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As I understand it, the motivation is genuine, namely, to protect the welfare of America's domestic dogs and cats. It is interesting that Petco based their decision upon what customers were saying and reacted to that because there is no scientific evidence of a link between these Chinese made treats and the death or ill-health of dogs and cats (as far as I'm aware). As I understand it, there have been some studies and tests but nothing which points conclusively to this product causing severe illness or death in pets.
To be brutally honest, I am rather suspicious of what has gone on behind the scenes. I almost feel that there has been some political shenanigans going on between the Chinese and the Americans. I have no evidence to back that thought up. It is just a gut feeling. But when thousands upon thousands of people complain about these cat and dog treats making their dogs very ill or killing them, it is extremely uprising that the authorities, through their scientists, cannot isolate the cause.
Many people felt that there was an urgent need for a least a suspension on the sale of these products but nothing happened. I suppose the authorities decided that people would just simply stop buying them; the problem would fix itself, but not everybody had heard about this potential health hazard and of course the authorities have an obligation to protect both people and pets.
I have to be brutally honest again and say that China has a rather poor record when it comes to pet food and I can't get it out of my mind that in some parts of China they eat the domestic cat which does not provide me with an awful lot of confidence that the Chinese manufacturers of pet food respect the domestic cat and dog. Not only do the Chinese (some Chinese) eat domestic cats and dogs but they also like to use their fur to line the inside of gloves and slippers etc.. Not a great endorsement to encourage people to buy their pet food products.
At one time they put melamine in pet food. People have no doubt forgotten about that. There is a bit of a history here. People should read was on the packet I think.