In the zeal for profit western companies still put customers at risk, often fatally.
The latest case involves pet poisonings traced back to China, caused by some as yet unidentified adulterant included in “jerky treats” for dogs. The company involved is Nestle Purina, which refuses to pull its product from the market because no test yet exists for whatever it is that is sickening and killing dogs.
Supply chain security has remained iffy and there is a proven record of unscrupulous businessmen who work hard to find adulterants which can be used to increase profit margin.
An FDA page on the matter indicates the contamination of “jerky treats” varies, perhaps waning when reports of animal deaths begin to pick up and the production of the material in question is withdrawn until the heat dies down.
In 2011, FDA saw an increase in the number of complaints it received of dog illnesses associated with consumption of chicken jerky products imported from China.
FDA previously issued a cautionary warning regarding chicken jerky products to consumers in September 2007 and a Preliminary Animal Health Notification in December of 2008. The number of complaints being received dropped off during the latter part of 2009 and most of 2010. However in 2011, FDA once again started seeing the number of complaints rise to the levels of concern that prompted release of our earlier warnings.
Since the issuance of the CVM Update on November 18, 2011, the agency has received numerous additional complaints regarding chicken jerky products.
Dog owners in eight states who believe contaminated chicken jerky treats from China sickened or killed their pets are banding together in a class-action lawsuit against Nestle Purina, the maker of two popular brands of the canine snacks, and several mega-stores that sell them.
They are suing just as Food and Drug Administration officials have refused to release results of inspections of Chinese plants that make the jerky treats blamed for at least 1,000 illnesses and deaths in U.S. pets.
In the past, manufacturers in China have been caught using melamine to extend pet foods and substituting a fake heparin for dialysis patients. The former killed pets nationwide, the latter — people.
In both cases American businessmen were also negligent.
Fine biochemicals like heparin cost money and who can argue
with the logic of increasing profits by sending the work to a slave labor country where it can be made in some kitchen not checked by any annoying regulatory agency?
Not Baxter or Scientific Protein Laboratories, the two American companies entangled in the mass recall of the drug heparin. Tainted heparin from these firms, the purification of which was outsourced to China, has resulted in 19 deaths.
If you have the news on the scandal you can’t help but notice there is no sign of public remorse. No one from the involved American firms has anything human to say.
In a Chicago Tribune feature on Baxter International and the tainted heparin scandal, the newspaper reported the company leaping into action to root out the problem. It was a self-serving account.
And it was so egregious and intelligence-insulting, a good portion of it is worth republishing.
“Inside Baxter’s Deerfield headquarters, it was code red,” reported the Tribune. “Robert Parkinson, the company’s chief executive, began holding early morning meetings with a team of key leaders: people responsible for Baxter’s drug surveillance, drug quality, legal, manufacturing, research, and regulatory affairs.
“After the morning meetings, Parkinson made a point of popping in on his key executives. This kept him up to speed on developments and gave people a chance to share what they had learned.
“One surprise: Parkinson soon learned the FDA never had inspected the China manufacturing plant. Recalling the finding in a recent Tribune interview, Parkinson sought to minimize the oversight.
“It’s not unusual for us not to know that the FDA has not inspected a supplier to a supplier,” he said.