Class Action Suit Alleges Nestle Benefits From Fishing Vessel Slavery To Make Fancy Feast

(eren {sea+prairie})

If they knew, cats would probably prefer to catch their own fish. (eren {sea+prairie})

Last week, we shared the news that a Costco customer had filed a class action lawsuit against the warehouse retailer, claiming that they sell shrimp benefiting from slave labor. Now cat owners have filed a similar lawsuit against Nestle, parent company of Fancy Feast cat food, claiming that the company uses mistreated and enslaved workers to catch fish destined for cat food cans.

Lawsuits regarding the treatment of workers in the seafood industry seem to have their roots in a recent New York Times investigative report about the terrible conditions for workers on Thai vessels that catch forage fish far from the shore. These small fish become food for our pets, for meat animals like pigs, and for the fish being raised on seafood farms.

The ships operate so far from land that mistreatment of workers is a serious problem: the Thai government isn’t even aware that some of the vessels exist. Non-governmental organizations and even the U.S. Department of Labor agree that seafood imported from Thailand is likely to benefit from slave labor at least in part.

“Knowing that the much of the fish sold in Nestlé’s pet food is likely the product of
slave labor is material to consumers not wishing to support slave labor with their purchasing power,” the plaintiff’s attorneys say in the initial complaint. As much as cat owners joke about being enslaved by their pets, the cats themselves probably wouldn’t appreciate it, either.

Class Action Filed against Nestlé for Slave Labor, Human Trafficking Used to Produce Top-Selling Pet Food [Hagens Berman]

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