One of you great readers out there sent me a 2002 article from the Washington Post. The article shares some interesting pet food lawsuit information, but this lawsuit was Nutro suing Iams, and Iams suing Nutro.
According to the 2002 Washington Post article, “fur started flying” when Proctor & Gamble purchased Iams Pet Food in 1999 and “By early 2000, Iams reformulated its dog food ingredients “to enhance” the formula — substituting chicken for “chicken by-products meal” and a “carbohydrate blend” of bran sorghum and barley for rice. It then adjusted its package instructions to reduce per-day servings by 25 percent to reflect scientific evidence, it says, that in-home dogs are 25 percent less active than kennel dogs — the basis of most dog food formulations.”
It seems Nutro (back then was independently owned, Mars didn’t purchase Nutro until 2007) wasn’t pleased with the recommended feeding instructions by Iams and they filed a lawsuit based on their own independent testing of Iams pet food. “Nutro complained to Iams, threatening legal action if it didn’t change its feeding guidelines. Iams sued Nutro for “disparaging activity” and “false and misleading statements,” alleging that Nutro’s in-store demonstrators were telling shoppers that Iams was using roadkill in its reformulated food. Nutro sued Procter & Gamble (Iams) for false advertising and misleading labeling. A month later, Kal Kan did the same thing.”
The Washington Post story goes on to say that next, the FDA got involved. “The FDA’s Center of Veterinary Medicine reviewed the claims and issued to Iams a confidential letter whose contents became public in June under the Freedom of Information Act. Large segments of the FOIA-released version are redacted by court order as proprietary and confidential. But enough remains to suggest Iams may be in the FDA’s doghouse.”
And then Iams made a statement about the reduced feeding amount directions on their label…
“Iams is leading the industry by reducing our feeding guidelines to help combat the problem of overweight and obese pets,” says Brown, adding that the changes were made to enhance animal health in a society where pet owners and their pets tend to be overweight and sedentary.”
Did you catch that? Facing accusations and lawsuit, newly P&G owned Iams pet food made a statement they were being a responsible pet food manufacturer by reducing the recommended feeding amount because all dogs need to diet.
I found the lawsuit in court documents but guess what? The documents are sealed; no one can read any of the evidence brought forth in this case. This trial began in December 2000 and ended “all claims are dismissed with prejudice” in November 2004.
If you’d like to read the full Washington Post article, Click Here
Thanks to ‘K’ for sending me this!
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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