In spite of numerous complaints by pet owners who contend that certain dog treats containing imported chicken from China sickened or killed their dogs, manufacturer Nestle Purina alleges the products to be safe and refuses to issue a voluntary recall. And since Food and Drug Administration (FDA) testing has not identified toxins thus far, they cannot mandate a recall at this time.
On July 13, 2012, NBC News reported a class action suit filed against Nestle Purina and several stores that sell dog treats that they allege killed or sickened their dogs. The suit, which began with an April complaint from an Illinois dog owner, added six pet owners across the county and seeks to join with a related federal court lawsuit, which claims to represent nearly all pet owners who purchased the Nestle Purina dog treats within the past four years.
FDA officials refuse to release results of Chinese plant inspections on the grounds that release of this information could interfere with enforcement proceedings while violating trade secret and confidential commercial information rules. Nestle Purina continues to support the safety of its products and the extensive testing they perform to ensure product safety. But affected pet owners believe the current lack of toxin evidence does not mitigate the obvious effects of the products on the health of their pets. More than 15,000 pet owners signed a petition calling for a product recall. And recognizing the serious nature of the complaint, the FDA continues to look for new testing methods to identify toxins within the treats.