials they use. They won't allow samples to be tested in the United States and they even deny receiving consumer complaints. It's absurd and it is unacceptable.

"What in the world is going on at the FDA when over 2000 incidents of poisoning by an unknown substance and stonewalling by Chinese manufacturers does not result in a product recall or import ban? We know two things. There are sick or dead dogs and the FDA is either sick or dead. Have we reached the point where the FDA can't be trusted to protect the public interest?" said Kucinich.

"The FDA has also defended its failure to act by claiming it cannot act on complaints alone. If, after five years of investigating, the FDA still has no more clues about the chemical or biological culprit than the original consumer complaints, the competency and/or integrity of the investigation is called into question. I do not make this statement lightly," wrote Kucinich in the letter to the Inspector General.

Dennis Kucinich is an American politician. A U.S. Representative from Ohio from 1997 to 2013, he was also a candidate for the Democratic nomination for president of the United States in 2004 and 2008.