Class action lawsuit threatens therapeutic pet foods
While compliance with official entities offers some industry protection, other forces are often in play.
Many pet food manufacturers have the impression that as long as you follow the rules, you are immune to outside challenges. Yes, compliance with the labeling regulations of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as well as the models of the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) go far in protecting a company from actions initiated by federal or state officials. However, other forces are often in play. Competitors will often scrutinize labels and issue a legal challenge if it sees something that it deems unfair, and consumer advocate groups may also make public assertions of false and misleading labeling claims despite compliance with the letter of the law.
Also common are legal claims against companies related to a faulty product; e.g., injury to animals eating an adulterated or otherwise unsafe pet food. However, recently there seems to be more legal activity related to what is said about a product rather than a defect in the product itself. Class action lawsuits against numerous companies using the word "natural" in labeling have been threatened in recent years, notwithstanding the fact that the labels may have been wholly compliant with AAFCO policy on the matter. Other threatened suits challenged use of the claim "made in USA" as false and misleading, even though the claim may have passed muster with state feed control officials. These suits were directed toward a wide variety of pet foods. However, a more recent class action lawsuit to be filed (not just threatened) goes…