A year to the day after being sued by Nestlé Purina, Blue Buffalo officially admitted that they used by-product meal in a “substantial” and “material” portion of their pet foods. Purina was set to catch Blue Buffalo in an advertising lie last year when the company claimed they never used poultry by-product meal in their foods.
Purina decided to do some research of their own and began testing some of Blue Buffalo’s products. They found that indeed Blue Buffalo had lied to consumers and sued the company for false advertising last May. Last week, one year to the day after the lawsuit was filed, Blue Buffalo confessed to the allegations.
Blue Buffalo also asked the court for some extra time to file an amended complaint in order to name their ingredient suppliers as defendants. Keith Schopp, a spokesperson from Nestlé Purina, said that although Blue Buffalo has admitted to using by-product meal, they have yet to inform consumers and the company is refusing to take responsibility for it by blaming their suppliers instead.
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Last year Blue Buffalo’s CEO claimed that the testing done by Purina was “Voodoo Science” and the allegations were completely untrue. Schopp says that the company only admitted the lie when faced with undeniable proof. He says that it is unclear whether they have stopped using the by-product meal or if pet food containing it is still available on store shelves.
Schopp also added that Blue Buffalo is now claiming that they had no way of knowing that there was by-product meal in their bags of dog food.
Keith Schopp thinks that is ridiculous and that a manufacturer is always responsible for knowing what is contained in their product. He says a simple audit of the company’s supply chain would have showed there was by-product meal in the pet food.
Purina believes that Blue Buffalo owes consumers an apology and that it is time for them to be transparent with the public about what ingredients they are using and where they are sourced from. Purina also insists that by-products are safe and nutritious pet food ingredients, and that is not what this lawsuit is about.
The company has no argument about the nutritional value of the food. The issue is simply false advertising and truth-in-labeling. They tested some of Blue Buffalo’s top selling products when doing the initial research for this lawsuit, and feel it is only fair for consumers to know what ingredients are in the dog food that they are feeding their beloved pets.