An American spokesman for Bestros, the company that had their chicken jerky strips pulled from Wal-Mart shelves, contacted Itchmo and said the APPIA, Aojiang Pet Products Industry Association in China, tested the chicken jerky strips and the products tested negative for melamine. The FDA and the Indiana State Chemist’s Office have also both concluded that no melamine was found in their chicken jerky strips. The Indiana State Chemist’s Office is still testing for other toxins in the products.
The Bestros spokesman sent us this press release in regards to the testing done by APPIA, Aojiang Pet Products Industry Association in China, on the chicken jerky strips:
APPIA, Aojiang Pet Products Industry Association in China, announced this morning that a pet treat product made by a major Chinese manufacturer passed official and independent lab tests for traces of melamine. The Chicken Jerky Strips, which are sold in Wal-Mart stores across the US, were found to be free of the harmful chemical.
Allegations made by a woman who fed her dog the Chicken Jerky Strips prompted Wal-Mart to remove the product from its shelves in late July. Melamine, a nitrogen-rich additive behind recent pet food scares, fakes a high protein count but can lead to kidney failure in high doses (over 1,000 parts per million of the chemical).
APPIA inspected the factory and spoke with operating employees to find out more details. Representatives retrieved numerous samples for testing. The samples were sent to official and independent laboratories. All the results were the same.
No chemical or biological contaminants were found during the testing.
APPIA is also aware that the product was tested by the FDA as well as the Indiana State Chemistâ€™s office â€“ both of which found no traces of melamine after extensive testing.
â€œWe hope that consumers, distributors, and retailers will respect the test results and resolve the issue before it destroys the company,â€ said an APPIA spokesperson. The association urged the FDA and CIQ (China Inspection & Quarantine) to release announcements of their findings so the Chicken Jerky Strips could be redistributed at Wal-Mart stores.
â€œThe product has passed a lot of testing from a number of labs and none have shown it to be harmful. While we are concerned about the health of the pets, we do not wish to deprive them of a product that is proven to be safe.â€
He also sent us this press release regarding the testing of Bestros chicken jerky strips done by the FDA and the Indiana State Chemist’s Office:
Bestros, a leading rawhide dog chews manufacturer in China, announced today that its Chicken Jerky Strips passed rigorous FDA, academic, and in-house testing for traces of melamine. All three labs confirmed that the harmful chemical was not found in the product.
On July 26, the Chicken Jerky Strips were proactively removed from Wal-Mart shelves after a woman claimed they were responsible for her dogâ€™s death. This compelled the FDA to conduct further investigation, which has since proved the claim false.
Melamine is a nitrogen-rich chemical used primarily to make plastics. In April 2007, it made headlines when it was found in popular brand dog food, serving as an additive to wheat gluten in order to fake high protein counts. The occurrence of melamine in pet food was considered the cause of thousands of animal deaths this year alone.
Of the initial sets of tests done on the product for melamine, one sample out of 17 was found to contain 20 parts per million of the hazardous chemical â€“ an insubstantial amount that does not warrant product recall or raise health concern. Experts on melamine consider levels over 1,000 â€“ 2,000 parts per million to be toxic, leaving even this sample well within the limits of safety. Though the 16 other tests found nothing, and the level considered safe, the small trace was enough to prompt further review.
Bob Geiger, feed administrator for the Indiana State Chemist’s office, tested the Chicken Jerky Strips from the womanâ€™s sample retrieved on July 26. â€œThe tests that we performed for melamine did not detect any,â€ said Geiger.
The FDA tested the sample from Wal-Mart that was said to contain 20 parts per million of melamine. Their results were the same as Geigerâ€™s: no traces of melamine.
According to a representative from the FDA, extensive tests were performed on multiple samples with no detectable traces of melamine found in any.
Although the item was pulled from Wal-Mart shelves in July, the Chinese company hadnâ€™t released a statement until yesterday. â€œWe wanted to be absolutely positive that our product was safe for consumption before declaring anything to the public,â€ said Craig Schattner, American spokesperson for Bestros.
The chance of melamine ever being in Chicken Jerky Strips is extremely unlikely, given that the product is 100 percent chicken. The contaminated pet food in the April recall contained vegetable proteins such as wheat gluten and rice starch to mimic natural flavoring. The ingredients in the Bestros product do not contain any of these items.
â€œOur product doesnâ€™t contain those questionable additives,â€ said Schattner, who maintained confidence that the Bestros name would be cleared. â€œAnd while the deaths of these animals are very tragic, itâ€™s been proven that they werenâ€™t caused by melamine in Chicken Jerky Strips. We are very concerned about the health of our consumers, the pets, and do everything to ensure their safety.â€
The encouraging test results from the FDA and Indiana State Chemistâ€™s office suggest that the treat will soon be cleared for distribution on Wal-Mart shelves.