Pet Food Giant Punished for Lying
On May 6th of 2014, Purina Pet Food filed a lawsuit against Blue Buffalo claiming Blue’s pet food contained by-products when Blue’s advertising proclaimed “No Chicken/Poultry By-Product Meals”. Purina claimed they had laboratory testing proving some varieties of Blue Buffalo pet foods contained the very ingredients that they assured consumers that they absolutely do not use in their products.
This advertisement enrages me. The ad clearly falsifies what the product is truly made from. This advertisement is one of the many that consumers have seen. It is from 2014.
Listen, Purina far from being any good. Making claims against Blue Buffalo is like calling the kettle black. People in glass houses shouldn’t throw rocks. Hill’s Pet Nutrition also joined the bandwagon to fight Blue Buffalo. By the way, Purina and Hill’s contain ingredients from China in their pet products as you can see my article Most Commercial Dog Foods Source from China. My guess is that a couple of the most notorious pet food manufacturers saw Blue Buffalo as a threat and did a little bit of digging.
Blue buffalo has not been honest with their consumers about the ingredients in their products. Spending approximately $50 million each year on advertising, Blue Buffalo has continually misrepresented their products and deliberately deceived consumers. Claiming their food contains NO Chicken Poultry By-Product Meals couldn’t be further than the truth.
Samples of Blue Buffalo foods were tested and found to contain well over 20% of by-product ingredients.
Blue Buffalo states that their “LifeSource Bits” contain vitamins and minerals which have unique health benefits is also a lie. The “LifeSource Bits” do not contain enough nutrients to deliver the health benefits that the company promises.
There are many examples of this false advertising. Blue Buffalo claims that the LifeSource Bits contain taurine “for healthy eyes and heart,” but the amount of taurine was either minimal or non-existent. Vitamin D “for healthy bones and tissue,” but in reality the bits had less vitamin D than the other kibble in the product. They state that the bits contain L-Carnitine “for endurance and fat metabolism.”
Blue Buffalo did not voluntarily recall their products. No authorities demanded recalls. Pet food is hardly regulated (if at all). These circumstances illustrate this rampant problem within the industry.
On December 10th, 2015 the class action suit was settled. Blue Buffalo agreed to pay $32 million and admit no wrong-doing. The amount awarded to each class member depends on the total amount of Blue Buffalo products were purchased by that member. This was the largest pet food industry settlement in history.
Blue Buffalo finally admitted that their foods were mislabeled, but they did not voluntarily recall their products. No State or Federal authority required Blue Buffalo to recall the mislabeled pet foods. It is unknown why. Mislabeling of a pet food is a violation of regulations and would be a foundation for recall. Pet food companies have the upper hand. This is a bid reason why I have an issue with the Dog Food Advisor website because they evaluate products based solely upon what is on the label. To read more about the gross faults within the Dog Food Advisor’s rating methods, check out my articles Issues with the Dog Food Advisor Website (part I) and Pet Food Safety Concerns & the Dog Food Advisor (part II).
This is not as uncommon as you think. Due to the lack of regulation monitoring, these large pet food companies are doing whatever suits them with no regard for our beloved dogs. I have tons of articles about pet food. A great one to start with is What’s REALLY in Dog Food?
“Blue Buffalo Admits to Byproduct Meal, Purina Responds.” PetfoodIndustrycom RSS. PetfoodIndustry.com, 7 May 2015. Web. 27 Dec. 2015. <http://www.petfoodindustry.com/articles/5166-blue-buffalo-admits-to-byproduct-meal-purina-responds>.
“» Blue Buffalo: “Never Has Chicken/Poultry By-Product Meals” ?” » Blue Buffalo: “Never Has Chicken/Poultry By-Product Meals” ? Mouseprint.org, 12 May 2014. Web. 27 Dec. 2015. <http://www.mouseprint.org/2014/05/12/blue-buffalo-never-has-chickenpoultry-by-product-meals/>.
Robbie Hargett. “Consumer Alleges Big Heart Pet Brands, J.M. Smucker Guilty of False Marketing.” Consumer Alleges Big Heart Pet Brands, J.M. Smucker Guilty of False Marketing. Legalnewsline.com, 19 Jan. 2016. Web. 08 Feb. 2016. <http://legalnewsline.com/stories/510658686-consumer-alleges-big-heart-pet-brands-j-m-smucker-guilty-of-false-marketing>.
Robbie Hargett. “Pet Food Makers Sued over Allegedly Mislabeling Products.” Pet Food Makers Sued over Allegedly Mislabeling Products. Http://legalnewsline.com, 15 Jan. 2016. Web. 08 Feb. 2016. <http://legalnewsline.com/stories/510658198-pet-food-makers-sued-over-allegedly-mislabeling-products>.
Robbie Hargett. “Wysong Sued over Allegedly Falsely Labeling Products as Made in US.” Wysong Sued over Allegedly Falsely Labeling Products as Made in US. http://legalnewsline.com, 13 Jan. 2016. Web. 08 Feb. 2016. <http://legalnewsline.com/stories/510657698-wysong-sued-over-allegedly-falsely-labeling-products-as-made-in-us>.
Thixton, Susan. “Blue Buffalo Agrees to Pay $32 Million in Settlement.” Truth about Pet Food. TruthaboutPetFood.com, 14 Dec. 2015. Web. 27 Dec. 2015. <http://truthaboutpetfood.com/blue-buffalo-agrees-to-pay-32-million-in-settlement/>.