Lawsuit alleges Nestlé knowingly supports human rights violations, hides it from public
Aug. 27, 2015
SEATTLE– A nationwide class of pet food purchasers today filed a lawsuit against Nestlé SA (VTX:NESN) alleging that the pet food manufacturer knowingly supports a system of slave labor and human trafficking to produce its Fancy Feast cat food, while hiding its involvement with human rights violations from the public, according to attorneys at Hagens Berman.
The lawsuit alleges that Nestlé works with a Thai partner, Thai Union Frozen Products PCL, to import more than 28 million pounds of seafood-based pet food for top brands sold in America – some ingredients of which were obtained through slave labor.
Often trafficked from Thailand’s poorer neighbors such as Cambodia and Burma, men and boys are sold to fishing boat captains needing crews to man their fishing boats, according to the complaint. The work is dangerous and exhausting with shifts lasting up to 20 hours a day with little or no pay, with refusal or failure to work to a supervisor’s satisfaction resulting in beatings or even death.
“By hiding this from public view, Nestlé has effectively tricked millions of consumers into supporting and encouraging slave labor on floating prisons,” said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman. “It’s a fact that the thousands of purchasers of its top-selling pet food products would not have bought this brand had they known the truth – that hundreds of individuals are enslaved, beaten or even murdered in the production of its pet food.”
The 29-page complaint filed on Aug. 27, 2015 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California alleges that Thai Union oversees canneries, “mothership” fishing vessels, and smaller fishing boats. This structured pyramid of fishing fleets ensures that individual fishing boats operate at great distance from any port, without oversight. Deckhands operating Thai Union’s fishing boats work as modern day slaves, according to a recent New York Times article, “Sea Slaves: The Human Misery that Feeds Pets and Livestock.”
The nationwide class action seeks to deliver reimbursement to consumers who would not have purchased these products had they been aware of these human rights violations, and also seeks injunctive relief requiring Nestlé to end its deceptive marketing.
The suit accuses Nestlé of violating the California Unfair Competition Law, Consumers Legal Remedies Act and False Advertising Law.
“Instead of true employment, men and boys are sold as slaves by brokers and smugglers to fishing captains in Thai ports in need of labor. Once sold, these men and boys (hereafter ‘Sea Slaves’) enter a modern form of indentured servitude where they are required to work to pay off the price the captains paid to purchase them,” the complaint states. “These Sea Slaves are frequently resold to other fishing boats while out at sea, often at higher prices than their price at port. As a result, Sea Slaves are involuntarily forced into longer and longer periods of servitude as their debt grows and the price of their freedom becomes ever more elusive.”
The complaint also states that despite protection of human rights listed as one of Nestlé’s Corporate Business Principals, the pet food giant has failed to live up to its own ideals. According to the suit, the Bureau of International Labor Affairs of the United States Department of Labor confirms that fish and shrimp from Thailand are likely the product of forced labor.
“Nestlé had the resources to combat this and could have – should have – chosen not to support these egregious human rights violations,” Berman said. “Nestlé has failed to uphold its responsibility to ensure the absence of slave labor in its supply chains – and even worse, Nestlé not only supported these human rights violations, but forced consumers to unknowingly do the same.”
Hagens Berman has been a pioneer in consumer rights litigation, as well as lawsuits filed to ensure human rights for groups of people around the world.
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About Hagens Berman
Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP is a consumer-rights class-action law firm with offices in nine cities. The firm has been named to the National Law Journal’s Plaintiffs’ Hot List eight times. More about the law firm and its successes can be found at www.hbsslaw.com. Follow the firm for updates and news at @ClassActionLaw.
Source “Class Action Filed against Nestlé for Slave Labor, Human Trafficking Used to Produce Top-Selling Pet Food.” Class Action Filed against Nestlé for Slave Labor, Human Trafficking Used to Produce Top-Selling Pet Food. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Aug. 2015.
Lyme Disease, not to be confused with Lyme’s Disease, is caused by bacterium (spirochete) named Borrelia. This bacterium is transmitted to dogs via tick bite. Once it enters the blood stream, it is carried throughout the body, localizing in areas like the joints. Many different species of ticks carry the bacteria.
Can Lyme Disease affect people?
Yes, but humans do not get the disease from dogs. People get infected from the same ticks that give the bacteria to dogs. It is important to know the dangers of ticks, and prevent as much exposure to ticks as possible.
Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD) is a painful genetic disease that is extremely debilitating. The disease causes the dog’s hips to become weak, deteriorated and extremely arthritic. The disease is congenital and is the #1 cause for lameness in dogs. CHD is common in large breed dogs, although small dogs and cats suffer from the disease also. Hip Dysplasia is inherited, but it can occur in animals whose parents do not have CHD.
Some pet owners are claiming tiny, wire-like objects are embedded in their dog food. (Credit: Austin Seay)
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Pictures from worried pet owners have been circulating the Internet over the past few days, claiming to show wire-like objects lodged in their Pedigree brand dog food!
“I decided to check the bag I have, since my dog has been eating more grass and having stomach issues,” said Samantha Barrett in a Send It To 12 photo, “and sure enough almost every piece of food had these black (and some lighter color) hairs coming out of them. Some people think it is wire some think it is pig/cow hair but it is pretty sharp.”
Another viewer sent a photo clearly showing a thin, black fiber sticking out of a piece of dog food, saying the objects were found in “every single piece.”
Submissive Urination is Not a Housebreaking Problem
Believe it or not, this is not a house training problem. It has to do with some normal canine behavior patterns that you can and should deal with in a positive way.
Dogs are instinctively programmed to accept the authority of creatures (animal and human) that they consider to be superior to them. They seek the approval of their superiors and are eager to please them. Many dog owners prefer a dog who is submissive to people and eager to please, and selective breeding has produced many domestic dogs with this characteristic.
“My dog loves his food one day and refuses to eat it the next day.” “My cat gives new meaning to the term ‘finicky eaters.'”
The food refusal these pet owners are describing is usually the result of feeding habits owners have helped their pets establish. If you have a problem eater in your house, chances are you might be the cause of the problem. Remember one thing, a healthy dog will not go hungry. Cats, on the other hand, need to eat as health issues can quickly arise if they don’t.
Most Arthritic Dogs Do Very Well On Rimadyl, Except Ones That Die
Article Courtesy of Chris Adams
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
March 13, 2000
You might call it a made-for-TV drug. Approved for human use in the U.S. but not marketed that way, an arthritis medicine called Rimadyl languished for nearly 10 years in developmental limbo, then emerged in a surprising new form: Instead of a human drug, it was now a drug for arthritic dogs. And it became a hit.
With the aid of slick commercials featuring once-lame dogs bounding happily about, Rimadyl changed the way veterinarians treated dogs. “Clients would walk in and say, ‘What about this Rimadyl?’ ” says George Siemering, who practices in Springfield, Va.
Today, those TV spots are gone. The reason has to do with dogs like Montana.
You do everything you possibly can to ensure the health of your pet kids. But have you heard the top ten reasons why they should be taking fish oil? If you’re unfamiliar with the latest science behind omega-3 supplementation for dogs and cats, you should definitely check this out. Dr. Jane Bicks explores the health incentives for providing a quality fish oil supplement that’s formulated just for them.
The modern world has no shortage of toxic substances. Sadly, many of us need only look as far as our collection of household cleaners to locate them. Not only are they potentially harmful to humans, the little bodies of our companion animals are especially susceptible to these noxious chemicals.
For their sake, we offer up a few simple guidelines to begin ridding your home of potentially detrimental chemicals. Make your home a safer place to live and read this consumer report now!
If you love animals and love to send eCards like I do, then you’re going to absolutely LOVE Sloppy Kiss Cards! I became hooked several years ago when a friend sent me a birthday ecard in which a Boxer dog was the star of this hilarious animation. To those of you who know me, you’ll know all about my passion and obsession for Boxers. My first thought was ‘how did she do this?’ Immediately I began my investigation and discovered that I could do this too, and not just using Boxers, but a huge selection of over 250+ breeds of dogs, cats and other pets! I was instantly in puppy heaven, putting it mildly!
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