Hill’s Pet Nutrition brought a National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus challenge against Halo Pet Foods. Halo agreed to “permanently discontinue” claims made on its website that Science Diet took offense to. Here are the details…
The Halo Pet Food claims Hill’s Pet Nutrition took issue to were…
“Chicken meal is not nearly as high a quality ingredient as real chicken, from both a health and safety perspective.”
“Food with by-products and meals should be shunned.”
“Meat meals such as chicken meal are unfit for human consumption…that means unfit for our beloved pets as well…if we shouldn’t eat it, neither should our pets!”
“Pet foods made with meat meals or by-products may choose to avoid 4D (diseased, dying, dead, or disabled chickens) and waste products. But if they use chicken meal it can, and probably does, include 4D poultry and waste products, and there is no way for consumers to know for sure. Plain and simple, if it says chicken meal, they’re allowed to use 4D and waste products – so they have little incentive to do otherwise.”
“Halo’s raw chicken ingredient, may be sold to human or pet food companies and meets FDA safety and quality standards for human food.”
Halo did not “specifically mention competing brands of pet food” and considered its advertising “comparative”, but in the end, Halo “voluntarily agreed to permanently discontinue claims that might convey the message that pet foods containing chicken meal or chicken by-product meal are unsafe for pets, as well as claims that pet foods made with meals should be avoided and shunned.”
Whether it is chicken meal or chicken, unfit or unsafe should be determined by the grade/quality of the chicken; which of course pet food regulations do not allow quality minded pet food manufacturers to tell consumers. All pet food meat ingredients and all organ meats (considered by-product) should be USDA inspected and approved and the pet food manufacturer should provide evidence of such.
Existing FDA Compliance Policies allow 4D poultry, 4D beef, and even any euthanized animal to become pet food ingredients without stating this on the pet food label – the consumer would never know for certain.
This is Hill’s Pet Nutrition’s second advertising challenge of a competitive pet food (to my knowledge). In 2009, Science Diet took issue with Blue Buffalo pet food. The issue was again based on the claim that no by-products are healthier for pets (statement made by Blue Buffalo advertising).
My suggestion to Hill’s Pet Nutrition, if your pet foods – including those with the ingredients by-product meal, and animal fat – are actually made with quality ingredients, provide on your websites evidence that all meats, by-products, and fats are sourced from USDA inspected and approved animals. Provide evidence that all vegetables and fruits are sourced from USDA inspected and graded at minimum as ‘for processing’. Provide country of origin information of all ingredients including vitamins and minerals.
My suggestion to Halo, same for you too. Provide evidence on your website that all ingredients are USDA inspected and approved. And provide country of origin information of all ingredients including vitamins and minerals.
It’s crazy that pet food companies go after one another when the simple resolve to this would just be providing petsumers with evidence of what is actually in your own pet food. You can talk the talk, but can you walk the walk? If you can, prove it. Give pet food consumers ALL the proof!
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
What’s in Your Pet’s Food?
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