China refuses FDA sampling of jerky

According to NBC News, Chinese government officials are refusing to allow inspectors from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to collect samples from four jerky manufacturing sites.

NBC News reports that Chinese officials did not allow inspectors to collect samples for independent analysis after conducting April inspections at four jerky treat manufacturing sites in Liaocheng and Jinan, China.

The plants have been blamed for producing chicken jerky pet treats that have led to illnesses and deaths among thousands of American dogs.

The plants make pet treats sold by the St. Louis-based Nestle Purina PetCare Co., including the Waggin’ Train jerky brands. The treats are sold at big box stores including Wal-Mart and CostCo.

According to NBC News, Chinese officials stipulated that FDA officials could collect samples only if they agreed to specific conditions, including a requirement that the samples be tested in Chinese-run laboratories.

As a result, "no samples were collected during this inspection," wrote Dennis L. Doupnik, an FDA investigator who visited the sites.

In addition, the reports showed that the Chinese plants conducted either no laboratory tests or only sporadic tests of the raw materials, including meat used in treats fed to many of the 78.2 million pet dogs in the U.S.

NBC News says the FDA found no significant violations and issued no citations, but warned plant owners about problems that included broken supports on metal screens, a torn gasket door on a mixer and failure to file proper paperwork to list actual treat manufacturers instead of shippers or brokers in FDA records.

Consumers have petitioned the FDA to urge Nestle Purina and other jerky treat manufacturers to recall the products. However, FDA officials have said they can’t force a recall based solely on customer complaints.

Read more on this story from NBC News.

NEWStat Legislation & regulation