Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Carmel on the Case: More Treat Troubles
A federal agency is under fire for failing to protect pets. Thousands of dogs have become sick and hundreds have died after eating imported treats. And despite thousands of complaints, the Food and Drug Administration has done nothing. Investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero is On the Case.
Rep. Dennis Kucinich: "The FDA has not done it's job."
Ohio congressman Dennis Kucinich who has three rescue dogs himself took aim at the agency in an exclusive interview with 7News.
Rep. Dennis Kucinich: "For the FDA to have all these reports out there of animals sick and dying and not act on it, not at least post a visible warning on these products this is unconscionable."
The controversy over the treats has been going on for years.
Nancy Morrissey: "I found puddles of blood all over the floor and big clots and the dog was crying and dragging on the floor and I thought she was dying before my eyes, and there was nothing I could do."
Since our first report on the problem two months ago, the number of complaints received by the FDA has more than doubled from 900 to more than 2,000 from the United States and Canada.
The FDA tells us that number includes 300 dogs that have died.
Randy Cohen: "The dog was so sick that I really thought I was going to have to put him to sleep he was in bad shape."
Randy and Gina Cohen spent nearly $3,000 saving Charlie. Their other dog Sammie got sick but not nearly as bad. Like so many others they thought the treats would be healthy and good for their dogs.
It never occurred to them to check the FDA's internet site before giving them to their pets so they had no idea the government has been issuing on line warnings for years about chicken jerky from China. And they don't understand why the treats are still being sold in stores across the country.
Randy Cohen: "It's insane. I can't believe it they're still on the store shelves."
And pet owners aren't the only ones who do not understand why no action has been taken.
Rep. Dennis Kucinich: "The FDA's been given years on this and they still haven't figured it out it makes you wonder not only what's wrong with the chicken jerky, but what's wrong with the FDA."
Congressman Kucinich says he's going to ask congress to take action.
Rep. Dennis Kucinich: "We're working on a law that would require affixing labels, warning labels to products if questions have been raised about the product being connected to any deaths. The public has a right to know what's going on here."
In the meantime, just what is causing the problems with chicken jerky from China remains a mystery.