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Weak Response from Blue Buffalo

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  1. Susan Weyrauch

    I TOTALLY agree with you. As a retailer who (1) doesn’t sell kibble containing by-products, and (2) does sell Blue Buffalo, I’m at a crossroads: how do I want to respond? I was lukewarm on Blue anyway (labeling a food, e.g., Duck, when the majority of the protein is chicken and turkey, plus overpriced compared to equal or better quality foods). This whole episode may have pushed me off the Blue bandwagon.

    1. Brian Nichols

      Susan, THOSE ARE MY FEELINGS EXACTLY!! I’m in your same boat, and I really don’t know how to proceed.

  2. Peter

    Yes, you capture my feelings entirely. What a world it would be, if things were that way!! I have been very disparaging and critical of BB’s handling of this controversy.

    Nevertheless, it is interesting, to read the BB documents and countersuit. Its 350 pages, but is still an interesting read (I haven’t gotten nearly far enough so far!). Like Purina’s suit, it is in places written in a style that is clearly meant for consumers to read. It is also a continuation of a new trend, where companies post legal documents for media consumption. Consumers don’t have to go searching any longer for this one: both companies put it right on their sites.

    We may all start to look at this issue somewhat differently, when we read critical analysis of Purina’s intensive “multi-platform” use of the suit as an advertising initiative. The section criticizing Purina’s scientist, his credentials, and most importantly, methodology of testing and documentation of the testing of the BB foods is interesting. When deposed, the “expert” revealed that he had not identified, photographed, or documented the evidence carefully, couldn’t support his findings, couldn’t recall details, did some guesswork and made assumptions, and in the end, because his work was not conducted “scientifically” (the word “scientific” is a specific term, with respect to research) and so his findings could not be replicated and therefore could not be tested for accuracy. There is a discussion as to how the information is being used by Purina (such as how certain elements can appear in “chicken meal” but also “poultry byproduct meal”) to create confusion and unease in the mind of consumers (who don’t want “poultry byproduct meal”, for example), with the intent to damage BB in the marketplace long-term.

    The countersuit describes that BB does not use certain ingredients (such as “byproducts”) and that their contracts with suppliers are specific. The countersuit describes that, as such, these contracts have been violated, and names suppliers as co-defendants.

    I am going to continue reading the response/counterclaim documents. As it stands now, I am going to hone my criticism, and try to be more even-handed.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      I’ve read a lot of the court documents – and I tend to agree with you that Purina’s scientist doesn’t hold up well. It is my guess – merely a guess – that Purina was tipped off about this by-product mis-labeling in advance and they hired the scientist secondary and then set the entire lawsuit (/marketing campaign) into action.

  3. Tammy Garrison

    I wish there was a class action law suit I could join because of the death of my cat who ate Blue Buffalo kibble. I bought their wholesome line and lost my cat to pancreatitis. I would love for Blue to be punished. It’s a great place to start to hold pet food manufactures accountable.

  4. Sue

    My partner has been feeding his little rescue the Blue Buffalo Salmon kibble and “Buddy” seems to be doing just fine so far. He has had him now for a year and the dog seems just fine. I do hope that they remedy this whole mess. Yes like Susan Weyrauch said, shame on them when they say Duck and the first ingredient is Chicken. Duck products are more expensive, hence the high price, but, when is says Duck, then Duck it should be, not chicken or turkey. I look at labels more now than ever before on both my dogs and my own food. When you look at say Pedigree Beef, I laugh, as it’s all Chicken by-product and so on. Back in the day, that is all I fed my dogs and they did just fine, happy and healthy, but now… it’s a struggle to find good food that you don’t have to re-mortgage your house to buy! Prices are horrendously high on some products and when you have four dogs to feed, small ones mind you, it is pricey.
    I do appreciate all the work that you do to find all the wrong in the pet food industry, I thank you from the bottom of our hearts for that.
    I live in Canada and we don’t even have any “laws’ again pet food companies, we are flying by the seat of our pants here. This has to change!!!!! It is a scary thing when you don’t get the truth as to what goes in the pet food. I guess they figure pets are disposable and you would think the opposite, being a pet food company, you would think they love the pets they are making the food for, but this is so much a $$$$$ making industry, that the ingredients are scary.
    Thanks for letting me rant.
    Wishing my American friends a very good weekend! Stay safe.

  5. Ava

    This is why we no longer feed Blue Buffalo!

  6. Nina Wolf

    RIght – so BB is suing the supplier. What good is that to the people who purchased adulterated foods, or to the pets who had to eat it? Is this new lawsuit supposed to make consumers feel any sort of relief or vindication?

    1. Mark Timmerman

      “RIght – so BB is suing the supplier. What good is that to the people who purchased adulterated foods, or to the pets who had to eat it? Is this new lawsuit supposed to make consumers feel any sort of relief or vindication?”
      Suing the supplier is not supposed to make you feel better.
      The object of a lawsuit is not to make you feel better:
      To right what has been done wrong.
      Receive compensation from damages incurred.
      Hopefully stop future neglect or greed by others in the future.
      Animals were never hurt by substituting poultry by product meal and poultry meal instead of just poultry meal. He got livers, gizzards and such.
      Secondly, When one competitor says something about another, it is usually BS. If Purina found something then why didn’t they have an independent contractor do some testing? Probably because they couldn’t make the claims they are staring.
      BB on its worst day is better than Purina on its best. As my vet said “Purina is donuts and candy bars to animals.” She doesn’t even sell BB. She sells science diet.

  7. Lynn

    Don’t feed kibble, do some research and find some good raw. Chicken necks are 85 cents a pound and green tripe is $2 a pound if only fed a few times per week it could make a difference in your dog’s life.

  8. Chris Sollers

    I could not agree more than I do with Lynn. Our Pugs are thriving on a balanced raw diet. Green tripe is like Puggy crack!

    1. Lynn

      One of my rescue goldens has cancer and arthritis, oncologist gave him 3 to 6 months and it’s been over a year now. The holistic vet is amazed! Zero carb is what we aim for. He also is on some supplements and gets acupuncture (they all do) I have 2 rescue goldens and 1 breeder throwaway papillon and compete in agility. So we are all about the dogs around here! Most pugs I see are fat as are a lot of dogs in general. There is 1 pug that competes in agility and we all cheer for that team! Good to see him doing something instead of just being a couch ornament!

  9. Pam Andrews

    Your response is perfect, Susan. I will never feed Blue Buffalo again. After hearing about this issue i investigated further and found out that they don’t even make their food or treats. BB is just some company in an expensive high rise in Connecticut marketing product and collecting money. I’m done with them!

    1. Judy Gaudin

      I have soooo conflicted with the news about false reporting food ingredients of Blue Buffalo. My 21/2 yr black pug has been on blue freedom no grain food over a yr now and doing great. I sought for days to find the best grain free food for her and blue was the answer…or so I thought. Now again I am seeking the best (what is the best) food for her. Any suggestions?

      1. Sally

        I wouldn’t trust a thing NESTLÉ says! They are known for their lies and are very irresponsible.

    2. Karen

      Actually BB does make they own food now. They built their own plant. And all this was over a year ago. The foods affected are no longer on the shelves to be recalled. There was never any danger to pets. It was simply a case of the ingredients not being up to their standard and also not what they wanted or thought they were selling, or the consumer what they were buying. Paying more for inferior ingredients. But there was no real health “danger”. By products aren’t the end of the world. Its livers, gizzards, hearts. Not just the meat.

  10. Gitta

    Spoken like any politician. Too busy pointing the finger, too busy down playing their own responsibility. “Trust” in a supplier is no doubt a lot cheaper than expensive controls = lab testing. Neither politicians nor corporations seem to get it: Screw up and stand by your screw up. Own it. No lame excuses. Blue Buffalo was too busy portraying itself above the rest. Well, now we know better. They ain’t. Same bs. I don’t care what they do or don’t do going forward. I will never buy Blue Buffalo again.

  11. Alan

    My message to Blue Buffalo would be: “Where was your quality control? You hold yourself out to be a pet food producer that doesn’t have “chicken by-product” crap in it and you don’t have a quality control department?!”

    You messed up BIG TIME in your pathetic handling of this ridiculous situation. You need to do the right thing and start issuing refunds immediately even though most of us won’t have receipts.

  12. Shawna Severinski

    Ok people time to grab a real brain. The ones you are using have quit working. This is PET food. Purina has always made the CHEAPEST LOWEST QUALITY food in the history of pet food and is just trying to make itself look better by distracting us with someone else. Our pets have been fed nothing but by product meal and grains since the inception of dry pet foods and they all lived long happy lives. It’s wonderful that we can get the extra great ingredients with BB. Who the hell cares if it had some by product meal. Get a grip on reality people

    1. Mark Timmerman

      I have been feeding my 4 cats (ages 6 to 16) BB for 6 or 7 years. No problems at all.

      What we have here are 2 large corporations fighting for market share and using scare and fear tactics to get your money. They LOVE to pull their customers to help them fight the battle and hopefully make more $$$. Fake websites, disinformation, etc., is all part of their money-making game.

      If you truly want good food for your animals then you have to make it yourself (just as you would with food for yourself) and not rely on ANY large corporation. Their job is to make profits, nothing more. So get a grip peeps. You don’t eat perfectly all the time because it makes you happy to eat a fast food burger, or whatever. I want a hppy cat so I also feed my cats food from my plate. Steak, wild rice, potatoes with butter and salt. My last cat lived until he was 22 and my 16 yr old is healthy and happy as can be.
      So stop being pulled into the game of helping Large Corporations fight each other. You’re only a tool.

      1. Steve

        Finally someone with good advice obviously you have done a lot of research. People forget that pre kibble days average lifespan of a dog was 16-22 years once people started feeding this dried garbage your lucky to get 10-12 years.

  13. Eric B

    I’m not sure I have the same negative position as others posting here. The issue is that prior to early 2014, a supplier to Blue Buffalo was using poultry by product meal and poultry meal instead of just poultry meal. That issue is admitted as fact and the supplier relationship was terminated in 2014. Blue appears to have been unaware of the issue, and has filed suit against the supplier. There is a valid question of timeliness in confirming the issue and terminating the relationship. Contracts involved require that termination be handled appropriately.

    The issue came to light via a lawsuit from a competitor who apparently heard about the issue and found a chance to use it for a competitive advantage. Purina is not necessarily neutral about this issue.

    Purina uses poultry by-products in its food, and there is no claim that this ingredient is unsafe – just about false advertising by Blue. https://www.purina.com/dogs/understanding-dog-food/do-purina-dog-foods-contain-animal-by-products

    Blue has shifted a large portion of production to a new company owned manufacturing plant. That plant is still ramping up.

    So the real issue is supply chain management – and Blue appears to have taken the right steps to address the issue. I think the question is what else do you think they should have done? And there is no claim that the food is or has ever been unsafe.

  14. Dawn Contreras

    My cat got sick from Blue buffalo 🙁 we almost lost her, she’s only 2..her pancreus got infected:( this is what our vet told us…she is now on I.D. Digestive food…Never again! They should take Blue Buffalo off the shelves!

    1. Tammy Garrison

      Dawn, the exact same thing happened to our 3 year old cat, and we DID lose her. I agree. Never again. And call Blue Buffalo for the liars that they are.

    2. Fifi

      I have heard this has happened to many people. Specifically BB and specifically pancreatitis in cats. I am so sorry for your cat. Also sorry to anyone else who has lost a loved pet.

      John B. You can’t say it’s cause and effect when the EXACT same thing is happening to many different people. Especially when they had no problems prior to the switch to BB. Ignorant.

  15. Steven W.

    My dog died from Blue Buffalo. Please check my Facebook page – Bogey Died.

  16. John Baughman

    My condolences to those who have lost pets. It hurts – I know: “Been there; done that.” However, there is a BIG difference between correlation, and cause-and-effect. My dog has been fed a rotation diet of Merrick and Blue Buffalo over the last two years, and has thrived. Can I say that it is because of the diet? No, I cannot. (She may have done well on the old diet.)

    Similarly, when a pet has a medical issue while on a specific diet, you cannot attribute that to the diet: People/pets get cancer and other horrendous diseases because of a number of factors, not just diet.

  17. Jerry J.

    I’ve been feedIng my 4 cats BB for years and tears. No problems at all.
    I don’t trust this website, TruthaboutPetFood.com, because they hide the owner of this domain behind a Domain Privacy Service. This is a common tactic of big companies attacking each other. My guess is that thie whole website is a Nestle/Purina production. TruthaboutPetFood.com hides the “truth” from you for a reason. I have a feeling that many of the negative comments here are probably posted by Nestle employees.
    This domain was purchased 4 months ago so its obvious that it was created just for this situation… and to collect donations from the public.

    This is NOT a pet food health issue no matter how much the owner of the website tries to make you believe it. If you want to see some REAL lawsuits about CONTAMINATED food that the FDA says caused deaths, look at Purina themselves. Search “purina sued pet food” and see learn something.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      Jerry – this domain was not purchased 4 months ago – did you notice the years and years of articles on it? The domain was purchased in late 2006. And most certainly is not owned by Purina. I am a consumer advocate – I have no allegiance to any pet food brand – only consumers.

  18. Jim

    Blue’s use of the “We didn’t know; it was our supplier’s fault” narrative is ridiculous. Their business model and marketing aggressively tout that they’re different — exploiting hype about ingredients rather than actual nutrition (Is corn bad? Is gluten bad? Is by-product meal bad? I’ve seen no science that proves that these ingredients are harmful to the ‘general public’ of pets. Not all pets are gluten-sensitive!)
    To protect their we’re-better-than-everyone-else business model, Blue should have performed proper in-house quality control of the ingredients they received from their suppliers, but apparently they didn’t. Now they’ve been caught, and they’re playing the blame game.

    1. Steven Wollman

      My Bogey died from their food and I would to shut them down bag for bag. Check out his Facebook page Bogey Died.

      My dog was never sick a day.

  19. Steve

    A lot of belly aching from people that have no idea about what they are talking about. only issues about blue Buffalo that are confirmed by vets are possible diarrhea during switch over if done too fast and bad gas. On a second note if your dog food had only chicken breast in it your dog has an improper diet. Dogs need organ meat to maintain proper health so some of these by-products are essential for proper nutrition. The main thing to watch out for is corn and other grains those are what’s bad for your dog….. As for purine complaining they are one the worst dog foods out there for pets so maybe they should change their recipe before complaining about a far superior product. I don’t use either but if I had to it would definitely be blue over purina any day. Purina is just mad that their garbage no longer sells good compared to the holistic foods just ask RENs pet depot or pet smart about their sales.

    1. Steven Wollman

      My dog died from Blue Buffalo.

      1. Tammy Garrison

        My cat died from Blue Buffalo.

  20. Tammy Garrison

    Yes. The vet said her food, without knowing it was BB gave her pancreatitis and she died.

    1. Lynn

      Couldn’t any high carb food give a carnivore pancreatitis?

      1. Tammy Garrison

        I would say that’s correct, but she was 3 years old and we had recently switched from a generic no name kibble to BB and it was about a month or so before she got sick. The vet expressed concern about her food, but we had switched to the more expensive BB because of the commercials about meat being the first ingredient and being grain free. My understanding is that rice is also a grain but I figured they knew something I didn’t about using rice over wheat or barley.
        After she died, I did some research and found post after post on consumer affairs about dogs and cats developing pancreatitis after switching to BB. I put the information in the posts together with what the vet had said and knew BB was the cause. We were trying to do better for our cats by switching to BB and paid for it with the life of one of them.

        1. Lynn

          I feed my dogs raw, from a source I trust, plus vegs that I process, close to zero carb. Grain free is not carb free. Cats are obligate carnivore. Dogs can tolerate about 10% carb, they don’t make much amylase or cellulase so they need to be fed as the carnivores that they are.

        2. Steve

          Pancreatitis doesn’t happen in a month unless you way over feed your dog lmao. Pancreatitis was probably caused by the generic form and switching just caused it to get worse. If you look most complaints of bb are from people who just switched over. Almost everyone that has started on bb from the start has almost zero issues ever…… You forget one thing as well and that’s thanks to improper breeding techniques dogs have a 1 in 135 chance of developing it just because of the Genes. One thing to remember about online consumer reports is they are unregulated so they are not always trustworthy. These days competitors try everything they can against the competition and there’s even places that pay people to write good and bad reviews.

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