The American Bestros spokesperon released this statement to Itchmo in regards to their chicken jerky strips that were taken off from Wal-Mart shelves due to complaints of illnesses from pet owners. The statement is from Shangwu Liu, who is the Managing Director of Bestros and oversees production for their pet treats.
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Shangwu Liu and I am the Managing Director of Bestros. I would like to address the issues raised about our product, the Chicken Jerky Strips, which were removed from Wal-Mart. Many readers have stated that our product was responsible for the illness of their pets.
First, please let me say that I am very sorry for your losses. We make our treats because we know dogs love them and we enjoy providing that happiness to them. At no time in our manufacturing and testing did we notice a problem with the product and continue with shipping. Every step along the way, we have been very sure that our product is safe.
Normally, chicken jerky will be processed by heat treatment, plus irradiation (which removes harmful bacteria) if necessary, but our chicken jerky was processed by heat treatment, microwave and irradiation. Especially the microwave process, this is our unique process — Bestros is the only manufacturer in the pet food industry to own the microwave equipment. Such equipment is particularly used for the pharmaceutical industry. The microwave process can cook pet food inside-out, which guarantees that the core temperature meets a certain degree. This is an additional process after regular heat treatment. Based on the guideline from the World Health Organization (WHO), we must ensure the core temperature meet this required temperature for safety purposes.
We are conscious of the importance of good health in pet foods, which is why we make our product with 100% chicken â€“ no wheat gluten, rich starch, or other additives are included that have the possibility of being tainted (see April 2007 Pet Food Scare).
Since there have been cases of illness, we have retested our product extensively. The China Inspection and Quarantine has tested it, along with the FDA and Indiana State Chemistâ€™s office. As you know, the results have been identical, and all tests were negative, but I would like to assure you that we are aware that these tests are not the end-all-be-all for the safety of this product.
A reader had mentioned that the product should be tested for heavy metal poisoning â€“ in fact, it was tested for heavy metals and also for salmonella by Wal-Mart. Neither was found in the product.
The illnesses that were reported by pet owners almost unanimously involved kidney failure. The Indiana State Chemistâ€™s office has been testing the chemicals that could be in the product that cause renal failure: diethylene glycol, ethylene glycol, propylene glycol, and melamine.
Bob Geiger, who conducted the testing, said â€œall tested below the detectable limit.â€
Please be advised, we are proactively dealing with this situation. We welcome health and safety inspections at our factory and testing by independent laboratories. We are trying to keep the public up-to-date with all this information, but we will continue testing until there are no more options left. At some point, I hope to resolve this issue, but I remain very confident that the illnesses were not a direct result of eating Chicken Jerky Strips.
In response to Dr. Rod Noel of the Indiana State Chemistâ€™s Office, who said that â€œOnly China knows what they did to the product.â€ The whole country of China is not as well-informed as I, or the Pet Products Association (APPIA). But what we know, from close inspection, is that the product does not contain any additives to the chicken that would cause renal failure. We do not cut corners or take risks with the health of the pets.
I hope that readers will not associate our company with other manufacturers that have used wheat gluten and knowingly added chemicals for deceitful purposes. To the best of our knowledge and the knowledge of many experienced chemists, we are serving safe treats to dogs that enjoy eating them.
We will continue testing our Chicken Jerky Strips to prove this to the public.
Thank you for your time.
We invite pet owners with issues to provide their veterinary reports, along with their name, address, petâ€™s breed (size/age), and veterinarianâ€™s name and address. Please send this to email@example.com and we will look into each individual case.