In reaction to over 1,000 animal deaths, congressional candidate Marc Litchman is calling on Congress to pass legislation that will ban the import of food poisonous to animals and for pet owners and consumers to boycott Petco and Petsmart.
Toxic jerky treats, imported from China, are an ongoing source of sickness and death. As of May 1, more than 1,000 dogs have died after ingesting toxic treats. The FDA has received 4,800 reports of pet illnesses since 2007, 1,800 of which were submitted following the agency's last warning in October 2013.
Placing corporate profits squarely in front of the health of millions of pets, Petco announced that "it will stop carrying China-made dog treats at its more than 1,300 store locations nationwide by the end of 2014.
Petsmart made a similar calculation and promises to stop selling the treats by March of 2015. Asked why the products couldn't be taken off the shelves sooner, a Petsmart representative said, "We don't want to leave pet parents high and dry."
An example of the deadly double standard acceptable in the pet industry - Trader Joes quickly removed 15,000 pounds of hummus at the mere hint of safety concerns, even though not a single illness had been reported.
"Not only do they import and profit from treats they know to be harmful from China, now they want to cut their losses by duping uninformed pet owners into picking up the tab for their shameful greed," said Litchman.
"Congress and the Food and Drug Administration must enact laws and regulations that ban the import of food that is harmful to animals. Pet owners have been defenseless long enough. We need representatives in Congress that will fight for the protections we expect and deserve," concluded Litchman.