Could a controversial source of glycerin be the cause of so many canine deaths associated with imported Chinese dog treats?
The FDA recently began notifying regulated industries that products using oils, glycerin or protein derived from jatropha seeds may be toxic to humans and animals.
Products using jatropha derivatives — like glycerin — include both human and animal foods as well as medical products and cosmetics.
What Is Jatropha?
Jatropha is a hearty shrub that can be grown in semi-tropical and tropical areas throughout the world.
Due to its high oil content and relatively low cost, the plant has recently become an attractive source material for making biodiesel.
Unfortunately, though, unlike other more benign materials used to make biofuels, jatropha may contain unwelcome toxic by-products like phorbol esters.
These compounds exhibit acute and chronic toxicity to humans and animals alike. What’s worse, the actual toxic substances can be found in the glycerin and protein by-products.
Toxic compounds that could easily find their way into dog treats.
However, even though the FDA is unaware of any contamination, conventional impurity test methods may not be able to detect the presence of these toxins.
Could Tainted Glycerin
Be the Cause of the Problem?
After checking various online sources, nearly every Chinese jerky dog treat ingredient list checked by The Dog Food Advisor looked to made with glycerin.
So, could contaminated glycerin be the cause of the problem?
In a word, yes.
According to the FDA manufacturer notification, this appears to be a reasonable possibility.
The Bottom Line
Until the FDA or the industry has positively identified the cause the death of these unfortunate — and innocent — animals, why expose your pet to these avoidable risks?
So, what’s the best course of action?
Avoid feeding these potentially deadly treats in the first place. Don’t buy them. Or if you already have, take them back to the store you got them from.
How to Report Problems
You can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in your area.
Or go to http://www.fda.gov/petfoodcomplaints.
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