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Cause of death still a mystery in China-made pet food scare in US

Published on Jun 18, 2014 8:56 AM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - US authorities have yet to determine what exactly caused the deaths of more than 1,000 dogs that consumed jerky pet treats made in China, a Congressional panel heard on Tuesday.

Major pet supply retailers Petco and Petsmart have said they will phase out all China-made pet food in their stores over the coming months, amid growing consumer jitters about the safety of their ingredients.

Ms Tracey Forfa of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) told the Congressional-Executive Commission on China that more than 5,600 dogs in the United States are known to have fallen ill since 2007 due to jerky products imported from China.

"Unfortunately, to date, the FDA has not been able to identify a specific cause for the reported illnesses or deaths despite an intensive scientific investigation," said Ms Forfa, deputy director of the FDA's Centre for Veterinary Medicine.

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