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The Plot Thickens between Purina And Blue Buffalo

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  1. Angel H

    I don’t see this as bad news for Blue, as it was a supplier that included BPM in their order without the knowledge of Blue. Blue did come out and say that it discovered a supplier had done this without their knowledge or consent & this just proves it. Blue is nothing more than a victim of a shady broker and supplier. Unlike Purina who knew their treats were killing animals and did nothing for years!

    1. Peter

      Blue has been a “victim” of shady supplier before… they cried foul… but what have they done to prevent this? Apparently, not much. Blue claims they would never use BPM, and advertised on the basis of that standard, but now that it is in their food, they claim “no health, safety, or nutrition issue,” as if it was all OK, even though the chairman observes that “… while the customers were ordering and paying for 100 percent chicken meal, at times they were receiving shipments that contained poultry by-product meal.” Blue did not recall these “mislabeled” products despite that they were “totally unacceptable.” Nor have they contemplated compensating customers that trusted them.

  2. TNReedy

    Does any of this ‘breaking news’ come as a surprise to anyone? It doesn’t to me. Smoking guns, voodoo science, gluten additives, meal byproducts, and little-to-no accountability are all business as usual (not benign symptoms) of world commerce. Stay tuned.

  3. Vicki

    Hi Susan and All, I was not aware there was a lawsuit with Purina vs Blue, I must have missed it?

    Can you provide us a link to catch up please?

    Thanks for all you do, Vicki H.

  4. Jane Eagle

    Frankly, I don’t see any big difference between the 2; I would not buy either one.

  5. Gitta

    Why on earth would Blue Buffalo not perform inspections of their own? Is it really something we should believe? That they just blindly trust their supply chain without testing? Sorry, Blue. But all your fancy shmancy talk on high gloss paper has less value than used toilet paper. If the product you sell is not important enough for stringent quality control – then it is most certainly not worth my money. You just flushed my trust down the drain (along with said toilet paper). Sorry – no do-overs.

  6. Lindsey Wolko

    Susan, Is there anything else going on in the background that this lawsuit is trying to distract us from? I get the feeling that there is more to the story – and that this is simply a sideshow. Pet owners can’t trust this industry.

    Happy Thanksgiving…

  7. robin gafford

    source you’re own meat and make your own food for your pets. It’s becoming more and more apparent that it is the only safe way. Study your resources for appropriate and necessary supplements which are very different for cats vs dogs

    1. Maryon Jeane

      I thoroughly agree, Robin. My cat was diagnosed as being pre-diabetic when I took her to the vet with symptoms of sluggishness, overweight, lack of condition etc. and just generally being unlike herself. I couldn’t believe the diagnisis, even after tests, because I had always fed her what I thought was the ‘best’ catfood. After extensive research online I changed her over to raw meat (with supplements in it) and the difference was immediate and has continued ever since (nearly two years now). She went back to her old self within a month or so, and is now – at twelve – like a kitten. She not only obviously feels (and looks) healthy but she’s got plenty of energy for play with our other cat (a two-year-old). I am so very angry that I was duped into spending a great deal of money only to make my cat sick.

  8. Pacific Sun

    I think people are missing the point of the discrepancy.

    BB’s explanation and defense (will) rest upon the notion of “mislabeling” which means one of two things about the broker/supplier relationship, either (1) there was an intention to deceive or (2) there was a mix-up in communication (ordering & expecting one thing but being supplied with another). So if you’re the supplier, wouldn’t you claim an accidental mix-up?

    In response to those “possibilities” the broker versus supplier communication goes like this: “Realizing that the inclusion of byproduct meal now has potential legal consequences, Diversified Ingredients expressed alarm to Wilbur-Ellis and a way to respond to the kibble crisis. ‘I think if we work together, we can band-aid this situation,’ Diversified’s Collin McAtee wrote on May 15 to Darwin Rusu of Wilbur-Ellis. Referring to a ‘smoking gun,’ McAtee added.” …. “The liabilities in this could be enormous. You are talking about massive product recalls, potential market share loss, etc. That would undoubtedly be in the several million dollar range.” …. “If you are going to fill these contracts for any reason, then I’m going to have to go to Blue Buffalo to address the breach of contract and undoubtedly divulge the details of what was shipped and the possibility that Rosser’s material is the smoking gun for their problems. That I do not want to do.”

    The above communication is 1) a threat 2) an offer of collusion 3) an attempt to avoid blaming the Third Party. Very interesting! So NOW who’s really to blame? Is it solely the broker/supplier connection (which may in turn be doubling down on BB to protect themselves) or is it BB’s oversight failure, period? Either way, BB isn’t going to come out of this lawsuit appearing to have been in control. Very bad for it’s image, its assertive style of advertising, and being accountable to its loyal customers! However they would have been much more transparent by admitting their oversight failure first up, with a promise to divulge the truth, and (YES) issue an apology to Purina. Because (after all) Purina did make a point. Humility can go very far and if the goal is really to find the truth, then BB shouldn’t have anything to fear.

    But then again, it’s the Broker which probably has the goods on BOTH parties!! I’m loving this story!

  9. Pacific Sun


    By Purina: “Blue Buffalo admits this is ‘unacceptable’ and it is, but Blue Buffalo is not being as ‘transparent’ as they claim. Remarkably, it was Purina – not Blue Buffalo – that unearthed the truth through its scientific testing and, more recently, from documents it obtained through the legal process from one of Blue Buffalo’s ingredient suppliers. Without Purina’s filing of this lawsuit, the truth would still be untold. Blue Buffalo’s approach since May was to deny everything – until Blue Buffalo was forced to admit it was wrong. Changing your story only after the facts are revealed is not transparency.” “What is the real truth here? Blue’s Chairman, Bill Bishop, repeatedly told their pet parents, ‘I can assure you that we’ve never purchased one kernel of corn or one ounce of poultry by-product meal.’ Why isn’t Blue Buffalo telling pet parents now that Wilbur Ellis is the same supplier that Bill Bishop blamed for ingredient problems in years past [as in 2007]”? “Why does Blue Buffalo always have someone else to blame? Remember Blue Buffalo’s angry protests, their countersuit against Purina, their charges of a ‘smear campaign,’ their claims of ‘voodoo science’? Those are tactics, not truth. The truth is that this is not someone else’s problem [but] it is Blue Buffalo’s problem. It is Blue Buffalo’s responsibility to know what is in their products.”

    Disclaimer – I’m not a fan of either manufacturer, it’s just symptomatic of the PFI.

  10. Ellie

    For me the only real issue here is which company is more guilty of using waste products to produce their “feed” than the other. They both use low grade rotting ingredients and then use exceedingly high temperatures to kill most of the harmful bacteria. Then to top it all off they use cheap synthetic vitamins to bring the goo up to acceptable nutritional requirements. Most of the industry is a disreputable racket. A bunch of uncaring humans getting rich by slowly poisoning our pets.

  11. Tag

    While this info is interesting, could we say there are more important things going on in our world?
    I take care of approx. 30 cats, most strays and feral. I provide them with food, shelter, water and heat in my barn they call home. As for their kibble, I usually do feed Purina because it is way cheaper than Blue. Not the best I know, but ask the cats is they would rather starve! They also get canned food, no not the premium, but again ask the cats. There isn’t a one of them that would be suitable as house pets so turning them over to a kill shelter would only put them in the ground. And lets face it, the No-Kill shelters are full! Have tried!
    I guess if you have a “kitty” you can afford all the premium stuff, but what about the ones that only wish to provide many with some kind of life? All the “he said, she said” crap is useless in the real world.
    And for all the comments I will probably get about being some kind of crazy cat hoarder, every cat on my premises has been altered. At my expense. And over the years I have taken many kittens into my care and found them homes for life. Over 100! Have you?
    I think some should open their eyes and look at the real problem. The deception is not just in Pet food. Human food is WAY more toxic than pet food so if shopping at the local food store? Better quit worrying about pet food and look at your own diet choices!

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      I don’t think you are a crazy cat hoarder – I commend you for caring for those that need your help. But I have to disagree with you that deception and quality is greater in human food. There is no comparison of human food to animal feed. The waste of human food goes into animal feed. Yes, in turn that lessens the quality of human food (waste being fed to livestock animals) – but again, the worst waste goes to animals including our pets. Pet food and animal foods are the big garbage can of human food waste. And with pet food – it is sold to unknowing consumers as choice ingredients.

    2. Reader

      First of all, thank you for your kind work which is about meeting a self-imposed responsibility in the best way you can! Nobody would not criticize your intentions in the least!!

      About the argument itself, it is difficult to compare apples to oranges. Is food preferable to starvation, yes. Is affordable food necessary when serving quantity, yes. Should a consumer even have to “think” about the comparable quality of pet food, NO. You “should” be able to feed anything you want without concern. So the real argument is about oversight. The story is about a major premium PF company being challenged by another PF company, and failed, which further demonstrates there are few assurances in the PFI, especially when third party suppliers are involved. Right now we’re only talking about “by-products” (and yes given state of current events in our Country) seems trivial. But if BB (a premium company) ISN’T testing their product, and they are blaming third parties for their own lack of oversight, then what would’ve happened if the ingredient was dangerously toxic? Then our conversation here would be very different, wouldn’t it?

      The way the PFI gets by is because the majority of people don’t believe the PF they’re using could EVER be toxic. It just doesn’t seem possible to them. Because there is no validation process for the reports that affected consumers provide. Would you want to see most of the 30 cats in your care with the same negative symptoms after a feeding? Of course not! Yet there are pet owners who’ve lost not only a litter, but several household pets. My friend fed 6 of her dogs a new (premium, very well known) brand and they all got sick at the same time. She stopped the food. No more problems. Personally, I know, because my dogs (very old & very young, different breeding) live in a controlled household. Don’t roam, no green landscaping. No pesticides or chemicals on the property. That if both got sick simultaneously then it WOULD be the commercial PF! Because we’ve been down that road before and so have others. Evidence? You remove the cause, or go back to whole food feeding, and the pets recover. Period!

    3. Ellie

      I also care for a large number of strays and feral cats. We take a lot of time, care and expense in getting them spayed/neutered, initial testing and shots, taming and feeding them. Many get re-homed as they become tame, loving animals but some are not able to find another home so we take full responsibility for caring for them throughout their lives. We have done the same for abused and abandoned dogs. Our local shelters are usually at their limit.
      Feeding them the best possible foods, as close to nature as possible is important to me. I don’t do all this for them just to feed them low give them foods that are actually harmful to them.You can buy meat from local farms that is free from the types of contaminates that most grocery store meat is full of. You don’t have to buy fancy cuts of meat. Many farms and butchers will sell you meat for your pets for far less than what they sell better cuts for. We grind it ourselves and buy other ingredients for their food in bulk. Their teeth remain white and clean and they have no health problems. What I pay to feed these animals is actually less than if I bought large bags of kibble.The only additional cost we have had was to buy a freezer to keep meat and other items bought in bulk. Oh, it cost some time and personal research but it is worth it.
      Both the human food industry and the pet food industry are making millions by selling mass produced substances that really should not even qualify as food anymore after the processes the low grade substances have gone through. It is not a pretty business. Most Americans go blindly through life putting toxic substances in their bodies and then are amazed when their bodies bring forth horrible diseases and deficiencies. American pets now have the same food induced diseases as humans have.
      Yes, it takes a little more work to feed our pets but I could not in good conscience feed them a convenience food that will eventually cost them their teeth and then the health of the rest of their bodies. The only real loss is an hour or two. Most Americans are trying to find things to do in their spare time. Well, this is one of the things we do. I think if you ever really looked into the process of the making of pet food, from start to finish, you would understand why many of us refuse to feed commercial pet foods to our animals. Many people have depended on an industry to feed their pets rather than the common sense of feeding them the foods they would eat in nature. Processed foods, for pet or human, will never provide the nutrition that actual fresh foods do.

      1. Pet Lover

        I couldn’t agree more with the above comment. This addition is being shared to encourage others who are on the fence about feeding. Whole food is a great advantage. Have avoided consistently feeding kibble for the last 6 years to my very old and very young dogs. Sometimes they get a regimen of raw for a couple weeks, then home cooked. Older dog during his lifetime has had 2 pancreatic episodes and now both are sensitive to chicken, so it’s not easy, but once you have a recipe nailed, it’s routine. A recipe can be about 1/3 protein to 2/3 alternating ingredients like: (carbs, veggies, yogurt, egg, & foods for specific vitamins & minerals). To use the right ones, I note all the ingredients used in (so-called) highest quality PFs and turned them into whole foods, and grind everything together so it’s easily digestable. For the pancreatic dog my Vet said canned salmon & tuna are better than beef. The bulk ingredient is either THK Preference (but they don’t make alfalfa anymore) or cooked oatmeal and oat bran. This cuts my cost considerably! But with THK I never have to worry about sourcing vits. & mins.

        Best of all the Blood Panels and Urinanalysis have been completed on both dogs now, and they are within norm. My Vet said the values for my oldest dog (15.5 yrs) are phenomenal, he couldn’t believe he was free of all issues, and (oh so thankfully) free of chronic disease! He doesn’t even seem to be arthritic.

        By contrast I have a disbeliever friend who “knows” many people who’ve fed Purina to dogs their whole lives without ever a problem… of course they’re the same dogs being treated for skin allergies, ear infections, bad teeth, aches & pains, over-weight, and the list goes on. But it’s not just “Purina” … it’s the fact the dogs are never getting raw or whole, fresh foods & meats even at least to augment their diets.

  12. Jane Anderson

    It cannot be stressed strongly enough – Wilbur Ellis who is supplying this “food” – they are the architect of the 2007 pet food poisonings. It is Wilbur Ellis who imported all that melamine gluten. In fact in a shipment, one bag was actually labeled “melamine”. It is bad enough that Wilbur-Ellis is still supplying “food” to the pet food industry. It is even worse that pet food manufacturers willingly purchase and use this “food”.

  13. CV

    “And second, if the inclusion of byproduct meal poses “no health, safety, or nutrition issue,” why did Blue Buffalo make such a big deal in its marketing about the exclusion of byproduct meal?”

    Because byproducts are NOT inherently bad for dogs or cats. I feed raw. Maybe 15% of what I feed would fall under AAFCO definition of byproducts. Not only do I feed them, some of them are vital to keeping the diet balanced.

    What would be bad is if I stopped paying attention to which byproducts I was feeding, and then made them a significant portion of the diet.

    Whole, head-and-everything chicken = healthy.

    Carcass of whole chicken with meat I needed for dinner removed and substituted with cheap red meat = even healthier, actually, since chicken alone does not provide a balanced diet for a dog..

    Carcass of whole chicken with meat I needed removed, and I take my neighbors unwanted carcass to make up the difference = a cheap meal I had better make up for tomorrow, because over time they will develop imbalances.

    Short term, it doesn’t matter. Long term – and most people feed one kibble for the entire life of their pet – it matters in a huge way.

  14. […] how nice your pet food is, chances are it wasn’t made with human grade ingredients, and with the increase in pet food fraud, there’s no guarantee you’re even getting what it says is on the bag. With a […]

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