Supply Chain News Bites - Only from SCDigest

-August 21, 2007


Global Supply Chain: Amidst Unclear Consumer Complaints, Wal-Mart Removes Dog Treats Sourced from China from Its Shelves


Real Issue or Paranoia, as Philadelphia Woman Says Dog is Dead?


By SCDigest Editorial Staff


In the face of some level of consumer complaints, and a Philadelphia television station story reporting on a woman who says her dog died after eating what she suspects were tainted dog treats, Wal-Mart has quietly removed two SKUs made in China from its shelves.

Last week, WPVI in Philadelphia featured a story on a local woman who believes her dog died after eating dog treats purchased at Wal-Mart and manufactured in China (see WPVI video report: Tainted Treats Suspected in Dog's Death). Testing after the dog’s death apparently indicated the dog died from an infection caused by toxic bacteria, though the source of the infection is not proven.

After these and what the Associated Press says were other consumer complaints about sick pets, Wal-Mart late in July started removing two SKUs from store shelves (Chicken Jerky Strips from Import-Pingyang Pet Product Co. and Chicken Jerky from Shanghai Bestro Trading). Wal-Mart also made changes to store databases to block the sale of those products’ UPC codes, in case any remain on the shelves.

Was there really any problem with these products? At this point, no one knows. But with the high levels of publicity regarding the potential lack of safety regarding Chinese products, companies like Wal-Mart are clearly best off for now erring on the side of caution.

Companies in general, especially those selling consumer products, need to relook at their sourcing strategies, evaluate the options anew where possible, and put in a whole new level of process improvements and monitoring programs to ensure product safety and avoid the high costs of safety issues and recalls. (See Supply Chain Tip of the Week: Improving Quality and Reducing Risk in Offshoring.)

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