Earlier this summer, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Dynamic Pet Products that claims that when their Real Ham Bones for Dogs are chewed they are prone to splintering into shards that can slice through the dog’s digestive tract. In court filings the company did say that the label of the Real Ham Bones does state that risks like these are possible. Now the Better Business Bureau is pushing for congress to help get the dog treats off store shelves.
Michelle L. Corey, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) wrote a letter to every United States senator stating that the BBB is seeing an increasing number of complaints against the product and its manufacturer. She says that the complaints claim that numerous dogs are becoming ill or dying after chewing on the treat. When questions by a Wisconsin news station a spokesperson for Dynamic Pet Products had this to say:
“We are a family business that cares deeply about our customers and their pets. We take the safety of the products we offer very seriously and go above and beyond what is required by law with the measures we have in place. We also hold our suppliers to strict standards and constantly review how we can continue to improve. There are inherent risks with the use of many products, including natural bones. The Real Ham Bone includes warning information and guidelines to help customers minimize those risks to their pets.”
The Federal Drug Administration has received 22 complaints about the Real Ham Bone dog treats since 2010. The complaints have come from 15 different states in the U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, a democrat from Missouri, wrote in her July newsletter that she is working with the FDA to address concerns associated with the ham bone products. She says:
“Now, it's time to hold the FDA's feet to the fire to get answers about what they're doing to ensure pet safety… I’ve reached out to them demanding answers about what they've done since learning of the complaints to determine if the product should continue to be sold.”
When the same Wisconsin news station reviewed records provided by the FDA they found that inspectors from the FDA tried to inspect Dynamic Pet Products’ plant in January of 2012,but they were refused entry to conduct a full inspection and were escorted out along with officials from the Missouri Department of Agriculture. One of the investigators wrote in his report that the plant manager refused to comply with the inspection until the FDA gave him a case, statute or law that proved they had the jurisdiction over the Real Ham Bone treats that are manufactured in the facility.
The inspection was conducted by the FDA a couple of weeks later, but that offered the company plenty of time to get the plant in order before they returned. Dynamic Pet Products has said that they have reached out to the Better Business Bureau with an invitation to come tour their facility. The BBB responded that a tour of the facility would not address the underlying problem with the product or benefit the numerous pet owners who have reported that Real Ham Bone treats have killed or injured their dog.
The FDA does regulate the retail and wholesale of animal food products, including the ham bone treats. However, there is no requirement that pet food products have pre-market approval by the FDA. There are many organizations working to change these laws, but for right now there is no rules saying that manufacturers need pre-market approval of their products.