Turns out, "premium" dog food brand Blue Buffalo might not be quite as honest as you thought. After a 2014 lawsuit by Purina, the company has once again been charged with false advertising due to its use of chicken feathers and other low-quality ingredients -- a practice clearly contrary to its quality promise.
Read on for the full story, via PetFoodIndustry.com.
On March 6, pet food ingredient supplier Wilbur-Ellis and an employee were charged with eight criminal counts related to their roles in providing allegedly misbranded and adulterated poultry ingredients to Blue Buffalo. Those ingredients resulted in the 2014 false advertising lawsuit by Purina after testing revealed the presence of poultry by-product meal in some of Blue Buffalo’s top-selling pet foods.
The allegations against Wilbur-Ellis and the other defendant hold that they used too many chicken feathers and other low-quality ingredients in their poultry by-product meal, and too little chicken meat. The charges include four misdemeanor counts of introduction of adulterated food into interstate commerce, along with four counts of introduction of misbranded food into interstate commerce.
History of Purina and Blue Buffalo legal battles
On May 6, 2014, Purina filed a lawsuit against Blue Buffalo for false advertising of pet food after testing revealed the presence of poultry by-product meal in some of Blue Buffalo’s top-selling pet foods. The false advertising of pet food lawsuits claimed that some Blue Buffalo products were not consistent with the company’s “True Blue Promise,” which stated that the products are “formulated with the finest natural ingredients” and made with “no chicken/poultry by-products meals; no corn, wheat or soy; and no artificial preservatives, colors or flavors.”
In response, Blue Buffalo officially filed a lawsuit against Purina on May 14, 2014, claiming defamation, unfair competition, false advertising and violations of trade practice statutes.
On May 6, 2015, Blue Buffalo acknowledged in court that a “substantial” and “material” portion of Blue Buffalo pet food sold to consumers contained poultry by-product meal, despite advertising claims to the contrary. Under the terms of the agreement, Blue Buffalo had to pay US$32 million into a settlement fund to settle the claims of the plaintiff class.
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