Nestlé Purina PetCare Company has filed a lawsuit in federal court in St. Louis, Missouri, against The
Blue Buffalo Company Ltd., for false advertising, disparagement and unjust
enrichment—including violations of the Federal Lanham Act (15 U.S.C. §
Blue Buffalo’s promotion,
advertising and packaging state that its petfood
products contain “No Chicken/Poultry By-Product Meals.” In its complaint,
Purina alleges that testing conducted by an independent laboratory found that several of Blue Buffalo’s “Life Protection” petfood products
contained significant percentages of poultry by-product meal. Testing was done
from samples of multiple formulas of Blue Buffalo petfood purchased at retail
stores on both the East and West Coasts, says Purina. Independent testing also showed that Blue Buffalo
“LifeSource Bits” contain poultry by-product meal and corn, and
several Blue Buffalo products promoted as “grain-free” actually contain rice
hulls, according to the company.
The lawsuit follows a March
2014 decision of the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of
Better Business Bureaus, which found that Blue Buffalo is engaging in
misleading advertising practices with respect to its claims about competing
products. The NAD decision recommended that Blue Buffalo correct its television
ad campaigns by removing all of its allegations that Blue Buffalo’s competitors
are misleading consumers.
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