S&M NuTech has been under intense media scrutiny in recent weeks. In response to consumer complaints and a single lawsuit filed against the company for incidents involving pets with intestinal and esophageal obstructions, the maker of Greenies said it plans to make some changes to its packaging. Joe Roetheli said the company plans to make the instructions more prominent on the packaging telling pet owners to carefully monitor their pets when feeding Greenies and make sure they feed their animal the right size treat. The company warns owners that dogs who gulp their food, or otherwise do not adequately chew Greenies, could have trouble digesting the treat, as could animals which eat Greenies that are too big or too small for their body size. Reportedly, the US Food and Drug Administration has received dozens of complaints about Greenies and is in the process of an informal inquiry, with which Roetheli said his company is cooperating.
In the wake of the press attention, some retailers have removed Greenies from their shelves. Roetheli stated that he didn't believe that sales of the treats had been affected too adversely, even with the negative publicity. In a recent press conference, Roetheli emphasized the incidence rate was incredibly low based on the number of treats sold. "The worst-case scenario statistics we have seen have one incident reported for every 8.1 million Greenies sold," he said. He also noted that the biggest misconception to come out of the press was that the Greenies packaging stated that the treat was 100% digestible. The packaging actually states that the treat is 100% edible. Roetheli commented that he would consider removing that statement from the label to prevent consumer confusion.
He added that too little focus has been given to the ability of Greenies to help keep dogs' teeth clean, saying complications from gum and tooth decay take three to five years off a dog's life.