Pet care giant Nestlé Purina is suing rival Blue Buffalo for allegedly misleading customers about what’s in their dog and cat food.
The lawsuit claims that independent testing found “significant percentages of poultry by-product meal” in several of Blue Buffalo’s top-selling “Life Protection” pet foods. The complaint also alleges Blue Buffalo’s “LifeSource Bits” contain poultry by-product meal and corn, and that several Blue Buffalo products promoted as “grain-free” actually contain rice hulls.
Blue Buffalo claims that its pet foods are made with “only the finest natural ingredients” including “real meat, whole grains, and veggies.”
There is “NO chicken (or poultry) by-product meals, artificial preservatives, corn, wheat or soy,” in Blue Buffalo’s pet food, according to the company website.
The complaint estimates that Blue Buffalo spent approximately $50 million in 2013 to promote its claims that Blue Buffalo ingredients are all natural and superior to competitors.
“We believe consumers deserve honesty when it comes to the ingredients in the food they choose to feed their pets,” Steven Crimmins, vice president and chief marketing officer of Nestlé Purina, said in a statement. “Our commitment to owners and their pets is not a marketing ploy or advertising slogan. At Purina, what goes in the bag goes on the label.”