Jerky pet treats are a huge hit with most dogs and cats, but for many years, I’ve encouraged pet parents to make their own because unfortunately, the ultraprocessed pet food industry and its FDA “overseers” have a poor track record when it comes to the safety of these products.
As an example, at the end of 2018, Food Safety News published a post on the tainted jerky treats from China fiasco I’ve written several articles about over the years. As the author of the post notes:
“More than 10 years after the first reports of pet and people illnesses linked to jerky treats from China, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is no closer to finding the root cause of the problem.”1
From August 2007 through the end of 2015, the number of reports of illness linked to the treats included more than 6,200 dogs, 26 cats, and three people. More than 1,140 of the dogs didn’t survive their illness.
Lowlights From a Decade-Long Investigation
According to Food Safety News, per Dr. Lee Anne Palmer of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM), since 2007 the FDA has received reports of pet illness related to jerky treats from all 50 states in the U.S., most Canadian provinces, and several other countries, including Germany, the United Kingdom, Singapore, and Switzerland.
Some other items of note from Palmer’s summary of the FDA’s investigation that haven’t been widely reported:
- In late 2013 the FDA requested specific clinical data from veterinarians on cases of treat-related illness in their practices. The request prompted “an immediate, massive increase in illness reports.”
- In 2014, the FDA’s CVM and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted the first-ever case control study for a pet illness investigation. The study involved 95 affected dogs from 31