The Washington Post

Bo Obama drafted in campaign against pet food imported from China

(Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press)

Critics of the safety of food imported from China are enlisting the aid of a figure very close to President Obama: Bo Obama.

Hmm… if a President’s kids are off limits, what about the First Dog? Ah, what the heck — the pooch has already entered the political fray by cutting his own campaign commercial.

Food & Water Watch, which lobbies for stricter food-import laws, accompanied a recent article with a photo of the adorable pup taken in front of the White House. “Is the First Dog being fed risky chicken treats from China? The President owes Bo and all of us finalized food safety rules to protect our health,” the photo caption says.

The group’s bone to pick: Currently, there aren’t any regulations on the safety of pet food imported from China, a country whose poultry processing has often been a bit dicey (cough, bird flu, cough). Still, the amount of food flowing to U.S. pets from China has increased by 85-fold from 2003 to 2011. That’s a lot of kibble.

And the FDA has issued warnings about Chinese chicken jerky doggie treats that have sickened and even killed some U.S. pups.

“China should not be allowed to export any food — for humans or pets — to the U.S. until it gets its food safety act together,” the Food & Water Watch says in the article alongside the Bo shot.

We can only imagine that Bo doesn’t dine on plebeian Chinese jerky (we picture him instead noshing on organic, free-range steak tartare whipped up by a White House toque) but the group’s point might have some bite.

And at least they’ve got a good-looking poster pup.

Emily Heil is the co-author of the Reliable Source and previously helped pen the In the Loop column with Al Kamen.


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