In a class action complaint filed in August 2016, Dale Sabo, “on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated,” accused WellPet of falsely advertising its products as being “Made in the USA” even though some vitamins and minerals are not sourced in the U.S. Last week, a federal judge dismissed the lawsuit, the Cook County Record reported.
According to the original class action suit, which was case #1:16-cv-08550 in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Sabo claimed that the “marketing and selling of Wellness brand pet food” used “an unqualified representation that they are ‘Made in the USA,’ when the products in fact contain substantial ingredients sourced from foreign countries.” And it was one ingredient in particular that made Sabo question WellPet’s USA-made claim—vitamin C.
“Sabo bought Wellness Large Breed Puppy and Adult Foods from an Illinois retailer from November 2014 through July 2016. Each package listed ascorbic acid among its ingredients, but Sabo noted the last vitamin C plant in the U.S. closed in 2009,” according to the Cook County Record.
The presiding judge, U.S. District Judge Elaine E. Bucklo, dismissed the case because Sabo failed to “‘plead and prove actual damages,’ writing he never said he wouldn’t have bought the dog food if the labels had indicated the vitamin C came from a foreign source,” the Cook Country Record wrote.
For more information on the case and its dismissal, read the Cook County Record’s full article here.
Pet Age reached out to WellPet for comment and has not yet heard back. We will update the story if/when we do.