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Purina Sues Blue Buffalo

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  1. Jessica

    You said exactly what I was thinking. The pot calling the kettle black is exactly what I said when I saw your email. It will be interesting what is found in Purina’s products once testing begins. Just because Purina chooses to list those ingredients (corn and byproducts) does not make it OK to use it and let unsuspecting pet parents feed it. Perhaps Blue was taking away too much of their profits? For what other reason would they open themselves to this? I smell a counter-suit coming…

    1. Patricia

      I tried many varieties off Blue Buffalo for my Frenchie Emma Rose and none of them agreed with her…hair falling out, sores, flaky skin, because she has food allergies, she was on the Zero Grain BB which I though she could get along with. Finally gave up on it and started feeding her Rachel Rays “Just 6” ingredients and she has done really well on that…shedding stopped, flaky skin stopped, and hair grew back and no sores!

    2. sylvia

      Nestle …. the corporation that’s spending MILLIONS $$$ fighting GMO labelling as they don’t believe consumers have the right to know what’s really in their food. They wouldn’t want pet owners to know that the corn & soy in that bag of pet food is Monsanto’s toxic GMOs

  2. Nancy McGuire

    My cats had the runs from Blue Buffalo and were losing weight. As soon as I changed to Halo they were themselves again.

  3. Michelle

    It is getting SO hard to try and find as perfect a pet food as you can. I read read read labels, I study websites, I send emails to companies about their food. The bottom line is it is just so damn sad. Cancer is #1 death in dogs. Food is a biggie in that. For those of us who feed what we consider HIGH END dog food – it’s sad to hear things like this. Sadly my first thought is “this is coming from PURINA? Who would feed PURINA?” But as I have trusted Taste of the Wild for a long time, if they are doing this… they need to be accountable for it.

    1. Derp

      I fed my dog Ol’ Roy for 15 years, he lived to be old for his breed and had no cancer or other problems. The Dog Food companies are selling you the “Dog food is killing your dog” so you are willing to spend more money on “The good stuff”

      1. Pet Owner

        By the way dog food companies (the PFI) isn’t calling out ANY of their food. They know their’s a price point for every consumer mentality. That’s it. Doesn’t make it right.

        We had a neighbor once. Midwest born, worked in coal mine until military service brought him to Calif. and a sales job. Confirmed alcoholic but functioning. Before breakfast daily, couple shots of bourbon & beer chaser, THEN he drove 40 mile round trip to work, wet lunch, passed after dinner every single evening. Chain smoker too! In the 1980’s he died at 82 yrs. Hardly a day sick. Knew a couple people very similar horrendous lifestyles, well into their 80’s. Does that prove no value to medical wisdom and common sense? Or was their genetic makeup particularly stable?? Would anybody eat McDonald’s 365 a year.

        Ol Roy has (or had) Ethoxyquin actually listed on the label. The goal of PF is not for a dog to “survive” their diet but to live a long, healthy, AND comfortable life. Just as you would throw in a few healthy choices once in awhile too.

        1. Regina

          Very good point, Pet Owner

  4. Renee

    Hysterical. Just hysterical. Maybe the only good that can come from these two companies, and all big pet food companies, tearing each other down, is maybe there will eventually be some quality controls. If they are all busy checking each others’ ingredients, maybe we will get somewhere.

    Now, who is going to test and sue purina?

  5. Tamara

    Every time I see a Blue Buffalo commercial, I just laugh, because I assume that they are lying just like all the rest. I tried the BB once and my 10 cats wouldn’t eat the life source bits at all. The chickens did however. Maybe all the big name guys will get in a legal battle with each other and out themselves for their shady deals. Now that would be interesting to watch.

  6. Dr. Laurie Coger

    Is there any way to prove by analysis of the food that it contains poultry by-product meal, as different from poultry meal?

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      My thoughts too Dr. Laurie – the legal definitions of the ingredients are very similar so I don’t know how this testing was performed.
      Poultry meal: “the dry rendered product from a combination of clean flesh and skin with or without accompanying bone, derived from the parts of whole carcasses of poultry or a combination thereof, exclusive of feathers, heads, feet, and entrails.”
      Poultry by-product meal: “consists of the ground, rendered clean parts of the carcass of slaughtered poultry, such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs, and intestines, exclusive of feathers, except in such amounts as might occur unavoidably in good processing practices.”

    2. Susan Thixton Author

      One more thing – those tests were not part of the evidence filed today. I guess that waits until trial. Not showing their hand.

  7. Pacific Sun

    I had a feeling the “perceived” honesty of Blue Buffalo’s advertising campaign would hit a nerve eventually. It was shocking that the company chose to distance itself from the PFI Pack for as long as they have. But isn’t it true to form that being in the habit of getting by with whatever, at least as far as consumers are concerned, that they never would’ve guessed being lab tested by one of their peers!

    I can’t wait for our truly impartial testing to get underway. This lawsuit is SO timely right now. Because they have sparked media attention both sides have much at stake. Especially if this case goes before a jury. Before that happens though, who wants to guess both sides will settle out of court? Meaning that BB will be forced to change their course of advertising?

  8. Robin

    Purina seems a little brazen in going after Blue, not because the issues they discovered aren’t legitimate, but because they’ve opened a door and issued an invitation to allow others to investigate Purina’s components and ingredients, which, lets face it, are not above board by any stretch of the imagination.

    1. Kelley

      My guess is this is more about a slap on the wrist. Meaning a threat. Few PF companies have in terms of advertising gone after another company. Because I doubt that any of them want their business made public. Each side will probably gather enough evidence to bury the other one, should it go public. And should it reach the media. Thereby forcing Blue Buffalo to return to the standard advertising rank and file before that ever happens.

    2. Derp

      Actually Purina doesn’t hide what they put in their foods and if they are they arent claiming that there is none of something in their food. They have nothing to prove. Yes their ingredients aren’t great but they aren’t lying to people outright

      1. Jeri

        Are any pet food companies telling the public that they use 4 D and are able to do so thanks to the FDA compliance law? Are they telling the public that just because chicken is first on the ingredient list followed by 5 grains that it doesn’t mean that the “food” (using the term loosely) contains mostly meat? Then they are all complicit in trying to fool the public. Trying to say one is “lying” while the other is lily white is absurd. Purina produces some of the lowest grade stuff out there. I’m no fan of BB either, as we feed raw and will continue to do so, but pot meet kettle indeed!

      2. Pet Owner

        Well they are lying. When they show people through false advertising that raw, fresh, whole chicken drumsticks, carrots and green (I assume beans) are going right into the dog’s food bowl, then dissolving into kibble. Then they go ahead and make that kibble look like the food pieces they want you to think are in there. Check out Beneful’s advertising, now facetiously called “Happy Dog” food.

        How do we know this? Look at the label ingredients. The first 5 tell most of the story. Doesn’t help that food coloring is used. What they forget to tell you is the conglomorate mess of all food stuffs included (check out the FDA’s Compliance Policies), cooked at such a high temperature for extrusion processing, so leaching the nutrients, that the mixture has to be recalculated with synthetic and foreign sourced substances.

        The issue isn’t (necessarily) a couple of meals of this stuff. But dogs living on this diet for years and years and …

        The ONLY thing that Purina SHOULD be proving, through evidence based research, is the value of their food!!!!

      3. Regina

        Um, Derp, if Purina isn’t outright lying, they are certainly purposefully misleading. I’ve had people tell me that their ProPlan Shredded version has actual pieces of shredded chicken in the bag. I found that hard to believe, and one day I saw a bunch of it spilled on the floor and I picked up one of those “shred” pieces and tore it with my hands. I was really curious about it. Well, it did not look like meat. It looked and felt kinda “bready” with the texture being very dense stale bread, lots of air holes in it like bread (real meat doesn’t have airholes, does it?).

        So yeah, they may not being outright lying, but they most definitely imply one thing, but serve up another.

  9. dc

    What we need is a new law, called “The Hypocrite Law.” The law requires anyone suing someone else for something that they are in fact doing themselves, they must suffer twice the consequence of those they sued.

    1. Valerie Noyes

      dc- Beautiful!! That’s perfect, I love it. I don’t use Blue, its become a big pet food itself, and if the claims are true then shame on them. But PURINA blowing the whistle? Hysterical.

      1. Genny

        Excellent Idea Valerie! And push it all across the board to other areas in hopes of stopping frivolous lawsuits.

    2. Regina

      I’d vote for “The Hypocrite Law” !!!!!! That’s the best idea I’ve heard in a long time.

    3. Derp

      I love how people don’t understand that Purina ISNT doing what it is suing Blue for…in fact Blue says that Purina hides their ingredients – that fact is included in the law suit because Purina isn’t hiding any of their ingredients…Seems like Blue Buffalo has been putting the blame it deserves on others this whole time

  10. KC Cowen

    Since Purina has been the absolute worse dog and cat food on the market, using substandard garbage and calling it “Natural” and since they use corn, soy and every other cheap ingredient, I find it interesting that they have the gall to find fault with any other company. Glass houses and stones and all that….. Clean up your act before you throw those stones. I would like to know who the “independent” lab is and I bet it will come out that Purina paid them to say whatever they, Purina, wanted. Hope they get sued for this.

  11. Susan Thixton Author

    Something I didn’t think of when I wrote the story above – Purina built an entire website about this lawsuit along with a new domain. Had the website ready to go the very day the complaint was filed in court. A lot of planning went into that. Instead of just taking a competitor to task for what Purina states is misleading claims – is Purina using this lawsuit as marketing of their own? Has anyone ever seen a lawsuit do something like this? Lawyers out there want to comment?

    1. Jeff Watts

      And launched everything the day Blue Buffalo announced its intention to go public, with its IPO. Co-incedence? I think not…

  12. Kristi

    Very powerful information including Susan’s brilliant and true commentary. “Truth About Pet Food” really knocked this ball out of the park! If you knew nothing about this issue, this makes it crystal clear. I am PROUD to have supported your efforts. Together, with you as Team Captain, it looks like those of us who love our pets are beginning to have an impact on making their food safe. How very heartening.

  13. Dr. Jeff

    Great to see a company built on pure marketing getting what they deserve. Wouldn’t mind blue or any of these fly by night companies, but they don’t have any (or very few) vets, nutritionist etc on staff. How can you make good food without them. Throwing mangos in a bag doesn’t make it good for dogs just cause it’s good for humans. Say what you will about Purina, but they’ve been feeding pets forever and have tons of research over countless years. Beyond Purina, not sure all the hub bub over by-products- it’s the best part of an animal. Show me the research that shows anything bad about them, other than it makes us squeamish to think about us eating livers, hearts etc.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      I agree Dr. Jeff with internal organs themselves being quality nutrition for pets. That is – if the internal organs are sourced from USDA inspected and approved animals and that the internal organs themselves are healthy. Consumers have no guarantee of this from any pet food – unless – that pet food is made from 100% human quality (USDA certified for human consumption) ingredients. Pet grade ingredients are allowed to use diseased tissues and these rejected for use in human food by-products are also treated with denaturing products such as crank case oil (I’m not kidding). So it’s not by-products themselves that (I believe) most consumers take issue with – it is the pet grade ingredients (known as suitable for use in animal food per FDA directives) that the consumer is not told is included in their pet food that people object to. Until all companies (Purina and Blue Buffalo) disclose the true quality of their ingredients – I believe consumers have a right to take issue with any ingredient in any pet food. Truth is what people want.

    2. Regina

      Dr. Jeff, yes, Purina has been feeding animals a long time, and they’ve done tons of research, but, to feed a cat a diet based on corn is just plain wrong. They are carnivores, and meat is the best source of protein for them. Purina may have been good food years ago (I don’t know, I didn’t have pets when they started), but, I think they are just relying on their name to sell their product. Purina has so many different “levels” of pet foods. They sell some real crap that has no meat what-so-ever, but has sugar, dyes, an all sorts of junk. Then they sell some stuff that is marketed as “natural”, some that is “premium” – whatever. If they want to sell good pet food, why do they also sell crap?

      1. Peter

        Purina has indeed done tons of research over countless years, and that includes research focused on developing “least cost mix” formulas but more importantly, and providing a framework for all that they do as a business, employing scientists and researchers to develop ways to get dogs to eat things that they would normally never touch. Take away the digests they use… and they wouldn’t be able to sell a thing to your dog.

        “PetFoodHonesty” .com? That’s pretty funny. Wonder where they got the idea for that name… since PFI has already co-opted a version of TAPF, they had to settle for a look-a-like name!

    3. Dave S

      Quality foods that use organ meat such as heart, kidney or liver list it on the ingredient panel as such. The term “meat by product’ indicates these are not the organs that are being used. A Science Diet rep tried this with me once and apologists for by product meats should be questioned as to why they do not list heart, liver or kidney on their ingredient panel. It is because they can’t because that is not the quality of organ meat they are using.

    4. cc

      Why don’t you talk about all the $$$$ Purina (and others) pumps into the Veterinary “Community”? Talk about a CONFLICT OF INTEREST!!

      I’m certainly NO fan of “Blue”, either but,
      “ANIMAL” Digest? WTH is that?! Corm gluten, soy….
      TRUE INSTINCT FORMULA DOG FOODTurkey, corn gluten meal, soy flour, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E), poultry by-product meal (natural source of glucosamine), whole wheat, whole corn, soybean meal, brewers rice, corn germ meal, venison, glycerin, oat meal, animal digest, calcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, salt, potassium chloride, caramel color, Vitamin E supplement, sulfur, zinc sulfate, choline chloride, ferrous sulfate, manganese …

      Many, if not all, of these naive people are posting on this site, believing somebody is actually listening!!!

      1. Kelley

        Although it would make things easier if they were, it doesn’t matter that “somebody” is actually listening. The people on this site are helping one another. A lot of times new people will post with a “naive” comment, but I think if they stick around long enough, and pay attention to the response, the message gets them to thinking. To really understand what’s going on, takes a very long time. It’s not just one or two or even five articles. You have to read along for years to understand the common theme which is profit. You have to work very hard to find companies doing business for the right reasons. You have to do an awful lot of work yourself and not trust message polishers. In the end I decided to make my own food. The only shortcoming is the 2 hrs it takes me to put it together for 2 week stretches of time. But sleeping better at night is worth it! Knowing how much my dogs LOVE the taste of some many whole food ingredients makes it all worth it. I couldn’t imagine eating some dry cruddy kibble every single day of my life … so why would I expect that kind of a diet to satisfy my dogs? Be patient with people. Give them a chance to learn, just as you have.

  14. g.r.r.

    Blue Buffalo also used imported ingredients from China.
    I am not saying that Purina is any good, but there is no doubt that BB is NOT any better than Purina, or any other Nestle type dog food.

    I will stay with Merrick and others that remain honest enough to use decent ingredients.

  15. Tracey

    Purina is one of most crappiest foods on the market. Why are they even going after anyone? Why does Purina believe they are entitled to any damages? Their food is filled with animal parts and other nastiness. They are misleading consumers with their dishonest advertising. I think I will sue Purina as their Beneful dog food has killed dogs. They make me sick.

    1. Dr. Jeff

      Pure propaganda, provide one piece of actual proof that Purina is better or worse than anything else out there. So tired of so-called internet experts. Do some actual testing and you might be surprised what you find ie blue. And you can’t fault companies for appealing to all level of consumers. Not everyone can afford $50 bags of food.

      1. mike

        A lesson on pricing pet foods…
        The Cost of a bag does not equal the cost of feeding the cost of feeding.
        Case in point ( an example of what we hear everyday…
        “My dog loves XXX Brand from the grocery store! He eats 6 bowls a day!”
        My reply…
        He’s eating that much food because he is following his instincts to nourish his body. He’s not getting any usable nourishment. Meanwhile his digestive system is wearing out from the effort of processing mass quantities of garbage and poisons.
        Sorry that enough people who have pets don’t know that they’re feeding Garbage and Poisons in Pretty packages after watching very expensive primetime TV ads!

    2. Kelley

      Remember this issue isn’t about the range of price points alone. Every consumer has the right to buy the brand that works for their pets! It is about transparency so that people CAN make the right choice in the first place. If poultry and beef parts are being used, then call them internal organs, bone & cartilage. Don’t show pictures of grilled chicken breasts with whole peas and carrots floating down into the dog food bowl, while Rover is running up to it! Same for any question a consumer has, on a one-to-one disclosure basis, then that company should admit sourcing. Period.

  16. Jeff Watts

    This from a company that touts “scientific evidence” that dogs are omnivores. is so funny, I thought it had to be a spoof. Dogs are carnivores. Just because they can survive the abuse of carbs, doesn’t change that fact. Otherwise tauring, l-carnitine, etc wouldn’t need to be added to their pet foods. With the addition of Iams, Euk and Evo, Purina is a monopoly now, and is flexing its muscles. By small, or better yet, feed raw. YOU control the ingredients.

    1. Steve

      Jeff please think or do a little research before you speak, dogs are omnivores and Purina doesn’t own any of those brands. I’m sure you’re plenty smart, but people like you ruin the internet.

      Ps. I’m a French model

      1. Reader

        Well actually dogs are descended from carnivores (at least according to this internet link) But that’s okay too, because I think we’re all a little smarter in great part DUE to the internet! It’s a good fact checker and keeps everyone on their toes!

        To be even more precise domesticated dogs are scavengers, having survived circumstances by being food opportunists. It doesn’t mean every single thing eaten is the most appealingly “healthy” but it is certainly sustainable nutrition. Dogs in the wild coming across a carcass would eat the predigested (fermented vegetation) innards of the carcass’ stomach as well as all accompanying edible parts, thus providing the broadest range of predigested and primary nutrients. Good sources of amino acids and calcium among many other benefits. The main principle being that it was relatively fresh and uncompromised through chemical altering. The commercial PF ingredients we discuss today sounds gross. But fundamentally is natural to a dog’s instincts. The problem is the sourcing of those ingredients, and a lack of truth in labeling. If people understood the reality, even the relative economy of protein remnants, then they could make informed choices. But PF has to been safe, sound and true to it’s own self-disclosure.

      2. Elisa K DVM

        I beg your pardon, but dogs are facultative carnivores. This means that, unlike cats who are obligate carnivores, dogs can digest a moderate amount of grains and carbohydrates and survive. To thrive, however, they require a high protein diet. See the following for more on this.

        1. Mike

          It’s sad to know that corn, at one time was a very nutritious and complete food. That is no longer the case. Due to genetic modification, the use of harmful insecticides and herbicides, harmful chemicals added for other reasons like making the color look pretty in the grocery stores and the depletion of nutrients in our soil, corn and wheat are no longer the true foods that they once were. They have become useless “non-foods” for ourselves and our pets. Over 10 years ago a customer told me he was once a farmer and his dogs used to love eating the fresh corn right off of the stalks in his field.

    2. Del P.

      Purina is not buying Iams/Euk/Natura – Mars is.

  17. Kirsten

    Why should Purina profit instead of the public who purchased the allegedly “falsely advertised” product? Seriously?

    1. Regina

      Excellent point, Kirsten. If Purina was so worried about “consumers” being lied to, shouldn’t they want the consumers to be compensated?

  18. Tracey

    I can’t wait for the results of your product testing Susan!!! Please test Beneful first, because of the probable false advertising by Purina and for revenge 😉 . Then please try and find a decent kibble that the average person can afford. I’m rehabilitating rescue dogs for Veterans and I can’t afford $50/25# kibble to keep these dogs healthy. We don’t need human quality food just safe and sanitary leftovers!!! Thanks for all you do!

    1. Steve

      Why do you think there is false advertising. Because cheap food can’t be good? Because big companies are evil? Big companies do 10x’s the testing of this mom and pop companies – they’ve got way more resources and more to lose if they were caught. I use Pro Plan, as do nearly all the top show dogs. I’ll take proof over internet gossip any day.

      1. Jeri

        Oh, please, not the “testing” mantra again! OK – for those who still don’t know. Here’s how the so called “scientific studies” aka “testing” works for pet food: six months of feeding said “food” and as long as the animals don’t DIE — and their blood work shows within normal range during that 6 months — the “food” is declared fit for exclusive feeding for the life of the animal. Keep in mind that the animals can have any manner of reactions: allergic, gastric, etc….but as long as that blood work comes back within normal range — it’s declared a winner! A certain number of dogs can drop out during this time for “unspecified reasons”. As for “internet gossip” — vets have documented what they have seen at rendering plants: yes, dogs and cats euthanized (how did you think that phenobarbital got in the “food”) – that’s not “internet gossip”. Nor is it “gossip” that the FDA has a compliance policy which pretty much allows anything into kibble including the kitchen sink (look it up – it’s there). Nor is it “gossip” that kibble has a very long and sordid history of recalls for aflatoxins (oh, excuse me — I mean “higher than acceptable levels of aflatoxins”), mold, salmonella and foreign substances (2007 recalls anyone?) Do the research. It’s out there. Don’t get snowed by the marketing ploys of the companies and their “scientifically tested” “food”.

      2. Regina

        Steve, if Pro Plan is working for you, that’s fine, but I’d never use it. I’ve seen people tell me that those “shredded” blends have actual pieces of shredded chicken in them. I figured those people were just gullible to believe that those irregularly shaped pieces were actually what Purina made them to look like. Well, I happened across a bunch of Pro Plan that had spilled, and I picked up one of those “shredded” pieces, and ripped it with my hands to see what it actually looked like inside. It did NOT look like a piece of meat. It looked kinda like bread, the texture being soft, with small air holes in it.

        And the fact that the dog shows use Purina, well, if the dog shows are sponsored by Purina, that’s what the dogs will be fed! And of course, there are some dogs that will do OK on that food (the ones that don’t won’t make it into the shows), but who knows what other money is invested in keeping their coats all nice and shiny for the judges.

      3. mike

        “Cheap food can’t be good”. You didn’t mean it to be, but it’s a true statement! Quality ingredients cost more.
        Pedigree is now $22.43 for a 55# bonus bag at Costco.
        Factor in:
        Costco profit
        Purina Profit
        Advertising and all elements of marketing
        So, how much money can they afford to invest in ingredients?
        Also, Purina makes Beneful, and like the Blue Buffalo ads they show wonderful cuts of meat and fish, fresh fruits and vegetables. It all looks like Manna from heaven.
        If you pet owners think that you are getting those high quality ingredients in the bag or can, you are seriously mistaken!

  19. Pat P.

    I guess I am one of those people that believes you get what you pay for, or at least have a better chance, although I also, believe, that not all expensive foods are great. I don’t trust Blue Buffalo or Purina. I don’t trust any large corporation pet food company. There is so much money to be made in the pet food industry, and with no quality standards, it is very easy to cheat and include sub-standard ingredients. I don’t think Purina or any large company thinks it will get caught, and if so they have a huge staff of lawyers to save them. They also depend on the ignorance of the public to not know the difference. I would like to know what proof you have about Pro Plan? Have you analyzed it? I guess that I am just more skeptical than you are

  20. di Arch

    YES! You tell them Susan… They SHOULD take the pledge… after all, WHAT do they have to hide?? We can do the same tests on their foods and see if THEIR food matches up to what they SAY it should be…. and mislead us to think what it is…. AWESOME!!!

    1. Regina

      My thoughts exactly!!!!! I’d love to see their response to Susan asking them to sign The Pledge!!!!

      Please, Susan, send it to them (again, I’m sure) asking them to sign it since they’re oh, so concerned about the honesty of this competitor that they are suing.

  21. Shelly

    Of course Purina is trying to get the eyes off of them by attacking a better dog food then themselves. Purina has so much crap in their food and uses sub par ingredients. I hope that Blue goes after them with everything they have! Lets get some transparency from Purina. NOT gonna happen!

  22. Regina

    I just went to the Purina website, and I could not find the ingredients listed for any of their products. Well, I was determined to keep looking until I found them, and it turns out, you have to go to the website for each brand, and then you can find the ingredients.
    Here’s the Friskies list (yummm!!!)

    Ground yellow corn, corn gluten meal, ground wheat, chicken by-product meal, soybean meal, beef tallow preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E), meat and bone meal, glycerin, turkey by-product meal, animal liver flavor, chicken, phosphoric acid, salt, calcium carbonate, choline chloride, dried carrots, dried green beans, potassium chloride, taurine, Yellow 6, natural grill flavor, zinc sulfate, Vitamin E supplement, DL-Methionine, Yellow 5, ferrous sulfate, Red 40, manganese sulfate, niacin, Blue 2, Vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, copper sulfate, riboflavin supplement, Vitamin B-12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, Vitamin D-3 supplement, calcium iodate, biotin, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), sodium selenite. D-6004

    — I don’t even understand why there’s so much food coloring in their food. And cats, being carnivores, I remember my grandpa growing lots of veggies, and he loved having cats around, because they increased his corn yield. They went after the critters that went after the corn!

  23. jade

    Purina doesn’t like the competition and it shows. It’s comical to see them throwing a tantrum over another company doing something good for pets. Purina is well known to cut corners and poison pets and they’re grasping at straws. I would like to see evidence that other posters made that Blue sources their food from china. Because at this point it’s hearsey. In Purina’s pocket?

  24. Diane Jessup

    What do you expect from a company that puts a blue eyed wolf on their package? (giant eye roll).

  25. dmiller

    Well let’s hope they lose, otherwise they might feel emboldened to sue anyone who has ever said anything “negative” about them. They want three times their perceived lost sales??? They want a jury trial? Risky.

    Let’s not forget what happened to the European blogger who removed a label on a bag of dog food and discovered that recalled food was being shipped overseas. I wonder what “caring” company that was.

  26. Jessie

    My two cats got sick from both the dry and canned formulas of Blue Buffalo Spa Select. It wasn’t until I read this and realized that their foods contained hidden grains that were not on their label that I now know why my cats got sick. My oldest cat is allergic to grains. I use Premium Edge Healthy Weight Management dry food, because its similar to Taste of the Wild, but the company hasn’t had any big recalls. I also give my cats raw food 3 times a week (RadCat brand). Natural foods are the way to go. Since switching my cats to grain free, by-product free, cat foods, they have never been healthier.

    1. Del P.

      Just to clarify, Purina has not provided any evidence yet about “hidden grains” in BLUE – just a chart in a complaint. Don’t believe everything you read in a lawsuit or on the internet.

      The BLUE Spa Select line for cats contains multiple grains listed ON the label. So yes, it would not be a great choice for cats with grain-related allergies.

      For your information, Premium Edge is made by Diamond Pet Foods (who also makes Taste of the Wild), who has had multiple recalls in the past for issues as serious as aflatoxin. The Premium Edge cat food recalls have only been due to Vitamin issues, thankfully.

      The raw Rad Cat is the most carnivore appropriate of the foods you are currently feeding and probably the best for your allergy cat since it is mostly meat and grain-free. Bummer it’s the most expensive, too!

  27. Eydie

    In attempting to make itself look holy and noble and garner a high position for itself by bringing this suit, Purina has shot itself in the foot by bringing much needed attention to the deceit, corruption and unaccountability prevalent in certain companies in the pet food industry. This plan may backfire for Purina as it may invite investigation upon investigation among pet food companies of each other and regulatory agencies forcing them to start cleaning up their products and their advertising. Trusting petsumers who buy in to heart tugging ads and blindly buy pet foods may now begin to question any pet food they choose to feed joining those who make discriminating choices. Thank you Purina for unknowingly calling the “Come to Jesus” meeting to order for ALL. May you step up first and clean your closet.

    1. Robin

      Gosh Eydie, I love your post and I hope you’re correct, but with some of the supposedly better educated about pet food people here posting links about how wonderful corn is for dogs and that dogs are omnivores and well suited to eat corn, soy and other GMO mutant crud, I fear that the lawsuit is really only a ploy by Purina’s Marketing department to ride in on the coattails of Blue’s successful ad campaigns. I don’t even think it’s about quality or truth or what dogs should be eating. It’s all about media coverage, which, good or bad, keeps a name in front of the public and a brand on the shelf. But like I said, I sure hope you’re right.

  28. Jedd

    I couldn’t agree more with this article. Purina and the ingredients they put in their food is garbage.

  29. Leannan

    There was a class action lawsuit filed in 2007(?) against false advertising claims made by (23 named) pet food manufacturers, Nestle/Purina was one of them. I saw the “evidence” that was to be presented at trial on the legal firms website: it broke down advertising claims/commercials, line by line. I’m looking for the relevant links now. This lawsuit never made it to trial because lawyers for companies being sued due to the melamine holocaust argued, and won (something to the effect that) their companies couldn’t be sued twice for the same thing (which this class action lawsuit clearly was not)
    I’m not a lawyer, but the courts decision to dismiss this class action lawsuit, on those grounds, ???????

    1. Pacific Sun

      This is the Class Action Lawsuit spelled out in all it’s legalese language. The link to it is

      Note: all 90 pages and somebody went to a lot of trouble spelling it out. Some Readers here always question …. “well where’s the evidence for what makes people so suspicious about ‘this or that’ brand of PF?” ….just because their own dogs seem perfectly healthy and didn’t die prematurely.

      Again, the issue is about deception in advertising!

      Certainly, owners buy any old type of PF they want. But first every consumer has the right to know what’s inside that choice BEFORE they buy it! Simply speaking, what a PF “can” contain is based on FDA Compliance Policies. But has the average PF consumer even heard about them?

      Every interested PF consumer should read this suit. Whether or not it was dismissed has no bearing on the reality of the situation. Conglomorates happen to have enough big money to use attorneys at their own discretion. And it could be the judge (or presiding jurisdiction in the case above just wasn’t up for the challenge) by using the Melamine circumstances as an excuse.

      However the question IS to attorneys out there: The fact that this suit was once dismissed, does that mean that it can’t be brought to court again? Meaning about False Advertising? Or could it be done this time, accompanied by specific evidence from lab testing PF as Purina intends to do? Does Purina really want to go down that path because no doubt the evidence will be reciprocal.

      Unless …. Purina is already counting upon the initial precedent of dismissal. Which means they can use this pseudo suit simply as a publicity ploy.

      Veerry interesting indeed.

      1. Leannan

        Thank you for finding that link, the one I had from years ago didn’t work anymore. I can’t find the actual ruling either, maybe you can.
        “Unless …. Purina is already counting upon the initial precedent of dismissal”
        very interesting thought.

        1. Pacific Sun

          It took hours of searching because a couple of other PF lawsuits were getting most of the publicity at the time! However on the third day of looking this comment (see link) is the only one found about what happened to the FF’s “Misleading PF Advertising” Class Action Lawsuit. The reason? The PF companies destroyed the evidence!

          Here is the link.

          However the best document about this case, was in defense of why the suit and defendants should not be granted a dismissal (before the evidence was destroyed of course) is this link from 3/3/2008.

          According to other comments read, making allegations against defendants crossing state boundaries also seemed to be a challenge because states have differing regulatory practices. However the Representation in this case certainly went to a lot of trouble making great arguments. So perhaps why this case happened to be dismissed wouldn’t prevent a similar case from being alleged in the future. Seems like FF has the most experience in dealing with the matter.

          Maybe that’s why they left such specific details about the lawsuit up on their website …. for future consideration!

          1. Leannan

            The hours of research, and the sites I found, years ago, is starting to come back to me. Thank you PacSun. I forgot about the about the destroyed evidence, but I still think this case not going forward was due to different circumstances, particularly, but not limited to this:

            You remind me of another PO on a different site, I don’t think it is possible for you to be that PO, PacFlights?

  30. Dog Owner

    Several years ago, I worked in pet stores as a product specialist for Blue Buffalo. The first few days I worked, I asked owners what they fed their dogs and about their experiences with different food brands. At the time, I only knew that corn should not be the first ingredient on the bag. After talking with a lot of people during my first few days of work, I heard awful stories from pet owners who fed their dogs corn-based foods – numerous dogs suffered major digestive tract issues and cancer. Based on my informal research I concluded that a particular premium brand food “scientifically” formulated and veterinarian recommended was like poison in a bag. People who fed their dogs BB and other ultra premium foods loved the results and had healthier dogs. I could see the difference between dogs who ate crappy foods and those that ate BB, Wellness or Natural Balance foods, especially. Those dogs had shiny coats and looked healthier than crappy food fed dogs.
    I used BB food for my dogs and the rescue dogs and kittens I fostered. I found the foods to be excellent. In fact, switching puppies from crap foods to BB (I’d alternate with Wellness brand if it was on sale) improved their immune systems, coats and overall health. When first switching adult dogs, some would not immediately eat the LifeSource bits, but would eat them later. When my dogs reached adult stage, I would mix BB with Kirkland’s Premium Chicken and Vegetables or Lamb & Vegetables.
    I have not worked for BB in several years, but when I saw the info about the suit, I thought Purina is going after them because its Dog Chow lines are considered commercial dog food – fair game for premium food product specialists to target when approaching pet store customers. I could not approach customers with premium brands in their carts, but if they had commercial brands (the ones you find in grocery stores), I could. I once spoke to a woman who had just put down her third dog due to cancer – she had fed all of them a specific brand of commercial food.
    When I first started working with BB, it was a young, growing, family-owned company. I never went to the headquarters or to one of the kitchens. I only know what I was taught and what I experienced with the foods I gave to the dogs under my care. I considered it to be one of the best foods on the market based on my four dogs and the thirty plus foster pups and kittens I fed. I don’t believe BB would use ingredients from China or significantly lower its standards, however, I have not even seen a BB bag in over a year because it’s not available in my area.
    The information in this lawsuit sounds bogus and like an effort to reduce the public’s trust in BB and other ultra premium brand foods on a whole to improve market share for Purina’s premium food line. Dumb strategy in my opinion. Maybe Purina is attempting to bolster its image before launching its own ultra premium brand food.

  31. Lawren Rogers

    What dog food would you eat? Any? If you wouldn’t eat it – how can you feed it to your beloved pet. I hydrate food and scraps off my plate and my dog loves it. My 17 year old Sheltie is a bit stiff from arthritis, but that’s about it.

    BOTTOM LINE: If you wouldn’t eat it, why would you feed it to your pet.

  32. Judy Walter

    I’ve had a dozen cats in my 60 years, with the last two dying of stroke and cancer. This didn’t happen when we were kids–our cats lived to their 20s. While I think a raw diet would probably be best–one of non-hormoned birds and non-poisoned rodents–a short time on a chicken and beef raw diet for my dying cat was very difficult to sustain.

    However, my 3-year-old calico has eaten NOTHING but Blue Buffalo since she was 6 weeks old and rescued. She is the picture of health. The BB is so satisfying to her that treats don’t even interest her. It appears to be so efficient, that her elimination is so minimal that it’s remarkable. I reward her with catnip, and I have a happy, well-behaved cat that I hope I can grow old with. She really is the best kitty in the world, and I tell her all the time–of course. 😉 The proof is in the puddin’, I’d have to say.

  33. […] There is not degree to be earned anywhere in dog nutrition. Vet's can study animal nutrition outside their regular studies but are not given more than one semester in ANIMAL nutrition in veterinary college. We have many pet food companies that hire veterinarians to work for them. Anyone at any level who is paid by a company is going to represent the company's best interest first. The kind of thing "the dentist" points out about pet foods are things that are common knowledge. The ingredients and the kind of side effects certain ingredients have been found to cause are easy enough to find. The fact that it is a dentist that puts the information together for people to read for themselves means nothing. They are simply facts that anyone can make their own decisions about. I would guess that few of us here went to school and for any length of time to lean how to cook for ourselves and our families although I'm sure many of of us have read up on human nutrition at one time or another. Are humans less complicated to feed than dogs? If anyone is interested in learning more about the pet food industry from some people who have invested a lot of time and money investigating the industry and how it works with the FDA here is a link to a good website: Purina Sues Blue Buffalo | Truth about Pet Food […]

  34. Angelis

    Purina/Nestles, is one of the worst liars in the business.
    They continue to sell Beneful, which is known to have killed a myriad of dogs.
    I won’t buy anything from this (or the parent co) manufacturer. Who also imports some of their dog foods from China.

  35. Leannan

    I found IT!
    Now I just need to pull the disposition of the “MENU FOODS” case
    Claims in the Florida case were dismissed against all named pet foods, except Natura, due to legal wrangling based on the evidence (I hope that is entirely correct) in the “MENU FOODS, melamine case.

    Since we’re on the subject of truth in advertising, and this may be parsing, but my research partner in this matter, found a manifest from Australia in Dec 2011 (released due to Freedom of Information Act) that shows Champion Pet Foods used chickens processed in the United States.

    I guess they could still be raised in Canada, but the impression they advertised on their website at the time does not include using U.S. companies for production.

    1. Leannan

      Champion Pet Foods makes Orijen and Acana

      1. Leannan

        Page 25 Maximize the screen to be able to read it better.
        OMG! You HAVE to READ [at least] page 25. I’d forgotten the words “inedible purposes” were in this manifest.

    2. Pacific Sun

      Leannan, first thank you for all the follow up.

      Are you saying that Florida’s FF “Misleading Advertising” suit was individually and uniquely dismissed (though we can’t find the actual document) because 2 other lawsuits at the time (calling out Natura, which later settled for $24 but received no judgement, and the infamous Menu Foods case) were using overlapping arguments, statements, evidence, etc.? in other words, the FF’s case seemed like duplicated litigation? OR, did FF roll up the other case into the Natura’s generalized one? There just doesn’t seem to be any defining conclusion to that case standing alone. I wish I could find the actual reasoning for dismissal or the failure to proceed with the case, without all the references to Natura which was getting all the attention during that time. I did send an email to the FF law firm, but doubt they will provide any information for free.

      Now, Susan’s recent article about what agency has jurisdiction over Truth in Advertising was very enlightening. It does seem like a very diluted effort, and perhaps the law firm already realized that if the FTC wasn’t responsible, then AAFCO and FDA were even less effective in terms of oversight. In other words, if there was no viable agency to regulate and enforce Truth in Advertising, then to which party would the PF companies and stores even be accountable? If no one was watching, and no one had the power to enforce regulation, or prevent the issue, then what crime (other than morally speaking) was being committed? If nothing was structured, then nothing was violated, right? So for example, if Truth was based on evidence and documentation, was there a system for supplying such to an agency? If not, then there was no point in meeting that criteria. And if a company wasn’t required to prove anything, why would they bother to back up claims?

      Just a thought.

      1. Leannan

        I can’t believe I “lost” all the info I had about that case from 2 1/2 years ago! I got close to finding That document earlier then had to go out for the evening.
        I will find it, I did so 2 1/2 years ago. It’s just taking awhile for me to remember how I [even] found the information in the first place.
        Florida’s FF was individually dismissed, and there was a defining conclusion.
        If you think you feel jaded by this whole Big Pet Food thing now, wait until you see how BigPetFood’s lawyers got this dismissed!
        What did you think about the Champion Pet Foods info from the Australian manifest?
        I’m going to have to re read your second paragraph after I get some sleep lol
        I’m going to look for the decision document from Florida FF, now.

        1. Pacific Sun

          Thank you so much. Okay. This document is more about actions and decisions taken rather than the reasoning itself. Which seems to that the Court determined the Menu case as taking precedent. It seemed like the Court identified in both cases, the existence of common circumstances, defendants and even the products themselves, as “overlapping.” And the Court therefore determined it would be a “waste” of the judiciary’s time to examine & discuss duplicated evidence for the purpose of prosecuting the cases separately and individually. (Even though the reasoning for those cases was very different.) I can only assume, the decision to focus on Menu was based on the goals of both cases anyway. Namely to seek compensation for damages caused to PF Consumers period. Therefore would it have been redundant (meaning excessive and legally unfair) for the same defendants, under similar circumstances, to simultaneously pay for damages in two different Class Action suits? So in order to go forward with the Menu case it was determined (does that mean agreed to by all parties?) not to pursue the FF case.

          In case anyone is wondering what the discussion has to do with the thread of this article, the question is about whether the decisions involved in these cases (meaning to prosecute one and not the other) would affect the reasoning or decision making in today’s Purina and BB lawsuits.

          To me, the purpose of the one case (Menu) was to accuse the PF companies of producing and selling a defective product due to negligence causing irreplaceable damages and expenses to consumers.

          While the intention of the FF case was to accuse PF companies of misleading advertising that allowed (or encouraged?) consumers to buy (which at that time, happened to be defective) products, because consumers lacked access to transparency in order to make informed choices (giving them the ability to evaluate various risks.

          The question really is, has very much changed today at all? Answer, only the ingredients at issue have changed. Meaning until Consumers get assurances (through testing and evidence finding) the dangers in PF continue, leaving buyers incapable of “appropriate” choices.

          By the Court’s assumption, in theory, even if “Melamine” had been listed as a PF ingredient, regardless of how the product was being advertised or encouraged to be purchased) the damage would still exist. Meaning that advertising wasn’t at issue, but the essence of the product was, due to manufacturer’s failure in oversight, regardless of intention or accident.

          1. Leannan

            I wish I could copy and paste from that link! Nooo!!! The Florida Plaintiffs got shafted. The ruling was overly broad, but the Florida case was Supposed to have been exempt, but when the final decision was handed down the Florida case was included.
            I have to go out now, but I’ll break it down later. I need to find a format I can copy & paste from.

  36. Stephanie

    I learned this week that Blue Buffalo does not even make their own food. I called BB to check. Sure enough, it is true. They have numerous companies make the food for them. They assured me the product is of the best quality, but they wouldn’t tell me what companies made it for them.

    Who is responsible for ensuring the ingredients are safe for my girls if they don’t make the food?

    Susan, is this legal?

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      Yes it is legal and it is not required to be stated on the label (the use of a co-packer). Some companies won’t disclose who their co-packer is (claim it is proprietary). Consumers have to become a private detective to learn simple things about their pet’s food.

  37. Debra

    Dear Purina, I haven’t and wouldn’t buy your pet food for anything on Earth…not even if Blue Buffalo were lying. The first ingredient on most of your products is corn. I learned to not feed my pets corn products decades ago. Maybe you should focus on improving the quality of YOUR food instead of wasting millions on this inane lawsuit.

  38. Darin

    Wow first Purina is a one star food the worst of the worse and many recalls. Im sick to death of carp dog food and dangerous dog food products and manufacturers. Blue Buffalo contributed to killing my Australian Shepherd in late 2010 with their contaminated over content of Vit D. Costco did the rest with their Kingdom Pets chicken jerky (which they still sell btw) Kingdom Pets PURE POISON a US company that sources all their chicken form China. PetSmart is responsible because they sell poisonous poor quality pet foods and do not EVER contact customers once food has been recalled. I was int here looking for my Blue Buffalo food and the Rep was there and when I ASKED where the Chicken and Salmon formulas were she did not tell me they had been pulled and did not tell me to stop feeding what I had left!!! There are 1197 RECALLED pet foods on the FDA list currently people….Its a crime of epic proportions against our beloved pets and fur friends as well as our pocketbooks of the Vet costs and unmeasurable cots to our hearts. I now fee ORIJEN their 6 fish formula form Canada, and its the BEST never been recalled. Check your brands each tome Google your “brand recall” before you ever feed any packaged food to your fur babies again. I also feed from my local butcher for the second feeding real meats and veggies that I pan sear each day for my fur kids from the also check out the dogfoodadvisor for good tips.

  39. myri

    Blue Buffalo might be lying on some of the ingredients, but Purina is 100% by-product and actual road kill. They get animal disposals from research labs and other type of animal disposals and use them in their pet food.

    1. Pacific Sun

      Okay, well all of us can be rightully disgusted with Purina, but unless this comment can be supported in some way (insider tip, access, communications) it just makes us all look crazy here and speaking as alarmists. Just another reason why we’re not taken seriously by PFI customer services.

      It’s important to separate emotion from real information to make PF safety advocacy more effective.

      1. Regina

        Pacific Sun, voice of sanity.

        nuf said.

  40. Daisy

    Blue Buffalo Sells To General Mills for $8 billion.
    They were bought out by a big investment firm a bunch of years ago (can’t remember specifics) and went quickly downhill after that.

  41. Bhuboy

    I just came across this story, so what happen about this , did Purina won the case.

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