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By Ros Krasny
WASHINGTON, June 13 Incidents ranging from
Chinese dog treats pulled from U.S. pet stores to the virus that
has killed millions of American piglets has raised concerns
about the safety of food and feed imports from China, lawmakers
said on Friday.
The problems "have highlighted concerns over the
effectiveness of China's food safety regulation, the
effectiveness of U.S. government regulation of imported foods
from China, and the overall safety of such foods," said
Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Republican
Representative Christopher Smith of New Jersey.
The U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China has
scheduled a hearing for Tuesday, "Pet Treats and Processed
Chicken from China: Concerns for American Consumers and Pets,"
to consider those issues.
Two major U.S. pet food chains this week pulled Chinese-made
dog and cat treats, such as jerky strips, after they were linked
to the death of some 1,000 dogs in the United States and Canada,
according to media reports.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been investigating
dog illnesses linked to Chinese jerky since 2007. As of May 1 it
had received about 4,800 reports of such illnesses.
The commission noted that researchers are exploring a
possible link between China and the domestic outbreak of Porcine
Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDv), which has killed over 7 million
piglets across the United States.
PEDv, which causes diarrhea and vomiting in pigs but is not
a threat to human health, likely originated in China's Anhui
The commission also highlighted the practice of shipping
U.S. chicken to China for processing and re-export to the United
Top witnesses at Tuesday's hearing will be Daniel Engeljohn
from the Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection
Service, and Tracey Forfa of the FDA's Center for Veterinary
The commission comprises members of Congress and the
administration, and was originally created to monitor China's
compliance with international human rights standards.
(Reporting by Ros Krasny; Editing by Eric Beech)