Purina: Where Honesty Is Our First Ingredient

UPDATE

September 19, 2014

As part of our continuing effort to ensure that honesty is the main ingredient in the marketing of pet products, ​late yesterday we ​​​filed an amended complaint ​against The Blue Buffalo Company Ltd., ​expanding the claims of false advertising to include Blue Buffalo's pet treats and cat litter. In addition, new testing shows Blue Buffalo's “LifeSource Bits” actually have lower levels of some key nutrients than their standard kibble.​ ​In​ our​ amended complaint, ​we also make public the results of earlier independent testing that revealed the presence of poultry by-product meals, grains and corn in some of Blue Buffalo’s best-selling products.

View the full press release.

View the Second Amended Complaint.



UPDATE

Statement of Purina Regarding New Blue Buffalo Lawsuit

Blue Buffalo’s lawsuit today is exactly what we expected: a distraction from the real issues in the case and an attempt to stop Purina from being honest with the public about the ingredients in Blue Buffalo’s pet food.

Not only are the allegations in Blue Buffalo's complaint false, the case itself is redundant: we already asked the federal court in St. Louis – three days ago – to review our website and our public statements and rule as a matter of law that they are true.

We stand by our complaint. As detailed in our lawsuit, independent test results show that Blue Buffalo is not being honest with pet owners about the ingredients in their pet food.

And we are not alone in making this claim. Twice over the past several years the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus has recommended that Blue Buffalo modify its deceptive and misleading advertising – related to both their product ingredients and their competitors.

At Purina, we believe that honesty is the most important ingredient in the relationship between pet owners and their pet food company. That is why we have undertaken our lawsuit, and it is why we established a website, www.petfoodhonesty.com, where pet owners can learn the truth. (May 14, 2014)



UPDATE

Statement of Purina

Last week Purina filed a lawsuit detailing independent test results that show that Blue Buffalo is not being honest about the ingredients in many of their best-selling pet foods. We also posted a website, www.petfoodhonesty.com, so that the public can learn more about the issues in the case.

In light of public threats from Blue Buffalo to sue Purina (and even individuals at our company) for defamation, we have amended our complaint to ask the Missouri federal court to review our website and our public statements, and rule – as a matter of law – that they are not defamatory. We are confident in the test results, which show that Blue Buffalo products contain by-products, corn and grain – exactly the opposite of what Blue Buffalo is telling consumers.

Blue, a billion-dollar company that spent more than $50 million in advertising in 2013 attacking “big name manufacturers,” simply doesn’t like that the truth is getting out. We believe consumers deserve honesty, and we are not alone. Our lawsuit follows two separate decisions of the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus recommending Blue Buffalo change advertising it found to be misleading and disparaging against competitors.

At Purina, we believe that honesty is the most important ingredient in the relationship between pet owners and pet food manufacturers. That is why we have filed this action, and that is why we believe the truth will prevail. (May 12, 2014)



UPDATE

From Fox Business News: Blue Buffalo Chairman acknowledges reliance on outside, third-party manufacturers, doesn't entirely rule out the possibility of a manufacturing snafu…

To read the complete article, click here. (May 8, 2014)



UPDATE

Statement of Purina

We've seen Blue Buffalo’s response to our lawsuit and have the following comments:

  • This is exactly what we expected from Blue Buffalo, a billion-dollar company that is not being honest about the ingredients in their pet food. As detailed in our lawsuit, it is time the truth comes out so that pet owners can make the right choice for their pets.
  • For more than 85 years, Purina has been in the pet food business, and 99% of Purina pet food sold in the United States is manufactured at Purina’s own plants in the United States. By contrast, 100% of Blue Buffalo pet food is outsourced and made by third-party manufacturers. Consumers have a right to know who is actually manufacturing Blue Buffalo products.

We are confident in our independent testing, and we look forward to proving our case in court.

We will continue to provide updates to pet owners at www.petfoodhonesty.com. (May 7, 2014)



May 6, 2014

Dear Pet Owner,

Purina believes that honesty is the most important ingredient in the relationship between pet owners and pet food manufacturers, so that pet owners can have trust in the food they choose for their pet.

In the interest of ensuring pet owners understand what is in the pet food they buy, on May 6, Purina filed a lawsuit in U.S. Federal District Court in St. Louis against The Blue Buffalo Company Ltd., for false advertising. We took this action because we believe that Blue Buffalo is not being honest about the ingredients in its pet food.

Here are some facts we’d like you to know:

  • Blue Buffalo’s promotion, advertising and packaging repeatedly and unequivocally state that its pet food products contain “NO Chicken/Poultry By-Product Meals.” As documented in our lawsuit, however, testing conducted by an independent laboratory revealed that several of Blue Buffalo’s top-selling “Life Protection” pet food products actually contain substantial amounts of poultry by-product meal.
  • Independent testing also shows that Blue Buffalo “LifeSource Bits” contain poultry by-product meal and corn. In addition, several Blue Buffalo products promoted as “grain-free” actually contain rice hulls, despite Blue Buffalo stating on its website that its “grain-free” products will “free your pet from the grains and glutens that cause allergic reactions in some dogs.”
  • Our lawsuit follows decisions against Blue Buffalo by the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. In March 2014, NAD found Blue Buffalo’s advertisements to be misleading and disparaging against competitors’ products. NAD also found Blue Buffalo’s advertising deceptive in a 2008 decision that recommended its superiority claims be modified and its “NO Animal By-Products” claims be discontinued when referencing pet food products that actually do contain animal by-products, such as fish meal, lamb meal and/or liver.

For more than 85 years, Purina has been putting pets first and raising the standards for pet nutrition – from innovative research, to food safety, to sustainable practices. We are invested in the quality of our food because we are a company of pet lovers. Our principles have guided us to take this action to stop misleading and deceptive advertising aimed at pet owners.

We encourage you to learn more about our case, Nestlé Purina PetCare Company v. Blue Buffalo Company Ltd., Civil Case No. 4:14-cv-00859 and the NAD decisions. View the press release.

At Purina, what goes in the bag goes on the label.

– From the Pet Lovers at Purina