Will Chinese Pet Food Production Ever Be Safe?

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The Chinese government has been under fire for their inability to properly control food production in Chinese factories for many years. While the government does have laws in place, they are simply not enforced. As a result, farms and factories use unsafe, illegal, and often harmful practices to improve their profits.

In 2007, Chinese pet food manufacturers were found to be purposely using a chemical additive, melamine, in their manufacturing process. Melamine, when added to pet food, gives a false appearance that the food is higher in protein, allowing manufacturers to use cheaper, low quality, low protein ingredients, but still chemically appear to have a good protein content. Over 14,000 pets became ill or died as a result. Prior to the pet food recalls, melamine was considered to have low toxicity, not harmful when consumed in small doses – clearly, this information was wrong.

In 2008, melamine again found its way into our food sources, this time in infant formula, leading to kidney stones and renal failure in the babies that were fed with the powdered milk.

In 2012, scandal again hit the Chinese food industry, when a Dongguan factory produced a mixture of cottonseed and soybean oil, but marketed and sold tons and tons of it as peanut oil. The cottonseed/soybean oil blend was deemed able to damage human reproductive cells. Earlier that year, another Chinese cooking oil manufacturer was charged with selling over 2,000 tons of used cooking oil that they had drudged from restaurant gutters, rather than new, clean, unused oil.

Now, in 2013, after nearly 6 years of investigations by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration into Chinese poultry farming and manufacturing, a contaminant has finally been found in Chinese poultry that may be responsible for the deaths of nearly 600 dogs and illnesses of thousands more in the United States. Chinese authorities for years thwarted FDA efforts to investigate poultry farms and manufacturing processes, claiming that there was nothing wrong with their chicken. One Chinese government official went so far as to write a US Congressman, cautioning him against bad-mouthing the Chinese food industry.

But now, on the heels of chicken jerky dog treat recalls by popular brands Waggin’ Train, Canyon Creek Ranch, Milo’s Kitchen, Cadet, and Hartz as well as some store brands, the Chinese government appears to finally be taking a stand.

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  1. Chinese produced pet foods will not be safe in the near future. The corruption is too ingrained in their culture,and dogs are part of the diet in that country. In spite of all we have seen so far, the USDA will be allowing human chicken products to be processed in China, if the chickens were raised here. How would we know that the chickens really are from the U.S.A.? the same way we know about the actual safety of other imported foods…we won’t!

  2. I don’t understand why our government continues to let products from China flw into our country. They are clearly unsafe. How many people and pets need to die? Ridiculous….

  3. I would hope for the animals sake they give them better living conditions.There is nothing they can do that would ever get me to buy their treats.

  4. VITALIFE Jerky treats poisoned my dog and she nearly died from these treats that say Made In Canada! They come from Thailand and Vitalife has yet to pay my bills for my dog and her sickness!

  5. It is established brands that supplied the tainted chicken strips that killed and made ill so many US pets. Brand has nothing to do with it, they import and put their label on Chinese products.

  6. I think it is best to always buy from an established brand, they would have too much to lose if something is found that is not right, their brand would be tainted for years.